Friday, August 17, 2012

Basic Training Commands

Formal training should not commence until a puppy is at least eight weeks old and fully settled into your home. He should be relaxed, and in good health. You cannot take him outside for training until his permanent inoculations are effective. You will be able to teach the sit, stay and down commands in your home, heel will follow shortly there after.

Some things to remember:

  • ·         Never make training sessions too long – a puppy’s sessions concentration is short. Limit sessions to a few minutes. But you can have 2 – 3 sessions a day.
  • ·         Never attempt training if you’re not in a good mood. The moment you feel frustrated end the lesson, or take a few moments to gather your composure.
  • ·         Always end lessons with success, not failure. It doesn’t matter what that success is, only that the puppy realizes it has pleased you and gained praise.
  • ·         Discipline teaches a puppy only what is not wanted rather than what is. This is only learned by successes. Always place the most emphasis on that the puppy does right, not what it does wrong. Praise should be lavish, discipline and corrections minimal.
  • ·         Training sessions should be free of distraction. As the puppy becomes more advance, move into situations where there are distraction. The puppy leans, by degrees, t cope with these.
  • ·         Remember, your puppy is an individual some are more placid or shy than others, and will need a softer tone of voice and greater patience.
  • ·         Do not hold training sessions immediately after your puppy has eaten, or been playing, but shortly before.

“Formal training should not commence until a puppy is a at least eight weeks old and fully settled into your home. He should be relaxed like these pulis and in good health.” 

The Sit Command

Kneel down and call the puppy to you. Place him in from of you with one hand on his chest, the other over his hindquarters. Apply gentle pressure to the hindquarters. Apply gentle pressure to the hindquarters, at the same time saying “Sit” in a clear, firm tone. Praise him lavishly when he is seated. Move to another spot and repeat the exercise. However do not repeat the exercise too many times in one session or the puppy will get bored. Repeated over a day or two, at regular intervals, the pup will soon be proficient in this command.
                Once the puppy is obeying the command, call him to you and stand in front of him, rather than kneel. Practice till the puppy is proficient. Finally, repeat the exercise while you are seated in a chair. Using this three stage process (kneeling, standing, and sitting) the puppy is taught to obey the sit command regardless of your position. He will eventually take up this position whenever he is called to you, not even needing the actual command.

This puppy's are ready and willing to learn all you have to to is teach them!

Sit-Stay Command

Only when the sit command Is understood should you move to the sit-stay. A six foot lead will be useful place the puppy in front of you and use the sit command. Now move backwards a few feet. As you go say “Sit”, at the same time hold your right hand in front of the puppy’s face, palm forward. The moment the pup attempts to follow you, repeat the command. If it is ignored do not continue to use the command. Rather, say nothing and move towards the puppy. Repeat the sit command. Now start backwards again. Repeating the original sequence note that no discipline or corrections are used, repetition, patience and praise for success, are much better methods to use. 

Once you can move backwards to the length of the lead with success every time, you can then walk forwards, turning your palm to face the dog as you say the command and begin to move. When this is achieved, walk back to the dog, and praise him. The final step is to walk to the e end of the lead, turn, call the pup to you and give him the sit command. End with lavish praise.

Your puppy will find the sit one of the easiest commands to master. Remember, practice makes perfect :D

The Down command

This command is initially difficult for most dogs to accept because it’s a very submissive position for them to assume. The bolder puppy will display the most resistance. Once he realizes there are no negative effects, the puppy will accept the command like any other. There are a number of techniques used by trainers to teach this command: they fall into two basic categories. There are those where pressure on the lead, underneath the puppy’s neck, forces him to the ground, and there are the paw and leg methods which involve pulling the front legs forward while applying some reassure to the shoulders. In the paw method, the accompanying hand signal must be taught understood. This author prefers the paw method because it usually encounters the least resistance and it is a less threatening action to a puppy.

The down command is the most difficult for puppies to master because it is such a submissive position.
Once the puppy performs the down command every time, you can slowly  build up the time he stays in position. do not, however expect a young puppy to stat in any position for more than a few minutes. Your puppy's ability to do this will develop as he matures, and with regular practice.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Understanding Behavior

In this chapter you will come to understand some of the reasons your puppy behaves as he does. An understanding of behavior will make you more able to train him, and better qualified to pinpoint the sources of some common problems. We will explore patterns of behavior and their consequences. Unfortunately, in many cases, an owner who has no understanding of behavior will reinforce inappropriate behaviors through poor discipline techniques. Invariably they compound the problem and created confusion in the dog’s mind. 

 Before we discuss the key aspects of pet psychology, there are two phrases that you should keep in mind: Violence (otherwise known as hard discipline) is never an option. Although it may overcome the immediate frustration of the owner, it never does anything to solve the dog’s problem. The only certainly of inconsistent discipline is negative side effects. If you are not consistent in training, your dog will be inconsistent in his behavior.
Pet Psychology

The first eye aspect o f pet psychology is reinforcement. Reinforces are any stimuli serving to enforce a given b behavior. A primary reinforce is a stimuli, such as punishment, or petting, applied at the time of a behavior. A discriminatory reinforce is a stimuli that replaces a primary enforcer, but has the implication of the primary. “No” and “Good Boy” are the examples most commonly used, however, here the words are only part of the stimuli the tone of voice, together with facial and body expressions, are equally as important. Your size, coupled with the tone of y our voice and facial expression, leave the youngster in no doubts about your meaning.

“Gaining an understanding of why your puppy behaves the way he does will make it easier to train him and pinpoint the sources of any difficulties”

  Generalization of Puppy's Behavior

Generalization may itself apply both positively and negatively. For example, your puppy goes to the vet and is subject to a painful treatment, the vet wears a white coat. Some days later you visit a friend who is veering a white coat, and the puppy shows instant fear. The original source of the fear, the pain resulting form the treatment, at the vet’s office, has been transferred in the pups mind to color of the clothing. You might unwittingly chastise the pup for his fear of your friend. In so doing, you reinforce that fear.

Generalization is one of the singular most difficult behaviors to overcome because; anything in the environment may become a potential source of negative generalization. The best way to minimize the risk of negative generalizations is to try and ensure that the puppy is never placed in a situation that you know may result in fear. For example, do not wait until the puppy has a problem before visiting the vet. Take him in for a check-up, that way he’ll become accustomed to the environment under generally non-stressful conditions. Therefore, when presented with a difficult situation the puppy will experience less anxiety and will not associate the veterinarian’s office with pain and fear. Likewise, never take a puppy that is unfamiliar with the hustle and bustle of a busy town center into one without first getting him familiar with people and traffic under less busy conditions. Everything is new to a puppy; by taking things slowly you are ensuring all the generalization’s he makes will be of a positive nature.

“Generalization is one of the most difficult behaviors for a puppy to overcome because anything in the environment may become the source of a negative generalization. A watchful eye should prevent your puppy from encountering any situations in which this would be possible.”