Conditioning a puppy - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Conditioning a puppy

Can anyone offer some good pointers to develop drives in my pup. I have trained many juvenile and adult dogs in schutzhund but I realize this is only my second pup. The first one was a natural who wanted the sleeve with no coaxing from day one. The new pup was not selected specifically for protection so I anticipate a little more encouragement will be necessary.

He is 13 weeks, does show interest in the soft toys, but I don't see real strong drive to get it, dominate the toy, or thrash it much, just a little chewing. I want to get him playing hard so that when we start protection he takes the same attitude with him.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 07:44 AM
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I spoke with a very reputable breeder in Holland. It's a husband and wife pair. He's not only a KNVP trainer and evaluator, but also a Dutch police officer. At any rate, according to them, they put puppies in a kennel and let them grow up. If they have it, they have it. If they don't they don't. I don't have personal experience with pups. As a police trainer, we only buy/obtain adult dogs.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 08:16 AM
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My very limited experience is the same than DFrost: the pup have it... or not. Which does not mean that if a puppy has a soft mouth now at 13 weeks he wont be suitable, but is seems to me that you have more experience in SchH than me, so you know better when you say you don't see much drive. Until about 6 months my pup has a soft mouth, you could take a tug toy away from him without big effort, he was never one of those pups you see on YouTube hanging from a tug, but the drive was always there, you could always see the spark on jis eyes whenever a toy got into scene. Now at 7 months old... I dare you to snatch a toy from his mouth, I'm sure I would be able to hang him... If I were able.

Years ago, when I went to my first SAR workshop a good portion of it, and a good portion of our training was "developing prey drive". Blah! Now in my team we don't waste our time with dogs that are not crazy about since the beginning (and we don't invite the same instructors to our seminars).

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Last edited by Catu; 04-08-2011 at 08:20 AM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 08:30 AM
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Rylee and I go to a trainer (he is a retired K9 police officer and still does drug searches with the school systems) who works in several areas with his dogs and all of us that come out to train individually and separate (narcotics, PP, therapy etc..) Rylee came home at almost 5 weeks, so we have worked a lot of obedience (slowly) and she is 3 months now. One of the things I do daily with her is with a buggy whip and a burlap sac. I run it all over the yard, she chases, catches, thrashes and won't let go. I pet down her back as she has the burlap in her mouth and also under her neck which gets her going...You should see the look when she sees me get the whip off the shelf..she about comes unglued bc she knows what we are about to do either before or after obedience.. I know as I work on this daily she gets stronger and stronger and it builds her endurance too.
When she was little I would take the sac and move it around on the ground to get her going..over time she would grab it and I would move it left to right and a little pull with each direction to keep her on the sac...in the end she always wins. They also build her up at training by "almost" sneaking up.... making a hissing sound and when she reacts they jump back! LOL She thinks she is the ****! Building her confidence is huge!! If Rylee's head got any bigger it would pop!!!!
Right now they are training several dogs that will be going to Florida for the APPDA trials... so I am absorbing all I can, although I know Rylee is far from there!! His wife also trains and her GSD's are awesome..all from a certain line...Nike or something..and I believe I understand this correct when I say a lot of the drive is already breed into them...but I am sure someone will help me on here to make sure I am understanding it right...I hope this helped a little...

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, sounds like the little guy needs to simmer some more. The genetics are there, so patience and keeping it fun will be the recipe.

My first pup dropped jaws of the trainers when he was 6 months old, all we had done was play fetch, and a little tug of war. I didn't even know what schutzhund was until we walked into that first training session. I probably took too much credit for what he was doing, because he was almost freekishly crazy about the bite sleeves. He would not only bite the sleeve, but he would take it to the ground, kneel on it, and try to tear through the burlap as if posessed. Let the fun begin again.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 05:56 PM
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Remember each dog is different and not going to be the same unless they are from the same parents and same litter. What is your club member and TD saying about the pup or is it to young to go. Also it will partially depend on the genetics the parents brought to the table, mostly from dad side. Finally have tried the chase a ball on string instead of throw the ball for the pup?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-11-2011, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szariksdad View Post
Remember each dog is different and not going to be the same unless they are from the same parents and same litter. What is your club member and TD saying about the pup or is it to young to go. Also it will partially depend on the genetics the parents brought to the table, mostly from dad side. Finally have tried the chase a ball on string instead of throw the ball for the pup?
Sire and Dam both SchH3 so I'm not worried he won't have something in him. I just remember seeing a huge diff. in the puppies that showed up to train. Some were ready to rock the first day, and some took weeks and a lot of coaxing. At the time I remember feeling that maybe those slower pups hadn't been challenged as they were growing up (many came from the same lines). I'll give the ball and string a try. I'm going a different route for protection training this time, schutzhund was OK, but I'm more specific about what I want now. Jumping with dumbells and endless tracking exercises aren't important to me anymore. I'll do a little tracking with the new dog, but I don't need titles or anything, unless he shows really amazing stud qualities. I would rather spend my time on the obedience and protection aspects outside the club environment.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-11-2011, 03:44 PM
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The puppys that were engaged slower also could have very well been from homes that were too structured for learning in Sch. also. Not necessarily being challenged is important. So how did you evaluate the parents to see that they had the genetics for the type of dog you wanted. I am not knocking that they were both Sch.3 but did they earn that title repeatedly or just once. There are a few places you can go to get puppy development info. The one you might want to try is Ivan B. website he several videos you can rent to watch there about this topic.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-12-2011, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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The puppys that were engaged slower also could have very well been from homes that were too structured for learning in Sch. also. Not necessarily being challenged is important. So how did you evaluate the parents to see that they had the genetics for the type of dog you wanted. I am not knocking that they were both Sch.3 but did they earn that title repeatedly or just once. There are a few places you can go to get puppy development info. The one you might want to try is Ivan B. website he several videos you can rent to watch there about this topic.
You may be right about too much too soon, I remember one that went like that. The parents of my pup are in Germany so I had to rely on pedigree, the breed survey, and titles... and youtube. I don't know as much about the dam, and I had to go back and look further, but both parents have SchH 2 and 3 females to my surprise. I don't know why they do that, but I've always assumed that the Dams who achieve 2 or 3, were personal dogs the breeder had extra intrest in or they were so promising that the higher titles were attained without much extra effort. Either way I think its good. The sire is well documented in multiple Bundessieger-Zuhtschau with special mention top 10 in protecion 2008 and some evidence of other trials. I can tell the difference between purchased titles and dogs that did their homework. But like I said I don't care about trials for my dog, I think it's cool to watch, but this is going to be a sport dog that knows a full bite and when to take it. If I get a little extra pop like his dad that will be a bonus.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-12-2011, 01:18 PM
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You have a West German showline dog. In Germany, both parents must be titled and have breed survey. Some lines mature slower than others AND pups are pups not clones of the parents
give him a little time
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