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That's wonderful. We started puppy classes yesterday. The most important things we learned were: 1. never use their name when giving a command otherwise they will learn that their name means "treat" and you want them to associate action with treat; and 2. you need to do a "dominance hold" on them often when they are puppies. A dominance hold is when you pin the puppy either on the floor, or against your body, until he/she stops struggling. Wait a few seconds and then release the dog. You should not use force to pin the dog, but gentle pressure. Has anyone else heard of this? I can say we've done it a few times since yesterday and our puppy hasn't bitten any of us once since.
 

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I have to be honest, I was a bit put off by this manuver. But the key is not to use any kind of force, you don't want to hurt the pup. I have been holding her against my chest, like a hug where one hand is on her head, the other on her tushy. She doesn't squirm at all, and it seems like she kind of likes it because she usually starts licking my chin. Maybe it is just a coincidence that she hasn't been biting. Our instructor called this the "mama dog move" because dogs will lay their heads and paws across puppies when their behavior gets too out of control.
 

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I thought the same thing too...but this was a point that the trainer kept stressing. She said that they will go through their whole routine once you call their name, but if you give the command only (without name) they will learn what that particular command means. This is my first dog, so I didn't really know what to expect. It made sense at the time, but now I am wondering if I wasted my $125! I will say that there were other much larger dogs in the class (2 german sheppards) so the trainer had me and the owner of a Chihuahua in a separate gated area for "play". I was kind of surprised that they put together a class with larger and smaller dogs. Now the GS's were both really nice puppies, but one swipe of the paw and mine would have been history.
 

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We went to our second training class today...we had a different instructor this time. Apparently the one last week was only a fill-in. Boy did we get gyped last week....this trainer is wonderful. And she did agree with everyone that we should be using the pup's name when we call her! K&C's Mom....you were right about that one! We actually learned how to do a down and restrained recall. We had so much fun this week and now we cannot wait to practice what we have learned. One other great tip she gave was to train them on an empty (or almost empty) stomach. That worked wonders. We used her kibble as a "treat", although I'm not sure we should be doing that....but it worked. Next week we are going to bring liverwurst as her treat for class.
 
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