Arizona Search Dogs

Arizona Search Dogs is a nonprofit (501c3) organization


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Forum Home > General Discussion > Victim's How-To Manual Young Puppies (8weeks to 6 months)

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Victim’s How-To Manual

Young Puppies (8weeks to 6 months)

By the time we get young pups at around 8 weeks of age, they are ready to chase, chew, tug, and try to mangle whatever we drag across the floor--at least the type of pups that we want for future search dogs. Their primary “victim” will be their assigned handler and/or trainer. The secondary “victims” will be the other team members, willing family and friends, and the occasional stranger that’s attracted to this cute, little fuzz ball. The victim’s main job at this tender age is to make play time wonderful! Use a variety of toys, but they should be ones that can be tugged. Drag the toy, playing keep away for just a few seconds, then let the pup catch it. Now comes the fun part. Tug (only as strong as the pup is tugging. Remember, you are a lot stronger), growl, roll on the floor, let him climb on you, then let him win. Sometimes you can give the toy a short toss. The younger the pup, the shorter the distance it is tossed. Then tug and repeat the aforementioned sequence. Young pups will wear out fast and have a short attention span, so don’t push it. As they get older, you can lengthen the play sessions. If there are several “victims” available, sit in a circle and do a round-robin play session by tossing the toy to a person, they play a little, and when they happen to get it away from the pup, they toss it to someone else.

At this age, we also introduce the “run away victim”. The beginning version goes like this. The handler holds the pup while you, the victim, tease it with the toy. Toys with squeakers seem to especially excite them. Then run away, calling the pup’s name, waving the toy, and screaming like a banshee. The handler will release the pup while you are still running. Just before the pup catches you, hunker down & let him get the toy. Tug, roll around on the ground and tell him how great he did.

This is also a good time to start basic obedience, but that is another topic for a different article.

March 15, 2011 at 5:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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