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Help! Need 'training' for Dummies...

 
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Beths
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Joined: 23 Jun 2003
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Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 06/27/03, 2:44 pm    Post subject: Help! Need 'training' for Dummies... Reply with quote

(long story) My husband and I just rescued a GWP after looking for one for about a year. We were going to go through a breeder (except there don't seem to be any in Ontario anymore) when this dog popped up at a shelter. We went to look at him and he was just beautiful. He was found wandering without a collar or tags in the area and was at the kennel waiting for his owners to pick him up for about a week. He's got a tattoo, so we're pretty sure he's purebred, possibly with the drahthaar club as it doesn't look like a Canadian Kennel Club #.

What we've discovered is that this pup is really about 3 or 4 years old and doesn't seem to have any training. The shelter thinks he might have just been a 'kennel dog'. He doesn't respond to any commands, but he's learning (or rather we're trying to help him learn...he's resistant). We've tried other languages too, including french and german. He doesn't respond to any thing, we've tried many different ways. He's really bad on a leash, to the point of choking himself. He wasn't housetrained but already picked up on that within the first 3 days. Now trained for that, he's a delight to have in the home and it was fun to 'teach' him how to play.

We have no doubt that he's a good tracking dog as he picks up scents like crazy. Yesterday he 'stalked' a really horrible animal... a bird that turned out to be a pinecone. Aren't these dogs great?! Smile

It appears he's crate trained as that's where he sleeps and its been good. Until our kennel is built, he has been spending the day with my husband at the family farm. The last couple of days in this incredible heat, he was in a cool temp. workshop in his crate with regular 'breaks' on the leash and lunch until I picked him up after work. Today, my husband called me to let me know that "Diesel" got away. OH NO! He was on a rope under the shade of a tree while my husband was fixing a lawnmower a few feet away. Suddenly Diesel made a mad dash of it, the collar broke and he was free. Oh the wonderful time he must have had because he wasn't too happy when they got a collar back onto him.

So... help!? We've got a very smart animal who obviously loves to be on the run. Is he trainable? Are we trainable? Where should we start? More discipline? How? Ideas???
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cheerio
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PostPosted: 06/28/03, 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is he trainable? Absolutely!
Are you trainable? It all depend of the comittmenet you are ready to make...
Lots of love, keeping with you as much as you can. Make him part of the family. Speak to him, and register him in an obedience class as soon as possible. All this wil help fostering a bond between you and him, and as soon as he knows he is loved and he can trust you to be there for him, he will do his best to give you exactly what you ask of him.
Now running away is sometimes a separate issue, and you can have a very well trained dog who will escape any chance he gets. Talk to your trainer about the various ways to deal with this. Restraining the dog most of the time, such as keeping him crated, chained or kennels for regular and/or long period of time is known to make the matter worse. Working the dog in various sports has been found to help and often solves the problem. See your options, and decide what is feasible and what is not. I am sure you will find a training method suitable to your lifestyle. But please, trust me on this point: Do go to obedience classes... Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Anne
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PostPosted: 07/08/03, 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On this site I feel like I could have a standard post "What Cheerio said" Very Happy

If Diesel is not already micro chipped I would do it immediately.

Anyway, I agree 100% the key to success with this dog is developing a strong, loving bond.

Bonding
Obedience classes are a good place to start building this bond. You can find a trainer at www.apdt.com. It is a good idea to observe the instructor before committing to the class. Instructors have a varying range of knowledge, ability, and style. It is important to get one that is a good fit with you and Diesel. I would look for a class that avoids harsh corrections and uses reward based training approaches such as lure/reward, shaping (often done with a clicker), and lots of praise.

Play is also a great way to bond with your dog. Games of fetch, tug, and chase are great fun and build your relationship. Just remember the games should begin and end when you decide. Teach drop it/take it/leave it before playing tug.

Teaching tricks is a ton of fun, great bonding, and will impress all your friends. Invest in a clicker and a trick training book.

Bolting
As far as the running away, my first question is how much exercise is he getting and what kind of exercise?

Dogs need the chance to run, roll, swim, and play. Sometimes under exercised dogs are trying to create their own opportunities for the stimulation they need by running away. (Even if you are getting him more than adequate exercise and stimulation his previous home may not have. It will take him a while to trust that you will always get him his "playtime".)

My next question is, when he got away at the farm, what happened when you got his collar back on?

Basically it sounds like Diesel’s past life has taught him that running away is more rewarding than sticking at home. This doesn’t mean his home was necessarily terrible but if he was in a kennel at home and when he ran there were squirrels and rabbits to chase, dead things to roll in, creeks to swim in, and room to run, it is not hard to see where the best reward is.

This will change as you develop your bond and you teach him that being near you is the most rewarding thing on the planet. You need to teach Diesel that you are better than any distraction and anything else in the world. You might need to keep him on a long line during your initial recall work. You don't want to give him an opportunity to fail and self-reward by rolling in some dead fish or something.

Be careful with "Come"
Do not say "come" and then cut his toenails, put him in his kennel and leave for 8 hours, leash him up and bring him home from the park. In all of these cases the reward of running greatly outweighs the reward of coming. To teach a reliable recall only good happy things happen when you say come. Instead when you're at the park or on a walk in the woods, call him and then send him back to run and play. Come does not signify the end of anything fun. Say “come” when its time to go to the park or to get his food.

Hope some of this is helpful. Good luck and keep us posted.
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AmmoMike
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PostPosted: 07/09/03, 5:30 pm    Post subject: Help! Need 'training' for Dummies... Reply with quote

Anne,
I am the dummy of the bunch.. I understand where you are coming from with dont use "come" to do the bad things in life, BUT what would you use when you need to do these things? Im a little lost on this one and my new pup will be here in about 3 weeks and I want to have my ducks in a row on this one.

Mike
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cheerio
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PostPosted: 07/09/03, 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make it fun, invent a short game, give him a big cuddle, as a puppy, give him a treat... But most of all, remember that your dog must obey, so make sure you have the time to play the little game and insure that he will come to you, even if it takes 1/2 hour for him to come. If you don't have time to have the last word, do not give him the command, simply, go get your pup and carry him home will giving him plenty of kisses.
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Anne
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PostPosted: 07/10/03, 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're new pup is pretty lucky to have you AmmoMike. All this research you are doing before bringing him (her?) home is really going to pay off for you. If more people took your approach to dog care there would be a lot more happy dog families and less dogs in shelters.

As far as the answer to your question "what Cheerio said"
Very Happy
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AmmoMike
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PostPosted: 07/14/03, 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Anne, I had my last GWPup for a very short time, and I truely love the breed. I kinda stumbled across Milli. she was at pets-mart with the humain folks. I already had one dog and we were there to get food and such for it. Then I laid my eyes on the ugliest thing I ever saw! but Millis inner beauty was unmatched..... Milli was the smartest dog I think I have ever owned, she NEVER pottied in the house shelearned sit and down fairly quick. so she was really easy to train. She could not catch the idea of STAY or Come though.. So I want to make sure this pup gets it right away. I dream of the dog I can have in the front yard with me, and I can say DONT MOVE when folks walk by and she dont!!! I hope this will be the new GWPup I am getting and I am doing all I can to make it that way..

Thanks for yourguys help on everything!!
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Anne
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PostPosted: 07/15/03, 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, now is certianly the time to work on those behaviors you want. GWP's are certianly trainable enough to do that if you're willing to put the time in training them, which it sounds like you are. When does the pup come home?
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AmmoMike
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PostPosted: 07/15/03, 10:10 am    Post subject: Help! Need 'training' for Dummies... Reply with quote

I should be getting her in just a couple more weeks (sometime just after the first).. She will be flying in from wisconsin. We found a breeder there with a reasonable price. Also the breeder talks to my wife about the pup every time we call with no hesitations. They also told us they has a buyer flying in from tx for his second pup from them. last one was purchased over 12 years ago. I cant wait, im getting very excited about this.. I WANT IT NOW!
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