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.
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.
Bruce with other dogs: (he obviously likes dogs a lot!)
12 July – Sit Stays & Lots of play! 😀
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!
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’. 🙂
Bruce has settled in well. A few squeaky barks in the car but he travelled very well. 😄
Had his meal, and I started his training already 😂😂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.