Training your TRD Pup
Puppies start their training well before they leave us to go to their forever homes. Our methods are simple and it works for us.
Vogue & Uzi's puppies 7wks old 2015
- It starts with handling puppies. Our freinds and family are happy to help cuddle our puppies from two weeks old, getting them used to men, woman and children.
- Puppies are taught to respect our space. When we walk into their area, they must all move out of the way as we're walking through the gate or they are squirted with a spray bottle of water. As I'm going into the puppy area I use a pssst and or excuse me giving the pups a warning to move, if they don't move from the gate to give us space I repeat the words with a water squirt. It doesn't take long before pups learn to move away from our feet, saving us from tripping over them, and teaching respect from a young age.
- At feeding time. We don't tolerate any aggressive behaviour from any puppies, they are warned with the pssst first and if that doesn't work we say pssst and use the squirt bottle at the same time.
- Whenever we are in the puppy pen. We only reward good behaviour. We ignore any pups that jump up on us and any other behaviours that are unwanted. When pups come over to us we always pat pups that sit quietly, we never fuss over our pups and always come into the yard quietly, no high pitched HELLO PUPPY PUPPY PUPPIES talk constantly. All this does is encourage pups to learn to rush at you all the time in an excited manner and expect attention every second you are with them. Being calm teaches calmness in the pups.
- Teaching pups to sit. We take treats into the puppy pen, give any pups that are sitting a treat. There are many ways we get pups to sit. We simply say the word sit as a puppy is going into the sit on it's own and give it a treat. Put a treat at puppies nose and move the treat backwards tilting the pups head back which makes a pup fall into the sitting postion and at the same time saying the word sit. We also use hand signals for sit, stay etc.. Hand signals are done at the same time a command is given.
- I use hand signals when I'm hunting and don't want to constantly have to talk to my dogs, they know all my body language. They're always listening to me even if they're in front of me and can't see me, if I stop, they stop without looking at me or me having to say anything. Also if my dogs stop I will stop because I know they've picked something up. My dogs not only watch they're surroundings, looking for wild game they always have one ear and eye's on me, just in case I see something they missed. They have good recall, even if they're hundreds of metres from me, I use the beep on they're GPS collars to call back if needed. This has saved them from running across busy roads while hunting pigs.
- Teaching puppies to lead. I use gentle persuasion, calling puppy with a treat in front of the nose and slightly pulling the lead praising when puppy comes and giving the treat. Once puppy is coming to the treat on lead I start walking with treats in hand, puppy follows. Stopping and starting often. This should only be done for a couple of minutes a few times a day, over doing any training can have a very negative affect. Knowing when to stop is key, progress is faster in the long run. In other words if puppy is doing what you wanted, why keep going over it. They never forget good or bad training, you are the one they're learning from..
- Teaching puppy to leave it. We use the word leave it for anything we don't want a puppy to do. When puppy is hassling the cat I will say the word leave it in a firm voice, if puppy ignors me, I use my pssst noise and leave it again, if puppy still ignors me then I repeat pssst leave it and at the same time use my squirt bottle. The water always stops puppy in it's tracks. I do the exact same thing with anything I don't want puppy doing, l always use the words leave it. This is an easy way to stop puppy doing unwanted behavior because they learn leave it means LEAVE IT or they know what comes next. If you can get this set in a puppies brain from very young, it's much easier later in life for more important things you and your young dog will come across, like leaving stock alone etc...
- Crate training. When crate training never leave puppy locked up more than a few minutes the first time, I find the easiest way is to make sure puppy is very tired before putting in the crate for a sleep. When putting in we say, go to bed and then we ignor puppy. If puppy starts a tantrum we have our squirt bottle ready and say go to bed with a squirt. Keep doing this until puppy is quiet or relaxed, the second puppy is quiet, let puppy out. Then a few minutes later put back to bed and repeat go to bed etc... as above until puppy goes to sleep. Each time you put puppy back in the crate make it a slightly longer time, they eventually fall asleep. Once they wake up wait a mintute or so and then let puppy out. Always make a crate or kennel a nice place to be, only giving bones to dogs when their going to be locked up is a good way to help them adjust to being locked up. The better your routine is the more success you have. All the above training flows into being alone later in life for your dog without it ever having to worry. Never fuss over a pup or dog when you first go to let them out, then they don't stress waiting for you to arrive. Just go and let them out and carry on. Once puppy is calm and quiet, call puppy over for a pat. They remember this if you always do it.
- Toilet training. The secret is, as soon as puppy wakes up put puppy straight outside to the toilet, as soon as puppy finishes a feed, straight out to the toilet. Keep this routine, they soon start going to the door you've been taking them to, so they can go and do their business. You will soon notice suttle signs of puppy wanting to go to the toilet.
- Anxiety. We never fuss over our dogs when we're on our way out, I simply say stay and walk out the door. When I get home I don't fuss over any of our dogs, I ignor them and go about my business unloading my groceries and once I'm finished doing what I need to do that's when I call the dogs over to say hello. Anxiety is caused from far to much fussing. Practice by going outside for a few minutes and don't return until your puppy or dog is calm, each time make your disappearance longer and never go to screaming dogs throwing a tantrum. Just like children they learn to scream louder because they know you will come to that. Doing it the right way and going the second puppy is quiet is key.
- Tip: When ever you see a puppy or dog doing something of it's own accord without any instruction from you, put a word to the action. "Example" Puppy starts sitting - You put the word sit to the behavior. Puppy goes to pick up a toy or ball - put a word to it, we say pick it up. Our dogs and puppies have many toys, we put words to items they play with, like ball when their playing with a ball. Then we add in other words they already know later, like pick up the ball. You will be surprised how fast dogs learn to associate different things just by you adding a word to it when their naturally doing it on their own.
- The most important thing is to learn to read your dog as they read us like a book.
Echo used to know so many words I had to spell some of them when talking to people rather than say it in front of her or she will go and do it. We used to have chickens that would come and dig up my gardens. I used to say to Echo, the chickens are in the garden, she would go and round them up and shuffle them all back to the paddock where their meant to be. It was a funny thing if I mentioned the word chicken in any sentance when Echo was around, she would bolt off looking for the chickens to round up and kick out of the yard, therefore I couldn't say chicken around her or she'd get upset when she couldn't find them, even though it is funny to watch.