Adventures of Bill (guide dog in training) weeks 15-16
Bill is now 4 months old. He has gotten all of his shots and vaccines. He weighs 32 pounds. His legs are getting so long but he still hasn’t grown into his feet.
He is now house broken. He comes to me more often than going to the door but he no longer busy’s in the house.
Training tips for 15-16 week old puppy
A 15-16 week old puppy needs to learn to come when called. The training for this actually starts on day one. When you begin feeding your puppy you should whistle feed them. Whistle feeding is when you put the food in the bowl and put your puppy in a sit. You whistle and then say go eat. At the beginning you will have to hold him in a sit and let him go when you give the command. Soon the puppy will associate a whistle with the pleasure of food. Training your dog to come can be a lot of fun. You want your puppy to come to you on command. Start with a long leash. Hook the leash to the pup and walk to the end of the leash, if your puppy follows you, get a someone to hold him until you give the COME command and whistle. Then pull the leash toward you so that the puppy will run to you. Give your puppy lots of praise. Once your puppy has mastered this concept then you are ready to try the command off leash. Be sure to choose a time when the dog is playing outside in a fence in area and not when they have been bad. Don’t call your puppy to come and then punish them for something they did. If you do this, they will relate coming to you with being punished. When you call your puppy use an excited, happy voice and then whistle. The puppy will want to come and see what all the excitement is about. Get at eye level with your puppy and give them lots of praise when he gets to you. You can always give him a little treat. Don’t give a treat every time or he will learn to come only when you have a treat. You want your puppy to want to come to you for love and praise. If he is doing something that you want him not to do, you go to him and make the correction.
There are times when you need your puppy to lie down. This is a command that is important for a guide dog in training. Service dogs spend most of their day waiting. The “down” command is a way to tell your puppy to settle down and wait. Young puppies master the sit command fairly easy but the down command has two-parts. The first part is the act of lying down and the second part is staying there. I begin with Bill by using a bone or his favorite toy. I hold it up to his eyes and slowly lower it to the floor. While he is following the bone in a downward motion I say “down”. Once he is fully down I give him the bone and put my hand on his back to hold him down to chew on the bone, then I say “stay” . Each time we stay in the down position a little longer. Until one day I no longer have to put my hand on his back. When choosing the bone or toy to work with make sure it is a special one that he doesn’t get very often. If you need a high quality toy or treat check out www.greatpup.com for a great selection and super prices.
- Has lost 5 teeth
- House broken
- Comes without the long leash
- Sits when I put on his leash and jacket on
- Jumps into the car on his own
- Loves to swim and go on long walks