Daily Archives: July 15, 2011

Where I’m going….

I write a lot about training here, but generally it’s about training the nuances of agility. With the puppy, of course, I’m starting with basics. (I should mention that Vikki does a LOT of basics with the puppies–one of the reasons I love her puppies–and that gives me an excellent foundation for starting off. I already have a puppy that wants to please and thinks people are treat machines!)

During the long long months while I was waiting for the puppy to be mine (mine, all mine!), I worked on a training plan. I read training books and watched training DVDs. I went to Sharon Nelson’s seminar and paid attention. I made lists of skills that I want to train. I’m working from two primary sources at this point: Sue Ailsby’s levels (more info here: Puppy training theory) and Susan Garrett’s books and DVDs. (See the Books link above.)

Both trainers are excellent, but of course they’re not in complete agreement. If it were that simple, there wouldn’t be TV shows on dog training. Using these sources, and thinking about where I want to be in six months, combined with the fact that I have a poodle (so grooming is very important), I came up with the list below. I’ll note that I’m working on as many things on this list as possible every single day. The list is vaguely in priority order–you’ll notice that the traditional sit/down stuff is not high on my priority list. I’ll get to that if I have time, but if I can get pottying on cue early, it means I won’t be standing out in the rain come October. (Thanks, Vikki! Your litter timing is great for summer training. Lots of light first thing in the morning, and it’s dry too.)

Bite inhibition is the most important thing on this list. I let Rush chew on my hands, but if he’s not gentle, I yelp and he gets pushed away for a moment. I’ll put him on the floor if I have to. (Note to those who say they want a older dog from the shelter: bite inhibition is one of the big reasons I want to raise a puppy myself.)

  • Potty on lead
  • Potty on cue
  • Potty on a variety of surfaces
  • Bite inhibition: bite inhibition is a method of teaching a dog to bite gently. It’s not teaching a dog not to bite at all. Ian Dunbar has the best instructions here:  Teaching Bite Inhibition
  • Socialized to children
  • Socialized to other dogs (and all breeds of dogs, not just poodles)
  • Socialized to cats
  • Socialized to movement (bicycle, wheelchair, etc.)
  • Lots of surfaces (carpet, pavement, gravel, grass, dirt, bark, wood, metal grates, etc.)
  • Car travel
  • Visit the vet for treats
  • Being left in the crate with me in the room
  • Being left in the crate with me not in the room
  • Loose leash walking (I like this approach: Silky leash)
  • Walking nicely off-leash (related to the reinforcement zone, below)
  • Crate training (a whole topic of its own and one I’ve got a long post on: crate training)
  • Enjoying being brushed all over (relaxed)
  • Enjoy bathing (peanut butter on the bath walls works for a lot of dogs; so does warm water)
  • Paw holding for nail dremeling (starting with clicker training just touching the paw)
  • Inspecting ears (ditto)
  • Muzzle holding for grooming (ditto)
  • Being touched all over
  • Open mouth, place treat on tongue
  • Go to/Relax on mat
  • Collar grab (every time you call the dog, touch the collar before you give a treat)
  • Its Your Choice
  • Reinforcement Zone (when the dog is walking nicely beside you, quickly give him a treat while walking)
  • Restrained recalls
  • Tug/out
  • Sit
  • Stand
  • Down
  • Wait
  • Come game
  • Come game through tunnel(s)
  • Come game through hoop(s)
  • Hand target
  • Nose target
  • Front foot target
  • Rear foot target
  • Wait in place until released