The Odin VIP List
One of Odin's VIPs is play biting. For Odin, you chose to reduce the intensity of play biting but still allow for some gentle mouthiness. We'll tackle this in the "How to Teach a Softer Bite" section found by clicking through the Play Biting Section below.
One of my VIPs for Odin is socialization. From 8 to 12-16 weeks of age, there is a critical period of time that impacts a puppy for the rest of his life. During this time, socialization and handling are the most important areas of focus due to this time sensitivity. Think of socialization like a behavior vaccine - doing it will greatly reduce the likelihood of behavior problems in the future. Puppies are more open to new experiences during this time which gives us an opportunity to help them feel great about many different things. When going out, continue to keep Odin off the ground - holding him is a great way to be able to take him to PetSmart, Home Depot, Parks, etc. He doesn't have to be interacting with dogs or people to get the benefit of all of the new sights, smells and sounds. Be sure to apply the rules of socialization included below - keep it positive and even short. This week is the most powerful week for socialization - it is in the critical period - try to get big scary stuff done this week, like car, lawn care workers and sounds, go to a playground or dog park and let Odin hear the sounds paired with treats.
For his separation related problems, let's begin by picking up and putting down the keys several times a day. Sometimes, pick them up and carry them around with you, and sometimes just jingle them and put them back down. We will break the association between keys and leaving this way. When he no longer cares about keys, reach out for next steps.
Being comfortable in a crate is important for any dog. Even if you don't use a crate on a daily basis, keep up with using the crate every week for short durations. You never know when an injury may occur and you will need your dog comfortable for recovery.
Click here for our crate training plan that can even be used to re-train an adult dog who was previously fearful of the crate. Note that if fear is or was profound, please reach out before starting this plan. Use this plan a guide to get Odin reverse trained back into his crate/pen area. For him, you will leave his condo open near the head of your sofa at night, and gradually work to move it backwards until closed over the next few weeks. Don't rush. The idea is to move slowly so he doesn't notice what is going on. Do this part while you are building a love of that area with the standard crate training plan, which is essentially a pen- training plan.
If you have any questions about this reach out. This is important for you so that he can get comfy in a safe confinement area.
Brush up on dog body language. This is a must for all dog owners. Our body language page has everything you need to get familiar with the subtle and not-so-subtle signs of fear, anxiety, and stress. Click Chewie to go to the page.
This video is 16 minute must watch to better understand different types of fear and aggressive responses.
Puppy Shopping List
Puzzle Feeders - we will begin to alternate feeding with these soon.
Wood chews- puppies seem to go through a wood phase. These will help:
Wood Chews Alert!
For now, let's use a yummy chew like one of these or a bully stick to keep Odin busy while you are in the kitchen. We need to redirect him from whining at the gate, so a novel chew (that is picked up at all other times) should keep his attention.