​An article by Craig Clark

​#3. Pup picks up every thing. 
Every morning I feed pups an do a drill with the feed pan. put pups back up in crates' they wait there until I've finished feeding. Then we get the walking stick, an take off down the hill. Let me stop and say my lanyard with my whistle and clicker is always around my neck and a treat pouch on my side, always I'm as lost without them items as I am without my pocket knife. I won't too be prepared to reward that pup as soon as it doe's somthing right. Where on the other hand human nature tells us we should correct pup the minute it doe's somthing not to our here's the word "standards" were dealing with a 8wk old pup. So we go for our walk tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet (pup, pup, pup, pup) here comes pups. BEND DOWN click, treat. Recall, Recall, Recall as were walking pups are chewing on acorns, walnuts, carring around sticks. Heres another time when we seem to think were doing somthing right, but we are actually interfering with what their breed to do. and that is pickup stuff and bring it to us. But were down there, come here give that to me, and telling them no not to be picking things up. Well if we keep doing that guess what we've started pushing them away. I personally do not give my pups anything to chew on other than when they're adult teeth are coming in, then I'll give them a greene. 
So we keep walking pups, one comes up to me I bend down rub it under its neck an on it's back never on top of the head I like it to be looking at me at all times. Petting is not a high value reward I'd place it on a scale from one to five a five. Notice I didn't treat pup for just coming up to me reason being I control the behavior with the higher value rewards not pup. I will go in to some detail on how pup has set me up to play their game,if I'm not paying attention. We walk back up to their pen and they go up for the day to lay around and grow I'll feed again at around three and will do another drill with the feed pan. 
I'll bring pup inside tommorow night with #4 I've made alot of mistake inside with pup.
Pup and I are starting to begin a partnership that will last a life time.

#4 Oh boy lets have a party,
Were going to let pup have some inside time. So make it as puppy proof as we can, this is where trouble can happen if we don't go at it right. Pup gets into something or pulls something over and we jump over to try to save it, SCARE pup might even STEP on the poor little pup, NO not meaning to, but pup does not know that. Suggestions, remove anything on tables that you care about. Unplug lamps, put cords up so pup can't pull or get caught in them. Rugs, remove if they have loose ends pup will want to pull on them. Invest in a door block, so pup can't roam into other rooms. I'll leave out several pairs of old shoes so pup can bring them to me. Of course I'll reward pup everytime, take it and make a pile. pull furniture away from wall if there's a chance pup might get in behind and get hung up. Am not a big Fan of verbal NOS. 

Now with a clicker and treats you can mold some very desirable behaviors. Like leave create open pup goes in click-treat. Pup goes to lay down click-treat. I've got a 55 gallon plastic drum cut in half with 1\2inch pipe insulation on the the bottom so it won't scoot. I also had a old pair of waders that I cut the seat out of and velcroed to the top half so when pup gets up there it won't slide off, getting them ready for the dog stand in the timber. We have some fun when pups comes in now. But before, we had to be on our pees and Q's at all times, pup was 100 percent supervised. Things are going to happen that I have no control over, but I try to stack the deck as high in pup succeeding as I can, and at the same time have FUN. There is nothing more fullfilling to me than to have that same pup at 12 to 16months old be brought in point at the rug they lay down and never get up until asked and love laying there beside me.

I'll post #5 about what I've seen when kids are playing with pup. They can help a lot but the kids are the ones that needs to be carefully supervised with pup and them. Moving on up pup and I.

#5 Tag your it - Son, what have I told you about playing chase with the puppies. I know dad, I was just having to much FUN. It's just something about a child and a puppy that is hard to discipline. I've went as far as taking my belt off, then realizing I'm the one that needs the belt for not setting up the environment better in the first place, so that pup and child would have a ball together. The socialization that can come from the kids is uncomparable. At our house we have four rules 1. No running 2. No jumping 3. No hollering and 4. Do not take anything away from pup. I will only allow one pup out at a time and will supervise until I'm comfortable with child and pup. Long pants and long sleeve shirt is required, along with making sure the kids have washed their hands good so that there is no food smell on them and that the pups nails are cliped, I also show them if pup goe's to jumping on you just stand still with hands over head and they will quit. Pups seem to key on movement more at a young age. Very, very visual.

One of my kids favorite games is dummy toss, they'll gather all the dummys up place a round tote about twenty yards off the back patio and see who can land the most dummys in the tote. Guess what pup gets to see many ,many dummys thrown an never get one. Heck I even like playing it with them. Now as we are in the yard you guessed it there is some old shoes laying out there an pup by now loves them old shoes heck them shoes will pay sometimes. This is a good time to show the kids just because the pup comes up to you with something in their mouth, doe's not mean they won't you to have it and by taken it from them will cause them to not won't to come around you with anything in their mouth and by not taking it will make them won't to stay around you even more. Just as hollering will cause them to shy away talking in the same tone will make them stay. Where running will cause some unwanted behaviors like chase, rough house, nipping on the other hand staying semi still will cause them to slow down and sit a lot. Well jumping can hurt them and the pup. The one thing Mr. Robert has always stated to me. If you can catch the minute somthing negative happens you have about five minutes to reverse it from going in long term memory. I'll generally get pup up close to me and pet on them, that way their reinsured that I am still the greatest thing that has happened to them. Remember in #4 when I said things are going to happen that you have no control over. Here is a example, Me and a pup was coming in the back door one afternoon, we got to the door pup waited until I opened the door, I released pup it went in first I was holding the storm door open so it wouldn't shut on pup well pup went in and as it was going between the coffee table and recliner it nail the table with it's back hip as it was turning pup went down and the first thing it seen when it turned around was me. I immediately bent down and called pup to me all that was running through my mind and I know it was in his. was what was that for. We sit right there in the floor for a good thirty min. Things like that is what you have to watch for when the kids are in the picture.

​Closing the gate on Pup and I - Words that seem to control how I think and what words I replace them with. You know some of the verbage that we've come a custom to hearing, I think persuades the way we approach and handle laying out a plan for us and our Pup. The number one mistake IMO that a novice owner makes when getting that first pup, is not sitting down and saying this is what I won't and this is how I won't to do it. Then educate theirselves some, by all means ask questions, volunteer to help out, be humble. That was my biggest obstacle when I started I didn't have a plan. I was placing all the emphasis on words and objects of Traditional training methods. I once ask a question to Mr. Robert some four and a half years ago, we were just starting the swing bridge, he walks up. I said something to the affect now then when I blow that whistle to make that dog stop, He looks at me and with a fairly stout facial expression and sayed "Craig, I can'nt help you as long as you are thinking in terms of objects, now talk to me about behaviors and I can help you." "are you all right with that" he said. I said yes sir, then I perceded to ask another qusestion about the dog in his book, thats when he shook his head and said "I wrote the book for you Craig the D_ M dog can'nt read". YES SIR I got the picture. 

I also beleive that a person needs to have the right frame of mind to do anything regardless it being working with dogs, running a corporation, or digging a ditch. So some of the words that I use in place of Traditional ones that I think helps keep a positive flow with raising PUP. When I hear the word MARKS, to me it means alot of unrestricted retreives, and alot of them cause unsteadness and whining. I refer to a mark as a Known. I like blind and Unknown. 

Balance, I think of hundreds of Unrestricted retreives, that the dog loves then go and punish him several times to get it steady. 

I like the word blend when talking about putting behaviors together.

Standards, This is one that I think should be OUTLAWED, I have standards that my dog must abide by, and if not it gets a Azzzzz Whopping. But yet we don't hit every duck that we shot at. We're not perfect in giving it the exact signal everytime. I'll stop there.

I like the word Values, I value my dog that I spent alot of money on and that will spend 10 to 15 yrs of my life with that I made every stride known to educate myself, to never use compulsion on my best friend.

Attrition, I'm going to work them until they just about to fall slap out. Then next time they do it right the first time.

Formal Training, When is the right age when I can start to apply a little force.

I like shaping behaviors, Its totally amazing what giving a positive direction and selective breeding will produce.

I'll stop with that, but I hope you see my thinking, I've heard statements like, me and the dog just don't have the right chemistry. Its just a dog. Well there's not a week that doe's not go by that I don't get choked up even a tear rolling out when look at Spook and Sage our two 6yr old American labs. I think of how I went about what I thought was training but was just short of animal cruelty, But yet they still come to me with that look we forgive you. They are remarkable creatures and we are terrible human beings.
God Bless You All
Craig Clark​

#7 Fire in the hole - Another large step for pup and I 
Acclimating pup to things that go BOOM!!! This is one that we should really pay attention to how we go about it. The ideal set up for me is having two or three older dogs on lead and pup in there close with them and some one shooting and throwing dummys while another older dog is retrieving and the group with pup in it walks up to the gun. Start out at 100yds come in at 15Yd intervals. Treat pup as your walking maybe drop a dummy for pup at the end if it's been quiet and relaxed. I'm make sure pup is looking at the gun when it is shot. I'm also particular about dummy launchers, starter pistols, and rifles these all produce a higher pinch than the shot guns. Just remember if it rings your ear what do you think it doe's to pups ear. 

I've seen first hand where the pup was not afraid of the BOOM but was fearful of that strange looking stick that smoke was coming out the end of. Us humans get so wraped up in what we think pup should act or should I say react to what we do. I've come to realize that the enviroment I provide pup plays a major roll in his raising and how it will react to change or new objects. We've just started recently as we are walking pups even grown dogs up and down the hill, we mix it up with toting a gun one time stoping and clicking the safety on and off as we raise it then click - treat if pup is still. The next time will swirl a dummy around stop throw it click - treat if pups still then go pick it up., next time will just carry the walking stick stop, set walking stick down in front of them click - treat.

My rule of thumb for starting with guns is when pups adult teeth have all come in. Prior to that, I'll go down the hill and have my wife get some treats and treat pup as I walk up lighting fire crackers yes there is still a little kid in me I have an old daisy air rife with the end of the barrel open that i place the fire cracker in . She'll also have a duck wing letting them smell. I can still remember the first seminar Mr. Robert had at the kennel we all went to the pond Spec. had never been around any gun fire so I left him in the truck Mr. Robert was at the pond he looked over and ask me where my dog was I told him in the truck needless to say I went and got my dog. That day Young spec. was not only introduced to gun fire but the water and the green boat of Mr. Roberts. I look back on some things and I do believe I have been part of some of his studies and not even relized it.  I have one more #8 Hungry, will work for food. Then I'll close with some verbage that I belive we hear that actually cause us to do the things we shouldn't do with pup. Pup and I thank ya'll for Listening , this has been Fun.


​I've been touting the ideal of starting a thread about puppy behaviors and what I've notice that happens when human nature acts counter productive to the pups natural tendency, behaviors that pup has that we want yet we push them out thinking were TRAINING pup. We are pups biggest obstacle!!! 

I'll post a comment on a behavior in this thread by # anyone is welcome to place their veiw on that behavior. Let me start by saying I am not a dog trainer, I Raise Labs As a Hobby For Pleasure Dogs.   What I'm posting is from first hand mistakes' I made or let happen and had to set for days figuring out what toke place to cause that behavior.

#1.Whinning and Barking in Crate -We bring pup home place it in their crate. We first care it outside let it pee and poop. Pup starts to bark we go in cut light on whats wrong pup get pup out, pet it, put back up ect...We just started to shape the behavior, you bark or whin I'll be there. I found out a dark sheet is pups best friend. Like a bird in a cage. Think about it never has been away from the pack, going to be some separation anxiety. In some way like you after that first real date. Pup calms down wait ten to fifteen minutes go in take sheet off treat. Leave, cut light off pup barks go in cover up with sheet. I do recommend plastic crates starting out in place of the wire crates. Althought the wire crates do have a dividing wire so you can limit the area to keep them from soiling their kennel but there is a risk of pup getting foot hung in wire while unsupervised. You would have to invest in a couple of different size plastic crates.

#2. I'm growing leaps and bounds - Now we have gotten up a couple of times and let pup out to relieve its' self. I place the pups crate close to the door, I also place a old sheet under crate to the door, reason being is that your not going to make it everytime with pup, their going to soil their crate and what you don't won't to do is have pup track that stuff all thru out the room getting to the door. I also recommend long pants, pup is going to want to place it's paws on you. This is were we start pushing pup from us. We usally say get down go on ,go on. for goodness sake its a 8wk old puppy that wants to be with us and we start teaching it to back off. Then we can't understand why pup runs off later. I won't my dogs to love being around me. So I let pup rare up on me, by the time pup is 16wks it will have learned that by not rearing up on me pays a nice reward. this will also help in the delivery to hand.
So as the next few days go you figured out a sch for pup. I feed at 5:30am and between 3:00 and 4:00pm water is cut off at 5:00 over feeding is the major problem with loose stool. regulate feed and treats until you see cigars. I have a raised puppy pen outside and a 5'x5'x4' outside ground pen, crates in garage an in den. Pups are move from place to place within the day, all with the same tone of voice clicking and treating. I've vowed not to raise no less than two to five pups at a time it's a hobby an a very,very fun one. And all a person has to do is have patience and restrain from sudden reaction to pup. 
Tonight I'll go outside with pup and sit around inside with pup I'll share some veiws on what I have done and veiwed as wrong for pup as we become better friends.

#8 Hungry, will work for food. "I just don't have the time to mess with my pup". I hear this alot. I always answer, "do you feed it". They always answer "Why, yes I feed it". Then you got time to shape the behaviors in it that you need. One thing that we can'nt deny, pup is always hungry and will do anything for food. I start the first day, That I bring baby dog home with FEED PAN 101 and a clicker, IMO there is no higher reward for a 8wk old pup than a pan of wet, juicy Eukanuba puppy food. I start shaping all the behaviors Sit, Stay, Go, stop on whistle, heel, back, left & right over, load up, on the fence line turn to the right turn to the left, ride the four wheeler ect... and it only takes about five minutes a day with two feedings. In the morning do a drill when you get up put pup in crate right after, go get ready for work or where ever your going as you are leaving place pup in pen soon as you get home do a drill - feeding put in crate. This allows what pup just did to go into long term memory so its learning. Not only that it's learning how to learn. Yet human nature along with traditional ideaology says that we must wait and apply a learned helplessness approach to get these behaviors. Lets think about it for a moment now we waited 6 months pup had the run of things, its pass the time line to develope great learning skills. Here's an examable that backs the long term memory. I dout many traditional trainers even realize what is taking place they go out run ,run and run the same drill maybe the first several times they put the dog back on the line with ten other dogs next they decide to move locations this time they work the dog but insteed of putting it on a line they place it back in its box, guess what happen? That session the dog had time to place it in long term memory. Next time they work the dog it nails the drill, they being the trainer thinks that the dog finally put it all together. You can cut the drill time in half. Jackson, my young 14month old male was stoping on the whistle at 16wks. He is the one in the Thread Distaraction levels and one of the 21wk old pups. Were working on a plan for a litter of pups next year that should produce a desired behavior at 12wks. The study will take around five months to complete and I can hardly sleep at night for thinking and planning for it. 

I still in away of speaking practice learned helplessness in the way I do things, even in raising pup. I pretty much use the same drills with a 16wk pup that I use with a 2yr old dog, biggest difference is length and distraction levels. See, "thats whats wrong IMO" is that human Nature tells us if it works no need in trying or changing anything, when there is always room for improvement regardless. I have raised several pups in the last four years and have learned somthing different with every one of them most of it go'es back to just realizing what they were breed for and how we raise them. Though some things I've dicovered comes from pure accident like these three pups I'm raising now. We always start on the deck with the feed pan well i just recently move the stainless steel watering bowl around there to get it in the shade. I go to start the first pup to sit and wait to be released for it food. Pup did what all of them do the first time it got up and came a running but this time when I pick the food bowl up there was the big watering bowl well the food bowl is stainless to. Pup did not realize that and stuck it nose off in the water bowl. looked up at me as to say that wasn;t very nice. We went back, pup sit I walk back about five feet stood up waited a few seconds click motioned pup like boucing a basket ball pup came right on over to the right feed pan, thats the first time I had a pup nail it on its second try. Now I wish I had thought of that but I was just observing. When I transition to dummys the blending of the behaviors is alot more easy. And pup and I have bunches of fun, fun. 

I'll finish up tomorrow night with - Words that seem to control how I think and what words I replace them with - that is if I don't hit the Esc key like i did last night  two statements to go "Boom' it was gone.


Pup and I

#6 Splish Splash we were taking a bath - As pups and I head towards the pond I have flash backs of one of the dumbest things I every did pertaining to what I thought at the time was dog training. Yes, I pushed Sage in not only that when she got out I throwed her back in. Lets say I was real thorough in ruining her to the water It toke along time to work it out . Believe me that was hard to share. 

There several things that I've notice when introducing pup to water. First always do it where the bank has a gradual slope decending into the water, avoid any high banks that pup might Linger off of an hit the water this will tend to startle pup and you don't want that especially if you can not get too them quickly. Water temp is critical, IMO cold water is your worst enemy. Hot water is not good especially if pup is a little over heated before it goe's in, stay away from any Iced over ponds and gauge how long you let pup swim in cooler water. I've yet to have one not take the plung ON THEIR ON since Sage. It is in there blood to swim. 

So where headed for the water today with pup, so lets make this fun. your going to get wet so enjoy it with pup. This is the only time when introducing pup to the water that you'll here me say unrestrained reteives is OK. Once introduced its over. So here is a list of what I suggest you have, lets start with an Old pair of jeans, tee shirt, and old tennie shoes, you might want to carry a towl. Carry some duck or pigeon wings, a bumper on a ten foot rope, bag of rocks so if you throw one of the other objects in and pup don't see it you can throw a rock at it and make a splash. I've just recently started using 8inch 1x2s their cheap to make, you don't have to sweet it if they float off, their thin so pup can get a hold of them they have enough weight to keep pup head out front so it doe's not go in a kamikaze spin in the middle of the pond by the way thats why you have the old jeans and tennie shoes on. You'll have to go get it if this happens. I was walking a pup down by the pond a few years ago early one morning and it decided it was going to have me go for a swim, this is around 7:00am, no sooner than I get back to the bank a school bus full of kids comes by, as I'm walking back up the drive way my neighbour is leaving for work rolls down her window an says nice morning for a swim say Craig all the time laughing, then my wife walks out with our kids going to work and school. Now i didn't have long pants on nor tennis shoes, jap flaps, tank top and shorts need I say there was mud from top to bottom.
Now our human nature wants pup in the water the first time we take it, but thats not going to happen every time. Wade in slowly and pup more than likely will follow. I do not recommend a bigger dog with pup in the water. Carry plenty of treats. Be patient it will happen and when it doe's you'll be gleeming. My pup can swim. It's still to this day a wonderful joy to me to see a pup take it's very first swim. 
#7 Fire in the hole - Another large step for pup and I