Please help me know if I am on the right track... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Please help me know if I am on the right track...

So, Jazz is 16-17 weeks old now. Got her at 11 weeks from the shelter.

This is my 1st experience as an adult raising a puppy. We did have a German shepherd as a kid.

I did research before getting her. Was advised by my trainer to follow Ian Dunbar's What to do Before/After yo get your Puppy.

One thing I took to heart was not giving meals in a bowl but feeding by hand. To do that I incorporate her training sessions with meal time.

It has gotten to the point where she is extremely obedient during meal time, but not so much other wise.

Part of the problem could be that at the moment she is board as she fractured her left scapular spine (part of her shoulder blade), and must be quiet for 4 + weeks. We just began her 2nd week of recovery. The first week she did pretty good being quiet, but it is getting more difficult.

Today I just fed her without doing training as she was so rambunctious and only focused on the food.

What do you recommend I change. I really want to have a well socialized (she really is) and highly obedient dog. One that will sit or down immediately and not jump during greetings. I feel like I am doing something terribly wrong and don't want that.

She really needs to play with her neighbor puppy but that is what got her injured... not going to risk that while the bone is knitting.

Thanks for any and all advice. She is so smart and eager to learn, just right now, she isn't applying it to her life. (And this just may be the age, I just don't have enough experience.) I have had a dog as an adult, just never raised a puppy. and the dog came with basic obedience already.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-31-2009, 05:43 PM
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Re: Please help me know if I am on the right track...

Hmmm...I wonder if you are using training treats? I do not use them all the time, but for the more difficult things such as down/platz, they work better. I make sure she has treats that taste EXCELLENT and I do traing before dinner or breakfast time and I very much have her attention. I would give training treats a shot...I use dried venison, but you can use anything she really loves.

I also recommend a puppy training class for her for socialization after she is healed up. I'm no expert but am having tons of success with my 8.5 week old girl, and I also dove into a book by the Monks of New Skete " The art of raising a puppy". GOOD STUFF in there. Good luck!! They're fun!!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 07:36 PM
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Re: Please help me know if I am on the right track...

I like the Ian Dunbar, Pat Miller, etc. type stuff, never did get much from the Monks books.

Just off the top of my head, it sounds like there is too much of an association between mealtime and training. Training should be occurring all day long. While I do make them "work" for their food at mealtime (downs, waits, etc.), I don't have a problem with putting that bowl down for them to eat their dinner. And if a dog is too hungry, as you might have noticed, they don't focus very well on training.

You've got a tough task on your hands since you can't really exercise her physically the way a normal pup should be exercised. I don't know how active she is allowed to be, but what might help is if you can find some games to play with her that also increase that bond and force her to listen to you. A suggestion that might be too active is hide and seek - you can have her wait in one room, go hide a toy in another, and then release her to go find the toy. Or you can hide the toy in a sheet or blanket and she has to dig it out (*great* game for terriers!!). What activities is she allowed to do?

As for the regular stuff during the day, hold some food back from her dinner, and use it during the day for training. Once she knows what you are asking her for, then treat less often and randomly (be sure to give verbal praise) -- you don't want her to work only for food.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 09:34 PM
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Re: Please help me know if I am on the right track...

Sounds like you're committed and that's the best start.

With the puppy's health issues and age, I'd tell you to relax a bit and enjoy her.

Be consistent with important things, give her lots of love and lots of room to make mistakes and you'll both come out winners.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 09:41 PM
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Re: Please help me know if I am on the right track...

Well, she's food driven, so I'd use treats. I always use treats when introducing something new..then slowly wean away from them as I make the commands part of our everyday life.

Also find the best time to teach something new...for my pup, it was late afternoon or before bed.time Not only was she calmer, but it also helped get her "mentally" tired and ready for bed.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-09-2009, 10:33 PM
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Re: Please help me know if I am on the right track...

Quote:
Originally Posted By: zypSounds like you're committed and that's the best start.

With the puppy's health issues and age, I'd tell you to relax a bit and enjoy her.

Be consistent with important things, give her lots of love and lots of room to make mistakes and you'll both come out winners.
I think these are excellent suggestions.


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