Over the last couple of months I had the opportunity to dive into training my pups and I could’ve asked for a better experience thus far! Obviously I say thus far because there is still lots to work on and building those bonds to solidify what I’ve been working so hard on with them for. I managed to train both of them in sit, stay, come, and lay down. With that being said, I managed to train Beau in walking properly on a leash and that was a huge win for me! I’m still working on fetch with them because I haven’t found the right toy, or ball that either of them love yet. I really enjoyed taking time out of my day to be engaged in something that interests me, while also spending valuable puppy time with both of them! At this point in the semester they are both coming up for eleven months, which is crazy to think about! I hope you enjoyed joining along my journey puppy training with me, and in the future when more progress is made, you will be the first to know!
This week I focused on getting the both of them to play fetch, but as I quickly figured out they aren’t down for a fair game. They were both great and going for the toy, but they could never understand that they needed to return it as well. I also found it challenging to train them together, because they would just fight over who had what toy, even if they were the same! That being said, it was difficult to train them separately because I couldn’t keep one inside when the other was having so much fun outside. After the week it is still a work in progress for both of them, and some more conversation with my neighbour on how I should approach this skill with them! Until next time.
After three solid weeks on working on leash training every opportunity I could, I am pleased to say that Beau is now fully capable of walking on a leash without pulling! Theodore on the other hand still needs some work, I find that he is better at the end of the walk when he finally looks a little tired. With some more training I would feel comfortable enough to bring them on runs, and hikes with me. I hope that the nice weather keeps up, and I can start to take them on hikes with me because they would love that! I’m so happy this skill has now improved because it was an uphill battle for a week or so there. I cannot wait until they get a bit bigger and grow out of the “puppy phase,” so they have greater attention spans, but one paw at a time!
You guessed it! This week was all about getting them to return on command. Up until this point I have been using a whistle, which works sometimes, but I wanted to solidify something that would work all the time no matter what, and that was “come.” It took a bit of getting used to for the both of them, but with some help from my mom and treats of course it seemed to become something they grew into. When they were in the backyard I would go out and work on it with them, and it turned out to be very helpful in the next few days. After 3 days of strict command training with treats, I stopped treats and to my surprise they still came back when I told them to “come.” Maybe they are smarter than I think?
This past week it was snow, snow, and more snow! I didn’t let that stop me from getting outside, with a couple extra layers it was a great time. The pups were confused on what snow was at first, but after they got past that stage we could really focus on walking. The week before I prepared by buying each of them winter coats, and harness to help stop them from pulling. It defiantly was an improvement from just a collar, but they still had work to do. Since we were snowed in for a couple days my mom joined me on our walks, so it gave me the opportunity to work one-on-one with the pups separately. I started with Beau this time because he seemed to be getting the hang of it, and Theodore was still getting over the excitement of being outside with all the people and other dogs. I switched off with my mom and worked with Theodore, but it was challenging since he still wanted to pull me ahead, I’m going to have to find a different strategy that will work for him. I plan to work with both of them more, and give an update in a month, because this will be an ongoing skill to develop with each of them.
As I previously mentioned in my last post, I wanted to work toward command training when I give the pups their meals; therefore that was the focus of this week. It started off very rocky to say the least, I felt as though all of my long hours spent up until this point went out the window when meals were involved. I had to ask my neighbour, who is a local dog walker for advise, and she told me to just be patent and try to remain calm since they can sense your emotions as well. With that in mind I continued to try “sit”, “stay” …. “okay.” It seemed to help when I remained calm and they seemed to gain a better understanding with waiting until I gave them the next command. Hopefully with more time and practice they will both catch on sooner rather than later! Next week we venture outside, stay tuned!
Logically I thought stay would come next to help build the basic skills in their tool box. I found this one very tricky to master, and even now I don’t feel like its completely flawless. I started with using hand gestures, and giving the command “stay” after much resistance from the pups, it finally happened. They both managed to all of a sudden just get it! I’m still unsure if it was the repetition, or if thats when it clicked for them, but both of them understood stay at the same time which was great. The problem I am still running into is there willingness to comply when I give the command without food. It seems to be a great motivator for them, but without treats it can be a challenge. I plan to work on this more, so that when I give them their breakfast, lunch, or dinner they can sit, and stay until I give a command to let them eat. Stay tuned for more..