German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,182 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was examining the differences between my two dogs and realized I have put a lot more training on my 4 year old than I ever did on my older rescued dog. Naturally, his behavior is much more responsive than the other one. There are also temperament and experience differences. My female went through a year of obedience, and did very well at it. We went through a Match and she got a near perfect score. I was told I could title her. But I watched her as we went through the match and noticed she wasn’t enjoying it. She was going through the motions and looked good, but there was no spark in her so we quit and never looked back. I didn’t think about keeping up her skills because I had an older, completely untrained rescue that I had done my best with and in comparison, at the time, she was very well behaved.

My WL needed much more training. He thrives on it and without it, gets bored. I’ve invested a lot of time in learning more techniques and have become a much better trainer, and it’s fun. He is also much more responsive to commands, he is tuned into me and really the best dog I’ve ever owned in many ways. In contrast, her recall is slower, she gets into all kinds of mischief, but because she is tiny, cute and a rescue, everyone tells me she is fine as she is.

So, that is a little history. I work with my boy on something every day. Sometimes new, usually just reinforcing what he already knows. I’m wondering how much training you put on each of your dogs, which ones you have stopped training and why.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,774 Posts
Lol. I am going to derail your topic.

How much joy do you find each dog brings into your life? How much of that joy is contingent on training or lack thereof? How much do you enjoy training and why?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
35 Posts
I try to distribute my efforts among all of them equally but since every dog is different, sometimes I need to reinforce training with some of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,182 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I try to distribute my efforts among all of them equally but since every dog is different, sometimes I need to reinforce training with some of them.
Slam once said that training is a perishable skill. I try to remember that and reinforce it when necessary. One dog is almost 10 but responds much better when I spend a little time on skills. It’s never too late.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,182 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Lol. I am going to derail your topic.

How much joy do you find each dog brings into your life? How much of that joy is contingent on training or lack thereof? How much do you enjoy training and why?
I can’t quantify joy, but my heart is full when I’m with my dogs. I enjoy working with my younger dog a lot because he gets so much out of it. But after 4 years, training is fun. He knows the foundation stuff. So when we are doing something fun, there is a lot of play involved. Otherwise I would probably have quit. Plus he responds so well to new things. When my yard is done I’m going to add an agility course. He hasn’t tried agility so we will be green for a while and love it. I’m so bad, I also let my dogs play in the house. I know a lot of people here think that gets them too excited and is not the right place, but at least mine don’t get bored and whiney on rainy days.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,456 Posts
Right now the puppy (4 mos) is getting the lion's share of daily training time. Probably around an hour a day, about half in the morning and half in the evening, plus field trips.

The 4 year old goes to club training one night a week, and private lessons one morning a week. Unless it's a trial weekend, in which case she's in the spotlight.

The senior lady gets about 10-15 minutes of targeted Fitpaws exercise M-F. Weekends off. I don't know that I'd call it "training", but it's time when the other dogs are put away and I work with her alone. Starting her in Nosework last summer was the best decision I made all year, she does that once or twice a week for about 10 minutes and she LOVES it. Before I started that, her actual training time was basically zero.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,456 Posts
What is targeted Fitpaws?
Using Fitpaws stuff to work her muscles. :)

Pushups (stand to down, down to stand), front paws up and then "Wave" with left and then right paws, holding a plank position with rear feet balanced and front paws on the ground, etc. all on the donut (https://fitpawsusa.com/product/new-fitpaws-55cm-traxdonut/)

And old lady perchwork (front paws stay balanced on, while moving her rear paws around clockwise and counterclockwise) on a wobble board. (https://fitpawsusa.com/product/fitpaws-wobble-board/)

It's low impact, but a lot of muscles can get worked in a few minutes. Food is involved so she's a very enthusiastic participant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,182 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Mine is food crazed so I will try that. Thank you! Although she is still as active as she was as a puppy. She is far more active than my young dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,228 Posts
I want a dog that enjoys training. Some dogs just don't really enjoy it, no matter how many methods of engagement is implemented. When I have a puppy or dog that is pushy and engaged, it is a joy to train with them. When I have a dog that has their own agenda or is so involved in sniffing their world(not out of avoidance but pure enjoyment of scentwork), trying to get some engagement is futile, and frustrating. Tracking is my favorite phase of schutzhund, so I love it, but getting obedience from a dog that just wants to scent is hard to deal with.

I will always manage a dog to keep the peace and hopefully happiness in their life, but I won't bang on the dog to make it comply to things that the dog clearly doesn't want to enjoy doing. SO finding things that gives that dog direction and enthusiasm is key.
This is where breeding balanced drives comes into play. Breeding for extreme whatever can be hard on the dog, when all they want to do is eat, or hunt, or just do obedience and never want to track, etc.
Nature vs Nurture isn't always a given when it comes to temperament.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,922 Posts
Winston- Multiple sessions a day that range from OB, Tracking, protection, various searches and field trips. All depends on what we are working on. I break things down, so we are often working on pieces of a behavior, not the finished exercise.

Cy- Same as Winston right now.

Kimber- two short sessions at the minimum. Some are maintenance sessions, some are advancing on skills she already knows and some are new skills, since she's getting older, I'm transitioning her role life.

Really these three ^^^ live in my truck and we work what we can where we can, when we can.

Then I have all my client dogs who get a minimum of three sessions a day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,182 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Winston- Multiple sessions a day that range from OB, Tracking, protection, various searches and field trips. All depends on what we are working on. I break things down, so we are often working on pieces of a behavior, not the finished exercise.

Cy- Same as Winston right now.

Kimber- two short sessions at the minimum. Some are maintenance sessions, some are advancing on skills she already knows and some are new skills, since she's getting older, I'm transitioning her role life.

Really these three ^^^ live in my truck and we work what we can where we can, when we can.

Then I have all my client dogs who get a minimum of three sessions a day.
How old is Kimber? Are all your clients board and train?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,922 Posts
How old is Kimber? Are all your clients board and train?
Kimber is 6 now. Not that old yet, but since her back injury she's no longer my trial dog. So she works with my clients a lot with me as well as more PPD type stuff. My priorities on the skills I keep her up on have changed.

Majority of my clients are B&T's. With that, I also have follow ups and such which are all in home, but the most of the time they're with me. I work them a minimum of three sessions a day. If you're doing the math you'll see I don't sleep much lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,874 Posts
Did a big long post, but it was all brag and the thing is, I know I don't do nearly enough training with each dog, but whatever I am doing works for me and mine. I think it is a combination of body language, experience, confidence, realistic expectations, and 100% trust between the dogs and me. And maybe a willingness for me to change my approach if it isn't working.

My dogs are lucky to get a set of puppy classes and a set of basic classes, with no other work between class sessions. Losing Quinnie -- I haven't been to classes in over a year. Ramona has had one class, one day. Quinnie got to 4 of 6, out of puppy classes and then 4 of 6 obedience. And she did spectacular when I titled her. I don't deserve what I get from them. Mufasa was special. So is Kojak. Since I had that Sonic, taking the dogs to classes went south. Kojak hurled every time, and no crate would fit in that car. Maybe with this new Chevy, SUV I will be able to get my butt back in gear. Title a few pups.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,379 Posts
I'm pretty much a failure compared to you guys right now... my girl has SO much need for care it is overwhelming. I try to do something fun with her daily but realistically sometimes I only have time to keep her clean and tended to and give her a belly rub.

My boys are getting extras (besides a walk)...so tracking or ob for the GSD and SD task training or public manners training or exposure outing....once a week each. Twice on a good week. That's pretty pitiful considering what we've sometimes done in the past.

I just can't seem to do more right now. High hopes for next spring/summer competition season. We are taking the winter completely off mostly due to the fact that I can't afford entry fees due to the old dog's vet bills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
708 Posts
My old dog is so well behaved and mannerly I just enjoy her, she goes on errands with me and hangs out with the other two for outside play. Rio my GSD just started intermediate agility classes that we attend once a week weather permitting, and he’s also halfway towards his UKC championship in conformation after one day of showing. I don’t do much formal training, he’s smart and I don’t need to drill it into him. Once he gets it I end it on a good note and periodically test him afterwards. I sit outside with all of them on a daily basis and we always do recalls and basic maneuvers in return for treats, which everyone happily obliges to. My dobie is super smart and athletic, but he doesnt do well around other dogs which has been my main setback in involving him in some kind of sport. I have been in contact with a facility that offers nosework classes that it touted as ideal for dogs that are “socially inept” but with the holidays coming up I’ll have to wait til after and I have some jingle saved.

Overall I don’t spend more than ten minutes at a time training unless we are at agility class and that’s more fun than training to him persay. He just loves it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,182 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I'm pretty much a failure compared to you guys right now... my girl has SO much need for care it is overwhelming. I try to do something fun with her daily but realistically sometimes I only have time to keep her clean and tended to and give her a belly rub.

My boys are getting extras (besides a walk)...so tracking or ob for the GSD and SD task training or public manners training or exposure outing....once a week each. Twice on a good week. That's pretty pitiful considering what we've sometimes done in the past.

I just can't seem to do more right now. High hopes for next spring/summer competition season. We are taking the winter completely off mostly due to the fact that I can't afford entry fees due to the old dog's vet bills.
That is exactly what I wanted to know. I see posts from members here who train a lot every day and I started wondering about the rest who don’t or can’t or don’t need to put that much training on a dog. I do as much as I have time for. I also teach my dogs to entertain themselves so they aren’t too needy or dependent on me to keep them busy.

@selzer, your training has always intrigued me because you do less formal training than anyone I know who has achieved what you have. You have titled dogs with minimal organized training but you must be doing something that trains them while you are handling them. Also, your dogs get along well with other dogs even without a lot of exposure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,379 Posts
That is exactly what I wanted to know. I see posts from members here who train a lot every day and I started wondering about the rest who don’t or can’t or don’t need to put that much training on a dog. I do as much as I have time for. I also teach my dogs to entertain themselves so they aren’t too needy or dependent on me to keep them busy.

@selzer, your training has always intrigued me because you do less formal training than anyone I know who has achieved what you have. You have titled dogs with minimal organized training but you must be doing something that trains them while you are handling them. Also, your dogs get along well with other dogs even without a lot of exposure.
I didn't even have the energy to walk my dogs today. I might have anyway except by the time I had time, the sun was over the ridge so the woods were kind of dusky and it's rifle season here so going out in the woods less than total broad daylight seems stupid. My boys play well together. i let them run each other out in the field instead.

Now my shepherd is passed out cold.

I think it's valuable for any dog to be able to just roll with it. I wouldn't be surprised if taking the winter off is good for my dog too. He's been pretty busy competing most of his life, I don't want him to burn out.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,675 Posts
my two want to do some work every single stinking day. so unless I'm really tired or grumpy (because I am tired) we will work on something! I put on some good music to help me time the sessions and it also makes it a bit more fun and spunky.
My big-boy was training for schutzhund but we've given that up now. My gal likes OB but is a herder deep down in her heart. I don't have ready access to herding for her, though. shame, she'd probably be very good at it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,182 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
my two want to do some work every single stinking day. so unless I'm really tired or grumpy (because I am tired) we will work on something! I put on some good music to help me time the sessions and it also makes it a bit more fun and spunky.
My big-boy was training for schutzhund but we've given that up now. My gal likes OB but is a herder deep down in her heart. I don't have ready access to herding for her, though. shame, she'd probably be very good at it.
Mine need something to do daily as well but it’s not always something new.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top