Puppy Training: Letting Your Puppy Know His Boundaries

Puppy training can be difficult… especially if you go about it the wrong way. For example, unless you have a fenced yard, never leave your new puppy outdoors alone when you’re not at home. But if you are home, it’s reasonable to expect your trained puppy to stay near the house no matter how tempting a distraction may appeal to him from the outside. Begin by letting him know what his boundaries are.

Take a mason’s twine made from cotton so that over a period of time it will rot away and he will have that duration to generalize the lesson to the area defined. Allow a zone around the house of about 100 to 200 feet…

Lay the twine out around the house at nose height, about six inches off the ground.

It is very important for the puppy to not associate his owner with the shock he’s going to receive when he violates the boundary.

Also, only shock the puppy when he is high in drive toward a powerful distraction, such as another puppy going by, a jogger, or cars.

Take your puppy out on a short lead and walk him around the boundaries. Let him go up to the line and smell it. If necessary, smear parts of it with bacon grease to attract his attention to it. When he investigates, get close to him and praise and touch him so that he gets excited, and then run with him toward the house.

Once there, give him a treat, depending on what he likes to do the most. Repeat this in a number of places around the entire yard so he is aware of the boundary and his association of the boundary with his owner is a pleasant one. There are absolutely no shocks to be made in this phase. You want him very comfortable with you.

Next, put the puppy on a long lead and pinch collar and prearrange for a helper to hold a sociable puppy on the outer side of the boundary. Let your puppy go full speed to make contact; and then right before he gets to the white string, give the puppy a strong snapping action, then run away.

When your puppy catches up give him a play session. Meanwhile, your helper has run up to you with the distracting puppy. Now within the boundary, the puppy gets to make contact and play with this puppy. On following days repeat this exercise at other areas around the boundary so that he generalizes the lesson to the overall perimeter.

After several weeks, let the puppy outdoors while you stay indoors watching him. Once again your helper jogs by, preferably with another puppy if possible, and if your puppy tries to leave, run outside and say “Down.”

But if the puppy shows restraint, step outside, praise, and then have the helper come into the boundary so the puppies can play. As they’re playing, pick up your puppy’s long lead and have the helper start to lead his puppy back outside the boundary. If your puppy bumps into or goes over the string, shock him and run back toward the house. Again praise and let him play. Repeat the exercise until he shows restraint on his own.

The final step is to watch the puppy carefully when a jogger or another puppy goes by when your puppy is outside on his long lead. If he starts to show an interest to chasing the distraction, step outside and yell “Down.”

However, by now the puppy should display a calm focus without any drive activity, in which case, step outside and play with him. Then when the puppy is outside, and eventually when he’s progressed to being off lead, step out and play with him every five minutes. Gradually lengthen this to ten minutes, twenty minutes, and so on to expand his threshold. Review the first phases every two months on the long lead. That’s just one of the puppy training tips in the fast track system.

This is just one of the puppy training tips you’ll discover in the fast track.