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I posted this on another thread about how my DD had to find her voice and posture with Rose. It cost her a night of redoing an entire chapter of AP Euro History.
One thing those "little monsters" know is when we mean business and when we don't. And I am not talking about frustration but the way we command them to do something. And when I say the way we command is both voice and posture. Women are at a disadvantage because of the soft high pitched voice which many times the puppies hear as play time and do not take seriously, it actually makes them even more excited. And if you can't find that voice and posture, you just have to wait out for them to grow and then hope and pray that they will try to please you when you do get frustrated.
Think of bootcamp, think of military trainers: repetitive stiff, stern and short commands. Followed of course by motherly good praises and treats.
Recently Joyce (Bentleysmom) posted about poor little sweet Bentley going to boot camp. And it has to be the way it is meant.
Each dog is different not just by breed but even in the same breed, each puppy has it's own personality. We get them at 8 weeks and from there on we try to figure out their personality.
As my DH says - he has never had a golden like Rose.
She is smart and eager to please. You show a little frustration and she really tried to figure out what she did and how to correct it.
Example: I was trying to teach her to retrieve the bumper and come around me while holding it, sit in a heel position with the bumper held tight and straight in her mouth. She kept on dropping it by my feet and them come around to my left. On Sunday I was just exasperated. I said NO, HOLD IT and then do it. Well, when I yelled like that I knew it was time to quit. I took the bumper threw it in the hunting box. I was mad because I got frustrated and I was mad because I had no clue how to make her understand what I wanted. She came to me all lovey dovey, slept on my bed all night. The next morning, I cringed but still got the bumper out of the box. There she was trotting and happy waiting for me to throw it and give the command to go get it. Hesitantly she got it, came back around and held the darn bumper. I did not breath, I did not say a word, I did not move a nano-millimeter the whole time.
But at the same time she is stubborn and sneaky.
Example: Last night she was in one bedroom licking a pair of pants hanging off the bed. I looked at her and she put her head down on the floor as if she was sleeping. I look at the TV she moves her head back to the pants. So I get up, she quickly goes under the bed just her head and eyes out as if to tell me that she has been there the entire time and I am crazy to think that her tongue was near those pants, after all it has been snowing outside.
Why am I giving these silly examples? Because that is who she is in a little nutshell. Me being upset and frustrated was enough for her to search that brain and figure out how to do it while I was figuring out how to tell her what I want. No prong, jerking, squirting or e-collar was necessary. If I did that I would have lost her trust in me and she would not try to please.
Two months ago she was still confined in the hallway for about 3 hours at 5 months. Well no matter what chewing stuff she had she decided to go for the wood trim. (Silently I was happy because now I finally have an excuse to change it). I would come home and I would say OH NO, WHAT DID YOU DO! THAT IS BAD! She would quickly go into the kitchen since the pet gate was opened and come back with her head down and sat by me licking me as if trying to tell me "Sorry mom I just couldn't help it!" I tried bitter apple one day, moved up to bitter yuck the next day. All I got was diarrhea and more chewed up trim. So my fear was that she will hurt herself chewing that wood. I told DH - we need to get a crate maybe these new methods using a crate do have a purpose. His response - Over my dead body will you cage "Precious". So I went the opposite direction. Instead of using a crate I opened the bedroom. Moved all the plants out, made sure there was nothing but the furniture and the bedding there for her to get into. (And no I like my bedroom furniture and did not plan on getting a new set). One weekend, I left the bedroom door open, open the window curtains and left the house. I came back after 30 minutes - nothing. I left again and came back after an hour and a half - nothing. The next day it was a Sunday I left again and came back in 3 hours - nothing.
So from there on she has been allowed alone in the house with the bedrooms doors opened for 3 - 4 hours a day from the age of 6 months on. And she is more tired when I get home, because she watched the birds outside, the neighbors walking by with or without their dogs, she sees the cars - and all that seems to keep her quite preoccupied. Each day I add more things to expose her to and try to test her on. I added one book on the nightstand, I added a picture on the dresser, I added the lamp back on, I added the throw back on the bed, I left the laptop on the bed.
I admit upfront, I am not a good dog reader and I am happy to have DH who since 1972 has gone thru several puppies and at one time had an entire litter of puppies in the house. I am learning myself to find that fine line between being the bootcamp trainer and the motherly reward giver. I may be an outdated, old fashion in my approach but always remember that even the best trainers of today still refer and build on what the old fashion guys have set as a platform.
I do not agree that the zoomies are fun and do not allow them inside or outside. Zoomie to me means time out for the puppy in order to find its shut off button and then he/she can come back out. As Solinvictus says at those times everything is out the window, they don't hear you, they don't see you.
Rose Bud - Golden Retriever (June 2012)
Darcy Bud - Flat Coated Retriever (June 2009)
Belle Bud - Golden Retriever (December 2014)