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Training Quick Tips - Giving Your Puppy Purpose

How important is a sound puppy development? It is extremely important.

During the ages of 6 to 20 weeks it is critical that pups are properly exposed to life as they should expect it. Areas of focus should be crate/potty training, proper exposure to birds and the gun shot, building prey drive and field run, table work to gain willing acceptance for future training objectives, and building socialization skills including pack acceptance.

Some of these tasks may be difficult depending upon your home environment. However, below are a few puppy tasks that you can do in pretty much any home space in order to give your puppy a head start and purpose.

  1. Sleep, potty, play, repeat. If you are not giving your pup attention, let it enjoy time in its crate. Dogs are den animals and therefore by nature want a space that they can claim as their own. Feel free to feed and water your pup in its crate. The crate is also the best and safest place for your pup to sleep. Furthermore, potty training will go easier with a crate if every time you take your pup out you immediately allow it to take care of its "business." But remember, teach you pup to come out when you ask it. Don't allow your pup to explode out when you open the crate door.
  2. Be still to my touch. Teach your puppy to be still and/or calm when you are handling it. For example, don't release your puppy unless it is still. You may want to use your lap or a table to help your pointing pup stand still or your flushing pup sit still. Extending this to the home, teach your pup to stand or sit still before coming into your house, eating its food, etc.
  3. Exercise with a good collar and lead. Getting a nice leather collar with a "D" ring and a longer simple lead rope is best. Let your pup run under your supervision with its collar and lead on. This lead is beneficial not only for beginning leash work and later field training, but it also helps you to keep your dog with you. It can be difficult to get a pup to come to you. However, a lead rope serves as an extension. Worst case scenario, you can just step on the rope and bring your pup to you. Chasing your pup is counter productive and becomes a game to the pup.
  4. Good mouth habits when retrieving. Encourage your dog to carry designated dog toys around in its mouth. However, do not play tug-of-war. If your pup doesn't want to give up the toy, simply pick up on the side of the flank and the dog will release. Work on your pup's retrieve in a hallway of your home or outside using a long lead. No more than two or three times per day, toss a tennis ball down your hallway for a retrieve. Whatever you do, don't turn this exercise into a keep-away game. If your pup loses interest or doesn't pick up the ball just stop. Next time do one less rep so you can end on a good note.
  5. Give attention to good behavior. Ignore, and if necessary correct, bad behavior. Puppies grow up and get bigger. Cute behavior when they are small many not be cute behavior when they are adults.

Remember, every family member is a part of the pack. So, keep your whole family on board!


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