My Job in Early Training
Posted By Jason on November 8, 2014
So, there are many times people wonder what my job is in puppy training. Beyond making sure Julie can do what she needs, that is. My primary job is socialization. I make sure the puppies don’t have issues with men. As they work primarily with Julie, it can be easy to have a puppy who is unsure of men during the first meeting.
How I do this:
1. I lay on the floor in our puppy pen and play with them. 2. I talk loudly around them, and change the pitch and gravel of my voice to sound like other men. 3. I use different shampoos, shaving supplies, and even hand soaps day to day to change up my scent. 4. I wear costumes. Be it masks, face paints, wigs, hats. Get them used to seeing all kinds of people, and thinking any of them might be dad.
This not only helps them get over the “new”, but it helps them realize that anyone might be dad.
Another job of mine is making sure they don’t startle at sounds and new things. This is where having a home studio setup comes in handy.
How I do this: (From across the room, but at fairly high volume.)
1. Play different styles of music. I am talking everything from all types of classical, to hard core rap and death metal. I primarily play blues though, as that has dissonance in it like some jazz, and yet generally is calming. The rhythm of blues also seems to keep puppies interested. 2. I play different instruments. Right now I bounce through different sample patches on the synth and sample pad, to actually playing bass, guitar, harmonica, badly played flute, and even worse violin. 3. We watch TV. You would be amazed at how getting puppies used to different sounds and conversations just watching TV in another room at a volume they can hear will help them not react to people outside the house. 4. I play videos of weather.
Number 4 is the big one. As example, as I am typing this, I have a video of a thunderstorm that is 12 hours long playing. It is so loud that some of the thunder strikes I can feel in my chest. (Video Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPUQY8mMr6A)
This is why we have puppies that will pretty much not react to any sounds in a negative way. As far as they are concerned, it’s just the humans being odd, again.
Of course, this is just a very quick example of what I do with puppies. As they get older, my jobs expand into more of the day to day training, but that is at the direction of Julie.