The Puppy Training Podcast

Episode #73 Manage, Prevent and Train

May 05, 2021 Baxter & Bella Puppy Training Season 3 Episode 73
The Puppy Training Podcast
Episode #73 Manage, Prevent and Train
Show Notes Transcript

Today I want to touch on the topic of prevention and management and how it fits into our training. To start, I’m going to tell you about my niece. When she was two she LOVED to color. In fact, it was known in our family to put all crayons and markers away when she was coming to visit. Why would we do that? 

Well, if we didn’t and she happened to find one, she was happy to color on anything in sight - yep! Laptops, couches, walls, you name it. She had no filter when it came to coloring. So a simple fix was to make sure all coloring materials were safely put away before she arrived. This is prevention and management at it’s finest and that is the topic of the day.



Support the show (http://www.baxterandbella.com/learn-more)

Manage, Prevent & Train


Hi everyone! How was your day? It is beautiful here in Northern Utah and I’m soaking up every minute of Spring that I can. I watched my son play in a state soccer game today in flip flops. Every other game this spring I’ve been in my winter coat, rain pants, snow hat and gloves! The blossoms are out, the birds are back and the dogs and I have LOVED being outdoors. I hope you’re doing just as well. 


For those of you who maybe new, we just brought home Baxter an Australian Labradoodle from Camdenlane labradoodles in Utah. He’s keeping us busy and we’re having a lot of fun. You’ll be hearing a lot about him on the podcast and if you’re a member of our program, you’ll see many new training videos. He’s simply too cute not to share! 


Some of you may be wondering if we just do this podcast. Actually, we run The Online Puppy School and help thousands around the world train their dog to be a well-mannered member of the family. It is completely online. We teach classes, courses, coach you one-on-one in our LIVE Appointments section and answer any questions you may have as you go through the DIY curriculum. My team of trainers and I love what we do. If you’re bringing a dog into your family soon or already have a dog who maybe could use some help, join us online. We’d love to see you in class. 


Today I want to touch on the topic of prevention and management and how it fits into our training. To start, I’m going to tell you about my niece. When she was two she LOVED to color. In fact, it was known in our family to put all crayons and markers away when she was coming to visit. Why would we do that? 


Well, if we didn’t and she happened to find one, she was happy to color on anything in sight - yep! Laptops, couches, walls, you name it. She had no filter when it came to coloring. So a simple fix was to make sure all coloring materials were safely put away before she arrived. This is prevention and management at it’s finest. 


Because we used prevention and managed the situation, does that mean she will never learn not to color on things like walls, couches or laptops? No, she’ll learn as we teach and work with her on it. But at age two, she didn’t yet understand or know why coloring on walls was frowned upon. That came with time and maturity. She’s now three and knows better, but before, she didn’t. So we simply managed the situation and prevented access to the coloring materials for the time being, knowing we would work to teach her what she can and can’t do with crayons and markers. 


This works the same way with new puppies in the house. As I mentioned, Baxter came home this week. He’s 8 weeks old and pretty new to the living in a home concept. Up until now, he’s been in a pen with his littermates where it isn’t possible to get into any trouble, outside in a play yard or inside with a person working closely with him. I am a big believer in setting my dogs up for success. Knowing Baxter was about to arrive, I carefully set up several spaces for him to help him win at living in our home. Recognizing he doesn’t know “coloring on the walls isn’t good” I tried to minimize what trouble he can get into and then each day, we’ll start training and teaching him so he can earn more living space room by room.


What do these spaces look like? 


First, I have his crate. This is a small plastic portable crate I can easily move around with me during the day and cozy to sleep in at night. I put a soft and harder chew toy inside ready to go for whenever I need to place him in there - which by the way - is anytime I can’t watch him 100% of the time. I know! Puppies take a lot of time but they also sleep a lot so it all works out. 


The second space is a play pen. This is a play yard if you will where he can move around and get some energy out, play with his toys, learn what toys he can play and unable to get into any sort of trouble like peeing on the carpet, chewing up shoes or finding socks my kids left lying around. That doesn’t happen at your house does it? The pen is awesome. It is a puppy proof room and prevents a lot of unwanted things from happening. 


The third space is a single room. This happens to be my downstairs kitchen area also known as my office. It’s where I teach classes, type emails and record these podcasts. I use a Midwest exercise pen stretched across the open room to act as a divider, shrinking the space to a 20x20 foot area. 


Baxter eats his meals here, water is always available, we train and he learns new behavior, we practice going out to the potty area regularly from this room too. He is able to begin learning household manners but in a controlled setting. I set out a pair of my shoes by the door and we can work on leaving them alone. I introduce rugs so long as he leaves them alone - if he starts playing with them, I simply pick them up for the time being and I reintroduce them later when he no longer cares. 


There are cabinets and countertops. I teach him the best way to get food the fastest is to plop down on a bed in this area and then food comes. So he’s starting to learn how to behave in a kitchen setting, but on a smaller scale. As he gets better at keeping this one room clean, I will open up a new room. By managing and preventing access to the rest of my home right now, I’m setting him up for success. I’m giving him a space where he can learn to win easily and as he gets better, we open up more space. 


Does this mean that Baxter is not learning how to be in a house because I’m not letting him in my entire house right now? Just like the crayons and markers, did my niece eventually learn not to color on walls? Yes. Will Baxter also eventually learn not to pee on carpet? Yes. Will he eventually learn we can’t chew shoes or rugs? Yes. But we teach him step by step, making the first steps so easy to win he wants to keep training. 


Think of playing a game you never win. Do you want to go play it with me right now? Most likely no. Right? Why? You never win that game. I’m sure you can think of a game you’d rather play. Puppies do best when they see the worth in what they do. If they get rewarded for something, they are likely to do it again. So why not set them up for success and start off with simply easy spaces to keep clean? Then they cooperate much more and are far less frustrated. A win in my book. 


Alright. That’s it for this week. Can you tell I’m in puppy training mode at my house? You’re going to hear a lot more tips and tricks so hit subscribe if you haven’t already. I hope you have an amazing week working with your dogs. Happy training. Talk to you soon.