Puppies should learn from the beginning of their lives with their new families that humans are the givers of all good things and, when necessary, the takers of all good things. If your puppy growls when he is being approached while playing with a toy, address the behaviour now. Puppies do not grow out of bad habits—bad habits just get worse if not addressed.
You must remind your puppy who the toy giver is if he feels the need to guard toys. If your puppy guards all of his toys, then all of the toys must be taken away. If your puppy guards one specific toy, then that specific toy must be taken away. This can be done while your puppy is in the crate or in a secure area. Once all the toys have been put away, offer your puppy his least favourite toy to play with for a minute or so.
Then, using one of your puppy’s favourite treats, give the cue drop-itor leave-it. Whichever cue you choose, stay with that cue; do not change to a new cue later on.
When your puppy drops the toy for the treat, mark the behaviour with “yes” or a click from your clicker and give him the treat in exchange for the toy. Repeat this exercise just a few times a day. Once the puppy begins to quickly respond to the drop-it or leave-it cue, it is time for the next step.
Put away the toy you were using, and the next day bring out another toy he likes to play with, but not his most favourite toy. Repeat the exercise with the new toy just a few times a day over the next few days, until he quickly drops the toy when he hears the cue “Drop-it” or “Leave-it.”
Once he will consistently listen to your cue of “Drop-it” or “Leaveit,” it is time for the next step.
Take your puppy’s favourite toy out and give it to him. Give him five or ten minutes to enjoy his toy, and then walk over to him and give the cue “Drop-it” or “Leave-it,” and offer him a very special treat. If he does not drop his toy, you can use a higher-valued treat, such as chicken or cheese, to lure the toy away from him. Once he finishes the treat, give him back his favourite toy and walk away.
For now, let him play with his toy undisturbed for at least a half hour. Then repeat this exercise a few more times that same day, always allowing him time to enjoy his toy for a while first. Repeat the cue with his favourite toy a few times a day over the next few days. Remember to mark the release of the toy, reward him with the treat, and give him the toy back to play with.
Over time, he will learn to quickly drop whatever is in his mouth when he hears the cue. Once he gets to this level, rewards should be intermittent: one reward this time, three rewards next time, zero rewards the next time, and two rewards the next. Keep him guessing. Will he get one, three, or no treats when he gives the proper behaviour?
Unless your puppy has something dangerous, never pull the toy out of his mouth. This will only cause him to want to guard the toys more fiercely, and you could get hurt. If you offer the cue “Drop-it” or “Leave-it” to your puppy and he growls at you at any time, just say “Too bad” and walk away.
Do not look at, play with, scold, or say any more words to him. For now, leave the room and completely ignore him. If he follows you to another room in the house, completely ignore him for the next five minutes. When it is time for him to go outside or to eat a meal, pick the toy up and put it away. In fact, if he continues to growl at you after you have tried the above methods, and the only toy he still guards is this favourite toy, simply throw the toy away.
You will not want to punish him for growling, as a growl is an important early warning system dogs give that asks others to stay away. A growl is the prerequisite for the bite.
If you are concerned for your safety, stop and walk away. If at any time your puppy becomes aggressive and tries to bite you while shaping this behaviour, contact our practice! It is extremely important that this behaviour is addressed now before it is too late.
If at any time while working with your puppy you feel threatened or concerned, contact our practice for a referral to a veterinary behaviourist. Do not try to solve this problem alone. There are wonderful professionals who can help you and your puppy.
There are three main things you want to teach your puppy.
First, you and not the puppy control all resources.
Second, the puppy must learn self-control.
Third, you want to build your pet’s confidence and desensitize him/her to the “triggers” that may be causing aggressive or bullying behaviour.
The following examples of clear guidelines you need to establish between you and your puppy will teach him that you control all resources and help him learn self-control. Be patient because learning self-control is not an easy lesson.
•Your puppy does not receive meals until he is sitting quietly
If your puppy jumps up or nips at you, put the food in the refrigerator or cabinet and walk away. Offer it again when your puppy calms down. Go into the kitchen and get the food bowl. Ask your puppy to “sit.” If the inappropriate behaviour continues, repeat the exercise until the bowl can be put on the floor and your puppy waits until you release him to eat. You can use the cue “free dog” as the release, and let him eat his meal.
• When you go outside for a walk, ask your puppy to “sit”
You walk through the door first, and then release him to come outside with you.
• When you come back inside from your walk, ask your puppy to “sit”
You come in the house first, and then release your puppy.
• You decide when your puppy receives attention, not your puppy
This can be a big one for many puppies. When your puppy comes over to you and jumps up, turn and walk away. When your puppy nudges your arm asking to be petted, ignore him and walk away. Whatever you do, do not pet your puppy when he is demanding your attention. When your puppy barks at you, ignore him and walk away. These are all attention-seeking behaviours, and your puppy needs to practice self-control. You want him to learn that being quiet, patient, and polite is the only way to get your attention!
• You decide who gets to lie where and when
If your puppy is lying down comfortably in the middle of a room or in the hallway, ask him to move so you can pass. If your puppy does not move, tap him lightly with your foot and ask him to move again. Giving your puppy a cue such as “excuse me” would work well with this. Do not step over your dog.
•You decide where your puppy gets to sleep, not your puppy
Barking is a natural way for dogs to communicate. Sometimes this communication can be excessive and quite annoying. To be effective in changing this behaviour, take a little time to understand what triggers your puppy’s barking. Your puppy may be barking for several different reasons, which may include any of the following:
• He has way too much energy and needs more exercise than what he is currently receiving.
• He is bored and needs toys for some mental stimulation.
• He is fearful and needs more socialization and/or desensitizing opportunities.
• He has been carried around too frequently and needs to experience life with all four paws on the floor to build his confidence.
• He is offering a normal alert bark. This bark is to let you know something is different.
Like any behaviour, you do not want to accidentally reward him by paying too much attention to his barking. When too much attention is given to any behaviour, it will increase in intensity and duration. Since puppies consider any attention to be a reward, you may be rewarding a behaviour you are trying to stop, which will increase the behaviour. It is important that you do not try to reason with your puppy.
Reasoning takes time, words, and most of all, your attention. Your attention is the one thing your puppy will always want from you. The following are some things to think about and consider doing with your puppy to stop excessive barking.
Puppies in general need lots of exercise. If your puppy is not getting enough exercise, then increasing his activities may help rein in his barking behaviour. Taking him for a walk is exercise, but not enough for a young dog. If you have a fenced garden, then playing fetch with him outside is a great exercise.
If you have a friend who has a safe dog that is up to date on vaccines, you could invite the other dog over for a playtime with your dog in the backyard. If you live in a flat, a good game of fetch indoors can serve as an exercise opportunity for him as well. Playtime is very important to a young dog. Besides getting exercise, playtime teaches your puppy how to interact with people. Belly rubs, fetch, and puppy-in-the-middle are all games you can play with him while teaching manners at the same time.
If your puppy is bored, offer him new things to figure out on his own. You can purchase a few hard rubber toys that you can put some treats in for him to work for. Make sure it is not something that he can chew up and swallow! Give your puppy one toy a day to play with until he figures out how to get all the treats out of the toy. Then put that toy away and offer a new toy the following day.
Exchange toys frequently so your puppy does not get bored with the same toy. You can fill these toys with a little canned dog food, treat spreads, treats, or peanut butter. Letting your puppy figure out how to get the treats out of the toy is great mental stimulation for him. (Caution: Do not use peanut butter if anyone in your home is allergic to peanuts.) Most of these toys can be placed in the dishwasher for cleaning, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations first. When puppies have access to all of their toys at the same time, they can quickly become bored with all of them.
Many puppies who are excessive barkers lack socialization. They bark excessively because they do not understand enough about the world around them and find it a fearful place. If your puppy needs more socialization, take him to different places with you. Slowly introduce him to different people, places, and things.
Socialising your puppy is one of the most important things you can do for him. If there is a puppy socialisation class you can enrol him in, do so. This is a wonderful opportunity for him to be socialized with other people and puppies. Walks in the park or at a playground can also be a great way to socialise your puppy.
Make sure any other animals that your puppy meets prior to completing his vaccines have received all of their vaccines as well. When taking your puppy to any outdoor activity, it is important that you protect him. If a stranger comes up and wants to pet him, let the puppy go to the stranger; do not force your puppy to hold still for a pet from anyone.
Notice if your puppy seems more concerned with one person than another. Is he showing more concern to people with glasses, or hats, children, men, or people in uniform? Whatever the stimulus is for him, look for a pattern of his concerns. If you do find something he seems consistently concerned about and barks at, then this is good information to help him become more comfortable with that stimulus in the future.
This can be done by de-sensitising him to the stimuli he is concerned with. Let us know if this is the case so we can help you desensitise him.
If you are having a challenge getting him to walk on a leash, please let us know that too, and we will be happy to help you teach him how to walk on a leash nicely. If you are carrying your puppy around, put him on the ground and let him start to experience different situations and life on his own.
All four paws on the ground will help build his confidence. Confident dogs are not excessive barkers. They give alert barks to their family to let them know something is different or has changed. All they want
is acknowledgment from you that they have done their job well.
Some puppies take their protection role in the family a bit too seriously. Once your puppy has barked, alerting you to something, first check out what your puppy is alerting you to. There may actually be something you need to pay attention to. Sometimes, just checking out what your puppy is barking at, saying words such as “Thank you,” or “That will do,” or “Okay” is all that is needed for him to know he has done his job. When you do give him a cue, say the cue in a soft voice. If you yell or speak too loud, he will think you are joining him in the bark and you too are concerned. Once you let him know in a quiet voice that he has done his job, simply walk away.
When you walk away and stop paying attention to him, there is a good chance he will stop barking. This is because you are no longer giving him attention. Your lack of concern about his reason for barking may serve as an example of “Oh, that must not be important,” and the barking will stop.
If that is not enough, check out what he is barking at, and then call him over to you in a happy voice. At first, stand only a foot or so away from him. The second he turns to come to you, mark the behaviour and encourage him to come to you with a healthy treat as the reward. You will soon find that when your puppy barks at something and you acknowledge his alert, he will simply stop barking.
You can also interrupt your puppy’s barking pattern by making a short, sharp, and/or unusual sound to distract him. A good example of this sound could be a plastic bottle with some loose change or rocks in it. Give it a single hard shake when your puppy is barking.
The second he stops barking, give him a verbal cue, either “Thank you,” “That will do,” “Quiet,” or “Okay.” He will stop to see what the noise was. The second he turns his attention to you, by looking at you, mark the behaviour with a word such as “Yes,” or give a click from your clicker. Then reward him with praise, a pet, or a healthy food treat for looking at you and stopping the excessive barking.
You can also leave the room when the puppy is barking. By leaving the room, you are taking all attention away from him for his inappropriate barking. If he is barking at something outside, you can consider covering the windows where the behaviour is occurring.
Having your puppy fitted for a head collar and then using the collar to address the barking behaviour is another way to help him understand that you want him to stop barking once an alert has been given and acknowledged by you. Our practice can fit your puppy with a head collar, but please make sure you check the fit frequently as puppies grow quickly and we do not want his collar to become too tight.
Once the puppy is comfortable with the head collar, attach your leash to the collar and stay with him. Create a situation or have a friend create a situation that would normally cause him to start barking excessively. Let him bark a few times, then give him the cue.
You may use “Thank you,” “That will do,” “Quiet,” or “Okay,” or any other word(s) you would like, to consistently let him know he has done his job. Once you say the cue, gently pull the leash to the side to close his mouth. The second he stops barking, mark the quiet behaviour with a “Yes” or a click from the clicker, and reward him with an ear scratch, a treat, or a pet while releasing the tension on the leash the second he stops barking.
If he starts to bark again, repeat the cue and pull on the leash again until he stops barking. You will have to repeat this exercise several times a day over a few weeks until he understands that when you give the cue “Thank you,” “That will do,” “Quiet,” or “Okay,” he is to stop barking.
Biting and Nipping
Biting is a normal behaviour for puppies. This is one way puppies play with each other to organize the hierarchy of the social group. So when you and your puppy begin your relationship, your puppy must be taught that your skin is much more sensitive than his. Play biting you is not an acceptable behaviour!
Old techniques to stop this behaviour, such as grabbing your puppy’s muzzle, giving your puppy a shake and saying “No,” or pinning your puppy down, can only make matters worse! These types of reprimands can be interpreted by your puppy as an act of aggression.
In many cases, reprimands such as these can even escalate the problem. Correction should not be handled with any methods the puppy could misinterpret. When hurtful methods are used to stop this behaviour, play biting can quickly escalate to aggressive biting.
You will want to send a clear message to your puppy that biting you or other humans is not an acceptable behaviour. You can accomplish this by withdrawing all attention from him when he bites you. Attention, whether positive or negative, is still attention. With that in mind, even scolding the puppy is a reward because he got your attention.
When he starts to bite, walk away. If your puppy is biting your shoe or pant leg, you may find it a little harder to walk away from him. When he grabs your pants or shoes, take him into a small area, such as your bathroom or another small room in the house. Re-create the behaviour that caused him to bite you. When he begins to bite, do not say a word—just walk out of the room and close the door quickly.
Be careful not to close the door on your puppy’s nose or paws; you will not want to hurt him when doing this. Leave him isolated in the room for a few seconds. Go back into the room and act as if nothing ever happened. Begin to re-create the behaviour that caused him to bite again. When he tries to bite at your shoes or clothes, quickly walk out of the room again and close the door.
After repeating this a few times a day over several days, the puppy will realise that every time he grabs your clothing or shoes or bites you, he will be left all alone. Through isolation and being ignored, the inappropriate biting behaviour will stop.
It can sometimes get confusing to you and your puppy when playing together. Was the bite on purpose or was it an accident? To be safe, always assume it was on purpose. Stop the play and walk away from your puppy. Most bites are on purpose, so continuing the play will only confuse your puppy.
Try not to offer reasons for the biting behaviour. Words such as “My puppy did not mean it,” “It was an accident,” and “It was really my fault, not my puppy’s” can cause more harm than good. Trying to be understanding and helpful by offering reasons why the behaviour happened can only make matters worse and confuse your puppy.
Your puppy may think biting is a wonderful game.
If that happens, the biting behaviour will increase in intensity as you continue to allow and reinforce it. The more demanding your puppy is with this wonderful game, the harder he may begin to bite. Before you know it, the biting will escalate, and the puppy will think it is part of the game and biting you is an acceptable behaviour.
Another thing you can do is put your puppy in the crate for a time-out. Wait for him to settle down and then open the crate slowly to let him out. If he tries to bite at you again, simply close the crate door and leave him in the crate for a little longer. Then wait for him to settle down and try to open the crate again. You may have to repeat this exercise many times a day over a few days for your puppy to understand.
When putting your puppy in the crate or into his space for a time-out, do not drag him by the collar. When he is dragged by the collar, he may become afraid of your hands reaching for him. This technique could result in your puppy being afraid of hands and cause him to shy away from you when you try to reach out to pet him. Instead, either pick your puppy up, if you can do so without getting hurt, or have a short, two-foot leash attached to his collar. This way, when he bites you, you can use the leash to bring him to his crate and lead him. Remember, do not open the crate for a barking dog.
When you do, you are teaching your puppy that you can be trained. Many puppies are capable of barking for a very long time. This is how they wear down their owners. But you must use tough love here if you want him to learn quickly. When the puppy carries on for 30 minutes, it is tempting to let him out for a little quiet in the house, but do not let him out. If you do, the puppy will only bark longer next time and matters will get worse, not better. Always wait for that moment of silence before opening the crate for a barking dog.
Hugging, kissing, and holding your puppy is a human need, not a puppy’s. Many puppies do not like to be held quite as long or as often as many puppy parents might think they do. You should not expect acceptance of hugs and kisses from your puppy. Your puppy needs time to understand you and your ways. Many puppies will allow the hugs and kisses once they are comfortable with their new family.
Since he is constantly learning, he will figure out that kissing, holding, and hugging will not harm him, especially if you listen to his request to stop or be let down when he asks. By giving him the time he needs to get used to some of our human idiosyncrasies, he will become comfortable with this human hugging and kissing thing. After all, how comfortable would you be if someone walked up to you and smelled your butt? That is a natural behaviour for dogs, just like hugging and kissing is for us.
Puppies can interpret being held as being confined, which is something they do not like. To ask you to let them down, some puppies will start off licking your arm or hand—that is their way of politely asking to be let down. When the request is missed by you, the only option your puppy has to let you know he wants to get down is to start biting at your hand, arms, or clothing.
By paying attention to your puppy’s signals, you can avoid this situation. If, after trying these methods, your puppy is still biting, please call our practice. There may be a physical or emotional problem going on that should be addressed immediately.
Bolting Out Doors
Bolting out the door is a very dangerous behaviour for both your puppy and the people he may meet. He can get lost or hurt, or if someone approaches him, he may bite out of fear.
The step-by-step process outlined below to address this behaviour is based upon the sit and stay cues. Remember that it is important to keep eye contact with the puppy when training stay. Place a small rug near the door your puppy has tried to bolt out of. Make sure the rug is far enough away from the door so you can open and close the door without the puppy having to move.
Practise sit and stay on this rug with your puppy. Remember to always release the puppy from a stay. If your puppy bolts out of every door in your home, then start off with one door until he can hold his sit/stay. Once he is doing well at one door, you can train the same behaviour again at another door in your home.
Usually after two or three doors, your puppy will understand that “sit/stay” means “sit/stay no matter which door he is at.”
Once he is doing well with the previous step, you can introduce the door actually being opened. Put him on his leash and ask him to “sit/stay” on his rug by the door. Hold onto the leash or step on the leash, open the door, and immediately close the door.
Return to the puppy, mark and reward him if he held the sit/stay, and release him. If he did not hold the stay, put him back in the exact same position he was in originally and give the cue for “sit” and then “stay.” Wait a moment, then mark and release him for staying still. Repeat this exercise until you can open and close the door quickly without him breaking the sit/stay cue.
Gradually increase the amount of time you can hold the door open without him breaking the sit/stay. Each time, return to the puppy, mark and reward him if he held the sit/stay position, and release him. If he did not hold the stay, put him back in the original location and into a sit/stay again.
Wait a moment, then mark and release him. Repeat this exercise until you can keep any of your doors open for 30 seconds and your puppy holds the sit/stay cue. Remember to always mark, reward, and release him from the cue.
Now have a friend ring the doorbell or knock on the door. Your puppy will probably run to the door to see who is there. Calmly walk to the door with leash in hand, call your puppy’s name to get his attention, and put his leash on him. Put him into a sit/stay on his rug, hold onto the leash, and open the door slowly.
If he holds the stay, have your friend come in to the house, return to the puppy, mark and reward him with a jackpot, then release him. If he did not hold the stay, put him back in the original location and into a sit/stay. Wait a moment, then mark and release him. Repeat this step until the puppy can hold his sit/stay until your friend is inside of your home and then quickly release him.
At this stage, ask your friend to ignore the puppy completely and not make eye contact. You want your puppy to keep eye contact with you until he is released. Then repeat what you did in the last step, but ask your friend to calmly greet your puppy while he is in the sit/stay position. If he breaks the sit/stay, your friend should immediately ignore the puppy while you put him back in the original position and into a sit/stay.
Have your friend try to calmly greet your puppy again, and this time offer him treats while your friend goes to pet him. If he can hold his sit/stay while being petted, quickly mark and reward him. Repeat this a few times until he is consistent at paying attention to you while your friend pets him. Once he is consistent, you can stop offering treats while he is in the sit/stay and have your friend softly pet him.
If he holds the position, jackpot him with many small treats for a job well done. If he is still breaking the sit/stay, ask for a sit and then quickly reward and release him. For now, training the sit/stay at the door is done. By ending this training session on a positive note, your puppy will have an opportunity to think about what just happened and look forward to the next training session. You can work on this behaviour later in the day or the following day. Keep your lessons short, and always end a training session on a positive note.
Chewing is a natural behaviour for puppies and adult dogs. It will be important to have safe toys for your dog to chew on throughout his life. Puppies will put just about anything in their mouths, so it is your job to make sure your puppy knows what is appropriate to chew on and what is not.
With a new puppy in the house, it is a good idea to puppy-proof your home. This can protect your puppy from hurting himself and save your shoes, clothing, pillows, toys, and your home from destructive chewing. Plush toys and most squeaky toys are not much help in relieving the discomfort of cutting new teeth, nor will they satisfy the puppy’s need to chew.
If you do not want the puppy to chew on shoes, do not give him an old shoe to chew on. The same holds true for all other items in your home. The puppy cannot distinguish between old or new, and expensive or inexpensive, so make sure chew toys are chew toys and not other items.
If your puppy has something in his mouth that should not be there, offering him a safe toy in exchange for the inappropriate item can be your first step in addressing this behaviour. However, you cannot spend the rest of your life walking around the house trading items for toys with your puppy. You will want to teach your puppy what the cue “Leave it” means.
You can teach him what this cue means in a few different ways. For the first method, you can show the puppy a treat and hold it in your hand or put it on a chair or coffee table. When the puppy goes toward the treat, say “Leave-it” in an authoritative voice.
If your puppy tries to get the treat, move the treat out of his reach quickly. If your puppy stops the forward movement, and turns his attention toward you instead of the treat, mark and reward him with a different treat and remove the treat you asked him to leave alone.
Repeat this exercise several times over many days until you can put the treat right on the coffee table or right in front of the puppy’s nose and say, “Leave-it,” and he looks at you instead of the treat. When he leaves it completely alone and does not try to take it, and he looks at you consistently, he is now beginning to understand what the cue “Leave it” means.
Once your puppy is good about leaving the treat alone while you are right next to him, try placing the treat on a table and taking one or two steps away from the treat. When your puppy goes near the treat, give the cue “Leave-it,” but stay close to the treat in case he tries to grab it. If he goes for the treat, say the cue “Leave-it” quickly in an authoritative voice. If he stops going for the treat, mark the behaviour with “Yes” or a click on the clicker and reward him with a different treat. If he does not stop going for the treat, quickly remove the treat before he gets it.
Repeat this many times until you can give the cue “Leave-it” and take a few steps away without him trying to grab the treat. In time, he will learn that when you give the cue “Leave-it,” he is to drop whatever he has in his mouth or simply not put the object in his mouth in the first place.
A second way you can teach your puppy the cue leave-it involves a soft, rubbery treat (like a piece of cooked chicken hot dog). Show the puppy the treat and then place the treat under your shoe. Make sure you are wearing close-toed shoes.
At first, your puppy may scratch and dig at your shoe with the treat under it to try and get it. Do not say a word; stand up straight and wait. The second he looks at you instead of the treat, mark and reward the behaviour with a different treat. Repeat this exercise many times until he consistently looks at you instead of trying to get the treat from under your foot. Never give the puppy the treat you want him to leave alone, or you will confuse him. You can use the treat under your foot later on, but not while you are training this behaviour.
Once your puppy stops trying to get the treat from under your shoe and looks up at you consistently, you can take this a step further. Next time, put the treat on the floor under your shoe while saying “Leave-it” in an authoritative voice. Uncover the treat so your puppy can see it. If the puppy tries to get the treat, cover it with your foot immediately so he cannot get it.
Wait a few seconds and try again. Repeat this exercise until your puppy looks at the treat on the floor, ignores it, and looks at you instead.
Once your puppy has been successful with ignoring the treat, it is time to make it a little more challenging for him. This time, throw a few treats on the floor and say “Leave-it.” Make sure the treats are close enough together so you can cover them quickly if he tries to get one of them.
Repeat this exercise several times until your puppy can look at all those wonderful treats on the floor, ignore them, and look at you. Once he has successfully accomplished this many times over many days, he will know what to do when you give the cue “Leave-it.” “Leave-it” means, if it is in his mouth, he is to drop it. If he is thinking about putting something in his mouth, the cue “Leave-it” also means do not to touch that item.
Dogs enjoy chewing throughout their lives. It is important that your puppy and adult dog have safe toys and bones to chew on. Hard bones, rubber toys, and toys that you can put some treats in for the puppy to work for are perfect chew toys.
Besides meeting his need to chew, toys you can place treats in will also offer him mental stimulation.
If your puppy or adult dog seems to be chewing excessively, there may be other reasons for this behaviour. Your puppy may have a dental problem that needs to be addressed with our vet. If he is between six and nine months of age, his permanent teeth are erupting, and chewing may increase dramatically.
During this stage in your puppy’s life, it will be a good idea to confine him to his crate when he cannot be supervised, even if he has been trustworthy in the past. This is an age when chewing is at the top of his priority list, and just about anything can be fair game.
Many puppies do not like their collars, so it is a good idea to give them time to get used to the smell and taste of the collar first. Hold the collar in your hand and let your puppy sniff and put it in his mouth if he wishes to check it out. When he begins to get bored with the collar, take it away.
Next, let him see the collar again and have some wonderful, tiny, tasty treats while you simply drape the collar over his neck. If he is apprehensive, stop.
Wait a few minutes and try again. Drape the collar over his neck while distracting him with a tasty treat. Move slowly and with confidence. If he leaves the collar draped over his neck for a few seconds, mark and reward his bravery by telling him what a brave little boy he is and giving him many tiny treats.
Repeat the exercise several times until he becomes comfortable with the collar being draped over his neck.
The next time you work with the puppy on wearing his collar, show him the collar and offer him a tiny treat. Then place the collar between your two hands and go under his neck to give him a nice neck rub for just a few seconds. Repeat the exercise, and this time clip the collar on his neck.
If the collar has a clip that will make a noise, try to cover the sound by catching the clip before it opens and closes in place. If it is a buckle collar, put one end through the other and quickly fasten it. If the puppy pulls back, stop. Wait a few minutes and give him another nice little neck massage while holding the collar between your two hands for just a few seconds. Tell him what a great little boy he is and walk away. For now, that is enough training.
Later on, try again. Start with the collar between your hands and with confidence place it around his neck and close it. If he struggles, stop what you are doing and walk away from him. Come back in a few minutes and try again. This time, offer him a treat and place a few more treats on the floor for him to eat.
While he is eating the treats, place his collar on his neck for just a second. When it slides off, pick it up and hold the collar between your two hands. Drop a few tasty treats on the floor, rub his neck, and attach the collar. If he is still concerned, stop and go back to draping the collar over his neck for a second, giving him a treat, and telling him what a good boy he is. For now, the lesson is over.
Over the next couple of days, repeat the exercises above, starting from the last place he felt comfortable with the collar touching him. In time, he will let you put the collar on.
Simply demanding that the collar goes on now works much faster, but you will have to make the decision whether you want to build this relationship on trust or fear. When you stop doing something your puppy is afraid of, it is a gentle way to let him know you understand and are listening to him. When you listen to your animal’s concerns, you are building a stronger relationship that is built on trust.
Teaching to come
Come can be an easy cue to teach your puppy and should be turned into a game to make it fun. Teaching your puppy to come on cue will protect him from danger throughout his life. There are two important rules to consider when training the cue come:
Never scold your puppy when he has come to you, no matter how slowly he comes.
Never call your puppy by his name when you will be doing something he may not enjoy, such as giving him medication or giving him a bath.
There are a couple of different options for training the cue come. In the first option, when your puppy is lying down quietly, show him a tasty treat in your hand (lure) and walk about three feet away from him. In a happy voice, say his name and the word “Come” (cue). The second he takes his first step toward you, quickly mark the forward movement with a word like “Yes” or a click from your clicker.
Encourage him to come over to you to get the tasty lure. When he does, quickly mark his forward movement and reward him with the treat when he reaches you. Give him some special attention by playing with and rubbing him, and tell him he was a good boy in a pleasant and happy voice.
Later on in the day, when he is lying down comfortably, repeat the exercise. Show him the treat, say his name in a happy voice, and give the verbal cue “Come.” Remember to mark his forward movement immediately, and give him the treat when he gets to you. Repeat this exercise several times a day for the next few days.
Once your puppy is coming to you consistently on cue, you will want to do away with the lure (showing him the treat), and replace it with the reward (not showing him the treat). (For more information about the difference between lures and rewards, ask your Patient Behaviour Advocate (nurse/vet) for the Lures and Rewards hand-out.)
To accomplish this cue without a lure, begin with your hands in the same position as they were when you showed him the treat, but do not have a treat in your hand. Use his name first then give him the cue “Come” in a happy voice. Mark the immediate forward movement with a word or a click, and give him a jackpot of treats as his reward when he reaches you. After he has successfully come on cue three or four times, you can begin to extend the distance between the two of you.
As part of the second option, if you have more than one person in your home, you can play monkey (puppy)-in-the-middle. Have two people stand a few feet apart and take turns calling him. Both people should have many small treats to offer him as the reward for coming. For the first two or three times playing this game, use the reward as a lure until the puppy gets the hang of the game and comes quickly to the person who calls him.
The person who calls the puppy should use a happy voice when saying his name along with the cue “Come.” The person who is not calling him should stand up straight and ignore him. Once he has successfully come to both people a few times in a row, extend the distance between the two people a few steps at a time. In the beginning, it is okay to show him the lure treat, but as time goes on, it is important to turn the lure into the reward and hide the treat. In the future, you do not want him visibly checking out your hands from a distance to see if you have a treat before he is willing to come to you.
Before you know it, he will be flying back and forth between the two of you and having a wonderful time as he is learning the new cue. You will want to repeat this exercise many times with different family members until he comes to all family members consistently. Once he does, he is ready for the next step in training this behaviour.
The Next Step
In the next step, it is time for a game of hide-and-seek. While your puppy is in one room of the house and you are in another, say his name and give the cue “Come” in a happy voice. Use your happy voice to encourage him to come find you. The second you see him, mark his forward movement and give him a jackpot of many small treats when he gets to you.
This was much more difficult than when he could see you, so let him know how proud you are of him. Repeat this exercise a few times a day over many days. When he comes to you quickly every time you call his name, it is time to start adding distractions.
A distraction can be a toy, another person, or anything your puppy will want to pay attention to more than to you. Give your puppy a toy to play with and walk a few steps away. Say his name and give the cue “Come” in a happy voice. When he looks up at you, encourage him to come to you. Mark any forward movement, and offer him a jackpot of rewards.
Then, tell him to go play, or use another word that releases him. This is to let him know that even though you may be interrupting his playtime, he can get a treat from you and go back to playing with his toy. Repeat this a few times a day over the next 10 days, extending the distance between the two of you until you can give him a toy, walk out of the room, call his name with the cue “Come,” and he drops his toy to see what you want or have for him.
Once he is consistent at coming to you when he is playing with his toy, you can now add another distraction — a person. Ask someone to start playing with the puppy. Then, standing just a few feet away, say his name in a happy voice and ask him to come. If he looks at you, encourage him to come until he reaches you, and offer him a jackpot of treats and lots of petting, and tell him what a good boy he is. If he is too distracted with the other person, walk over to him and lure him.
Let him smell the treat for just a second and walk away. Encourage the other person to continue playing with him. Then, quickly call his name and offer the cue “Come” in a happy voice. Do this quickly, as you do not want him to forget you have that wonderful treat waiting for him.
Once he is consistently coming to you while someone else is playing with him, begin to extend the distance between the two of you until you can be at the other end of the house, call him by name and give the cue “Come,” and he will come even though he is getting attention from someone else.
You will want to repeat this exercise many times with different family members until he comes to all family members consistently.
The next step in training this behaviour is with other animals in the house. You will take the same steps as you did with the other distractions. Always move at your puppy’s pace—do not progress too quickly. You want him to be successful when learning new behaviours, and failure can result if the training process is rushed.
Distractions Outside the House
Once your puppy is consistent with handling distractions inside, it is time to move the training outside. When you are beginning to train him to come on cue outside, you will always want to keep him safe.
Dogs do not generalise well, which means the come cue may be brand new to him outside. With a loose leash on the dog, face him and take a few steps backward. Say his name and give the cue “Come” in a happy voice. The second he looks at you, encourage him to come; then mark and reward him for coming. Once he does come to you, it is important to release him to go play again.
Words such as “Go play,” or “Free dog,” will work as a release—just keep the release consistent throughout the puppy’s training. Repeat the “Come” cue a few more times outside until your puppy comes to you consistently.
As he becomes more consistent, you can use a long line to extend the distance between the two of you. At this point, the behaviour is not as established as it should be for him to be allowed off-leash. Taking your puppy off-leash too quickly can lead to many problems and could be dangerous for him. Being outside without a leash or long line is a privilege that must be earned.
If you take him off-leash before the puppy is ready, he may run away from you to play. Once he figures out he can run away from you when he does not have a leash on, training the come cue and other behaviours becomes more difficult. Wait to unleash him until he is consistently coming to you outside with many different distractions.
After a few months of consistent behaviour, you can begin training him to come on cue off-leash in a fenced area. When you take him off-leash, ask for the come while close to him and slowly extend the distance a foot or two at a time. A word of caution: Avoid training the come behaviour too many times in the same day or having the training sessions occur too close together in time. You do not want to habituate him to the cue come.
It is very important that the puppy is always rewarded for coming to you, no matter how long it takes. Coming to you should always be a pleasant experience so that in time he will know coming to you is always an opportunity for a nice treat or that something good will happen. Once he is conditioned to come on cue, you can begin to offer the rewards intermittently.
Crate soiling can be a real challenge for many new puppy parents. Know you are not alone and we are here to help you. Crate soiling can happen for many reasons. For example, your puppy may have been forced to live in the crate full-time prior to arriving at your home. In this situation, he has never had a choice on where to eliminate. As a result, he now may have a preference to eliminate in his crate. Among other reasons for crate soiling are the following (ask to see the Crate Training handout for more details):
• Your puppy’s crate may be too large.
This can be easily addressed by getting a smaller crate that allows your puppy only enough room to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Alternatively, you may reduce the size of your large crate by placing a space-occupying object, such as a piece of wood, cardboard, or other material, in the crate. There are crates on the market today that have a wire wall that can be adjusted to fit your puppy’s size. As your puppy grows, you must move the wire barrier frequently to accommodate his increasing size.
Another option you can choose is to create an elimination area in the larger crate. This can be accomplished by placing a wee-wee pad in a doggie litter box. Place the litter box at one end of the crate and give him sleeping quarters at the other end of the crate. This will allow your puppy to eliminate in one area and sleep in the other, making clean-up much easier.
•You forgot to let your puppy eliminate before placing him in the crate.
•You left the puppy in the crate too long.
Puppies can wait for only short periods of time before needing to eliminate. If your work schedule prevents you from letting your puppy out of the crate sooner, consider a pet sitter or dog day care.
Once you have adjusted the puppy’s crate for his size, tried getting a pet sitter to let him out in the middle of the day, and even tried dog day care, then here is your last step for working on this problem. Keep him in his crate while watching him. Every time the puppy seems to be sniffing the floor in his crate, looking for a place to go, or circling in his crate, and he has been in his crate for more than three or four hours, he may need to relieve himself. Take him outside to the designated area, stand there, and wait.
The minute he eliminates, mark and reward him right there with a very special treat he only gets when he relieves himself outside or in the designated area inside. Over time, he will become conditioned to want to go outside so he can get one of those special treats.
This can be a challenging behaviour to deal with, but with time, patience, and training consistency, your puppy will learn not to soil in his crate.
Crate training is an extremely valuable tool for you and your puppy. You will reap great rewards throughout his life by training your puppy to be comfortable in his crate. The crate will become his bedroom. It is a haven where he can get away from energetic children and company. It is a place where he can rest and be left alone. Crate training is the easiest way to control your puppy’s environment, and it is helpful in housetraining.
Placing your puppy in his crate is not the same as leaving him in a laundry room or kitchen. Those areas are used and shared by the family, and your puppy needs and deserves his own space. Children should be told to leave the puppy alone when he is in his crate. More important, children should never be allowed to go into the puppy’s crate.
Your puppy’s age can be used as a general rule to determine how long the puppy can stay in his crate before needing to relieve himself. This information holds true while the puppy is awake or active. Using your puppy’s age in months and adding 1 will give you the number of hours he can be kept in the crate before needing to relieve himself.
For example, a two-month-old puppy should not be left in his crate for more than three hours, and a three-month old puppy should not be left in his crate for more than four hours. This rule holds until the puppy is about six months old, when the puppy can be left in his crate for six to eight hours before he will need to relieve himself. It is not appropriate for any dog to be left in a crate for more than 10 hours a day.
Your puppy needs and deserves exercise time, playtime, socialization time, training time, and the opportunity to interact with his new family.
A crate is a training tool and should be used as such until the puppy understands all the rules in his new home. As he gets older, unsupervised time alone outside of his crate should be increased gradually. A very important thing to remember is to never let your puppy out of the crate when he is barking or crying.
If you do, you have allowed the puppy to train you! If the puppy has been in his crate for a while and starts to bark, he may need to go outside to relieve himself. Wait a few seconds until he stops barking or whining and then quickly open the door and take him to the designated elimination area. Immediately mark and reward him for eliminating in the proper location.
Begin crate training by setting up the crate in a room where the family is usually present. Place a dog bed or soft blanket inside the crate for the puppy. Leave the door open for a few hours and give him time to get comfortable with the look and smell of the crate. Once he appears to lose interest in the crate, throw a few tasty treats inside the entrance of the crate to lure him into it.
Tie the crate door securely open to ensure the door does not close accidentally and frighten him in the process of learning to be comfortable with his new crate. If your puppy has not eaten the treats within 15 minutes or so, pick them up. At your next scheduled feeding, place your puppy’s food bowl inside the entrance of the crate. Walk away from the crate and watch him. If your puppy is hungry, he should approach the crate to eat. If after 15 minutes he still refuses to go near it, take the food out of the crate and place it two or three inches outside of the crate door.
Again, wait about 15 minutes to see if he will eat the food. If he will not go near it, move the bowl a foot or so away from the crate and repeat the exercise. Keep doing this until you find a place where he is comfortable enough to eat. Once he is comfortable eating where the bowl or treats are placed, gradually move the bowl or treats closer to the crate and eventually into the crate and toward the back. Always leave the door tied open so the puppy can go in and out of the crate by himself during this phase.
Next, place a toy with treats inside it in the crate. This time when your puppy goes into the crate, close the door for just a few seconds. Then open the door and let your puppy out of the crate. Repeat this exercise a few times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you keep the puppy in the crate with the door closed.
Once he is comfortable being in the crate with the door closed for about 30 minutes, let him out of the crate. Remember to not open the door of the crate for your puppy when he is barking or crying. If you do, the puppy will learn that if he makes noise, he will be let out of the crate. This is not the lesson you want him to learn.
Most puppies love their crates. There are, however, some puppies that are very afraid of their crate and want nothing to do with it. Under these circumstances, it is better to find another method of confining a puppy than it is to force him into a crate. Other confining options may include a utility room, a bathroom, an exercise pen, or a baby gate in the doorway of a small room. For small-breed dogs, perhaps a baby’s playpen would do.
Many dogs from shelters and pet stores have been confined to crates for extended periods of time. These puppies may associate a crate with a negative experience and are often very concerned about being placed in a crate again.
Crate training has many rewards, including being able to leave your puppy alone without any damage to your belongings or accidents on the floor from improper elimination. This will speed up the housetraining process and provide your puppy with his own secure and comfortable bedroom while managing his environment.
There are three basic steps when teaching your puppy this cue:
Lure. Put the puppy into a sit position and then place a treat in your hand in front of the puppy’s nose. Move the treat slowly down between his front legs to the floor. When most puppies’ noses go between their front legs, the back legs slide back and they go down, which is exactly what you want. A slippery surface works best for this training, as it offers little resistance to the puppy sliding down to the floor.
Mark. The second the puppy’s body hits the floor, say a word such as “Yes” or give a click from a clicker to mark the behaviour. This lets him know that was the behaviour you wanted.
Reward. Give the puppy a different tasty treat in addition to the one you just used to get him into the down position. Make sure he receives the treat while his body is still on the floor, or you will be rewarding the wrong behaviour. The correct position is body on floor to receive his reward.
Once the puppy is consistent at downing promptly every time you show him the lure, change the lure into a reward. This can be accomplished by moving your hands the same way, but without any treats. Add the verbal cue “Down” at the same time you are moving your hand to the floor. The second his body hits the floor, mark and reward him quickly. With a little time and practice you can stop using your hands entirely and merely give the cue “Down.” The finished behaviour has three basic steps:
Cue. Say the cue “Down.”
Mark. Say “Yes” or a click the moment the puppy’s body hits the floor.
Reward. Give the puppy a treat.
It is very important to change the lure into a reward only for completing the behaviour, or the puppy will listen to you only when he sees a treat. The first time he downs without you showing him a treat, jackpot him for a good job.
A jackpot is many tiny treats given to him in a row. Instead of just one treat, a jackpot will be four or five tiny treats in a row. This is to let him know he did a great job.
Helping Your Puppy Generalise the Cue
If you are teaching your puppy to down in front of you, start asking for the down at your side. This will be a new behaviour you are requesting since dogs do not generalise well. When you teach your puppy to down at your side, train the same way you did when asking for the down when he was in front of you.
Once he is consistent in front of you and at your side, it is time to introduce new environments, such as a different room, then outside, then from across the room, and so on. Each step takes time. This is a progression toward teaching your puppy that when you give the cue “Down,” he learns in many different places and from many different positions that “Down” means you want his body on the floor.
Often, a new puppy parent thinks its puppy is stubborn, hard-headed, or has selective hearing because the puppy will not down when asked for the cue. In many cases, it is because the puppy parent did not teach the puppy the cue in many places or with distractions.
Another reason why some puppies do not down on cue is because they were habituated to the cue. This can happen when puppy parents repeated the cue more than once by saying “Down, down, down.” This can confuse the puppy and he will get used to hearing “Down” (one time) with no behaviour required of him, which makes the cue ineffective. If you must repeat the cue, take a step to the right or left first, get your puppy’s attention, and then repeat the cue—once.
Some puppies resist the above method. You can address this resistance in a couple of ways.
The first option is to begin by sitting on the floor with your puppy between your legs. Bend one leg up and slide your hand under your bent knee with the treat in it. Show your puppy the treat. As your puppy puts his head down toward the treat, bring it under your leg so the only way he can get the treat is to lie down and get under your bent knee. This may be a little difficult, but you should have to use this method only a few times before he is willing to down on cue.
Once your puppy is consistently downing from this position, you can then train the behaviour with him next to you on the floor instead of between your legs. From that point, ask for the behaviour while you are kneeling on the floor and then from a standing position. Remember to always mark and reward when he gives you the desired behaviour.
Another way to train this behaviour is to pay attention to your puppy. When he goes to lie down on his own, say the cue “Down,” mark the behaviour, and give him a treat to reinforce the down. When you repeat this several times over several days, the puppy will learn the cue down on his own with a little help from you.
Remember, once he is downing consistently, move to different rooms and add distractions while perfecting this behaviour. This method of training is about catching your puppy doing what you want, giving it a name (cue), then marking and rewarding to establish the new behaviour.
If you find that your puppy seems to be resisting the down cue, do not push his body down to the floor. There may be a medical reason for this resistance. Instead, contact our practice and set up an appointment. Many puppies that have resisted the down cue were later diagnosed with a physical problem.
Drop-it is a great cue and should be taught to every puppy. Trying to pull items out of a puppy’s mouth can be challenging, dangerous, and misunderstood by the puppy as an act of aggression by you.
Teaching drop-it starts off as a game of exchange: I will give you this if you will give me that. When you begin to train the cue drop-it, make sure you have some wonderful treats to give the puppy in exchange for what he has in his mouth. When he is playing with a toy, walk over to him and give the cue “Drop-it,” and offer him a piece of chicken or other wonderful treat in exchange for his toy.
The second he drops his toy for the treat you have offered, mark the behaviour with “Yes” or a click from your clicker and give him the treat. This will teach your puppy two things at the same time:
The puppy will learn to drop objects in his mouth when you give the cue “Drop it”
It will help him not to guard his toys
Repeat this many times with many different safe puppy toys over the next couple of weeks. If he grabs other items in the house, use these items to train this behaviour as well. If he releases the item in his mouth when he hears the cue “Drop-it,” mark the behaviour and reward him by giving him one of his toys in exchange for the item he should not have in his mouth.
Do not begin training with objects you are having trouble getting him to release. Start off with easy objects and work your way up to the more challenging ones. You always want to set him up for success and then build on those successes. That is what is called shaping a behaviour. You start off with small successes until he is doing exactly what you request.
As your puppy becomes faster at releasing what is already in his mouth, begin to offer the exchange less frequently. For example, the next time you say “Drop-it,” he may get an ear scratch and be told he is a good boy. The next time, he might get a treat, and the next time just a verbal “Good boy.”
Yet another time he might get three treats instead of just one. By keeping him guessing on whether he gets a treat, an ear scratch, or kind words, you will keep his attention on you and make it enjoyable to listen to the cues you give him.
Once you feel he really understands what the cue “Drop-it” means, you can start adding distractions. This could be other people in the room while you are training him, or perhaps outside in a safe, enclosed area. After a while, the puppy will understand what “Drop-it” means. This will make playing fetch with him easier to train since he will already know the cue.
If, for safety’s sake, you must physically take something out of your puppy’s mouth, gently take your hand over the puppy’s muzzle and, using your thumb and index or middle finger, gently squeeze at the back of the jaw between the upper and lower teeth. Reach inside his mouth and take the object out of it. Once the object is out, tell the puppy what a good boy he was and give him a treat. This procedure should never be done in a mean or hurtful way and should be used only when the puppy’s or another’s safety is at risk. Never put yourself at risk of being bitten!
If your puppy is growling at you, an alternative way to get something out of his mouth is to toss a tasty treat a couple of feet away from him. When he drops the item to go get the treat, pick the object up quickly and put it away or throw it away.
Exercise and Play
Puppies need both mental and physical exercise. When you meet these needs, your puppy will be easier to manage. If these needs are not met, your puppy can become very bored and create a lot of mischief. This can cause problems for both you and your puppy.
Taking the puppy for a walk a couple of times a day is a good beginning, but this is not enough. If it is possible, find a place where he can be taken off his leash safely to let him run around and play. He will need interaction with you to really get the exercise he needs. This is a great time to introduce him to a few games that will stimulate him both mentally and physically.
When you take him to a safe place where he can be off-leash, bring one of his favourite toys along to play fetch. This could be a squeaky toy, a tennis ball, or anything else he enjoys playing with. Bring plenty of his favourite treats as well.
There are many wonderful games you can play with your puppy to stimulate him mentally and also give him the exercise he needs. If he has a safe, properly immunised puppy friend or adult dog to play with, this can be a great way for him to exercise. He will also learn how to play nicely with other dogs. Playing games are a fun way your puppy can learn new cues and exercise at the same time.
Let the puppy see the toy right before you take him off-leash. In a happy voice, ask if he wants the toy while bouncing or squeaking it. Throw the toy just a foot away from where you are standing and say the cue “Go get it.” The second he puts the toy in his mouth, mark the behaviour with “Yes” or a click from your clicker. Then give the cue “Bring it here,” and lure (let him see the treat) him over with a wonderful treat like a piece of chicken.
Now give the cue “Drop-it.” When he does, give him the tasty piece of chicken and tell him what a good boy he is. Repeat this, but throw the toy just a little farther each time, using the same cues. After throwing the toy five or six times, end the game while you are both enjoying yourselves.
The next time the puppy has an outing with you, you can play again. Start off with the toy close, and each time throw it a little farther away. It is important to end the play training on a positive note while you are still having fun. If your puppy bites your hand by accident before dropping the toy, the game is over—no excuses. Put him back on-leash and walk away. Wait at least five minutes before beginning the game again or paying any attention to him. This is very important. You do not want to teach him it is okay to bite you under any circumstances!
Another game you can play with your puppy while he is off-leash in a safe place is a game of chase. There is, however, one very important rule to this game: Never chase him. If you do, you will be training your puppy to run away from you. With his leash still on, give the cue “Come” in a happy voice and start to run backward a few feet away from your puppy. (Be careful not to trip or hurt yourself.)
When he follows and catches up to you, stop and mark his coming toward you with “Yes” or a click from your clicker, and give him a treat. You can repeat this a few times, extending the length of space between where you start and where you stop. Remember to mark his coming toward you each time, and then give him a treat when he reaches you to reinforce the desired behaviour.
Note these few rules when playing with your puppy:
- If he bites you by accident, the game stops immediately. No excuses.
- If he jumps on you because he is excited, turn your back on him or step into his space. Once all four of his feet are on the ground, you can then mark and reward him for coming. Never give him a treat unless all four feet are on the ground. If you do, you will be rewarding him for jumping on you.
- Never just pull a toy out of his mouth. Exchange toys for treats using the drop-it cue until he understands the cue.
Tug-of-war is another game you can play with your puppy. If he already knows the cue drop-it, this is a great game to play. If he does not understand the cue drop-it, then this game can be a great way to teach him the cue.
Some people believe that playing tug-of-war with their puppies will make them aggressive. This is untrue. This game simply requires rules that need to be followed.
Find a safe toy that is made for this game. A safe toy allows room for the puppy to grab the toy without grabbing your skin. Play the game with him for a few minutes and then give the cue “Drop-it” and offer him a treat as an exchange for the toy.
If he does not drop the toy, the game is over. Walk away and ignore him. If he bites you by accident while playing this game, stop and walk away; the game is over. There is no such thing as an accidental bite. If you make excuses for the puppy that the bite was an accident, he will learn to bite again next time you play the game. After all, biting each other is one way puppies play together.
He will not understand he should not bite you unless you let him know that all play and attention stop when a bite occurs. In a few minutes you can try again, but for now you want him to understand that when he bites, the game stops and you will completely ignore him. In time, he will understand your rules and begin to play this game politely.
You can enrol your puppy in classes for exercise and play. You can choose from Agility, Fly Ball, Earth Dog, Freestyle Dance, or Frisbee. If you have access to a pool your puppy can swim in, that is also a great way to exercise him. If you do allow your puppy in a pool, make sure he understands how to get out of the pool safely on his own right away.
This is a safety “must do” when a puppy is allowed in a pool. All of the above-mentioned exercises are great ways to give your puppy the exercise and exposure he needs. Introducing him to new environments and situations are a plus. These all provide physical and mental stimulation.
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