Home Tags Posts tagged with "Puppy Training"
Over the last 7 years I’ve been raising guide dog puppies for Guide Dogs of America (GDA) and recently I’ve been thinking about raising and training for another organization. Don’t get me wrong I love being a puppy raiser for GDA, but I’m very interested in learning new things while continuing to help one of the many great assistance dog organizations out there.
Over the past few months I’ve been attending outings and training classes with Tender Loving Canine Assistance Dogs (TLCAD). They are a wonderful organization located about an hour south of me in San Diego.
Tender Loving Canine Assistance Dogs (TLCAD)
TLCAD Labrador Retriever In Training
We transform lives with service dogs.
In order to achieve this mission, Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, Inc. (TLCAD):
- Understands the benefits of placing dogs whose natural disposition and unique talents match a client’s personality and individual needs.
- Knows that in order to ensure long term success for both dog and client, the training begins as early as possible and endures throughout the working life of the dog.
The results of this mission can be witnessed in:
- Individuals with a special need, a challenge or a disability actively participating in and contributing to the world around them.
- Setting the standard for a professional, dependable and happy working dog.
- Increasing awareness and public education of disabilities and Assistance Dogs.
Me And TLCAD
As I mentioned I had the opportunity to participate in many TLCAD activities including several outings as well as attending their dog sitter workshop and their 8 week trainer course. I must say they have wonderful people working at this organization!
TLCAD Labradoodle In Training
However, there was really one main point that was keeping me from working as a volunteer trainer for TLCAD…
They are located in San Diego which is actually slightly closer then Sylmar, CA (GDA Main Campus), but the big difference is there are no other trainers near me (I live in Orange County about 1 hour north of San Diego). GDA has a dedicated Orange County group which consists of 50+ puppy raisers. I’ve found it very important to have this support group not only for bouncing questions off veteran raisers, but because it gives you options for puppy sitters.
The Importance Of Puppy Sitters
As a guide dog puppy raiser I’ve learned that it’s invaluable to have a puppy sitter nearby. It seems to come up quite often that spur of the moment I need a puppy sitter for just a few hours or a day. A perfect example is a wedding. I have several to go to this summer. Weddings only last a few hours and it’s an event I normally won’t take a puppy in training to unless I know the couple very well. I would only need a puppy sitter for a few hours and having one within 5-10 minutes of me is oh so convenient.
I know it’s a luxury having puppy sitters nearby, but it’s something I have considered before deciding to raise and train a puppy for a different organization. While you may not have this same option when choosing to volunteer as a puppy trainer/raiser it’s definitely something to consider if you have the option.
Even if you’re just planning on getting a puppy or dog as a family pet make sure you think about what you will do with your dog or puppy when you are away. Where will you take your puppy when going on vacation? Do you have a support group of pet friendly friends who are willing to puppy sit?
Thank You TLCAD For What You Do!
Tender Loving Canine Assistance Dogs (TLCAD) is a wonderful organization! I hope that I will get the chance to work with one of their puppies sometime in the future. If you are interested in volunteering with TLCAD then visit their website for more information.
Whether it’s a Guide Dog organization, Service Dog organization, Animal Shelter, or any other non-profit what kind of things did you consider before volunteering with your organization? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
People often ask me, “I just got a new puppy when shall I start working on his training?” I quickly shoot back, “You should start working on puppy training the moment you bring home your new pup!”
Whether you like it or not puppy training starts on day 1. Your puppy is constantly learning new things. Since your pup is already learning you may as well teach him good behaviors rather than bad behaviors.
Teaching Your Puppy Obedience Training
We started working on Derby’s training the moment we picked him up from Guide Dogs of America We started by first allowing him to feel the texture of grass for the first time and by letting him “get busy” on the grass. We also worked on simple things like teaching him to sit and wait before he ate his food. He got so good at his sit-stays and down-stays he could do them with his eyes closed…literally…
Derby is so good at down-stays he can do them with his eyes closed
Derby actually isn’t doing his down-stays with his eyes closed we just happened to catch him mid-blink
So what are a few things you should think about teaching your pup the moment you get home?
- Leash and collar – most pups have never worn these two things
- Crate training
- Potty training
- Sit and wait for meals
- Cradling and being handled from head to toe
Puppy’s are adorable! We tend to let them get away with more than they should. I often times see people let their pups do things that will bite them in the ass when their puppy is older. Here are a few things you should think long and hard about before allowing your pup to form bad habits:
- Jumping up on people – An adorable 7 week old 10 pound Labrador Retriever is pretty cute when jumping up on your leg for attention. If you allow him to do this he’s learning it’s okay to jump up on people. Now think how much you will enjoy this behavior when he’s an 80 lb adult dog!?
- Sitting on your lap – That same 10 pound Lab puppy fits nicely on your lap, but can you say the same when he wants to sit there as an 80 lb dog?
- Barking for attention - It might be cute when they have a little voice, but when they get that big dog voice it might not be so fun. I would avoid encouraging this behavior.
While your first day at home with your new puppy can be a lot of fun your puppy’s first night home can often be very difficult as it’s his first day away from his momma an litter mates. Here are a few tips just in case you’re having some issues with your pups first night at home.
If you’re looking for some more ideas on things you might want to do and not want to do on your first day of puppy training then check out one of our favorite puppy starter books, Puppies For Dummies (aff link).
So when did you start working on your puppy’s training? Did you start working on basic obedience skills from day 1? Tell us about your puppy training experiences in the comment section below.
I love puppies! There cute, adorable, cuddly, and of course who can’t resist the famous puppy breath! These things are all great, but once you get your new puppy home he will test your patience…seriously!
I like to preach that people need to be consistent, persistent and patient when it comes to training. Today I have a few extra puppy training tips and hints that might help you when it comes time to train your puppy.
3 Puppy Training Tips
Here are a few hints that will help yo get started from my GDA puppy training manual:
As you start your puppy’s first lessons, remember the importance of being consistent, calm, and patient. When your patience slips, call of the lesson for a while.
- A good trainer knows when to be firm or gentle, when to scold or praise.
- Dog training is built on reward and correction.
- Give commands firmly, but not angrily. Anger will not make the dog learn any faster, and, in fact, will make him dislike his lessons.
- Give praise from the heart, keeping your voice calm and easy while stroking the puppy’s head lightly. Your verbal and physical praise will not only be positive reinforcement, but will keep the dog’s attention on you, and calm manner will keep the pup from getting excited and thinking it’s playtime.
My puppy, Dublin catching some sun rays.
When giving commands or praise to your pup, look directly at him, not straight ahead or off in another direction. Eye contact and a well directed voice are very effective elements of communication and control. 3 important points to remember while training your dog are:
- Give a command only once. I actually talked about this in my Puppy Training Tips of the Day.
- Don’t give a command you are unable to enforce. If you have something in your hands, or if you’re some distance away, there’s no way you can enforce what you are asking, so the puppy learns that a command is sometimes just empty talk.
- Take one command at a time. Learning will come along much quicker this way, rather than trying to teach all of the commands in a day. Continue teaching one command, and review the one learned.
These 3 tips are great and something everyone should read through and brush up on as I’m sure we’ve all broken at least one of these rules with our dog within the last few days.
A few other things I’ve noticed since I started raising puppies:
- It definitely is very easy to lose your patients when trying to train a puppy. Just take a step back and give yourself and your puppy a little break if you feel yourself losing your patience.
- Praise works great with puppies. Try to be as exciting as possible with your praise and your puppy will love it. I’ve always heard that women make better puppy trainers because they have higher voices and can sound more exciting then their male counterparts…guys, is that true?
- Be consistent. Be Persistent. Be Patient. – when it comes to puppy training.
That’s it! 3 puppy training tips from the GDA handbook and 3 training tips from me. Now why don’t you lay down your 3 favorite puppy training tips. Drop us a line in the comment section below.
The good people at pet365 actually sent me this post on “Dog Training Statistics” many moons ago and unfortunately it’s taken me this long to get a blog article together about their wonderful infographic. One thing I definitely have to agree with is the first line: “A well trained dog is by far a happier dog!”
There are many reasons why I believe this is a true statement. Here are just a few of my personal reasons:
- If your dog is well trained then you’re probably spending more time with your dog then the average non-trained dog.
- Your dog knows the rules and boundaries because as a well-trained dog you’ve taught him these things.
- Dog training is a great time for handlers and dogs to bound.
- You as a dog handler understand your dog better.
- Well trained dogs have been socialized with not only other dogs, but with different kinds of people places and things.
- If you want to go places with your dog you feel much more comfortable if they are well trained. Thus your dog gets to go to more different places.
Those are just a few off the top of my head, but enough about my thoughts on dog training lets get to the infographic!
Dog Training Statistics
Dog Training graphic created by Matt Beswick for Pet365 – a UK supplier of dog beds, collars and coats. Click here to view the full post.
Dog Training Statistics – Transcription
Infographics are very visual, but some of my readers cannot always see the images on my blog so here’s a little transcription of the Dog Training Statistics Infographic:
A well trained dog is by far happier dog! Why? Because a trained dog requires fewer restrictions. The more reliable the dog, the more freedom he is given. Also, he receives more attention and interaction with family members, visitors, and passer-by then does the ill mannered dog.
“How Well Trained Are They?” My Dog vs Other Dog (Marks out of 10 with 10 being the best)
- 4 or 5 – My Dog – 16.1%; Other Dog – 46.2%
- 7 or 8 – My Dog – 51.9%; Other Dog – 23.1%
“Most dog owners think their dogs are better trained than those belonging to other people.”
- “Sit” is the most well-known command with 9 out of 10 dogs knowing how to put their bums on the floor when told…
- 99.5% of owners think that rewarding good behaviour is most effective when training.
- 94% of people do at least some training with their dog at home. Impressive!
Owners with 3 or more dogs were more likely to socialise their dog when it was a puppy. Proof that we do learn from our mistakes (eventually)!
Percentage of dogs socialised as puppies
- Own’s 3+ Dogs – 50.6%
- 3 dogs or less – 26.5%
“How easy was your dog to train?”
- Went to puppy socialisation – 9.6%
- Didn’t go – 4.5%
Owners that went to socialisation classes found their dogs much easier to train. Only 4.5% of owners that had been gave their dogs less than 3 out of 10 as opposed to 9.6% that hadn’t.
What is the most important command for a dog to know?
- Stay – 26.9%
- Recall – 54.8%
- Sit – 12.9%
- Roll over! – 0.2%
Have you ever been to a dog training class?
- Nope, Never – 53.1%
- I still go* – 14.4%
- I used to go, but don’t anymore – 32.5%
*This group is what dogs would call “favourite owners”. Woof!
What commands does your dog know?
- Fetch – 50.4%
- Stay – 83.8%
- Recall – 82.1%
- Sit – 90.2%
- Rollover – 24%
So that’s the dog training infographic! Some pretty cool statistics there, but to me these stats seem a little bit inflated/biased and that’s mainly because the surveys were probably filled out by dog enthusiasts rather than your average dog owner.
I like that the infographic stresses puppy socialization which is an important part of what we do as puppy raisers when when training our guide dog puppies.
For more information about the research of these dog training statistics visit the pet365 website.
Do you have a well-trained dog? What do you think about this infographic and these statistics. Tell us about it in the comment section below!
Dublin A Puppy In Training
It’s been over 4 months since I dropped off Dublin at guide dog college. I still think about him and how he’s doing just about every day. I like posting some of his old puppy pictures to our Facebook page. Every time I visit the Guide Dogs of America (GDA) campus I ask how he’s doing and of course the response is always that he’s doing great.
Just in case you haven’t been following us on Facebook (if you aren’t then you should) Dublin also sends us a postcard just about every month. Like I said in case you missed it here’s an image of the 4 postcards I’ve received so far.
Guide Dog Training Postcards
Postcards from Dublin while he's at Guide Dog College
It’s a little small and blurry so here’s what Dublin has to say in his 4 postcards:
Postcard #1 (received around December 2011)
How are you doing? I’m great! I am learning how to walk with a special black n white harness on. Boy do I look handsome! Next I will be learning how to make right and left turns. Hope you are well. Take care.
Wags + Kisses
Postcard #2 (received around January 2012)
It’s me again from Guide Dog College. I have learned right & left turns and how to cross streets safely. Soon we will start walking in busier areas with more to watch out for. It’s not all hard work though. I get to play with my friends and chew on all sorts of bones.
Hope all is well!
Wags & Kisses
Postcard #3 (received around February 2012)
My trainers tell me I’ve completed my first set of test wearing my harness! I got to guide my trainer while he was blindfolded! It sure was fun!
I know I still have lots to learn and soon will learn to guide on stairs, elevators, and even escalators!
We have fun when we’re not working too. The kennel staff gives us bones and toys to play with.
Wiggles & Wags
Postcard #4 (received around March 2012)
Here’s an update from Guide Dog College
I am learning new things everyday and we go to exciting places each week. The other day we rode the subway! Some of my friends have decided to go home but I want to stay and learn more.
Hope you are well!
More Dublin Updates
I’ve been hearing good things about Dublin and I’m hoping for an April graduation. However, you never really know, but just in case I have my fingers crossed and Sunday, April 22nd 2012 (date of the next GDA graduation) is circled on my calendar just in case Dublin graduates on that day. As soon as I hear news on whether or not Dublin is a part of the next GDA graduating class I’ll let everyone know here, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Hopefully some of you out there can join us at Dublin’s graduation.
By the way I plan on putting together some bonus Puppy In Training TV videos with some extra never before seen footage in the near future leading up to hopefully Dublin’s upcoming graduation (and graduation video). As an added bonus I’m going to add short bonus segment at the end of each episode with the Adventures of Apache my most recent guide dog puppy in training.
In case you don’t know about out Puppy In Training TV series…way back when I first picked up Dublin I decided to create video episodes chronicling his journey to becoming a guide dog. Here’s a list of the 18 episodes we produced:
Episode 1 – Picking Up Your Puppy
Episode 2 – Take Your Dog To Work
Episode 3 – Guide Dog Puppy Sitters
Episode 4 – OCTA Service Animal Training
Episode 5 – Halloween Dog Costumes And Dog Car Reviews
Episode 6 – Los Caballeros Tennis And Puppy Training
Episode 7 – Puppy Training Ride
Episode 8 – The Getty Museum
Episode 9 – Scavenger Hunt At Fashion Island
Episode 10 – Puppy Training In The Snow and Bass Pro Shop
Episode 11 – Guide Dog Pups At The Movies!
Episode 12 – Orange County Pet Expo
Episode 13 – GDA Puppies And The March of Dimes
Episode 14 – Trains, Trams, Buses, And Puppies
Episode 15 – Guide Dogs of America Open House
Episode 16 – Guide Dog Pups Visit The Fire Station
Episode 17 – Dogs At Disneyland
Episode 18 – Puppy Turn In Day
So…hoping for an April graduation and stay tuned for upcoming Puppy In Training TV episodes.
As I mentioned I started shooting video with Apache. If you have an idea for one of Apache’s bonus segment videos then please leave us a comment and let us know what you think in the comment section below.
Does your puppy hate collars? If you just brought your puppy home or only had him for a few days I’m guessing your answer is a resounding YES!!! In fact, people tell me all the time in a frantic mood…”My puppy hates his collar!? What do I do?“ The answer is not that difficult: “just leave the collar on your puppy until he gets used to it.”
But he’s scratching at it, trying to bite it, chew it…he hates his collar! In a calm voice…”leave the collar on your puppy until he gets used to it.” Of course make sure you have it sized properly, but besides that you need to just sit back and let your puppy get used to his new collar.
It’s that easy, but you didn’t think that’s all I had to say about this matter did you…you’re correct!
My Puppy Hates His Collar!
Dublin doesn't hate his puppy collar when he's sleeping
I’ve been raising puppies for over 7 years now and every puppy I’ve ever brought home absolutely hated his collar and none more than my second guide dog puppy in training, Derby. He didn’t just hate his collar, but he had a vengeance against his pet tags. Here are a few things I learned about puppy collars and pet tags after raising Derby.
- I actually learned this one before Derby. Just leave the collar on your puppy and he’ll get used to it within a few days/weeks.
- Get a puppy collar with a buckle system. The buckle makes it easy to remove the collar when needed.
- Make sure the collar fits properly. I usually make sure I can fit a couple fingers under the collar while it’s on my pups neck. You want it tight enough so it does not slip over your pups head, but as mentioned you want it loose enough to fit a couple fingers underneath while it’s on your pups neck.
- Certain materials may stretch or loosen while your puppy is wearing the collar (plus your puppy will grow) so make sure you check to make sure the collar has not become to loose or tight over time.
- Have fun with your collars! We have some seasonal collars, different designs, and materials. Have fun! Just make sure whatever you get is safe for you puppy.
- Guide Dogs of America issues us school tags, but I also recommend getting a personal tag so if your puppy gets lost people can contact you. Make sure you register your puppy. You’ll receive another tag for registration.
- Are you tired of the jingling of your puppies tag? Try the Pet Tag Silencer. I got a couple from our guide dog group and love them.
- Is your puppy chewing on his tags? Derby taught me this one. While the pet tag silencer did stop the jingling of pet tags I did not deter Derby from chewing on his tags. What did I do? Simple really, I taped his pet tags to his collar with a little bit of cloth tape. No more jingling and no more chewed up tags. A very inexpensive solution to what was at the time a big problem.
- Have fun with your pet tags! There are different designs and materials. I also like to get tags for certain accomplishments. For instance, I bought the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) pet tag for Stetson when he past his CGC test.
In no time your puppy will be used to wearing his brand new puppy collar and his shiny new pet tags just leave them on and they’ll get used to it.
By the way, this probably doesn’t apply to most people, but most of my puppies hate wearing their “Puppy In Training” bib/jacket a couple of my pups even chewed up the sides of the material. I try to get my pups used to the GDA bib by making them wear it quite often at home even before going out in public and nowadays I keep a close eye on my pup to make sure he doesn’t chew on the material when wearing his bib.
Do you have any hints for puppy’s who hate their collars and pet tags? Tell us about your experiences with puppy collars and pet tags.
123...10Next Page 1 of 10