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Proud new owner-to-be

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Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: 07/19/06, 10:16 pm    Post subject: Proud new owner-to-be Reply with quote

hello group:

I am new to the site, and a proud new companion-to-be of a GWP I am adopting from a local animal shelter. It is about one-year-old, trained for hunting, house-broken, etc. (previous owner moved) I am an avid ruffed grouse hunter. I can provide about 1 1/2 acres for the darling dervish on a day-to-day basis. I am seeking your expert advise on any areas of expertise you may have.

My brief time with him at the shelter grounds conforms with what I've read here. He is high-spirited, very strong (on the leash), and a face only a mother could love (or me). He stood out in the crowd to me because he was the silent one in the cacaphony of barkers at the shelter. He is obviously born to run and hunt.

I'm basically seeking any advise you may have. I realize the next couple months are going to be formative. Here's some questions:

1) Is frisbee playing and ball fetching enough exercise for the dog? I'm not a jogger or exercise nut.

2) Any special needs for when I'm away? I can provide a back-yard with enclosed shelter, breezeway, basement or porch.

3) Extreme discipline or moderate?

4) Best food, toys, collars, flea stuff, etc.

You get the idea. I'm looking forward to being a new daddy, but I can already see this is not going to be your normal lapdog training. Any sage tidbits of advise would be welcome to avoid mistakes I can't undo later.

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Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 256
Location: Rustbelt

PostPosted: 07/20/06, 8:49 am    Post subject: Owner Reply with quote

I hate exercising myself, but I must run the dog or the house will be torn apart. I do 2 sessions-am and pm, bout 10 minutes a piece during the week and offseason-tennis ball, kong or dummies. Hard running is key but not in the heat. Walks do nothing for the hunting dogs.
I find these dogs are very soft and live to please the owner, so I dont recommend harsh corrections at all. You can practically train em with your voice in many cases, a stern voice is often all that you need.
Get some squeakies, kongs, tennis balls etc, make it fun and youll enjoy your dog. A dry, clean, cool summer dog house is impt. when youre out, along w/water etc.
Real men hunt Wire Dogs
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Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: 07/20/06, 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're in for a good time, now! Congratulations.

Though I still consider myself new to GWP ownership, thought I'd share my experiences anyway.

1) Exercise. Playing fetch has done wonders for us, where walks fall short. Hikes in the woods have been valuable, especially off leash allowing for mad dashes after squirrels. Playing with other dogs has also been huge in spending energy. If possible, swimming is a favorite activity of my girl, Clare.

2) While away, no special needs have been necessary, though I continue to use crates because my dogs are accustomed to them and feel secure with the routine. We've gained the ability of staying loose in the house without problem, but do so only for short absences. You can find in some older messages on this board that enough exercise is key to keeping your home safe while you're away. I agree and will add that a loving and trustful relationship with your dog is also necessary. I'm not keen on leaving dogs outside while away. Too many possible dangers.

3) Extreme discipline has negative effects. Be patient and gentle. Be certain and gentle. I'm trying to find the right word to describe that you need to be unwaivering in what you want of your dog, while maintaining a gentle and patient manner. I'd say use treats as rewards, but my dog is unmotivated by them. She's perfectly happy with good vibes.

4) Toys. Anything goes with my dog, even paper bags, cardboard boxes, sticks, old socks. Stolen items seem to be favorites. I like to use kongs or emptied marrow bones stuffed with kibble and/or soft food when I leave the dogs. Then, they have something to work on while I'm gone.

There you go. Good luck and have fun.

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Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: 07/26/06, 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations on the new dog and bigger congratulations on rescuing a young dog!

I am also an avid grouse hunter and have two GWP's. One was raised from a pup, the other is a fairly recent rescue.

To answer your questions:

1. These dogs need excersize and lots of it. You needn't jog, but at least a 45 minute leash walk a day is imperative. Better yet and when his recall is solid, an off leash run if you have an acceptable area to do it. The single best trick for getting the dog to stay with you and check in is to hide from them (after he has bonded of course) when he gets further than you would like. They want to be with you and this does work with older dogs. This will help immensely when you get to the grousewoods. While frisbees and balls are great for excercize, don't overdo it if you want him to retrieve your birds.

2. Make sure he can't escape. A crate is good for a dog that age when in the house and will make your and his life easier.

3. The vast majority of these dogs are very eager to please and respond best to a soft hand and reward based training. You will be amazed at how quickly they respond. There are of course, exceptions to this, but I have seen a lot of wires and this is typically the best approach. Too heavy of a hand can cause them to wilt and shut down. If you do need to discipline, do not be "extreme" and make up with the dog shortly after.

4. There are lots of great feeds out there and if you are hunting, you may want to use a performance food during the season. You get what you pay for and may want to experiment. Mine do well on Canidae year round, but there are many great feeds out there. Look at the list of ingredients and try to avoid corn, especially if it is one of the first ingredients. Meat products should be listed prominently in the first few ingredients. Corn used as a primary protein source is worthless and also messy.

Kongs are great toys, but my male can take the top off of a black one in 5 minutes. Nylabones are excellent toys. If your dog doesn't care for it initially, try steeping it in some chicken or beef base to give it some flavor.

For ticks and fleas, treat monthly with a spot treatment. I use Frontline Plus, but others have success with Advantix and even Biospot. I stick with the FP+ personally. Also, make sure your dog is on a monthly heartworm preventative (Heartguard) available from your vet.

You will love this breed and really enjoy hitting the grouse woods with your new hunting partner. Congratulations again on your new dog!
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