This past week with Boots has been a good one - he rang his Bells to go outside in order to GO POTTY, he gained some weight and now weighs 12 pounds and our training routine is now off to a fantastic start - WAHOO!
OK, so being completely honest, his ringing of the bells may simply have been somewhat coincidental, having recently observed Bruno, our family dog, do it earlier, but regardless, we used this desired behavior to quickly mark "YES!" take him outside and encourage him to go to the bathroom, which he did, and we totally JACKPOT REWARDED him for it - or in other words, we gave him multiple treats all at once!
Moreover however, in all of our enthusiasm with his positive potty break, we became distracted into breaking one of our primary new pet parent rules of always watching the puppy 100% of the time while inside our house or else... YEP! Later that day he went to the bathroom on our floor when we weren't paying attention for literally 30 seconds - and this is what we do, we should have been more disciplined - oops!
As for training, we successfully worked through a good portion of Unit 1 as planned, including Lesson 1.3 Loading "YES!" and Teaching "OK" (Introducing Boots to his marker and release words - Boots' release word for service work is "RELEASE" whereas in our program we prefer "OK"), Lesson 1.4 "NO!" and "UH-UH" (We used "UH-UH" a lot this week whenever he jumped on us, chewed on things he shouldn't, etc... in order to help Boots begin to learn the behaviors we DO NOT like), Lesson 1.5 "GO POTTY" (With freeze-dried liver, as his high-value reward, combined with marking and rewarding him immediately once he finishes, he is learning to go to the bathroom on cue very quickly), Lesson 1.6 Creating Drive & Engagement (We definitely began to figure out what are Boots' favorite motivators) and through all that craziness, we even found time to complete our FIELD TRIP: Family and Friends, (Successfully introducing Boots to as many really great family and friends as we could, as well as lots of their things, utilizing their new puppy enthusiasm to help us reinforce many of the items we have been practicing, such as Boots sitting to say please for any kind of attention!
As we now look to this upcoming week, we will be working on the following lessons...
- Lesson 1.7 "WATCH ME" (a lesson focused on obtaining attention from our puppy - it's hard to get your puppy to do something if you can't first already get his attention.)
- Lesson 1.8 Putting "SIT" on Command (obviously Boots already knows how to sit to say please, now we concentrate on helping him make the connection between the action of sitting with the verbal cue "SIT.")
- Lesson 1.9 Doorway Manners and "WAIT" (absolutely one of our favorites with so many applications for everyday life.)
- Lesson 1.12 Teaching "BACK" (Helping your puppy get out of your way instead of crowding the space at doorways.)
As for field trips this week, there are two...
As you can see, we have a lot planned and it's going to be a very busy week. Obviously when it comes to proper pet parenting, you and your puppy can decide how much to learn in a week and only go at a pace that is right for you. For us, having trained so many puppies over the years and being extremely familiar with the content, we are able to move at a much faster speed, which allows us the ability to practice a lot more each day.
Anyhow, remember, if you are interested in following along with Boots as we work through the PUPPY PREP program, including more than 60 Individual lessons, we have set up the following fan pages...
As always, if you have any comments or questions, please contact us online at BAXTER & Bella and we look forward to seeing you soon!