Puppies are like sponges.
They soak up everything — good habits, bad habits, learn new things, and visit new places. When raising a puppy destined for service work, we like to capitalize on that “drink it all in” attitude and give the puppy all the learning he’s interested in taking in.
I thought it would be fun to share with you Levi’s learning goals for his first month in training.
Click on the link below to see the chart. At first glance, it seems like we’re cramming a lot into four short weeks, but puppies love to learn and are capable of learning at least this much (probably more, if you had more time to teach them).
Behavior Chart for Levi’s first month
Each week shows what new concepts the puppy is expected to learn (or at least be introduced to). It’s also expected that we continue teaching everything that was introduced, as we move forward. For example, in Week 2, we’re introducing loose leash walking to Levi, and we’re also expected to continue to advance the skills we introduced in Week 1 such as recall, settle, and hurry up (house training).
I set out to make a video to show you how we teach a puppy the simple task of sitting on cue. Puppies, however, have their own agenda, and Levi took us in a different direction. In this video, Levi is about 11 weeks old, very new to training in general, and has only had maybe one or two clicker training sessions under his belt prior to filming.
What started as a “sit” video turned quickly into a “don’t mug me for the treats” video. No worries, we’ll publish the video on sitting shortly, but in the meantime, this turned out to be a more valuable lesson for Levi, and hopefully for your dog who “mugs” you for food.