Today's quote and general food for thought comes courtesy of the world famous Dog Trainer, Susan Garrett. A few weeks ago, Susan so kindly presented us Dog owners with a bounty of useful Dog training information on the Tim Ferriss podcast, which I have linked to below.
Along with discussing her competitive track record, Susan outlines and refreshes us with several very interesting training topics including "The most critical exercises for your dog", "The three types of reinforcement" and "How to use crates properly for crate training".
Additionally Susan discusses the most important things Dog owners must do in the first 24 hours with a new puppy, as summarized in 5 simple steps. It's here where I hope to highlight the keys of her advice, which I believe has applicable lessons across many aspects of Dog training.
Susan Garrett's recommendations for the first 24 hours with a new puppy dog:
Play a long game of tug to build interaction of choice.
Continue building this interaction by alternating between playing, sleeping and eating throughout the day.
Hold the last play session exactly two hours before you go to bed and then give them the last drink for the night.
During the night, to prevent the puppy from making a fuss, put them in their crate in a chair next to your bed so they can sense your presence. If you need to take them to the bathroom in the night, it is critical you do not stimulate them in anyway or else they will formulate an expectation of playing in the middle of the night.
Utilize a leash outside to get them accustomed to the leash.
As Susan so aptly puts, "Our Dogs are our reflection of our ability to train." It's in the frame of mind that our best plan of action as trainers is to build on a solid foundation with our puppy, while making adjustments along the way by responding to our Dog's behavior.
To find out more about Susan, her work and her training methodologies I recommend listening to the rest of the podcast or checking out her numerous instructional materials.