New to forum
Hi everyone, Thanks for all the info. Like JOAT I'm new at this. Less than a month ago I was surprised with a German Wirehaired Pointer now 4 1/2 mos. old. I've been reading and watching the Richard Wolter books. Reading the forum I believe that I'm trying to rush things. Can I work on Sit, Stay, Come, Heel and Fetch all at the same time? A few minutes of each every evening. When should I introduce wing and scent to my dummies? And again the Whoa command?
Obedience can be practiced at any time. It can be done in a formal drill with a long line or you can just do it while you are waiting for your microwave dinner to get done. At first you want to break each one down. Sit, come,heel and etc. should each be taught seperately. Later you can combine them. Such as heel then sit command.
Let them learn and distinguish what each means before you try having them multi tasking. Multi tasking a young dog or untrained dog will just confuse them. Leading to a frustrated handler and a dog that will roll over on its belly in submission. If they do this you didn't "TEACH" Be ready to slow down.
Reading the books that are available are a good source to get you started. One thing books don't teach or explain is how to read your dog or handle soft dogs or stubborn ones. Each takes a seperate approach in how you communicate with the dog. If you run into problems contact someone that can help. I highly recommend working with someone experienced in handling gundogs. You can learn a lot by just watching.
This forum is a great place to meet folks. Heck, this forum should have next years gundog clubs booming with new membership.
I'm cutting this one short but I've got more to say. I'll get back to you later. I've gotta get ready for a training session before it gets any later.
You would start introducing to wings, scented bumpers or live birds after obedience is complete. No need doing so if you can't control them.
My time is short right now. But I've got info you can check on another post where I explained briefly about introductions to field work and teaching "whoa" and molding the point.
Check out "Folks I may need help"
I'll be glad to help you along.
The basics or foundations of training are the most important part. You need to learn as well as the dog, to become successful. We will say the same things over and over, not to sound like a broken record, but because they are important.
TEACH, TRAIN, TEST.
Teach her what you want, one item/command at a time. Be thorough, patient, consistent. Teaching is showing. Use your hands to mold her to sit, or stand, down or stay. Use treats to encourage eye contact, good behavior. Praise according to the dogs needs.
Train after she has been taught. She needs to know "sit" while beside you before she can learn it away from you. Training uses longer leashes, trailing ropes, a crop, or other tools to help enforce the command. Training takes the basic command by your side and expands it to where ever she is.
Test as a final determination to see if she is perfect. Testing is done sparingly. Testing is only done where she has been taught and trained before. Never test in a new circumstance. That might mean something as inocuous as the family cat is sitting in the training area and never was there before. Before you test, ask yourself, "is she really ready? Would I bet something really valuable that she will do it?"
Never give a command that you have not trained, that you are not 100% willling to enforce, or can't enforce.
Always be consistent.
Train one command at a time. When each is perfect, start by putting 2 together and so on.
I always start by training for 3 consecutive positive results. When I get them I move on. If I have a problem, I go back to square one, get 3 good responses, and move to the next step, distance, etc.
I have never trained a pointer, but I would be hard pressed to do so without a check cord on her all the time. It is easier to build good habits than break bad ones.
Good luck and welcome to the site.
AK River Rat, How long of a check cord and how would I use it. I guess I'm a little confused about the TEST. You said Test sparingly. How is that different then training? Ex. When sitting, I say Sit, and give 1 toot on the whistle. Right now he sits on either 80% of the time without having to be corrected. I also hold my hand to signal stay and will walk away always looking at him. Sometimes I renforcing it by say Stay when I get out about 25 yrds and even get out of sight. He is holding 10 to 15 secs about 80% of the time. When we are playing Fetch I have to hold my hand in front of him to get him to stay and not bolt. I hold him for 5 sec. Right now we are at 60%. Giving that, What would be a Test?
Thanks for the reply.
A long line can be 15 to 30 ft long. Sometimes I use longer depending on what I am teaching. It depends on how far away you will be away from the dog. Like Ak River Rat said earlier you want to teach first. Teaching means showing want you want. Teaching the correct response to a command. Showing what the sitting position is and then positively rewarding when they are doing it. Dogs learn through repitition and reward. They also learn that incorrect responses bring negative feedback from you. Dogs learn to read your body posture. Just staring or looming over a dog is usually just enough to get the dog to respond the way it should.
Ultimately, you want to train the dog to respect your authority without having to use the long lines. Always teach basics with leash or longlines. This way you have complete control. It allows you to make "timely" corrections when the dog gives you a behavior you do not want. You don't want to chase the dog down to give a correction. It is too late at that time.
An example of TEST. Take Ak River Rats scenario about the cat in the yard. You wouldn't sit your dog there and trust him not to chase the cat when the cat runs by. Don't think in your head that he will be steady if he hasn't been trained to that level. Testing also would be expecting him to be steady when a bird flushes. Testing also would be taking him out and finding out if he is gunshy by shooting a 12 guage over his head. Don't make a bet with your paycheck if your dog isn't conditioned through training to handle those situations. Train him to handle the cat, train to handle flushing birds and train to handle gunfire before you attempt testing.
I have a tool that may help you to get higher percentage for your sit command. I use a place board. It is an oval piece of plywood with an eyebolt in the center. When the dog sits on the board I chain the dog to the eyebolt. You want the place board large enough to where the dogs feet are on the board even when standing. I will gently and calmly get the dog into a sitting position and attach the chain. The chain should be slightly snug when the dog is sitting. I will command sit and then walk away about 10ft. Some dogs realize right away that they can't move. Others may try to battle the board. Let them try, briefly. Then calmly walk up and reposition the dog back into the sitting position. Then repeat the sit command and walk away. Using this method I can teach sit in one or two sessions. Then from that point on I can just sit them on the board unchained. Then you can start increasing the distance. You can also try to tempt your dog off the board by throwing bumpers. Remember sit means sit until told to move. The board will even remind them to be steady when "marks" are thrown. When I start field work I use a rubber mat. They learn that when they come off that board or the mat without being told they are in trouble. It definitely helps guarantee steadiness. You can also use a small kitchen rug once it has been taught originally with the plywood place mat.
slow down, take it easy
I am afraid you are testing your dog, not training him. Teaching and Training entails 100% control, 100% of the time. I am concerned you have taken her too far too quickly. Issues tend to crop up later when you get into complex themes, i.e. field work and obedience, multiple marks, etc because the basics are not rock solid.
A little puppy never gets told to sit unless my hands are on it. I push back on the chest while pulling forward on the rear hocks. When the pup is older and/or better at sit, I use a leash. Hand on the chest pushing, hand on the leash pulling up/back. Next we go to the leash pulling up/back. If I get resistance, I pull the leash up and back, move forward into the dog, and if necessary, put my hand under her rear legs, just like when she was a puppy.
When I am rock solid sure she knows and understands the command, I go to the same spot we always teach in, get into the same position, and give the command one time. I will try for 3 successful commands before doing anything else.
Goal- To sit without correction or direction, only voice command.
After SIT I teach HEEL. My goal is to teach control on the leash, attention focused on me, and finally, that my movement triggers HEEL silently.
After HEEL I teach HEEL/SIT.
After that I teach SIT/STAY. Some folks feel it is redundant. You choose for yourself.
Next is COME. Even though when she was itty bitty we played come games in the hallway or living room.
We can spend more time on obedience later. As for the check cord, worry about the basics first. When we get ready to run her, then we can talk more about field work.