Puparent Practice Sheet
Exercises for you and your pup
More detailed descriptions of “your SmartyPup! exercises are in
“Your SmartyPup! Puppy Folder 2017” (paw here!)
ALONE TIME: Do this exercise every day, throughout the day. Place puppy in crate or other confinement area. Practice moving in and out of your pup’s line-of-sight and return. At least 60 minutes per day everyday. Being alone is not natural for dogs. If you ever plan to leave your puppy home alone, you must begin training alone-time from day one while you are home! Your pup must experience you coming and going - out of sight. LINK
BARKING!: Interrupt alert and attention barking -thanks for alerting me with your bark, you can stop now. Say the word “Thank you!” count one-one thousand, then toss a few super fantastic treats.
BODY GRABS, HANDLING, AND EXAMINATION: two times per day, 5 repetitions.
TAIL: Grab tail give treat
PAWS: squeeze paws and toes; hold paws in your hand jiffy sec, /2 sec, 1 sec, etc... give treat
EYES: what big eyes you have grandma - open eyes, give treat
EARS: sniff, check; pretend cleaning with fingers and water, give treat
SCRUFF: grab, massage, hold and reward
MOUTH: open mouth, place treat inside
Why? Your puppy should LOVE it when you handle them. The groomer and vet will thank you too!
BODY AWARENESS: Toes don’t have eyes... Gently, slowly, but purposefully glide about the room, through puppy’ path whether they are standing, sitting, playing, or just hanging out…. so they learn “Careful! Humans don’t always watch where they are going I better GET OUT OF THE WAY”
COLLAR GRABS: 20 times per day. Do this exercise every day. Level 1: Grab the collar. Give treat. Level 2: Grab the collar and gently pull puppy towards you for very short distance. Give treat!
Why? Most dogs do not like to be grabbed by the collar, because as owners we either never did grab the collar when the puppy was still quite young and because the most body and/or collar grabs have a negative association, i.e., you grabbed the collar to start something bad or end something good.
If you want - put a word to it. Say BREAK, then Grab the collar, give treat.
MINE! LINK / GIVING UP POSSESSIONS: 5 times per day
Approach your pup and exchange objects/stuff. Extract item, then, give treat
Take food/chewies away. Give treat and/or Give object back.Want to add a word? You have two options:
GIVE: extractionSay “GIVE”, wait one second, then place treat under nose/ extract item from mouth, praise and give treat.
DROP: releaseSay “DROP”, wait one second, then place a treat under your pup’s nose. WAIT until your pup drops item, then praise, give treat and repeat! repeat!
Why? Dogs do not naturally like to share. Let’s prevent resource guarding and teach them how to accept and actually enjoy having things taken away by human hands.
IMPULSE CONTROL aka MANNERS and PATIENCE:
Lower treat when pup is in a sit or has all four on the floor. If he breaks the sit, remove treat, then wait for pup to reset - four paws on floor or in the sit. Start over. (Hint: Go faster for more success.)
NAME RECOGNITION: 10 times per day.
Say puppy’s name then, give reward, i.e. throw a toy, give attention not waiting for pup’s head to turn.
MARKER WORD: Every time you like what you see and ALWAYS follow up with a treat!A word that let’s your puppy know he has done something right! Think “ding-ding-ding”! Say it, YES! , right when the puppy does the wanted behavior (e.g. ‘sit’). Then give the reward (treat or toy).
Wait for your puppy to look at you, then mark immediately with “Yes” or “Good”, give reward a treat, a toy, play - something your puppy loves! give link to instructions
Repeat, repeat, repeat!
MOUTH WORK: Ouch! Hey, that hurts!
-Teach your puppy that his teeth are sharp and to control his mouth.
Bitework PLAY with your Puppy – teaching your pup how to play with people. 5 times per day AT HOME and on walks. Have friends do this, too.
I’m gonna get you game: Chase and be chased with sits and breaks! Any mouth contact during chase games terminates session!
-Soft mouth and biting (“Ouch!”): 5 times per pup. HAND FEEDING: “Ouch!!” for too-hard bites. Pull hand away quickly and start over immediately till you get soft bite. Refrain from saying “Gentle…”
-Mouth Handling: Open mouth and place treat inside.
Hold muzzle lightly and then give treat. Keep it short and sweet
Why: Theft and ‘you-can’t-catch-me’ prevention!
-TUG: It’s OK to play TUG with your puppy. Use a favorite toy.
Please read TUG handout - then practice. Be sure you have installed a drop request BEFORE
If puppy gets your skin instead of the toy, “Ouch!!” Stop the game and hide the toy. Try again in ten seconds. (You do actually want the pup to bite you, so he has the opportunity to learn what is and isn’t legal.) Repeat at least 10 x per session. See TUG handout. Time out for biting clothes. Since we can’t give feedback on the severity of clothes-bites, this is an immediate time-out. See TUG handout. Get the toy back?
Add DROP: LINKSay “DROP”, wait one second, then place a treat under your pup’s nose. WAIT until your pup drops item, then praise, give treat and repeat!
-PLAY with your Puppy: teaching your pup how to play with people.
5 times per day and on walks. Have friends do this too. I’m gonna get you game: Chase and be chased with sits and breaks! See ‘Bite work – Play with your puppy handout’ wrestling, chasing, tug, touch, fetch, LINK
Why? Because it's fun, promotes bonding and, your pup's focus on you - when you need it most!
RESTRAINT: Pups need to be touched, hugged and examined all over and taught to like it!
WHY? Ever try to put medicine in a dog's ears or eyes that didn't like it? Ever try to examine an adult dog that fought you the whole time? If your answer is no , then ... would you like to? Of course not. No one does, including dog professionals like your Veterinarian, the technicians, and groomers. It is an upsetting, frustrating, and dangerous process for everyone involved ... especially for the dog.
Pick up puppy. Give treat. Let go.
Pick up puppy, place in lap, hold/touch, treat, let go
Pick up puppy, place in lap, restraint on back, treat, let go
Restrain on back in cradle or on lap for longer duration, treat, let go.
TOUCH: Touch is a target behavior.
Why: Teaching your dog how to target your hand will come in handy for heel, placement commands, anti-jump, polite greetings and recall. If you have a timid dog, this behavior builds confidence.How? Put your hand an inch or two from your puppy’s nose, when your puppy taps your hand with his nose verbally praise with an instantaneous “Goooood” followed by a treat.
same as touch but with a closed fist. Great for kids!
Why: you want to teach your puppy that it is his responsibility to watch where you are going and not the other way around. Ask your pup to follow, using your target hand. Say a mighty Let’s Go! as you are walking quickly in one direction. Keep his focus on you by encouraging him with a happy voice, give a treat every once in awhile as you are walking.Take just a few steps using the open hand touch.
Take It: Grab Prevention!Say, “[Puppy’ name,] take it!” as you offer food. Let pup approach you for food.
Why? You are teaching your pup when it is ok to take things from your hand.
SIT: 20 x a day.many times a day. Follow the appropriate level for your puppy.
1. lure with food in hand. Reward each and everytime
2. hand signal, and reward from other hand. Reward each and everytime
3. Say SIT then give hand signal. Reward each and everytime
SIT - ways to practice!
Anti-jump sits. Chase PUP, run away, stop, big hand signal. Reward. Repeat.
Sit before opening the door (close door if puppy gets up).
Sit puppy as people pass by.
During play-time, say, “Puppyname, SIT!” wait 1 second then grab the collar and lure into sit. Reward with return to play
Down: LINK20 times per session. Follow the appropriate level for your puppy.
1.lure with food in hand. Repeat until pup goes into down with zero hesitation.
2.hand signal, and reward from other hand.
3. Say DOWN then give hand signal
4. Build duration. How long can you get your pup to stay in down. Go for 3 to 10 seconds. keep it EASY!
Reward your pup when he has all “four on the floor”. (Anti-jump!)
Use the touch to lure pup into stand.
BREAK: 10 times per day AT LEAST!
“Puppyname, break!” and then grab the collar and lure a few feet away from origin. Reward.
Step by step
Say “Pup Break”
Wait one second then
Grab your pup's collar -
back up a few steps
Say "good dog" give a treat
Say "Go Play" and release back to previous activity…
Practice anytime your pup is NOT focused on you! Remember you are not reprimanding your pup. This exercise is simply a way to get your pup to stop whatever he is doing and come to you. A sort of pause in activity and chill out. During play-time, say, “Puppyname, break!” and then grab the collar and lure a few feet away from origin. Reward.
Why: Run-away and owner avoidance prevention. Keep your pup from getting over-stimulated; builds positive associations between you, having a good time, approaching and grabbing.
COME:Should only be used in a positive way. Always practice with lots of praise, fun, toys and treats. The more novel the reward the better the recall you will get. You are laying the foundation for a lifetime. If your pup learns early that the word “come” is a bummer, and usually followed by nothing or a bad thing it will forever be cursed.
Say pups name and Come “FIDO COME from a foot away…"Puppycome! ", praise her each step of the way "goooood dog, goooood Yeah!" as soon as she reaches you, grab her collar, then give a treat.
Take a few more steps back, "Puppy Come". Repeat 3X taking a few more steps back each time. Make sure you practice when there are absolutely no distractions.
At home is the best place to start and on walks where distractions are at a minimum. Now put the treat in your pocket call your pup to you--praising him each step of the way. As soon as he reaches you grab his collar and reward.
COME on WALKS:Practice Calling your puppy to you FROM END OF LEASH on walks.COME WITH CHASE!Say pups name and Come “FIDO COME”. As soon as he takes off towards you, run away from him, then stop, grab his collar and give him the treat and hoopla!
LEASH WORK:Put leash on and hold other end. Say, “Let’s go!” and give a slight tug and release and give treat at same time. Also reward when pup continues to move on leash.Tether (tie) your pup’ leash to something. Give treat, walk away. Repeat 10 times inside and outside!FUN ON LEASH
EXPOSURETo what sorts of things do you think your puppy should be exposed? Think about different sights, sounds, smells, etc. if your puppy may be nervous be nervous. We have supplies here, i.e. rolling luggage, ball pit, vacuums, different music and noise soundtracks, hats, costumes, etc. Invent and add exposure elements, too! Be creative, and try for one ambient or direct element per day.
Note: Remember to start slowly or with low volume until your pup is comfortable before ramping up slowly. Notice if your pup has trouble or amazing times with a given trigger.
KIDS and People: Your puppy should meet at least 10 new kids a week by the time he is 12 weeks old... that is IF you want to ensure your pup remains comfortable around small children. You may have children at home, but sadly that will not guarantee friendliness with children in general. So get out there and make some new small friends.
Be sure to have a few small treats for the "stranger" child to TOSS to your pup or, just as effective, give the treats to your pup for simply looking at the child! If the child is a bit hesitant to offer the treats, simply have him or her gently throw the treats at your puppy. Why? It will teach your puppy that when kids flail their arms in the air and move unexpectedly (as children often do) ...GOOD things Happen!
Are we missing something? Let us know and we will add it!