German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,447 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I am not inexperienced in obedience. I did put a UD on Achielles with some darn nice scores and he was my Novice A dog.

I stopped competing in obedience for a few years due to "life happens" problems. (Had a baby, she died at home while I was at a dog show. Went into deep depression. Decided wanted another baby. Now I have twins. They just turned 2 years old) I am finally starting to get "serious" in training again.

Axel: He is 7 yrs old. He has the basics and one leg of his CD. I plan on finishing his CD this year. Getting his BH this spring. Possibly doing his CDX and his SchH1 before the end of the year. The problems I am having with him are: Lack of drive. Inconsistant performance intensity. I am undecided on how to proceed with him. He is 7 and I am getting some great help at the SchH club I attend. I want the more snappy performance, but I am just not getting it. Will he pass all of the exercises? Yes, I think so. Is he going to be giving me the 198 performances Achielles did? I don't think so because he is not drivey enough, and is way more independant than Achielles was. I am considering taking what he is giving me and just going to fine-tuning the behaviors for trial preperations. Do you think I am on the right thought wave length? Or should I really try retraining a lot of things and getting that to-die-for attitude, which means holding off on completeing the CD this spring?

Malfoy: 2 yr old WGSD. Rescue. I just bailed him out from the pound in November. He is doing well but I just don't spend enough time training him IMO. He has interest and pretty good drive though not to-die-for. My husband is of the mindset that Malfoy is his dog
but he is letting me train him anyway lol. I teach pet obed classes and he has been a great "demo dog" so far. Training is pretty unstructured with him. We just do a lot of lure/heeling and a few stays at this time. I am trying to decide if I should teach him the basics and keep him as a "demo dog" and family "pet" only or train and prepare him for trialing/titling in obed... Not sure what to do with him lol

Jinx: almost 9 months old. Original purpose was to have 9yr old DD show him in conformation. May still do some conformation, but while he is nice, he is a little short of neck and might take a while to finish. I started training him for obed. Nice little heeling dog but pretty soft. Friendly and outgoing for a sheltie but what few corrections I teach, he really has a hard time with them. Struggling with that. I wonder if I am spending enough time working with him if I do decide to title him. Or better yet, have the 9 yr old title him. I am trying to decide if the 9yr DD is ready to start training and working him herself and I just let what happens, happen as far as performance level. I have the biggest problems with this boy on stays and close fronts. What would you do? Let the DD start doing more of his training (she does want to learn, but sometimes I am pulling my hair out trying to explain what I need her to do to get the desired behavior... it is so much easier when it is a client instead of my own daughter lol)? Or should I continue training him when I have time?

M puppy: Glutton for punishment I am... new puppy will be arriving at the end of February. With the age on Axel, and with my desire to get a serious SchH dog again, I figured now was a great time lol. Afterall, it will most likely be 18 months at least before she would be ready to trial for BH and CD.

So as for the title of my post, with her especially, should I pick a program and follow it? Or just continue on in my "whatever works" type training I tend to do. I love Connie Cleveland, Shiela Booth, Terri Arnold, Ivan Balabanov, Juyd Byron/Adele Yunck and Karon Pryor. I tend to jump around with their methods, but have not used any exclusively. Would it be best to pick one and stick with it for the puppy? If so, which would you think I should do having the goals of AKC Obedience, Agility, Rally and primarilly SchH?

A little direction is what I am looking for I guess. I was a pretty driven competitor when I was training and titling Achielles (and working 2 other dogs at the same time then, Axel as a puppy and Ghost a Great Pyrenees). I have been out of the "game" for about 3-4 years and I am finally starting to train more again. Things are finally in place and I work as much as I can with the dogs, indoors. Excitedly awaiting spring/summer to work more outdoors during the week when I am home alone with the twins and they are napping! lol

Sorry the post is so long. So many decisions to make though and your thoughts are welcome! Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,447 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Well, I suppose I made the first post way too long... I was trying to give a little background and whats-going-on info.

SO.. to simplify:

Do you use any particular training program? Did you develop it yourself? Do you go along with whatever your instructor does/says?
Or Do you train alone and follow a program? For example: Connie Cleveland, Terri Arnold, Anne Marie Silverton, Ivan Balabanov (sp), Berhnard Flinks? EtC? If so, whose and how's it working for you?
Did you start from puppyhood or fall into the program after having difficulties with your dogs training schedule?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,062 Posts
Hi! When we started classes at our current training center, we began using their curriculum to train our dogs. As we've progressed, I feel comfortable varying the skills being learned, but I still stick mostly to their curriculum.

My reasons for sticking with it are:
*Ease of use (it's all there in the handouts, how to teach each new skill - from the basics of sit and down to more advanced training).
*Tried and True (it's worked for dozens, if not hundreds, of students and the instructors use their own curriculum in varying degrees).

My reason for varying the training is:
*I enjoy learning alternative ways of training each skill, especially how to proof each skill (Success is in the Proofing is a must-have book for Obedience/Rally people!!) to keep things fun and upbeat. (Repetition is necessary for learning, of course, but after the dog has it down, keeping it fun can be difficult for some.)

I think one of the dangers of jumping from program to program is that if the dog isn't getting the basics down in order, it's more difficult to teach something more advanced. But, I *do* think that each dog may require something a bit different in the way of training methods.

To answer your other questions - we train in classes (mostly for socialization) and alone. We started two of our dogs as puppies and our third dog we started when we got her (at 1 year old).

I hope that is somewhat helpful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,062 Posts
I was going to modify my post, but there's no button to do it? That's weird...I thought we had like 5 minutes or something? LOL

What I wanted to say was - Jessi, this topic might do better in the Training Methods portion of the board, instead of the Obedience/Rally portion...you might get more replies that way.
Plus, I've noticed the board has been a little slower than normal...that could be it to.


Stay Warm!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
I don't use a particular program because I think that we need to adapt for each dog's own personality (temperament, drive, etc.). While I base what I do on primarily positive motivation type of training, I pretty much discover what works best with each dog.

That being said, I do follow a relatively logical progression in training. I start out with attention training (as young as possible). I want my dogs to snap their heads around to look at me when they hear the word. This is 100% motivationally trained. I want to see that sparkle in the eyes that says "YES! I'm here and I'm thrilled to be here!".

I teach my dogs a down from a stand before I teach them any other style of down or even a sit. I don't do a sit for a long time (my seven month old pup still doesn't know "sit" .. *LOL* .. but she slams herself to the ground on a softly spoken "platz"). I start them on heeling by encouraging them to my left side and then reinforcing that lavishly, progressing to moving forward and reinforcing every time they get into position. This is all done off-leash.

I start recalls as early as possible and use lots of positive motivation. I play recall games and I build a very strong desire in my dogs to race back to me. I go off-leash from the time they're puppies because I've found that helps them (and me) not become dependent on a leash. I use whatever motivates the dogs - for my shepherds, this means toys as well as treats and praise and petting. When the recall is well-established and fast, I add in the sit in front (when I finally teach my dog a sit .. *L*).

So I follow a progression in training but I don't necessarily do things the same for every dog. My chows learn/think a bit differently than my shepherds so I've had to become adaptable in order to get that happy-working dog look that's important to me. I think the biggest thing is to be consistent in your training and to always be observing your dog and working with the traits your dog already has.

This probably didn't help you a bit ..


Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top