Homework- Ideal Puppy
Welcome! Here are the weekly handouts for many of the exercises in Ideal Puppy Training & Socialization class, plus training tips to help you be more successful. You and your dog will get out of class and training what you put into it. Practice what you’ve learned every day but keep it fun. Turn training into a game. Ask your dog for something (such as a sit or down) and then reward with a tasty treat. Don’t be stingy. Reinforce the behaviors you like and your puppy will do them more. Figure out your puppy’s reinforcement for bad bahaviors and remove them so that your puppy will not have a reason to continue.</span
I am very happy to have you in class! Let’s get started.
Mindy Cox, Training Director
Scroll down for your training handout links and training tips.
We have these wonderful books in stock; please ask for your copy.
“Life Skills for Puppies” by Helen Zulch
Reader Comment: “One of greatest (if not the best) puppy book currently out there.”
Helping a puppy to grow into a resilient dog, capable of coping with the challenges of daily living, and growing into a dog that is a pleasure to live with is not an easy task. This wonderful, easy-to-read book will simplify your puppy’s education by presenting 10 important skills that are required to achieve these goals. This book will show you how to incorporate these important lessons into every interaction you enjoy with your puppy so that your puppy will practice appropriate behavior choices within day-to-day situations. Spend less time directing and more time enjoying your puppy. Beautiful photographs illustrate the points made.
“Way to Go! How to Housetrain a Dog of Any Age” by Karen B. London Ph.D. and Patricia B. McConnell Ph.D.
Want to house train your dog quickly with few (or NO) accidents? Of course! This book will really help — it points the way to the best method of housebreaking. This book gives a very detailed understanding of what to do and why. Addresses various factors which may differ from situation to situation — such as small vs. large dog, puppy vs. adult, city vs. country, etc. Highly recommended, even if you’ve house trained other dogs.
Socialization is critical to your puppy’s development
We strongly advocate proper, positive socialization experiences for your puppy. Take your pup to as many different places as possible but don’t overwhelm your pup, especially shy ones. Never force your puppy to interact; we want your puppy to feel safe in every situation and with every interaction. How your puppy learns to perceive the world now influences his adult temperament.
Check out this great infographic on how to socialize your puppy the right way. There’s lots of super, easy to follow, important information.
Want to socialize your puppy properly and have fun? Here is your e-book filled with ideas. You can also download the Socialization Scavenger Hunt and have fun checking off all the places and situations you expose your puppy to.
Here is a great video that describes why and how you should manage your pup’s critical stage of life. Please watch it now.
Read these valuable tips to increase your training success every day:
- Remember to keep training fun for you and your dog and stop before your dog wants to. Keep your dog happy and confident.
- Catch and reward your dog being successful and stay positive. Ignore the times your dog is unsuccessful.
- Rewarding positive behavior will build trust and improve your relationship. Punishment erodes the relationship and in some cases may cause aggression
- Make a list of what your dog values most (types of food rewards, play, petting, ride in the car, etc.) so you know how to reward. Use moist, tasty treats to teach new behaviors. Once your puppy becomes good at the behavior, use life rewards by giving something that he or she wants, such as a game of tug, dinner, a ride in the car, a chance to go outside, some time on the sofa with you, etc. Think of more things your dog likes and values and use them as reward
- Begin training at home in an environment that is not distracting. As your dog learns the exercise, slowly increase the level of distractions.
- Break training into small steps.
- Plan ahead. Have your tools ready before you begin (such as clicker and treats).
- Reinforce highly to maintain a positive attitude.
- Multiple short sessions are better than one long session (boring and tiring!). There are moments of training opportunities all during the day.
- Play and training should be indistinguishable to your dog. They both should be fun!>
- Don’t be afraid to act silly sometimes. Your dog will enjoy your playful attitude.
- Be sure your dog gets lots of exercise and environmental enrichment. A tired dog is a content dog!
The handouts will help you remember what we did in class and help you to practice at home. We have provided this information to make your puppy rearing fun and easier, but we may not do all of the exercises listed in class.
Keep playing games that increase focus and attentions such as the Name Game. In addition, be sure to reward your dog when he or she offers you attention without you having to ask (unprompted attention).
When you ask your dog for a stay, be sure to use the release word you have chosen; it’s not okay if your dog makes the decision when to get up. Maintain your criteria!
How awesome your dog behaves and responds is totally up to you. The amount of motivation, ambition, and standards you have will reflect in your dog’s level of training and attention to you. We will continue to learn a lot over the course of the class. You will be amazed how much your dog can learn.
Please keep me informed if you have any questions or I am not covering the things you are most interested in. I am here to help you. If you need to reach me before class, please call 561-427-6700. Please let me know by phone or email when you can’t attend.
By now you should not be using a treat to lure into a position. If you still are, please phase it out quickly. Don’t show the treat before the behavior occurs; give it afterward to reward the correct behavior. The steps to go from luring with a treat to a verbal cue are outlined in the Down handout (Say it; Show it; Pay it).
Management: The Key to Success
Puppy Socialization- Positively Doing it Right!
5 Steps To Prevent Separation Anxiety or Isolation Distress
Play the Collar Grab Game
It’s Your Choice: The Game of Self Control: the handout
Watch the Video: It’s Your Choice: Building Self Control
Know Your 3Ds for Training Success
My Name Is.. (Name Game)
Come When Called
Stopping Leash Pulling handout
Watch the No-pulling video
Watch the Video: Use a Kong to Prevent Boredom and Isolation Distress
Watch the Video: Stop the Biting! Plus Body Handling tips
My Puppy Keeps Barking!
Teacing Your Pup Not to Jump Up
Tips For Getting Your Pup Used to Grooming
It’s An Alien World- Have Some Empathy!
Tools to Keep Your Puppy Successful (and not practicing bad behavior)
Your Pup’s First 20 Weeks To-Do List
Keep track of your pet’s progress so you will know if you are going too fast or if you can add in more challenges. If your dog does an exercise correctly 5 out of 5 times you can make it slightly more difficult. If he or she is right 3 or 4 out of 5 times, keep doing what you’re doing until it’s close to perfect. If your dog is only correct one or two out of five times, you need to make the exercise easier.
Always strive to keep your dog successful so training stays fun and motivating. Here are exercises to work on:
Ready…ready…Go! (holding dog back with hand on his chest) and release to some treats that are several feet away. When the treats are consumed, call your dog back to you. This should be high energy and fun. You can also release to a toy and play a game of tug (be sure you get to the toy quickly so that your dog does not play keep away.
Advanced Attention game: Show your dog a treat in one hand, and then stretch that arm out to the side. Wait until your pup looks at you and then click and reward. As he gets the idea of this exercise you can make it harder by clicking with longer attention to you.
Continue to work on It’s Your Choice and Name Game. Be sure to practice in different environments. Do ‘come’ dozens of times a day and reinforce it generously to build a strong habit.
The following video does a great job illustrating ‘shaping’. If the video below is not visible, please click here.