Friday, July 16, 2010

Teaching "Bow"

1) Lure front legs and chest down with a food lure.
2) Mark with "Yes!" or clicker, then treat.
3) When behavior is easily lured, add in cue ("Bow") before lure. (Daisy's not quite ready for this yet.)
4) Phase out lure.
5) Start thinking of next trick! :)

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Monday, July 12, 2010

10 Easy Tips to Potty-Train Your New Dog or Puppy

1. Feed your dog on a schedule. Give him 15 minutes to eat, and no more. If you know when it goes in, you can predict when it'll come out.

2. Take him to his designated potty spot within 5 minutes after eating, waking up, playing hard, or drinking water.

3. When he pees and poops, consider him "empty" and give him 15 minutes of free run-around time in the house.

4. After 15 minutes, put him on leash and tie the leash to your belt loop, chair, or something sturdy within your eyesight--and keep an eye on him! He can follow you around the house or settle down quietly to play, nap, or chew a safe chewtoy, and won't be wandering around unsupervised to pee, chew, or otherwise perfect his Master of Disaster routine. This is also good for bonding. :)

5. Take him out every hour at first, whether he's a 10-week-old puppy or a 5-year-old who's new to your house (or is for any other reason not housetrained).

6. When he's home alone, or if you're too busy in the house to watch him, confine him to a small space the size of his bed (usually a crate or kennel) so that he will wait to pee until you come and let him out. Make sure it's big enough for him to stand up, lay down, and turn around comfortably, but not much bigger. Pet store staff can generally help you find an appropriately-sized crate for housebreaking. If you'll be gone for longer than he can hold it, don't crate! Instead, put him in a puppy-proofed room (e.g, bathroom, laundry room, kitchen with a baby gate) with his open crate or comfy bed, water dish, toys, and some newspaper or puppy pads so that he can relieve himself.

7. Increase the time he's expected to "hold it" very gradually. For pups, a good rule of thumb is to add one hour to the puppy's age in months. (Ex., a 5-month-old puppy may be able to go for 6 hours without peeing or pooping.) Pups can generally go a little longer at night, but often need to be taken out to potty once or twice in the middle of the night until they are 3-4 months old.

8. Remember that all dogs are individuals, and that they learn and grow at different rates.

9. Remember that just because your dog *can* hold it for 10 hours doesn't mean it's humane for you to make him. You could probably abstain from peeing for 10 hours, too, if you had to, but how comfortable would that be?

10. Applaud yourself for being a kind and diligent pet parent, and take it easy on yourself. Puppy will make mistakes, and so will you, but if you're patient and consistent, you'll get through the learning curve in no time...together.