Over the years, many people have asked me what I train first with a new puppy or dog.
First, I feel it is important to build a relationship and rapport with the new pup. To do this, I play games, such as COOKIE TOSS game and tug. Although I do some other behaviors, such as cookie sits, downs, spins, and twirls, my main focus is giving my puppy the desire to work. I call building this, the “I want to” behavior.
These games also teach my puppy “how to”. How to run out, how to return to me, etc. Furthermore, during these games, I can teach my puppy the speed in which I want to see these skills performed. The desire to want to be with me, do the games that I want, and at the speed I want is what I call “drive”. Although I do introduce other behaviors, those behaviors are used to break up our play sessions. The pup learns Play=work=play. I am building the value of training/working in my puppy.
Building the desire (I want) to work/train is the first foundational skill that I teach. It builds value and purpose for working with me. With the drive (speed) and desire (I want) the puppy has the foundational skills to become a dog that enjoys and looks forward to working with me.
What is the first thing you focus on with your new puppy/dog?
Do you consider the speed, intensity or enthusiasm when playing/training?
Visit http://debbyquigley.com/classes/ for Free classes on foundational skills.
Here are a few really great “dog” items I use in everyday life and in training. Click on the link or image and it will take you to affiliate Amazon.
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