Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World
Becky it sounds to me like you are truly dedicated to getting it right with Dash, I personaly believe that you have got it exactly right. I wish that I had got everything worked out that well, enjoy your hansom boy look forward to hearings more about him as he grows ♡♡
I wish all my puppies' new owners were as thorough as you have been. You are doing great !
I think when a puppy gets to his new home, the first few nights if he cries is because he is lonely and missing the company of the other puppies. I always advise a toy (Which I usually give with the puppy and which smells of the litter box) and also a ticking clock near the puppy's bed and also a radio on low perhaps with classical music on. They usually settle quite quickly. You are right in saying to start with the training now. If he is bold, a firm 'NO' in a deep voice to whatever you don't want him to be doing. He will soon get the message. Always reward a positive action with a praise. Irish Setters are very sensitive by nature and also very intelligent. Have fun! Keep us posted!
Well you've obviously given it a lot of time and thought so, well done! If it works for you then you must be doing it right:)
Consistency is a key thing to remember at all times, so make sure everyone backs up the training in exactly the same way.
With the toilet training its a good idea to stay with him and ensure he performs so you can give plenty of praise. Also you could try adding in a word to associate with the action as he's actually doing it. Its so useful to have a dog trained to 'go' on command!
Any problems just ask and I'm sure you'll get loads of good advice on here. sometimes takes a while for people to have the time to answer fully though.
I totally agree with Rosie. We spend a lot of time teaching owners positive re-enforcement and no alpha rolls or alpha roles !!! Dog Star Daily is a great place to go as is Dr. Sophia Yin. My dogs are all trained using positive re-enforcement right from the word go and really enjoy what they do. My current dogs were clicker trained from the word go, and still enjoy learning new things.
Becky. Have a good read of Dogstar Daily and I mean a good read, and also the Dr. Sophia Yin site. You are doing well with the potty training by using the crate and taking him out, he also needs rewarding for going outside too. Patricia McConnell PhD also has a great website with loads of information. This idea of being alpha, walking through doors first, eating first etc has now been totally debunked. I first wrote about this in 2002 saying that the theory was so flawed that it had enough holes in it to sink the Marie Celeste. The 3 main websites above now all confirm this, and also the person who first floated the theory, David L. Mech has published a paper totally retracting the theory. My 3 setters are beautifully behaved and I don't do any of these things. In fact as I am writing this, I have two lying on the bed, and one next to me on a chair. None of them have aspirations for a military coup, although they were little buggers as puppies, but like all good dog trainers, I spent time teaching them how to behave and giving them time outs when they misbehave. A lot of puppy 'misbehaviour' is a puppy behaving like a puppy, and particularly becoming well over stimulated. In fact one of my puppy owners put it brilliant last night by saying "she is becoming excited to the point of going beyond excitement". That is precisely what puppies do, but I showed her that what I was doing with the puppy I was handling, was taking control of the situation by placing the puppy on leash, and then rewarding and frequently rewarding the first signs of good behaviour. The puppy I was handling had gone from a screaming banshee to a calm and focussed puppy within minutes, and was learning to settle and relax whilst the other lady's puppy was lunging and barking until I showed her how to take control of the situation without being forceful and then teaching what you require. Again, I suggest reading very carefully all three of the websites above. It's a lovely way to train and also will give you lots of advice on how to teach a puppy.
Yes I use treats. They are made by a friend of mine as I can't bear making them myself. Liver, a small amount of garlic, and she uses spelt flour and another ladies treats I use contain rice flour. So to the dog they are very high value, very tasty, and soft enough that they can be broken up into very small pieces. When I use treats I only give very small pieces, but when the dog does something really well I give a jackpot. I start to reduce the treats as the dogs understanding increases, and then when fully understanding they are completely withdrawn unless I am feeling very generous and they are being very appealing.
When Dash is selling down and being good, I start naming what they are doing "good boy, settle down" and repeat those words every time they do it until they associate the words with the action (which is one of the ways we learn language). You have to also bear in mind that we have about 63,000 words in the human language but dogs can only understand to up to about 260 when they have been specifically taught. I have worked out that my Tally knows about 125 with Barkley and DaisyMae understanding about 90 each. I have taught Tally more tricks than Barkley and DaisyMae. I have also taught them the name of varioud items such as socks, keys, gloves, phone, pens, all the things I loose on a regular basis so that they find them and bring them to me,. Started teaching this out of the puppy 'naughtiness' turning naughty behaviour into positive things :-D Again rewarding the correct responses :-)
I have read that garlic is toxic to dogs. I understand that the amount in the treats is probably tiny and unlikely to cause a problem for large dogs, or with infrequent treats, but is there any particular reason that garlic is added to the treats?