An Independent Puppy

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Living with a Puppy

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Sharing Your Home

Puppies Get Stressed Too

An Independent Puppy

Dealing with Fleeing Pup

Pups Adolescent Behaviors

Socializing Your Puppy

Clear Communication

Leader of the Pack

Does your puppy march to the beat of his own personal drummer? Does he ever move away abruptly when you're petting him? Does he sleep on the far side of the room from you? During walks, in a fenced and safe area, does he head off on his own without looking back? If so, it sounds like you have an independent puppy.

Sometimes it may appear that your independent pup has a hearing problem. To check your puppy's hearing shake a box of biscuits while he is asleep, and you are standing on the other side of the room. Does he wake up right away? If so, it's unlikely that he has a hearing problem. The independent puppy is just more withdrawn than most puppies. If you have any concerns about your puppy's hearing, consult your veterinarian.

Suggested training approach
In any training, interspersing commands into play is a nice way to practice training commands and have fun with your pup. Work to quit while you're ahead, before your puppy gets bored or withdraws from the training. Try backing up during play, and let your puppy approach you on his own. This can build an immediate connection between you and a puppy who normally acts in a withdrawn manner.

When rewarding your independent puppy, don't be shy about using what works. For example, if balls make him bounce then reward him with a toss. Of course, using effective rewards is always a good idea, but with an independent puppy it's even more important to be aware of what works best for him because he won't accept any substitutes. If he's not interested in the training, or the rewards, he'll simply remove himself. Keep verbal and physical praise warm and sincere, but brief.

Hints
Link commands to everything your puppy enjoys. If an independent puppy sees a reason to respond to your command he will usually comply. Don't practice a routine over and over. He'll just get bored and distance himself. In the same vein, avoid classes where you walk in circles for an hour. That's a great way to demotivate any dog, but it will really bore your independent puppy.

Give your puppy a reason to do what you ask and he will happily do it. Combine commands with everything this puppy loves in life and you will see his innate intelligence shine through.

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