Puppy progress! What I have learned

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/glyl2z/puppy_progress_what_i_have_learned/

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I'm just here to share my experience and where I am at with my 11-week-old BC puppy, Nova. Basically to brag haha. And to say it does get better!

The communication between us has been strengthening everyday and it's made things way easier! In the beginning, I was having serious doubts about my decision to get a puppy. I did get my dose of the puppy blues. However, just seeing the progress we have had over the past few weeks brings me so much happiness. I have been writing down our wins and not-so-great moments down so I can be grateful for how far we've come. It's the little things in life.

Crate training. First night home, barely cried. A true freaking blessing! I didn't have to sleep on the floor in front of her crate. She did whine for a few minutes but she passed out. Wakes up twice in the middle of the night to let me know she needs to go potty and straight back in her crate asleep. It's been like this every night since. She goes down easily for a nap during the day. At most she whines for a few minutes. I honestly won the lottery with this one.

Potty training. She is only 11-weeks-old and we barely have any accidents at all. I do take her out all the time and I watch her like a hawk when she is awake. I've gotten pretty good at reading the signs that she needs to pee. She now sits at the door, sometimes a little whine, to let me know she needs to go pee.

Biting and Chewing. Honestly, she is a land shark. But thankfully a very gentle land shark! She doesn't bite hard at all. Well, except for when she misses her toy and accidentally gets my hand. Ouch. But it's not intentional so I forgive her. However, she loves to steal things are runs for the hills when she does. She also has a thing for plants. Loves to tear them apart. However, she does know the word 'no' and most of the time she listens. Unless shark mode is activated. She still tugs on my sleeves and hair, lunges for my face out of excitement and steals my socks. But, nothing destroyed yet. I do watch her like a hawk though. But, I must say we have progressed over the past few weeks. Tons of redirection, 'no' and leave it training. BUT it is still a work in progress.

Waiting at the door. I have been training her not to sprint out the crate door. She is doing really well! She learnt that pretty quickly. Also been training her to let me through the door first and she has to wait for me to give her the cue that she can come in. That one is still a work in progress but doing well.

Tricks. She knows sit, down, stand, paw, spin (both directions), somewhat play dead (more like lay on her back and snap at my fingers for the treat). This is not a priority of mine because I am working more on obedience. She can learn tricks later.

Doesn't know how to relax. Outside of the crate she is go go go. She doesn't know how to just lie down and sleep. I have to put her in the crate to force her to go to sleep. It's hard to capture moments of calm and reward them when there is none! However, a miracle happened tonight. I was sitting on the floor watching a movie while she played by herself on the other side of the room. She came over to me, I petted her and SHE FELL ASLEEP! It's a miracle from the gods! I hope there are more moments like that!

Drop it and leave it training. She doesn't know how to drop things. Especially things that she's not supposed to have. She will just run away. I have stopped chasing her because that is just encouraging the behaviour. She does know how to 'leave it' when we are doing a training session but outside training sessions, not so much… If I take her for a walk down the farm, she will pick up anything and everything in her mouth. She will not drop it, even if I am coaxing her with the treat. I have to force it out of her mouth. This is a work in progress.

What I have learned and some advice Enforced naps are absolute key! If she is awake for more than an hour, shark mode is activated! Awake 1 hour and in crate asleep 1-2 hours. Puppies need more mental stimulation than you think. I didn't know a puppy needed a lot of mental stimulation. But I was wrong. She would have her moments of not listening and biting things she's not supposed to, even though she has had enough sleep. I slowly figured out she must have been bored. Even though I was trying to play with her all the time. I would try and play with her but she would ignore me and bite the furniture instead. So, I have been putting her meals in a kong and it takes her a good 30-45 minutes to finish. And just from that I have noticed she is way better behaved! More relaxed even. Slightly. I have also got her a Jolly Egg because apparently it is good for herding breeds. She loves it! Goes nuts for it. She played with it for only 10 minutes and she was absolutely exhausted afterwards. Check out this Facebook group for mental stimulation ideas. Kikopup has incredible videos on training. I have learnt a lot so far. And her methods have worked! Check her out.

Nova is still young and I have quite a way to go. But it's the small wins that get me through! Think about your small wins and where you are now compared to a day, week or month ago. Enjoy this season as much as you can. Because I am sure it will pass quickly. I am completely in love with this girl and I am so glad she is in my life now.

submitted by /u/Becca_Nova
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