Purchase required to use this site. In using this training site, you agree to the privacy policy: This is for member use only. Please do not share, copy, post, forward or otherwise distribute the link, URL address, or any of the material from this site without written consent from Limitless Pawsibilities. This includes the descriptions, infographics, photos, videos, video links, and all written material.

© 2020 Limitless Pawsibilities

All Rights Reserved


Level 1

Building the Relationship and Teaching the Foundation


WEEK 4 - Skills, Cues and Games

and the Concepts They Address



Using Your Training

From Main Page:

Socialization & DMT

Confidence, Optimism, Calmness, Focus

(Socialization, Relationship)

Muzzle/Cone Game

Confidence, optimism, Calmness, Focus

(Relationship, Socialization)


Switching High Value Treats

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Flexibility, Impulse Control, Thinking in Arousal


Mealtime Routine

Confidence, Calmness, Focus, Impulse Control, Tolerance of Frsutration, Thinking in Arousal (Relationship)

Continue practicing other skills as well as using them in real-life situations. Practicing allows you to ensure the continuation of positive associations.


Puppy Push Ups

Confidence, Focus, Tolerance of Frustration, Thinking in Arousal

Walking With Manners:

Out and About

Confidence, Focus, Disengagement,  Engagement, Proximity, Impulse Control, Tolerance of Frustration, Thinking in Arousal, Reliability (Walking With Manners, Loose Leash Walking, Relationship)


Orientation On Leash

Confidence, Focus, Arousal Up, Disengagement, Engagement, Proximity (Walking With Manners, Loose Leash Walking, Relationship)

Fetch FUNdamentals Get It! Game

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Arousal Up, Flexibility, Proximity, Thinking in Arousal



Using Your Training

You have done it! You have completed the foundation work and developed a great start in your relationship and training. The next steps are to take what you and your puppy have learned and begin incorporting it into your life.

Begin putting your training to good use and teach the behaviors you want for those day to day, real life situations, so your dog learns what the "job" or the expectation is for given situations. Examples would be:

  • Sit before going out the door
  • Mealtime routine for both food in a bowl and treat toys
  • Sitting or lying down while you make your meal
  • Lying down while you eat
  • Playing Pup Pup recalls and the Pick Me game when you first go outside for play time
  • Premack your pup to free play
  • Bring your pup to you with Touch after some play, work through a couple foundation cues and a structured game or two and then release your pup back out to free choice
  • Practice the orientation games often
  • Run through your cues in Movement Exercises and Premack to free choice when out and about
  • Sit for wanting affection and attention
  • Sit, calm, and quiet before coming out of the ex-pen
  • Toy switching games and drop for playtime inside, out in the backyard, and when out and about
  • DMT!!!! And supply some sort of socialization experience every day
  • Capture and reward good decisions - sit, down and four on the floor every time you go in the kitchen and your pup follows you
  • Calmness before everything. Calmness after activities are done.

Set the stage for the behavior you want by teaching it, and capturing the behaviors when you see them and rewarding them. Influence your dog's decisions - reinforce that making the right decisions (the ones you want) for given situations is the best choice to make, by making it the most rewarding behavior to do.

Your Key to Success - Be proactive and don't wait until your dog begins to experiment with bad behaviors or resort to self-rewarding. Don't wait until something becomes a problem. Put everything you and yourpup have learned so far to good use.Focus on what you do want and teach it, not on punishing what you don't want. There are a ton of "no" behaviors your dog can choose, but that won't help him to learn what is right. Instead, focus on the "yes" behaviors and reward those so they become the only desirable behaviors. There are consequences for inappropriate choices (loss of freedom being one of them, removal of rewards, etc.), but you need to teach what you want and redirect to what is appropriate so your puppy can learn what is right.

Keep Building Your Relationship. It is the cornerstone for everything. Continue to build your bond through positive interactions and earn trust. This sets the stage for training and devloping the team. Be involved in the fun and deposit into the relationship bank account.Dogschoose the things they value most, so make sure that is you!

Use Your Management. Utilize your crate and ex-pen for when you are not actively playing, training, or supervising your puppy, and for supporting calmness at various times throughout the day. If your puppy is out of the crate or ex-pen, you have to be involved and watching to teach, redirect and interrupt when needed. Your puppy is learning 24/7, so be involved and be present! A loose and unsupervised puppy learns bad habits, and fast! Get over any of your guilt in confining your puppy and limiting choices. You do this to keep your pup safe and to instill good choices and decisions, and devlop good habits, and so your puppy can't discover the fun in naughty behaviors. You are making life easier by using good management, now and for the future.

Training is 24/7. It isn't about separate sessions where you go over cues. It's not about classes. It's about everyday life and what your dog's job is for all of the things that happen during the day. This is the main reason why we train - to have a dog that has good manners. So use you cues in the situations where you want that behavior. Play your games to teach good defualt behavior and get yourself good at noticing good behavior when it is happening and reward it. It may take a lot of time now, but it will save you a ton of time later!

Play Time is Game Time - your conceptual games are part of your play with your puppy every day. Mix in games with free play so you continue to build great coices, default manners and your relationship with every interaction. Owning a dog is a life-style. Your puppy is what your puppy does, so make those actions count!

Continue to Build Calmness. It is a behavior like every thing else, and it needs to be rewarded. Teach your dog that calmness makes things happen. That after training and play with you, calmness follows. The off-switch is when a dog can default into calmness, even when he/she has energy to spare. Running your puppy into exhaustion, until she crashes into sleep, is not teaching calmness or an off-switch. The off-switch is taught through calmness,not exercise. Calmness is the key to good behavior, so continue to work on it.

SOCIALIZATION (Throughout Training)

Muzzle or Cone Game


A fun game to play with your puppy or dog to aid with socialization (to objects), build confidence and trust, and desensitize a dog to things that cover the face. This can be just a fun game, and can also help for future training and generalization and with other tools like head collars, elizabethan collars and muzzles - because you just never know! Even certain harnesses require your pup to put his head through, and this gamehelps with that.

You can take this a step further and require the head to go all the way in past the eyes - just make sure that the edge of the object is very smooth for safety of the eyes.

You can also build duration by delaying your marker, a little bit at a time.

Build confidence with novelty and things coming to and over the face. Use different items each time you play and be random and creative with your choices.

I am always about "prepare for the worst, hope for the best." I am very protectiveof my dogs, for they depend on me to keep them safe and take care ofthem. They don't necessarily know what is best or what consequences might be, but I can do my best to know what life might bring and be prepared. I recently saw a video on Facebook where a St. Bernard puppy had passed out, choking on a ball. The pup was brought into the police department, and they rushed to help the pup. They were able to clear the airway and revived the pup, thankfully. But what stuck out the most for me was when they tried to give the pup oxygen through a mask and the pup kept turning his head away. Seeing this just reiterated how important this game could really be. So don't skip this one!


Switching High Value Treats


Switching is very helpful with higher value items, like bully sticks and other yummy chew treats. These types of items are more commonly protected by dogs than other objects. Make giving these items to you a game. Build great associations with higher value items so that guarding behaviors are far less likely to develop. This is a must if you have children in the house. There are additional techniques to prevent guarding behaviors in this video as well.

** This game is for adults only until your puppy easily and happily lets go of the treat, feeling like this is just another fun game. Only then shouldyou even attempt to work this game between your dog and an older child, and ALWAYS supervise, with adult hands over the child's hand. Teach your young child to NEVER take away a high-value treat from your dog.

Mealtime Routine


Food is one of the easiest things to control. It is typically also an unconditioned reward, meaning that dogs like food (and need it) so it is rewarding for them automatically. At the same time, your puppy should learn to work for food. Food is your puppy’s “paycheck.” By working for you in order to earn the paycheck, you are instilling the importance of listening to you and working for you. You’ve been doing this with training; using some of your puppy's kibble for training. Now it is time to create a good work ethic even with the food bowl and activity toys.

Make adjustments that will fit your dog (and breed). It is perfectly acceptable to have your dog stand instead of sit, or lie down. You can even change it up each time if you choose. This is all about making dog training fit you, your dog, and your lifestyle!


Puppy Push-Ups


Your beginning level of behavior chains - linking different behaviors together to form a chain, marking and rewarding at the end of the chain.

This game helps to build focus and reliability with behaviors on cue - verbal and visual. It also helps to work through a little tolerance of frustration. You also get to work a different schedule of reinforcement.

So have fun!!!

Walking With Manners (WWM) Out and About


Now it is time to take the structure of the Movement Exercises and practice it outside. I call it "out and about" rather than walks because puppies are unpredictable and inconsistent, and walking takes a ton of skill and focus - something puppies just haven't fully developed yet. So you will do this in your yard and in clean, safe areas outside of thehome. You may accomplish a little walk, you might get a good amount of practice done, but realize that your pup will have good days and not so good days and that is normal.

This is not about getting from point A to point B. This is not about how far you go. This is about what you do with the time spent. This is about teaching those necessary behaviors and concepts that are vital for successful dog walk in the future. Quality over quantity! Building focus - staying on task and lengthening the attention span takes time!

Your puppy is not fully vaccinated yet!! Even though after the second series your puppy is pretty safe, be smart! Be careful!! Take your puppy on surfaces that you can see are clean and dry - concrete, sidewalks, hard surfaces. Still no public parks on the grass, no tan bark, no gravel, no dirt paths where animals roam, or places where dogs frequent and may relieve themselves. NO DOG PARKS! Still no walking in pet stores.

Be sure to give your puppy breaks to sniff and explore. Practice releasing your pup (Premack - and more with Premack is in Levels 2 and 3) and begin teaching the principle of "Listen to me first and then you get to do something fun that you like."

Play your structured games while you are out so that your puppy learns how to handle new environments, work through distractions, choose proper behavior and focus on you. Practice Attention Cues (Name, Pup Pup Recall), DMT, Pick Me! (Proximity Game), Orientation, and your Foundation Cues (Touch,Sit, Follow a Lure, and especially Look) on the road.

Stay close to home! You don't want to be too far when your puppy gets tired (mentally or physically) or frustrated. Breaks, on permission by using your release cue, and give your pup the full length of the leash to explore, sniff, and get any wiggles out are a necessity, but eventually your little pup will be mentally spent.

These are the games that you will be playing with your puppy while you are out and about to practice all the skills and concepts needed for Walking With Manners:

  • DMT
  • Follow Me (inside, outside, on leash, offleash)
  • Movement Exercises Foundation (with cues Touch, Sit, Look and also Following a Lure)
  • Orientation Games
  • Attention Cue Pup Pup Recall
  • Name Recognition
  • Pick Me! Game (proximity game)


Orientation On Leash


There are a number of variations on orientation. Do each one of them! By breaking this behavior down into various steps and creating reliability with each one, this behavior will be automatic for real life situations down the road! I can't stress enough how important this simple behavior truly is!

Now we’re are expanding on the Basic Orientation Game and puttingthem on leash and out and about. It is important to generalize the behavior so your dog gets used to offering it while on leash (to support loose leash walking in the future) and when working recall and dealing with distractions down the road.

This step is crucial to your route to success! How wonderful is it going to be if you have a dog that automatically turns to you when she gets to the end of the leash? Or when she gets a little too far away and automatically comes back to you? Or she sees or hears something interesting, or exciting - a high value distraction and instead of trying to go to it, she goes to you instead? This is part of the solution - orientation games - for all of these scenarios.

Fetch FUNdamentals Get It! Game


Building fun with play needs to be part of your daily interactions with your puppy. Play boosts your relationship and deposits into your relationship bank account. It builds value in you!

SWITCHING with play builds fun in all the behaviors needed for a great game of fetch. You never know if having to give up the toy is going to be a deal breaker in play with your pup. This can happen down the road when having to give up the toy happens enough times. Don't risk it! This is why you will be playing a number of games with multiple toys and why you will capture when your dog decides to let go of the toy, not because you insist it, but because your dog wants too.

Introduce Premack to the game, and use it with toys and play for an exciting and fun association, and to set the stage for great drive with play now, and high level impulse-control later in training.