Bruce Updates

30 July – Le Final Update

It’s been a pleasure training with Mr. Bruce. Of course if you have any questions or for future boarding/training feel free to contact me.

Updates will remain for the next 3 months.

Gift pack

Treats and toys! Yay!

Bruce has started training on:

  • Sit, down, (stays 5-10 paces away), COME (Bruce, come!), leave it, In (crate), Roll over, Walking between the legs (fun stuff!), Walking on the lead (Heel), putting collar on (collar), NO!/HEY!
  • All primarily done with food! (except no!)
  • Recommended: 2-3 walks per day (off lead where possible). Of course longer is ok! Bring treats for recalls!
  • LOTS of toys available, supervised. If not supervised, crating recommended (with toys inside, and a few treats to go in, no food left inside the crate)
  • Chews during your dinner time, or crating.

Public places: dogs/people – Keep him on lead, until you can see that he can behave around normal situations and not launch himself at everything! This takes time!! Could be up to 8-10 months+

As a puppy he wants to see and greet everything, that’s good, but also having him on lead gives you ‘hands to control him’ and ‘prevent bad things happening’. Raising him correctly is to teach him to ‘ignore’ things, and be comfortable around them. Not necessarily playing, greeting everyone or expecting food from everyone if uninvited.

Bad things = jumping into someone’s picnic and stealing their food. (for an extreme example) If he was off lead, then he could get into these situations and worse, enjoy them!

What could have happened if he wasn’t on the lead? What would he learn?
Greeting other dogs, showing signs that he just ignores passerbys
Enjoying an evening treat (pig ears, cut)
10 minutes later (took him 15 to finish a small piece!)
A few photos over the weekend
Getting bigger!
Walks by the River Cam (Cambridge)

26 July – Post heatwave! Grooming πŸ™‚

After a few crazy days of extreme heat, days reaching up to 40 degrees! Bruce is back out training and running around! πŸ™‚

+ Some photos from his weekly grooming! (Ears, brush and cleaning his coat!)

My daughter providing a great distraction for the Bruce Sit Stay!
Brushed and cleaned! πŸ™‚

23 July – Heatwave!!

The next few days are going to be SUPER hot 32-36!! So, early/late walks and time in the house just to be careful of the heat.

Recall + Better Treats

Over the weekend Bruce has progressed to playing with dogs and coming back. Introducing treats (hot dogs, different treats, meat treats etc.) mixed with his normal food. General rule is 10% of new foods to avoid any upset tummies!

*Always reward if you ever say ‘Bruce, Come’. Don’t take it for granted, and always reward for the recall! You can always use ‘this way’ or anything else to get his attention instead of the formal recall.

Playing with Simba! (and recalls)
Learning house manners (play with his toys and not everything else!)
He loves ANY bed (and he destroyed his toy..)

Playing/biting toys/things he shouldn’t be

Prevention is 99.9% of the training, only allowing him to play with toys he ‘should be’ the 0.1% is still important, but only done on occasion; for example showing him shoes and other things that he shouldn’t play with.

I started with a lead on him first, so I could correct him if I needed to; using treats and throwing ‘his toys’ to still continue to encourage him to play with the things he should. Of course, all times are supervised. If he cannot be supervised at your place, then the crate (or a room) is the best option.

When he gets old enough and knowledgeable enough that he doesn’t bite chairs/tables etc. then he can be allowed unsupervised.

Small snippet of his time ‘training’ manners at home

19 July – Meeting dogs, meeting ducks

Taking Bruce to a new park and a chance to see more different dogs, of course he’s always happy to play and see dogs! (I always forget to take some video of him with other dogs, so I will try to remember next time!)

On lead, no commands, rewarding him when he turns back to look/follow me.
Meeting ducks for the first time, so keeping him on lead.. he was fine so…
He can be off lead around them!
This is his proximity, he likes to sprint around, which is just his character!

Every dog has a pack drive, which means how close they remain with you. Distractions will vary this (people, dogs, etc.); but essentially it remains similar throughout the dogs life. Some dogs naturally stay closer, other venture further away. Some dogs walk around, some dogs sprint everywhere… Puppies like to run and go crazy occasionally, and it’s fun to watch. You can see the distance that Bruce likes to go.

Just about got a down stay!
Bruce sitting very straight!

16 July – Learning to follow better (off lead), putting recalls and sits together.

As Bruce’s understanding of the basics, sit, down, recall is progressing, I start to put the commands together.

Recall, Short sit stay and ‘ok’ to release

There is an aspect to ‘following’ and ‘getting lost’. Obviously we never want to lose him (!) but we can set small situations up where he has to learn that ‘we won’t follow him’. Changing direction, or quietly just walking in the opposite direction. ONLY choose safe places, and right now I am only doing it with no distractions around (such as other dogs).

As he gets older and his bond forms more with you, he will be able to interact with a dog and carry on following you as you move away from them. For now, any interactions he has with dogs is on the lead so once I see that he would rather follow me than play with another dog; then I can take the lead off.

‘Getting lost’ and learning to find me (no commands)

Bruce with other dogs: (he obviously likes dogs a lot!)

Initial greetings

Very excited! But can still listen for food!
Weekend walks with my family and a few other dogs
Bruce looking very well behaved ha ha
Bruce would rather run to other dogs than follow me, keeping him on the lead, and recalling him.

12 July – Sit Stays & Lots of play! πŸ˜€

Sit means ‘sit and stay’. If he sits, I feed him every few seconds to begin with. What he learns is that ‘if I stay sitting here’, food comes to me!

If he gets up, I just say ‘uh uh/no’ and repeat the exercise. It’s very difficult for dogs to stay in one place when they are puppies (because they want to run around and explore, a bit like kids really!) but we can still start the basics.

Every situation is different for them, so for now, it’s just taking a few steps away from him. (Different situations he could learn are: going around the corner, walking behind him, walking further away from him, staying around passing people/dogs etc., the situations are endless).

Keeping training positive, fun and rewarding for him!

Visiting the open fields in Newmarket
Playing with my puppy (German Shepherd, 3 months old) πŸ™‚
Recall, learning ‘sit/stays’

9 July

Recall is progressing well. Most of his food (meals) is given on his walks for coming back to me [BRUCE, COME!] and he is getting the hang of it! In places with no distractions, he is pretty good (60-70%+) and he will get better as time goes on. He still has to learn the recall better in no/low distractions as it is easier for him to learn this way, but I take him out everyday on road walks/local park etc/shops as it’s important at this age.

He is very friendly and wants to run up to people (cyclists especially!) and anyone walking by! (I’ll try to take some more video next time of this!) For now, he is just restricted on the lead so he can’t ‘reward’ himself by going up to them and then I would call him back ‘mid-chase’. As much as I can I also ask him to sit while people or cyclists walk past. It may be something you will have to carry on, as this is more of his ‘character’ that wants to just ‘go up to everyone and everything’.

With puppies that are more friendly, we tend to restrict them so they can’t just ‘do it themselves’ – (but they obviously still meet people when people want to say hi) and more timid dogs we would encourage to socialise more.

It’s just we don’t want him to learn just to jump on someone that is ‘just walking past’. πŸ™‚

Recall getting better (food immediately on his return)
Free running (no distractions)
Free time with his favourite toy (and now his favourite go-to-bed)
Enjoying playing with all the ‘dog toys’ πŸ˜€

5 July

Learning the recall (first time call, gently pulling on the lead if I need to, reward with food!)
Walks on a long lead/flexi lead
Bruce posing in the park
Hot hot hot!
Thoughtful moment..
Hello from Bruce!
What are all these new toys?? :O

3 July

Bruce has settled in well. A few squeaky barks in the car but he travelled very well. πŸ˜„

Had his meal, and I started his training already πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚encouraging him for the sit already rather than jumping.

Simply ignoring him for now for jumping, but everytime he sits, I say ‘good/good boy’ and feed him. It’s important I say ‘good boy’ BEFORE I give food as you can see in the little video below.

‘Good’ means stay doing what you are doing.

‘Ok’ means Bruce is released and he can break the position to get his reward.