Fox Terrier About Town

Adventures of a Vivaceous Pup in Fancy London

Archive for February 23, 2008

Puppy Training Is Fun

Training should always be enjoyable. Try to integrate training into your everyday life and play with your dog during and at the end of sessions, as this will ensure he looks forward to his training. Try to train in 2-3 minute sessions, 4-6 times a day.
Always finish a training session on a positive note, with something your dog can do well.

Initially, you will need to lure your dog into various positions using a food reward. Once the dog is going into the desired position willingly and regularly you can then start saying the word before the hand signal.

NAME: Say ‘dog’s name’ to gain his attention.
CUE WORD AND HAND SIGNAL: Give calm instruction e.g. ‘sit’, then hand signal straightaway.
ACTION: Dog goes into the required position.
REWARD: Say ‘Good’ give the food treat/praise/ play.

REMEMBER when you are not using food rewards use your release command ‘ok’ to let your dog know that he has finished that particular exercise.

ONE SECOND RULE: Once your dog is in the correct position, and you are ready to release him, he must be rewarded within one second for him to learn the correct association of word and action.

Regularly put your dog on his lead in the house when you are training, to ensure success as you have more control of him. This will also reduce his excitement when he sees the lead, as it will no longer be the signal for a walk.

THE 3 D’s: Every time you teach your dog something new, this needs to first be done where there are NO distractions e.g. indoors.

When he can perform the behaviour perfectly you can then start added the 3 D’s ONE AT A TIME AND GRADUALLY.

Duration – The time your dog remains in that position, e.g. start with 3 seconds then gradually increase the time to 1 minute.
Distance – Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog when he is in that position.
Distraction – When he can do it perfectly indoors practice on the street, then in the park with minimal people and dogs around increasing to a busy park.

Remember if your dog moves out of position when training, just put him back into the position and start again. It might be worth going back a few steps and taking it a little slower.

Puppy School Oh So Posh

Heel Puppy, Heel! Good Puppy!

Heel Puppy, Heel! Good Puppy!

One of the things that I pre-booked before Dashwood came home was puppy school. This is very common in London. Apparently not so much in other parts, but it is one of the best things a little puppy can get. And you, as the owner, if you have never brought up a puppy, is the best schooling too.

This is what you get in Puppy School:

* teaching your puppy how to come, sit, lay down, heel, and obey basic commands;
* learning about puppy hygene: how to clean those ears, and the eye gunky stuff;
* introducing your puppy to other dog breeds, different from him and so needed to be explored;
* teaching your puppy basic manners towards other puppies, humans and children;

The couse is just six Saturdays, but it is worth doing. This is the site that will locate your nearest puppy class.

Dashwood and I went to Dog Hollow, off the King’s Road, SW3 and we had hilarious episodes there. Above all, the ladies running the puppy classes are extraordinarily dedicated and knowledgeable and made our learning a delightful and worthy process.