Saturday, February 9, 2013

Training at 10-12 weeks: Sit, Down, Come & NILIF

At this age it's very hard to have "training sessions" because their attention span is so short. However, one thing you can do is incorporate training into your regular daily activities by using the "NILIF" program.   

NILIF= Nothing In Life Is Free

NILIF is used to make your puppy earn his toys, food bowl, and playing and also to teach them you are the boss! What you want to do is make them sit before you give them anything or make them sit periodically during playing.  Here's a few examples:

1) When I mix up Indie's food, I make him sit before I put it on the ground for him to eat.  Or make him sit on his bed and use the command "Go to your bed".

2) When I get a toy out to play with, I make him sit before we start playing. I'll hold the toy up at my chest, ask him to sit, and as soon as his butt hits the floor I squeal "GOOD BOY!" and then immediately give him the toy to tug or chase.

3) Every 5 minutes or so, I will take the toy, make him sit, and then resume playing. 

Once they learn down and come, throw those into the mix.  Every now and then, stop play, take away toy, make them sit, then start playing again!  Every time your dog comes to you when called: GIVE THEM A TREAT!!!! Coming is the most important command.  Below is how to sit, you can look up down on the interwebs.  The important thing here is to make them do things before you give them anything and randomly ask them to do things to keep up the training.

How to teach them to "Sit"
Get a treat pouch or stuff your pockets with their regular kibble or Zukes Mini Naturals treats if they don't respond to the kibble.  Pinch the treat with your finger tips and hold it just above your dog's nose and say "Sit".  Move your hand up, and behind their head forcing them to sit and when they do, give treat and praise.  Do this several times until they get they need to sit to get the treat.  These dogs are super smart, they'll get it. 

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