Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Posted March 31, 2016
I first got Tess when she was 4 months from a family friend, who just couldn't cope with a Collie and two toddlers. When I first picked Tess up she was very excited to be meeting new people, but she was not nervous or aggressive. However I soon found out that she had never been out for a walk, even though she was ready and fully vaccinated. This was a major problem at the beginning, due to it taking a lot of coaxing for about a week for her to walk on her lead properly. Without crouching and cowering on the pavement. However I rectified this situation by crouching down myself and encouraging her to take steps towards me. I continued to do this and she finally became comfortable enough to explore the outside world while on our daily walks.
Due to Tess being a young puppy in a new environment she was extremely nervous and she would pee herself if she was unsure. I talked to my vet about this as I was worried when it continued to happen. The vet said it wasn't a medical issue and that it would just take positive reinforcement from me to correct the issue. So I began to go with her every time she went into my back garden and I would praise her every time she had a pee outside. After a couple of weeks she slowly stopped peeing in the house, when she became nervous and slowly turned into a calm and excitable puppy.
I have taught her a numerous amount of tricks some of which are; sit, lie down, stay, bed. When I was teaching her to stay I took her to a park and made her lie down on the grass and said the command 'stay'. I then backed up a few paces and blew my whistle and when she came I gave her a treat. I then kept repeating myself, but increased the distance between us.
At the start of this I had trouble with her inching her way towards me, while still laying down. So I placed my jumper onto the ground and told her to lie down on it. This immediately solved the problem, as it seem she understood my need for her to stay on the jumper.
I have also taught her to walk off lead when walking through the woods and and other public parks. She is very good at ignoring other people, children and dogs if I ask her to. And she never ignores my call for her to come to me when I ask. I believe it is due to my early training of calling her name and giving her a treat when she came to me. Which enforced Tess's memory to associate coming to me as a positive.
I am still in the process of training Tess so any questions you have I will gladly answer. As I may have more to say and help you with other the months or years of Tess's training.
The only negative point I have to say about training Tess is that I have not been able to break her habit of chewing my socks.