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I do have to disagree with some of the other posts. It IS possible for you to be more interesting than a squirrel or a pack of dogs. It takes time, training and most of all trust.

 

You are correct here, because I was unclear. What I meant was that you can't be as interesting as a squirrel in his face right now. I see people trying to be happy and engaging and getting frustrated because the dog is still focused on the squirrel. That takes time and building up the relationship and working slowly into the distractions so the dog learns that you are in fact Gatekeeper to All Things Awesome.

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Puppies are a funny thing -- They make people feel like brilliant dog trainers because most puppies LOVE to be with their people and respond instantly to the high pitched call of, "PUPPY PUPPY PUPPY!"

 

Eventually the coolness of humans starts to wear a little as the puppy discovers that there is a big, awesome world out there to explore. At this point, it becomes glaringly obvious to the human side of the relationship that there actually never was a recall in place to begin with. ;)

 

So in other words, your training is JUST starting. Please do so in a positive manner, not by "correcting" the puppy into oblivion. You want to have a sports partner in the future -- and you want that relationship to be positive and happy -- not one of fear and domination.

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  • 1 month later...

Okay first of all. This board is a gold mine! Excellent advice from everyone.

 

Roscoe, your pup is at an age were he is just starting to really develop his confidence and independence. He will be testing his limits, a lot. Patience and consistency are the key here. Set him up to succeed, don't ask him to do something if you can't ensure that it happens, and do your best to have fun with it.

 

As far as the treat thing goes...Treats are nice but for most dogs there are loads of things more valuable than a little piece of food. If you want control in all situations then your pup needs to view everything he finds motivating as a reward for good behavior.

 

You can't exactly use a squirrel as reward, so in a situation like that your main objective should be to redirect him away from it as quickly as possible. If he is treeing squirrels on a daily basis then that behavior is being strongly reinforced. You have to manage the situation so that he cannot continue "practicing" this.

 

I'm sure he's going to be great, just be prepared for him to test boundaries that you may have thought you no longer had to worry about. He is still a puppy after all. Just wait until he hits adolescence lol!

 

Best of luck!

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