Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jake's New Lifestyle

Jake has been home now for four days. It has been a time of adjustment for all of us but things are going really well. Since this is our first experience with a puppy we needed some help, so we went book shopping. We found a great book that came with a DVD and a website for extra help. It's called "My Smart Puppy". In the book, basic skills are learned as games. I say "basic skills" because they look like tricks; things like sit, stay, come, etc. I always thought of these as tricks and that they didn't have any useful purpose. I was wrong. Those simple tricks are the foundation of the skill set the puppy needs to be properly socialized and controllable.

I've heard people say that raising a puppy is like raising a child, and I can see lots of parallels (although I've never raised a child). For one thing, the importance of structuring the puppies life. You have to plan his day and teach him whenever you are with him. In my inexperience, I don't understand how you could train a puppy without a crate. It is a great way to relax a riled puppy and find a few moments of sanity for us as owners. Puppies also need nap times and get very cranky when they miss them. So the day goes through cycles like this: crate, come out and do your business, play around the grass for a while, work on homework, come inside and chew the rawhide with me (or Chelsea) then more homework and back in the crate for nap time and so that we can keep working on unpacking the house. It seems to be working well.

Jake is a smart little puppy and it's already showing. He'll sit for his dinner, sit to get out of the crate, come (this one needs a little work), and we are still working on laying down. Just a couple of days of working on homework and Jake has showed great progress. He's well on his way to becoming a very well trained dog.

2 Comments:

At 5:56 AM, Blogger Miriam Higginson said...

Hummm, wonder if Duke is too old to be puppy trained? :)

 
At 7:31 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Hey I hope you guys are getting settled well! I see you got a new puppy. If you haven't already checked out the Dog Whisperer (Cesar Millan), I totally recommend it. You can get them on netflix and watch the disks or he's on the National Geographic channel. He is AMAZING! He also has a couple of books out that are great. Anyway, good luck with the puppy!!

 

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