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Discussion Starter #1
I have a five month old female wgsl that I hope to train in schutzhund. I am a complete neophyte, but we are going to the club we selected this saturday. I will pose my question to the training director then, but an incident just happened, so I thought I would pose the question here.

The puppy is in a wire crate next to me as I write. We recently returned from our daily "field trip," where we work on engagement. I sat down at my desk to work and the puppy started barking at me. This is similar to what often happens after a training session. After training sessions, I will frequently sit down and try to pet her, she on the other hand will frequently stand in front of me barking and jumping up and down.

For what it is worth, the barking went on for a minute or two, then she started chewing on her soup bone, and 20 minutes later she was asleep.

I am completely ignorant, but the barking does not sound vicious. I have interpreted it as "get back up and play some more." I have not corrected her at all, because I don't want to make a mistake.

We are doing our best to raise her "by the books." Here our protocals:

1. She crated when we are not interacting (although the crate is in the bedroom--depending on which book, that might be right or wrong). She is also crated next to me while I am working at my desk.
2. I hand feed her all of her food (Origen Large breed puppy). Virtually all of her food is fed to her as part of her training.
3. I am trying to follow the Michael Ellis training system. I got the DVDs on December 14th, so we aren't very far along, but so far I am very pleased.
4. We train every 2 hours or so 5 or 6 times a day including our daily field trip to somewhere new.
5. She is on a leash when out of her crate with one exception. I have started letting her take potty breaks on her own in the yard. I also let her run around in the yard both with me and on her own for 10-15 minutes at a time.

Sorry for being so lengthy. Being ignorant, I am not sure what is relevant and not relevant.
 

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1st off how old is she? that bark is not aggression, but as you said more like "hey, play with me"

-don't let her in the yard for even 10 minutes unsupervised
-leashed in your house? seems a little too much if you ask me. let her be a puppy too ;)

congrats on the strict training regimine!!!! sounds like your heart is into it and you're doing great.
 

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Where did this strict protocol come from? I find it too controlling. She is a baby puppy, and should be allowed to be a puppy.

She must be sick and tired of the crate. I bet that is where the barking comes from. Crate her less, let her be more free, supervise always.

Schutzhund should be fun for both you and your pup - doesn't sound like either one of you are having any fun yet.
 

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Why do you pet her after training sessions? Is she still ramped up and you are trying to calm her?
When my pup was that age, I would just crate him for about 15 minutes so he could process the lesson, I left him alone. I liked to put him in the crate in the truck(instead of the crate in the house) so he was use to the routine when we trained.
If you are going to start going to a club, you will probably want a crate for your vehicle, so that may be a way to get her use to the routine when training.
I didn't overcrate my pup, he was always good, though-never destroyed a thing and only played with appropriate toys, not anything he shouldn't have.
His balance of energy is still great and he gets freedom to play with my other two dogs as well.
I would start laying scent pads with some of that food, instead of constantly using it for training sessions. Tracking is 1/3 of SchH.
Have fun at the club! I think you'll see once you go, you won't have to be so intense on the training regiment, it is all about your dog enjoying herself as much as you!
 

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One other thought. She needs to feel some independence so she can think for herself. If she is tethered to you or crated most often when will she be able to do that? I would let her explore a bit more....is there a reason you keep such a hold on her, especially inside?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I developed the protocals from the sources below. By the way, I was being a little tongue in cheek when I said "by the books." There seems to be a lot of opinions on these issues. That is illustrated by the fact that I have been worried that I was being to permissive letting her off leash in the yard, letting my wife pet the puppy once a day, and by letting her sleep in the bedroom, yet my overall take from the comments above is that the consensus is that I am being to ridged.

Purely Positive Training by Sheila Booth
Ruff Love by Susan Garrett
How to Raise a Working Puppy from Leerburg
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet from Leerburg
The Power of Training Dogs with Food from Leerburg
The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog from Leerburg

She has three crates:

One in the bedroom for sleeping.
One in my office so she can be with me during the day.
One in the car for our field trips.

I would like to better understand why she should not be allowed outside in the yard unsupervised.

As far as keeping a leash on her in the house that seemed to be universally recommended by the books. I resisted that one myself at first, but everytime we tried it, I learned my lesson: instead of tug with a towel, she would decide to play keep away my sock; instead of following me to the back door to go out she would jump on the bed; etc.
 

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I don't think that's aggression at all. Just a pup still worked up and maybe a little frustrated.

Btw, I think you should let your wife pet the pup more than once a day!! :D Seriously though, you should let as many people as you can find pet and interact with the pup. I think maybe it was Ed Frawley who said that as the owner of working dog, only YOU should pet the pup but I bet even Ed does not believe that anymore.
 

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Ha! Mine will sometimes sit right in front of me, look deeply into my eyes, and start barking. It means, "Hey! Mom! Come and play with me! Get off the computer!!"
 

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the only reason i could see to leave the leash on inside is to issue a correction, and with a young pup a correction is most likely not necessary..

the yard issue: they dig to escape, the climb and jump things to escape, they eat and chew on anything and everything, kids in the neighbors yard can tease the dog having bad effects on its behavior

kudos to you for all the reading though! lets see some pics :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes Ed Frawley, exactly. In the video he says that only the handler should play with a working puppy. Later on, in what I characterized as a reluctant concession, he said that other family members could pet the puppy so long as the handler was present. But he does discourage allowing anyone else to pet the puppy--advice I admit I have not been able to follow exactly: when standing in line at petsmart and the woman in front of me reaches down to pet the "cute puppy," I just wasn't able to bring myself to say, "please do not touch the puppy it is a working dog."

I may have made it sound to ridged. The wife only pets the puppy once a day primarily because of logistics. The wife is still a member of the working class (a little joke among some of my fellow retirees). She usually decides to have a little puppy time after getting in bed to watch TV, so the petting takes place on the bed. The pupply has actually slept on the bed two times: once when I had smuggled her into a hotel room (long story) and I decided that if she slept on the bed, I would wake up if she got down; and second one night when we brought her up for the petting session and all three of us fell asleep. I have since read that letting them sleep on your bed is very bad. OmeOmyO so many ways to do it wrong.
 

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If I did it right, here is her first glamor shot.
What a cutey.

She is only 5 months old ....... when she comes home she is probably still wound up and letting you know she is not ready to settle down. But it appears that she does and you are handling it well. I have observed that my dog acts a little bratty, busy and agitated just before she lets go and crashes.
:D

I take it back, she's not a cutey, she's beautiful.
 

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Your dog is gorgeous! If you really don't want people petting her in public, get her a vest to wear that says "working dog" or something like that. It would make people at least probably ask you first.

But if it were me, I'd encourage people to pet her, especially now while she's young and receptive. But I like a "friendly to strangers dog". I actually did ask lots of people to pet my dog, but somehow he ended up being the kind of dog that barks at strangers and doesn't want anyone new petting him. I must have done something wrong...
 

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I let my dogs sleep on my bed, I issue very few corrections, but very few corrections are needed.
I think the Sheila Booth book is excellent and I followed it as well.
I wanted my dog to experience everything as a pup, and I didn't limit his interactions with people, he is really only into me. But shows no reactive behavior to strangers.
The dog I have with temperament issues was socialized too, but she genetically is wired differently.
You can socialize the heck out of a dog and it can end up reactive. Or not take it everywhere and it will be just fine anywhere.
 

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I'm with Jane ^^

I kinda think your 'program' is to regimented:( I had the book Ruff Love and thought that to, was way to 'severe', tho it may be good for one who has problems with their dog.

I want my dogs to be part of the family, not in a crate most of the time or tethered to me, or not 'touched' by family members especially.

As for her barking, I agree with the others, she's probably having a good ole time and doesn't want the fun to end so she's telling you:)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sometimes I think that I read to much. I thought the barking was just the puppy being a puppy and trying to get me to play. Then I started reading articles about dominant and aggressive dogs and how it gets trained in puppyhood. I started worrying that perhaps something I was inadvertently doing was training her to be aggressive.

We have scrupulously avoided any corrections because we dont want to inhibit any of her instincts that might be required for schutzhund.
 

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Wow, you are way too strict. I am not a fan of Leerburg and would not follow too many of his recommendations. This is a puppy and think you are crating her way too much. I would have her out and about getting as many different people as possible to pet her. A SchH dog can and should be just as socialized, if not more, than a regular dog so they can learn what's threatening and what's not.

You do have to correct your puppy at times, it just depends on what she's doing wrong. It's always better to not allow any bad behavior in the beginning so she learns only good behavior, but you do get to the point where once she knows something you can expect her to do it. The corrections do not need to be harsh, but she has to learn that corrections do exist and she will not die from it. You can give corrections ranging from a verbal correction to lack of reward at this age.

Your puppy is barking at you to get you to keep playing with her. I would have let her out and started throwing her ball or taken her out for a walk to take off that last bit of craziness so she can settle down.
 

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i also think you are over analyzing and reading to many conflicting things.

I agree with letting her be a puppy!!!! and I agree with Elaine above
 

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I applaud your dedication to a program! Having said that, I totally disagree with Frawley's take on puppy raising. We have been doing Schutzhund and training K9 units for many years. EVERY PUPPY GETS SOCIALIZED with everyone we can get it to meet!!!!!! How does a dog know how to judge a person's body language and intentions if they haven't had the chance to learn what behavior is what.
We have had multiple dogs trial through to the SchH3 level with great scores, but above all with great joy in the work.
Let the puppy be a puppy, it needs to be silly, it needs to be cuddled and hugged. It needs to be corrected when wrong (in a manner that is just and understandable).
I like Michael Ellis stuff, but maybe you should look into getting some of Ian Dunbar's stuff to balance it out.
 

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A couple of things about Michael Ellis and pups. Someone asked him one time what would he do with a nippy pup and he said he would physically correct the pup (of course, within reason and with just enough to tell the pup to knock it off). Also, Michael is HUGE on socialization and being balanced in the way you raise the pup. If the pup is really into you already and gives you great attention and focus (velcro dog in the making), then get him out to meet as many new people as possible. If the pup is a social butterfly and you have trouble getting his attention in the company of other people, then you have to make his socialization experience more about engaging with you (engagement in the presence of distraction, basically). Same with crate/kennel time. Watch how the pup is developing and adjust his living environment and his training accordingly.
 
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