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Thread: In Need of Puppy Training Assistance - PLEASE!

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    Member bird-dog's Avatar
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    Exclamation In Need of Puppy Training Assistance - PLEASE!

    Hello all, I know this is a long one…But please - I need some puppy help!

    I’m in need of assistance or input from some seasoned dog trainers! I have a German Shorthair Pointer (GSP) puppy that is 9 weeks old as of 20 Dec 08. I had a GSP 3 years ago that passed away on the operating table at 8YOA.

    I’m fairly versed at training and my last GSP turned out to be outstanding. I have also helped out others with their dogs problems successfully. I have read numerous books on training and worked with trainers in my past…However, I sure am starting to feel somewhat inadequate these days! I understand that all dogs can exhibit different traits and need to be worked with in different ways. I’m currently doing the basics such as crate training, potty training, no, stay, release, and the likes.

    My problem is this GSP puppy has a VERY STRONG WILL and is proving to test all of my training abilities and patience. Out of the past week she would whine and cry the entire night and a couple of other nights she has slept the whole night without a peep. I’m batting about 70/30, with the 30 being the good nights. I have used a scented shirt that I have worn all day and placed in her kennel (which seemed to work well as in the past). I take her out close to every 3-4 hours as necessary. I have covered her kennel which also seemed to help. But again, I feel I’m missing something here?

    Additionally, this little pup has a big issue with teething and nipping. She has toys made of all materials, I use bitter apple in NO CHEW areas, and I substitute the hands with her toys as were trying to gently play with her…Yet she still likes the “body parts”. She will also pull out a big burst of energy and throw the “rule book” out the window…Especially with my wife and daughter more so then me. She gets ramped up and will do “a run by nipping”, she will continue to chew hands, arms, and even the face if she gets the chance. We have tried to work a toy into the play/petting time in place of the body parts…But, she keeps going back to the body parts over the toys.

    With the bad issues and strong nipping/biting, I/we will correct her with a stern no, then work our way up the “use of force scale” using a no with the ‘scuff of the neck” being shaken right at the time of the offence…She has even stepped back after a stern correcting and stood her ground and barked back at us which leads to another stern correcting…More of a “dominating” scruff of the neck pin on the ground with a NO. Also, with bad issues I/we have rolled her over and held her on her back until she stopped all resisting and I have even went all the way to pinning her on her back and “growling” on her neck until she has stopped fighting back…I know this can sound very strange. However, it has been a proven method with many dogs even fully grown K-9 police dogs (German Shepard’s). With all of the reading and studying I have done I have worked by “thinking with the pack mentality” over striking dogs with any object.

    She also has just blown off going out into the cold and urinated inside of the house…Which puppies will do even without the cold until trained as you well know. She has even defecated & urinated in the same spot in the house right after she went outside. But, this one I believe was a territory issue because it was right in front of the cat steps going up to a bed. All known urination or defecation spots get cleaned out of her view and we use Natures Miracle. She still fights the lead (leash), likes to chew/carry a rock in her mouth outside, and is generally very strong willed.

    I can’t leave out that she does have positive sides! She has proven to be very intelligent…She learned to urinate on command by the second day (outside)! She has learned to ring a set of bells when she needs to go outside for the call of nature although it has only been a couple of times. She loves to be held, I believe she is on track for her age when it comes to the basics like stay, leave-it, and release, although she still needs assistance with these commands as with any puppy…And she has a very sensitive side that makes a stern correcting a difficult balance.

    In closing…The main issue is the strong will, the crying & howling all night!! Nipping, fighting the lead, and the possibility of my worst nightmare…separation anxiety? I can’t forget that she is a puppy and the have their issues! I know this is a long one and I thank you for any ideas that you could provide, any recommended books or CD’s would also be greatly appreciated.

    One last question…Am I over worried? Is she just a strong willed puppy that will just take a little longer?? I just don’t want to make a mistake that will mess her up down the road…I really love this pup!

    Very Respectfully, Kurt
    “bird-dog”

    P.S. I also apologize for any typing errors, spelling mistakes, or bad sentences.

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    I'm no dog trainer by any means of the words, but I have raised them for about 50 years or so.

    You have what sounds like a great dog in the making.

    My latest and greatest dog was the same way for at least her first two years. If I didn't love her so much, I would have given her away to my worst enemy with my blessings. But, I stuck with her, and we did manage to learn each others way.

    From what you've said, you are doing everything right. I know it's cold outside, and you can't get her out as much, but, she has a wealth of pent up energy that's she's trying to use up.

    I can't count all the shoes, socks, clothes, and other stuff she's massacred. She'll skin a tennis ball in three minutes, and dissect a golf ball in ten.
    She's bit me so much, I thought I'd need to go to the Red Cross, and make a withdrawal.

    But, around 9 or 10 months of age, I'd had all I was going to take, and bought an electronic collar for her. That thing worked wonders after she figured out that I could reach out and touch her.

    I'm not saying to put a collar on a 3 month old puppy. I'm saying that my dog was so bad it was either the collar or a rifled slug to the head.

    But, we are doing fine now. She's two, and finished her AKC JH title a couple of months ago, and we are training for her Seniors now.

    Here's my baby.





  3. #3
    Member bird-dog's Avatar
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    Smile Thank You

    Fred48,

    Thank you for your input...Your reassurance helps to place me at ease. Again, thank you for for your input!

    Respectfully, Kurt
    "bird-dog"

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    sent you a pm

  5. #5

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    Stay with it.....
    Repetition and consistency.....
    What you are doing sounds great, but I must remind you to watch your attitude. Don't vent your frustration towards your pup. Screaming and yelling only scares the pup in usual cases, but with yours it amps her up even more. Calm and assertive.
    For strong willed dogs I try two different methods. They drag around a leash. When they need correcting I just grab the leash say "No" then a leash correction(a short tug on the leash just enough to get their attention, like a slap on the back of the hand) then say "No" again. It takes some timing to get use to. "No" , correction, "No"
    At times in the past instead of the leash I may use an ear pinch.
    "No", pinch "No"
    This is very affective if done properly. If the pup argues back then you need to up the level of correction. Only use the level of correction needed to get them to pay attention to you.

    For those reading this and want to try these methods on adult dogs.
    My disclaimer. All information mentioned above is for reference only. If you practice these ideas without professional supervision you assume all risk and responsibility.

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bird-dog View Post
    One last question…Am I over worried? Is she just a strong willed puppy that will just take a little longer?? I just don’t want to make a mistake that will mess her up down the road…I really love this pup!

    Very Respectfully, Kurt
    “bird-dog”

    P.S. I also apologize for any typing errors, spelling mistakes, or bad sentences.
    Stick with it, Kurt.
    Your methods are sound. Be consistent and positive; pup will get the message.


    Merry Christmas!

    Frank

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    Member bird-dog's Avatar
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    Default Thank You!

    Again, thank you all for your input and training advice. Please, keep it comming.

    Respectfully, Kurt
    "bird-dog"

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    Default Puppy biting and night noises.

    I love puppies and have had about 25 that I trained for myself or started and sold to other people. Each had a different start and different needs when they were puppies. First - play with her a lot. She sounds really busy. I've had a bunch of field trial pups that were just like that. If you have kids limit their playing time with her. She'll learn to take advantage and kids and puppies don't really mix. Friend's 9 week old puppy had to spend 6 weeks in quarentine for biting or catching his tooth on a kid's ear lobe while rough housing. (stupid I know, that could ruin the dog)

    I'm not sure shaking by the scruff of the neck is direct enough. I found this worked for my pups at 7-10 weeks even a 16 week old veteran at biting/nipping, a friend's dog. Hold the puppy and entice her to bite. Put your thumb and forfinger around her muzzle and squeeze firmly until she utters a little whine "no bite" or whatever, but something that means no biting everytime. (yes, it hurts her a little). Let go, but leave you hand there and she should lick your hand. "Good girl" If she bites again, like that 16 week old did to me, "No Bite" squeeze her muzzle again. "Good girl" if she licks. Entice her again until she does not try to bite. It took about 10 times and 15 minutes for that 16 week old to stop. The entire family had to go through it and the pup stopped all together in a week or so. It always worked on my pups in a few days but they were younger.

    Barking all night - If she won't curl up and sleep with you (I've had 3 that did this) or sleep in a crate next to you on the floor (Monks of New Skeet)... All my dogs learned to sleep in another room in a crate later.
    Now, Im going to get it! Get a bark collar. I know the collar companies say not before 6 months of age but why create a habit.
    For my dogs, and especially one little female lab that sounds like your dog, this has always worked, it has never failed, and I never saw any problem with the dog. In fact it didn't even stop mindless barking in the outdoor kennel but I slept and the dog learned to turn the collar off by stopping. I probably had them on a bark collar by 10 weeks because all the attention paid to their barking, even if it was bad was good for them and they barked louder. Follow the directions to test the level and try it on your palm first. Start with the lowest level, it will feel like a tickle or less.

    Or try industrial ear plugs... for you.

    I hate rock retrievers. It will ruin her teeth. Try to get her to pick up other stuff like bumpers or wings or balls.

    Make her start to work for treats. Jackie Mertens top Golden and Labrador field trial competitor has a video - Sound Beginnings. She suggests treats and plushy toys to start a good relationship and concentration on you. It changed the way I trained my last pup and made a world of difference. With a strong willed pup it may take some bribery to make you her most important person. www.topbrassretrievers.com
    Good luck, she sounds like fun.
    Disclaimer: I am an not a professional trainer, just experienced with a few dogs - Baron "Wetlands Retrievers" is the expert professional trainer.

    www.alaskadognews.com

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    I wouldn't worry too much about any long term affects of having your pup on a training lead. All young pups going through my program start off on a long line. Some for weeks at a time. Just make sure the lead is not so large that it itself is a hazard to the pup or is difficult for the pup to maneuver around. They should be able to pull it along with ease. If it is too cumbersome it may make the pup flare away from it or make the pup not eager to move forward. I use small diameter rope of different lengths depending on what I'm training on during that lesson. Indoors is short ;outside is longer. Plus rope is quieter when being dragged around inside your home.

    A little dog psychology for you.
    Your pup is exhibiting typical litter behavior. This is how the pups react to and compete with each other. The strongest survive and gets the most. Even in the litter group a heirarchy is already forming amongst the pups. Being human we step in to make sure each pup gets its fair share. Pulling aside the more energetic pup for others to feed. Also in the litter they wrestle and bite on each other in play. So when your pup comes home they still have that litter mentality. They don't know any difference from you. They assume that you are just another litter mate. That is when training begins and rules and boundaries are formed.
    Yes, there are a lot of different personalities. Puppies all develop differently. They are all as diverse as we are. Some pups calm and some go getters. A lot of this has to do with genetics as well. For example: One GSP litter could be relatively calm, but yet another litter be full of a lot more energetic pups. This is where it pays to know and research bloodlines. Keep an eye on breeding pairs and registeries. Watch differenct litters grow and develop. A good breeder will match a good sire and dame to produce a desired result. A breeder wouldn't want to breed two hyper hard to control dogs. Because the result would be a dog that the average person can't control or train.
    Any way I'm starting to ramble and get off subject. Focus your pups energy on plush toys but I remove plush toys once they exhibit head shaking or rip the stuffing out.(Don't want that habit carried over to your birds) At that time give them nylabones or kong toys. Everything your pup does should be on long line. You can even pull them too you when playing retrieving games. By this way returning to you becomes a habit instead of the habit of you chasing after them. Don't give pups the opportunity to learn something that has to be undone later. Puppies are a blank slate. You are responsible for what is written on it.
    Crate training: Always a positive place to be. I feed in them. If they want to eat that is where they go. With a simple "kennel" command.
    At night wrap warm water bottles in towels and place in the crate. Play some soft music or even put a ticking clock nearby. The water bottles simulate litter mates and the music or clock resemble the soothing rhythm of there litter mates murmurrs while sleeping. Over time these won't be needed.
    So hopefully these are a few more helpful insights.
    Just stay patient and follow some of the advice you have recieved.
    Keep us posted as you go along.

  10. #10

    Default Deutsch Drahthaar

    Thank you to everyone who's made inputs on this thread. I have an 11-week old Draht, and he is giving me a lot of the same problems. The biting/nipping, the barking/crying, etc. But there's one other problem that maybe someone can help me with. He's showing pretty strong signs of separation anxiety, the worst being that when I put him in his pen area (kitchen/bathroom/short hallway penned off with puppy gates) and walk away, he'll try to get my attention for about a minute, and when he's not getting it he'll just squat or deuce right on the kitchen floor or hallway carpet. It doesn't matter whether he can see me or not, whether I've just taken him outside to "be a good dog" or not... it really seems that this is his way of getting attention. It's gotten to the point where I have to pretend like I'm leaving and watch him around the corner so that I can correct him immediately when it does it. What should I do? Any ideas would be appreciated. This is my first time training a dog, and this little guy is putting me to the test. Thanks.

    Barron

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    Here's a picture of Dux. Thanks.

    Barron
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member 2jumpersplease's Avatar
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    Default Puppy suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by Zort-Em View Post
    Thank you to everyone who's made inputs on this thread. I have an 11-week old Draht, and he is giving me a lot of the same problems. The biting/nipping, the barking/crying, etc. But there's one other problem that maybe someone can help me with. He's showing pretty strong signs of separation anxiety, the worst being that when I put him in his pen area (kitchen/bathroom/short hallway penned off with puppy gates) and walk away, he'll try to get my attention for about a minute, and when he's not getting it he'll just squat or deuce right on the kitchen floor or hallway carpet. It doesn't matter whether he can see me or not, whether I've just taken him outside to "be a good dog" or not... it really seems that this is his way of getting attention. It's gotten to the point where I have to pretend like I'm leaving and watch him around the corner so that I can correct him immediately when it does it. What should I do? Any ideas would be appreciated. This is my first time training a dog, and this little guy is putting me to the test. Thanks.

    Barron
    Barron,

    My Drahthaar is 7 months old now. Your pup sounds normal and looks like a cute little guy. Hang in there. Crate training may be something you should look into. I sent you a PM.

  13. #13
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    okay so here is a question... ANDY, (Griffon pup) occasionally needs to be kenneled and tied out doors. every thing we have read and understood on this breed is they HATE to be left alone. with the weather being as cold as it has here in Fairbanks. i can not haul him along. he screams bloody murder when kenneled or tied. i have a 20 foot lead out side to put him on ( only when home) and he sits at the end of it with his neck out stretched and cries like a baby. if i leave the house for an hour to take care of a client he is lathered in sweat when i return. he clears the baby gates around the house and tears things up if left out of the kennel. i feel terrible for having to tie him or kennel him but the neighbor has a huge dog yard and those guys would tear him up if he got into it. How do i comfort him when i can't be there?
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Default Train to be alone outside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    okay so here is a question... ANDY, (Griffon pup) occasionally needs to be kenneled and tied out doors. every thing we have read and understood on this breed is they HATE to be left alone. with the weather being as cold as it has here in Fairbanks. i can not haul him along. he screams bloody murder when kenneled or tied. i have a 20 foot lead out side to put him on ( only when home) and he sits at the end of it with his neck out stretched and cries like a baby. if i leave the house for an hour to take care of a client he is lathered in sweat when i return. he clears the baby gates around the house and tears things up if left out of the kennel. i feel terrible for having to tie him or kennel him but the neighbor has a huge dog yard and those guys would tear him up if he got into it. How do i comfort him when i can't be there?
    Vince,

    Something I have done with two older dogs suffering from separation anxiety and as a preventative measure with my new 7 month old is to put some effort into training them to be alone. Each day that is warm enough, I leave the dog in its run while I am home to observe its behavior. Start small (like 10 minutes) and build up. Then you can work on keeping him quiet with voice commands or, if you are my wife, throw a shoe at the kennel when he is noisy. Hopefully, he will learn to deal with being alone. You will have to ask the neighbors what he is like when you are really gone.

    I do not trust my pup to be alone in the house or car for more than a few minutes unless he is in a crate. It is just too early. When I do leave him alone for the few minutes and come back I watch from outside the car or in the house window to correct him when he inevitably picks something up to chew on.

    Good luck.

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    Member bird-dog's Avatar
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    Wink Hang in there!

    I’m glad that I posted this forum…It sure sound like a lot of us puppy owners are in the same boat. One that is getting chewed up, barked at, peed on, licked, and even loved! I’m glad to see a light break in the cold in some areas…But now my GSP pup has figured out that she can ring the belles just as easy to go play as to go pee!

    I’m now sure God made pups so cute to keep us from ringing there necks!  LOL…That first year or so is a lot of work, tolerance, persistence, then it will come together one day and we will have a great and loving member of our family!

    Hang in there!

    Respectfully, Kurt
    “bird-dog”

  16. #16

    Thumbs up Great Book

    Look up the book Mother Knows Best.....It is a great training aid.

    Hang in there, they are well worth it.

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    Default Great quote bird-dog!!

    "I’m now sure God made pups so cute to keep us from ringing there necks!" LOL!
    When I was assembling "Forever Home: adopted dogs and the humans who love them" I googled and researched in the library for every dog quote I could find. The same 30 or so are used to death

    Can I quote this one?

    I also thougth of a take off on the "What Would Jesus Do" braclets.
    WWM(omma)D
    I have to stop at nipping and licking things though.

    www.alaskadognews.com

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    Default "Quite"

    I relize this post has run for a while but wanted to chime in with a little advise of my own in reguards to the whinning at night. 7 weeks (in my opinion) is much to early to even be thinking about using an E-coller of any kind. I have found that one of the most commonly over looked commands in your dogs vocab. is the "quite" command. You should start this ASAP!!!! no matter the age of the pup!!!! They must learn from the start that whinning, barking, crying ect. ect. will not be tollerated for one second.

    When you put the pup up for the night stand just outside the door and wait for him/her to cry the instant they start march into the room like you just caught the pup stealing from you pop him on the nose and use the command QUITE! repeat this as nessesary all night for as many days as it takes (It might take a while) It will work I have used this as a staple of my trainning and the "quite" command is a must (again, in my opinion).

    hope it works for you let me know how it goes....

  19. #19
    Member bird-dog's Avatar
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    Red face Dog Separation Anxiety!

    There are many training methods and suggestions out there and some work great for one dog and not at all for others. However, I have had my best luck with the methods that reflect how a dog thinks and how a “pack member” would correct bad behavior. I personally have stepped away from striking my dog in any manner and would not “pop” my dog in the nose due to separation anxiety or any other reason in training.
    I will admit I have used an ear pinch, but I mainly stick with a quick shake on the neck, a quick touch on her neck, side, or rear leg or I will pin her by the neck for something really bad (very carefully though) it doesn’t take much until she stops moving and this will reinforce your status as the “dominant dog”. I also use a quick jerk and a verbal correction if we're on the lead. Also little things like your first out of the door and first in, you eat first, I will make my dog wait until I give the command “go ahead” when it’s her time to eat and I will insure she waits for the command. I will even give false commands to insure she is listening. There are so many little things that set the tone like how high they are…I don’t let her on me unless I give the command and I don’t let her on the couch. Height is another authority thing with the “pack mentality” the leader sits higher and sleeps higher. I could go on and on but I bet you know most of this already…
    I’m still working with separation anxiety with my dog and it can become very frustrating quickly…But, I believe we should do the best we can to work on the “dogs level” and if it becomes too bad, a trip to the Vet might help and it sound like one or two of us are about there or professional trainer assistance could help.
    Wetland Retrievers has written some good input below and I also believe that the method of leaving them in the kennel/crate for 10 minutes the slowly work the time up will let them know you are coming back can help and this will take time. I strongly recommend that you don’t work with the dog when you are angry and frustrated, there is a difference between correction and punishment. They can pick up on our emotions very easily and try your best to use the “calm positive” attitude when working with them. One more tip…Keep a shirt with your scent with your dog in its crate and also keep the radio on a talk show or the likes when you leave.
    I think separation anxiety is the most frustrating thing to work with. As I was reminded - We just need to keep a cool head and remember they are just a dog that is dealing with an issue…A very frustrating one! With my dog the barking has almost stopped but I'm dealing with her peeing in her kennel...Signs of her high separation anxiety And just a little bit to large of kennel/crate but time will also cure that But, it's slowly getting better - Vince & Zort-Em and all of us hang in there...It get's better - Right
    I have NEVER had a good outcome working with any dog by hitting, a flick on the nose, a hit with a rolled up news paper, I do the best I can so my dog will never be afraid of my hands…Raised or not. I have had the best luck keeping it at the dog level of “thought”. The only time I stray from this is a training collar in the field when she is older then a year or so and is off the lead…Only to break her attention and get her to listen again when she is in the hunt mode. Never a heavy shock that gets a yelp.

    I would like to note that I mean no offence to ducks n’dogs about the flick to the nose…I just disagree and I hope we can agree to disagree on this…Please – No Offence!!

    I hope this wasn’t too long with too many Type-OS and misspellings…I sure hope there is something in here that helps out. I sure thank the people that have given me input and reassurance. Again, Thank you all for you input and assistance.

    Respectfully, Kurt
    “bird-dog”

  20. #20
    Member ducks n' dogs's Avatar
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    Default Good info....

    bird-dog

    no offence taken, I do however want to make clear that I dont condone beating your dog, esessialy a pup!! The technique that i decribed below is nothing more than a light tap. It is the repetiativness of this action cupled with the verbal that gets the dog to both stop barking in the kennel and ingrains the quite command. no diffrance from you using an e coller. A light simulis cupled with a verbale command.

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