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Puppy Class Lesson 2

Eye Contact

With distractions:

  1. Grab a handful of food rewards and make a fist

  2. Put your hand out to the side

  3. Wait for your dog to look away from your treat hand and towards your face.

  4. Say the word "YES" then reward your dog with one of the treats in your hand.

Leave it

Back away from the distraction:

Leave it is a very useful cue to interrupt your dog from moving towards an item that you don't want your puppy to pick up. The behaviour you want your puppy to do when they hear you say "leave it" is to turn away from the item on the floor and back to you for a reward instead. 

Step one:

  • Grab 6 treats and hold them in your treat hand

  • Say your cue "leave it"

  • Put the treat right on your dog's nose 

  • Turn around and start drip feeding while you take 5 steps 

*repeat 10 times*

Step two:

  • Grab 6 treats and hold them in your treat hand

  • Say your cue "leave it"

  • Wait for your puppy to turn and look at you. (If your pup does not look at you then this is an indication that he has not made that connection to the word and I would recommend sticking to step one for 10 more reputations)

  • Mark ( by saying good)

  • Reward your puppy while you turn and walk away

Step three:

  • Pop some food treats in a bowl and place the bowl on the floor.

  • Grap 6 treats

  • As your puppy start to move towards the bowl say "leave it"

  • Wait for your dog to look towards you

  • Mark

  • Reward your puppy while you walk away from the food bowl

Once your puppy is reliably responding every time on cue try walking passed the food bowl instead of away from the bowl. Make the distraction harder by upping the value of the food in the bowl, use your puppy's favourite toy (if they have one) 

 

When you have a 100% reliability then you can start using the "leave it" cue in real life situations.  

Training tip:

If your puppy normally tries to jump up on people passing by while out on a walk or they start to get very excited if they see another dog. You can use your leave it cue to get your puppy's attention back on you, then drip feed until the person, dog etc has gone.

DropIT

Drop 

Now that you have had some time to condition the drop cue, you are ready to teach your puppy what behaviour drop will mean to them. 

  1. Start a tug game with one of your puppy's toys Ideally the toy should be nice and long.

  2. After about 20 secounds of play. Keep the toy very still and say your cue "drop"

  3. If your puppy does not let go, simply place a food treat on your puppy's nose. Remove the toy when they open their mouth and then give the food reward.

Sit, stay

Adding duration and distance:

Once your puppy can sit on cue every time. They are now ready to learn a sit, stay. The criteria for a sit, stay is that your puppy needs to stay in a sitting position until they hear their release cue. Your release cue can be done, finished, go, release etc. I would avoid using the word "OKAY" as we tend to use that word regally in conversation and what you don't want is to cue your dog to stay, stay while you answer the front door and during your conversation you say "okay" then suddenly your puppy runs out the front door! Also note that the release cue is not a recall. It is purely a signal to stay you can move from that sitting position.

Step one:

  1. Cue your puppy to sit, then reward

  2. Say the word "stay" or "wait" 

  3. Move your hips side to side

  4. As long as your puppy is still sitting, reward them.

  5. Repeat step 2 and 3

  6. This time say your release cue "finished"

  7. Then drop a treat on the floor slightly away from your puppy so that they need to get up and eat the food reward.

Step 2:

  1. Cue your puppy to sit, then reward

  2. Say the word "stay" or "wait" 

  3. Take one step backwards

  4. As long as your puppy is still sitting, go back to them and reward them.

  5. Repeat step 2 and 3

  6. Go back to them and say your release cue "finished"

  7. Then drop a treat on the floor slightly away from your puppy so that they need to get up and eat the food reward.

Jumping Up

Auto Sit:

Dogs pick up on our body langue faster than verbal cues. Teaching your puppy a clear visual cue like folding your arms is something easy that you guests can do.

Step one:

  1. Ask your puppy to sit

  2. Cross your arms

  3. Reward your puppy while they are in a sit position 

Step two:

  1. Don't ask your puppy to sit

  2. Just cross your arms

  3. Reward your puppy for choosing to sit

Step three:

Increase your excitement. Pat your legs, say hello in an excited manner then cross your arms. Make sure you are rewarding your puppy when they sit. 

Enrichment

Scatter Feeding:

Scatter feeding is a great way to get your dog to use their nose and search for their food. It is a low impact activity but can be very mentally tiring and calming.

All you need to do is scatter your puppy's meal outside onto the grass in your garden. If you do not have a secure garden then you can do this activity in your kitchen. Making little food trails.

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