What You Need
To train a dog to wave, all you need is your dog and some yummy dog treats. You should also have your clicker handy if you are using clicker training.
Here’s How to Do It
- Before you start training a dog to wave, he should first know how to shake paws. Waving is built from what he already knows how to do when he shakes. If he hasn’t learned to shake yet, you should go back and work on this skill with your dog.
- Give your dog the command “shake.” When he lifts his paw to shake your hand, move your hand up slightly so he has to move his paw up a bit to get to your hand.
- When your dog moves his paw up farther than he would to shake, click your clicker or tell him “good,” and give him a treat.
- Repeat this action a few times, each time moving your hand up a little higher until your dog is raising his paw above his head.
- Once your dog has been putting his paw up several times in a row, give the command “shake,” and as soon as your dog starts reaching his paw out to you, give the command “wave” (or you can use the command “say hello” or “wave bye”) and again follow steps 2-4.
- Repeat this several times until your dog is consistenly raising his paw. After a number of repetitions, stop using the shake command, and only give the command “wave.”
- Most dogs quickly learn to raise their paw over their head on command. Once your dog is doing it consistently doing it on command, you can begin to select for the best waves. Begin to only give him treats when his paw is over his head and moving up and down a bit in a waving motion.
- Practice the wave command for a few minutes at time, two or three times each day. Your dog will quickly be impressing your friends as he greets them with a wave hello!
Capturing the Wave
If you are using a clicker to train a dog, you may be able to teach your dog to wave by capturing the behavior. Many dogs use their paws to get your attention. You can capture this behavior with your clicker, and use it to teach your dog to wave. Here’s how to do it:
- Keep your clicker and some treats handy, and the next time your dog paws at you, click your clicker and give him a treat.
- Repeat this several times, each time your dog raises his paw to get your attention.
- A dog who is used to clicker training, will soon begin offering behaviors to try to get a treat. Continue clicking and giving treats each time he raises his paw.
- Next, add the command “wave.” Say the command and wait. Each time your dog raises his paw, click and treat. Your dog will soon be offering the behavior more quickly after you give the command.
- Once your dog is consistently waving on command, you can begin to only click and treat for the behaviors which look the most like a wave.
- As in the above steps, practice the wave command several times each day for short training sessions.
The little ones are fine and thriving, and they are turning into real puppies now! They’re up on their feet, wagging their tales, seeing, hearing, playing with toys, romping, and chewing on each other (and biting each other’s ears, which hurts with those sharp puppy teeth). They’re getting much more 1:1 time with us, apart from each other, and we’re beginning gentle redirection on things like puppy biting and jumping to which they are responding quite well (they are *so* eager to please!).
They’re still nursing, but we’ll slowly introduce them to solid food toward the end of this week with the goal of transitioning them completely by the time they’re six weeks old. They should be weaned by their six-week-old vet visit for check-ups and vaccines.
Just two days ago, on a sunny 65-degree day, we carried each outside to experience the feel of the sun and breeze and the sounds of planes overhead, wind chimes, and bird calls. All were appropriately timid at first but seemed to relax and enjoy the adventure. They now love to romp around in the grass and follow us around.
Socialization: Four to Six Weeks
From four to six weeks, puppies continue to be influenced by their mother and littermates. They learn to play, gaining needed social skills from littermates, such as inhibited biting (biting to play, not to hurt). The puppies also learn the ins and outs of group structure and ranking within the group. The puppies are being socialized with humans, have a variety of people interacting with them – young (with supervision) and old, male and female. House-training can begin as early as five weeks, when puppies will follow their mother through a dog door or can be taken out for elimination lessons. At approximately six weeks, puppies can begin in-home training. His first collar and lead will be introduced, he will be encouraged to come using his name, and reward him with praise and treats. At this age, you can also start training puppies with positive reinforcement methods: using a clicker, praise, and rewards.
Whether you are sharing your home with a new puppy or an adult dog, he is sure to benefit from training. If you’re unsure where to begin, the following schedule can help you get organized and start training a dog. For each week, there are some ideas of basic commands to work on, as well as some tips to prevent or modify behavior problems.
- Sit: This week, work on teaching the dog to sit. Plan on spending about 5 minutes a few times each day working on the “sit” command.
- Introduce the Crate: If you haven’t already been using a crate, this is a good time to get your dog used to it. The crate is a wonderful tool to manage your dog’s behavior when you aren’t there to supervise. Take a little time each day this week to let your dog get used to the crate, and begin letting him sit in there for a few minutes at a time.
- Establish a Routine: Dogs thrive on routine. This week, take some time to create a schedule of mealtimes, playtime, and walks. Stick with it as closely as possible during the training weeks and beyond. This helps with housebreaking, as well as other common behavior issues.
- Invest in Toys: Do some shopping this week, and get a variety of interesting toys for your dog. Make sure to include some things such as Kong toys or Buster Cubes which provide some mental stimulation. Each week throughout this process, rotate the different toys so your dog always has something new and interesting to play with.
- Down and Emergency Recall: This week, spend a few minutes several times each day working on the down command and teaching your dog the emergency recall.
- Crate Training: By this time, your dog be fairly comfortable in his crate. Start leaving him in his crate for longer periods of time, but no longer than a few hours at a stretch. Be sure to leave him with some fun and interesting toys. Continue using the crate throughout each week of training.
- Loose Leash Walk: You can also begin teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash. Plan on at least one short walk each day to practice this skill. This is a skill that you should continue working on through each week of the training.
- Come and Leave It: The basic commands to work on this week are the “come” and “leave it” commands. Spend some time each day practicing these commands.
- Stop Jumping: This week you can also begin working on teaching your dog not to jump up. You can set aside time each day to practice, or you can wait until it comes up in your regular day-to-day activities (like when your dog jumps up to greet people coming in the door) to work on it.
- Review: Take 10 minutes at least 3 times this week to review the commands and behaviors you’ve already worked on.
- Wait: This week, work on the “wait” command. You can practice this in regular training sessions, or you can wait for opportunities to crop up each day. Make sure your dog waits before going out doors or coming out of his crate.
- Go to Your Place: Begin working on teaching your dog to go to a specific place and lie down in your home. Some great times to practice having your dog lay calmly in his place is during mealtimes or when you’re sitting watching television or reading a book.
- Drop It: In several short training sessions each day, teach your dog the “drop it” command.
- Stop Barking: Begin training your dog to be quiet by working on the “speak” and “quiet” commands. You can do this during training sessions or you can wait until your dog barks and use it as an opportunity to practice.
- Pick a Trick: Now that your dog knows many basic commands, you can work on teaching him a trick, such as roll over or play dead.
- Heel: By now your dog probably has a pretty firm grasp on walking on a loose leash. If you would like a little more control during walks, you can now introduce the “heel” command.
- Review, Review, Review: Your dog should now be responding well to a number of commands, and some other behavior issues should have been addressed. This does not mean you’re done with training. Remember to practice and reinforce your dog’s training for the lifetime of your dog. The training will ensure that your dog is a happy and well-adjusted member of your family.
Sometimes one just isn’t enough. Having one dog is great, but having more than one is fantastic! Full of doubled rewards and triple the challenges, a multi-dog home can have you pulling your hair out over the simplest of things. Many dog owners find that having more than one dog in the home makes their life complete, and certainly interesting.
2. Two Puppies At Once
- Crate train. Crate them together when you aren’t available, but the crate is invaluable for getting one-on-one training time with each puppy. Crate one while you work with the other.
- Buy two of everything! Two Kongs, two leashes, and especially two beds/blankets. They may be amenable to sharing now, but that could change as they grow older and bigger.
- Use different colors for everything, even if they are different in looks and there’s no mistaking them for each other. Bruno gets the Yellow things, and Banana gets the brown things. It’s not for them; it’s for you.
3. One on One Time
4. Dog Fights
Keep Them From Becoming Serious
- Neuter them. Rampaging hormones are a huge factor in dog aggressiveness, especially towards each other.
- Do your part to reinforce pack order: you first, then the other humans, then the dogs, in whichever order they have established.
Other Common Causes of Dog Fights
- Toys (have plenty!)
- “He looked at me funny!”
- Just for fun.
5. Reinforcing Pack Order
Once they’ve sorted themselves out, you’ll need to pay attention to which dog came out on top. Even if your favorite isn’t the leader, you’ll still need to do your part by putting the other dog first (after you and the other people in your home). Feed your dogs in order of rank, by setting the top dog’s bowl of food down first. Let him out the door first, and don’t quibble if he seems to monopolize your affections.
6. Feeding Times
You should feed both dogs at the same time of day, but still cater to the alpha dog of the two (or three), by putting his food down first. As long as both dogs eat the same the same food, and will finish their meal all at once, there shouldn’t be any problems. Dogs should always have their own food dish, but a communal water bucket is usually fine.
It may be necessary to feed the dogs in different areas of the home if:
- One dog finishes first and tries to eat the other dog’s food. This can lead to an overweight pooch rather quickly.
- They fight over the food.
- They eat different foods (ie: one eats an adult diet food, the other a puppy food).
7. Getting In The Door – Order Out of Chaos
Anybody that has more than one dog knows that most chaotic time is when you, the human, finally come home from wherever you have been the last ten years. Well, the way your dogs act sure make it seem like ten years. Bouncing, maybe barking, butt-wiggles, excited yipping noises and maybe even excited puddles. If you can get in the door and get your shoes off, it takes forever to settle the dogs down again.
Don’t reward the craziness. Walk in the door after an absence and ignore your dog until he or she has calmed down enough to sit properly and lavish praise upon her for doing so. If you can ignore the chaos when you come in, and refuse to acknowledge anything but a sitting dog, your dog will catch on very quickly.
In my last post, I briefly mentioned that the pups had moved from the Neonate Period of development into what’s called the Transitional Period: a short developmental stage of only one week that’s loaded with change and milestones.
Here’s what we can expect to see in the pups by the end of the week:
- Rapid improvement in their motor skills (standing, beginning steps, sitting, better control of their movement, etc.).
- Being able to eliminate on their own.
- Starting to move away from where they sleep to potty (it’s instinctive, and this not-pottying-where-they-sleep instinct is the foundation of housebreaking later on).
- Wider range of movement (will crawl and walk around more while beginning to explore)
- The beginning of real, voluntary tail-wagging. )
- Showing more interest in their littermates (pawing at them, chewing on them)
- First teeth (these should erupt around Day 20)
- First hearing (their ears should unseal around Day 20 or 21, sometimes earlier). We’ll know their ears have unsealed with they begin to startle to loud noises.
And here’s what we’ll be doing during this important development stage:
- We’ll spend more 1:1 time with the pups, giving them individual interaction with humans and more socialization, but for only a few minutes at a time (they’re still quite young).
- We’ll also start putting them on different surfaces for one minute per day (probably when I need to move them out of the whelping box to clean it).
- Later in the week we’ll introduce them to a water bowl (they begin to “lap” during this stage as well).
- We’ll add bright colored objects and toys to the whelping box for their visual and sensory stimulation.
- We’ll “raise the drawbridge” (we’ll put up the side of the whelping box that currently rests open to allow Fiona to come and go). The pups have already shown some interest in what’s outside of the box, so once they’re more active we’ll need to contain them (for their safety).
- Fiona will still be allowed to come and go with them as she pleases; she instinctively is already staying out of the whelping box for longer stretches of time. But we will give her more time apart from them.
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Though I know well that the third week of a pup’s life is marked by huge milestones. It’s like they turn into puppies (as most people think of puppies) overnight.
Here it is, Day 21 or Week 3, and just look at what’s happened:
- Walking has become the preferred method of ambulation (instead of crawling). Granted, it’s still a drunken-sailor walk, but they’re up on all fours!
- Elimination and voiding is now something they do on their own. Fiona is cleaning less; the humans are cleaning more.
- The pups get up from where they’re sleeping and waddle over to a different part of the whelping box to potty, then waddle back to the puppy pile. They’re instinctively pottying in places other than where they sleep.
- Their vision is becoming usable. When they “see” things now, they react appropriately with sniffs or puzzlement or growls or barks or pounces.
- They recognize each other (oh boy, litter mates!).
- They play with each other. Okay, so it doesn’t last very long, but they do “play” for short stretches.
- They wrassle. :O)
- They’re feeling secure with their humans, not just with Fiona.
- They can pant and lap.
- They have started to grow in (ouch! for Fiona) teeth! Their baby teeth are just poking through their gums, and just like human babies, this is uncomfortable for them. They’re beginning to feel the need to chew (look out world!)
- They can voluntarily sit, stand, roll over, scratch, paw, wag their tails, chew, investigate objects they “see” (still blurry, but visible), and are just beginning to climb.
- This morning, I noticed that the puppies might be responding to sound, so I suspect their ears may be starting to unseal.
Photo by Frank Gaglione/Getty Images
It may seem like female dog urine causes more trouble to the lawn than male dog urine. This is simply because most females tend to squat and urinate in one place, while many males lift the leg and “mark” upright objects in multiple locations. The composition of a dog’s urine does not vary that much between male and female dogs, especially when spayed or neutered.
There are a few ways to prevent brown or yellow spots on your lawn caused by dog urine. You can try more than one option at a time for maximum results. There is no guaranteed way to end urine spots in the yard, but the following methods might help stop grass burns caused by dog urine:
- Train your dog to urinate in one area and plant a urine-resistant ground covering in that area. One great option for this is clover. You might also try creating a dog-friendly landscapein your entire yard.
- Give your dog a supplement or food additive that is designed to neutralize the nitrogen in the urine. One example of this type of product is Naturvet Grass Saver (compare prices). As alway, ask your vet before starting any supplement. Additionally, never attempt to alter your dog’s urine pH unless specifically recommended by your vet.
- Immediately after your dog urinates, use a garden hose to rinse off the area. You might also consider switching to a low-nitrogen fertilizer for your lawn (make sure it’s pet-safe too).
Remember that other animals might have access to your yard and their urine can cause lawn damage as well. A fence will keep out any dogs passing by, but cats and various wild animals are not so easy to stop. This may or may not explained continued brown or yellow spots in the yard after implementing the above recommendations.