Puppy Kindergarten Week 4
Week 4 Skills:
- Sit and Stand on Paw Pad
- Impulse Control – Introduction to Hand Tethering
- Collar Cues – Moving to Heel Position When Handler’s Feet Move
- Body Handling
- READING: The “3 D’s”
WEEK 4 – PAW PAD: SIT and STAND on the Paw Pad
Goal Behavior: With front feet remaining on the Paw Pad, puppy will move from a STAND to a SIT and a SIT to a STAND. Once the puppy is changing positions easily, the verbal cue SIT and/or STAND will be introduced.
Why: Begin solid basic foundation for SIT and STAND in desired left side position.
- Puppy off leash.
- Quiet location with limited distractions.
- Paw Pad placed where puppy will be successful at keeping a straight line, i.e. on the wall or away from the wall.
- Treat pouch full of rewards.
Steps: Introducing SIT on Paw Pad
- Review standing on the Paw Pad, as done in previous weeks.
- With the puppy in HEEL position standing on the Paw Pad, you will now lure him into the SIT.
- Holding the kibble under the thumb, in a flat palm, slowly raise hand up and slightly forward away from the puppy’s nose.
- Puppy should naturally follow the lure and bring his back feet forward into the SIT position.
- Release the treat when puppy is in the SIT position.
- Because the lure is used, marker word is not.
- Once in the SIT position, rapidly reward for 10 seconds. If puppy breaks the SIT, stop the rewards.
- After 10 seconds of rewarding in the SIT position, stop the rewards and wait for puppy to offer a STAND. If puppy does not STAND, lure him into a STAND. 5. Work on increasing duration in the SIT position by increasing the time between rewards.
Steps: Introducing STAND on Paw Pad
- Handler uses right hand, vertical position, fingers pointing to the left of the puppy, and kibble in palm secured with thumb.
- Slowly move the hand 2 inches forward away from puppy’s nose encouraging puppy to STAND. Front feet must remain on the Paw Pad, while the back feet move into the STAND position.
- Replace the lure with the verbal cue STAND before giving the hand cue.
WEEK 4 – IMPULSE CONTROL: Hand Tethering
Goal Behavior: Puppy chooses to ignore a variety of distractions by keeping a loose leash and engage with the handler, thereby showing an understanding of impulse control.
Why: Continued impulse control, this time with leash in hand.
- Quiet controlled environment
- Puppy on leash
- Suitable distractions
- Treat pouch full of rewards
- Leash needs to be short enough so the puppy feels pressure if it moves away from the handler, but long enough that the collar will be loose when the puppy stands next to the handler, about 2 feet in length.
- Position is not important for this exercise.
- The session will allow for the handler to practice applying fixed pressure, marking and rewarding the puppy for choosing to make a right decision.
- Duration of time between distraction being presented and reward will be slowly lengthened as success warrants.
Steps: Transitioning to Hand Tethering
- Handler stands holding the puppy on the leash. See “General Tips” for more on leash placement.
- Handler must stay in a stationary position with the leash tethered to their left leg in a position level with the puppy’s neck. If you have a small puppy, you will need to bend over.
- Mark and reward the puppy for the following behavior:
- Puppy stops pulling on the leash (increase duration between mark). B. Puppy notices distraction but chooses not to pull towards it.
- Puppy looks to handler when distraction is present.
- Rewards should be delivered close to the handler’s legs to help the puppy feel the loose collar.
- If puppy tries to pull away from the ground tether, wait for the puppy to release the pressure, immediately mark and reward.
- Once puppy is choosing to fully loosen collar, handler should only mark a fully loose leash and collar.
- AC or assistant places a small distraction (a few kibbles) on the floor outside of the puppy’s reach. This distraction is enough to make the puppy to pull toward the distraction however not enough to cause the puppy to become overly excited.
- As soon as the puppy releases the pressure, immediately mark and reward the puppy.
- If puppy remains with a loose collar, continue to reward intermittently. 10. Continue until the puppy shows an understanding of loose leash. 11. Once the puppy continues to offer a loose leash with a small distraction, increase the level of distractions (example, leaves, sticks, toilet paper, socks, high-value food, etc.)
WEEK 4 – COLLAR CUES: Cue into HEEL Position While Handler’s Feet Move
Goal Behavior: Puppy is able to be collar cued into HEEL position after handler changes position by moving feet.
- Exercise takes place in a low-distraction area.
- Handler stands with puppy on left side in HEEL position.
- Handler should stand in the center of the room with plenty of space for the puppy to move.
- The handler should initially begin foot movement when the puppy is chewing his food reward in hopes that the puppy will not notice and follow the handler’s movement. We want the puppy to respond to collar cues, not follow the handler.
- With puppy in HEEL position, handler marks and rewards for standing with a loose leash.
- While puppy is chewing, handler pivots both feet 90° to the right, then collar cues the puppy into heel position.
- Handler repeats three more times, each time moving feet while puppy is chewing the previous reward.
- At the end of the exercise, handler should be standing in original position. 5. Handler repeats entire sequence but pivots 90° to the left.
- Repeat until puppy is responding to all directional collar cues readily.
BODY HANDLING – OTHER HANDLERS
- Pass the puppy to a new handler and do brief touches
- Body handling by different people lets pup start to build trust in being handled by a variety of individuals, which will later include the vet, the trainer, the blind handler, etc. Revert back to VERY brief touches. Handler can reward pup if pup does NOT pull away.
THE 3 “D”S: DISTANCE, DISTRACTION AND DURATION (p. 64 in manual)
When working with a dog in obedience, we build on distance, distraction, and duration throughout their training. Successful dogs will have had focused training for all three aspects of their obedience. Taking the Three Ds into account ensures that you will be able to maintain a better connection with your pup! This connection will be critical in developing a relationship with your pup.
Let’s define the Three Ds so you have a better understanding of what each entails.
- Duration: This is the amount of time we ask a puppy to hold a position or do a behavior.
- Distance: This has two definitions. First, this is referring to the distance you and your puppy are in relation to a distraction, difficult environment, etc. Second, this can also mean the distance between you and your puppy, such as during a COME training exercise.
- Distraction: This is anything that takes your pup’s focus away from you. Each dog will differ in what they find most distracting, but some common high distractions are other dogs, small animals, people, or items blowing/moving.
When working on one of the Three Ds, you will want to make the others easier so that you are successful. For example, if you are working on holding a “sit” near another dog (distraction), then make sure you are only asking for a short duration and that your distance is not too close to the dog distraction.
One important question you should start asking yourself any time you aren’t sure how to reconnect with your puppy: “What can I change to make it easier for my
puppy to reconnect with me – duration, distance or distraction?” This question will be the starting point for setting your pup up for success and helping them lead off on the right paw!
WEEK 4 – HOMEWORK
- Puppy should not be run through all activities in one session, multiple SHORT sessions are most successful.
- If puppy is having a hard time understanding, or not interested in training, STOP, give the puppy a break and try again later.
- Introducing SIT and STAND on the Paw Pad
- Goal Behavior: With front feet remaining on the Paw Pad, puppy will move from a STAND to a SIT and a SIT to a STAND. Once the puppy is changing positions easily, the verbal cue SIT and/or STAND will be introduced.
- Why: Begin solid basic foundation for SIT and STAND in desired left side position.
- Practice paw pad exercises 1-3 times per day, 5-10 minutes per session.
- Introduction to Hand Tethering
- Goal Behavior: Puppy chooses to ignore a variety of distractions by keeping a loose leash and engaging with the handler, thereby showing an understanding of impulse control.
- Why: Continued impulse control, this time with leash in hand. • Practice ground tether exercises 1-3 times per day, 5-10 minutes per session.
- In a low distraction area with puppy in the HEEL position, mark and reward for a loose leash.
- While puppy is chewing reward, pivot 90° to the right and then collar cue puppy into HEEL position.
- Repeat three more times until standing in original position.
- Repeat entire sequence pivoting to the left.
- Have other family members or friends practice basic body handling for a variety of handlers.
- Practice body handling 1-3 times per day, 5-10 minutes per session.