2-minute dog trainer, Tempest week 5

During mealtimes Tempest and I are working on contact performance (see “Contacts” below) and stays (see “Stays” below).

Additionally, we continue to reinforce the following rules — no attention without a sit first, no exiting the crate or ex-pen without a sit first, no exiting the crate or ex-pen if puppy is barking or fussing or whining.

And I continue to reward and reinforce the following behaviors — entering the crate or ex-pen willingly, coming when called, respectful attitude at mealtimes (Tempest eats last and waits for HIS bowl to be put down).

I’m finding that my initial evaluation of “puppy-Rex” holds true with 13-week-old puppy-Tempest.  He’s level-headed, biddable, willing to trust me and take chances, bold, and brave.

The only thing that’s made him cry, so far, other than an occasional nip the first week from unfriendly old dogs, is the darned mulch that sticks to his butt when he lies down in some parts of the dog yard. When that happens he whimpers, tries to outrun it, and comes to Mom so she can “get that stick off my butt.” <g>

Tempest had his first dog show trip last weekend. He accompanied Dash and me to an obedience trial in Canton, Ohio.

I was proud of his patience, hanging out in his crate in my truck for a couple of hours at a time. He alo got to walk around the fairgrounds each day, as we continued on our quest for “100 new people in the first 100 days.”

I explained this plan to some folks Tempest wanted to meet and they said, “what numbers are we?”  I said, “I think you must be 45-46-47-and 48.” They laughed and fussed over the puppy. He’d been sitting, waiting to meet his new friends.

CONTACTS:  Bud built me a contact trainer using our old teeter base, an old cross-over ramp with large slats but no contact paint, and a board with no slats but a traction surface.

Tempest’s introduction to contacts included some prompted shaping, using his breakfast and dinner to draw him into the 2-on-2-off position.

On the third training session I placed his food bowl at the base of the cross-over ramp, placed Tempest about 12 inches up the ramp, settled him onto the ramp, and steadied him as he rushed down the ramp for his meal.

As he reached the bowl he naturally settled his front feet on either side of it, his rear feet on the ramp.  On 2 or 3 occasions as he was eating and I lifted him away, placed him on the ramp, and steadied him as he returned to his meal.

He’s a forgiving boy, so he never seems to resent my manipulating him during his meal. Boy, is he eager to return to the bowl, from 12″ up the ramp, from 18″ up the ramp, from 24″ up the ramp, and from 30″ up the ramp. He’s getting really intense and coordinated in his rush back to the bowl.

STAYS:  One of our favorite exercises for puppies is to set their food bowl on a chair or table, set the puppy up facing the food bowl, and have the puppy stay while you reach into the bowl and deliver the food to the pup.

If the puppy’s butt stays in a sit, the food keeps coming.  If I’m working on a down-stay and the puppy stays in a down, the food keeps coming.

If the puppy gets up and approaches the bowl I make a big deal of returning the food to the bowl, returning the pup to their stay position, and then getting the food flowing again.

Tempest had his first experience this morning with lying down during the sit-stay exercise. I made a huge deal of putting the food back and then putting Tempest back into his nice, tucked sit. After a few trips to the food bowl (which was just a few feet away), I requested a “down,” which Tempest performed on my verbal cue, and the food started flowing again.

Good thing this boy loves food !!

This past weekend my old boy, Dash, Q’d 4-out-of-4 at an obedience trial. Tempest says “I cute both days too!”

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2 Responses to “2-minute dog trainer, Tempest week 5”

  1. Georgette Says:

    Marsha, thank you for sharing your training experiences withT, I will need this information next time I get a puppy. The only thing Grace learned the first 9 months of her life was how to like her crate….So teaching a young puppy so much with so much positive reward is very exciting for me..
    And, Congrats on Dash’s 4 Q’s, that is quite an accomplishment, and Tee is definately “cute” too 🙂

  2. Laurie Says:

    Congrats to T and Dash! I hope you will consider writing a book with all these nifty puppy training ideas. I’m already sending people considering puppies to your blog. 🙂

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