With Open Arms and a Level Head:  How to Bring a Puppy Into Your Life (Course has been recorded and available to view)


This four-week video course will focus on the tools needed to be successful during the first weeks with your new puppy.

We will be streaming live - showing you the training tools, socialization and management lessons you will use as a new puppy owner.

With Open Arms and a Level Head:  How to Bring a Puppy Into Your Life (Course has been recorded and available to view)

Instructor: Jane Messineo Lindquist

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4 weeks

Class One – Three Parts

Part One: Where do I begin?

Young puppies are really only receptive and able to learn for a few minutes each day. How do you prioritize what you need to teach them?

In this section, I’ll be showing a cool list of things you can do with your puppy to assess where he is with his enrichment and training.

These are not “diagnostic” or “temperament” tests, they’re aids to help you know where you should be spending the most training time!

Topics covered include:

  • Important core principles and goals for ANY puppy
  • “Planning Motivation” - strategizing your training sessions so your puppy is more likely to learn
  • Assessing your puppy’s baseline enrichment and training level
  • Suggestions for things to work on depending on your puppy’s reactions, including modifications based on current social isolation rules.

Part Two: Setting Up Your Nursery – crate and “alone time” foundations

Trust us, you can’t always be watching your puppy. Sometimes they need to do their own thing in a safe space so you can do your thing.

Setting up a good puppy playpen and teaching your puppy that alone time is quality time are the two most important things to do when you bring your puppy home!

We’ll be discussing:

  • Best practices for transporting your puppy home
  • Setting up playpen, crate, and potty areas
  • Comforting your puppy the first few nights – where is the line between spoiling and appropriate caregiver response?
  • Planning motivation for the puppy to learn to love his pen and his crate

Part Three: Homework

I’ll be showing you the first slice of one behavior that you are going to shape for your homework.

If you want to train along with us at home, all you’ll need is a clicker and some treats.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any prerequisites for this course?

We are making this 4-week course available to the public for free for a short time because of the prevailing social isolation conditions, so there are no prerequisites for you to watch or follow along at home.

There is a lot you will learn, even if you have never seen or read any of our other educational materials.

However, we will be referencing three things in this course that enable you to get the most out of the training portions of the course. These three things are:

  1. Puppy Culture. The original film, available in streaming or DVD formats.

  2. When Pigs Fly – Training Success With Impossible Dogs Book, available in paperback or Kindle

  3. Attention is the Mother of All Behaviors video, available in streaming or DVD formats. 

Do I need to use a mechanical clicker? Can I just use my voice?

You could, but you would be missing out on the exquisite control you get by using a unique sound.

When we say you "power up" a marker, what we mean is you pair it with food enough times so that when the puppy hears the sound of the marker he has an involuntary physiological response to the sound. He will begin to salivate but, more importantly, a whole cascade of hormones is invokes his parasympathetic nervous system which puts him in the "thinking" part of the brain. Very useful for us as dog trainers when we want to gain a puppy's focus for a challenging training session. Once the clicker is sufficiently powered up, you can literally move your puppy to a different part of his brain just by using the clicker.

This is another reason why doing a short training session often is more effective than exercise when trying to settle a dog down...clicker training takes the puppy out of the limbic (fight/flight/play) system and puts him back in the parasympathetic nervous system (calm, digestion).

The problem with using a verbal marker is that your voice is not ever a unique sound. Unless you are truly a vocal actor and can imitate some crazy sound that is never made in conversation normal speech, your voice has some preexisting meaning for the puppy. So, you are going to have to counter condition the preexisting meaning first, then condition the new meaning, and then the conditioned nexus will constantly be deteriorating because you use your voice every day.

Sure, your puppy will "get it" if you are extremely skilled with a verbal marker, but it is extremely unlikely that you will get that fine control that you can get with a clicker. With a verbal marker you can let the puppy know he has gotten the "right" answer. With a clicker, you can reach into the puppy and change the way he feels about it.

So, no matter what, powering up some kind of non-verbal marker that is a unique sound (such as a clicker or a whistle) is worth an investment of your effort.