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Tips on building drive in a young puppy

Tips on building drive in a young pup to work. As a little puppy develops there are a few small things you can do to help ease his progression into a performance role later in his life. Hopefully this little pup has allot of food drive. I mean like inhales food when offered. Some puppies eat fast and some inhale it. If you have one of these types of puppies you will find that obedience will be one of your easier phases to teach. If not try a little cooked liver with garlic or cheese. I like to have my little pups do some obedience for their dinner. Even if it is just making eye contact and "watching me". Mostly the sit and down ,stand and front are the best to do at these times though. For several weeks I shape the behavior without any command. I have found that this works best with 5 to 14 weeks old puppies. When they get older you loose some of that concentration that you had at 5 , 6 or 7 weeks. They become more aware of their surroundings at this later time and a bit harder to keep focused, that is unless they have that tremendous food drive which not much can phase. This drive is ideal for tracking also but I am trying to stay with obedience at this time. Food works much better for correctness and precision than toys. Toys usually build attitude. If your dog does not have a high food drive, toys can be used to try to teach the work also. It is just a bit harder to time the reward. Mix it up with the little puppies. Teach them about the retrieve games with toys and pushing you for his rewards. If your puppy does not have a naturally high drive for the toys either, you might ought to consider getting another prospect for the sport. You can tie your pup out on a back tie and tease him with his toy as a helper would during prey type protection work. This helps to build drive for the toy. Tease him with it. Don't allow them to get it easily but keep these sessions short and fast. 2 of the same toy comes in handy also. When playing "fetch" for exercise fun, targeting, conditioning, whatever...have the second toy in your hand so when the pup-dog comes back towards you , you have one ready to throw as soon as he drops the first one. This game can be used to teach the out also. It also will encourage a more possessive, independent type dog to bring his toy back to you. He will learn that the game doesn't end with returning to you, that there is more. And the one you have is MUCH more interesting..;) Linda G

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