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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Introducing collar/ harness

Hey all,

Question about when to practice wearing a collar or harness/ leash. Obviously I'm not aiming to "walk" Roxie. for a long time, but I think it would be useful to start getting her used to the feel of the harness or collar. Actually, she is too small for any harness, but there might be a collar I can find in her size? Or should I just wait a while? We started with Oliver in the harness around the time he came home, 12 weeks. He was able to "walk" on a leash (meaning wandering around the backyard with it on and being fine with it!) very shortly after.

On this note, what other early training did you start at 9-10 weeks?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 04:53 PM
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Hey all,

Question about when to practice wearing a collar or harness/ leash. Obviously I'm not aiming to "walk" Roxie. for a long time, but I think it would be useful to start getting her used to the feel of the harness or collar. Actually, she is too small for any harness, but there might be a collar I can find in her size? Or should I just wait a while? We started with Oliver in the harness around the time he came home, 12 weeks. He was able to "walk" on a leash (meaning wandering around the backyard with it on and being fine with it!) very shortly after.

On this note, what other early training did you start at 9-10 weeks?
My dogs were in "puppy competition classes" the week they came home from their breeders. I know Covid is getting in the way of THAT, but you CAN CERTAINLY work on EVERYTHING in "baby steps". And yes, of course she should be getting used to the feel of a collar and a harness already, even f you need to buy cheap tiny kitten harnesses to start with!

Here is the list of "Puppy skills" that we start working on immediately with our dogs. Obviously you don't need all of these if you aren't planning on competition with your puppies, but all this stuff comes easily with little puppies and they see it as "fun games to play with mom". So anything you WANT to play with them is GREAT!!! EVERYTHING we do is with the puppy loose... no leash at all. Not all of these will be obvous, because they are TAUGHT in our puppy classes. But I think you can figure many out on your own. Just skip any that don't make sense for you. BTW, don't let this list overwhelm you... This is AT LEAST 2 years worth of stuff to work on! LOL!

Baby Puppy Skills (things to start once you bring your puppy home)

1. Two-cookie game (start slow, place or toss cookie only a very short distance, say the puppy's name as they pick the cookie up) increase as dog’s visual skills improve, great for name recognition; also the start of a recall

2. Look at my face and get a cookie (handler sitting on the floor, C/T for eye contact; cookies do not have to be visible)

3. ”Choose the non-food hand” game (clicker in one hand, cookies in the other - look at the clicker hand, not at the food hand; C/T when dog looks at clicker hand and deliver cookie to non-food hand (i.e. the clicker hand); start with hands fairly far apart and higher than puppy’s nose)

4. Stand (for attention, and for greeting - stand instead of sit (four on the floor to greet anyone, ignore or turn if puppy jumps up)

5. Baby Fronts (come all the way in between my feet; lure)

6. Hand targeting - use clicker

7. Fetch toy (toss into a corner or confined space)

8. Go around a cone - shape with clicker

9. Go STAND on a mat (not sit or down; use clicker)

10. Baby tug - use a variety of toys (put hands close on either side of puppy’s muzzle to release toy, or trade for a cookie; don’t wave toy or shove in dog’s face. Think of the toy as a rabbit that doesn’t want to get caught but then does get caught! Tug gently and don’t yank out of puppy’s mouth)

Simple Management Tools

1. Parking / stationing (stand on pup’s leash and wait for them to settle; very helpful for when you are speaking with instructor or another person; this is worth practicing before you need it!)

2. Magic leash (put leash behind the dog’s elbows and then up through the collar from the back to the front... becomes an instant "harness")

Play Skills

1. Personal play (just you and the dog, no toys, 3-second rule - play for 3 seconds and release)

2. Food play (tossing, flicking, chasing hand)

3. Toy play (tugging and fetching)

Location Specific Markers

1. Traditional clicker (or verbal click - ”yip”, mouth click)

2. Come get the cookie from my hand (X, Yes)

3. Toss the cookie (“get it“)

4. Handler brings cookie to puppy’s mouth (room service, ”gooood”)

5. Scatter (multiple cookies placed on the ground near you)

General rule: Don’t name a behavior (with a verbal) until you can claim it (until dog can do it consistently, shaped or lured)

Stationary exercises:

1. Chin (puppy rests his chin on the open palm of your hand; excellent skill for calming, at the vet, etc)

2. Tuck sit from a stand (lure)

3. Fold-back drop from a stand (lure)

4. Kick-back stand – when the dog is ready for this skill (lure); challenging for an uncoordinated young puppy

5. Pocket hand for set-ups (lure) Lots of explanation on Fenzi for this

6. Positions: SIT on a sit box, STAND on a stand platform, FRONT FEET on a bucket - shape these

Active exercises - suitable for young puppy

1. Two-cookie game (see above; great for name recognition; start of a recall)

2. Hand targeting

3. Object targeting, including vertical targets

4. Fronts (come all the way between handler’s feet)

5. Back-up (to a mat, see “Back up like a boss” Hannah Brannigan video on YouTube)

6. Intro to jumps (high jump, broad jump, bar jump using 2 cookie game to star (use TEENY things)

7. Recalls - restrained recalls with a second person to start this

Active exercises - more advanced

1. Doggie zen (in all the positions - sit, stand, and down; introduce ”zen bowl” - this needs a separate marker word)

2. Finishes (right and left finish; left finish (set-up with pocket hand)

3. ” Through” - go through my legs

4. Spin (counterclockwise) and twirl (clockwise)

5. Dumbbell work - free shape with DB placed on the floor; or teach the hold first

6. Directed jumping (baby intro)

7. Scent discrimination (shell games with tins or paper plates)

8. Touch the stanchion

9. Go stand in a hula-hoop (no need to sit or down)

10. Advanced tug - introduce rules of the game - (teach “out” and various marker words for toy play)

11. Bucket work - start standing across from and in front of puppy - then, taking very small steps, move in either direction; excellent for rear end
awareness). Second step of bucket work is to move counterclockwise (not in either direction) with puppy in heel position

Heel Work

1. Chin heeling (skip this... you'd have to be taught how to do it right)

2. “Food follow”
Handler walks backwards holding cookie in left hand, and dog follows cookie, walking forwards eventually, handler turns so that puppy is following the hand but is now parallel to the handler's body.... only a few steps at a time.

”Find heel” (dog starts moving in heel position, handler tosses cookie, and dog returns to heel position after getting cookie)


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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for this! I'm working with a trainer but sadly we can't do puppy classes and I'm not sure how much she'll cover! I appreciate it!
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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I did teach her "sit" and "come" quite quickly, but that's of course VERY basic!
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 05:50 PM
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Wow, that's a great list, Karen. We are going to do an outdoor puppy pre-k, 6 puppies/owners, everyone wearing masks starting next week. Hopefully, they will do some of this with us.

What about if you don't have a fenced-in yard? The only people who have fences near me are those with pools and we do not. I was thinking a harness and a long leash?

Melissa, I am not sure of Roxie's size but I bought the most minuscule harness that hopefully will fit Otto. I bought the XS size... Maybe this would work? https://smile.amazon.com/Puppia-Soft...GT84SEBGW81FB7
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, that's a great list, Karen. We are going to do an outdoor puppy pre-k, 6 puppies/owners, everyone wearing masks starting next week. Hopefully, they will do some of this with us.

What about if you don't have a fenced-in yard? The only people who have fences near me are those with pools and we do not. I was thinking a harness and a long leash?

Melissa, I am not sure of Roxie's size but I bought the most minuscule harness that hopefully will fit Otto. I bought the XS size... Maybe this would work? https://smile.amazon.com/Puppia-Soft...GT84SEBGW81FB7
Oliver wears an x-small in this https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcos...s-in-turquoise which I really love. He's an average sized adult Hav.

This is the one I have for her, in xtra xtra small. She can get out and it's tiny. I think she needs a kitten collar till she gets a bit bigger honestly. I don't even want to practice with it because she slips her arms out in seconds.



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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 08:52 PM
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I did teach her "sit" and "come" quite quickly, but that's of course VERY basic!
Actually, a really SOLID recall (“come”) is something that you will be working on for months and months, if not years. It can seem easy when they are tiny, because it is natural for them to come toward you when they are vey young. And you are wise to use that! But then they will hit adolescence and learn that they don’t HAVe to come if there is something more interesting to occupy them. THAT’S when you have to work REALLY, REALLY hard on reinforcing reliable recalls!


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(ARCHMX Starborn Kodak Moment CGC, NTD, BN, PCD, NA, NAJ, CDX-CCH, RE, RLV, RL1X3, RL2X4, RL3X3...
plus Starborn's Picture Perfect & CH Nauti Herd Compact Flash RN, CGC, NTD, SN-C, RL1)






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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by stephsu View Post
Wow, that's a great list, Karen. We are going to do an outdoor puppy pre-k, 6 puppies/owners, everyone wearing masks starting next week. Hopefully, they will do some of this with us.

What about if you don't have a fenced-in yard? The only people who have fences near me are those with pools and we do not. I was thinking a harness and a long leash?

Melissa, I am not sure of Roxie's size but I bought the most minuscule harness that hopefully will fit Otto. I bought the XS size... Maybe this would work? https://smile.amazon.com/Puppia-Soft...GT84SEBGW81FB7
You can certainly use a harness and long line, but almost all the things on that puppy skill list can be done in your living room or kitchen. . The great thing about Havanese puppies is that they are tiny.


Karen, Kodi, Pixel and Panda
(ARCHMX Starborn Kodak Moment CGC, NTD, BN, PCD, NA, NAJ, CDX-CCH, RE, RLV, RL1X3, RL2X4, RL3X3...
plus Starborn's Picture Perfect & CH Nauti Herd Compact Flash RN, CGC, NTD, SN-C, RL1)






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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yup we’re doing all this in my bedroom with the door shut because she wants to pounce all over Oliver! We did a couple of these without him there and she got the hang of them. He gets his walks and daily play sessions. She should get separate training/ play too.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Melissa Woods View Post
I did teach her "sit" and "come" quite quickly, but that's of course VERY basic!
Actually, a really SOLID recall (“come”) is something that you will be working on for months and months, if not years. It can seem easy when they are tiny, because it is natural for them to come toward you when they are vey young. And you are wise to use that! But then they will hit adolescence and learn that they don’t HAVe to come if there is something more interesting to occupy them. THAT’S when you have to work REALLY, REALLY hard on reinforcing reliable recalls! <img src="http://www.havaneseforum.com/images/smilies/wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" />
Oh geez. Half the time Oliver runs the other way when I call him. I have to run away from him to get him to come. Ughhh
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