Its time for training

Now that the pups are settling into their new homes I am concentrating (as I hope are the new owners) on the very important tasks of training Isabel and Poppy. Poppy at 19 weeks has already got a good command of the basics and is very laid back. She has developed and unfortunate habit of jumping up – which I am working at discouraging by making her sit on command and rewarding that behaviour.

Poppy is great on the lead, she doesn’t pull and meanders behind, we are encouraging her to walk to heel. Poppy will virtually dance on her head if there is a treat involved, so positive reinforcement with Poppy is never a problem. However, our main challenge is getting her to stand, she will be going to first shows soon and we want her prepared ;-)

Isabel, is great. I am lucky that most of the training that new proprietors have to do, is done for me by Effie and Jasper. They play with her and she learns dog behaviour and good manners. They also make sure she knows she is the youngest and least important in the pack. I have had only one instance of testing her status in the first week after Ioury left, that was quickly corrected and she has been very well behaved since. Obviously, I mean, well behaved for a puppy :-)

Since Ioury left I have gently started a daily routine with Isabel. In the morning she is let out of her crate and she is encouraged to go for a pipi. After we humans are fed, I then feed the dogs, they all have to be seated, and are fed in order, Jasper, Effie, Poppy then Isabel. It has only taken Isabel a week to understand that she has to wait for Poppy to start before I will give her the signal to start to eat. Poppy however, is a total nightmare, she understands sit, and wait, but cannot understand that she has to wait for Jasper then Effie before I will give her the signal. I thought Effie was a gannet, but Pops can only be discribed as food motivated and lacking patience. We will get there, she may be truely blonde, but I have faith …….

They all go out for a play whilst I clean up and poop scoop, then throughout the day I do a variety of 10 minute exercises with Poppy or Isabel on some fundamentals. The recall, sit, lie down, heel and stand. Isabel is doing very well on all of these,mainly because she gets treats, which I am now slowly withdrawing. She is pretty reliable on her sit, stand and getting better on her lie down and heel but her recall depends on distractions. I am just starting in the stay command and have had some success, but its not reliable yet. So when her recall is near perfect – we will start some dummy training.

So far, I haven’t had the usual problem of mouthing or nibbling fingers, she knows that I will give her a stroke or a tickle when I ask her to sit, or she will have her belly rubbed if she lies down. She is totally discouraged and distracted with a chew squeaky toy from nibbling or chewing anything human or any ¬†furniture in the house. She has been removed from the house if she ignores the off command, for 10-15 minutes.

It hasn’t stopped her hijacking my boots or Max’s slippers and trying to take them into the garden. When we had visitors today, she forgot herself and got overly excited with someones laces, but the off and sit command put an end to it and she was diverted to another toy. ¬†I guess so far I have been quite lucky. Fingers crossed that it continues.

I have been putting her on the lead and running her around the garden, from time to time she has decided that she would prefer to take herself for a walk and will try and take the lead into her mouth and walk herself around, she does walk nicely next to me or behind me. Well, I will have to work on this tendency, but I hope we will be sorted by the time she can go outside our garden.

Isabel has a very strong retrieve instinct and likes to carry things in her mouth, if a ball is thrown she will go and get it and bring it back. I have great hopes for her as a trialler. Isabel is a very thoughtful girl, she looks, listens, calculates the odds and then takes action – I think she might be a very special girl – but then I am biased.

Ioury and Clancy I know have been doing some training as well – well done with your successes.

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