Summary: Bring your puppy to the party! This is the time to introduce your puppy off-leash to new people and puppies of all breeds and personalities. A professional dog trainer and experienced assistants will be on hand to monitor and modify play skills. Toys, treats, and some low-impact agility equipment may be introduced to add to the educational fun. Puppy Socials will be a great opportunity to ask questions regarding training and behavior. All puppies under 18 weeks old with proof of 2 rounds of DHPP vaccinations will be allowed to participate (please bring proof with you to each social). Registration required. View class dates and register below.
Sit is one of the most basic commands and it helps you to maintain control over your dog under all situations. This should be the first command that you teach. Start by telling your dog “sit.” Gently push downwards on the haunches until he is in the sitting position. When he is there, praise him and possible give him a doggie treat as a reward. It’s always a good idea to use hand gestures when teaching commands. A finger pointing downward will help him to learn the word and the gesture together. When fully trained he will respond to either. Repeat this process until your pet has learned to sit on command. Space the treats further and further apart until they are no longer needed.
Teaching your dog the difference between what is his and what is yours takes a long time to accomplish, but hang in there, he’ll eventually come to know what he can have and what he can’t. It’s important to supply your pet with plenty of toys and chew bones that are his. Giving him his own bed is also a good idea. If he has these things, he’ll be easier to train. Play with him and reinforce the fact that the toys are his by asking him, “is this yours?” Then tell him, this is yours or this is Fido’s (using his name). Having his own toys and chew bones will lessen the odds of him becoming bored and going after your possessions to chew and slobber on.
Some pet owners make the mistake of allowing their dogs to bite them playfully. While all puppies and some dogs do this, allowing the behavior to continue could turn into a serious issue. Rough play can lead to serious injury. Dog bites can cause damage or even make you sick if they become infected. This is also a liability if they cause injury to another human or animal. Even if it doesn’t hurt when they bite you, stop the behaviors immediately by telling them “no” in a firm voice and consistently discouraging the behavior.
Basic obedience training is necessary to keep your pet and those who come in contact with him safe. Disobedient dogs can be hazardous as well as embarrassing and destructive. Obedient dogs can be a pleasure to have around. You will start by teaching your dogs some basic commands. Patience is required while he is learning because he may not understand what you’re doing at first, but hang in there, he’ll catch on.
Drop, or drop it, is the order that tells your dog to drop whatever he has in his mouth. When he has something in his mouth, tell him “drop it.” If he doesn’t gently remove it from his mouth continuing to issue the command. When he willingly begins to release the object, praise him and you can also offer him a reward. This one can take a lot of repetition, but it’s well worth the effort.
Animal Learning. Classical and operant conditioning, positive and negative reinforcement, positive and negative punishment, conditioned reinforcers, discrimination, generalization, habituation, sensitization and desensitization, blocking and overshadowing, motivation, establishing operations, conditioned emotional responses. Comparisons of dog learning to human learning.
Unless you plan to keep your dog outdoors--and few of us do because it's not recommended--you'll need to teach your dog where to eliminate. Therefore, house training (also called housebreaking or potty training) is one of the first things you need to work on with your dog. Crate training can be a very helpful part of the training process. This includes house training as well as many other areas of training:
Handler should walk off with the leg closest to the dog while clearly and loudly saying the dog’s name and “heel.” Dog should heel at side with lead in handler’s left hand, unless the dog is hard to handle. If this is the case, the handler would put the lead in the right hand and have the left hand placed on the leash a few inches away from the chain.
When you pick up your dog, remember to ask what and when he was fed. Replicate that schedule for at least the first few days to avoid gastric distress. If you wish to switch to a different brand, do so over a period of about a week by adding one part new food to three parts of the old for several days; then switch to half new food, half old, and then one part old to three parts new. For more information about your dog’s diet, check out our section on Dog Nutrition.
The foundation of training should be based on positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a dog (or person!) a reward to encourage the behavior you want, like getting a pay check for going to work. The idea is not to bribe the behavior but to train it using something your dog values. Avoid using punishment such as leash corrections or yelling. Punishment can cause a dog to become confused and unsure about what is being asked of him. It is important to remember that we can’t expect dogs to know what they don’t know – just like you wouldn’t expect a 2-year-old child to know how to tie his shoes. Patience will go a long way in helping your new puppy learn how to behave.
When it comes to training, you must define what is keeping your dog from picking up what you are teaching; defining if your dog has what problems or why problems can alleviate frustration. Professor Donaldson explains how to motivate a dog and adjust your rate of reinforcement for these and a number of other common obstacles that may stand in his way. She also provides tips for transitioning out of training mode and into integrating what your dog has learned into common behaviors. x
I’ve taken several classes with Andrea Arden Dog Training. The instructors are very informed, patient, and experienced. It takes the frustration out of dog training, and with patience, positive reinforcement and fun, the relationship between dog and owner grows. They make it easy. In fact, I doubt I would have a second dog if it wasn’t for Andrea Arden Dog Training. We began in the winter of 2007 and are still going back for more, including the small dog socialization groups. Can’t say enough~ except thank you!
We teach your dog the Heel/Let’s go, Sit, Wait/Stay, Place, Come, Down and Down-Stay on and off leash, and help you with any behavioral difficulties you have mentioned to us. Our method, described at length in our books, "How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend", "The Art of Raising a Puppy", “Divine Canine” and "Let Dogs Be Dogs" employs a philosophy of praise, fairness, and discipline, set against a background of patience, repetition, and dedication.
Once your dog has learned to sit on command, he is ready to learn to lie down. Begin in the sitting position. Instead of moving the treat over him, however, lower it slowly in front of him. He will respond by lowering his own body to reach the treat. As soon as he is in the down position, say the word “down” and offer him the treat. Avoid using the fuller phrase, “lie down,” as it is easier for dogs to learn single syllables.
Positive reinforcement lets your dog know that you are pleased with him, and he will repeat that behavior the next time. Rewards can consist of food, toys, or petting depending on what your dog responds to best. Once he gets it, reward him with food, toys, or petting only some of the time (but verbally praise him every time). This way he’ll work hard to please you, hoping that he’ll receive a reward.