Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada today, and I’m feeling grateful to be spending this rainy fall day in the company of my wonderful hubby, our crew of permanent doggy residents (especially the seniors!) and two litters of wonderful wee ones. Viper’s litter of 10 was born on Friday and are doing great. Pepper’s 8 babies are packing and prepping for their new homes and the first ones head out next Thursday!

In preparing for their upcoming travels, the little Peppers are learning about crate training. One entire meal each day is fed during a crate training session. Yesterday I took clips of each puppy in action.

During the first session, I help the puppy to enjoy the crate by paying them (they are getting a few pieces of tiny kibble) to go into the crate. When the puppy goes all the way in voluntarily, I then start rewarding them for turning around. The puppy then builds up to learning that he or she will get multiple rewards at the entrance to the soft crate for waiting there, and I start to introduce the release word ‘okay’ when I ask them to exit- and this action gets a reward too, though less frequent and smaller than what the puppy gets for being in the crate. If you think puppies can’t count, or compare value of ‘many and frequent treats’ vs ‘less and infrequent treats’, you will see in these videos that you are wrong! This whole premise shows puppies that the most valuable place to be is in the crate and as they get more sessions in, they tend to get more and more excited about being in the crate, and staying in there voluntarily. Of course, eventually we add in closing the door to the crate, but that doesn’t happen until the puppy is already happy to be in there and understands patient waiting.

Here is Jalapeno’s first crate training session:

Here is Doc’s first crate training session:

During the first training sessions, the puppies take about 6 minutes to eat their portion of kibble lunch. It’s well worth the time for new puppy owner’s to keep up with using meals as training rewards going forward! For the 2nd session and beyond, because the puppies have a better understanding of what earns rewards, it goes even faster- usually only about 3 or 4 minutes to dole out the same amount of food as rewards.

Here is Sarge’s second session:

Bell’s 2nd session:

Gypsy’s 2nd session:

Cayenne’s 2nd session:

Savina’s 2nd session:

And finally, Chili’s turn. Chili demos a few other exercises here too- First, she is learning to stand on the mini fitbones. This was actually a little too tough for how eager she was for her cookies, though we’ve practiced her stand on stationary objects and on a large fit disk, trying to make the exercise a little more challenging when she was at peak hungries proved too much! So we switched to a ‘push’ exercise, where she ate some of her lunch in a bowl where the food was semi-blocked by a tennis ball- requiring her to push the ball out of the way with her nose to get to the goodies. And then a brief crate session after that:

Thanks to everyone who chose to get an Eromit puppy and especially one of these fabulous Pepper x Buzz puppies! We’re already aware of how much we are going to miss them once they go to their new homes but are equally eager for you all to meet your new pals! If you haven’t already seen it, I’ve posted on our facebook page with the puppy matching results so you can check that out to find out which puppy is going where: https://www.facebook.com/eromitlabs/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10157540689519224

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