New pup, lots of ?

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New pup, lots of ?

Postby panhandlehunter » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:44 pm

Pup is 14 weeks. He knows what no, here, sit, down, and kennel mean, but does them when he wishes. I have the smartworks program, but find it lacking much detail. He only says what to do, then moves on to next step, doesn't say what to do if pup resists. Also says let pups be pups till 6mo. old, then shows CC to here on a young pup. I'm not enforcing by force on anything, only praising when he does what I ask. Except for "no" when he's chewing, digging, biting, etc... then he gets swatted for disobeying. He's already challenging me when he's told "no" or spanked...he loves to retrieve, and loves water, but only brings back when on lead or coming out of water. I know he's young and I'm not expecting much at this point, only looking for pointers. Also Graham doesn't say when or how to begin "heel". I have started recently guiding him to heel while on lead after retrieve, but he shows no interest at walking at heel, he wants to be out front. No matter how many times I stop when he pulls on lead, he'll stop, sit, then take off again (no choke collar). I'm in NW fl and have no one to mentor me, no clubs or trainers locally, but I can figure most things out, just need a little guidance.
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby gooseman07 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:22 pm

Don't give a command you can't or won't enforce! He is testing you, if you let him get away with it now, he will always push to get more. Repetition and consistency! Do it often and the EXACT same each time.

I would purchase a prong collar and put that on each and every time you are trying to heel. It will fix the pulling problem real quick. You need to correct fast and hard. He won't push back, if you do it correctly.

Good luck!
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby TooheyBirdie14 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:15 pm

Goose is right all the way in this one. Yes your pup is young, but from the time you get him at 8 weeks he needs to know that he doesn't get to decide when to listen and when not to. I agree you need to let your pup be a pup... but obedience is never an option. It's important to make the learning fun and i think you're on the right track.... he is only 14 weeks... You just have to put in the hours... and hours.

As far as your pup only bringing back the decoy/dummy in certain situations... I actually went through a little of this myself. Try walking in the opposite direction. He/she thinks its a game and wants to chase you. Soon learns the optimum fun comes from running directly back to you. Worked for me anyway... something to try...

The dog I have is also the first one I've trained and I've loved every minute of it. I learned a lot from asking questions on this forum and from some books. I used Tom Dokken's book... loved it. Great drills and stuff. But yeah.. if you need fresh ideas, the guys on here always have some suggestions... helped me out a lot...
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby TCFarmer » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:09 pm

panhandlehunter wrote:Pup is 14 weeks. He knows what no, here, sit, down, and kennel mean, but does them when he wishes.

He's a puppy you need to teach and reward.

I have the smartworks program, but find it lacking much detail. He only says what to do, then moves on to next step, doesn't say what to do if pup resists. Also says let pups be pups till 6mo. old, then shows CC to here on a young pup. I'm not enforcing by force on anything, only praising when he does what I ask.

You may want to pick up a puppy program like Sound Beginnings. It will help to move you and pup along until he is old enough for more formal training.

Except for "no" when he's chewing, digging, biting, etc... then he gets swatted for disobeying. He's already challenging me when he's told "no" or spanked

I don't think you need to be swatting a 14 week old pup. When pup is chewing on something it shouldn't be take it away and give the pup a chew toy. For biting squeeze his lips over the teeth.

...he loves to retrieve, and loves water, but only brings back when on lead or coming out of water.

Keep him on a lead at all times.

I know he's young and I'm not expecting much at this point, only looking for pointers. Also Graham doesn't say when or how to begin "heel". I have started recently guiding him to heel while on lead after retrieve, but he shows no interest at walking at heel, he wants to be out front. No matter how many times I stop when he pulls on lead, he'll stop, sit, then take off again (no choke collar). I'm in NW fl and have no one to mentor me, no clubs or trainers locally, but I can figure most things out, just need a little guidance.

You need to teach heel. I use treats to guide pup into place. When he is in the proper position give him the treat.
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby panhandlehunter » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:35 am

Thanks for the advice.
I have done the run the other way trick, and it works like a charm, I guess I just have to keep doing it till his switch clicks on.
He knows when he's chewing on something he's not supposed to, we keep plenty of toys laying around for him to chew, but when he thinks no one is looking, he jumps on the couch or on table, grabs something, and makes a b-line to a hiding spot...what kind of punishment does that warrant?
On the e-collar, is he too young to start conditioning to "here"?
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby hockeynut » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:33 am

My puppy had the same problem with grabbing stuff off the table etc. What I did was after she would b-line back to her hiding spot I would grab her by the collar and bring her back to the table, chew spot, etc and shove her noise into the exact spot where she took something or chewed something and command "NO." She is a soft dog and she learned real fast who was the master and that she can't get away with things - they definitely try to test ya!

The way I introduced heeling was using bacon and a chock collar! Suggest pulling out some old disgusting pants for this drill!!!!! What I would did was put a piece of bacon in whatever side pocket you want the dog to heel and using a chock collar walk the dog and command “heel” and give a little jerk of the chain at the same time. Do that for a week or two! The bacon is just an added thing I did! Seemed to work!

I am not expert with it comes to CC (CC my first dog in the spring) but, if you are going to FF the dog, I would suggest using the e-collar now prior to FF so the dog understands how to deal with pressure and how to turn it off. Just make sure the dog understands the commands BEFORE you introduce the e-collar – if not introduced before using the e-collar the dog will think it’s getting punished!

Just a quick suggestion – be sure to let the dog wear the e-collar for a week or two before you even start CC so the dog doesn’t become collar wise.

Check cord…check cord...check cord!!!!!

Hope this helps.
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby Duck Diver » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:27 pm

I'm a couple months ahead of you on training my first dog. I'm also following Smartworks. I've also posted a bunch about how I feel its missing important info. He might demonstrate it perfectly, but he doesnt take the time in his videos to give info that 1st time trainers need. I'd be lost with out it, but I would never recommend his program to a new trainer.(despite reading it was the beginner friendly set on the market) And i'm only on the 2nd or 3rd dvd.

Lots of helpful folks around here. They've filled in some blanks for me and taken time to watch videos and such i've posted.


Chris Atkins dvd was recommeneded to me. It was 20 bucks and considering I spent 250 or so on Grahams stuff, i really got my moneys worth on Chris' DvD. Its 1 dvd vs about 8 + books. I just felt his(Chris) attitude, way of teaching / explaining etc was great. It's certainly not comparable in amount of materiel, but If you feel you want some more instructional DVDs I'd try that one its cheap.

I'm still following Smartworks the best I can.
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby panhandlehunter » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:17 pm

Thanks for the reply. I wish I could have found more opinions on the different programs from people that had experience...I found vague answers that didn't say one program was better than another. Like some folks want a new guy to figure it out by trial and error. Wish someone would have said "graham knows how to train, but doesn't translate well through a tv..." Maybe someone new will find this thread. I'm going to keep at it, do the best I can, and send him off when he's ready. Anyone got a recommendation for a trainer in south Al, GA, or NW Fl? Not wanting a FT or HT dog, just a solid meat dog.
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby TCFarmer » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:17 pm

To be honest this is the first time that I've heard people talk about SmartWork being lacking in detail. I think Evan does a good job of explaining things to the novice trainer.
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby Duck Diver » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:04 am

TCFarmer wrote:To be honest this is the first time that I've heard people talk about SmartWork being lacking in detail. I think Evan does a good job of explaining things to the novice trainer.



How do you teach heal during the pre basics part of his program? He mentions nothing.
How do you stop biting?
How do you potty train - He talks about crate training, but no mention of any tips on bathroom?
How do you stop barking in the crate?
How do you stop dog from leaving the crate as soon as he enters? Or as soon as treats are gone.
Should I introduce the whistle as a pup?
How do I stop pulling on leash?
What do I do when teaching here and pup lays down on ground?



Evan suggests early CC to here if you've been following his program. he does a "lesser version" for the young pup - Don't find the threshold just go up until you notice a big improvement in speed, no resistance on the rope.

How do you know when your ~4 month old pup is ready for it? Is your pup 100% complying? Does he charge to you at any and all times? Or have you simply been doing the drill where partner holds and lure w/ "here" and a treat. Now 2 months later he's ready?

I emailed Evan to ask - I got more questions than answers and most had nothing to do w/ "here"

I showed him a video , one thing he pointed out to me was my bird boy was doing the walking bumper drill all wrong. The bird boy should always throw the bumper away from the direction he walks, helps the dog not run to bird boy. OK I said...
Then I thought *** don't you mention that in your book or DVD. Perhaps he demonstrates it that way, but these things need to be mentioned and pointed out so 1st timers can understand.


As someone pointed out to me on the crate/kennel thing. Apparently the lady trainer kneels down when giving treats and this keeps the dog into the crate. Sounds obvious now - why no mention. I thought she was just bending down to give the treat.


All I'm saying is, he might be a world class trainer, and world class instruction - But his DVD is missing tons of crap. I'm sure he must get some of these same questions over and over - You think he would put some info on a webpage or into his books.




These are not questions I need answers to, I've used this forum and the internet to fill in a lot of my questions. And there have been more. Sure he can't answer everything in his DVD, but I find nearly every session he does could have more "basic" info attached.

The DVDs are repetitive too, same video clips cut from one DVD and moved into another. No new or further info, just a repeat from the previous DVD. I also fall asleep nearly everytime I watch his DVDs. I believe his demonstrations are great. But lacks in pointing out small details or how to avoid common problems that might arise.

Christ Atkins short little DVD about gun dog training, is fun to watch. In fact now that I'm awake at 2am to let the dog out, perhaps I'll see what I can pick up by rewatching it.
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby panhandlehunter » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:54 am

Couldn't have said it better duckdiver...
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby panhandlehunter » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:36 pm

I bought a pronged collar yesterday, walked him tonight. It's amazing the results it got. I am impressed how quickly he learns. I worked on heel with him yesterday while playing at the water. His drive is amazing, he's flying off the dock to make the retrieves, and won't quit until you make him. Tonight I worked on heel while walking, took no time for him to get it, and he's sitting well when commanded. I know he's capable, I just hope I can hold up my end. Thanks for the advice.
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby SlayingFowlIzMyJOB » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:47 pm

At 14 weeks he is still very young...don't worry about perfect execution quite yet. Obviously don't let him get away with murder... example you say sit make sure he sits, but don't worry about steadiness. Catch my drift? Focus on the fundamentals of obedience and keep it simple for him, and then around 6 months or after his adult teeth have come in that's when you can really start looking for perfection.
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Re: New pup, lots of ?

Postby OmegaRed » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:01 am

Personally, I wouldn't be putting a prong collar on a young pup. There's no need for it. He can't be pulling that bad at 14 weeks unless you've done nothing with him. A normal flat collar will work.

When walking, you don't want to pull on him and provide constant resistance. You want to do a snap of the wrist (tug) for compliance. It's like bumping a horse to set its head. If the dog is pulling, you stop. When it stops, you are free to start walking again. Rinse and repeat. After a few sessions, they catch on quick.

As far as some of the questions you have listed, I don't think they fall into the realm of training a hunting dog. They are more of "how do I train a puppy for basic obedience". There are plenty of vids on youtube for everything you asked.
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