Photography and Puppy Training

Learning Down and Staying Down

Learning Down and Staying Down

The puppies don’t care for Down. They sit all the time, but Down is not their favorite command. Especially Max’s. I’m also training them to stay in place even if I leave the room for a few seconds. Normally, they would chase after me. But I’ve been doing this for a while, and I’m always surprised when they don’t follow me out of the room. So they’re getting much better.

I also have them Place like this when I’m preparing my meal so they’re not underfoot while I’m in the tiny kitchen. Max usually will get off once to check on me, even though he can see me. He’s really checking to see if I dropped anything for him. So it’s an ongoing process.

Max watching bag of treats on kitchen counter instead of watching me

Max watching bag of treats on kitchen counter instead of watching me

Max is not watching me, like he’s supposed to be doing. He thinks if he watches the treat bag, it won’t get away from him. Or maybe, it will miraculously toss a treat to him. Silly dog.

Here they are, having turned from the direction of the kitchen to watch me. Which is what you want. They should be anticipating your command. When I fix their meals, I have them do the same. Stay on Place, Down. They have to stay there while I fill up their 2 kongs, often times searching for wherever they’ve rolled them earlier first, then I set one out quite a distance from the other. Then I fill up their water dish in the other room, and this is with their kongs sitting on the floor waiting for them to push around and leave a trail of their puppy food and devour it. And they stay put. It’s amazing.

We worked for a long time, twice a day to get to this point. Sometimes I take pictures of them to prolong the training and show them that I can do other things before I release them to eat their meals. But only by a minute or so. I need to wait longer. I don’t do anything mean to them to get them to do this either. It’s just patience and perseverance. For a long time, as soon as I moved to get Tanner’s kong, he jumped off Place. Every time I started to fill up the kongs, he jumped off Place. Max would stay. But Tanner was just too chow hungry to do it. So I kept returning him to Place over and over and over again. Eventually, he realized that if he stayed on Place, he got his food sooner. Or, that he wasn’t getting his food until he was on Place.

Max and Tanner from their POV

Max and Tanner from their POV

Often puppies will want to come to you if you get down to their level. So when I sat on the floor, it was a test. What they call a distraction. See if something really enticing will make them want to leave the place where they are.

Then it was placing the kongs on the floor that triggered him to bolt for his, or for Max’s because it was closer. But we kept working on it and now I can even motion to Place without saying a word. I can have them lie down with a downward motion of my hand without giving them a verbal command. (Most of the time. Sometimes Max won’t do it. But I’ve done this while I”m on the phone, and it’s great.) It can be tricky though. I tried moving my arms around, and that signaled Break! And they were off and running. lol

Training Max and Tanner to sit

Training Max and Tanner to sit

I thought I had one of the lying down, waiting for their meal, but I didn’t. So here’s an earlier one of them learning to Place and Sit.

And they won’t budge until I release them when I say: Break! and motion for Tanner to go one way and Max to go the other. They almost always place themselves so that Max is on the left and Tanner is on the right. But a couple of times they’ve been reversed and they practically trip over each other while they’re running to get their food.

Tanner wanting to eat--it's not time

Tanner wanting to eat–it’s not time

Often when the puppies wake from a nap, they think it’s time to eat. It doesn’t matter when it is, it’s just…time.

Is it already hump day??? Garbage is out. Meal time is coming up. Are you ready for the day?

Back to writing!! Have a super great Wednesday!


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

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