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Training an older pup

 
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marcam1
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Joined: 06 Nov 2002
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PostPosted: 11/06/02, 8:11 pm    Post subject: Training an older pup Reply with quote

We have just adopted a ~2yr old female=got her from purebreed resuce group. She has adjusted very well to most things living with us - she is very sweet, loves us all, and is very protective. She will not be a hunting dog. She has stopped having accidents in the house (thank god)- but there are still a few habits we are having a very hard time training her to 1.) not jumping on people when she is excited, and 2.) listening to commands (come, no, stop, sit)
Does anyone have any suggestions? We are considering formal obediance training but would like to do it ourselves. Thanks
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cmmilach
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PostPosted: 11/07/02, 10:31 am    Post subject: Companion Training Reply with quote

Hi,

Welcome to the wonder world of Wires. As you are about to discover, they can be very headstrong & stubborn. I own two, one is 8 yrs old & the other 4 months old. I have been training Doc, the older one, since he was 8 weeks old & he listens most of the time, but I still do drop-in obedience.

Your best bet is to take her to a group class, so she learns to listen no matter what & also the instructor can help.

Good Luck!

Cathy
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Leslie Swisher
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PostPosted: 11/07/02, 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations on the addition to your family. It is good to hear that the transition is progressing.

I agree with the previous post regarding group obedience training. A good training class can help you find the best ways of addressing specific problems as well as offer some structured socialization oppurtunities. I encourage you to talk to all the training clubs and instructors in your area and observe classes before you decide which is best for you.

Good luck!
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Anne
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PostPosted: 11/08/02, 10:38 am    Post subject: All Positive Obedience Training Reply with quote

Doing formal obedience training was the best thing I ever did for my GWP Riley, and I. Riley absolutly loved it and we learned so much about how to communicate with eachother.

The only thought I would add to the other replys is to find a place that does all positive training (no choke chains or pinch collars). You'll be amazed at the relationship you build with your new girl and how much she learns!

Good Luck!
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Illona
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PostPosted: 11/08/02, 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marcam1, I agree with what others are saying here, esp. Anne.
I, too, am a new owner of a rescue GWP, and I am SO happy to find this group! For three months now I've attempted to find others--cyberly--who have GWPs as companion animals as this is my first hunting dog (although I have no intention of hunting with her).

I lost my 4 1/2-yr-old rescue terrier cross (best guess: Wheaten/Beardie) to lymphoma this past July. It was the hardest loss of my life, and I was hardly ready for a new dog. I'd always loved the look of GWPs but knew little about them. When one miraculously showed up at a shelter 2 hours away (coincidentally brought in the same day I lost my boy), I gathered everything I could on them and made my decision. It's the second best decision I've made in my life (the first being the rescue of my first boy). Matea has been with us for 3 1/2 months; approx. 9 months of age, and she is LOVELY! I couldn't have dreamed of a more perfect dog to help fill the emptiness.

We have done one obedience class, and she took the top of her class. She is such a delight to train, esp. since she was a blank slate when I got her. She didn't even know her name, and the only command she knew was "no". (never a good sign) I've learned a lot on my own already regarding GWP, their intensity, their desire to please, and the instincts.

Coming back to the original post-subject - yes, I believe that an obedience class can do nothing but help. I know about training dogs. I trained German Shepherds with my father growing up. I don't need a class to show me what to do, but the social setting is invaluable, and it keeps you on track. Plus it's such fun (even though a little pricey). We're going to be taking more classes, and with any luck, Matea will show interest in agility. It's always been my dream.

And definitely look for a positive class. I notice with Matea -- as I haven't had her from a pup -- that the results are slower when using only positive training (i.e. no chain collar or corrections), and it's a lot more work, but she's coming around and she's truly wonderful. When I first brought her home you couldn't walk her unless you had the leash braced around your hip, she pulled SO hard. But instead of slapping a pinch collar on her and teaching her in one or two sessions what it means to reach the end of a leash (and believe me, after shoulder and neck strain and almost being pulled off my feet countless times, I felt like it!), I've gone with the slower method of constantly changing directions, working at gaining her attention and respect, teaching her that pulling doesn't make me happy, and then how wonderful I am to be with when I'm happy. It's a lot slower, but very worth it. And I wouldn't have believed it had I not stuck with it and experienced the results myself. She's a happy girl and loves pleasing me...as long as her snout's not planted in a mouse den! We still have a long journey of training ahead of us, but I see the glimmers of progress daily.

Anyway, sorry this is so long. Like I said, I've waited a while to find a group like this. I hope to learn more from all your experiences, and share my own.

Thanks all,
Illona and Matea
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 11/09/02, 6:58 am    Post subject: rules! Reply with quote

One thing I always suggest to new Wire owners is that the family needs to sit down, have a meeting and decide what the rules for the new puppy (or adult) will be.

For instance, can they be on the furniture? Where will they sleep? Can they beg at the table, etc. Once everyone is on the same page, life gets simpler for both dog and humans. Everyone knows what is expected and everyone can train the dog with the same goals in mind.

A suggestion for the greeting people at the door problem.......
Keep a short lead on the dog while she is in the house. Teach her to Sit and Stay (short stays and then build up the time slowly)... When someone comes to the door, let her go to see who it is, but make her sit and stay while you answer it. Because you have a lead on her, you have something to control her with. Be patient, but be dilligent as well.

While I always like positive reinforcement, this is a breed that has to know that NO means NO! There are certain behaviours that are not acceptable and the dog needs to learn this early on.

Keeping a leash on gives you "power steering", and the dog eventually will figure out that there is no escape and it's just easier to do things your way.

Best of luck, and thanks for giving this dog a second chance at life!

Bernee Brawn
Justa GWP's
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Illona
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PostPosted: 11/09/02, 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: rules! Reply with quote

Bernee said: One thing I always suggest to new Wire owners is that the family needs to sit down, have a meeting and decide what the rules for the new puppy (or adult) will be. For instance, can they be on the furniture?

I totally agree with this. And I've found that it's even more critical with my GWP than any other dog I've owned. Once Matea's been allowed something, it's hers. She was very ill for a week and I finally consented to letting her on the couch - the family is always informed of (and in agreement with) the decisions made re. Matea's rules - and now that side of the couch is Matea's. No other furniture though. She understands this; no questions asked. Think CAREFULLY before allowing her any kind of privilege or behavior, cuz once it's there, it's there. GWPs learn SO quickly.

As for the door greeting -- I had a short tab lead on Matea when I first brought her home. She wore it all the time in the house, as she wasn't housetrained yet. When it came to door greeting, she sits and stays now - but my partner and I were both required for door-answering in the beginning. Honestly, I'm amazed daily at the swiftness of this GWP. It only takes once or twice and she's got it. She's a dream at the door now. However, I know what you mean about exuberant greetings. Matea goes nuts when a stranger shows her attention, and she does try to jump up. She knows she's not supposed to but her happiness overcomes her. I only keep reminding her that she must stay off, and the person can't pet her until she does. She's getting better and I trust that this will only take time as she matures. In the meantime, I'm not squashing her love with any kind of harsh corrections. I think with your girl, it's just going to take time and firmness. And as Bernee says: everyone on the same page. Your girl will catch on quickly.

Bernee said: While I always like positive reinforcement, this is a breed that has to know that NO means NO! There are certain behaviours that are not acceptable and the dog needs to learn this early on.

Definitely! I've had this struggle with the person running Matea's first obedience class. It was almost too much positive -- i.e. ignore the bad behavior. I know that Matea needs a firm but loving hand...no, make that "voice". I've had to actually ease back on the "growl" in my voice sometimes with her, as she cringes almost too much. Even our 5-yr-old, when adopting a growl in her voice and telling Matea "that's a NO!" has almost too much affect on her. She definitely needs firmness, and definitely consistency, and not only happy-happy.

Illona
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abbygwp
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Joined: 04 Dec 2002
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PostPosted: 12/04/02, 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too have a young (1.5 yr) female GWP. She is a devil. the obedience class did the trick for her. She also gets her feelings hurt when you tell her she is "being ugly" she tucks her tail (whats left of it) and runs to her cage. Embarassed

We are going to start agility in january and I am very excited. I think she will do well!

The definite key to these dogs is keeping with the drop in obedience training even after the class is over and DO NOT LET THEM GET BORED. She can destroy a house when she is bored.

Good luck on your new baby!
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