The Agility Rocks! Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bushkill, PA (The Poconos!)
Have you talked to your breeder about your concerns? They may be able to help and calm you immediately.
Even though your pup is getting big, she's still VERY much a puppy. Learning and testing and still needing lots of love and play while also gradually learning the rules.
I think I'd WAY up the exercise. Off leash tears in the woods work best for me. Chuck-it in a field is next best best.
Tons and tons of socialization without necessarily having alot of strict training. Separating the need our dogs have to learn all about all there is in the world, and to be normal and calm in it. Then the training when out and about IN that world comes much easier for a calmer and frankly a pup that's a bit bored...
Alot of your wanting her to be more strong nerved may be that you just need to slack off a bit. Instead of training/socialization/exercise being all the same event on the same day. Make them definitely separate and up the enjoyment so there is no stress that may lead your dog to appear more weak nerved. ONLY take her someplace to socialize where its not overwhelming but still new and an adventure while not also expecting strict obedience from her while you are out and about. Maybe getting a gentle leader harness so she won't pull, or only correct with a prong if she is pulling but not for other 'obedience' issues. Like don't ask for a 5 min strict 'stay' when out on a socialization trip.
And when you are JUST exercising, just hike. Just take her swimming. Just play chuckit (though I do get a 'sit' in before I release them to chase the ball, but pretty much ZERO stress and TONS of them having to learn control with high excitement!!!!).
I've found that many of us get way to much into the 'CONTROL' part of training our pups........... when instead just letting them be puppies while they ARE puppies (I know, she's big) while gradually getting the control and training in place.
One of the many many many reasons I love clicker training. Because it forces us to be better trainers and think about how to get our pups to want to listen/learn/obey in a fun and happy way. When they learn they have to 'think' to get the reward, that quiets them down too. I've found it's easy to correct/leash pop/'make' my dog obey...... but (go figure) my pups don't enjoy this as much as I must. When instead I have to THINK of how to get my dog to do the same behavior without even wearing a leash at all, then that's the smartest training of all....
Since my female didn't go into her first heat until 11 months, you may or may not be seeing that influence.
Miss Osin Blue Wildhaus NA NAJ NF
"Nothing new can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have. ~ "--- Michael Bernhard, gratitude
Last edited by MaggieRoseLee; 04-15-2010 at 03:50 PM.