Saturday, March 6, 2010

First 2 Weeks with a puppy



My new puppy is a terrier/chi mix. He is about 20 weeks old, 5 months. 

His pre existing issues were-
separation anxiety
house training
Timid with handling 

SO most of our training has been building the crate as a safe and wonderful place to be, as well as counter conditioning to me leaving the room while he is in the crate or loose.  
His initial behavior to being left alone for 10 minutes the second day that I had him was barking and howling and peeing and pooping in the crate and smearing it around on the crate walls with his paws.  Now after 2 weeks of tons of training, he settles and sleeps, and the other day I had to lure him out with a treat!  So I am very happy with how that is going!

The puppy hates grass, so I have also spend long hours standing in the yard patiently waiting.  The patience has paid off! :) 

Handling exercises 

What issues he didn't have but would be very important for  a new puppy in the first two weeks would be-
1- Restraint games
2- Reinforcing calmness rather than mouthing and biting 
3- Bite Inhibition

The first games we have been playing in these two weeks are-
1- default leave it from treats and bait bag while not working
2- positive interrupter/attention noise (I can call him away from playing with my other dogs already with the kissy noise)
3- Recalls
4- * Counter conditioning to handling!!!! * (the puppy was very hand shy)
5- Confidence on different surfaces using counter conditioning
6- How to follow a treat lure- (he would just pounce on my hand like it was prey rather than just follow it like a lure)
7- Crate games
8- Mat games
9- Settle
10- Loose leash walking
11- Touch with nose
12- Targeting with front paws
13- Building the tug and toys as secondary reinforcers
14- Basics of fetch

I constantly reinforce calmness and wonderful interactions with my other dogs, and interrupt him with the positive interrupter when play starts to get too aroused.  

So far so good!