New Owner, question about specialized training... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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New Owner, question about specialized training...

Hello everyone,

I am almost finished with a book "Training Your German Shepherd" by: Dan Rice D.V.M. In the book it covers obedience, scenting, tracking, herding, and search and rescue.

My question is this: what is the easiest of these specialties to teach my dog? My puppy is male, 4 months old. He finds things, such as his [email protected] toy packed with food; everywhere I place it in the house. Outside walking... he seems to use his eyes more than anything. He doesn't have much interest in sniffing. He is pure breed.

Couple of other things: when we got him, he was very shy. He still doesn't bark much. He's on the lower end of energy. I walk him twice a day (app 1 mile each walk) and he sleeps a lot. As for tug-of-war, he doesn't show much interest. He loves to bit my fingers though!!! One other thing... he eats his food so fast... he gets the hiccups. I have been hiding his food, in order to slow his eating process. So he's using his nose in the house.

Any help would be appreciated. I would like for him to have a certain skill, more to keep him mentally stimulated. I just want to be sure and start off with the right skill. In this book... it stresses "obedience training, can cause your dog to fail in other fields..."

So I'm wondering, because he's very obedient! We pass other dogs, people, and distractions. He doesn't show much interest. He stays either one step behind me, or next to my side. I'm very honored to have such an awesome breed to walk, love, and accept into my family. I'd just love to have a skill for him.

Thanks so Much
(Mods: I tried my best to place this in the proper forum head)

"One must accept the willingness to change, for true change to take place" (M.S. Heiser)
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 11:58 PM
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"obedience training, can cause your dog to fail in other fields..."
What other fields? IPO (Schutzhund) has three phases and you can't trial in tracking, obedience or protection until the dog passes a BH which includes a lot of obedience.

Obedience trained incorrectly or harshly can mess up a dog.

BTW you can probably build prey drive (lacking interest in tug work) with a flirt pole and go from there. I have better luck when I act like I don't want the dog interested in the object (as in, hey, this is mine! Isn't it wonderful?? Too bad for you!). If your dog can find his kong and enjoys doing that, tracking might be fun (although you say he doesn't explore much outside with his nose, following a track may be different for him.)

What you may want to do is have the trainer at a schutzhund (IPO) club evaluate the pup for you and make some recommendations. On the other hand, like I said, you can build drives. (Key for me is to be very interested myself...)
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 01:05 AM
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I do tracking just for fun in the yard with a hot dog that I smear along the grass at various spots, but so it's sort of in a line. Then I break off a little piece and leave it a bit away from the end of the line...Rudy loves that game, mostly cuz he loves hot dogs. I tell him "find it" which he will do with his beloved green ball now and his beloved blue stick (after I've hidden them). They usually have hot dog scent on them, too.

Rudy 2/1/13
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 08:27 AM
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I think 4 months is too young to know. Give your pup a chance to grow up a bit and see what he loves!!! Prey drive may develop as he get olds as well.

No need to pigeon hole him just yet!!!

And intense formal obedience can create a dig that is handler dependant. And in some disciplines that is a tough thing to get past. Cause trust me, if your dog won't leave your side cause it's waiting for constant direction or had been taught to stringently to stay close, it's gonna take you a very very long time to clear 160 acres on a search.

"So that others may live"

Hannah vom Steffenhaus, BH, Wilderness SAR
Eisenhower v.d Polizei "Ike" Wilderness SAR, CGC
B'Lena z. Treuenhanden
Nixon vom Banach, RATN
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