At first, I thought I could housetrain Alvin and teach him a few commands, and then bingo - a perfectly trained, obedient puppy. What WAS I thinking?
First, I discovered the Basic Command training needed constant reinforcement (this was explained very thoroughly in the It's PAWSible! Dog Training and Puppy Training DVD I used for training). The best example is the COME command - Alvin conveniently forgets that one. And if he's distracted - a rabbit, a bird, someone cooking food - he might forget "SIT." At times, "NO" is clearly a foreign sound. And housetraining - that's a never-ending vigil. One little lapse in his schedule means a possible accident.
Then the behavior/agression issues started in the last few weeks (Alvin is now 5 plus months):
- Jumping up on everyone
- Barking for seemingly no reason
- Backbark (similar to people backtalk)
- Pulling on the leash
- Constantly getting into mischief (pulling socks or clothes out of a drawer, chewing slippers, chomping on the computer mouse)
What's the solution in Alvin's case - a look at the issues and how to address them with more comprehensive training. And it seems to be working - one day at a time.
More details in future posts . . .