Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am teaching "puppy manners" at the local club (I usually teach basic) and was just curious as to what all of you have found to be the most important things to start teaching the really young ones. I want to make sure that I have a really good list of training games that the typical client will find fun, useful, and most importantly have success with (by this I mean that they are simple enough that it won't be over anyone or anydog's head). What I'm looking for is some stuff that I might not have thought of or heard about. . .so like not "leave it," ect.

What are the most important things to you in a 12 week old puppy? Recall? Targeting? Impulse Control? It has been too long since I did the puppy thing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,605 Posts
They're going to care about potty training, not biting, walking on lead and not crying when left alone. After that, recall. I started impulse control with Sadie very early and I'm teaching it in puppy class too. We start at 10 weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,323 Posts
The first thing we learned in puppy class was to get the dog to focus on us. We used the phrase "watch me". If the dog looked at us when we said that, he got rewarded. It was the basis for all of the other commands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
First thing I would teach a young puppy is how to learn.
I agree with this sentiment. That is why I like to do targeting (playing "touch" with my hands) and impulse control. I think these are really easy for a puppy to do and create a great basis for learning new behaviors.

Do you have other specific methods for this?

The first thing we learned in puppy class was to get the dog to focus on us. We used the phrase "watch me". If the dog looked at us when we said that, he got rewarded. It was the basis for all of the other commands.
I do this in basic, but I think for puppy manners I will incorporate this into impulse control exercises and make it a second or third step building in the exercise. I think I'm going to try to stay away from naming commands such as "watch me" and more shaping good behavior, at least for the first couple weeks. What do you guys think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
The life skills are Come, Sit, Down, Stand, Stay, Bite Inhibition and Object Exchanges. Before all of that....Attention. Attention is probably best taught while teaching the Indirect Access method....teaching the puppy how to learn and how to earn rewards.
I'm not a fan of the Watch Me method. IMO, it's the dogs responsibility to always pay attention and it's not my job to constantly remind him that he is supposed to be doing that.
Our puppy classes also include leash leash walking, some puppy Agility equipment (confidence building), discussions and/or handouts on health, grooming, socialization, potty training, barking, digging, toys, games and puppy temperment tests.
Some of the other activities we incorporate are: pass the puppy, puppy push-ups, and recalls during puppy play time. I'm sure I'm missing a few things but hope some of that helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
I think a chunk of it depends on what kind of owners you'll have. I've done two rounds of PK and almost everyone there was a first-time dog owner or first-time-in-a-long-time owner who weren't up to speed on the new training methods. If most people taking your class know what they're doing and this is more about socialization, I think you can do a lot more without overwhelming them. If you'll have mostly newbies though, I think you can quickly overwhelm them with lots of games and tricks even if they are easy.

The things people were most interested in the classes I attended were 1) potty training (by far the biggest deal with the most questions), 2) bite inhibition, 3) crate training, 4) basic obedience commands (sit, down, stay) and 5) chewing.

The things people found most useful were 1) clicker training, 2) learning to lure behavior and using our bodies to guide the dog's movements, 3) preventing boredom (stuffed kongs and interactive toys), 4) leash walking and 5) learning the difference between puppy play and puppy fights.

Of everything we did in PK, I think the absolute best thing we did was the name game. I can whisper Mojo's name and his head snaps to see what I'm about. It was also an easy intro to the clicker training which not everyone "gets" right away. Outside of class, my favorite "trick" was touch targetting. People really enjoy it with Mojo and it has practical applications too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,323 Posts
Touch targeting is one of the most useful skills that my dogs know. I use it to get them right next to me on the trails and out of the way of other people, horses, bikes, etc. that might be coming our way. Most people don't seem to know it... or at least no one I've run into. They all love it, though, and vow to teach it to their dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,507 Posts
I completely agree with everything that's been said here and I'm not sure if this counts but.........

the very first thing I teach a puppy is that I can give them food and I can take it away. I teach them that I can touch them, brush them, stick my finger in their ear, pick their little feet up if I want to or do whatever else I want to them while they are eating and I teach them to be comfortable with that.

In other words, I teach them there is no such thing as resource guarding in this house. ;)

After that we move on to sit and go from there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
I agree with what others have posted. Those are all good suggestions. In our puppy class, which is a step before the Basic Class, there is a lot of emphasis on socialization. The puppies get time to learn from each other during play regarding bite inhibition. At the end of class, we also play pass the puppy, so the puppy gets use to being handled by a variety of people. According Ian Dunbar, a puppy should meet at least 100 people in his first 3 months. We also do sit, and leading them etc. There is also some lessons in reducing fear of new things. I think they call it exploration. The instructor covers stuff like potty training, sleep issues and so on in a talk time. It's a very popular training school here. In the Basic class, we will use clickers but right now it's more a foundation to teach them how to learn and focus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
I agree with this sentiment. That is why I like to do targeting (playing "touch" with my hands) and impulse control. I think these are really easy for a puppy to do and create a great basis for learning new behaviors.

Do you have other specific methods for this?
"Touch" and other targeting exercises are a good one. The other thing I would do is spend a short session each day rewarding a pup for offered behaviours. Even if it's not a sit, or a down, or anything that I'm hoping to train him to do in the short-term -- if he offers it on his own accord, I'll reward him for it. Just to get his brain ticking and realising that his random actions can earn him treats, so that he learns to get creative with offering behaviours.

Something else to do would be interaction with an object -- something like 100 things to do with a box. Give the pup a box, and let him investigate it... click for when he gets into it, on top of it, pushes it with his nose... once again, just nurturing creativity.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top