Chudleys brand ambassador and leading gundog trainer Howard Kirby provides his advice on how to begin training your puppy and develop those basic meet and greet skills.
If you haven’t owned or trained a puppy before, the most important quality to have is knowledge, there is a lot to learn and it’s better to prevent any bad habits with the right training rather than having to cure them.
The training should start from the moment you bring your eight-week-old puppy home. In the early stages your young pup will be like a sponge, absorbing all kinds of information, it is your job to ensure your pup learns the appropriate skills you want them to by achieving this you can avoid all kinds of behavioural problems.
Firstly the initial training should focus on stimulating the pups mind, the best approach for this? Making the youngster work for its daily food ration. We can do this by feeding the food from our hands; this reward-based principle will instill suitable behavioural habits that can become transferable to the outside world known as ‘public life’.
So how are we going to begin this process? Find yourself and the pup a distraction-free environment. The training should commence first thing in the morning, after feeding him a piece of kibble, teach the pup to sit at your feet and keep contact with your face. To begin with it is likely that you will need to place a piece of kibble between your thumb and finger helping to lure the pup into the right position. Next, hold the kibble just under your chin in line with your collarbone, pause and wait for pup to sit and look up, this is the point at which you feed him.
Initially your main goal is to teach the puppy to understand that you are the only source of any rewards and by sitting quietly whilst looking at your face he can receive these. It is not uncommon for puppies to make the mistake of coming right up to you and standing, To alter this be patient and abstain from any movement, most of the time the pup will sit immediately in which case he can be fed. If the pup is struggling to understand, take a few steps back and call him forward, this should allow the puppy to quickly accomplish the objective and be rewarded.
It’s no secret that to achieve results you are going to need to put considerable thought, time, effort and money into the first eighteen months with your pup. However, if you follow these tips your sure to have an eight-week-old puppy that shall willingly come to you, sit, watch and fittingly follow you, all whilst showcasing the ability to use his brain to receive food.
Chudleys Nutritionists say:
Chudleys Puppy/Junior provides nutritional support for learning - Young puppies learn rapidly and Chudleys Puppy/Junior contains two key elements for nutritional support for the improvement of learning capacity in puppies. Increased levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, from salmon oil and marine algae, are integral to neural and retinal development.
Moderate Energy Levels - Chudleys Puppy/Junior contains a metabolisable energy to promote moderate energy levels, steady growth rates and correct bone development, specifically tailored to young working dogs.