New Puppy, New owner, what DO I DO!!

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New Puppy, New owner, what DO I DO!!

Postby BenelliM2Faith » Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:51 am

Hey guys, so I just picked up a 6 week old female black lab. The sire is a duck dog, good bloodline, everything documented/papers etc.. So..my first duck dog. I have never trained a dog, much less a puppy or duck dog. I have purchased a book and video, but those are for duck dog training….what do I do while she is a pup? One of my duck hunting buddies (who by the way doesn’t even have a dog) said, “You can’t baby that dog. You have to beat her some, twist her ears till she cries…” I’ve never heard that before but then again, I purchased this dog for duck hunting, not couch-lounging. The vet says, play…have fun it will come with time, wait about 3 weeks before starting to learn “sit” “heel” and “stay” . The vet is a snobby old lady who probably wouldn’t know a duck dog if it pissed on her SO--- I come to you all, the owners, the trainers, my buddies who have been there, done that… What do ya say ? Baby her? Play? Keep indoors? As soon as she can really walk and run, it will be daily exercise and training, but until then….what do I do to set the stage and start out on the right foot??
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Postby 98ramtough » Thu Jun 16, 2005 10:03 am

Congrats on the new pup. PLEASE do not beat the dog, twist its ear, make it cry etc. Have fun with your pup. Start training it to sit, stay etc. Keep the sessions really short, really really short. I would suggest looking at Even Grahams books, they are very complete and easy to understand. Richard Wolters also has some good material, though slightly outdated, you can still produce a good duck dog from his material.

A couple things to consider. #1- Make sure your puppy stays up on his shots. Parvo and other puppy dis. are nasty.

6 weeks is a week or two shy of the normal age to get a pup, make sure the pup has something warm to sleep next to. I just used a warm bottled of water with a blanket wrapped around it.

Best of luck,

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Postby BenelliM2Faith » Thu Jun 16, 2005 10:14 am

Thanks so much for the info… every instinct I have went haywire when he said beat her and twist her ears, hence my request for a second opinion. Sounds like I’ll just have fun with her for now, work on the basics, and then put her in the pen in the back yard when she gets bigger (in 3 – 4 weeks!). Keep the advice coming!
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Postby 98ramtough » Thu Jun 16, 2005 10:18 am

Benelli,

Some more advice. While the pup is small, when you are not with the pup, use a crate or portable kennel, cut cardboard so that the area the pup is in is just big enough for the pup to stand and turn around. When pups are small they are affraid of large enclosed spaces, they feel more comfortable in a smaller area, it will also potty train them. If the crate or area is too big, they will go pee in the crate. If it is so small that if they pee they lay in it, they won't pee. I found at night the pup cried more if the crate was too big, once I blocked it off smaller they felt more comfortable and cried less.

Most of all, have fun with your new pup.

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Postby ACEBLDRS » Thu Jun 16, 2005 10:44 am

98 is on the money. Have fun with your dog. And if I saw you beatin it, well then i might just have to twist your ear. :smile: The only reason people feel like they have to beat a dog, is because of there own laziness on obediance training. My dog thinks that the worst thing in the world is when i tell him "NOOOOO" I growled at him when i said no to him as a pup. Just like his mama would do. To this day when i say "NO" he slinks back and thinks "oh God dad, i am soooo sorry. I think my dog would rather take a beating than to have me tell him "NOOOO" Take your time with the pup. Even when he is 6 weeks you should not let him do things that you don't want him to do when he gets older. If you don't want your dog to lie on the couch when he is 75 pounds, then don't let him do it now. If you don't want your dog to steel kids hotdogs at the family pic nic, then don't ever feed him people food.
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Postby donell67 » Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:25 pm

congrats on the new dog.
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New Puppy

Postby MattM1 » Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:43 pm

Benelli,

First of all congrats and good luck with your new pup! Now, you can't teach a dog anything by beating or hurting it so tell your buddy to beat his own dog. :pissed: What you need to do now is develop a good relationship with you pup so in the future she will want to work for you, positive enforcement is the key here. Your affection/approval will be her reward for everything she does so introduce her to your affedtion. Always talk to her in a soft yet happy voice and remember right now you are a giant to her and yelling or hurting her now can affect her in ways you may NEVER be able to fix. Help her develop a positive training attitude by playing with her and having lots of fun times with her. Also develop your training attitude, I recommend Robert Milner's book - Hey pup fetch it up - for this. The first part of this book is the best way to learn how to teach your pup things. You also need to protect her while she's young because she'll be getting into everything. Puppy proof everywhere she will go including your yard. I let my pup sleep inside when I got him at 7 weeks but kept him outside as much as I could as long as my wife or I could keep an eye on him. Here are some sites that may be helpfull in early training - www.fetchpup.com (Robert Milner's go to training articles) www.oakhillkennel.com (click on lab and then go to library) there's a whole lot of training info on the web just start searching. Also stick to this forum there's some good advise here. I hope this may help you (and didn't bore you :yes: ). Again good luck and have fun!!!!

Matt
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Postby brdprey » Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:00 pm

:salude: WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF DUCK DOGS.
BENELLI.... the best thing you could do on this sight is .....post your question and listen to the many types of great advice the people have to offer. i myself am a new duck dog owner mine is about a year plus.......and these guys rock. so much information and so many opinions.

not to mention you just became a member of a new family.
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Postby duckdog » Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:06 pm

Everyone is dead on. Make it fun for you, and the dog, and don't push the pup to much. My brother-in-law has a pup, and he was getting so impatiant because it would'nt even look at a ball, now he cant stop her from retrieving. Patience is the key, don't expect a world champion right off the bat, you'll be amazed how all of a sudden it is like it all just clicked in the dog's head, and man is that rewarding!!! Don't ever beat the dog, mine roll's over on it's back when I just stand over him, he know's he did wrong. Alot of it is an attitude of the dog also, is it shy, or a go getter. There alot like kid's everyone is different, some take longer to get it, but if you let them get away with bad habitts now they will remember it, and think they can keep doing it. Have a blast with your new pup :thumbsup:
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Postby Rat Creek » Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:27 pm

Put all possessions, clothing, furniture, etc in storage for one year. If you have things made of tempered steel, they might survive.

Keep everything as positive as you can. You may think your vet is snobby, but let’s not forget that she actually spent years earning this medical degree, after completing high school and a bachelors degree. That means a lot more than the idiot telling you to beat the dog down. I can’t express strongly enough how that makes my blood boil.

Expose the pup to everything. Take it everywhere. Everyone loves a cute puppy, so you will get a complete pass for a while. In fact, it is the ultimate chick magnet.

I also think it is very important to remember that dogs are hard-wired as pack animals. The pup needs to be around others (dogs or people). Isolating a pup or dog for extended periods is not good.
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Postby gsphunter » Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:53 am

BennelliM2Faith, one of the first thing that you will learn as a dog handler, is that everyone becomes a dog trainer if there is a problem with your dog. I'm sure everyone else who has trained can back me up here. I have one of my dogs do something, then I get one of my dad's buddies saying put that shock collar on that dog that'll fix it, or my mom laying down some stupid advice. Every time, my question to them is to explain the logic behind the method they suggest. It amazes me how many people can become instant dog trainers, because maybe they heard something from a friend of a friend or whatever. It sounds like you might have one of those friends, so just ignore him when it comes to dog training, because I'm sure he'll chime in all along the way.

By the way, my two are the biggest babies I've seen. Both sleep in bed every night, and one even sleeps under the blanket. Couldn't tell when they hit the field or water though!
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Postby Rat Creek » Fri Jul 08, 2005 9:22 am

GSPhunter:

Amen brother! I also have owned GSPs and currently have a 6 year old female. We baby her to death, and she also loves to be under covers. I think it has to do with the short hair. They get a bit chilly.

My friend who keeps his dog caged is always telling me that spoiling my dog will ruin her for hunting, but nothing could be further from the truth, and he very begrudgingly admits it. When she sees the gun case and boots come out, her entire attitude changes and she gets more serious. When we hit the field, she is well behaved, hunts hard and sits calmly in the back seat as we travel from field to field. His dog has to be boxed because he is, well, like a caged animal.

People give me an odd look when I come out of the field, back to the truck, open the passenger door and my GSP jumps up and sits down in the seat like a kid ready to go to McDonalds. At the same time, they are screaming at their dogs, shocking them, throwing dog treats in the dog box to try to get them kenneled.

I will stick with the “make them part of the family” approach.
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Postby ACEBLDRS » Fri Jul 08, 2005 10:42 am

Rat creek, I bought a 4 door truck just so my pup can have the back seat to himself. I to spoil my dog, and he is one hell of a hunter.
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Postby cooter » Fri Jul 08, 2005 1:24 pm

Here is a Write-Up I send out with all the new pups that are bought from me. Just a few Tid-Bits on getting started and ways to do it with out the dog ever knowing we are working on something. cooter
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Puppy Training

The main thing is to not be hitting or yelling at the pup. Teaching is done by reps, and dogs aren't like people in the respect of seeing what they can get away with. Once the dog understands what you want him to do, he will pretty much perform it. If he is not doing it. It is because you haven't gone through enough reps or he doesn't understand what you are wanting. We don't want ANY of the fire gone from the pup. In the Formal Training, he/she will shown how to turn it on and off. But if we take the spirit out of them at a young age, they will not be able to handle the Formal Training. They will learn to submit when they don't understand and will start cowling. If we start getting this we are done. So it is called training because we are teaching, not forcing the dog to submit to our wishes. Hope that makes since. No need for hitting during house breaking or any other time. There will be accidents, but if you follow this plan there will be less of them.

HOUSE BREAKING:
We have also found that when you are feeding. Put the Food & Water down together, and give them time to eat & drink. We usually do the feeding in a create, it will get them to eating more per feeding time, and maybe they will eat it all which is the plan. When they are through, and leave to go checking other things out or starts barking wanting out, take the food and water up. I don't let them bark in the create after feeding, as the barking will make them need to go potty and they will mess up there create. This is the only time I will let them out of the create due to barking. They probably haven't eat all they are going to want, but you don't want to let them graze all day on the food or water. If you leave the food and especially the water down, every time they come get 2-3 licks of water, they will go leave 2-3 licks worth of Tee-Tee on your floor. So while we are house breaking, pick up the food and water. Then every hour or two put the water down and give them a drink. Once you take the food & water up, then take the pup outside ASAP. As soon as they get drinks, they go outside. This will get you less accidents and make the process easier on the dog to understand. Usually they will go potty ASAP. We also do this on a leash. Walking helps speed up the process. As soon as they start doing their business, we start saying, Good Boy/Girl, Potty, Potty, Good Potty. When they are through, a lot of petting with the same commands.

This will help later when you are hunting. You and the dog may be staying in a Motel. You will feed them and go outside. When you start saying Potty, Potty, they will know what they are there for. Not Hunting, Not Playing, it is time to do their business. I mainly duck & goose hunt, so it will be colder than _ _ _ _, and I don't want to stand outside until the dog feels the need to go. So this is a great Que to let the dog know why we are here.

SIT:
When you are sitting around the house watching TV, sit on the floor and lean against the couch or chair. This will get the pup to coming and jumping in your lap and such. Just put him on the left side, command SIT, and put him in the sit position. He will not sit there long, so don't force him to sit for a certain length of time, but just put his butt on the floor. We are not looking to make him do anything. Just associating the command with the position. Every time he comes over to ya, just put him on the left side, command SIT, and put him in the sit position. Then pet him and tell him good sit. Reps is what will teach the dog what we want him to know at this point. He will get where he will sit there longer due to you petting him. If something like kids or wife is playing, then he won't stay long. This is ok, we are only trying to get him to understand the SIT POSITION.

Retrieving:
If you have a Hallway in your house, close all the doors that lead in or out of it. This means there is only one way out of the Hall. Through the opening to the living area or den. Get a bumper or what ever toy, socks, etc., that the pup likes to retrieve. Sit on you knees in the opening of the hall, put the pup on the left side, command SIT, and throw the bumper to the end of the Hall. Soon as you throw the bumper, call his name. His name will be the trigger that we will use to send him on retrieves. So we will start that training also. Every time you send him on one of these retrieves, just call his name as soon as you throw the bumper. He will run down and pick up the bumper and realize that there is only one way out and that is back through the door way you are sitting in. He will usually try to run by you, because it is a game of keep away for the pup. Just grab him as he comes by, take the bumper, and line him up for another retrieve. Then start over again. I would not do but 3-4 of these about 2 times a day. Morning and afternoon. We are always wanting to leave the pup wanting more. Then put up the object that you are using for the retrieving. It is not something that we will want him playing with or the kids or wife. It is strictly a training tool. He will soon realize that when he see's this bumper, we are going to play, and the pup will get all fired up.

Leash Training:
Take the dog for a walk everyday, or if he is going to be a house dog, then every time he goes outside then he needs to be on a leash. Even to Potty. Once he gets into a training program, he will never be out of the kennel that he doesn't have a leash/lead on. So this just gets him use to wearing one. When walking start out in the grass, due to puppy will often stop and roll over and try to refuse the leash. But don't even show that you are noticing. Just drag him through the grass. On his back, stomach, or whatever. He will get up when he is tired of being dragged. Doesn't need to be jerked or anything like that. Just steady pressure on the leash and keep walking. If he is biting at the leash, no problem. Just keep walking. Don't even act like you notice it. It will all go away in a short time, and won't even notice the leash. I don't use a Choke or Pinch Collar on this. Just a regular collar.

HERE:
Once you get him working on a leash, then try and find a longer leash. Small rope with a snap on the end is fine, but something about 10-15 feet long. As he starts to wondering off a little ways. Just command HERE and reel him in. When you get him to ya, just praise him alot with Good Boy, Good HERE, Good HERE. Every time you get the chance with him wondering off a little way, just command HERE and reel him in. Reps will get him to understanding. About 3-5 of these per walk will be enough.

Taking him for a walk is the main thing. So once he will walk on a leash, you can get 2 things done at a time. Then once he will starts acting like he is understanding SIT, then you can move it to the walking time also. Walk a little ways and command SIT, then put him in that position. Walk a little ways farther and give him a HERE and reel him in. It won't be long till you will seeing him doing these things on his own. The biggest thing is No Hitting or Yelling, and lot's of Praise. Good Boy, Good HERE, SIT, & POTTY.

There is NO NEED to teach STAY as SIT means the same thing. As Formal Training kicks in, SIT will mean be there until I tell you to do something else. So STAY has no use. keith

Maybe This Will Help. cooter
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Postby southernBuster » Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:39 pm

hey congrats on the pup!!! these guys really know their stuff so listen!! On thing to remember too is that if you are going to be hunting with others make sure your dog is well socialized and socialization is best dog when they are pups !! have fun and good luck
love the girl , love her Chessie!
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Postby bullet » Sat Jul 09, 2005 8:37 am

Birds.birds and more birds. Find a place were you can get pigeons.
I personally don't like to put alot of control on a pup this age, although I like Cooters method of reps w/out the dog knowing. I'm assuming you won't be hunting this dog this year. maybe a participant to some degree later on in the season, but for the most part you're looking at a year and some change. I'll admit I had an out of control 5 month old pup that was just hyper for birds, and retrieving (which is all we worked on). At that point he'd stand on his head for me to "Play the game". To them its a game so play it with them. Plenty of time for control. If you decide to give the dog an hour a day, give it 10 minutes 6 times a day. Leave the dog wanting. Predict when he'll get bored of it, and stop short of that. if you love baseball, taking ground balls is easy. If you've never played and start out taking grounders you may never want to play. Analogy from a baseball coach(ME). Birds birds and more birds
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Postby harvey1b » Sun Jul 10, 2005 7:51 pm

congrats on the new pup. that's very exciting.

Do yourself a favor and go buy a training guide or video. I started training my first lab last June. I have followed Richard Wolters "Water Dog" DVD and been very happy with it.

You also might want to consider some other sources of info. This forum is a good one with a lot of helpful people. I subsrcibed to Gun Dog. They have some good stuff in there that you can incorporate into your training.

-Matt
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