Your Pet and Me Professional Pet Sitting Service
Website Designed and Hosted by Armen Graphic Design
Copyright 2007 Your Pet and Me
Your new puppy is a little ball of nothing but energy. Although he will spend a lot of his time sleeping he is virtually non stop while he's awake and definitely wants a lot of attention.
Just like a child, he has to learn everything, except how to pee and poop, he already has a Masters Degree in that, but for everything else, you are the teacher. If you want a happy, harmonious and loving long life together training begins the minute he walks in the door.
Does he know his name yet?
Hopefully, you've already picked a name for your newest family member. You can start calling him by name, but right now he doesn't have a clue as to what you are saying. It's up to you to teach him not only his name, but everything else you want him to do.
Starting with his name. Use it constantly. Obviously, anytime you want his attention start by calling out his name. Don't add anything else to it at first, like, "Coco, come here baby, come on". Just his name and nothing but his name. Initially, you probably won't get any response.
Your objective is to get "Coco" to respond to you whenever you say his name. Until he learns that his name is "Coco", we are going to use a stimulus in order to attract his attention. The stimulus that I generally use is a piece of the dry kibble that you use as his food. I prefer staying with the kibble because, using a good quality food is also giving him his nutrition, as opposed to feeding him fancy treats, which, very often, I equate to junk food.
When he looks at you, or comes to you make a big deal out of it, praise him, give him one piece of kibble, (the kibble acts as both stimulus and reward) rub his neck or behind his ears, sound excited. Gradually, he will be responding to his name without hesitation and you will gradually be eliminating giving him the kibble, but still give him all the praise in the world.
Remember, our training is based upon Request - Lure - Respond - Reward.
Feeding - Used as a Training Tool - Come, Sit, Stay, etc.
Under normal circumstances, this is not the way I would feed my dog. But, at this stage of puppyhood, and for initial training purposes I hand-feed him throughout the day, which is an entirely different feeding structure.
The theory is for your dog to learn that he is reliant upon, you, for everything good. In this way as you progress with your training program, anytime you call him he will immediately respond and come to you.
In the morning, measure out the amount of kibble that you will be feeding your dog for the entire day. We are not going to feed him using his bowl at this time. Instead, always keep a few pieces of kibble in a small plastic bag, in your pocket and throughout the day every time you call his name, or give him a command, come, sit, etc., and he responds he is rewarded with a piece of kibble. If he doesn't respond he gets nothing. This doesn't mean a handful, just a piece at a time. Also don't forget to praise him verbally and physically. "Gooood Booyyy", Gooood Giiiirrll". Rub his head, neck, etc.
By the end of the day you will probably have used us most, if not all, of his daily food allotment. He will have been fed nutritionally while being trained, you will not be overfeeding your dog with unnecessary calories, and you will be saving money by not buying needless treats.
As your dog learns to respond to your commands without hesitation, you can gradually, cut back on the food as a reward, but you must still praise him and make a big deal out of responding to you. At this time you can get into a regular feeding schedule in the morning and evening, or however you prefer.
Just like a child, your puppy is going through a teething phase. In addition dogs are compulsive chewers anyway. He will want to chew on anything he can get his teeth into, including your furniture, slippers, his bed or whatever you have laying around.
In order to preempt damage to your belongings get him use to chewing on his own things. Give him a variety of things to chew on. We are going to do several things here. One is to satisfy his need to chew, second to keep him busy so that he doesn't get bored and third to keep him from destroying the house.
There are a number of different types of chewtoys that you will find on the market. One type that will usually keep him occupied for quite a while are the ones that can be stuffed with food or treats. He will be attracted by the scent of the food and try to get at it. Hopefully, it will take a while until he gets it out. Buy several different styles and brands. This way when he eventually gets his reward out of one, he can go to work on another.
In addition, a hard chewable, like Nylabones. These can be chewed without fear of pieces breaking and getting lodged in his throat. Rawhides are good to, especially for their teeth, but should be used under supervision, since it is an edible and there have been reports of pieces getting lodged in their throat.
If he becomes acclimated to chewing his own things, you have, hopefully, prevented you home from being destroyed. An added benefit here is, by giving him something that attracts his attention, you will reduce the potential of unnecessary barking, which can become a major problem if not preempted.
A Good Initial Training Program
We've outlined a good basic housebreaking and training program for new arrivals and young puppies. You can consider this "Puppy Pre-School", which gives him head start on his more formal education, which should begin when he is about ten weeks old.
There is no such thing as starting training too early. It is far more difficult to re-train a dog that has already developed bad habits than it is to train a dog that you can mold right from the start. I can't emphasize this too strongly.
Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions that you may have. We are only too pleased to help you.
Request - Tell your dog what you want.
Lure - The stimulus for your dog to want to obey.
Respond - Your dog following your command.
Reward - His receiving his reward for obeying. Usually it is the same as the Lure or Stimulus.
Pet Sitting Service Area
We service the following towns in
Bergen County, New Jersey
Allendale, Mahwah, Midland Park, Ramsey,
Saddle River, Waldwick & Wyckoff
Dog Obedience Training Service Area
Northern New Jersey - Rockland County, New York