A Simple guide to training a dog who's a pleasure to live with.
It can be difficult to set house rules when you're faced with a comical clown of a dog who makes you laugh whenever it is trouble! But consistent you need to be for best results. This will will repay you a thousand fold after those first few months of giggling challenges. Although you need to be firm, remember that training should be FUN! Both for you and your dog. And these dogs are experts at making you laugh to get themselves out of trouble!
Their saving grace is that they long to please you and are intuitively tuned in to your emotions. So make the most of this and make sure you have eye contact before you instruct them to do something.
Long ago I was taught to avoid direct eye contact with a dog but these dogs seek it and yearn for it.
First Night Home With Your Australian Cobberdog Puppy....
Rutlands Puppies are crate trained and look on their crate as a pleasant place. The crate should not be used as 'time out' or for punishment. If your dog needs to be transported by crate in the future such as by 'plane or public transport, this would cause stress during the journey.
Remember that your new puppy will be missing its siblings and the reassurance of cuddling up with its litter mates to sleep. Rumple up the bedding, and add something like some rolled up blankets or similar, to simulate the way puppies sprawl all over each other to sleep.
Rutlands puppies are raised with music or radio playing, so these sounds may help your new puppy to relate to something familiar when left alone for the first time at night. ... those long lonely hours when puppy must be wondering if you are ever coming back again!
Nipping And Biting
Using teeth on a human, any human, is the canine cardinal sin just as it would be if they dared to nip or bite their leader in the dog/wolf pack! YOU and your family are now your puppy's pack leader/s. If you don't adopt the role, then your puppy will, by default.
Young children should be taught not to squeal and run with a new puppy until it has had time to learn the rules. Puppies instinctively follow movement, and running screaming with flapping arms, is an invitation to the pup to jump up and latch onto clothing....or anything else it can reach! When the puppy has understood and learned the rules, fun games can begin. Until then parental supervision is a must.
Puppies nip because this is the way they played with their siblings to find out who was puppy pack leader. This is a primitive instinct, because in the wild, the very survival of your puppy's ancient forebears depended on them knowing their place in the hierarchy of the pack. If you don't establish this confidence in your new puppy, it will take on the role by default and will soon be out of control.
When YOU and your family become their new pack you need to get the message through very quickly who is the leader...and it should not be the puppy! NIPPING MUST BE CORRECTED QUICKLY or as with all dogs, it may turn into biting later on. And if this happens it will be YOUR fault....not the puppy's!
Ways for you to establish leadership:
1. Always walk through a doorway or gateway first ... and THEN invite puppy to follow. If your puppy is from Rutlands Australian Cobberdogs, she or he has already learned, and understands "Go back" so you have a good start.
2. You and your family eat FIRST. Puppy must wait patiently, without begging, until you have finished eating and are ready to feed him. If necessary, tether him with a blanket and toy until you are done eating.
3. TEACH your puppy to stay alone without complaint. Most cases of separation anxiety are caused through owners who fail to allow their puppy to build self confidence and trust that they will return.
4. When you do return home, hold back on enthusiastic greetings until the puppy's excitement level has dropped even if this means totally ignoring him for ten to fifteen minutes.
Going Potty on a Leash
It is completely unnatural for a dog or puppy to go to the toilet on a leash! A lot of dogs can be trained to do this, but they don't like it. Dogs have by instinct, a ritualistic behavior during which they select what to them is the 'right' place to go to the toilet. This behavior involves a lot of trotting to and fro, back and forth, nose to the ground, circling, sniffing, until eventually they find exactly the 'right spot'. By insisting that your puppy go to the toilet on a leash, you may possibly slow down the house training process and this can also be the reason some families have a hard time with their puppy's potty training, because the puppy refuses to go potty on the leash, but the minute he is let loose inside the house he immediately goes potty inside.
HELP YOUR PUPPY LEARN TO 'WAIT'
Too much freedom too soon is the major reason that puppies get into trouble. A puppy left unsupervised to wander about, investigate and potty at will when no one is watching, will have a difficult time learning how to behave properly in your home and also be more difficult to potty train.
TIP: DO NOT LET A NEW PUPPY HAVE THE RUN OF THE WHOLE HOUSE! Restrict the area your puppy has to run around indoors. When you are too busy to supervise, pop the puppy into a portable play run until you are ready to watch over him again. Some newspaper in one corner will help out if the puppy gets 'caught short'. Rutlands puppies are paper trained for you.
I do recommend crating to help with potty training but it's not acceptable to confine a puppy (or a grown dog) to a crate all day whilst a family is away. It is also bound to make your puppy or dog hyper active and full of nervous energy when finally let out. Training will be difficult and unwanted behaviours will result.
It's a personal choice whether to crate or not. But If you crate your puppy overnight, or when you are not able to supervise it inside your home, you will minimize toilet 'accidents' and so will speed up the house training process.
If you choose not to crate, then it is a good idea to restrict the puppy's access to any but one room at a time - the room you are in, so that you can pick up on puppy's tell tale sniffing at the floor or circling when it wants to go outside. Quickly scoop up the puppy, and CARRY it to your chosen spot in the yard, where it will soon become a habit for puppy to consider its toilet place. One room is all you can properly supervise.
The crate should never be used as a place of 'punishment'. It should be a place where puppy can have peace and quiet from the boisterous attention of the children, and where he feels safe and not likely to be disturbed.
Your Rutlands puppy will have already been crate trained, but could try you out to see if you are really serious! If he complains, yelps or barks and refuses to stop when asked to 'be QUIET' put a blanket over the entire crate so the puppy can not see out. Only lift it up when your puppy has been quiet for at least five minutes. Lift the blanket, praise the puppy with his name and say 'GOOD QUIET' in a pleased tone, and then if he acts up again right away as he probably will, say 'QUIET' again and cover the crate over. Repeat until the lesson is learned. You'll be surprised how quickly this works!
Raising dogs is like beginning a marriage....Start out the way you'd like to finish!
If you let your puppy stand on his hind legs for cuddles, now while he is so small and cute, he will stand on his back legs, or jump up at you when he's big and cute too - but in a totally different way! Start on DAY ONE with guiding your new puppy so that he/she understands what is appropriate behaviour in your home right from the start.
When he jumps up on you for a cuddle, gently but firmly plant him down onto his little bottom, saying 'OFF' and then fondle and cuddle him when he has all four paws on the floor with "Good Off" in a pleased tone..... not too excitable or he'll jump right up and you'll have to start all over again.
DON'T want a dog who will jump on people? DON'T want your dog on bed or furniture unless invited?
DO want your dog to be quietly behaved indoors?
DO want your dog to be gentle and sensible around the youngest children?
Then NEVER treat or pat your puppy unless all four paws are on the ground. When you cuddle your sweet new puppy up in your arms or on your lap, FIRST use a word which will always be your 'invitation' later on. If no invitation, no coming up! When baby puppy runs to you, plonk its little bottom on the floor with both hands on front of its shoulders before petting until it becomes a habit. Do not push down on its back to make it sit.
Then leave boisterous exciting games for outside. For the first few weeks, put the lead on your puppy for the first ten to fifteen minutes inside. Clip the lead to your belt, or tether puppy to a solid piece of furniture, with a bed and toys. Ignore protests and reward sitting or lying down quietly until YOU are ready to release him. NEVER leave a puppy not supervised when tethered. Check your city's by laws for the age a dog is permitted to lawfully be tethered to anything other than yourself.
Then DO be aware that your tone of voice and behaviour sets the scene for your dog! Especially for puppies who are still learning your ways. Quick patting and high voice are exciting and stimulating to your dog. A calm lower voice is soothing and not exciting to your dog. TEACH the children not to squeal and shout when playing with your puppy. And NEVER correct your dog in anger. Go away and kick a rock and return to your dog when you've cooled off.