Graduation Homework & Certificate Testing

To Graduate S.T.A.R. Puppy

In order to graduate and receive your S.T.A.R. Puppy Certification, you must complete the following items.

 

I.D. Tags
Send a message to me telling me which type of I.D. tag (I.D. tag on their collar, microchip, etc.) your puppy has.

Poop Bags
Send a photo of your puppy and their poop bags to me.

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Pledge
You can print this out, sign it, and send me a photo of it.

Exercise Plan
Just like the pledge, you can print this out, fill it out, and send me a photo of it.

 

Once all of these items are completed, I will send you a PDF file of your S.T.A.R. Puppy Certificate. Once we are able to reopen, we can issue printed copies of the certificates and offer official AKC Registration paperwork. 

Kaitie's email: kaitie.ttk9@gmail.com

Additional Resources

Check out both of these articles to read more about Luring vs. Bribing & Mouthing in Puppies.

                 

Be sure to continue checking things off of your Puppy Socialization Chart!

 

Barking

Goal: To reward our puppies for being quiet.

Exercise: Drop a treat when your dog is quiet.

You must make sure that you are dropping the treat before they bark! Timing is EVERYTHING!

If your dog does bark, you have three options:

1) Ignore the barking until it stops, wait a brief second for quiet, then reward.

2) Do a Foundation Recall (see video HERE to see what a Foundation Recall is).

3) Play the It's Your Choice Game (see video HERE to check out that game).

Jolly & Settle

Goal: To teach our puppies to calm down after being excited.

Exercise: 

1) Get your puppy really excited! 

2) Use deep massage to settle them back down!

3) Repeat!

Hand Luring

Goal: To practice luring our puppies so that we are ready to lure them into the positions we ask of them.

We need to make sure we have the mechanics down so that when we need to lure them we're ready!

Exercise: Practice holding a treat as shown in the video and luring your dog around. Be sure to let your dog get the lure as a reward while they are driving into your hand.

Make sure your dog is attached to your lure, not a few inches away!

Your lure can only be effective for putting your dog into positions if they learn to stay on the lure!

Check out this video for a reminder about why we hold treats this way!

 

Foundation Recall

This is THE MOST important exercise to practice this week.

All other exercises will build off of this one.

To do a foundation recall, make the trill noise you heard in the video or the pup-pup-pup noise you heard in the video, and move backwards a bit.

Your puppy should come to you because that noise is so interesting and they have to check it out, once they do come to you, give them the reward. Also, if your puppy is on a leash, you can reel them in via their leash if they do not come when called via foundation recall.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is very beneficial! Clickers provide clarity to your dog, help you to wean off of treats faster, help you to mark the moment your dog has done what you asked - plus, clicker training is the only way to teach distance commands!

Exercise:

Let's start by charging our clickers! We need to teach our dogs that the click of the clicker equals a treat.

So, to charge your clicker, simply click your clicker and give a treat to your dog. Do not ask your dog to do anything, just click and reward.

Clickers & Focus Trees

Goal: Teach your dog that looking at you (and not the treat in your hand) is rewarding! 

Exercise:

1) Place a treat in your left hand and your clicker in your right hand

2) Hold your arms out straight from your sides like you are making a T with your body.

3) Ask your dog one time & ONE TIME ONLY to "focus" (or "watch-me" or "eyes" or whatever word you'd like to use here to mean that you want your dog to look at you).

4) As soon as they look you in the eye, click, and give them the treat in your left hand.

5) Once they get the hang of it, add in some movement with your reward! (After you click, quickly take a few steps back, and give them the reward.)

Clickers & Nose Touch

Goal: To work on another way to get our dog's into the position that we'd like them in.

Touch is particularly useful at bath time! Instead of dogs bearing down and resisting turning around in the tub, you can use touch to easily get them in the position you'd like in the tub.

Exercise: 

1) Hold two fingers about 2 inches from your dog's nose. Click and reward them when they touch your fingers. Repeat 5-10 times.

2) Move your fingers to different positions around your dog's face, but NOT above their head. Also, don't place your fingers more than 12 inches from your dog's nose. Click and reward when they touch your fingers.

3) Place your fingers on various things around the room (your shoe, the wall, your knee, etc.) and continue to click and reward when they touch your fingers.

Clickers & Sit

Goal: Mark the exact moment that your dog has sat after you asked them to sit.

Exercise:

1) First, start by only practicing luring your puppy into position so that you both can get the feel for it. 

For a sit take the lure from their nose and move your hand backwards towards their back to get them to plop their butt down.

2) Once you both have the hang of luring, you can add in the command. Place a treat in your left hand and put it behind your back. This is your locked and loaded lure.

3) Say "sit" one time and one time ONLY.

4) If your dog does not sit immediately, pull your locked and loaded lure out from behind your back and lure your dog into position.

5) As soon as they sit, click, and give them the treat in your left hand that you used as a lure.

No bribing! If you hold the cookie out in front of your puppy while asking them to sit, they will always need that cookie in sight to sit! It becomes an integral part of the command!

Clickers & Down

Goal: Mark the exact moment that your dog has laid down after you asked them to down.

Exercise:

1) First, start by only practicing luring your puppy into position so that you both can get the feel for it. 

For a down from a seated position, take the lure from their nose and move your hand down towards the ground between their feet to get them to lay all the way down.

2) Once you both have the hang of luring, you can add in the command. Place a treat in your left hand and put it behind your back. This is your locked and loaded lure.

3) Say "down" one time and one time ONLY.

4) If your dog does not lay down immediately, pull your locked and loaded lure out from behind your back and lure your dog into position.

5) As soon as they lay down, click, and give them the treat in your left hand that you used as a lure.

No bribing! If you hold the cookie out in front of your puppy while asking them to down, they will always need that cookie in sight to lay down! It becomes an integral part of the command!

Headcollar

Goal: To teach our puppies to walk on a headcollar. 

Remember headcollars give us lots of control over where our puppies are looking (they help us keep our puppies focus on us and not all the fun distractions) they are the easiest way to maintain a heel position.

Exercise: Continue working on getting your puppy comfortable in the headcollar following the Headcollar Training Plan

If you and your puppy are ready to move on from the "Introduction to the Nose Loop" step (they are putting their nose willingly in the nose loop and holding it there for 5+ seconds 5+ times), move to the "Sizing the Headcollar" step.

Do NOT move to the next step before your puppy is ready! 

Spin & Twirl

Spin: Lure your dog from heel position in a BIG circle away from your body.

Twirl: Lure your dog from heel position in a BIG circle in the other direction (into your body from heel position).

Your key to success will be using a BIG lure! To help you lure nice and big, you may want to lure your dog around cone or bucket.

 

*This is one of our additional certificate challenges! Send me a video of your dog spinning - without a treat lure in your hand - and I will send you back a Spin Certificate!*

Heeling

Goal: To teach our puppies to walk by our side in heel position.

Exercise:

1) Place a treat in your left hand and get your dog on your left hand side in heel position.

2) Heel around an area with your dog and be sure to let them have the treat you are luring with every few steps. Then reload and continue heeling.

Conceding to Pressure

Goal: To teach our puppies to concede when pressure is applied, not to fight it.

Exercise: 

1) Pull your dog's leash horizontally and gently.

2) Once they take one step, click, and give them a reward.

3) Repeat!

Spot-On Recall

Goal: To make coming when called a fun and exciting game for our puppies!

Exercise: 

1) Place a treat on a spot of sorts (like a potholder or a paper plate, etc.)

2) Tell your puppy to "get it" and let them go eat the treat on the spot.

3) As soon as your puppy eats the treat on the spot, do a foundation recall.

4) Repeat!

Fist & Floor Leave-its

Goal: To teach our puppies that puppy teeth do not belong on human skin!

Exercise:

1) Put a good cookie in one hand and put that hand behind your back.

2) Have a fist of a few  lower value cookies/kibble and anchor that fist to your leg.

3) Your puppy will likely go after your fist because they know there is something in there. Once they stop going after your fist, say "yes" and give them the good cookie behind your back.

4) Repeat until they are no longer even trying to go after your fist.

5) If they are totally rocking it, take it to the floor! Same set ups, but this time your hand is covering the lower value cookies/kibble on the floor.

This exercise can be easily overdone! If it is overdone, we will lose our lure! Not something we want to happen!

Do WAY more luring than leave-its!

Tug

Goal: To teach our puppies how to play tug! This is also another exercise that will help our puppies learn that teeth don't belong on skin!

Exercise: Play some tug! When you are done playing tug, follow the video to get the tug back and end the game.

It's okay to let your puppy "win" sometimes and this will not cause aggression. Letting your puppy "win" will prevent them from not being willing to give it up because they are afraid you will take it away!

Also, be sure to follow the Rules of Tug:

1) The tug toy is your toy, not your dogs. Be sure to not leave it out all the time.

2) If a tooth touches you at all, even by accident, it is game over.

Your puppy may like to learn to play tug with a flirt pole. Check out this article to learn more about flirt poles and how to make one!

Obstacle

Goal: To build our puppies confidence in walking over strange (but safe) things!

Exercise: Find something strange, but safe, for your puppy to walk over in your house and lure them over it.

Have some fun & be creative!