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We are stuck inside like everyone else today and need to burn off a bit of energy
I’d like to work on some new training but this is my first dog and I don’t really know what to teach
I’m not that interested in twirls and spins etc at this point.
He’s only 4 months so everything so far is useful for things like getting his attention back to me / going to bed / being handled etc
So far we can do
Sit, Lie down, wait, stay, bed, leave, touch, look, paw, place, stand, speak, here, response to name
We practice these all with distance duration and distractions and he’s pretty good, until he decides he’s not interested.
Plus handling with all the body parts
And learning to poo and wee on command - but at this point it feels like we may never get that!
We’re trying to work on a fetch with limited success
He’s barky, easily distracted, a terrible guard dog 90% of the time but very very barky and alert the 10% of the time he wants to get involved and very head strong
No interest in obedience / learning new things / wanting to please us - just the quickest way to get the treats
Is there anything you’ve taught your dogs that you’d really recommend?
I would work on impulse control if he is grabby with the treats.
susan garrett itsyer choice
this is great foundation work for a lot of calm learning activities
Ours knows all the ones you've mentioned as well as the following:
Roll over (both directions)
Spin (both directions)
I know you said you're not interested in teaching twirls and things but all training is good training. The more they learn to respond to your commands, the better.
If you have a kindle, you can download 101 dog trick by Kyra Sundance.
It's great step by step teaching of useful and just fun tricks. I like the fact it's all hand signals (& voice comand), so YlvaDogs really have to pay attention for that treat!
Flat - lying flat down on one side. Useful for things like examining bellies etc. Especially if combined with 'stay' to mean don't move any body parts from where I (gently) put them.
Muzzle training - soft and basket.
Back up - to reverse.
Work on lengthening your stays - if you can say "stay" once and leave the dog for 3 mins and come back to find him in the same spot, you're golden
Target - using a pointing stick ( a garden cane will do) in which the dog touches his nose to whatever you point to. Is the starting point for many of the more complex behaviours, like opening the fridge.
Get in the shower
Different types of sit - I have "sit" which is just a casual sit. But I also have "present" which is to sit directly and immediately in front of me, looking up at me.
Accepting clippers near eyes, mouth, ears, feet. If you do';t have clippers to hand you can make do for now with something like a shaver that makes a similar noise.
Ears. Not just handling but letting you have a right rummage inside them.
At four months old, the very best thing he is learning is how to learn. Learning is a skill in itself and you can see the difference on dogs that are constantly being taught something to those that don't get any real training. Not in terms of good behaviour or bad behaviour, just in terms of how quickly they pick up new lessons. Dpgs with experience of learning, learn faster.
“Flat - lying flat down on one side. Useful for things like examining bellies etc. Especially if combined with 'stay' to mean don't move any body parts from where I (gently) put them.“
I was just about to say, laying on their side and on their back is surprisingly useful for vet visits...
Not one to teach indoors, but "wait" is one of my most useful ones. Gets your off lead dog to pause for you to catch up and ''release' him. It's more intuitive than "turn away from the interesting thing and return to me" and it's really handy.
We use wait at the moment as a wait before running to the food on the floor, wait before crossing the road, or wait before running in the house (with your ridiculously muddy paws)
Like most of his skills except recall, I have less control the further away I am.
If I’m right next to him he will sit stay or wait for ages no matter the distractions or how far away I walk.
But we’re working on me being able to call commands from further away! Wait is a great one to work on! We’ve tried so far if he walks ahead on lead-but again I’m only a step or two away!
Hadn’t thought of flat
Will definitely try that one
And impulse control too! He will wait as long as I say to not eat a treat that’s right in front of him, but if I don’t say wait his impulse control is non existent! And he’s definitely grabby when excited. We work on politely taking treats - which I know he can do because he’s really gentle with kids... just not always me!
'Through' is a very cute one: stand with your legs slightly apart, and indicate to you dog to go around behind you and between your legs and sit looking up with you (I started by luring with the treat). Now I just say 'through!' and flap a hand in the right direction and through she goes. It mean that I can get her to sit in the exact spot I want, facing in the correct direction.
I think I taught wait by getting someone else to walk ahead with pup on lead.
At four months old, the very best thing he is learning is how to learn.
Sorry, I meant to elaborate here to say even learning 'tricks' like spin are useful because your pup is practising learning. Plus, when learning is fun, the bond between you gets stronger. Learning tricks can sometimes help it be fun because it doesn't really matter if he gets them or not - so you relax a bit more. So don't dismiss them completely because they can play a useful role.
Thanks @lovelypuddings that’s a good point
I think we’re working so much on all the things I actually need him to do
That putting more energy in things that are ‘pointless’ felt like too much
But you’re right training should be fun and he may enjoy it!
We do 'go find', so put a treat somewhere and he has to find it