1 2 3 4
@panix2.panix.com:
Didn't the New Skete book include stuff about alpha rolling?

In the new version they say that while they'd recommended it in the first edition they can't continue to do so, and had a brief discussion of why they've stopped.

It's nice to see people who are able not only to change their minds but admit to it.
Paula
Any other suggestions for general puppy training books? Especially ones that address large(r) breeds and little kids?

Thanks for all the suggestions and comments.
I've ordered the two Kilcommons books - "Childproofing Your Dog" and "My Smart Dog" - along with the Benjamin - "Mother Knows Best".

I have the old New Skete book but I think my nearest Barnes & Noble has the updated version so if after reading these others I want more I can just get it there. The others are kind of hit or miss at the store so I ordered them online.
I think I'll read them myself and then loan (rather than gift) them to her. I've already taken over toys so I'll put these books in my own library - which hasn't had any new dog books added lately.
I took them a Kong last night. The pup had never been alone in a crate (which they will use) and they wanted something safe to put in with him that would also amuse him.
I think I'm going to offer to help train - and do as much as they will let me do. Once school starts, the pup will be alone for at least some of the days from morning until late afternoon. If I volunteer noon breaks with training sessions, it will probably make me the best neighbor ever.

The problem is, of course, that unless they follow through on whatever training I do, it will get frustrating. The wife will. She wants him trained and she wants her kids and grandkids to be comfortable around him. The husband wants that too but he tends to be too easy-going and not as insistent on immediate compliance from the dogs. But if I can get some noticeable results from the dog, I'm hoping they'll be encouraged to follow through. They aren't stupid people and they do want a well-trained dog. (Now if I could just convince them to not let him run loose through the neighborhood - at least until he has a solid recall.)

I've never trained a boxer puppy before. This may be a real rough ride! Any boxer specific training tips? He seems like a middle-of-the-road puppy, which will be great improvement from their last very strong-willed one.

First step - today - is to introduce him to the schnauzers. I think one at a time. I'd do it in his house but they have cats - which will interest the schnauzers as much as the puppy will. So outside will be better.

Judy
The problem is, of course, that unless they follow through on whatever training I do, it will get frustrating. The ... convince them to not let him run loose through the neighborhood - at least until he has a solid recall.)

I tend to run into families like this regularly. My lifestyle puts a lot of nice but clueless dog owners in my path. I have found without a single exception that if you can teach them how to get the dog to sit for attention instead of jumping up, you will have the attention of even the laziest family who cares about kids and dogs being able to be safe around each other. Not having a lot of time myself, my method also has the advantage of being custom made for lazy people and for kids to be able to reinforce themselves even if the parents slack off.
You can teach the dog to sit if you don't think the family with the dog can or will do it. Tell them that your lazy *** friend on the internet who adopted lots of big athletic dogs with no training from the shelter and trained them to be good kid dogs (everyone wanted a dalmatian!) found that if you only pet the dog when it is sitting but always pet it when it is sitting, it will learn to come up and sit in front of the kids as reliably as it now comes up and jumps and paws at them.

As a tiny puppy, that is probably okay with them for now, but they know from having had an adult boxer in the past that it won't be okay forever. Dog comes up for attention. Tell it to sit. Give it tons of attention. Dog jumps on you or does anything else you don't want it to do, refuse to touch the dog when it's doing that and tell it to sit. Immediately go from cold fish to lovey dovey as soon as butt hits ground (or if it's a hoverer, butt hits within an acceptable distance of the ground).

Dogs really get this. I explain to the people that the reason it works is that dogs only know how dogs do things. The way dogs say hello and I like you is to lick muzzles and paw at each other. Your muzzle is way up there, so they have to jump up on you in order to say hello and tell you how happy they are to see you. If you don't want them to do that, you have to teach them another way to do it. You have to teach them how humans want dogs to say hello because they don't speak human.Since they have kids, you can liken it to how toddlers seem to universally think that tugging on you and calling your name over and over like machine gun fire is the best way to get your attention, especially if you are on the phone. If you give them your attention when they do this, you can't blame them for thinking this is the best way to get your attention because it did, didn't it? But if you decide you don't want them to do that and just yell at them when they do it, they are still going to need and want your attention from time to time and they won't know what to do.

They'll either try their way again or start trying other things, some of which you might like even less. But if you teach them a way to get your attention that you like better than the tugging and momming that they know will absolutely get them even better attention than their methods, they will train themselves to do that instead because it will get them not only your attention, but your praise and adoration. Dogs, like kids, want and need their peoples' attention and approval.

Give both for the dog coming up and sitting in front of you and neither for the dog jumping, pawing, whatever, and in no time you have a dog that motivates itself to do what you want and by default is safer with kids. Tell the kids what great dog trainers they are when they tell the dog to sit and then love up on it and you can get two birds with one stone!

Paula
I have found without a single exception that if you can teach them how to get the dog to sit ... attention of even the laziest family who cares about kids and dogs being able to be safe around each other.

This is what I'm hoping.
if you only pet the dog when it is sitting but always pet it when it is sitting,

I'm going to remember that wording..
Dog jumps on you or does anything else you don't want it to do, refuse to touch the dog

I tried a version of this with their previous dog. (But of course, they didn't.) I told the dog - and indirectly them - that I only pet dogs with all four feet on the floor. Otherwise, they get completely ignored. It had some success for me. None long term since DH and I were the only ones doing it.
I explain to the people that the reason it works is that dogs only know how dogs do things. The ... to do it. You have to teach them how humans want dogs to say hello because they don't speak human.

Again, nice wording.
But if you teach them a way to get your attention that you like better than the tugging and momming ... not only your attention, but your praise and adoration. Dogs, like kids, want and need their peoples' attention and approval.

I think you've helped me tremendously with my approach! Thanks.

Yesterday when I met the pup, the wife was most concerned about not allowing this dog to jump on people and cars, etc. Their daughter had suggested grabbing the dog by the collar when he tries to jump and forcing his face down to the ground. (this is how she trained her two Rotties.)

I suggested that it was easier to teach a positive action than a negative one. Teach a rock solid Sit. If the dog is sitting, he can't jump up. If the dog is lying down, he can't jump up. A friend with great danes has trained each of her dogs to lie down when approached by a child. It no longer takes a command. They see a kid approaching and down they go. Everyone is happy and the dog gets high praise. I'd have more faith in my ability to train a dane to do that than a spring-loaded boxer, but it's a nice goal to think bout.
The kids involved are little. Six months to four years old. Perfect size for a boxer to bowl over unintentionally. And too young to get involved in interaction with the dog. But they also are never very far from their parents - who have a huge interest in having the dog behave.

I'm going to introduce some of these ideas later today.

I'm also going to try to somehow point out that it is NOT a cute or good thing when the husband gets home from work and walks into the living room to have a seven week old puppy, who has only been in the house for two days, growl at him. I just heard that he did that - and it does not sound like a positive thing to me at all.
They want him to be a guard dog - the husband works swing shift and the wife is nervous about being home alone. But the more important thing is to make this dog as safe as possible around kids - which means to me that they may have to NOT encourage guard behavior.
Thanks for your thoughts. It's been a long time since I had to address making a kid-safe dog.
Judy
I'm also going to try to somehow point out that it is NOT a cute or good thing when the ... just heard that he did that - and it does not sound like a positive thing to me at all.

If it really was a real growl, no, that's definitely not a good sign, coming from a 7 week old puppy and directed at a member of the family, Judy.
Coupled with the fact that this is apparently a BYB puppy, I think it may even be a signal event of what lies ahead.
They want him to be a guard dog - the husband works swing shift and the wife is nervous about ... as safe as possible around kids - which means to me that they may have to NOT encourage guard behavior.

Of course they shouldn't! They should do just the opposite, in fact.

This Boxer pup was born with more than enough protective genes to get the job done. In fact, the pup's growling at the husband should be taken as an indication of what may lie ahead (but hopefully only with suspicious-looking strangers, not family members), especially if extensive SOCIALIZATION and OBEDIENCE TRAINING isn't provided for this pup - ASAP.
Thanks for your thoughts. It's been a long time since I had to address making a kid-safe dog.

I'm glad that you're taking an interest in this matter.

It sounds to me like there might be a potentially dangerous situation brewing here.
Hopefully, I'm wrong.
But this just doesn't sound to me like a match made in Heaven.

Handsome Jack Morrison
Watch a "reality-based" economist meltdown, while demanding a taxpayer bailout of his rich buddies on Wall Street! http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2007/08/cramer-pleads-f.html

New Scandal Erupts over NOAA Climate Data!
http://www.dailytech.com/New+Scandal+Erupts+over+NOAA+Climate+Data/article8347.htm

Let's hope that this message takes hold, and soon: http://hotair.com/archives/2007/08/09/video-moderate-muslims-sing /

Why "liberal" doesn't quite fit:
"In the short term, this reflects the failure of the Republican Party to secure its hard-won victories. In the longer term, this may provide a new opportunity for the heirs to authentic liberalism - today's conservatives - as they often thrive when lovers of big government, by whatever name they go by, overreach." http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2007/08/why-liberal-doe.html

"Reality-based" Rabbi Defends Michael Vick:
http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2007/08/dumb liberal lo.html

"The main proponents of 'universal coverage' want to throw more money at the current health care system, which strikes me as unwise. I believe that the 'universal coverage' mantra is dysfunctional for the same reason that 'more money for public schools' is a dysfunctional mantra for education. When your current approach is digging you into a hole, the sensible thing to do is not to dig faster. It is to stop digging." http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=080607B
If it really was a real growl, no, that's definitely not a good sign, coming from a 7 week old puppy and directed at a member of the family, Judy.

I mentioned this to the husband this afternoon. He said it was a one time thing and that the puppy had been startled awake when he came in. He felt it was actually more of a grumble than a growl - and I didn't hear it so I can't say. I tried to impress on him that it might make a difference when it's a grandchild and not him.
This Boxer pup was born with more than enough protective genes to get the job done. In fact, the pup's ... with suspicious-looking strangers, not family members), especially if extensive SOCIALIZATION and OBEDIENCE TRAINING isn't provided for this pup - ASAP.

They are aware that they need to do this. Awareness doesn't always translate into action though so I'm going to keep pushing. Based on the last dog, if there is to be obedience training, it will be done within their home - which means me prodding them.
I'm glad that you're taking an interest in this matter. It sounds to me like there might be a potentially dangerous situation brewing here.

My interest is more than a little self-serving. They are not only neighbors, they are friends and family. Their last boxer was clumsy and ill-mannered but didn't have a mean bone in his body. Ill-mannered and even slightly dog or people aggressive or even reactive is a combination I can't live with. I have seen no indication that they will change with this dog from their previous habit of opening the door and letting the dog outside with no supervision. (They're home but not watching.) I can't have a dog wandering around in my yard that I can't trust.
I make no claims of being more than a bumbling, barely adequate dog trainer. I could train this dog to basic manners if he lived in my house. From across the road? I don't know. These people have done it before - their very first boxer, 35 years ago was an incredible dog. They just have gotten lazy - and I think they've forgotten how much effort they put into it the first time.
I also have had discussions with each of them about this dog's background. They are aware that he did not come from a great breeder. The fact that they guy bred his flashy female with a flashy male (Not his - AAMOF the first one he tried to use, the owner turned him down because of that.) makes them aware that he didn't know what he was doing. But they have never had a problem with any of their BYB dogs, so it's impossible to win that argument.

I mentioned to them that it might be fun for me, in a couple of years, to do agility with their boxer. They really liked that idea. So maybe that will get me allowed to do some actual training of him. I told them the first steps for an agility dog were recall, sit and focus.

Judy
If it really was a real growl, no, that's definitely ... puppy and directed at a member of the family, Judy.

I mentioned this to the husband this afternoon. He said it was a one time thing and that the puppy ... say. I tried to impress on him that it might make a difference when it's a grandchild and not him.

I'd take that as good news, Judy.
However, "a one time thing" in only a few days time could eventually become, with even more time, pretty damn often.
It bares watching.
This Boxer pup was born with more than enough protective ... and OBEDIENCE TRAINING isn't provided for this pup - ASAP.

They are aware that they need to do this. Awareness doesn't always translate into action though so I'm going to keep pushing.

Do they really know how to properly socialize a puppy?

To all those strangers, all those sights, all those smells, all those goings-on?
At this point in his life, socialization is even more important than obedience training.
I'm glad that you're taking an interest in this matter. It sounds to me like there might be a potentially dangerous situation brewing here.

My interest is more than a little self-serving. They are not only neighbors, they are friends and family. Their last ... supervision. (They're home but not watching.) I can't have a dog wandering around in my yard that I can't trust.

That's too bad, Judy. I don't envy you at all.
I make no claims of being more than a bumbling, barely adequate dog trainer. I could train this dog to ... just have gotten lazy - and I think they've forgotten how much effort they put into it the first time.

Plus, they're 35 years older, and more set in their ways, probably.
I also have had discussions with each of them about this dog's background. They are aware that he did not ... But they have never had a problem with any of their BYB dogs, so it's impossible to win that argument.

Again, it sounds like you're up against a brick wall.
I mentioned to them that it might be fun for me, in a couple of years, to do

agility with their boxer. They really liked that idea. So maybe that will get me allowed to do some actual training of him. I told them the first steps for an agility dog were recall, sit and focus.

I'd do whatever it takes to get them extensively involved with socializing this pup for the next 9 weeks.
That critical 9 week period goes by pretty damn quickly.

But good luck, and thanks for giving them a hand!

Handsome Jack Morrison
Watch a "reality-based" economist meltdown, while demanding a taxpayer bailout of his rich buddies on Wall Street! http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2007/08/cramer-pleads-f.html

New Scandal Erupts over NOAA Climate Data!
http://www.dailytech.com/New+Scandal+Erupts+over+NOAA+Climate+Data/article8347.htm

Let's hope that this message takes hold, and soon: http://hotair.com/archives/2007/08/09/video-moderate-muslims-sing /

Why "liberal" doesn't quite fit:
"In the short term, this reflects the failure of the Republican Party to secure its hard-won victories. In the longer term, this may provide a new opportunity for the heirs to authentic liberalism - today's conservatives - as they often thrive when lovers of big government, by whatever name they go by, overreach." http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2007/08/why-liberal-doe.html

"Reality-based" Rabbi Defends Michael Vick:
http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2007/08/dumb liberal lo.html

"The main proponents of 'universal coverage' want to throw more money at the current health care system, which strikes me as unwise. I believe that the 'universal coverage' mantra is dysfunctional for the same reason that 'more money for public schools' is a dysfunctional mantra for education. When your current approach is digging you into a hole, the sensible thing to do is not to dig faster. It is to stop digging." http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=080607B
Do they really know how to properly socialize a puppy? To all those strangers, all those sights, all those smells, all those goings-on? At this point in his life, socialization is even more important than obedience training.
I sent them the link that Suja posted for the free download of Ian Dunbar's "Before You Get Your Puppy". I know they read it because she commented on the idea of introducing your puppy to 100 people during the socialization stage. She thought that was pretty over the top. I suggested that she take every possible opportunity she had or could create and do it. (We're pretty far out in the country.) I told her how we used to take the dogs to the grocery store with us and one of us would sit on a bench outside with the dog so he could meet people.

She's a teacher and has some time right now - which is when it really matters the most. I tried to impress on her that extra effort NOW would pay off later. And once it was too late, it was too late to get it back.
They are making an effort. This evening they have gone to visit family and the puppy went along. Tomorrow the pup will go along to visit a friend who lives in town - with a year old OES.
Plus, they're 35 years older, and more set in their ways, probably.

Their last dog really restricted their lives because he was so ill-mannered. Friends refused to come to their house for dinner because they couldn't get in the door without being bruised by the dog in his enthusiasm. Dog sitters were very difficult to come by. I hated even being asked to go over and let the dog out for a potty break when they were delayed coming home - I'd end up with new black and blue marks.
The grandchildren are a big incentive for them to handle this dog differently. The last dog was five years old when the grandchildren started coming. They see this puppy as a clean slate. They are looking to fix all the things that they just never addressed with the last one. It's not that easy, of course, but they do have motivation to do so.
I'd do whatever it takes to get them extensively involved with socializing this pup for the next 9 weeks. That critical 9 week period goes by pretty damn quickly.

And the wife returns to work in just two weeks. That pup had better learn things fast.
The good news is that he has now been introduced to both of the schnauzers (separately so far) and all is well. He pawed at Sassy's face and she snarled him down. He backed off appropriately and then mostly they ignored each other before ending the play session with some play bows and some play initiation. Spenser (who normally dislikes male puppies) was extremely tolerant of him, letting him paw and tug on his beard. Tomorrow we're going to try tossing him out into our fenced backyard with both schnauzers and watch what happens. So far, so good there.
Judy
To all those strangers, all those sights, all those smells, ... his life, socialization is even more important than obedience training.

I sent them the link that Suja posted for the free download of Ian Dunbar's "Before You Get Your Puppy". ... with us and one of us would sit on a bench outside with the dog so he could meet people.

That sounds great! 100 people ain't that hard to find. Schools, shopping malls, gatherings in the park, friends, walks in the city, etc.
She's a teacher and has some time right now - which is when it really matters the most. I tried ... effort NOW would pay off later. And once it was too late, it was too late to get it back.

Yep, once it's too late, it's too late forever.
They are making an effort. This evening they have gone to visit family and the puppy went along. Tomorrow the pup will go along to visit a friend who lives in town - with a year old OES.

Plus, they're 35 years older, and more set in their ways, probably.

Their last dog really restricted their lives because he was so ill-mannered.

All the more reason to do it correctly this time, eh?
The grandchildren are a big incentive for them to handle this dog differently. The last dog was five years old ... never addressed with the last one. It's not that easy, of course, but they do have motivation to do so.

Well, with your encouragement, that portends well for his future.
I'd do whatever it takes to get them extensively involved ... That critical 9 week period goes by pretty damn quickly.

And the wife returns to work in just two weeks. That pup had better learn things fast. The good news ... try tossing him out into our fenced backyard with both schnauzers and watch what happens. So far, so good there.

Yep.

Handsome Jack Morrison
Watch a "reality-based" economist meltdown, while demanding a taxpayer bailout of his rich buddies on Wall Street! http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2007/08/cramer-pleads-f.html

New Scandal Erupts over NOAA Climate Data!
http://www.dailytech.com/New+Scandal+Erupts+over+NOAA+Climate+Data/article8347.htm

Let's hope that this message takes hold, and soon: http://hotair.com/archives/2007/08/09/video-moderate-muslims-sing /

Why "liberal" doesn't quite fit:
"In the short term, this reflects the failure of the Republican Party to secure its hard-won victories. In the longer term, this may provide a new opportunity for the heirs to authentic liberalism - today's conservatives - as they often thrive when lovers of big government, by whatever name they go by, overreach." http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2007/08/why-liberal-doe.html

"Reality-based" Rabbi Defends Michael Vick:
http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2007/08/dumb liberal lo.html

"The main proponents of 'universal coverage' want to throw more money at the current health care system, which strikes me as unwise. I believe that the 'universal coverage' mantra is dysfunctional for the same reason that 'more money for public schools' is a dysfunctional mantra for education. When your current approach is digging you into a hole, the sensible thing to do is not to dig faster. It is to stop digging." http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=080607B
Show more