Puppy love, training problems

Ain't love grand?

Most of the time they still seem to be the best of siblings.

But we do have a new delopement this week.

Guapa is growling at Bonnie when Bonnie tries to eat. 

They each have their own dishes. 

Guapa inhales her food in less than 10 seconds, then goes over to Bonnie's dish, sits and stares at it.

Bonnie, meanwhile, has wandered off chasing butterflies – with one eye on Guapa.

As soon as Guapa makes a move toward her food, Bonnie rushes over.

Guapa proceeds to growl and snap as Bonnie carefully edges in to her own dish to eat her own food.

Guapa eventually tires of watching Bonnie delicately pick at her food and goes off looking for fallen figs.

At which point Bonnie starts chasing butterflies again.

Guapa comes back, sits by Bonnie's dish.

Game repeats.

They do this 4 or 5 times each feeding – or until I get tired of watching and take Bonnie's food away.

I don't want to interfere…. I want them to sort it out themselves.

But I also don't want Guapa eating all the extra food…. She'll get fat!

Bonnie eats what she wants and walks away.  Guapa would eat the entire 15 kilo bag at one sitting…. and then beg for more.  Leaving then unattended, or food available at all times is not an option.


The other problem I have, and any advice appreciated, is I can't get them to understand 'down'.  We've been working on it for 3 weeks and they just don't seem to get it.  I tug the leash, I put pressuse on their shoulders, I move their front paws to put them down, I get down to their level, I put treats on the ground….. (not all at once)

When they finally get 'down' they get praised, treated, whatever. 

They return to the 'sit' easily.

But they just don't get the 'down'!

Oh, the other problem is on the 'come'. 

They come promptly (usually) when called….

They just saunter over ever so slowly…….

When they get to me, they sit right in front, just like they should.

It just takes them forever!


They are turning into proper watch puppies, though….

We keep working at it all…


4 thoughts on “Puppy love, training problems”

  1. Repetition is the only thing I can think of for the “down.” And lots of praise once they are down. With such a large breed, it does sometimes take them longer, physically, to do what you ask, so give them a 10 second pause after the command for the process to go from puppy brain to puppy muscles. Cora was very bad at down, too (still is, a bit) but a sweeping hand gesture, especially when the hand contains a tasty treat, seems to work best for her. Good luck!

  2. No advice, sorry – with Ginny the tennis ball about to be thrown will be the incentive. I also feed my dogs away from each other – one outside and one in the kitchen – as one gulps/hoovers the food in one fell swoop and the other chews ever morsel and takes forever.

  3. Dave, my aunt had perfectly trained cats…. ;-))
    Zoomie, Could be because they are just so busy they don’t want to be down LOL Guapa is finally getting it, but not Bonnie. I’ve never had this problem with older dogs. Puppies are very forgetful…. they are perfect for 3 days then forget everything!
    manningroad, I’m sure it’s a phase. 3 weeks ago Bonnie was the fast one and Guapa was picking (Guapa didn’t like the food)I just wish I could put the food down and forget it. Ain’t going to happen LOL I think Bonnie just taunts her….

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