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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Training goals for a 9 Month Female GSD

Hello All,

Just a quick History: I have a 9 month old female GSD, which I've had
since she was 9 weeks old. When Sable was 5 months, I took her to get
evaluated at a SchH club by Gregg Tawney.

She was concidered "ok" by him, not going to win any big SchH
competitions, but just had "ok" prey drive. Again, she was just 5 months at
the time, and Gregg told me to really work w/her on building drive (and focus).

Her temperment is fine. She's beginning to bark at noises outside at night.
I like this, as I would really like her as more of a deterent than PPD. I just
don't think she has the genes. But as a sports dog, I want to do SchH with
her.

She's a "soft" dog, althought I don't correct her much, just only for bad manners.

She recently has begun to pee when I walk up to her, after a bit of time
away from her. I think my sons may have been picking on her. I've never
caught them, but have a feeling. That has stopped (as far as I can tell,
after telling them, "LEAVE MY DOG ALONE!!!"), but now she kind of cowers
- just sometimes, not all the time - when I aproach her.

So, now that I've bored you all w/her history :eek: I'm trying to build up her
confidence (again :mad: ) and her OB.

What should I be concentrating on right now? Her sitz/platz
are great, but her heir has diminished, I feel, due to the issue
above (acting scared). She's 100% with her heir when I'm all alone
w/her, and 75% w/distractions. Sometimes, she'll cower and go the other
way :cry:

I play tug w/her every day, and (get this...) have made a bite sleeve from
my wife's old jean overalls. I've wrapped it on my arm, and let her tug at
it like the tug she has.

So, what else should I do? and should I continue the jean-tug? I have no
extra $$$ for club membership anywhere (couldn't you tell by my
jean-tug?) and don't know anyone "close" to me who I can train with.

Thanks!
 

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Hey Martin, If your instincts were telling you your kids were teasing the pup, then I bet it was happening. Good on you, for making them quit it. At this point, if I were you, I would work on building her confidence back up, using tug /or leather rag. Let her win & praise her up. In fact, you may want to back off all obedience &/or corrections until she is "happy dancing" again, especially if you want to build her up to one day compete. The last thing I want to mention is her hormones. I don't have any experience with female dogs, but at 9 months the boys hormones are raging, & sometimes you see some rather wierd behaviours which they will stop doing once they stabilize. come to think of it, way back when, when I was a teenager, my friends & I (male & female) displayed some pretty stupid behaviors, so I don't see why it would be any different with dogs. (Can anyone say "run on sentence?")
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
(All quotes by susan tuck)
Hey Martin, If your instincts were telling you your kids were teasing the pup, then I bet it was happening. Good on you, for making them quit it.
Yes, and I'm sure they feel bad about it (now), as they see how she is
sometimes.
At this point, if I were you, I would work on building her confidence back up, using tug /or leather rag. Let her win & praise her up. In fact, you may want to back off all obedience &/or corrections until she is "happy dancing" again, especially if you want to build her up to one day compete.
By backing off OB / corrections, are you refering to:
  • OB sessions, like, "sitz, platz, and bleib"?
  • Corrections for non-compliance OB, or corrections for bad "pack behavior"?
The last thing I want to mention is her hormones. I don't have any experience with female dogs, but at 9 months the boys hormones are raging, & sometimes you see some rather wierd behaviours which they will stop doing once they stabilize.
Well she has just come off of her 1st "heat" cycle. And I do see a change
for the better w/her cowarwing - allot less of it :p :p :p !
Her "period" was lengthy. How long does a heat cycle typically last? Her's
was about 1.5 weeks!
come to think of it, way back when, when I was a teenager, my friends & I (male & female) displayed some pretty stupid behaviors, so I don't see why it would be any different with dogs. (Can anyone say "run on sentence?")
:wink:
 

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Martin,

Most heat cycles last about 21 days. That 1-1/2 to 2 week mark is when most bitches are ready to be bred. A loose rule of thumb is a week coming in, a week of being bred and a week of going out.

INHO you need to keep your bitches training positve with very few corrections. As for pack order corrections....is she really that dominate/ pushy? Or does she just sort of actively incorporate into the household? Pack order corrections really don't always have to involve corrections per se, control the situations. From your description she does not sound like a dominate bitch. Lighten-up and enjoy your dog. Make everything fun and games!!!

You still have plenty of time for formal obedience training. I know people that wait until the dog is over a year old before obedience becomes a serious thing to worry about. For safety reasons the most important thing is to come when called. Everything else is a matter of rewarding good behavior. If she doesn't comply...... she doesn't get a reward. Keep yummy treats in your pockets at all times. You'll be amazed after a week.

Just some suggestions that work for me. Think like a dog!!!! :lol:

Debbie
 

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I agree with Debbie 100%! I would back off all corrections with her, jsut reward the positive & redirect or ignore negative until she bounces back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
quote from Debbie High:

Martin,

Most heat cycles last about 21 days. That 1-1/2 to 2 week mark is when most bitches are ready to be bred. A loose rule of thumb is a week coming in, a week of being bred and a week of going out.
Yeah, my wife just told me that Sable's cycle was about 21 days :oops:

I'm keeping a careful eye on her when we're outside, as I am NOT
going to have another accidental breeding. In a few months, when $$$ is
not so tight, I'll be spaying her. I've been reading (mostly on Leerburg)
that some bitches actually become slightly agressive after. This may be a
good thing for her, as she's a very soft dog right now. Actually, I love her
just the way she is :p !

INHO you need to keep your bitches training positve with very few corrections. As for pack order corrections....is she really that dominate/ pushy?
Not dominate at all. Well, she does growl when my Border Collie goes near
her food. But let me say that this is rare, as I feel them in separate areas.
Sable eats in her kennel, which is in my room.

The one thing she does (and of course it's MY fault :oops: :cry: ) is that
she tries to enter/exit through doors before me. She did, at one time, sitz
before going through ANY doors, but since I've been working CRAZY hours,
I haven't re-inforced that. So now she does this (again). Should I correct her?
Or just have the family have her "sitz" before opening doors? And if so, I
worry that she'll break the sit to go outside. Now her sit is 100% for me, but
not so good for the family. So, I can just see my sons (OVER)correcting
her for this. HELP!

Pack order corrections really don't always have to involve corrections per se, control the situations.
This statment is full of great wisdom!

Lighten-up and enjoy your dog. Make everything fun and games!!!
I'll be doing this from now on until she is "happy dancing" all over the place!!!

You still have plenty of time for formal obedience training. I know people that wait until the dog is over a year old before obedience becomes a serious thing to worry about.
I'll start another topic on this, b/c my buddy who has a Dobe just started w/a
SchH club, and they told him to stop OB/corrections also. His Dobe is already
3 years old... I need some explination for that ;) .

For safety reasons the most important thing is to come when called. Everything else is a matter of rewarding good behavior. If she doesn't comply...... she doesn't get a reward. Keep yummy treats in your pockets at all times. You'll be amazed after a week.
Again, I'll be doing this! Thanks for helping Debbie!!! I can't wait to see
Sable fully bloom!
Thanks also to the other posters, Connie, Jerry, Susan - and to the rest who
will post!
 

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Martin Espericueta said:
........The one thing she does (and of course it's MY fault :oops: :cry: ) is that
she tries to enter/exit through doors before me. She did, at one time, sitz
before going through ANY doors, but since I've been working CRAZY hours,
I haven't re-inforced that. So now she does this (again). Should I correct her?.....
Just walk ahead of her. Get your knee in front of her and squeeze ahead the first time or two, or hold her back with the lead and you go first.

I mean, just do it, as opposed to expecting her to organize the order. :D
 

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Ok,Ill be the devil's advocate for you Sch folks.

I correct all my dogs no matter if they are 6 weeks or 6 years.I dont see any ill effects on working ability or the will to work.Of course I dont build prey drive(although I used to) and I dont train for sport so I have different goals and needs.

Just had to aggravate you guys some more.. :twisted:
 

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Greg Long said:
Ok,Ill be the devil's advocate for you Sch folks.

I correct all my dogs no matter if they are 6 weeks or 6 years.I dont see any ill effects on working ability or the will to work.Of course I dont build prey drive(although I used to) and I dont train for sport so I have different goals and needs.

Just had to aggravate you guys some more.. :twisted:
These answers are coming out of the situation of the dog cowering and submissive peeing after being teased or something when the owner was away. (It was kind of a multi-part thread.)
 

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Hi Martin, Sounds like you're getting on the right track.....

I have a Mal that lives in the house who is a fairly dominate bitch. My husband gives her very few commands. I don't really want him too. She is my dog. If there is a problem he calls me. As for your kids they just need to play with the dog and have a good time since she is living as part of the family. As you said the corrections could be a problem. So if no commands are given there won't be any corrections! End of that problem.

The door thing.....well, sometimes I make them wait and sometimes I let them go ahead of me. If safety is an issue then they always have to wait.

Corrections will often lower a dogs drive. Therefore, if you have a soft dog with medium drive and you over correct the dog OB is not going to look flashy and happy. A harder dog with lots of drive can likely take corrections and carry on as though nothing has happened. There are many combinations of drives and temperaments. It is up to us to figure out what works best for our dog. A simple voice correction, a prong collar an ecollar, food reward, toy reward, etc. etc. and/or any combination of the above. Hope I havent confused you!! :lol: :lol:

Best of luck with your girl. Just give her time to grow up.

Debbie
 

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Greg Long said:
Ok,Ill be the devil's advocate for you Sch folks.

I correct all my dogs no matter if they are 6 weeks or 6 years.I dont see any ill effects on working ability or the will to work.Of course I dont build prey drive(although I used to) and I dont train for sport so I have different goals and needs.

Just had to aggravate you guys some more.. :twisted:
Greg, Saw your post after I posted mine.....I agree with what you say.......however, the first Mal I owned was a PSD wash out that was very, very,very soft. A firm NO and she would walk around for days as if I had beaten her.....drove me nuts! She doesn't live with me anymore. The guy that has her now loves her! I think our dogs have to fit our personalities, training abilities, family situation and needs. Different strokes for different folks!!! :lol:

Debbie
 

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Ok ,Ill address the real issue!

The cowering and peeing I dont like.Tell the kids to leave the dog alone for awhile.Then take the dog everywhere with you.You may already do this.
Another thing you can do is take her out somewhere she can run loose in a big area without any other dogs or people for that matter.I get dogs in that lack confidence sometimes and this seems to help as much as anything.Let her be a dog and do what she wants for awhile.
When you do work her, dont allow anyone else to give her commands.All the while,you need to be very in tune with her every action and recognize when she is coming under stress.When you see this you tell her "its OK".
There's tons more to it than that but this can be the beginning to developing a communicational bond between you and the dog.She will put her trust in you and she has something to fall back on and this builds confidence.A soft dog like this will often want to work for it's handler very much.
Also,you're attitude needs to be very confident and relaxed.

As for flashy and happy :roll: :roll: you gotta do what you gotta do for points I guess. :x
 

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HAHAHA Greg, you sound like Jeff..(not a bad thing)...Where the hell IS Jeff? I saw on the LB, there is a Mondio trial coming up soon. Jeff, if you are watching & entered in the trial, please let us know how it goes.
 

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susan tuck said:
HAHAHA Greg, you sound like Jeff..(not a bad thing)...Where the hell IS Jeff?
:x :x How could you??That was cold...just cold! :(
 

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I hope so, I like the guy & miss his style. Also, it's fun to read his posts!
Greg: That's great advise, especially the part about not letting others correct or command the dog & being in tune with the dog. I feel very strongly about that.
 

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susan tuck said:
I hope so, I like the guy & miss his style. Also, it's fun to read his posts!
Greg: That's great advise, especially the part about not letting others correct or command the dog. I feel very strongly about that.
I also feel strongly about no one else correcting or commanding my dogs.
 
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Greg Long said:
Ok ,Ill address the real issue!

The cowering and peeing I dont like.Tell the kids to leave the dog alone for awhile.Then take the dog everywhere with you.You may already do this.
Another thing you can do is take her out somewhere she can run loose in a big area without any other dogs or people for that matter.I get dogs in that lack confidence sometimes and this seems to help as much as anything.Let her be a dog and do what she wants for awhile.
When you do work her, dont allow anyone else to give her commands.All the while,you need to be very in tune with her every action and recognize when she is coming under stress.When you see this you tell her "its OK".
There's tons more to it than that but this can be the beginning to developing a communicational bond between you and the dog.She will put her trust in you and she has something to fall back on and this builds confidence.A soft dog like this will often want to work for it's handler very much.
Also,you're attitude needs to be very confident and relaxed.

As for flashy and happy :roll: :roll: you gotta do what you gotta do for points I guess. :x

I believe it's a good way to go, if not the only way. This "starters" alone should benefit the dog well. It needs a leader.
 
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