Week 5 Skills:
- Sit, Stand, and Down on Paw Pad
- Time Out
- Impulse Control – Hand Tethering While Moving
- Collar Cues – Moving to Heel Position When Handler’s Feet Move
- Body Handling
- READING: Crating and Supervision
WEEK 5 – PAW PAD: SIT, STAND, DOWN and Time Out on the Paw Pad
Goal Behavior: Puppy is able to change into the SIT, DOWN or STAND positions when cued by the handler while keeping front feet on the Paw Pad.
Why: Continue to build a solid foundation for SIT, DOWN and STAND in desired left side position.
- Puppy off leash.
- Quiet location with limited distractions.
- Paw Pad against a wall, but not so close that the puppy is able to lean on the
- Treat pouch full of rewards.
- Verbal cue for DOWN will be introduced once puppy is moving easily into the DOWN position on the Paw Pad. Luring the DOWN at this stage will be used because location of puppy will be different from when he was first introduced the DOWN position.
- Puppy needs to be able to maintain a STAND and/or SIT position on
- the Paw Pad for 10-20 seconds, without food rewards, while the
- handler changes positions.
- Puppy must understand the foundational DOWN position.
- Raiser must know all hand and verbal cues that go along with each position.
Steps: SIT, STAND, and DOWN on the Paw Pad
- Handler places Paw Pad on the floor and stands beside it. Puppy should automatically assume the STAND position on the Paw Pad. Mark and reward.
- With hand and verbal cue, direct the puppy to SIT. Mark and reward.
- Handler lures the puppy into the DOWN position. Lure might only be needed a few times before puppy understands that the DOWN position is at the handler’s side. Puppy’s elbows or chest should be on the Paw Pad.
- Once puppy is in DOWN position, reward puppy in rapid succession to keep him in the position. The left hand can deliver more kibble to the right to ensure the puppy stays in position until given another cue.
- After 5-10 seconds of being in the DOWN position, handler cues the puppy into the SIT position. Handler might need to bend over to give the hand cue at the puppy’s level. Mark and reward.
- Start sequence over, slowly increasing the time between rewards, to work on duration.
- Once puppy is able to maintain the DOWN position for 10-20 seconds with handler standing up between rewards, cue the puppy to STAND. Mark and reward. After 10-20 seconds of STAND, give the cue to DOWN again, and repeat sequence.
- Puppy should be able to move through the 3 positions randomly. Focus on any areas of difficulty while practicing.
- It is important that the puppy NOT be rewarded if it changes position without a cue.
- Build duration in position over time; gradually raise expectations so puppy can hold position longer between rewards without changing position.
Goal: Correct an undesired or un-cued behavior.
Prerequisite: Puppy has mastered SIT, STAND and DOWN positions on the Paw Pad.
Steps: During training, puppies will make mistakes or offer unwanted behaviors. If the puppy breaks a position, a time out should be applied.
- Handler immediately turns away from the puppy, disengages, and becomes silent for 5-10 seconds. Once time has passed, the handler returns to his/her position beside the Paw Pad and re-engages with the puppy by cueing the puppy into another position. Puppy must be successful upon re-engagement; therefore, cue an easy position. Session may end once puppy has been successful.
WEEK 5 – IMPULSE CONTROL: Hand Tethering While Moving
Goal Behavior: Puppy learns to have impulse control, maintain focus on the handler and keeps a loose leash while in motion.
Why: Pup is able to ignore or respond appropriately to distractions while walking.
- Quiet location with distractions present but under handler and assistant control.
- Leash being held at a length where puppy can make good and bad choices, 12-18 inches of leash.
- Treat pouch with plenty of food rewards.
- Distractions such as leaves, sticks, toilet paper, food, people.
- Prerequisite: Handler understands how to tether leash to leg.
- You must reward the puppy in HEEL position.
- Puppy should never be successful at getting the distraction.
- If puppy is unsuccessful in this exercise, the distraction level is too high orthe puppy doesn’t understand fixed pressure. Puppy may need more repetitions at stationary tethering or a lower level of distraction.
Steps: Hand Tethering While Moving
- Distractions are presented to entice the puppy, but not be so enticing that the puppy cannot be successful in maintaining a loose leash.
- Criteria for marking and rewards:
A. Puppy maintains a loose leash.
B. Puppy moves with the handler; each step is to be marked and rewarded.
C. Puppy sees distraction but chooses not to engage.
D. Puppy engages handler by looking at them when approaching distraction.
- Handler and puppy take one step at a time, rewarding for the above behaviors. You must reward the puppy in HEEL position.
- Handler should slowly increase the number of steps between marks and rewards. Single steps turn into two steps, three steps etc.
- If puppy chooses to engage in a distraction, handler tethers the leash to their left leg, applying fixed pressure and waits for puppy to release the tension.
- If puppy looks like it can reach the distraction, handler may back up a step or two while keeping the leash tethered to the left leg.
Once puppy is maintaining a loose leash with slow walking increase pace to a more normal pace. Any time puppy is on leash, the hand tether must be used as soon as the puppy chooses to engage in a distraction or pull. Puppy will be confused if handler is not consistent!
WEEK 5 – COLLAR CUES: Cue into HEEL Position
*On Puppy Raiser Resource Page, “Obedience Command – Collar Cue 4”
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.
- Handler repeats entire sequence but pivots 90° to the left.
- Repeat until puppy is responding to all directional collar cues readily.
BODY HANDLING – BLINDFOLDED BODY HANDLING
• Blindfolded Body Handling
- When pup is with a visually impaired individual, the person will likely move differently with body handling. Close your eyes for the exercise. Locate different body parts and briefly touch or massage them, while keeping eyes closed. If pup gets too excitable or starts pulling away, you can open their eyes to help pup out.
Southeastern Guide Dogs Puppy Raiser Manual
Introducing the Crate & Establishing a Routine pgs. 34-36
Crates offer a confined, welcoming space within your home for a puppy to be supervised, and to nap, sleep, and retreat. Crate training the puppy must be done gradually. You can make the crate appealing by taking the following steps:
- Place the crate in your bedroom for the puppy to sleep in overnight.
- During the day, use a second crate or move the primary crate into a frequently accessed room in the house such as the kitchen or family room.
- Leave the crate door open when the puppy is not being confined. You may find that the puppy goes into the crate on his own.
- Crate game: Say KENNEL IN as you toss a treat into the crate. Once the puppy is eagerly jumping into the kennel for the treat, progress to saying KENNEL IN first, then tossing the treat when the puppy goes in. Gradually increase the distance from the crate so that the dog will enthusiastically KENNEL IN even when he is several feet away from the crate.
- You can also toss a treat into the crate while the puppy is resting calmly to reward his relaxed behavior.
- Set aside a favorite toy that the puppy only gets when he goes into the crate, such as a hollow rubber toy stuffed with food.
- Put the puppy in the crate periodically throughout the day for brief periods. The crate should not become a signal of your departure. If the crate becomes a regular part of the routine, it won’t have a negative association.
- Work on a controlled exit: tell the puppy to STAY and begin to open the crate door. The puppy can be standing, sitting, or lying down (he will likely be standing). Start to open the crate door. If he tries to burst out, quickly (but carefully) close the door, wait a moment, then try again. When you are able to get the door a little more open, tell him OUT and allow him to exit. Gradually work on longer and longer STAYS as you open the crate door.
Establish a crate routine the day the puppy comes home. Perhaps use the crate for his first nap, first feeding, and, of course, the pup’s first night. Put the puppy in the crate when you must leave him alone. However, during the day, the puppy should not be left in the crate for more than 3–4 hours at a time. The pup needs to have an opportunity for relief and exercise at those intervals. More than likely, the puppy will be at least a little unhappy in the crate at first. That is why it’s important for you to stay in the room so the puppy isn’t scared and doesn’t feel abandoned. If the pup is unhappy the first few minutes, ignore him. If the puppy whines or barks after one minute, use a few words of comfort. Acknowledge or remind the puppy that you are in the room with him. “I’m right here, puppy; settle down.” After the puppy has settled, even just for a few moments, go ahead and let him out of the crate. Practice this technique for a few minutes at a time, several times a day, and you will begin to teach him that being quiet results in being let out. If the pup continues to whine or bark and is escalating in intensity, you can firmly say, “No, Quiet.” Do not use a loud or scolding voice; use a firm and low tone. The idea is not to punish him, but to try to interrupt him from working himself into a panic.
When he quiets down, walk up to the crate, drop in a piece of kibble, and walk away. Repeat this occasionally. Ideally, wait until he is totally silent before dropping in the kibble, but if he is really worked up, you may have to reward a reduction in noise levels first (i.e., he may stop barking but is still quietly whining; it is okay to reward that at first, just to reward the fact that he is calming down). Eventually, only give him kibble when he is totally silent.
Praise your puppy when he is quiet. Be consistent. Don’t weaken if he fusses. It will gradually become his room and he will feel very secure there. If you let the pup out while he is making noise, he has learned that when he makes enough noise, you will let him out of the crate.
Use of the crate in conjunction with housebreaking reduces the chances of accidents and of forming bad habits. Correct use of a crate means you can leave home with peace of mind knowing the puppy is safe and secure.
Tips on Crating and Supervision
- Remove the collar and leash while crating. Collars can become caught in the wires of the crate.
- Alternate between the crate, tie-down, leash, baby gate, and supervised freedom.
- Use the crate even while you are home. Place the crate in the same room with you, and put the puppy in for naps.
- If the puppy has had a difficult time accepting the crate, use the crate for frequent, short periods and use the tie-down the majority of the time. Occasionally reward quiet behavior with a piece of kibble.
- Place a favorite toy in the crate with the puppy. Make sure the toy is durable and that the puppy cannot destroy it.
- Your puppy should sleep in the crate for the entire time you are training him. However, at eight months of age, you can alternate between the crate and a tie-down by the bed.
- Do not give the puppy too much freedom too soon. If the puppy begins to have house manner concerns, increase the level of supervision. You can always go back and supervise more, using the tools available (crate, tie-down, and baby gate). This will continue after a puppy is matched as a guide dog, so be sure that the puppy stays accustomed to occasional restriction
WEEK 5 – 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.
- Sit, Stand, and Down on the Paw Pad
- Goal Behavior: Puppy is able to change into the SIT, STAND or DOWNpositions when cued by the handler while keeping front feet on the Paw Pad
- Why: Continue to build solid foundation for SIT, STAND and DOWN in desired left side position.
- Practice Paw Pad exercises 1-3 times per day, 5-10 minutes per session.
- Work on Paw Pad outside of home, such as in driveway or on sidewalk.
- Start with low distraction and slowly increase as puppy succeeds. (Windy days and many people and dogs walking are huge distractions!)
- Hand Tethering While Moving
- Goal Behavior: Puppy learns to have impulse control, maintain focus on the handler and keeps a loose leash while in motion.
- Why: Pup is able to ignore or respond appropriately to distractions while walking.
- Practice ground tether exercises 1-3 times per day, 5-10 minutes per session.
- Start out with 1 step at a time and gradually move to more and more steps.
- Work on hand tethering in motion in and outside of your home.
- 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.
Blindfolded Body Handling
- Practice body handling 1-3 times per day, 5-10 minutes per session.