Puppy training classes…questions

  • Houston

    I am contemplating putting Pippin in basic puppy classes, a) for the social aspect, b) for the training..I have done this will all my dogs so I know how to do it..I guess, but like the class environment of actually taking a class..my biggest question is;
    Since this is a positive reinforcement type class with treats and such, I know they will want me to teach him to sit for treats..but since I am also wanting to show him and will be taking conformation classes later, will it impede me or him in learning to stand on the table, since he is programmed to sit for a treat? Does my question make sense at all?

    Any ideas would be very appreciated.

  • Your question makes total sense… it is something that all of us "showing" go through with our pups.

    One thing, tell the instructor that you will be showing the dog... and then mix up the commands... both both sit and stand for treats (the treat being the reward for doing the behavior.. not really sitting for a treat). They can learn the difference, because not only do they have to stand on the table, but stack and stand on the ground.

    I use Stand/Stay wording when I want the girls to self stack and stay.... works for me.

  • He should not be learning to sit for a treat, he should be learning to sit when cued. A good obedience instructor will have you practice all 3 body positions and reinforcing them but stand is frequently forgotten by owners and instructors. When working Pippin remember to reinforce all 3 body positions. Reinforce not just getting into the position but also holding the position.

  • I should add that I like teaching finger or hand targeting early on and heavily reinforce that so I don't have to do as much food luring. I don't want food to become part of the cue to do the work.

  • Houston

    Thanks guys for your input..I needed that for sure. Will tell our trainer the things I need help with for sure..now I know. 🙂

  • LOL I also found stacking trays to be great. 🙂

  • @DebraDownSouth:

    LOL I also found stacking trays to be great. 🙂

    Now you've done it. Queue the members from across the pond to equate happy legs to torture devices. :rolleyes: 😉

  • Houston

    I've seen those…guess I need them?

  • I swear they make stacking training a snap. I love them. LOL and it isn't a TORTURE device, lol.

    Although speaking of across the pond, do you watch Graham Norton? I laughed til I was sick over his bit on American's FANNY PACKS. For us, fanny is the buttocks. I had no idea it was the front bottom for y'all. Part of his rant was about the confused Pilgrim changing the concept of fanny.

  • @Basenjimamma:

    I've seen those…guess I need them?

    No, those are torture devices :rolleyes:

  • LOL… I have used Happy Legs for years... and would not say they are "torture" devices... depending on the people that use them.... I have never had a baby puppy freak out with them... it is all the handler...

  • I didn't really have a problem with sit and stand in the show ring. I took some advice on this forum and if Zoni sat as default without a cue at home, I asked her to stand. If she was standing, I asked her to sit. I tended to ask and reinforce stand more heavily than sit for a while though when we were starting out. After she got used to showing, I really didn't have to worry about it. She knew what the routine was.

  • Dogs are really clever little creatures, especially basenjis. Your pup can learn sit, down and stand. The other thing is that the collar/leash should cue the expected behaviors. So you'll want a different collar/leash for obedience class versus show class. I've trained all my basenjis sit and have finished 2 basenjis as an amature owner/handler and put all the points on Digital and Zest! while showing in agility at the same time. (Hubby showed Jet the trying and we did have a pro handler sometimes on him, but he also learned sit vs stand and what his job was based on external cues.)

  • Great point… they do learn the difference between collars and what each means.. since most of us use a thin choke chain for the show ring and that is the only time on that collar... they figure out pretty quickly that collar means "Show Time".

  • yes, and it's just fun to have different sets of collars and leashes. There are so many pretty ones out there now a dog HAS to have several.

  • Houston

    Very good ideas..So I have a show chaincollar for Moses..i.e huge gauge and all..I mean bigger than I want for Pippin..What do y'all recommend as far as a good starter collar/lead for me and him? Should I go chain or just nylon? Ideas would be nice.

  • If for show, you want small thin/fine chain. If you look at pictures of show dogs, you can see how small the chain is… ususally for a full grown male 16" is about the normal size, 14 for a puppy to young adult depending on how fast their "jowls" develope.

    For general use, I use nylon, usually the martingale types and a good leather lead. I like the thin leather leads (1/4 to 5/8) that are around 5'.

  • I always used chain for show collar, White Pine nylong martingale collar/leash for everyday, wide leather martingales for therapy work. The agility collar/leash differs for each dog.

  • Houston

    Awesome, thanks Gals…I will "go" shopping..

  • @Basenjimamma:

    Awesome, thanks Gals…I will "go" shopping..

    And when you return… people can ask you... "why do you need all those collars and leads for one little dog?".... 😃

    And in fact I just ordered some new leather collars and new leads from my favorite leather maker... He makes awesome show leads... and the quality is excellent.


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