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A new dog meets the litter

The introduction of a new known dog to the litter. In this case an older brother. Puppy training at this stage is all with the breeder.

The stress of a puppy introduced to its new home is extreme

The stress of a puppy introduced to its new home is extreme.

Teaching the sit

Teaching the sit by lifting the chin while placing the bottom in position.

Teaching the stand

Teaching the stand encouraging the head forward while raising the other hand

Teaching the drop

Teaching the drop. Some will go down just with an encouraging patting of the ground, others may need their paws lifted and placed a few times.

Puppy Training From Birth To 12 Months

Puppy training from birth to 12 months is a vast amount of time in a dog's world and shapes the evolution of a dog's behaviour and character for the rest of its life.

Puppy training is a huge subject and we will deal here with some critical points.

From the moment a puppy is born it is learning from its parents, litter, environment, breeder and associations. The quality of the breeder is critical in this regard as they should have the experience and application necessary to give your puppy the best start in life.

By the time your puppy leaves the comfort of its breeder, it should have had all the necessary health care, handling, cleaning, social interaction with people and other animals possible (within health constraints) during its first 8 to 13 weeks.

When the puppy arrives in its new home, understand that the stress is extreme, and its environment must be as warm, comforting and understanding as possible.

Puppy training in the home is its primary source of training, so the more time you have allowed for being at home the better. You will need to decide on some household rules, make them clear and uphold them strictly. Be aware that your puppy has poor control of its bodily functions until around 6 months or more, and there is a vast amount of good information available through myself or others to help overcome bad habits forming.

Your hands should be the most important contact and communication you have with your dog, as it is this physical connection that will give you the best mental and spiritual connection. Then comes the way you use your voice, and the timing you use to negate confusion for the puppy. Puppy training requires more patience and understanding, realizing that the puppy has a short attention span. Eg. I like to train puppies for 30 seconds at a time, with 3 minutes of relaxation and recovery time down with the pup, followed by another 30 seconds and 3 minutes relaxation and so on.

Start getting the puppy used to having a collar on and using a lead around the house, especially the front yard if possible. As soon as you are able to take the puppy out into the community, do so, exposing it to every experience you can think of. However, have the puppy walking as much as possible and refrain from protecting it, and encourage it to meet and investigate.

Teaching the puppy to do things with treats is easy, and can be very successful if carried out properly, but it will be your hands, voice, timing, competence and confidence that will truly connect the puppy to yourself.

You need to ask yourself, do you want to teach your dog tricks, or is it a very strong relationship you are after. That will determine how you go about training.

Formal Puppy Training

Formal puppy training can start at about 4 months of age, and although basic and in very small steps, it is the easiest time to start.

Your Puppy should be used to your caressing and guiding with your hands by this stage, and although I like to do this work without the use of collars leads or food, for the inexperienced, you may like to use these tools.

One of the best exercises I use with a puppy is all in the stationary position with the handler kneeling alongside the dog's right hand side and with your hands guiding your puppy into a sit, drop, sit, stand in the one spot. Then repeating with the commands SIT, DROP SIT and STAND with plenty of high pitched praise for all attempts.

These exercises are a synch if you go on to do Rally Obedience competitions.

It is important that your dog learns to walk in a comfortable manner when going for a walk, without pulling, criss-crossing and tripping you up. There are various means at our disposal to suit the dog, and I refer you to the web page Understanding Your Dog for one of the suggestions.

If you are obedience training and teaching the puppy to "Heel", the dog should be in "Working " mode and everything from that point on should be accurately performed with a lot of concentration from the handler and particularly a young dog. So formal heelwork should be carried out sparingly, or when a situation requires good control.

When you have finished, you should have a release word such as "Free" or "OK". Please bear in mind that a puppy can not concentrate or work for long before being released from "Working" mode. I like a puppy to work in spasms of 30 seconds to a minute, depending on age, with 2 to 3 minutes relaxation and play in between. And get down to your puppy.

I have several methods available for all of the above to suit the nature and ability of your particular dog.

If this has been of assistance and you want some personal assistance, please make contact.

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