9 Weeks Old
This is one of my favourite games to play with a new puppy, While perfecting a puppy's stay and improving recall. There are a few steps but lots of room for adding distractions and of course lots of treats!
I start off with a simple sit and take a step back. If the puppy doesnt move I say yes (or click) and reward. Repeating this step several times I move back two-four steps and continue to go further and further.
After Loki becomes a pro I start to add hopping, skipping and moving faster. You can even start to drop a toy to add another distraction.
After several sessions I will start to add a cue and work on adding in the recall to make it a fun and enjoyable game.
Now that Loki has his second round of shots, I started to take him outside more and around more dogs. Something I do frequently is hike. Now that might sound boring to some people or super fun for others. The most important thing I need from a dog when hiking is "RECALL". But this is no ordinary recall. There are wild animals, people, dogs, food, sticks and tons of open space.
I teach a recall when hiking by stopping and letting the dog walk ahead. As soon as the dog turns to look at me I click/say yes and reward. This isn't a run towards me as fast as you can recall. All I want when hiking is for the dog to check back on me. Some people call this an Auto-Check in.
Something I wanted to teach was a good fetch! Now I have never had to teach this so I went ahead and clicked for any interaction with the toy. Within a matter of minutes I had a pretty solid fetch!
I recorded all of our progress so feel free to watch and give me feedback. I think it worked out pretty well!
Say Your Prayers!
This trick goes into two steps. Paws up & Pray.
I start on paws up by luring the dog into a sit pretty and waiting to see if they will place a paw on my arm. Rewarding for one paw and two. Once you have that mastered, start to place your hand with a cookie under your arm. Normally a dog will drop a paw to look. Keep trying until you get a solid pray and reward!
As seen in the video the duration gets longer and longer.
Once you think the dog understands what you're asking, add a cue.
Don't forget to share your thoughts and training questions!
Something I get asked frequently is
HOW do you get an 9 week old puppy to sit still for photos?!
Just like any other behavior, it needs to be trained! I start this with setting up a fake photoshoot and working my stay just like I would if it was regular stay. I reward a few times for the stay and move back take a photo and reward again. After doing this I can start adding in distractions to have him look at the camera or noises to make his head tilt.
Just remember that everything is a trained behavior. Setting up the situation before you actually need it, will give you amazing results!