Adventures of Bill (guide dog in training) weeks 13 &14
Bill has had a busy two weeks. He is learning new things everyday. Puppies at this age are very curious this is both good and bad news. The good news is that your puppy is open to engaging in new environments. The bad news is that their curiosity can get them into trouble.
Training tips for 13-14 week old puppy
Bill has begun to adventure out into the public. He has been wearing his coat more, sometimes just around the house to get use to it. When we go out he walks with a small nylon leash. This is very important because you want a light leash that isn’t going to drag or weigh him down. Puppies at this age generally follow you around. This is the perfect time to teach your dog to walk on a leash. Begin by going short distances. Walk slowly and encourage your dog to walk along side of you. If he doesn’t give the leash a little tug say “forward” and when he starts to walk forward again say “good boy”. If your puppy runs out ahead of you, use the command “steady” and stop walking and pull him back to you. Being consistent is so important at the beginning stage of learning to walk on a leash. Never let the dog drag or pull while walking. If you do, you are teaching the dog to pull you. Instead, stop walking and give the steady command when he is beside you again begin walking. I talk to Bill the whole time we are walking, giving him lots of praise for walking beside me. I have raise 7 dogs and none of them have ever had to wear a gentle leader or choke collar to prevent them from pulling. Never allow them to pull and you won’t have to worry about teaching them not to pull. You need to walk your dog daily and continue to work on these command. Be patient and consistent.
Now that we are walking on leash and going out into public it is time to talk about your backpack. Every puppy walker carries a backpack with our supplies. These supplies are very important for three reasons: 1. to clean up any accidents 2. to help train the puppy while out and about and finally having things to entertain your puppy makes the outing a blast! My backpack has the following in it:
- wet wipes, paper towels and a plastic zip lock bag to clean up accidents
- air freshener spray in case we leave a smell
- a tie down cable ( I don’t use this very often) but sometimes I need him to stay close to me
- toys, bones and treats to keep him entertained while he is waiting for me.
- Hand gel
- and of course, collar, leash and coat
One of the first places Bill and I went was to a restaurant. This is an easy one. I always busy him before going into any building. Bill goes under the table while I eat. I always bring a special bone for him to chew on while I eat. The only time that he gets this bone is when he is under the table at a restaurant. Most of the time he is so excited about the bone that he spends the whole time chewing or sleeping because he wore himself out chewing. I carry him out of the restaurant because I don’t want him to have an accident in front of people eating at the beginning of our training. When his bladder control is more trustworthy I will let him walk out of the restaurant on him own. Sometimes it depends on how far we are from the exist door.
- Went to his first puppy meeting
- Went to the mall and a few stores and restaurants
- Had a swim in the ocean
- Weighs 28 lbs at 13 weeks
- Sits on command
- Whistle feeding ( we will cover this next time)