Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Little Rock, AR
Questions from a 1st time puppy owner/overanalyzer
We I just become a 1st time puppy owner, my girlfriend knew I was thinking about getting a dog, (primarily a companion dog for both of us that I can run with, take hiking and canoing) and we both liked gsd and well she picked one out for me for Christmas. I got her at 7 weeks old on the 6th and using a clicker and a crate she has is pretty well house broken (well as long as we keep a close eye on her when she's free to roam) and can sit and come (usually) on command. However, after getting her and reading everything I can on dog training I got a couple questions that I figured I'd post on here incase anyone cares to offer some advice to a rambling new dog owner.
1st. If I could go back i would probably select a breeder with working lines. Because I really enjoy working with her and training her but I worried that show line dogs might be too laidback. I like the idea of having a high energy that dog that is pumped and happy to learn new athletic tricks and games and play. This puppy likes to play tug but she sleeps alot, maybe she's just young? What type of energy and drive can you expect out of dogs that come from show lines? Any tips for encouraging high energy and drive at a young age to get as much drive as I can out of her? I would say she is more of active dog than reactive, meaning she trys to figure out how to get treats from.
2nd. She really enjoyed learning to sit and come. And she will do them on command in different environments with distractions, like at petsmart etc. However, after reading on it I was afraid I hadn't trained her to have enough focus on me, she normally watched my hands and or pockets to see me click or see the food. So I started working on eye contact and once I sat down and worked with her she picked it up pretty quick. But now when I sit down to have a session with her she looks me in the eyes pretty good for like 5 to 10 reps or roughly a min then she starts seeming confused and disinterested. I don't think she get's it like she did with sitting. And after she gets confused she doesn't even sit as well. Is it normal to experience difficulty getting a 8 wk old to hold eye contact. Should I move on to down, stand, and stay or try to master this first? How long should training sessions be, how many is too many in one day, and how do you know if you're pushing too hard.
3rd. I have a ~6 year old mutt (looks like border collie face and ears on a blue healer body) I took in because she just showed up and wouldn't leave my yard 2 years ago. She's nice gentle, and far from an alpha dog.our lil GSD will even kick out of sleeping areas and things like for fun, but when they play she'll occasionally pin the gsd which I think looks too rough and stop it there, though the pup wants to keep playing. Is it a bad for training to let such a young dog socialize with an older dog that is not that well trained? Like will the pup look to her as pack leader more than me? Plus the older dog has storm anxiety and some other quirks from being homeless that I don't want the pup to pick up on. Should I just try to keep them separated while training and let them socialize everynow and then? Or am I looking too much into this?
Thanks and sorry for the long post, would appreciate any tips or opinions.