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.



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

R. Derek Pattison

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

What browser are you using?

Laurie Graichen

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?


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


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.

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