Presentation on theme: "Manual for Puppy Spocialization for Puppy Owners and Future Trainers Maren von der Heyde – Zwinger von der Weidenstrasse – January 2013."— Presentation transcript:
Manual for Puppy Spocialization for Puppy Owners and Future Trainers Maren von der Heyde – Zwinger von der Weidenstrasse – January 2013
Taking down details The form you use is entirely up to the club. I have an extra form for the puppy socialization course. Apart from details of owner and puppy, I list the condition of the puppy, cleanliness of ears and first impression. Checking puppy Have a table ready (not slippery) and place the puppy on top. I lift the puppy myself as it already gives me an impression of puppys nature. I examine the puppy by feeling down his spine (important: does puppy flinch or is it confident); check the bite (although at the age of 10 weeks, it is more a way of getting the puppy used to other peoples touch). Check the ears whether are they clean (have cotton wool and methylated spirit handy to clean ears and show owner how to do it – you will be surprised how many puppies ears are dirty -, I also check the length of the hair on the tip of the tail, should it be too long, I cut the hair off, again show owner how to do it. (I round it off at the last vertebra of the tail) Check weight of puppy and depending on your findings advise on either to loose weight, or put on weight or whether it is the correct weight. Check vaccinations and deworming. Make a note on your form what food the puppy is fed. I advise owners to bring the puppy on a harness or a small collar but definitely not chain collar. FIRST WEEK
Analyzing owners behaviour and ambitions This is the very difficult part. First of all, it will give you a good idea how serious the puppy owner is about the course by seeing what he/she is wearing. You will be surprised how people come dressed for dog training. It will also show you that people dont really know why they have to take the puppy to puppy classes. It is very important to instil that puppies at this age are far too young to be put under pressure and most certainly cant be expected to be obedient. It just has to be fun. Mostly you will find out that the pup was purchased as a pet and will therefore never see either the show ring or the working arena. Testing the bond to owner I then take all puppies and owners onto the field and ask them to take the leads off and let the puppies play for a few minutes and ask the owners to walk away with me and watch the puppies from a distance (approximately 10 m). Now you will already find out which puppies are scared, timid outgoing, playful, very bonded, not bonded. I then ask the owners to call their puppies and for me this will be the moment to make a mental note of what kind of home work I will give. You will find that some puppies respond immediately, some take a while or others will just run off the field. Very often you will find that the bond to the owners is not good. Thats where our work starts.
You will find that some puppies respond immediately, some take a while or others will just run off the field. Very often you will find that the bond to the owners is not good. Thats where our work starts. Assessing puppys attitude and aptitude To assess the attitude is fairly easy by watching their mannerism on the field and while playing with the others. Aptitude is not quite so easy to assess first time round. But you will already be able to assess the keenness to learn. THE FIRST SESSION DEPENDING ON HOW MANY PUPPIES ATTEND SHOULD NOT BE LONGER THAN 30 – 45 MINUTES FOR ALL PUPPIES. (I base this on 4 puppies per class) THEY GET TIRED VERY QUICKLY !
Checking puppy The second week is basically checking up on your findings from the first time. Play phase It is very important for the future development to assess how owner and puppy are playing. Of course you must bear in mind that most people are too shy or find it beneath them to REALLY play with the puppy. I tell owners wear old clothing and roll on the floor with your puppy. Often I am asked why is it so important - and very quickly after the play session they will see a different puppy, provided the owner was prepared to become a clown for a few minutes. Puppies are so appreciative and need so little encouragement to make them a happy bundle. If the play phase was successful, it will be much easier to introduce development of focus and drive. Drive and focus Since I use the motivational method, i.e. food or toy, I now need to assess which is going to have the best results with each individual puppy and owner. Food will usually be the better motivator with a young puppy as food drive is the dominating force in a puppy under seven months. Also I have found that inexperienced handlers find it awkward to time rewarding with a toy. SECOND WEEK
The aim of developing the drive and then focus onto the handler is to lay the foundation for future work and not to create a perfect heel pattern. We need to explain to owners that we can only attain full focus by developing in extremely small time increments. Fun recall The primary reason for this exercise is to increase the bond between owner and puppy, it also allows us as trainers to assess this bond. It must always be remembered that the recall is probably the most important life saving exercise. When teaching this exercise be very careful that the owners dont try to introduce any discipline such as the sit in front (frontal present) as this will deter the puppy from approaching the handler with gusto! This exercise is performed as follows: The instructor with gentleness holds the puppy whilst the handler runs away calling. The handler then stops turns, goes on his haunches, and calls the puppy upon which the instructor releases the puppy. On arrival the handler rewards in his normal way either food or toy.
Hide and seek After the fun recall exercise when the puppy is really hyped up Ill ask the handler to come back with his puppy to the hide where the instructor is waiting. As the handler gives the puppy to the instructor I ask the owner to pet and love his dog. He then runs to the diagonally placed hide. At the beginning of the exercise the instructor will let the puppy watch in which direction the handler/owner is running. The owner hides and calls his puppy upon which the instructor releases the puppy. When doing this exercise it is very important to assess the speed as well as concentration by watching the attitude of the puppy as he runs to his owner. It is also important that the owner is very deep into the hide so that later the puppy will approach the hide with full confidence knowing he will receive his reward. Drum (You need two drums being welded together and another pair so that you can build a little tunnel.) When starting off with this exercise it is important that the owner hands the puppy to the instructor who will be waiting at the one open end of the drum. (Do not let the instructor pull the puppy away from the owner as this will put pressure on the puppy and the exercise will not end on a happy note) The owner then quickly goes to the other end of the drum, kneels down, puts his head into the drum and calls and has the reward ready. Normally after the first attempt the puppy will do it automatically and some puppies after arriving on the training field will pull towards the drum to go through. If I have a puppy, which does not want to do it I normally ask an owner with a puppy who will do it to go in front, this will normally do the trick.
The aim of the exercise is to expose the puppy to entering a dark environment and also to walking and running on an unfamiliar surface, i.e. metal and rounded. This will expand the dogs confidence when in an unfamiliar environment. Note: The owners and puppies love this exercise, be careful not to allow either to become obsessive!
THIRD WEEK Introduction of scent pad The puppy is handed to a third person. The instructor now takes the owner who has a supply of food and a tracking stake to the suitable piece of ground and should explain why this piece of ground has been selected. The handler now puts in the tracking stake and proceeds to thoroughly trample an area approx. 1 m square behind the stake to the right. The handler now steps backwards out of the square and proceeds to drop small pieces of food within the pad. It is very important that no food should be allowed to drop outside of the square. Now let the handler go and fetch the puppy and approach the scent pad from the same direction as he originally approached it. It is extremely important that the handler is calm and is not trying in any way to dominate or discipline his puppy. As the puppy enters the scent pad the handler who is still outside the square will stand still, keep quiet and exert no influence over the puppy. If after 40 to 50 seconds the puppy has shown no interest in the food it would be permissible to point out one piece of food. If the puppy leaves the area of the pad whilst eating, this behaviour must be ignored as it gives the puppy the opportunity to learn that in uncrushed ground there is no reward to be found. Invariably the puppy will return to the pad and gain his reward.
Play phase This exercise by now should show you whether the owner/handler actually spends time with his puppy at home. I do repeat this exercise and stress again and again how important it is. Drive and focus work At this point I will know whether the motivational method will work for the handler and start making suggestions for what I believe will be the training method for them in the future. I would say only about 20% will carry on with the motivational method. The remaining 80% will look for a kind of domestic obedience. Fun recall This exercise has now become a bit more difficult, namely I have increased the distance the puppy has to run to his handler. I also introduce - if I see the puppy can take distractions - having another person with his dog standing on the side.
Hide and seek By now the puppies know what is demanded of them and it is very exciting to watch how they are improving. I have not had a puppy yet who is not very keen to look for his handler. By now I do not allow the puppy to watch in which direction the handler is going. Now the puppy will only hear his name being called. I also allow only one call and only if the puppy is distracted do I give a signal for a second call. Drum This exercise stays the same except I now ask to change directions and they now have to go through the drum at a faster pace.
Visit to Shopping Centre Nowadays it is virtually impossible to take a group of puppies to a shopping centre. However, there are some small ones where it is permissible. The visit will prove whether the owners have ever taken the puppies out. The puppies, which have been taken out, show an excellent response to the hustle and bustle of people. I first walk them around, let them observe. If they want to stop and check things out, like sniffing on the ground I do allow it. I urge the owners not to keep the puppies on a short tight lead (this by the way seems to be the norm – why is it that people have to constantly stop puppies or dogs from going to the end of the lead?) We walk around; we go in between tables and chairs if available, then stop in front of a big store, like Pickn Pay or Spar, let people say hello to the puppies, let the puppies watch trolleys coming out. This will take approx. 20 Min. FOURTH WEEK
The following exercises are for slightly older pups: I then take the group of puppies to a walkway; ask them to group and then the fun starts. I pick up a trolley and push it slowly towards the group of puppies and through the group, then do it again, but this time I start walking very fast and making noises, the last time I run with the trolley towards the group and shout like: Excuse me but I am in a hurry, let me through. There are very few puppies, which have shown a negative reaction. I then walk the puppies through the parking lanes, should I be lucky and some bikes are parked with riders nearby, I ask them to hoot..As a last exercise I walk a bit away from the main traffic and ask for a fun recall. The same principle applies as mentioned under fun recall. After that, I have short review of the puppies behavior and discuss with the owners what they have to do, i.e. take the puppy out more often, or take the puppy and sit at a table at the shopping center for a while for the puppy to observe. I also walk up stairs with the puppies. Ask the owner to wait at the top of the stairs. The instructor will go down, come up first slowly to the top where the puppies are waiting, go down again and the second time I run up the stairs and observe the puppies. Here we often see, that puppies have never been exposed to stairs, but I am not surprised as most live in single stories..
The fifth week is test run for the examination day. It will show us the strong and weak points. Of course a week is not enough to change things drastically, but nevertheless I tell the owners what they can still work on to improve. SIXTH WEEK We are printing out examination forms. Create a little test atmosphere by asking our members to watch. Put up a table with the trophies and little gifts as well as the certificate for having completed the puppy socialization program. We prepare draws and let the owners draw for order of testing. We have also taught the owners to report to the judge giving their and their dogs name. The judge will complete one test at a time and at the end give an in-depth review of the test. FIFTH WEEK Maren von der Heyde – Zwinger von der Weidenstrasse