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Error-Free Puppy Raising™ Tips

by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Getting Started Week 23 - Trading Up

It is important to teach your puppy to "give" or "drop" whatever is being held in the mouth. This is a gentle reminder that you control all the valued resources which helps to prevent food bowl, toy, and other possessive aggression.

1.  Start by "trading up."  Whatever your pup has in his/her mouth, offer something better as you teach the word, "give" which means put it in my hand, or "drop" which means release it to the ground.

2.  When your puppy is holding a ball offer a second ball. If your pup has a bone, offer a better bone. If you pup has a toy, have a second toy that you pretend to play with to increase its value.  NEVER call your dog to take something away as this makes coming to you a negative.

3.  If all else fails, offer a tasty treat in exchange for a valued object. Say, "give" or "drop" showing the treat which you give immediately for compliance with praise.

4.  When teaching "fetch" do NOT take the ball at first. Instead, praise your pup and give a back rub, then throw a second ball. You want your pup to get the idea that it is fun to run back to you with the ball.  If you take the ball too early in the teaching process, your pup may decide never to bring you the ball.

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