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English guestblog: Ditte Andersson

Dere får bare bra blogger her nå, er dere klar over hvor heldige dere er!
Ditte er en annen av mine favorittinstruktører. Jeg kjenner ingen andre som er så positiv, så kreativ og så morsom som Ditte. Både i hundetreningen og utenom.
Ditte er en sånn person som setter seg mål, og så får hun det til. Som foreksempel å bygge egen treningshall!













Foto til venstre; Ingela Karlsson

Her kommer hennes bidrag:


When I got the question from Siv if I wanted to write a bit about puppy-training, I decided that I would try to write this in English. I really need to practice, so forgive me if I make some small mistakes here .

I also need to practice video-making so this is a good possibility. I got inspired by Maria´s film. Very nice.

In this text I´m going to refer to my own dogs. Magic, 14 mounths, Abby, 7 years old, both Labradors and Timjan, border collie, who isn´t alive any longer.

Like Christina said in her blog the subject is HUGE! (kaempestort!). Where do I begin? I´m going to try to get some of my thoughts in text, and try to not make it into a novel.

I shall start with my first and biggest goal –  To get FUN, JOYFUL, FEELINGGOOD TRAINING!

This goal is for all my training, with the puppy and with the grown up dog.  I use to say in my dog-classes in obedience that I`m serious in my training but I don´t want me and my dog to feel serious! In Swedish we have two different words to express what I mean. I´m not sure how to say it in English .  Jag är seriös i min träning men jag försöker att inte vara allvarlig när jag tränar.

I want to laugh with and at my dogs. In the joyful playful training we do, I think we are creating a good relationship. I´m very fussy about always trying to give my dog a good feeling in the training.


In the daily life I sometimes think I need to stop my dog from doing “wrong” things. I´m not afraid of telling my dog not to do that or that but I hate if I get in a situation or a relation with my dog where I find myself nagging at the dog a lot. In obedience-training I have a very patient attitude, in daily-life I can be a bit more impatient sometimes, but I don´t think that it is very creative of me. My earlier puppies have been very easy to stop most of the times when they tried to do something “naughty”. Magic is an exception. I have to find out new ways to deal with her and get her to follow me instead of doing her own business. A positive attitude and prevention seems to work best with her.

With that said I mean that I try as much as possible to prevent “bad” behaviors and reward good ones in daily life too, instead of being forced to repair the bad ones. I think that if I use my energy to see the good behaviors my dog do and reward them frequently I can often get rid of the bad ones as a good effect of what I reward. But it´s also a question of not putting the dog into too difficult situations.


When I get a new dog I think it´s impossible not to think of things I would like to change in the training from what I´ve done with my earlier puppies. Even if it´s a new individual I´m going to get to know.

But even so, I try to see what kind of personality this little dog has got. All my dogs have been very different from eachother.  My latest puppy, Magic, gave me nearly a shock when she arrived. She is a Labrador but I did feel like she was more like a Bordercollie in the beginning. But a very physical one!

I noticed immediately that she had a kind of restless personality. And she was very noisy. She was and is very impulsive. And her legs moved all over the place. And I thought that it was like she was too attentive. She noticed everything I did and everything that happened around her. And she had difficulties in relaxing in the beginning.


To relax is one of the main things I want my puppy to be able to do early. And I  try to help the puppy to relax, for example in a cage with me in the room. This usually works very well I think. But not for Magic unfortunately.  She squealed like a stuck pig as we say in Sweden. It was really difficult for me because I live alone and my job is to run classes for dogs and their owners and I couldn´t leave Magic in another room or in a cage. I had to get her a Nanny!

What I did instead of cage-training at home in the beginning was to train her to be in different rooms, sometimes with Abby and sometimes on her own, just while I was taking Timjan out for example. Not for long in the beginning of course.  She got used to this really quickly. But at work she couldn´t stand hearing us and being left with Abby in another room so the Nanny was really needed last winter.

I left her every day, many times a day, so it did get easier very soon at home. I think it´s very important that the dog can relax in a hotel-room for example. I travel quite a lot so my dogs has to get used to it early.


My bc Timjan had a complex personality, with issues like Fanny Gott writes about and I´ve also spent a lot of thinking of what to introduce my puppy to. I did a lot of mistakes with Timjan.

I have come to the conclusion that I don´t want to introduce too much of disturbances when my puppy is too keen on being involved herself.

In Magic´s case that meant for example that I couldn´t train Abby when she was around but I could train Timjan. Timjan, who is training a bit in the end of the film, had a lot of power in herself. And she couldn´t stand rude behaviors. Magic noticed early that it was stupid trying to “play around” with Timjan.

I don´t know why I could train her and not Abby without getting Magic upset but I had a feeling that it had something to do with their relationship. And I also was very silent when I trained Timjan compared to my loudly games with Abby.

I had to avoid hunting-situations, like throwing a dummie and letting Abby search for it. Magic got very upset. I have to introduce her to these kind of situations bit by bit and I do a lot of feeding, searching for treats and so on to get her in a calm mood. In the beginning she was “closed” and didn´t want to take a treat if for example a ball had been hidden somewhere. I had to make it a bit easier and don´t give up feeding her. She is never allowed doing any kind of work if she refuses a treat.


I also train very early to get my puppy to change from playing with a toy and then getting treats or vice versa. I want the puppy to hold on to a toy even when I hold a treat in the other hand. I also try to be more unpredictable so for example if Magic thinks she is going to go for a ball, she might get a treat-search instead, or when she thinks we shall do the Box, we do some heelwork through the Box instead.


When I have an impulsive dog I train a lot of self-control where it has to find out how to get the treat, in this case by freezing in a position. Otherwise the treat disappears for example. But maybe I don´t do so much training where the dog gets to think and try movements while I´m watching. Nowadays I prefer to show and help the dog a bit more if it´s a dog who easily get stressed, frustrated, wants to do things all the time and so on. Timjan who was that kind of dog who could for example make noises if she didn´t understand I think I should have done less shaping and more helping when I trained her.

If I let Magic think of what to do to get a treat, for example running round a tree, I very soon stop rewarding her if she does it just because we are moving towards that direction.

With a more careful character I let her get more rewards for going away from me to try to find out what I will reward. With the wary dog I also do more balancing, up on stones, agility-like-training and so on. To give the dog more self-confidence  I think shaping is wonderful but I can see that it´s often more fun for owners shaping movements than  shaping the dog to be still in a position. And then the problems might arrive.


So with all kind of dogs I think it´s good to teach them to stay, be still and then you can get a ball-chase or whatever. It´s easy to get a bit serious when we train self-control so – Make it a game! If you stand still my little dog – I release you and let you take the toy!

I like playing games with an exciting voice which I then can use in a competition. It´s often really good if you can make small sounds and get your dog really attentive and full of expectations. I always have to have the balance in mind of course.


Nowadays I put more effort in to getting the dogs more attentive to words. They must listen to when to go, who´s turn to take the ball or walk through the door first etc. This is for convenience in the daily life but also to get them being used to listen carefully while we train obedience. Did I say Sit or Stay or…?

With my earlier dogs, both Timjan and my other bc Bess,  I didn´t think so much about Words, Signals. They didn´t have much difficulties with sorting different signals out from eachother. When I got Abby I realized (after some years!) that it wasn´t so easy for her and I didn´t do so much of training from the beginning as I nowadays think I should have done. So I can´t blame her!

But I have learnt that some dogs finds it harder than others to listen to the words and from the beginning you can´t be sure so now I train it earlier.

I also want to give names to the  behaviors early. But I struggle with that because I also want the behavior to be really good before calling it something. And then I sometimes can´t decide what to call things.


I want my dogs to have good self-confidence.

I have managed to scare both Timjan and Abby when things have been falling down and I have been swearing a bit (or more!). From the beginning Abby wasn´t at all scared of such a thing like getting things falling over her if they didn´t hurt her so I´m sure that it´s my fault. I decided that if I can´t help myself and I swear a bit when I drop something, I shall immediately change and laugh and maybe even play with the thing or drop treats on it. Magic finds that game amusing.

It might sound completely mad but a dog competing on a high level or in quite difficult environment , with a lot of strange noises sometimes, must feel safe and secure to perform its best I think. And maybe it does matter what I do at home.  I also work a bit with playful exercises where the dog itself can make sounds and movements.

I have also managed to scare some of my earlier dogs for wasps and flies by going into aggressive whispering around with anything  possible to kill them with.  Nowadays I get rid of  the wasp in a more silent kind of way.  Much better for the dogs and probably for me too!


I have chosen not to train so much of turnings, jumps, ball-chasing and stops  while the puppy´s still growing. And I also avoid a lot of hard physical playing with other dogs. Instead I like them to use their bodies on uneven ground for example in the forest. But of course I do some running exercises with the puppy. And if I have a puppy who is more laid back I try to not let it get the treat, toy too easily.



When we go on walks I reward my dogs when they see other people and dogs. I want them not to care so much about these meetings. I think it´s good if the dog is too social or maybe a bit scared. After a while they often tell me by looking at me that we are meeting someone. Of course they get treats then.

If the dog associate other people and dogs with treats and then with looking at me to get the treat it might even get easier to get it to understand the focus-part in the obedience training. The dog already know how good it is to watch me instead of the surroundings.

Of course my dogs also get walks with other dogs but I only let them free with dogs who are nice, friendly and not to physical towards eachother. And if they are calm of course.

In different environments I try to find behaviors I can  reward. In the beginning it might just be a turn of the head towards me. Then I can hopefully get on to more and more obedience-like training after a while.

The Puppy-time passes away far to soon. Enjoy your puppy and don´t forget to have a lot of fun in your training together.