For the past 6 weeks I’ve attended puppy classes, reading books and watching videos of positive reinforcement training. It is different in concept. Essentially getting your dog to figure out what you want, marking then rewarding positive behaviour. There is no leading your dog to heel with a treat or checking on the lead. It’s more a case of encouraging the heel with a treat dropped behind your heel and continuing to do so, on a slack lead, until he gets it. It’s a very rewarding approach and is certainly working for most things. Biting is still an issue but there are days when i don’t get a hard bite! Much of the time my focus has been on things which will calm him, and ditching the food bowl so I have masses of food to reward good behaviour has been a bit of a revelation.
Marley loves people. He is interested in other dogs but not had that much opportunity to properly play with dogs his own size. I need to find more opportunities to do that I think, in part so he wears himself out a bit but more so that he learns more about ‘play’ and what’s acceptable.
Walks have been short, much shorter than I did with Finney at the same age, as I now know that it’s not necessary or particularly good for puppies to walk too far. 5 minutes for each month of age until they are grown, a couple of times a day, is the conservative approach. I’ve not stuck entirely to that but he’s not walked more than a mile in one go. Mental stimulation is equally good to tire him out.
Not been off lead yet but I bought a long line today so we will start some training on that tomorrow, maybe at the beach at St Annes if the weather is good. I might even get my camera out again!