Zeus' second puppy class

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lollipopzeus's picture
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Joined: 2012-11-25

He did very good with everything yesterday. We learned how to walk on a loose leash, stay, and leave it. He must be feeling very good today after his bout with vomiting yesterday morning, because he is ALL WOUND UP right now and will not stay in a sit while I am trying to get him to "stay". He lunges for the treat and then I have to start all over. So I walked out of the kitchen and left him in there by himself thinking maybe he was just wound up and gave us a little breather and then went back and tried it again. He did alot better. So, did you all have issues with the stay command? How long did it take to master that one? Oh and also, how long did it take to master the leave it command?

DJ's Dad's picture
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YAY Zeus!  Stay and Leave It are hard for a puppy to grasp for more than a nano second, because it's just not in their nature at this age to sit still OR to not be nosey and want to pick everything up in their mouths.  Little FYI here, when teaching 'stay', have him sit, or lie down, tell him stay, and dont show him the treat.  Only make him stay as long as you know for certain that he will sit still while you back away for a couple of steps, then walk back to him, tell him what a good, smart boy he is, and then give him the treat.  If he will only stay still for 2 seconds, then start with a 2 second stay, and gradually over this week, lengthen your time to 4 seconds, then 6 seconds, etc. only treating him IF he stays until you release him.  Keep your sessions no longer than 10 minutes at a time, and that way you wont tire him of learning.  His attention span right now is very very small.  You have to build up to longer times slowly. 

As for 'mastering' the stay and the leave it....I'm pretty sure that DJ and I will always be practicing those commands.  Right now, she will stay in a lying down position for approximately 4 - 5 minutes, but her sit-stay is considerably shorter.  Maybe 2 - 3 minutes at best.  She does do a pretty good leave it, though, and when I tell her 'leave it' she looks away from the thing she is supposed to ignore and actually DOES ignore it. 

lollipopzeus's picture
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I did this yesterday as you suggested and it worked. I did it this way for short periods at a time through out the whole day. The way the Petsmart trainer showed us was well...it kind of didn't make any sense to me. Her stay went like this...have the dog sit or lay down...while doing the stay signal and also saying stay with one hand, let the dog lick and smell the treat in the other hand. Proceed to walk around the dog in a circle while saying stay. Then let him have the treat. Okay, so the stay down went like this...command him down and then drop the kibble/treat in between his paws, while he's eatting, proceed to do the stay hand signal while walking around the dog, crossing over his body, while saying stay the whole time. She says this will build the trust between the dog and you. Okay, I get the building trust. I'm pretty sure he trusts me now, because he eats out of my hand and he never cowers when I walk around him now. Maybe I'm a little confident about that but I have a feeling that I'm right. What I don't get is how in the heck can he SEE your hand in back of him when he is soley concerned about eatting the kibble/treat that he is eatting between his paws? Of course he's going to stay and then when it's gone and you are still stepping over him or what have you, he is going to get up and wonder what you are doing. So I did just as you suggested DJ's dad, which made more sense to me to do that way, and I also watched a YouTube video on this command. Both were the same. I like the class, don't get me wrong...but the stuff that is being taught, well I have already taught him...except for the leave-it and the stay. Also, this has nothing to do with this partiicular issue but I am trying something different as far as the biting. I have tried ignoring him, replacing with something that he can bite, I have said no bite, I have tapped him on the snout and blah, blah, blah. So last night when he did the biting/nipping...I didn't say a word, but I put him in the kennel for one minute and then I let him out. Now I don't know if that is a negative but I do feel like it's a positive for him. I don't play rough with him at all. So anyway...that's what's going on :) Btw...he loves the cottage cheese...

DJ's Dad's picture
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You'll find out that ALL trainers have their own personal way of doing things.  They're not all bad, or wrong, but certainly vary from person to person.  That's why I like to go to different trainers for different things---it sort of gives you a lot of opinions and techniques to choose from so that you can sort of personalize your training methods from things you learn from different trainers to better suit you and your dog.  No training is a waste of time, in my opinion.

So, in your stay commands, you're also walking circles around him and stepping over him while he lies down?  That's a very good exercise to teach them. Keep using the hand signals along with your vocal command...it pays off later down the road.  :)

I do that with DJ, also.  I can walk over her from the back to the front and also from the front to the back, step over her from the side, and even lightly drag my foot across her, and she wont move.

Classes are a good thing even if it's repetition of things you and your dog already know.  It's just good practice to do these things with distractions around him.  Real life outside the training area is full of distractions, so this gives him a good handle on things at an early age.

Zeus sounds like a really smart boy.  Well, what am I saying.....he's a doberman, so of course he's really smart!

DJ's Dad's picture
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Bite control is another thing that most people have to try different ways of handling before you hit upon the one thing that seems to get through to a puppy, also.  Whatever works for you and Zeus, just keep doing.  If a short time out gets the idea across to him that biting is a no-no, then by all means, do it.  When Ziva was a puppy, I never had any bite issues with her...she just never did it.  DJ, however, had me scratched, punctured, and bleeding way too often for a couple of months before I finally made her understand that I was NOT a chew toy.

I always give my dogs a tablespoon of cottage cheese mixed into their morning kibble.  They love it, and it's a good probiotic to help keep their digestive tracts on track.  Once in a while, I'll use plain yogurt instead of cottage cheese, but a couple of my little dogs are picky eaters and dont like the yogurt as well.  DJ doesnt care what she eats....she would gladly eat a cardboard picture of food, and love it.