Experience On Intro/New Puppy - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Experience On Intro/New Puppy

Valor is a good dog with puppies (and small dogs for that matter). Very patient, doesn't over do it. He is pretty neutral to other dogs unless they are in his pack. His pack would be my BFs dogs he only sees sometimes. A beautiful retired 7 year old breeder GSD girl, and my former pit mix who is unstable and we are trying real hard to find an only dog home for him. The puppy will not even meet the pit mix if BF still has him end of April. He even puts stable grown dogs off their game, the pit. Anyway that is the back story.

So Valor will be 2 months shy of age 2 when the puppy arrives. I plan to crate and rotate for a while with free together time only when I can supervise. I already do not allow dogs to play/roughouse in the house. In fact I try to limit their hard play interaction, period. I am their fun.

Our intention is to do a bit more IPO with both dogs. I would not mind getting a bit more serious about it since this year is going well (guess you never know if you have the time or ability until you try) Valor hopefully goes for his 1 in late summer. Obviously puppy not do anything until BH at 15 months...maybe ZAP test if it becomes required for the breed survey outside of Germany. Eh, my club runs it so next time it comes up I'd do it regardless if pup was old enough.

Tips on how you integrated a new IPO prospect into your home would be appreciated. Did you start luring/marking right away? When did you start with a bowl for positioning? What is your idea of socializing a young working line from jump street?

I got Valor at 5.5 months and he was raised until then with a family with kids..so someone else did his early Ps & Qs. He was pretty easy except for a bit of excited handler jumping and a bit too forward defensive at too young of an age. We have smoothed that over nicely. He will still gleefully jump if praise is too effusive, in the voice department. Has great tug drive so thank goodness not to much Elmo voice praise needed lol

I'm posting here instead of puppy section, looking for specific feedback from sport homes. I'd love to just hear various experiences. I understand some delay OB until later and only do early bite work (pillows, flirt poles etc) while some start posotions and focused heel right away. I think I'd like to do the latter. From what I see the pups love it and it is great focusing/bonding stuff.

I have rubber bowls ...which I tried to start Valor on at about 95lbs because his arse end always swings out...it was like that movie Harry and The Hendersons though where they teach bigfoot to "sit" and he crushes piece after piece of furniture lol We are still working on it. It doesn't help that when he is on a bowl he is nearly eye to eye with me hahaha. My boy, he has taught me so much. So yeah, I think I will go ahead and start eeeearlier. I also have balance balls and puppy pilows/tugs.

Eh, anyway help me pass the next agonizing 5 weeks by planning ahead lol

Valor 6/3/17
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Oh and my daughter has been aces at handling Valor. Pictures for tax. Explained to her about slow environmental expose (this was Valor's first time doing fire escape type steps..no issue). She can pretty much do all that he has been taught with him except he knows except protection routine. Once I feel good about that off lead we will see.
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Valor 6/3/17
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 01:00 PM
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You might start by imprinting some self discovery, which helps a pup realize if he offers certain behaviors, good things happen. I would carefully manage his food intake to maintain high food drive and hopefully he will naturally have high food drive. With self discovery, make a place box. It is simply a rectangular wooden box with a short 2"x4" in the front and two longer 2"x4" 's on the sides. The back is open. Make it about 20" wide by 3' long with a sheet of plywood on the bottom. You might consider using a clicker, but you can mark with "good." Take the pup and the box to your training area. The pup can be off leash or drag a light line. As soon as he looks at or moves toward the box, mark and pay with food. Keep repeating that often and gradually increase the expectation with the goal of the pup getting in the box. Also, work on sits and downs. I would lure up and back for a sit and down under his chest so he downs by throwing his back feet out. You can use a clicker or verbal marker for this as well. Use a release command and add an engagement behavior like luring the dog into a fast spin after the release and pay with food. This helps with engagement, rear end awareness and coming into the static heel. As he progresses, I would suggest you teach a flip finish into the static heel. Since you are doing IPO, have the dog sit in front of you facing you and pay him. Then grab his leash (after he has been accustomed to the leash) about a foot from the collar with your right hand and lure him into heel while creating some opposition by pulling the leash to your right so he will pull oppositionally to the left where he will heel. To lure him into the correct position, have a small handful of food in your left hand with your hand in a fist and the bottom opening of your fist facing the ground so you can funnel the food to him rather than giving him a single piece at a time and having to move your hand away from where you are luring him. You want your hand at the center of the outside of your thigh. After he starts to get proficient at this, start working on quarter pivots keeping your hand in the correct position and creating opposition reflex with your right hand on the leash. Then move to heeling in motion starting with a step at a time and pay. Do a ton of sits and downs, static heels and pivots. If you use a ball on a string, teach him to want to bring the ball to you and stay engaged with you by having another ball. You can also work on the out with a second ball. Sometimes, possessive dogs want to keep the toy away from you so you want to encourage him to want it bring it back to you and use can use a long line to keep him near. ALso, teach him he will lose the ball if he doesn't grip it hard. With the early bite work, you could try tying a small bleach bottle to a buggy or dressage whip. Tractor Supply has them for about $10. If you use cloth, the pup can get an accidental bite because his teeth can snag the cloth and you want him to work for the bite and really grab and possess it. Doing IPO, you want to reinforce a pulling bite by giving the pup a win after he pulls the prey. I would use a pillow as the next prey object as he progresses. A leather covered pillow is best because it is slick and the dog has to bite hard so you can't pull it out of his mouth. I wouldn't imprint bite work by putting too much movement into the prey so that you are "begging" the dog to bite. Hopefully the pup will have very good prey drive and you won't need to put a lot of hectic motion into the prey because he is not going to see a helper wiggling a sleeve in a trial. These are a few ideas I have found helpful.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! All makes sense. I'm "friends" with a 9 month old from a previous breeding. He just knew what to do with bite work (When he was even 8 weeks old I could not help but sing the baby Shark Do Do DO Do Do Do Do song to him)lol Such a full grip. His OB and tracking look great as well. He has a quieter house, and a retired and experienced handler so he has a bit of a leg up there. He also has a great off switch in the house, nice social dog too. I told the breeder I would be looking for a repeat of that if he sees it.

Valor 6/3/17
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