New owner, stray pup - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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New owner, stray pup

So last summer I was working at a farm and one day this stray German Shepherd shows up. The farm-owner has 5 other daogs on the property, (one being a pit-bull), so he didn't want any more dogs. I was homeless at the time, so we decided to try to find the dog a home. After having no luck relocating her, I decided that I would take her with me when I got my own place. She lived at the farm for the last 5-6 months and I am just now finally able to get to train her.

Somewhere in this story I found another dog, near death, shivering cold in a commuter lot. I took her to the farm too. I have no idea what kind of dog she is, but she's now mine as well.

So as I'm sure you can imagine, I have a multitude of new problems and questions. The good news is that these 2 dogs get along very, very well. Neither has shown any type of aggression toward other animals, (aside from possums), and Daisy, (GSD), will actually sit in my lap and let me rub her belly. She's a very friendly, well behaved dog.

The problem is with training them. For one thing, I have very little experience training dogs. I gather that I should kennel one and train the other? They are far too easily distracted when they're together.

I like to workout a lot, and have started running hiking trails at night w/ daisy. She runs ahead of me, but always returns quickly when I call her name. Can you see fault in this? I've never had a dog that would do that, so I was hesitant to trust herat first. She gets right back in the truck and behaves very well.

I guess that's it for now. Thanks in advance.

bob
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 05:15 PM
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Re: New owner, stray pup

Where do you live Bob?

Crating one dog while training with the other is a great idea. When you teach something that is brand new to the dog, it's easiest to start the training in a place that does not have a lot of distractions.

I like to work on new commands in the kitchen, because I always have my dog's undivided attention in the kitchen. (You know, I might *drop* some food.) Once the command is consistent there, I work on it in other places and ramp up the distractions.

Once you've taught both dogs "sit" and "down", you can also work with both of them here and there throughout the day. Just ask them to sit or down randomly here and there, and reward them for doing it. Dogs do learn from each other, so if one 'gets' things really quick and the other doesn't, that might be helpful.

Generally, it's a good idea to exercise before training, since that allows them to focus better.

I'm assuming you're running off-leash with Daisy? Do you live in an area that has no traffic or very little traffic? If you're at all worried that she might run ahead too far in an area where there is traffic, I would recommend running on a leash, just for safety.

I've found that my dog will heel nicely, but when we run, she tends to be ahead of me. That's mostly because I'm an awful runner and take relatively short steps compared to hers, so it's uncomfortable for her to run in a heeling position. She does the same just fine with my husband who is 6'2" and has a very long running stride. She also keeps next to me nicely when I bike. If you think it may have to do with your running speed or stride, I would try running faster and see how that goes.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 06:22 PM
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Re: New owner, stray pup

Bob, How I work training two dogs is to take them both out at once but to work the senior dog first while the other dog is tied and watching. Same principle as crating I guess.

With the caveats that HIstorian has posted, your running program seems great. The only other possible problem I can see is if you meet someone who does not expect a loose GSD at night while they are running. You know your area and if that would be a problem or not.

Good luck with these two - can I plug one of my favorite books? (Sheila Booth's Purely Possitive Training: Companion to Competition)...
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 07:09 PM
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Re: New owner, stray pup

Yep good book! And cheaper than a class if money is tight. Thanks for rescuing your dogs!

Kathy

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New owner, stray pup

Thanks for the help everyone. This is all quite new to me, and the 2 dogs certainly seem to have very different learning curves. I'm sure I'll have more questions; this is a great forum

bob
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