puppy training tip
When our puppies were little we would blow a whistle at feeding time. When we took them out in the field they were whistle trained.
Noises in the womb
I think that works even earlier. Our last dog's mom was trained lightly almost until she delivered. Lucy seemed to know the sounds coming when the whistle blew the first time. It works with ducks and chicks in the egg learning the sound of your voice, why not pups. Wonder if it works on kids?
Very good. That is what we call "teaching". Very positive results occur with very little effort, and no negatives.
Did you carry that idea on to other areas? I like doing the same thing with 2 people in a hallway with kibble. You can't hardly hold those little pups back when the other person starts to blow the whistle.
Now that spring is here you can do the same with a long driveway and 2 people. You can get pretty young pups to run as fast as their short legs allow to get to the caller, and the snowbanks hold the pup in where you want them to go.
Keep expanding on that positive process you started with a litter at feeding time. Keep setting up good teaching scenarios and be sure to not "test" those little guys.
I also use a starter pistol at feeding time with litters. I do so after I have established the whistle as a good thing, then from a distance, or other room, start blowing the whistle, and then shoot the gun. I walk around the corner and get closer continuing to blow the whistle and work the pups into a frenzy. In just a few days, you can use only the gun, and get pretty close with positive results. Have to pay attention though in case you have a wallflower in the litter. Don't want to scare that one. When done conservatively, the litter's excitement will usually help the nervous pups to get excited too.
Any one else have any tricks?
Over and Back to a dish
A buddy and I were in the garage working last night. We were talking about our pups progess. My lab is 9 months, his Chessie is 5 months.
He is teaching his 5 month old to take casts to a food dish in his garage. He gives her a sit/stay, walks to one side or the other, sets the food dish down, walks back, and gives the appropriate cast. The game has progressed to the point that he places the dish prior to bringing her into the garage. He brings her to a specific spot, and gives her a sit/stay. All the while she is looking around like crazy. She spots the bowl, and he gives her the appropriate cast and release.
I am working with my female on hold/give. We make it a game. Lots of fun and play. I tease her and get her to take any object I have, normally something she shows an interet in (like my hat or gloves) and tell her hold. I let her parade around a bit, and before she can go to her rug to drop it and start playing with it, I recall her. I put my hand on it, command "drop", and she lets me have it back. We praise each other (yeah, i know it sounds weird, but she likes to show me I am doing pretty good by giving me nudges or love bites on the chin) and we repeat with a "hold". I let her walk around the garage or house as long as she wants, and recall her to repeat the process. If she does drop an object, I encourage her to pick it up, and command "hold" again. We try not to reach that point. Any object I don't care to see again, I do not give the "hold" command.
I will work in the command "fetch" for her to take it, then "hold". We'll progress to leash work and more structure. I figure I still have lots of time as she is in re-hab from a broken tibia. From there we will go to long sit/stays, and work up to long distance recalls. After all that, we are ready to force fetch. That should go pretty well with all the basics and time we spent already.