Yesterday was the third puppy social Simon and I attended. We both gain from these events. He socializes and I learn from the trainer-in-charge who held an informal mini-class for the owners.
Here's the tips I picked up from the social:
Instant Down Command
You want your pup to lie down without a hand signal. Say the word Down BEFORE you lure the dog into a down. Saying Down as you lure doesn't work. The action requires a lot of repetition.
I'm using hotdogs as training treats. Problem is - Alvin and Simon are refusing their normal meals of kibbles - they expect hotdogs at meal time.
The trainer's comment was a simple "They won't starve themselves. They'll learn that meal time doesn't include hotdogs." In other words, don't worry about it!
Train Stay and Come As Separate Commands
I got into the habit as requesting a Stay followed by a Come. I noticed the dogs' anticipation of Come after a Stay. They both start moving to the expected reward.
These two commands should NOT be coupled to avoid the reaction I noticed.
These training tweaks are incorporated into the do-it-yourself DVD and Dog Training Guide I've been referencing (see Time To Check With The Experts), but I've been ignoring my own advice! Duh!