Updated: Feb 16
Does your puppy start to approach you but as soon as you bend down to grab their collar, they dart in a different direction? They are playing with you and winning! Collar holds are something we do regularly to prevent this “keep-away” type behavior. Basically, we want your puppy to be so excited you are reaching for their collar because they know a treat is coming. Yep, more classical conditioning because it works!
During a play session, call your puppy to you, backing away from them as they come towards you. Wait for them to sit or lure them into a sit. When they do, mark, “YES” and reward with the treat. This is the important part. As you feed them the treat, hold onto their collar. Doing this at the SAME time prevents them from mouthing you and encourages them to sit still rather than dart away. Then let them go play again. Short and sweet. Repeat every 3-5 minutes during play, giving a treat, we use single ingredient air dried treats, as you hold their collar and letting them go play again.
Remember the 10-1 rule. We want the idea of our puppy running to us to be super fun and rewarding to them. We do NOT want a collar hold to mean we attach a leash and the fun is done. Holding their collar means they get a treat and get to go play again - a HUGE win in their minds. Yes, once in awhile, we will attach the leash and the fun stops, but more often than not, a check in is just a check in. We want your puppy to associate your hand reaching for their collar as a good thing so they will not start playing catch me if you can! (repost from Baxter and Bella)
Of course all the information we can get about training the better we will be at setting our puppies up for success. If you are interested in the Baxterandbella.com training program it is only 178.00 for a lifetime membership/unlimited use with code goldendoodlelou25.
Of course (goldendoodlelou) I am always available for training questions and support with your new goldendoodle puppy. I set each of my puppies up for success as I partner with our dogs to positively imprint the first few months of life. Please inquire for questions 314.401.7210