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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday's Training TIP: Learning

FLD Dutch is nine-weeks-old today. We've had him just over one week. He came to us already knowing how to SIT before being fed (although we need to work on holding that sit) and petted. And he's not too bad on a leash. Well, he's not afraid of it and doesn't fight it.

Dutch is learning every minute! I plan at least two short "training sessions" every day, but really, a young pup is like a sponge. Here's a list of some things he's learning every day:

1. name recognition--He's getting that pretty well, although when I started teaching him "touch" I discovered his name sounds like the command. He loves to run and find me when I call his name from another room.
2. sit--As I said, we're working on duration. He's learned to give me eye contact before he can bolt to his food dish, so we're making progress. He also sits before having the leash clipped on. We've also started working on "sit" from the "down" position.
3. wait--That coincides with the sit before meals, but also before I open his crate door so he's not rushing out like a banshee.
4. touch--He's catching on to this one so much so that whenever my hands are near he touches his nose to them!
5. leave it--I've started adding the "leave it" verbal cue and surprisingly he's responded to it a few times when he was trying to get into something he shouldn't, like the computer cords under Andy's desk.
6. park--He doesn't whip his head around to look at me anymore when I say "good park" as he's peeing--maybe he figures it doesn't get him a treat. Repetition is my friend. I'm learning his signals, and a few times he's headed for the back door on his own!
7. settle--Not sure he's "getting" this, but he does settle down pretty quickly when I stay after him. He loves his crate and settles in right away at night.
8. loose leash walking--Instead of only working on this when I'm out and about with him, I've taken to short walks in our driveway or down our road. Just to work on keeping a loose leash. I'm positive this will help. If he can't do this at home, he can't do it anywhere else!
9. stairs--He has no problem up or down the few steps out the back door. He needed some encouragement down our basement stairs, but raced right up them on the way back--he was off leash, so not a problem.

FLD Dutch is learning much more than I've listed. He's learning to leave our old crabby dog, Gypsy, alone and that cc'd Gus is okay to play with. He's learning to not chew on things that aren't Nylabone or Kong toys. Actually, he is learning so much it makes me dizzy!

He is even learning "down." Here is a short video showing his progress. I've been working with him several times a day for a few days and you can see how quickly he can learn!


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