Paw Camp


Casper the Terrible is in basic training! Boot camp for puppies! Since Morgan’s home early, school and even sports haven’t started yet. She has all day, day after day, to face the egregious nightmare she brought to our farm. You know, her puppy.

Casper the Terrible.

Don’t be sucked in by that sweet face. He usually looks more like this:

I enlisted my longtime friend and professional dog trainer, Kat (or KateS as she’s known on the forum). She’s been emailing back and forth to Morgan with exercises and tips on getting Casper under control. The first night, we screamed and yelled and cussed at him all night then let him sleep five minutes before getting him up to learn how to make a flotation device out of a set of coveralls in three seconds while he was wearing them and in the water.

Oh, wait, that’s Navy boot camp.

Okay, so actually we let Casper sleep all he wants and we don’t yell at him and he may never make a flotation device but he can sit now! And pay attention! Soon, we expect Kat to have him doing back flips and baking pies!

Here’s how we do sit: Morgan shows him she has a treat. She puts the treat right by his nose then she holds it up over his head. His nose goes up to follow the treat….

….which makes his butt go down.

Then she says “sit” and gives him the treat.

And a scratch.

She moves away from him and does it again, and again several more times, and repeats the entire exercise series every couple of hours through the day.

She’s been doing this exercise with him for several days now and each day she adds a little more, like making him wait longer and longer before he gets the treat. She can even get him to sit now without a treat at all!

She started working on a new exercise yesterday. This one is geared toward getting his attention. She practices a few “sits” with him then she puts a treat over Casper’s nose–then pulls it slowly up to hold it between her eyes while she says watch me. The goal is to eventually get him to respond, without a treat, any time he hears watch me, which will lead to getting control of him when he’s doing something we want him to stop doing.

Like chewing on Boomer’s face.

Boomer’s been supervising closely. He wants to be sure it works.

Me, too! I can’t wait till we get to the part where he learns how to bake me a pie!

For more dog training exercises and tips, check out Kat’s dog training blog here.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on July 24, 2010  

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17 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 7-24

    He’s got beautiful sit formation! And Morgan has fantastic patience…Good work, gal!

  2. 7-24

    Good Job!! Our puppy can sit nicely, give both paws and speak. But if asked to lay down he thinks it play time. Puppies are so much fun.

    Morgan is doing a great job. Cant wait to check out your friends blogs for tips we could us some new advise. lol.

  3. 7-24

    Great job, Morgan! I like the “watch me” exercise. My dogs are funny, they’ll sit any time you want them to, but when it comes time for a treat — they’re too excited and cannot get that butt down without making a big work out of it. :lol:

    I read Kat’s blog everyday — some great advice and knowledge!

  4. 7-24

    Training is always a good idea! Make that dog a better listener and you’ll love him even more:) Good job Morgan!

  5. 7-24

    Big thumbs up to working with your dog! Not only will it make him more pleasant to be around when he understands what you want, but you’ll build a stronger bond with him. “Cute” can only take him so far!

  6. 7-24

    Good job, Morgan! With training, I bet he turns into a real sweetheart. Keep up the good work!

  7. 7-24

    My daughter decided to start training our younger dog. The daughter did all of the work and the dog still doesn’t get it.
    I’m impressed that Casper can make a flotation device.(:) Our dog would eat it! :) :woof: :snoopy: :woof:

  8. 7-24

    I totally trained our first lab, Maggie, not to come to me, lol. She loved to take off and run to the lake or roll in the goose poop… I would scold her like crazy when she came back… message to Maggie was, “don’t come back to me!” When I figured it out my family and friends thought I was quite funny calling her “such a good girl for running away and and rolling in the goose poop and coming back”, lol. I think Maggie knew what she was doing all along.

  9. 7-24

    What a good puppy, LOL! Well, maybe not the chewing on poor Boomer’s face part, but the sitting part:)

  10. 7-24

    WOW! He’s grown a lot!!

  11. 7-24

    “Me, too! I can’t wait till we get to the part where he learns how to bake me a pie!”

    Heeheehahahaheehee! Made me laugh in a silly way.

    Looks like he’s a good student so far!!

  12. 7-24

    I can see it now – Casper’s Pie Shop –

  13. 7-25

    The two best commands we taught our dogs was ‘wait’ and ‘on the rug’

    ‘Wait’ keeps them from bolting out the door until you give them permission to move – makes it easy to open the door.

    We offered treats when they were ‘on the rug’… makes them go and sit and wait on a rug or towel or anything on the floor you point to. A trip to the vet is a breeze because you point to the scale – say ‘on the rug’ and they go over sit on the scale and get weighed… easy breezy.

  14. 7-25

    The more time you spend working with Casper, the better off you’ll all be! I trained service dogs for many years, and taught all my puppies to “watch me”. It sounds like you’re teaching it the way a lot of people to, but there’s actually a much better way I learned from a trainer named Chris Bach. She developed a phenomenal training method called The Third Way. If you’re interested, check it out:

  15. 7-28

    It is very nice to have your own personal trainer. Without the help of the trainer, he would be more of a handful. I wish you much success. He is very cute.

  16. 7-29

    OH rats, i can’t get that link to work.

    He’s coming along nicely, though! Good for Morgan for sticking with it.


  17. 7-29

    Shame this didn’t/doesn’t work with kids :no: lol
    You’d think for the amount of groceries we feed ’em, food rewards would work. Alas….Sit, Stay, Hush and LAY DOWN do NOT work. Nope, nope, nope. lol

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