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ONE: Your dog is a dog; not a person in a fuzzy dog suit. Even though he is a member of your family he will act like a dog.
TWO: Bad behavior isn’t personally directed at you so don’t take it personally. Treat bad behavior as a mistake and try to prevent it from happening again.
THREE: Limit your dog’s freedom in the house. He should not have free run of the house until he’s two to three years of age – no younger! Until then he’s not mentally mature enough to handle the responsibility.
FOUR: Limit your dog’s freedom off leash outside of a fenced yard for the same reason.
FIVE: Prevent problems from happening instead of trying to correct bad behavior. Bad behaviors can be self rewarding. Plus, corrections after the
fact don’t work.
SIX: Teach your dog that ‘good’ is a magic word. Use it whenever your dog does something right, smile as you say it, and follow it with praise, petting or a treat.
SEVEN: Timing is very important. Praise your dog the instant he does something right and interrupt him the moment he makes a mistake.
EIGHT: Decide on rules for the house, the yard and out in public and enforce them consistently. Make sure everyone else in the house does so, too.
NINE: Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise every day. A walk is not enough exercise for a young, healthy dog. A run, a jog, a vigorous game of Frisbee is better. A tired dog is a happy dog!
TEN: Remember, you are taking the place of your dog’s parents so act like it. You are his leader, not his best buddy!

Training-crate, recalls, biting, articles and more!

Biting Pant Legs & Ankles
Chasing your moving feet and biting ankles and pant legs is a 100% natural dog behavior! But it's not much fun for you. Let's apply the four steps of problem-solving to find a solution:

1. Identify the specific problem. Here, biting ankles and pants legs.

2. Define what you want the puppy to do instead. The answer to this question is *never* "Stop doing the problem behavior." You could suppress the behavior, and the dog could choose to do something even worse! Save yourself a ton of frustration -- and your dog a ton of confusion -- and choose a preferred behavior. In this instance, I'd say, "Walk nicely next to me."

3. Manage the situation so the undesired behavior becomes non reinforcing or impossible. Why is the puppy doing it? Because it's natural to chase and bite moving things, especially a herding dog.

So step one, if the puppy pounces, STOP MOVING. As soon as the puppy pauses, click and treat -- reinforce the pause in activity. Start walking... stop the moment his teeth touch your ankles or clothes. Never again take a step while the puppy is biting you.

If you don't have time to do that, then MANAGE the situation and put the puppy somewhere where he can't bite you! Or take a different route! Don't get frustrated by your lack of planning and blame the pup.

If you find that the puppy does it only at certain times -- when he's overstimulated or tired, for example, or when you first get home or when you put the leash on -- manage the situation. Identify the triggers and plan for them.

4. Train the preferred behavior. Teach your pup it's fun and reinforcing to walk by your side. Reinforce heavily for any steps at your side -- this is a great foundation for loose-leash walking.

In this method, the dog has learned walking with mom is fun -- more fun than biting ankles and pant legs.

It is never, ever necessary to yell at, growl at, shake, muzzle grab, or otherwise physically punish this behavior. (Gee, I bet those behaviors make the pup anxious to walk at your side during loose leash walking. NOT!) ) Be proactive, not reactive. What has the pup learned if you use physical corrections?

That type of correction says, "I am bigger and stronger and you must do what I want." Is that what you want your pup to learn? If your pup is ever going to get large, or if he's ever going to be around children, physically-challenged people, or the elderly, I don't think you do. Teach what you want -- don't react and punish. If you have to react, YOU screwed up and let it happen. Don't punish the puppy for your poor planning.
(Article Credit Melissa Alexander -

Biting YOU - puppies bite while teething, here are some hints to help!

If he starts biting or placing his teeth on your skin say 'aacht' in a high pitched sound and walk away.  If he bites you don't play is what you are trying to tell him.  If he continues, use 1 or 2 fingers and tap the top of his muzzle and say 'no bite'.  Then go on about your business, forgiving him.  Give him something in place of it that he can chew on.  Don't play tug at this age or if you do, do it lightly.   You can get a few braided and knot toys, wet them down, put on wax paper, freeze.  Cold helps relieve teething pain.  Supervise when you give it to them.  Switch to another frozen one when that one is defrosted.  Do not let them ingest the fringes. 
If he wants to bite heels (they are herding dogs) carry a flyswatter and wave it (do not hit him) back and forth behind you at floor level.  Don't say anything. If he gets close he could get it in the face so swat lightly.  He will learn to give more space.  Don't move it as if playing.
Be sure to go to YOUTUBE and search for Zak George videos on all these subjects.  He has some awesome ones!!!

Video: Stop Puppy Biting

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RECALLS: Recalls are highly important, it can save your puppies life!

A recall for a puppy is quite simple - BUT a recall with distractions could prove to be more difficult.  Use classical conditioning to get your puppy to have a solid recall.  This is where the puppy learns to make an association between two stimuli.  Ivan Pavlov illustrated classical conditioning through his experiments - when food was presented to dog it naturally salivated.  After repeating the sound of a bell with food the dog salivated just by hearing the bell even when food was absent.  The bell meant nothing to the dog in the beginning. 
Typical recalls people use are 'come' or 'here' a whistle or blinking light (in the case of a blind dog).  What you do after the recall word/sound will dictate what your dog's response will be.  Say the word/sound then treat when the dog comes.  No other behavior is necessary, just coming.  The puppy learns to expect something good when it comes.  Don't just call the puppy when it 'expects' you to - call when it's looking away, playing with a toy, etc.  Also do not call the puppy to come to do something it won't like - such as brushing, checking teeth, putting in the crate, give it a vaccination, coming in the house if it wants to be outside, etc.  GO pick up your puppy if you are wanting to do any of those things. 
Puppies/dogs are smart, they know when you are being predictable - if you go for a walk off leash and call the dog to come then put it in the crate to go home (and it doesn't want to, of course) it may come the first few times but after a few times it's going to know that 'game' and not come. In order to prevent these things from happening you need to be UNPREDICTABLE!  Yes, unpredictable!  So before you go to work, let your puppy play in the yard, call him to come, give treat then let him go back out to play.  One day do this 1ce, another 2ce, another 3 or 4 times (take the time to do it, it will be worth it).  Keep that puppy guessing!  On your walk - have the puppy come like you are going to leave, treat it, DON'T leave, let it go play again.  When you decide to leash him to go home, walk a ways away from the area you leashed him last time, call, treat, leash and walk home!

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Recalls can be life-saving!

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Online Training:


PUPPY CULTURE - on demand videos. Continue what we have started!!!  Be sure to click on the box on the right side "Sign Up for Puppy Bytes" to receive weekly emails.


Baxter & Bella - some episodes are free, if you join it's a LIFETIME membership!

Go to Youtube and search for Zak George videos - short, positive training and fun! He has a 30 day FREE puppy training series too!  Search around for training tips

 5 Biggest Mistakes made when raising a puppy! - YouTube


Grisha Stewart's Video: Give your Puppy a choice

WHY SHOULD YOU TRAIN YOUR PUPPY??? BECAUSE soon he/she will be an adolescent - read this article to know what to expect then! 

The Top 12 Training and Behavior books:
1. “The Other End of the Leash” Patricia McConnell (Ballantine Books, 2003)
2. “The Culture Clash” Jean Donaldson (James & Kenneth, 1996)
3. “Puppy Love” Liz Palika (Howell Book House/Wiley & Sons, 2009)
4. “Canine Body Language” Brenda Aloff (DogWise Publishing, 2005)
5. “Don’t Shoot the Dog” Karen Pryor (Ringpress Books, 3rd edition 2002)
6. “Surviving Your Dog’s Adolescence” Carol Lea Benjamin (Howell Book House, 1993)
7. “The Rosetta Bone” Cheryl Smith (Howell Book House, 2004)
8. “Mother Knows Best” Carol Lea Benjamin (Howell Book House, 1985)
9. “Bones Would Rain from the Sky” Suzanne Clothier (Grand Central Publishing, 2005)
10. “Canine Behavior: A Photo Illustrated Guide” Barbara Handelman (Woof and Word Press, 2008)
11. “Reaching the Animal Mind” Karen Pryor (Scribner, 2009)
12. “Living with Kids and Dogs” Colleen Pelar (C & R Publishing, 2005)

Additional DVD's or books we recommend are ones written by Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, Karen Pryor, Take A Bow Wow and Bow Wow Take 2

Rent videos at BowWowFlix

Basic Puppy Training: 
When they start to chew on something he shouldn't, say 'No', take him away from it and what he's doing and give him something to chew on.  Frozen Kongs and lick mats are great, plush toys or ties on a rope are fine if supervised. Rotate toys so he doesn't become bored.  If you want him to play frisbee later, feed him in one now, he will get used to the smell, taste and texture.  Start with rolling it on the ground, then tossing low right to him, then you can graduate in to tossing further away and in a location they have to look for it to go.  You want him to succeed at whatever he does, don't set him up for failure. 

Don't break your puppy's spirit:  Control the environment and reward positive actions and confidence. Do not reward unwanted behaviors. Have them work for their treats and love - a sit or down instead of jumping up and such.

Do not wait for them to 'settle in' before training.  The puppy will form new habits right away, whether you are aware of it or not.  The humans in the household are also developing habits.  Be sure to develop good habits for both humans and puppy right away.  Set clear rules and guidelines, communicate them by rewarding those desired behaviors exactly when/as they occur.  Puppies will be more aware of your body language than human words.

Potty Training:

We have started crate training and potty training the puppies.  In order to continue on and prevent relapses, you must be CONSISTENT.  Do not SCOLD your puppy for peeing/pooping in the house.  This will just build a fear in them or stress them and they will hide from you to do it next time.  Do not take the puppy out every hour or they will not build the muscles to hold it a bit longer but try to get them out before they need to go (like after they play hard or just wake up).  Clean the accident thoroughly so they can't smell it and go there again.  Do not give the puppy too much freedom in house.  If you can't watch the puppy, put it in a crate, outside or in a pen.  You can also attach a leash to them and you so the puppy doesn't wander off. Too much freedom too soon could set them back weeks or months.  Do not confine your puppy so far away from family that noone hears it ask to go outside. Be sure to watch for signs, they will be there, you need to watch!  USE A CRATE or PEN.  Confining to it's own living space is the only way to truly succeed at potty training!  Do all this consistently for 1 month and straight and your puppy should be pretty reliable to hold it!

Crate Training Info:

We highly recommend crate training for going to bed and potty training.  We have them well started before they leave here. Many pups will sleep 6 hrs before they leave here and they all eat their meals in a crate.  You may need to place the crate in your room close to you for a few days. As they get used to that, move the crate further from you each night.  Be consistent - it will pay off! 

Until the puppies know where we want them to go potty we go out with them.  Use a word like 'go' or 'potty'.  When they go have a celebration - clap your hands and say "good potty".   If you see the puppy circle or whine, get him out before he has an accident.  IF the puppy has an accident, do NOT punish him, he will just start hiding to have his 'accident' (it's really not an accident - they have to go when they have to go, it's up to us to watch for the signs and/or take them out plenty of times to give them a chance to go).  Plan to get up with the puppy until about 12-14 weeks old.  If you wake up, take the pup out potty then put it back in the crate.  If the pup wakes up he may need to go potty or you may just keep quiet for a few minutes and see if it goes back to sleep. Be sure to withhold food 2 hrs before bedtime.  If you can get the puppy out BEFORE he cries it's best as he won't think the crying is what made you let him out (like praise). If he needs to go out in the night be sure to go with him outside, go potty, then put right back in the crate.  Do not play or get too exciting at this time.  Never put your pup in a dirty crate.

We give the pup a treat when they go in the crate so they begin to enjoy it and know there's a reward for going in.  Puppies sleep a lot! Be sure the puppy gets plenty of quiet rest during the day.  You will notice eventually the puppy may go in to the crate with the door open on his own.

Submissive peeing can also happen:  When a puppy is extremely happy, excited or frightened, he may pee.  This is INVOLUNTARY, do not punish the puppy.  That will make it worse.  Ignore it, usually they outgrow these emotional reactions.

Make sure everyone in the household is 'on the same page' when it comes to potty and crate training.  Consistency is highly important for the puppy

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