Payment guarantees results.
The more you reward certain behaviours, the more likely your puppy will offer that behaviour in future. It's worth mentioning that payment doesn't have to be in the form of food. Toys, praise, attention, being allowed off leash, invited up on the couch, all of these thing (and more) can be used as a reward for good behaviour.
Like having a quiet, calm pup at home during the evenings? Praise and reward that behaviour like non-other. If your puppy only receives attention for the bad behaviours, they will quickly connect the dots...chewing, barking, and jumping-up gets results!!
When using food as a reward remember to keep them small and tasty, if it needs chewing it's too big. I often use Ziwi Peak in class, breaking up the small square pieces into 3-4 bits to maximize my number of rewards. Ziwi Peak is a fully balanced food, so if you're worried that your puppy is eating too many "treats" you can easily cut back a little on their daily kibble and they wont be missing out on any vital nutrients.
Remember to bowl the treats in towards your puppy to help prevent jumping up.
Think of the Clicker as a camera, not a remote control. With the Clicker you are capturing the perfect moment, such as beautiful eye contact on a busy street corner, or sitting patiently while you open the front door. Your puppy is working hard to earn that click and treat that follow.
What not to do. The Clicker is not for getting your puppy's attention if they are ignoring you. Instead, see if you can encourage an easy behaviour that is worth rewarding, such as eye contact. If your puppy is ignoring you, trying making a smoochy noise to get their attention, as soon as they make eye contact, you can click (which will really get their attention) and follow up with a treat.
The 3x Ds.
Duration, Distance, and Distraction. This is a fine balancing act. When you make one thing harder, always make something else easier. For example, if you are increasing the duration of an exercise, reduce the distance and the distractions. Gradually build each one up.
Three Strikes and You're Out!
This applies to you, not your puppy. If you've tries something twice and it's not working for you, you only get one more go so make it as enticing as possible. Chances are your puppy is either distracted by something new, is loosing interest, or you're asking for too much too soon. Take a break, have some play time, or move to somewhere less distracting. Your puppy isn't being disobedient, they just have a really short attention span...so no point getting stressed over it.
Body language before voice.
As mentioned in class, your puppy pays way more attention to what your body is saying vs your voice. For instance, if you are saying “Sit” but the hand holding the treat is bouncing up and down, you are actually asking your puppy to jump up.
My Top 10 Puppy Products and Services
Products listed, or services recommended have been tested by either myself, or my dog Jasper (who's a pretty tough critic at times).
It worth mentioning that I do not profit financially from any of these recommendations. This list has been put together because I believe in these companies, the products they produce, and the services they offer their clients.
Thundershirt. Helping to bring a little extra peace to your world - this product is worth it's weight in gold.
Ziwi Peak. These are fantastic training treat, I also feed this to my dog Jasper when he runs out of meat balls. We're using the Lamb in class.
Plaque Off. A must have for your puppy's dental hygiene.
Dog First Aid Course, by Walks "n" Wags.
Puppy insurance, at least for the first 18 months. Check out Truepanion
Healing Solution by Dr Peter Dobias. Great for inflamed skin, small wounds, and hot spots.
The Other End Of The Leash, by Patricia McConnell. My most recommended book.
The Culture Clash, by Jean Donaldson. Also, a must read.
Due for a vaccine booster? Opt for a Titer Test instead. It's a blood test that tells you the level of immunity your dog currently has, helping to reduce over vaccinations.
Local Pet Stores
- Moonlight Dog Cafe. 835 Beatty St. ~ Wonderful selection of food, and a real sense of community.
- Pet Shop Boys. 3080 Cambie St. ~ My #1 place for grooming. They have a waiting list - it's worth getting on it!
- Star Pets Only. 1255 Pacific Boulevard. ~ I love the veal rib bones that Tony orders. Ask him to get you some.
- Van Pets. 1065 Hamilton St. ~ Best price for pet supplies, and a great selection of products.
- Woofgang Pet Supplies. 3356 Cambie St. ~Raw food specialty store. Got a nutrition question, these are the guys to ask.