6:30 am-8:30 am Feed & Take Out (immediately)
Crate him if he doesn’t go and take him out again in a bit (repeat til he goes and then he’s good for 2 hours or so.
Walk him at least 20 minutes a day. Fetch is good for a quick cardio/release. If he’s hanging with loads of dogs, might crate him for relief/a mid-day nap. He’ll be a baby for another 6 months or so and can get ‘overtired’.
4:30 pm-7:30 pm Feed & Take Out (immediately). He’ll have to go 12 hours from feeding time as a rule of thumb.
CRATING | BED
Crate whenever you’re not watching/interacting with him actively but break every 2-3 hours to pee/walk. Give him something to chew on in there. Crate him when you leave, at night, in the car, if another dog or kid is making him anxious. He actually loves it in there. Give him a treat every time he goes in to reinforce it as a positive place. As soon as he’s released from the crate, take him out immediately – that’s the moment you have to know he’s likely going to go and when you reinforce positive behavior for going outside. Anything inside that has residual urine smells (carpets hold it forever) will tell him it’s okay to go there. Walk him past quickly by being excited to go out.
Crate when you’re thinking about taking him out until you actually take him out. Accidents happen in that last 10 minutes of realizing it’s about time. Go more often than fewer to watch him and give praise when he goes until you’re in a rhythm (but same for hotel rooms, too – he gets distracted and forgets to go even when he’s outside).
If he whimpers, he’s got to go whether in the crate or not. When you wean him off crate training (you don’t want to have to take one everywhere), look for signs. Reacting to a whimper is one of them but I find he just comes over and tries to get eye contact instead of making noise and I try to pay attention to that because I prefer it. If he whimpers and you take him outside and he won’t go, put him back in the crate to reinforce that you’re not letting him out every time he whimpers but it means he has to go. You decide when he comes out. I’d establish a ‘bed’ for him where he goes when he’s not in the crate. Wandering around the house ‘at will’ will not end well. He can follow you around when you’re active but when you’re reading, watching a movie, etc., he should be parked.
We feed him a cup or so twice a day of adult dog food. Once you buy food (we’ve been buying Chicken Soup because it’s low on allergens and crap), mix it with what we sent half and half until it’s gone to keep his tummy from getting upset. His bowl is designed to keep him from inhaling it (encourages chewing or at least breathing).
When giving him a treat, if he’s too enthusiastic/not gentle, hold it between your fingers and don’t give it to him. Say ‘gentle’ and release it when he’s being very careful about grabbing it. Key for having a toddler around.
Put words to things like ‘in your crate’ or ‘in your bed’ (in a tone that makes it feel invitational but doesn’t make it feel optional) and ‘go potty’. If he does it, repeat the name of the thing ‘good, potty’/’good in your crate’/’good give’) and praise/give a treat as you’re saying it to increase getting any behavior you want. Best to have a hand signal for each of these things as well (say it and show it at the same time).
Substitution is your friend ~ if he’s chewing something he shouldn’t, take it away gently (tell him ‘no’ and to ‘drop it’ in a firm tone) but then give him something he can chew and tell him to ‘take it’ with an invitational tone and praise him when he does.
If he’s just cray-cray, he needs more exercise. The more tired he is, the better behaved he is.
He’s 60% on fetching. He’ll go get it but you have to be very excited (‘bring it back’) to convince him to bring it back to you and ideally have a treat for him when he ‘gives’ (pet him and then gently grab it before saying ‘give’).
He may know ‘load up’ for getting into the car (but you may need a ramp – he’s crazy heavy and awkward to lift. Sorry).
Don’t let him walk into the house ahead of you or take things away from you (even a treat too quickly). Don’t play tug of war or let anyone else rough-house. You’re alpha and you want to encourage chillness. I say ‘me first’ when I’m walking in and when I want him to go first if we’re bringing supplies in, for example, I’ll say ‘go ahead or you first’. Nothing is left up to them. They have to get used to looking to you for direction as opposed to forming their own little opinions.
Walk him on a leash as often as you can. Don’t let him pull (snap it gently back and say, ‘don’t pull’ and release to reinforce the positive when he walks on slack leash). Encourage/guide him to walk on one side and practice ‘heel’ (going behind you) frequently. Let me know if you want to practice this one and ‘take it/drop it’ exercises (we’ve been to puppy training 3 times at a minimum…would be good to have written for the ‘hacks’ document anyway ;)
If he’s doing something you really do not want him to do (like take food off the table – he’s very food driven), you have to use your Batman voice. It’s not a nagging exercise, it’s about making him scared of you for a second. You mean OFF and he’s never to do it again (he’ll still try but once he does it successfully, you have a hard road to hoe to reverse as opposed to prevent).
When I had Sade (my lovely but very, very bad newfie), and Chris was going to move in, she got to be a monster. So we hired a behaviorist. He asked, ‘what’s her job?’ To which I replied, “to stay out from under foot while I’m working.” And he said, “The key thing is you need to expect more. And then you need to tell her when she’s doing a good job and when she’s doing a bad job. You do this with your tone of voice. And you must be consistent. Ambiguity makes her crazy.” He also said, “Love is different from fear. She loves you but she also has to respect you. Respect comes from a little bit of fear. Displeasing you should be a bad thing and she should know it immediately. You cannot physically hurt her but she has to know that you’re not her pet with keys to the fridge.”