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February, 2010
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puppy training
Yes, with positive reinforcement training even pups as young as these can be easily trained. This post displays the puppies as they work on learning some self-control.


One of the most important things you can teach your dog is patience and self-control. A fun way to do this is to work on instilling a 'say please sit' in your dog's bag of tricks. The rules are simple: if you sit, you get what you want. If you do anything else, you don't! Dogs learn what works very quickly, and it is your job to be consistent!

Since week 5, I have been working on getting sits/downs with the puppies (and mom of course :). With young puppies, it is extremely important that their first experiences with training are good ones. So it is all about either luring or capturing behavior, with no force applied on my end. Shown in this video is work on getting the puppies to offer some sits in order to get wet pieces of kibble. Notice the excitement in the beginning, but with nothing done on my part other than timely reinforcement the pups learn real quick that sitting is the best way to get the most food. With mom, I'm working on reinforcing her for staying off to the side. When she gets excited, she tends not to notice who is underfoot :) Once the pups are offering sits reliably, I start working on getting some downs as well.

Notice: no words other than praise! I don't want to have to ask for a sit, I want it to be automatic: see the food bowl, sit. They are all already doing this when I come in their room, sitting immediately at my feet so I will either pick them up or give them some love on the floor. Smart puppies! Momma already has some hard habits to break i.e. jumping up for attention, so it is a bit harder for her to stay all 4 on the floor. But she has learned to do a very cute hind-leg 'dance' in front of me, to get out her jumping while keeping paws off. :)
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