This hugely important training tip is that I rarely say no to my puppy or any dog of mine, what I want is for my dog to associate my voice with good stuff, to turn happily and look when I speak to them, verbally correcting and telling off young dogs simply teaches them to take no notice of us at best and at worst spoils the bond between dog and owner! Besides I do not need a command word for things that in just a few months she will lose all interest in, like eating inappropriate stuff in the garden.
That doesn’t mean Betty gets to do whatever she likes though! As with any young baby, I distract her sometimes, when she is for example heading for my greenhouse to eat my plants, on occasions I pick her up and move her to another area, as when she is in the front room and I want her out without damage or fuss or want her in her crate in a hurry, I make picking her up a time for a cuddle to ensure she continues to enjoy being picked up.
When I have time and I want her away from a room or an item, I practice her recall to me, rewarding her with a treat, there are endless opportunities for recall practice with this!
When she is eating or chewing on items of no value and no harm I simply let her get on with it and let her find out for herself that it is not tasty or fun, if I show interest in whatever she has I will simply reinforce her interest.
I keep my corrections gruff, short and sharp for things of more importance like play biting and chasing my feet, she now backs off immediately on these behaviours simply because it is so rare for me to be gruff! So much of dog training is not what you do, but want you don’t do!
I back this all up with titbit training Betty with clear hand signals to do little recalls, sit, down, heel, watch and walk to heel at least 6 of each on the trot, currently I use her normal meals for training these, she is still greedy enough for this food to be important to her, and ensures she gets lots of repetitions on each exercise while having fun!
Betty is far from perfect and I cannot say I want her to be, but she will be perfect for me 🙂 we just need a couple of years! I am so enjoying being with her and be at the beginning of my dogs life again, this time passes so fast, I find each time I have a puppy these early months are more precious to me and that makes me more patient, thankfully as I did need to learn some patience!
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