Puppy Training Video Tips

Puppy Biting - Cradle & Chill Exercises

Start these exercises when your puppy is tired and relaxed and most likely wanting to cooperate. The goal in all our exercises is to succeed so that the puppy is rewarded and praised for getting it right.

It is also a good idea to do these exercises when you are not tired, distracted or impatient. It's equally as important that you succeed and see progress. Also make sure you puppy has emptied out beforehand so you do not end up sitting in a puddle of urine.

Hold your puppy in your lap or on the floor with your legs extended so that the puppy is supported mostly by the floor, but her shoulders and head are cradled in your lap. Talk soothingly and verbally praise your puppy for relaxing in your arms. Gently stroke her belly if she likes that. Giving him his favorites treats when he's accepting this exercise will also speed it along. Start for short periods and release the puppy when he is not squirming and wiggling. This should not be a struggling match, but it is important that the puppy not learn that struggling will get his way. Should the puppy start struggling, just hang on and wait until he relaxes before letting him go.

The Chill exercise is done the same way only the goal is to hold your puppy on her side until she completely relaxes and stays put when you let go. If your puppy immediately springs up when you release your hold, simply press down and hold again. Do this as gently as possible and with as little force as possible. I like to work on a really soft surface so I don't feel like I'm possibly hurting the puppy by holding her down if she struggles.

It's also critical that you position your hands so that your puppy can't whip his head around and bite you. You can see from the video that my hand is on the side of the puppy's face and head so she can open and close her mouth and bite air as much as she wants, but she can't get my hands or fingers. I do not like to roll them over on their back because this can be too threatening and overwhelming. The goal is to win the puppy's respect out of trust, not out of fear or domination.

Once your puppy accepts the Chill exercise, it has a multitude of uses. It comes in handy for grooming, handling and inspections. It calms the puppy when she is overly excited or stressed out. You can see how it's used for crate training in the crate training video.

Puppy Biting - Cradle & Chill Exercise

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