My hooligans are now four months old, and they have learned a lot. Most important, they have excellent recalls and will stop doing something when I tell them to, like barking for no good reason. Both are now house trained, but not to the point where I can allow them unsupervised access to the house. At four months they can only hold their urine for 5 hours at the most. Despite their progress, there’s a lot more I need to teach them.
Gretchen, my black and tan pup, has a great deal of energy. In fact, she’s got what I call over-the-top energy. For instance the first thing she does when I let her in the house is jump up on whatever table she sees first, like the dinning table, to see what she can steal. I need to find a way to teach her to control that energy.
Tuvok, my mellow white shepherd, has no interest on jumping, whether on people or on furniture. He learned very early on that jumping was unacceptable. True, he is the heavier of the two puppies, so that may have something to do with his reluctance to jump.
I learned a long time ago that the most effective way to train two puppies is to have separate sessions with each. I have been giving each puppy separate obedience lessons for many weeks now, and I have found that the puppies need separate lessons in manners.
Dogs feed off of each others’ energy. A dog that would never dream of attacking another dog will do so if he is in the company of a group of dogs that decide to go after another dog. Together, Gretchen and Tuvok are a handful.
I allow each pup time in the house separately. That way I can really focus on that puppy. To teach Gretchen not to jump on furniture, I bring her into the house when she’s on leash, walking her past the furniture that she usually jumps on quickly before she has time to think about jumping. So far it has worked, and after doing this for a few times, I expect to have broken that habit.
I’m trying to teach the two to say “thank you” when presented with something nice, like a bone or toy. It’s simple: all I expect is for them to offer me a sit or a down before they get the goodies. It’s not happening.
Gretchen will sit when I tell her to, but once Tuvok realizes that there’s a bone in the offing, he will fight her for it, and will not listen to me. I will need to find a way around that one.