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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Random thoughts...

I am going to start off by saying that this post is just a random one. Not sure what the point of it is, but felt the need to write it down and figured this place was as good as any.

Zefra will be 8 months old on December 15, 2011. She is a mix of Czech/WG/DDR lines and is an extremely high energy, high drive dog with lower thresholds. That said; she has EXCELLENT nerve strength. She has a natural focus and is super outgoing when needed but is very handler motivated. What is meant by this is that she doesn't care what I have or don't have on my persons, she just wants to play with me or be with me. Basically, she a pretty darn nice pup!

One thing I have done with Zefra and am wondering if it is the right choice or not is not work her as much as I did with Stark. She doesn't have a lot of "rules" and I don't put a lot of pressure on her while working (or at home ). She knows her basic commands obviously and has started some heel work but I haven't really went beyond that at this point.

The reason? She is still VERY puppy. I know all 8 month old pups are "puppy" still but mentally, she reminds me of a dog a few months younger than her actual age. I don't really know HOW to explain this (and maybe can step in here and help me out? ) but I hope this makes some sense.

The club we train at, don't really work their dogs much in obedience until about a year old. We do a lot of drive building, bond building and playing. Basically it is a lot of engagement activities with the handler.

Zefra's breeder, who owns both her sire and dam said that Zefra's mother was very puppy-like until she hit about 2ish. Even still at 4? Zefra's dam can be very puppy-like in her actions and behaviours. Not a bad thing at all but I wonder if this is true for her lines? I assume so?

I guess I was wondering if Zefra is puppy-like because I don't put too much pressure on her or if it is 'just her'. I mean, she does have some obedience (and a pretty nice recall) but nothing too formal at this point.

One thing which is neat to see is my friends pup, who is about 1 month younger than Zefra and of WG working lines. He is a calm dog but can turn it on with a flick of the switch. He is further along in obedience than Zefra is mostly because he doesn't jump into drive the second he starts working. He is also a lot more mature than Zefra, seems to be an "older" dog even though he is a month younger. Again, is this the lines? Who knows?

Working with Stark first, who was a complete and total opposite of Zefra in every way shape and form really has me loving working with Zefra. I got very frustrated with Stark because the enthusiasm wasn't there. I feel bad for putting so much pressure on him so young, but live and learn. Stark reminds me of my friends pup, and I wonder if I didn't put so much pressure on Stark or squash his drive as a puppy if he would be further along than he is now. I guess I will never know.

Anyways.. not 100% sure what this post is suppose to be.. take from it what you will.. my thoughts are not complete and I will try to add some more later when I can actually form some sort of idea/though too add.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 10:00 AM
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My male is drastically different than my females. Aska (Katya's momma) is still all puppy at 7 years old

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 10:57 AM
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I have had a similar experience, Nikon and Pan are very very different. I attribute it both to genetics and how my training has evolved. I love training both for different reasons. Nikon has always been a much more serious dog. I've never had trouble really motivating him or using his drives but since he was about 7 months old he took training seriously, even just training for food treats. He is very much a thinker and reasons every step in his own way. Pan brings a bit more drive, more raw energy to the table but sometimes is just so thick and dumb, lol. Both my dogs can take a lot of pressure from me so that helps. The things that Pan knows already, he performs better than Nikon, but there are things Nikon was learning at Pan's age that I'm not touching yet with Pan, he's just such a doofus.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Lies, I totally understand!

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 06:44 PM
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Kastle is a very serious puppy and very mature. Ike will be a puppy forever. LOL
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Actually Zefra reminds me of Ike A LOT!

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 04:25 PM
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Sydney and Shane are closely related in their pedigrees (Sydney's sister(littermate) is Shane's grandma. They are TOTALLY opposite, especially in regards to working and training. Sydney is calm, serious, has good energy and enthusiasm, but not over the top. Shane is NUTS, NUTS, NUTS! He is easy to work with, he has an immense amount of enthusiasim, is VERY puppy like still at almost 3 years old. His puppy-ness is conflicting with his focus when he is around distractions. It only took me a year from starting training with Sydney (she didnt even know "sit" or "down" when i got her) to earning her CD title. Ive been training Shane since he was 8 weeks, he knows every command and exercise, its his insane immiturity that is holding us back from where I think he should be. So right now, im just riding it out, continuing to work with him as always, and hope he will grow up a little!

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elisabeth_00117 View Post
Actually Zefra reminds me of Ike A LOT!
Oh the trials and tribulations of handling a dog like Ike! Good luck!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Jason, I was going to take Stark out tomorrow (training day) but he hurt his back paw so I am taking Zeffie. I will try to get some videos to post of her... boy oh boy.... lol... they will bring you back I am sure!

Wild Wolf on this forum can attest to how crazy my wild child is... lol.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 09:03 AM
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My girl is all WG working lines, almost 10 months old now. She is my first working line GSD so honestly, I don't have much to compare her to. To me she has matured pretty quickly, and she hasn't had much pressure, if any, put on her OB or bitework.

She is very, very drivey. So asking for any type of self control around her crack (a ball) is still in what I consider the beginning stages and a work in progress. But then she is very clear-headed, so I think she has a fair bit of obedience for her age. She knows basic positions (not stand, we don't need that for PSA) and can hold them for a short time, she knows jumps with raised position markers, I've just started to teach her out of motion exercises, she outs off her ball and tug, she will go touch a dot and do position changes away from me, etc.

We're focused on her heeling right now--not forging, left turns, keeping position when I change speeds, backing up. Corrections/pressure for this type of thing just did NOT work for her, and me (giving her a correction is like giving a leash pop to a brick wall). And luring, or simply withholding reward didn't work that well either. So I finally found a way to communiate where I want her position to be, after much trail and error.
She is my guinea pig So anytime we hit a problem, or I need to teach her something new, it is much more a problem solving exercise than relying exprience or knowledge. Because I don't know crap about dog training yet! But I just keeping reading her, I can tell when I'm asking too much, when I'm not communicating effectively.

So after all that rambling , just to give you my perspective....my pup is not all that "puppy-like" anymore with the work, and she has had very little pressure put on her.
But even just to compare littermates in terms of maturity, they are similar in some ways, but in others totally different (Kalypso's owner trains at the same club I do). So to me it's all the individual dog.

~ Cayla


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