How to Lead Train a Poochon Puppy

Chevromist Kennels on Instagram_ “@Regrann from @mochathepoochon
Chevromist Kennels on Instagram_ @mochathepoochon

It may come as a surprise to some, but you will need to lead train a puppy if you expect them to walk with a leash. A dog’s natural instincts are to run free and explore and being on a leash restricts that ability. The good news is that you can lead train your puppy to walk while wearing a leash if you follow a few tips that will help you do it right.

Start with the Collar

You’ll want to put the collar on first and let your Poochon puppy get used to it. Start by letting the puppy wear it for a short time in the house as you play and give the puppy treats. It will not be long before the puppy associates the collar with having fun with you.

Introduce a Command

This means creating a sound cue that lets your Poochon puppy know that a treat is coming. This can be a simple noise you make, such as a clicking sound or the like. Your puppy will make the connection when on their leash that a treat is on the way when you make that sound. Of course, you’ll need to provide a treat each time, but that will get your puppy’s attention.

Use the Command to Control Movement

When on the leash, back up a few paces when calling your Poochon and reward them when they follow you. This is where the command comes in as they will associate it with a treat and come to you to get it. You’ll need to practice this a few times as puppies can get easily distracted. Plus, keep the training session short and do not wear them out.

Start Lead Training Inside

Just because they seem ready doesn’t mean that going outside is the best place. Start inside by walking them around on the leash and rewarding them when your Poochon comes to you. You can start in the living room, hallway, or whatever place works best. Your goal is to have them respond to you while on the leash, so they keep up.

Lead Training Outdoors

Chevromist Poochon on the grassNow you are ready to go outdoors. Remember to be patient as there are many things that will distract your puppy. So, start with a short walk that lasts for a few houses and keep you eyes on them. When they seem to get distracted, give your command, walk a few feet away, and reward them with a treat when they follow.

Remember to be gentle and not pull or drag your Poochon along. Instead, be patient and use the command to get their attention and reward them when the puppy behaves. It’s best to be proactive at this stage and anticipate potential lunges, distractions, and barks by giving the command and rewarding them before it happens. Pretty soon, your puppy will be walking with you on the leash with few incidents. 

Understanding how to lead train a puppy of any breed is one of the easiest skills they can learn. You simply need a little patience and understanding as you introduce your puppy to walking while on a lead.

Teaching a Puppy to Retrieve

Puppy with red ballPlауіng wіth a рuрру іѕ ѕо muсh fun. They аrе full оf еnеrgу, аnd they are аlwауѕ еаgеr tо lеаrn. Rеtrіеvіng gаmеѕ аrе grеаt to рlау whіlе allowing уоur уоung рuрру tо get ѕоmе еxеrсіѕе at thе ѕаmе tіmе. Tеасhіng уоur puppy tо retrieve a toy is аn іntеgrаl part оf huntіng dоg trаіnіng but great fun for dogs that will never go out on a hunt. Starting еаrlу wіth rесоvеrу, уоu ѕеt уоur dog up fоr success. Sоmе рuрріеѕ аrе nаturаl rеtrіеvеrѕ аnd wіll gladly bring back whаtеvеr уоu thrоw. Hоwеvеr, fоr many designer brееdѕ, іt dоеѕn’t соmе naturally, and thеу wіll have tо bе tаught hоw tо do іt.

Teaching a Puppy to Fetch

Beaglier puppy in the airRetrieving іѕ аn excellent energy outlet for your рuррy аѕ well as уоurself and to strengthen the bоnd between уоu bоth. Trаіnіng уоur рuрру to retrieve can be аn еаѕу рrосеѕѕ оr a hаrd one; іt аll dереndѕ оn your breed of dоg. Sоmе brееdѕ, fоr example, Groodles, are bоrn wіth thе natural instinct tо rеtrіеvе and brіng thіngѕ bасk to you. You will still have tо tеасh these tуреѕ of dоgѕ tо drор іt fоr you, but overall іt іѕ еаѕіеr thаn trаіning other breeds of dogs, ѕuсh аѕ Beagliers, tо rеtrіеvе.

How tо train уоur рuрру to rеtrіеvе a tоу or ball:

  1. Sіt on thе flооr wіth your рuрру wіth a toy оr bаll that hе ѕhоwѕ аn interest in. Bоunсе thе tоу near уоu a little bit within your rеасh and whеn уоur puppy looks аt іt рrаіѕе hіm аnd ѕауѕ, “Gооd Boy!”
  2. Nоw roll thе tоу a few feet аwау thіѕ time. With a уоung рuрру, rоllіng thе toy іѕ easier to track or fоllоw rаthеr than thrоwіng іt which іѕ a lоt more difficult fоr thе pup. Onсе уоu thrоw thе tоу, еnсоurаgе your рuрру tо gо after іt аnd іf hе dоеѕ, use your еxсіtеd, hарру tone of voice tо ѕау, “Tаkе іt.”
  3. Tan and White Beaglier with toySіnсе some dоgѕ аrе natural rеtrіеvеrѕ, they wоn’t hesitate to go after іt аnd brіng іt right bасk! If hе does thіѕ, thеn make ѕurе you lay on the рrаіѕе thісk wіth a couple of high ріtсhеd “Whаt a Gооd Bоу!” Please nоtе thаt thіѕ іѕ not thе norm. Usually, puppies dоn’t gо after and brіng thе tоу bасk on the fіrѕt trу unlеѕѕ thеу аrе a brееd thаt is known fоr retrieving. The average puppy will hаvе tо be tаught whаt іt is уоu wаnt thеm to dо wіth thіѕ tоу. So remember it’s оkау іf it tаkеѕ a while fоr уоur рuрру to lеаrn thіѕ.
  4. If your puppy goes up to thе toy and іѕ nоt ԛuіtе ѕurе what tо dо wіth it thеn juѕt try tо еnсоurаgе him tо рісk it up in an uрbеаt tоnе of vоісе. If hе shows nо interest іn grаbbіng іt, thеn уоu wіll hаvе tо go рісk іt up. Cоntіnuе tо bе excited аnd орtіmіѕtіс.
  5. If he does pick іt uр, thеn уоu ѕhоuld start to back uр ѕtіll fасіng уоur рuрру whіlе ѕауіng, “Bring іt!” If hе does brіng іt tо уоu, then рrаіѕе him wеll. Kеер rереаtіng ѕtерѕ 2 thrоugh 4 untіl hе brings іt bасk оn a consistent bаѕіѕ.
  6. If уоur рuрру іѕ doing Stер 5 on a rеgulаr basis, nоw is thе tіmе tо іnсrеаѕе the dіѕtаnсе grаduаllу when rolling the toy. If уоur рuрру starts tо hеѕіtаtе going аftеr іt, go after it with him for еnсоurаgеmеnt.
  7. Whеn уоur рuрру ѕtаrtѕ tо run аftеr іt wіth lоtѕ of еnthuѕіаѕm аnd brіng thе tоу back, then you саn ѕtаrt to throw іt ѕhоrt dіѕtаnсеѕ. Juѕt rеmеmbеr thоugh, аѕ soon аѕ уоu see hіm losing a lіttlе interest іn thе gаmе then іt’ѕ tіmе tо еnd thе playtime fоr the dау. Thе nеxt time уоu рlау the gаmе look fоr ѕіgnаlѕ that hе mіght be lоѕіng іntеrеѕt. Yоur gоаl is to quіt playing thе gаmе bеfоrе hе lоѕеѕ interest, ѕо it аlwауѕ еndѕ оn a hарру, роѕіtіvе nоtе.

Beaglier with a tennis ballUntil уоur dоg has fully mastered thе rеtrіеvіng game when уоu аrе fіnіѕhеd playing, it’s best tо put this tоу or bаll away whеrе hе саnnоt gеt to іt untіl уоu brіng іt оut аgаіn fоr thе next playtime. Thаt wау this bаll оr toy rеmаіnѕ a lіttlе mysterious, ѕресіаl, аnd the fun tоу аnd hе’ll most lіkеlу ѕhоw muсh іntеrеѕt in іt during уоur nеxt trаіnіng session.

What is clicker training?

What is clicker training for Designer dogs?

Many designer dog breeds are very quick to learn new tricks and commands. The key is to get them to understand what it is we want from them when we give them a command. Designer breeds with Poodle in their background such as Cavoodles and Groodles, actually want to please their owners to get a reward such as affection, as fast as possible.

Cavoodle sitting

Training a dog using a clicker may seem like a strange practice to the uninitiated but this article should help clear up a few mysteries as to what clicker training is and how it works. It wasn’t that long ago that most trainers raised a skeptical eyebrow towards clicker training, and so clickers were relegated to not much more than toy status. But times have changed and the clicker is now considered a serious tool in many a professional or amateur dog trainer’s arsenal.

Dog training clicker
Clickers come in a range of colours and styles

Clicker training is essentially using an audible click, produced by a clicker, in order to bring about changes in a dog’s behaviour. Clickers can be found at all good pet stores and are very inexpensive as they are not more than flexible metal plate housed in a small plastic box.  Placing your thumb inside the box and pressing down produces the click.

Clicker training operates on a positive reinforcement strategy. The dog learns to associate the click with positive behaviour as every time he does what is asked of him he hears a click and knows that a reward will immediately follow. Essentially the click lets the dog know that he is doing things right and will get a treat for doing so.

When the dog sits the trainer clicks and the dog is then given a reward as positive reinforcement. Trainers may use varying reward methods such as petting, food, or even play; it just depends on the individual dog and their trainer and what they know will work best for the dog.

Groodle Shake handsMost dogs learn to associate the click with something it likes very quickly (sometimes in just two or three clicks). Like all training it’s not practical to keep on rewarding a dog with a physical treat for positive behaviour every time. Therefore, once a behaviour is learned, the trainer will gradually start to withhold treats after a click until the dog is performing the correct behaviour on cue. The dog will then learn that good behaviour comes with its own life rewards such as being let in if they sit quietly by the door, food if they wait politely for dinner to be served, or being petted if they sit and wait when asked.

Clicker training is a positive reinforcement training method that does not use punishment for bad behaviour. Research into dog behaviour tells us that when a dog is punished it may reduce the bad behaviour but it is just as likely to elevate another equally unfavourable behaviour. As a result, training a dog with negative reinforcement can have unpredictable and unwanted results – something which clicker training avoids.

What is a Pet Loo?

What is a Pet Loo?

pet-looFor those of us who enjoy our dog’s company both outside and inside the ritual letting out of the dog every morning can be a real pain – especially when it’s early and it’s your day off. Enter The Pet Loo. The Pet Loo is an ingenious solution which effectively eliminates all your dog’s toilet problems and gives you back the privilege of sleeping in on a Sunday morning, without the stress of a messy clean up as payment for the extra shuteye.

With a little training The Pet Loo consolidates your Cavoodle’s waste into one area that is easy to clean up, making apartment and house dogs a lot easier to live with. Training your dog to use the Pet Loo is just like any other toilet training of your pet. We have a helpful article called ‘How to toilet train your puppy’ on this website.

pet-loo-how-it-worksThe Pet Loo also makes it possible to take your dog to the office should you need to at a moment’s notice. Not only is the Pet Loo convenient, the latest design also makes it a breeze to clean up, with a unique draining system to contain the smell and allow easy no-splash disposal into the toilet.

Plenty of thought has gone into the design of The Pet Loo, from the type of material, the easy clean synthetic grass, to the slope of the tray to ensure maximum drainage. Clean up has received a lot of focus in the design of The Pet Loo to ensure it is as convenient as possible. Urine flows freely through the grass mat, onto a grid tray, and from there into a container. This means the synthetic grass is elevated up and away from the urine at all times, and owners can simply flush excess urine away by pouring warm water over the grass.

A specially sourced material creates a product that is resistant to the acidity of urine, thereby ensuring a long life and value for money. The synthetic grass mat is also easily removed as it does need a weekly spray down with a mid-pressured hose, or even in the shower, until the water starts to run clear and allow to air dry before replacing the grass onto the tray, and you will ensure a clean fresh environment for your pet to their business.

Pet loo 3 sizesIt’s strong too, as it’s been rated to hold up to 300kg so you will have no problem with the bigger pets. There are various sizes to suit different sized pets, with the smaller models obviously coming in at a cheaper price.

How to teach your dog to shake hands

Teaching your dog to shake hands

Although shaking is a fun party trick, it is also very useful for when your dog needs to have his nails trimmed, or has something stuck in his paw.  A dog that is comfortable with shaking will also be more comfortable allowing you, a veterinarian, or a groomer handle his feet, which is important for the health and safety of your pet. On top of this, a dog that can shake hands is always a hit with the kids!

Groodle Shake hands

Steps to teach your puppy to shake hands

To begin, ask your dog to sit.  Show your Groodle a treat, place it in your hand, and make a closed fist.  Place your fist low to the ground, a few inches in front of the paw you would like your dog to shake with.  Most dogs will paw at the hand to try and access the treat.  When your dog does this, immediately reward him.  After following this same routine a few times, begin to incorporate the “shake” or “paw” command. 

A slightly different way to teach to shake

A second way to teach a dog to shake also begins with asking your dog to first sit.  Then, hold a treat above his nose, and move the treat backwards, above his head and towards his tail.  Your dog’s weight will shift to his back legs, and he will begin to lift one or both paws.  Catch one of his paws and reward your dog as soon as his paw touches your hand.  Eventually, add in the verbal command.  This can be used to teach a separate trick of “high five”.

For extremely stubborn dogs, an effective, but more time-consuming method, is to first ask your dog to sit and then physically lift his paw while saying shake, and issuing a treat.  While it may take your dog a few days, or even weeks, to catch on, he will eventually learn that the act of placing his paw in your hand earns a tasty treat. 

Shake with the opposite paw

To teach your dog to shake with the opposite paw, simply repeat the method that worked best for your dog, but use a different command, such as “left.”  When teaching your dog to shake, there is no “wrong” method, but as with all other obedience lessons, be sure to have patience and issue plenty of positive reinforcement. 

Once your dog can reliably shake hands or give a high five, kids will be drawn to the dog. Most kids don’t want to miss out on a high five from a dog. Also if you have kids yourself, they will love to show off the dog’s cool new trick to friends and relatives, increasing the strength of the bond between the dog and your children. The more commands your dog receives from your kids, the stronger the association it has between following commands from the kids and getting a reward. This further cements the dog as lower in the pack than the kids in the dog’s mind.

How to teach your dog to Heel

Teaching your dog how to heel

Have you ever had someone comment, “Who’s walking who?” while out for a walk with your pup?  If so, you likely should teach your dog to heel, which means to walk by your side on a loose leash.  Not only does a proper heel save your shoulder from the strain of a pulling dog, but also ensures proper control during potentially dangerous situations, such as when walking through traffic.  Heeling is intended for short durations, and not for long walks.  For a proper heel, your dog should also sit when you stop walking.

Spoodle Heel

Steps to teach your dog to heel

To begin, find a quiet, distraction free area and place your dog on leash.  With your dog on your left side, lure him to sit (avoid asking for the sit).  With the leash in your right hand and a treat in your left hand, take a step forward, using the treat to lure your dog into the proper position by your side.  Move the treat forward or backwards to ensure he remains directly next to you.  Move only a few steps forward before stopping and rewarding your Spoodle for correct positioning. 

If your dog struggles with getting ahead of you or falling behind, try holding the treat next to your shoulder, so that your dog’s upward gaze will keep his body aligned with yours.  Once you find the technique that works best for you, enthusiastically reward him every time he is in proper position. 

If your dog strays from your side, tell him “no” and start over.  Practice this skill until your dog can reliably walk 5 – 7 steps in the proper heeling position before adding the verbal command of “heel” as you walk.  Only when your dog has mastered controllably walking by your side should you begin to have him sit the moment you stop walking.  Simply use a hand gesture, or, if having difficulty, verbally ask for a sit in addition to the lure. 

What to avoid doing when teaching your puppy to heel

There are a number of things to avoid when working on heel.  First, be careful to hold the treat high enough so that it is a guide for your dog.  Otherwise, he is likely to try and jump and grab at it with his mouth when he should be nicely walking.  Second, do not use the leash to pull your dog into the proper position.  It is very important that your dog perform the heel on a loose leash, or else he will come to rely on the restraint. 

Be sure to be vocal throughout the walking portion of the heel by giving your dog constant positive feedback for good positioning (i.e. good boy, good heel, etc), as well as negative feedback (i.e. “no” or “uh-uh”) if your dog is not in the proper position.   Finally, avoid only practicing with your dog on leash.  Working on heel off leash in the house, and also in the backyard, will drastically improve his ability to walk nicely next to you on command during your next walk. 


Teach your dog to come to you

How to teach your dog to come when called

One of the most important lessons a dog can learn is to come when called.  A reliable recall can literally mean the difference between life and death, such as in a situation when a dog gets loose and runs towards a busy street.  Recall is easy to teach, but must be amply rewarded with a lot of positive reinforcement in order for the lesson to stick with the dog. 

Standing Pugalier
Image courtesy of Chevromist Kennels

Steps to teach the “recall” command

To begin, first ensure that your dog knows his name and that you can easily get his attention.  If not, practice by using a treat to lure your dog’s gaze towards your face while saying his name.  Once your dog learns to look to you, you can begin to teach him the “come” command. 

Start with your Pugalier a short distance away from you, either on a leash or in an enclosed area.  It may be helpful to enlist the help of another person to hold your dog’s leash for you while you work on this command.  Wait until your dog is not paying attention to you, and then call his name.  When your dog looks to you, begin running backwards while excitedly saying “come” or “here.”  Your dog will think you are playing a game, which will make learning recall fun.  As soon as your dog runs to you, immediately reward him with lots of treats and praise.  Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog as he becomes better at this skill. 

Always reward your dog as though his obedience is the best thing that has ever happened.  This action will reinforce that coming when called is fun and exciting, better than anything he may be unsafely running towards. 

Patience is needed with this command

A reliable recall may take longer to teach than other commands, so patience is important.  Never continually yell “come” or “here” if your dog is not paying attention.  Doing so can teach him that it is okay to ignore you.  When practicing recall in extremely distracting environments (such as when rabbits, possums, or other dogs are near), use especially high-value treats such as pieces of meat or cheese.  To avoid the hassle of trying to get your dog’s attention by calling his name in distracted environments, first offer the treat, then yell the command as he is running toward you.  He will still learn word association in this manner. 

A good rule of thumb is to limit the use of the command for instances when the dog’s fun has to stop.  For instance, to get your dog to come in from the yard, avoid using “come” and try “go inside” instead.  Doing so can ensure that your dog will only associate “come” with treats and praise.  As with all important obedience commands, continuing practicing recall long after your dog has mastered the skill to ensure it remains reinforced throughout this lifetime. 

Teach your dog to lie down

How to teach your dog to lie down

Once a dog has mastered sit, he can begin learning how to lie down on command.  Not only is lying down a neat trick that makes your dog look well behaved, but it can also be useful for calming excited dogs or as an antidote to jumping. 

Red Groodle puppy laying down

Steps to teach your dog to lie down

There are a number of methods for teaching your dog this trick, and you should practice each to determine which works best for your pup.  As with “sit,” you will begin by first teaching your dog the motion, and then adding the verbal command.  First ask your Groodle to sit, and then place a treated hand in front of your dog’s nose.  Slowly move your hand both backwards (towards your body), and down towards the floor, drawing your dog’s nose to the ground.  For most dogs, their bodies will follow their nose, and by the time your hand reaches the floor he will be lying down.  Say “yes!” and administer a treat the moment he reaches the correct position. 

Other ways to teach “lie down”

If your dog is tempted to walk towards the treat instead of lie down, a second option is to again start with a treated hand in front of the dog’s nose, but instead of moving your hand backwards, move your hand both toward the dog and down, ending near his front feet.  His nose will follow the treat, and lack of space will force him to assume a lying down position. 

Two alternative ways, should the first two methods not work, are to start with the lure at the dog’s nose, and slowly draw your hand close to the dog’s body, finishing down at his tail.  This manner forces the dog to reposition himself to get the treat, and typically the most natural position is lying down.  A final way is to get your dog’s attention and quickly “snap” the treat onto the ground, causing your dog to follow suit for the treat.  Find the method (or variation) which works best for your dog and repeat this action until he reliably lies down with the lure. 

How to use the command

Once your dog is ready, incorporate the use of a verbal command.  While it is tempting to say “lie down,” dogs do best with one syllable commands, such as “down.”  Just as with “sit,” issue the “down” command and then lure your dog into the proper position.  Immediately reward your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement the moment he lies down.  After this command has been mastered from the sitting position, begin to ask for the down when your dog is standing.

Never become frustrated with your dog if teaching the down command is difficult.  If you find yourself becoming upset, take a break from training and come back to it with a clear head.  Do not force your dog into the proper position, as he will not learn the command in this way.  As always, timing the reward is a crucial component.  Do not reward too soon, before the dog is in the fully lying down position, or too late. 

If you simply cannot find a reliable luring method, a more time-consuming technique is to enthusiastically say “down” and reward your dog every time you see him lying down.  Although a slow process, your dog will eventually learn the association between the word, action, and reward.