Category Archives: Puppy Training

Teaching Pip Not to be Frightened of Thunder

Pip made it to the ripe old age of 6 months before we had a decent thunderstorm (with hail in August).

I was fortunate that we were at home together and I had some training treats to hand.

Pip started to make her nervous half bark to show she was worried about the noises of the storm.

The kitchen door was open (it was August after all) so we could hear the storm well. I left it open to show that the storm was nothing to be afraid of.

I got Pip to come and face me and we both sat on the kitchen floor together. We were a few metres away from the open door and could both see and hear the storm from our relative positions. I reassured her she was a ‘good girl’ (our substitute clicker training reinforcement words) as I gave her treats for being quiet and stopping her half bark as she settled down a bit.

Once she was more settled but still looking a bit anxious I put a treat in my fisted hand so she knew after a short wait the treat was coming. I then waited for the next clap of thunder or increase in the noise of the hailstones and gave her a treat from my fisted hand each time there was a louder noise.

The storm only lasted for a few minutes but by the end of it she was noticeably more relaxed and looking forward to the next treat. We then did a few minutes of usual training practice and she went to sleep it off on the sofa.


Puppy Training – Commands

Teaching your puppy new commands is fun but can also sometimes be frustrating for both of you. Your puppy will be keen to please you and therefore  annoyed if she can’t understand what you want her to do.

Puppies that are food motivated are easier to train.  Pip, our eating machine, will do anything for a tasty treat so we have no problem in that department.

Don’t believe what you read on the internet when someone says a particular command is ‘easy’ or ‘hard’ to teach.  This will depend on you and the puppy and to some extent the luck of her spontaneously displaying the behaviour you want or quickly understanding in the training session.

We found short training sessions of 5 minutes or so worked well.  If it got frustrating this was usually down to human error and Pip was more exasperated than us. In this case we returned to practice commands she was good at to end the session on a positive note.

All of the training is based on rewarding the puppy for the correct behaviour based on the book The Perfect Puppy. We taught Pip to respond to a clicker and target to aid some of the training but only used these from time to time.

This is a list of commands with approximate age Pip started learning and the age she could do them reasonably reliably. We are very grateful that training was started by our breeder before she came home.  Links are included where we have a post about how we did!

Command Training Started Puppy Competent
Sit Breeder 7 weeks
Sit (to be picked up) Breeder In progress (human failure)
Whistle Feeding Breeder 7 weeks
Down 7 weeks 8 weeks
Go Wee 7 weeks In progress
Go Poo 7 weeks In progress
Five (give me five) 7 weeks 8 weeks
Ten (give me ten) 7 weeks 8 weeks
Go Home (Into crate) 7 weeks 9 weeks
Stand 8 weeks In progress (human failure)
Jump (Over a small hurdle) 8 weeks 8 weeks
Roll (over) 8 weeks In progress
Tall (stand on back legs) 8 weeks 8 weeks
Tunnel(run through one) 9 weeks 9 weeks
Spin 9 weeks In progress
No (Don’t do that) 10 weeks In progress