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Denise Fenzi
14 Sep

Puppy Gaetz

I'm jealous; here's my student's new puppy getting started.  I still have to wait a few weeks before mine arrives.  Here's the kind of stuff I'll do early on in the puppy's career:

This puppy's lesson is split between tug, fetch, recall, and simple commands (shown in the video).  In addition, Gaetz is working on personal play with mom, following, recall, and working on a platform as the first step in shaping with a clicker.

As you can see, Gaetz is precocious for play skills.  By spending energy on developing those talents now, Gaetz's handler will be able to use them for a lifetime.  Remember, the drives and interests you use are the ones you build, so it's important not to focus exclusively on food as a reinforcer in training.

My new puppy will also learn these things, probably split up in several sessions per day, each no more than a few minutes.


Super! Thanks! I’m so jealous. Beautiful puppy.

Posted by Dorothy B Tyler on September 14, 2011

Huh, that’s weird, because all it is in an embedded YouTube video. It works fine on my Mac in Safari.

Posted by R. Derek Pattison on September 14, 2011

Installed the recommended program. Still can’t get the video to play. Using Safari. YouTube videos play no problem

Posted by Dorothy B Tyler on September 14, 2011

this is the direct youtube address; try that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYispM46SWc

Posted by dfenzi on September 14, 2011

Those of you on Mac’s…can you normally watch youtube videos?

Posted by dfenzi on September 14, 2011

I’m ignoring it. Novice trainer and she’s doing fine; not important right now. Yep; correct puppy.

Posted by dfenzi on September 14, 2011

Make sure your Flash is up to date. http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/?promoid=BUIGP

What browser are you using?

Posted by R. Derek Pattison on September 14, 2011

Cute pup – is he the one from D’Jackson and Bridjet?

At the end the owner was saying “down” and “come” while luring he puppy – is that normal for your training (as opposed to not naming a behavior until it’s near perfect) or are you letting it slide right now since the owner is a novice?

Posted by Laurie Graichen on September 14, 2011

O bugger mine won’t play either :(( I’m on a Mac as well….

Posted by Suzie on September 14, 2011

Hi Amy,
Your question is a good one.

I wont’ use a toy as a reward for a behavior until I’m convinced that the puppy loves to play, looks forward to it, and sees the presence of the toy as being powerful. This puppy is too young in the process to work for the toy; he simply needs to learn to love it. You cannot use something as a reinforcer until the dog’s behavior tells you the dog wants it badly.
It’s also noteworthy that I’m training a novice human with a novice dog. Mom also has to learn to use alternative reinforcers (toys, praise) effectively before she should apply them to work.

Posted by dfenzi on September 14, 2011

I can’t get the video to play. Wonder if it’s because I’m on a Mac.

Posted by Dorothy B Tyler on September 14, 2011

The video worked fine for me. Now regretting that I relied so heavily on food in training my puppy (year old yesterday!). The good news is that working for her meals worked great for her learning a ton of stuff. But if your puppy is working for all her food, it’s hard to find time to do more training with toys. Now she loves to tug, but I’m having to go back and teach her that a tug can be a reward.

Posted by Lynn Ungar on September 14, 2011

Video worked great for me as well! I’m alittle confused though at what I was watching, sorry.
I first see just alot of play time…then next part of video was (I think the owner) learning how to position dog with food. I thought that the play was reward. I feel stupid…maybe I’m missing something so clear:( Loved that you posted this though and can’t WAIT to see your new baby!

Posted by Amy Walker on September 14, 2011

I got it!!!! Never mind!!! :):):)

Posted by Deb Stiner on September 14, 2011

Need a bigger url. Can’t pull the video up.

Posted by Deb Stiner on September 14, 2011

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