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Adventures of Bill ( guide dog puppy in training) Weeks 11-12

11 weeks bill photo

I can’t believe how fast a little black lab puppy can grow. It makes me sad to see how quickly he is growing. This must be how parents feel about their children. We  want them to stay little forever. But they don’t, so we continue our pursuit to raise a great pup.

Training tips for 11-12 week old puppy

Bill is the first puppy that we have raised in the summer time. I must admit raising a puppy during the summer has it challenges. We live in North Carolina where the heat and humidity can before unbearable. Puppies dehydrate very quickly so it is important to have access to water at all times. I know what you are thinking, the more they drink the more they “busy” and you are right. I think of it as more opportunities to practice house breaking.

The other challenge that summer brings to raising Bill is the payment. We are to take Bill out to socialize him and practice walking on leash, but when the temperature is 90 degrees with the heat index of 100, it is difficult to put Bill in a hot car and go to the store and walk across a hot parking lot. You should test the payment yourself. I wear flip-flops a lot during the summer so I can easily slip them off and put my foot on the payment for about 10 seconds. If it is too hot for my foot it is too hot for Bill’s feet. Your hand can work just as well. When the payment is too hot, I just pick him up and put him in a grocery cart and push him across the parking lot. We work on walking on a leash when we get in the nice cool air conditioning store.  Remember if you can’t take your dog inside then don’t take him with you to the store on a hot day. A car can easily heat up to 110 degrees and cause a heat stroke and kill your dog.

Bill is ready to start learning commands.  The next two things I want him to learn is “off” and “sit”. We are getting out more and meeting lots of new people. The first thing that Bill and all puppies want to do is jump on people. When we meet someone I put Bill in a sit. I  tell the person waiting to pet him not to pet him until he sits.  At this point, I say “sit” while pushing his bottom down. When he sits I say “good boy”. When you first start this training you may have to keep your hand on his bottom while the person is petting him.  He will soon learn to sit if he wants someone to pet him. If he breaks the sit, stop petting. The nice things about this approach is Bill can’t jump on people if he is sitting.

I use the command “off” to mean, off  of people, furniture or anything I don’t want him climbing on. Whenever he jumps on something I say “no, off” and push him down. When he is no longer on the object I say” good boy”. He will soon learn not to jump on things.

Puppy kisses

Puppy kisses

Bill’s Accomplishment:

  • He is climbing up and down 3 to 4 stairs on his own.
  • Bill is learning the command to sit before eating, putting on his collar and leash, and being petted.
  • Bill weighs 22 lbs at 11 weeks
  • He learned how to play in the pool  to keep cool
  • He went to my mother’s house and met the rest of the family.
  • He has played with large and small dogs and loves them all
  • Bill made it through the 4th of July with no signs of fear with all the fireworksHappy 4th of July!Happy 4th of July!

 

The Adventures of Bill ( guide dog in training for the blind) Week 9&10

Bill on the beach!

Bill on the beach!

I am always amazed at how smart puppies are and how quickly they learn. We continue to work on house breaking. Bill busy, busy’s every time we take him out. Our routine has made it easy for my husband and I to learn when he needs to go out. We still have accidents but every day he has fewer to none and every day he can go a bit longer between outings.

Training tips for 9-10 week old  puppy

The next three things you want to focus on with your pup is building trust, cutting teeth and loving his crate time.

1. Building trust: In order to successfully train you dog to be a loving, well-behaved dog you must build a trusting relationship. Remember a puppy associates whether you are pleased or angry with the last things he has done. No matter what you puppy may have done be pleasant and use kind words, a pat on the head and a smile. Teach your dog to trust you by being a safe place for him to come. When you call your puppy and then punish, you undermine trust in you. Say the puppies name as often as possible, “they are still learning their name” even when they bring you a shoe you say “no” and thank you when you take the shoe away from the puppies. Replace the shoe with a toy.

2. Your puppy is still cutting teeth. This is why they are putting everything in their mouth. It is important to give you puppy things to chew. One of the best toys for your dog to chew is a West paw toy. They are soft enough to chew but will not break into pieces. You can order them at www.greatpup.com.  Another great thing I do is give Bill ice cubes. They are free and they serve two purposes. One they give him something to chew and play with and they also work to soothe his gums by numbing them.  Bill loves ice-cubes!

3. The best thing for Bill, is his crate. This is his personal place. We can’t watch him 24 hours a day so there are times that he stays in his crate. You want your puppy to love his crate so the best way to start this love relationship is to feed your dog inside his crate. This makes the crate a happy place as well as keeping him contained while eating. Every time you put your dog inside his crate use the command “kennel up” and every time you get him out say

“out”. These command will help you later in training. No puppy should stay in their crate for longer than 3 hours at a time.

Crates have so many benefits:

  • they give your dog a chance for some alone time.
  • it is safe place that they can’t get in trouble or harm themselves.
  • It teaches them to control their bladder
  • It’s their den, which is what pack animals like.

Bill’s new accomplishments:

  • He went for his first vet visit, got shots and weighed in a 17 lbs
  • He went to the beach for the first time. We only walked, too early to introduce waves.
  • He rode in a shopping cart at a large supermarket in coat.
  • He spent half a day with both my husband and I at work.
  • He seems to be learning his name.
  • He learned he likes sleeping on his back
  • He has found the air conditioning vent and like to lay over them.
Bill sleeping upside down

Bill sleeping upside down

Bill with his West paw bumi

Bill with his West paw bumi

 

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