Category : Science and Education
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Output of file : SELECTK9.DAT contained in archive : K9EXCE.ZIP



EXCELLENCE IN DOG TRAINING BASICS (C)1992 Bob Eden


PUPPY SELECTION

Although a pup purchased between eight and ten weeks of age
has a lot of unknown factors in his makeup, he can be raised,
developed and socialized in a manner that is fitting for your
situation. His personality, habits and abilities can be pat-
terned by you, and should any problems arise during his young age
these can be worked on, or the pup can be replaced before great
amounts of formal training are expended on the animal. Any
shortcomings the pup may have will be highly visible during his
first eight months.

Training, to be succesful, must be consistent. You and your
family must take the time to show the dog his acceptance as a
family member.

When buying a puppy for the home, or protection work, take
the time to check into various kennels as well as private breed-
ers. Study the pedigrees to ensure purity and attempt to deal
with breeders who will place a guarantee on the pup should elbow
or hip displasia develop. Reputable breeders will have no hesi-
tation in providing you with such a guarantee. Purebreds which
are registered with the Canadian Kennel Club or the American
Kennel Club are preferable but not an absolute must.

Look carefully and get references from people who have
purchased dogs from the breeder you are thinking of dealing with
before making a decision. If possible have a look at other dogs
sold by the breeder to ensure they are well tempermented. Once
you have located a few reputable breeders it is time to choose
the puppy you want.

When first choosing a puppy, watch the pups as a pack and
observe each one. The ideal choice is an aggressive, self confi-
dent pup who shows leadership over the others, and readily ap-
proaches you as a stranger without any hesitation or fear.
Ideally we are searching for the Alpha male of the litter, or the
next closest prospect depending on temperment. (Those who have
an opportunity to see the pups suckling the mother will note the
leaders of the litter almost always will be the ones using the
teats nearest the mothers front legs. These teats yield more
milk and therefore the dominant pups force the others to less
lucrative positions.) Beware of pups that whine, howl or bark
constantly when excited as these habits may be hard to break and
can be extremely annoying. These pups are very often anxious and
although in other tests may rate high, may have a tendency to be
high strung and are often hard to settle down.

Once you have chosen one or two prospective pups, one at a
time they should be removed from the litter to a place totally
away from the mother and other siblings. Preferably to a place
totally unfamiliar to the pup. This places stress on the puppy,
as will other tests and will test his ability to adjust to his
new situations. He should react positively to his new surround-
ings by investigating where he is at and becoming accustomed to
his new surroundings. He should also respond to you in a friend-
ly, confident manner without becoming fearful or anxious. If the
pup has a favorite toy, play with him for a while, and throw the
toy a short distance to see if he will retrieve it for you. It
is not neccesary that he return the toy, only that he shows an
awareness to it, that he is playful, and is not afraid to carry
something in his mouth.

Now that the puppy is showing some confidence, play with him
and rough house with him a bit. Ascertain if he is willing to
take a bit of guff without shying or running scared. There is no
need to be very rough, just wrestle and tease him enough to get
him worked up. If he responds by barking or playing right back,
that is an excellent response. Take a rag and try to play tug of
war with him. Tease him. Again an excellent response is if he
will join in the game. At some point squeeze one of his toes
firmly just enough to cause him some pain. He should be quick to
forgive you and become trusting again.

The next test is again very simple, and enables the handler
to test the pup to his reactions to sudden, new and unsettling
noises. Take any two metal objects which you can clatter togeth-
er such as a pair of hubcaps and bang them together in front of
the pup. If he shys away suddenly and shows some hesitation,
this is alright, as long as he recovers and does not continue to
show fear. The noise need not be excessive, only enough for the
pup to notice it. Even though the candidate puppy may shy away
in some circumstances, this is not a bad fault. The idea is to
test the pups recovery time, to see that he is able to adapt to
new sounds, surroundings, and in particularly that he reacts
joyfully and confidently towards you as a stranger.

Pups which are older in the six to eight month age range can
also be given the gun test. Put the pup on a leash and have a
suspect with a revolver containing blank loads suddenly appear
and fire a few rounds into the air. The pup may balk a bit, but
as long as he doesn't break and try to run or show a lot of fear
or anxiety, he should be O.K. In most cases the reaction of a
good pup will be one of curiosity. His ears will perk up and he
will show much interest in what is going on. Other candidate pups
may even bark or lunge at the suspect, which is an excellent
response.

One final test I use is with an umbrella. The shape of an
umbrella is very unusual to some dogs and when opened suddenly
can bring out some rather unusual reactions in a dog. Stand
facing the dog with the umbrella in the closed position and the
top point facing towards the dog. Have the handler place the
dog, on lead at a sit position. Without warning open the umbrel-
la with a sudden fluent movement so the dog is suddenly facing a
new unusual object. Again the ideal results are the same as
those in the gun test sequence.

When you have chosen your candidate pup you have made a
decision which will alter your daily way of life for years to
come. Whether you mistreat this dog or treat it royally, you
will find that he will be dedicated and will worship you simply
for the smallest amount of love and praise which you may offer in
return. This type of blind dedication is but a small indication
of how strong these animals feel about us. Therefore all we have
to do is simply return that love, be patient during our training
periods, and that dog will do its best to please us. The trick
to dog training is simply this: the dog already knows how to
jump, run, track, attack and even search for articles. It is all
a part of his natural instincts. All we have to do is learn how
to persuade him to utilize these abilities for us. This is the
key. We must be willing to learn how to communicate our wishes
to the dog, and how to read what he is communicating back to us
in both body language, and by his barks.

Once you have your puppy at home, prepare an area which is
clean and warm, and preferably a spot which can be his own, where
he can be alone if desired. Dogs, like people, often need time
alone so they can relax and unwind without the interference of
young children or other distractions.

An adequate supply of food and clean water should be main-
tained as well as a supply of dog biscuits. This is an excellent
treat and good for maintaining clean, healthy teeth. Rawhide
chewables are also excellent for the puppy, especially through
the chewing stages when he loses his baby teeth and the adult
teeth start to grow in.

Pups which may have one floppy ear can often have this
problem corrected by feeding him a lot of biscuits and letting
him do a lot of chewing. This excercises the supporting muscles
which run behind the mandible (jaw) and upwards to the base of
the ear, and more often than not will correct ear faults. If the
floppy ear persists see a veterinarian for correction. It is
extremely important that the ears be properly erect as you will
be reading your dogs reactions on the street and a lot of what
the dog tells you is translated from ear carriage and direction.

Even though you may do some training with your pup before he
is eight months of age, do not expect him to be totally obedient
and to understand you fully. He is still a pup and for him to
grow up mentally and physically healthy he has to be allowed to
be a puppy and to grow up through his adolescent and teenage
period before we can start expecting him to act like an adult.

Give your puppy lots of playtime as well as lots of quiet
time alone. Teach your children the importance of leaving the
puppy alone and not to be persistent in playing with him if it
appears he wants to lie down or be alone. In most cases where
the dog at home bites a child, the dog is instantly corrected and
sometimes even destroyed in the heat of the moment. The handler
later learns that the dog had tried continually to avoid the
child. The child, not understanding the dogs need to be alone,
continued to bother the animal until the dog finally strikes out
in frustration. This is not to condone the dog biting, as he
must be justly corrected in such instances, but only to emphasise
that the children and others living or visiting in the household
must be strictly taught to respect the dogs feelings and needs.
He too is an individual.

Once the pup begins to grow into adulthood he should be
taken to the vet and x-rays taken to determine any signs of hip
or elbow displasia. This disease can often be very painful to
the animal and can cripple them badly. If it is present in the
animal serious consideration should be given to replacing him as
the disease usually degenerates with time, disabling the dog and
only adding to the budget expences to start out on a new animal
later on, not to mention the heartbreak of watching your partner
degenerating to a crippled state. To keep these problems to a
minimum any dogs which need to be replaced for medical or other
reasons should be discovered as soon as practicable by constant
surveillance of the dogs incapabilities and medical problems, if
any.

Pups at eight or nine months of age may become skittish or
act differently. This is comparable to human puberty and is only
a phase in many cases. Give the animal a chance to recover, and
you will likely find it is a normal part of his growing up.

Some light training may be done prior to the pup reaching
six months of age and preferably by eight months. This allows
the animal time to mature, and also allows his neck muscles to
strengthen so that he is capable of withstanding proper choke
chain correction as this is the majority of corrective actions
which will be used during our training procedures.

REMEMBER, DOG TRAINING IS NO PLACE FOR TEMPERS, YOU MUST
ALWAYS BE PATIENT AND REALIZE YOUR PUPPY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT
YOU ARE TRYING TO DO. ONE BAD INCIDENT OF TEMPER CAN SET BACK
YOUR TRAINING FOR WEEKS. IF YOU BEGIN TO GET FRUSTRATED WITH
YOUR PUPPY, STOP, RELAX AND GIVE BOTH YOU AND YOUR PARTNER A
BREAK. WE ALL HAVE OUR OFF DAYS....






  3 Responses to “Category : Science and Education
Archive   : K9EXCE.ZIP
Filename : SELECTK9.DAT

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

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