03 11 05 382 W - + 81 - 91

OBEDIENCE I thought maybe it was time for me to address the subject of obedience.

I include it in all aspects of my puppy raising.

For example,

Crate Training - from the very beginning, when I wanted Cha Cha to get in the kennel, I would toss in a treat, then say "kennel." Now, when I walk towards the kennel, she runs in and awaits her treat.

Sit - again, at the very beginnning, I would hold a treat above her head. Cha Cha would sit. I said "sit." Gave her a treat. At first, she would wiggle around alot. I didn't care at first. But, once I had the basic behavior down, I began insisting on a better sit. That is, no cookie until she stopped wiggling. When she got that down reliably, I began requiring that she remain seated before she could eat. Again, at first, Cha Cha would run immediately to the food. I would then pick her up, say "sit" and make her wait. At first, I only demanded a few seconds of stillness. Now, I want 15 seconds. In a week, I will insist on a minute. I am building the sit into her.

Heel - nothing formal yet. Until just recently, when Cha Cha and I walked it was without a leash. Now that she and I are comfortable walking with one another, I added the leash. When she dawdles or investigates something that I am not - I continue to walk. When the slack in the lead is taken, I say "HERE" and jerk on the lead hard enough to force her to get slack back in the lead. After about 5 minutes of walking, Cha Cha understood that life was good if there was slack in the lead - and if there was not, she would soon be head over heels.

A few key points

1) I do not nag. I show puppy what I want. I then tell the puppy what I want. If I do not get what I want, I correct. Immediately. Puppy learns what is expected.

2) I work my way incrementally to the behavior I desire ... then stretch it over time and distance.

3) Puppy recognizes that I am the boss. This is much easier to accomplish with puppy than with a grown dog.
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