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Old 11-30-2012, 11:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking New from Columbus, Ohio!

Good Morning! My name is Erica, and I am a married stay home mom of 3 children. We just adopted a GSD on Wednesday! As my name suggests, we have named him Gator! He is 8 weeks old.

I have been working with him on crate and house training. And, Gator is doing AMAZING!! He has had 2 accidents in the house. The first of which I was taking to long to get my coat and shoes on. The 2nd, I just didn't pick up on his signal that he had to go!

He is so amazing with the kids, and they love him just as much.

He isn't liking to many treats, so a lot of praise is happening when he "Goes Potty" outside in his designated area. Does anyone have any suggestions on treats that have worked for them? I just picked up a small bag of bacon strip type treats because I wasn't sure what to get.

I am very excited to start my life journey with Gator, and to learn as much as I can here on this site!!
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome Erica and Gator!
Congratulations on your new pup. It sounds like you're off to a great start. In regards to the treats, not all pups are treat driven, some are more toy driven. As for the treats you have picked up, I might suggest using something a little more appealing to him for training such as very small pieces of hotdog (I use the natural non nitrate kind) or cut up pieces of chicken.
For training I always use treats that are soft and easy to chew because you can go through a lot of them if you are using them in puppy classes.
Good luck and happy training
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you! I never thought of something as simple as hotdogs. ha ha. I will have to see if he is interested in that. He seems to be doing very well with the positive reinforcement! He even got up at 4:30am to let me know he had to go out.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome Erica and you too Gator
I'm Lonnie Maggie's Dad and we too live in Columbus Ohio!

Congratulations on your newest family member I can't wait to see more photos of Gator!

Someday You, your family, My wife (also stay at home) and I and the "4 legged Kids" will all have to meet up at the Dog Park. We live in the Brewery District so we have a great dog park right down the road from us. Plus in the Villiage they have Yappy Hour at Schuler Park there.

Here's my BEST Tip I can offer...
To save mega $$$ on training treats we use Purina's Moist and Meaty "Dog Food" as treats. For $6 bucks you get like a Bazillion of them. They're small so you don't mind giving them for every little "Good Deed" and Mags eats them up like it was a ribeye steak!
[IMG] *** Image removed by ADMIN - Max size allowed 800 X 600 *** [/IMG]

So again Welcome and Congratulations!
You've found a great site with great people
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Last edited by Castlemaid; 12-05-2012 at 11:00 PM. Reason: Oversized picture.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks, Lonnie! I am so happy to be here. I have been reading around the site and learning new things already! You have a great idea as far as treats as well! I know this site is going to be my best friend, especially in the beginning of our journey! I'm hoping that we make quite a few 2 and 4 legged friends!
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome, and you're in for a whole new world of experiences!!!! GSDs will steal your heart in moments.

You've received some good advice re treats, BUT, if your pup really isn't food motivated, find a toy that will work. Kyleigh doesn't get rewarded with food, she's not interested. She does however have the highest drive in the freaking world for that stuffed mallard duck toy that quacks. She will do ANYTHING for that toy!

It took me a couple of toys to figure out which one she really loved ... and that was it! that's her best praise ever!

Just something to keep in mind if Gator isn't interested in treats.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Gator is def. a heart bandit! ha ha. They are very easy to fall in love with, and he is no exception to the rule! I will also try the toy thing. He does seem to be in love with a squeeky bone that I bought him yesterday.

When using toys instead of treats, is the toy used specifically for positive reinforcement? I mean, is it only offered after he has gone potty?

And thank you all for such a warm welcome!
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Since Ky wasn't big on a food reward, I used LOADS of verbal praise and the toy, mixed it up, doubled up depending on what it was.

When I first brought her home and we were house breaking, and she peed outside, I threw a freaking party ... yahoo, good pee pee, good girl and gave her lots of praise. I didn't do a toy then b/c I didn't want her getting into the habit of playing with a toy every time she peed - especially at 2 am, and then again at 5 am!

When I was training ... i did it like this

Ky stay - put my hand up and backed up two steps - she stayed for a count of 3
Came back and pet her on the head ... good stay, good girl - in a cheery voice
Repeated this twice - one after the other (it's taking a grand total of about 12-15 seconds to do the 3 reps)

On the third time I praised big time and playtime with the toy was the reward
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow I just can't picture Maggie turning her nose up to a treat?
But she LOVES her toys too and they say toy reward is a better deal.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It's certainly been cheaper on my wallet! That danged duck only costs about $10 and lasts for a good 5-6 months!
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