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I never had any problem getting them to sit. I point with my finger while pushing down on their butt and say sit, then give the treat, shortly they will just sit when I point and say sit.

My 3 main words are NO, SIT, STAY and Stay is the most important, I never allow my dogs to go out the door in front of me, always after me, as I do not want them to bolt out the front door in case of getting hit by a car. They are not allowed to jump out of the car when the door is open either. They have to stay and sit and since they are toys, I pick each one up and put them on the ground
 

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I never had any problem getting them to sit. I point with my finger while pushing down on their butt and say sit, then give the treat, shortly they will just sit when I point and say sit.

My 3 main words are NO, SIT, STAY and Stay is the most important, I never allow my dogs to go out the door in front of me, always after me, as I do not want them to bolt out the front door in case of getting hit by a car. They are not allowed to jump out of the car when the door is open either. They have to stay and sit and since they are toys, I pick each one up and put them on the ground
Thank you very much! I've had another go at sit and he got it a couple times, but we're doing short, less than 5 minute sessions as he gets distracted quite easily - ah! All those wonderful new smells for a puppy!

I think that stay is going to be on the 'must learn next' list! Also, your toys are so cute, ah! I'm a sucker for an apricot <3
 

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Thank you very much! I've had another go at sit and he got it a couple times, but we're doing short, less than 5 minute sessions as he gets distracted quite easily - ah! All those wonderful new smells for a puppy!

I think that stay is going to be on the 'must learn next' list! Also, your toys are so cute, ah! I'm a sucker for an apricot <3
Short training sessions are the only way to go with those short attention span puppies and they work well for older dogs too. We always have a little training around meal times at our house and before I leave I do impulse control exercises centered on waiting to get really good treats that I leave as things to eat as I leave so they don't notice me going.

For training stays try to gauge how long your pup can hold a sit and a down. Make sure you watch for intention signals to break those stays and release the pup before they get up on their own so that they really are learning stay and that it means until I tell you something else to do.
 
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Ok so puppies are land sharks equipped with needle teeth. First we all need to understand that the deciduous teeth are as sharp as they are to help puppies learn bite inhibition from each other. In the natural order of things, puppies playing with each other will bite each other. Any time a pup gets bitten and doesn't like how it feels the message 'if I don't want to be on the receiving end of that I shouldn't be dishing it out' gets reinforced. It potentially becomes very hard for puppies to learn this lesson if they don't have litter mates that help them learn or if they are removed from their litter mates too soon to have effectively learned it. An older dog that has no bite inhibition is highly unlikely to learn it from people.

What should you do when your puppy is landing those shark teeth on you? There is no single correct answer, but rather a number of strategies to be tried.

1. Redirect the puppy's mouthy activities to an appropriate chew toy. A kong or similar toy filled with a portion of the pup's kibble in a way that a bit of work is required to get the kibble is one strategy.

2. If the pup has gotten overexcited and is therefore being mouthy help the pup calm down with a bit of a time out. Generally if you just stop moving and tuck your hands into your pockets or fold your arms in front of you and break your eye contact the pup will settle down. Take a calming breath while you are doing this. It will help you be relaxed too. Since your calmness sends calming signals to your pup it will be good for both of you.

3. Many advocate giving the pup a signal that the biting hurts by saying ouch or giving a yipe. This can work, but can backfire if the pup gets excited by your "yelp."

4. I think the most important thing for a mouthy pup is for it to play with other pups. My dogs were puppies together. In addition to the fact that both of them had siblings (Lily is from a litter of eight, Peeves from a litter of four, but there were five other pups close in age from a different dam as well) they learned the finishing touches of their bite inhibition from each other more than from us. Since most people won't have two (or more, are you crazy) puppies in their home at the same time unless they are a breeder then you need to take your puppy to a socialization class that is exclusively for young puppies. If possible find a Sirius Puppy class (http://dogstardaily.com). Take your vet and breeder's advice about being in contact with other puppies in the context of immunizations, but also be aware that there is good science that shows the risk of acquiring parvovirus at a puppy class is very low (also see Dog Star Daily for info) and will be especially low if the class follows Dr. Dunbar's recommendations about hygiene.


Hi Lily CD, I have read a lot of your post and I agree and respect your methodology on training. I know this an old post, but I hope you can give me some ideas. Finn is 18 weeks old and a big boy. (Standard) He is EXTREMELY mouthy and its a big problem. Outside he will jump up and grab onto my sweatshirt or jacket from behind. If he is sitting and calm and I will reach out to stroke his head he will lovingly mouth my hand. It's a constant thing he does. I try redirecting, yelping, providing interesting chews, etc. He is very independent even from the time I went to get him at 7 weeks old. I am wondering how much he was handled as a puppy. I am working on changing that as I want to snuggle with this fur ball. His nippiness is almost like he thinks that is how to show affection and doesn't want to be caressed. I want to make it clear that there is absolutely no aggressive behavior at all.
Does this give you enough to make any suggestions?
Thanks in advance for any observations on this behavior.
Ozmommi


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Thank you for your kind words and for thinking I will have some helpful suggestions for you. Obviously your boy learned good bite inhibition and that is a huge plus for you.

He sounds like a pretty typical moderate to high drive pup with some prey drive in him. I would try getting a flirt pole for him. Since Finn is still actively growing I wouldn't encourage him to jump for the lure, but instead make a game out of having him chase it on the ground. This should burn off some energy and help make it easier to control the mouthy, nippy stuff. The other general kind of thing I would work on are impulse control games. You can either sit on the floor or on a chair for this. Get a bunch of small treats for each hand and let Finn know you have them. Then just sit there with your hands closed on your knees. He will try to mug you for the treats but don't let him have any. Don't say anything either. You want to give Finn a chance to figure this out for himself. The instant he stops trying to get the treats give him one and then resume your quiet position with your hands on your knees. Let him try to get a treat but again wait until he stops to give him one. You will be amazed how fast he will figure out that leaving you alone and unmolested is the key to the treats. Once he has that part down then you can wait longer intervals before giving the treat and then wait until he offers eye contact for the treat. Then increase the duration of the eye contact before giving the treat. I had a woman come with a just under 1 year old portie today for my novice class. I had never met them before and the biggest thing I noticed was that the dog had no impulse control and couldn't pay attention with the distraction of the other dogs in the class and my two poodles behind the desk. I asked the handler if the dog would work for me and she said yes so I took the dog and did that impulse control game and she got it in about three tries of serious mugging me that the back away and sit was what got the treat and was sitting very quickly. The great thing about that game is that the dog figures it out for themselves so it gets reinforced very quickly.

LMK if those things help. I think they should.
 
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Thank you for your kind words and for thinking I will have some helpful suggestions for you. Obviously your boy learned good bite inhibition and that is a huge plus for you.

He sounds like a pretty typical moderate to high drive pup with some prey drive in him. I would try getting a flirt pole for him. Since Finn is still actively growing I wouldn't encourage him to jump for the lure, but instead make a game out of having him chase it on the ground. This should burn off some energy and help make it easier to control the mouthy, nippy stuff. The other general kind of thing I would work on are impulse control games. You can either sit on the floor or on a chair for this. Get a bunch of small treats for each hand and let Finn know you have them. Then just sit there with your hands closed on your knees. He will try to mug you for the treats but don't let him have any. Don't say anything either. You want to give Finn a chance to figure this out for himself. The instant he stops trying to get the treats give him one and then resume your quiet position with your hands on your knees. Let him try to get a treat but again wait until he stops to give him one. You will be amazed how fast he will figure out that leaving you alone and unmolested is the key to the treats. Once he has that part down then you can wait longer intervals before giving the treat and then wait until he offers eye contact for the treat. Then increase the duration of the eye contact before giving the treat. I had a woman come with a just under 1 year old portie today for my novice class. I had never met them before and the biggest thing I noticed was that the dog had no impulse control and couldn't pay attention with the distraction of the other dogs in the class and my two poodles behind the desk. I asked the handler if the dog would work for me and she said yes so I took the dog and did that impulse control game and she got it in about three tries of serious mugging me that the back away and sit was what got the treat and was sitting very quickly. The great thing about that game is that the dog figures it out for themselves so it gets reinforced very quickly.

LMK if those things help. I think they should.


OK, that gives me a place to start. I have never had this issue before, but I was sure that you would have some ideas. I also just got Ian Dunbar's "Before and After" puppy book and I'm hooking up now to start it. Think that's the name of it.
Thank You for the super quick response. I'll let you know.....


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I am not a good trainer. I did find it helpful with my pups to keep them on a leash (I was home much of the time) attached to my belt. They and I seemed to know when they had to go potty (restless I think) and would go outside or to the pad, even carried quickly during a GI problem. (Apartment and lousy weather at times). This seemed to get things off easily with the training. And neither of us minded being close to each other. I did crate them both when I slept when they were babies.
 

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I'm reading the book before and after you get the puppy right now. We hope we'll get our puppy in August. But he will be at least 10 weeks old before he comes home to us, maybe 12, depending when his mother weens him. In his book Ian Dunbar stresses that training the first 12 weeks of puppy hood is crucial. How am I supposed to do that?
 

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Will your puppy be a toy poodle, if so then keeping the puppy with the breeder is important developmentally. Also with toy poodles the litters are often smaller with perhaps only one pup or maybe two or three. If the breeder is a good breeder they will do a lot of the things that Ian thinks are important for early socialization. Most standard breeders tend not to keep puppies so long because they are bigger and not really at risk of hypoglycemia. The litters also tend to be bigger so puppy training and socialization is more easily done by the individual puppy owners who will easily focus on their single pup.


You should talk to the breeder about what work they do with their pups before they send them to their forever homes.
 
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