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I still realize pups are a gamble but the stinker does have some very nice hunt drive on him. And he is fascinated by the odor of human remains.

A lot of me says just let him grow up, use normal ball play to build his searching in different environments. And continue socialzing him to everything though nothing has phazed him in terms of surfaces, noise, darkness, large animals, etc.

Right now we are working with delays and blind searches for the toy.

I am a bit hesitant about scented toys because I think he is too young to quickly go through the training progression and I don't want a prolonged imprint phase of picking up scented toys.

When I got Cyra, I started her live find training young at 5 months and she picked up a lot of bad habits. I started HR training with Grim at 2 YEARS old and all the 'issues" we faced with Cyra (distraction, game chasing, etc) were not there because he had matured.......

I certainly know folks who are all about how a dog started as a puppy will be "better" but I am not sold on the concept. I had not even planned on getting a puppy but it worked out that way.

So what would you do with a young pup this age?
 

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The fascination with HR would be the same for animal remains. Just FYI. chunk out rotten hamburger and it will be the same. Not specific to HR
I would not be using an unscented toy. I agree with the necessity of removing the scented reward from the equation but search drills with JUST the toy is worse. Make sense? You are training the pup to find a ball. Do not want to do that much. Very difficult to get them off of that. Scent the reward in the strongest source of target odor and continue the blind retrieves with the search command. You can start putting the desired final trained response on the pup now. little short sessions. Always upbeat. I am doing the same thing with a five month old lab. put the dog up while he is still wanting to work.
 

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I can see your point on that one....that is a concern in the back of my mind because too much with scented balls and the toy becomes too much a part of the picture same with just the toy no scent.

I hear you on the generalized odor. He has located all of my animal distractors in my side yard. (outside of the fenced back yard) :) Even the cow skull hidden behind a shrub. The side yard is an area where I have done some drills, but I don't do a lot of training too close to my house.

So you are basically doing the same thing just shorter sessions.....do you do it over a longer time or just do less? Realistically how old before they are operational? I figured there was good reason for some of the tests saying 12-18 month minimum.

The scenario with him is he is pure energy and I don't want to run him on concrete but we need to do something to burn his energy - midday I can do our offlead walk but am and PM I am not going into any woods, even if it is posted because it is still hunting season (and midday I scout for signs of hunting such as corn, stands, etc)

I can't be on much today but what do you do to keep them from climbing the walls? I still do ball play with my cerrtified dog but his reward is tug and the only time we play tug is when we do HR work. I think this little fellow will have the same desire to tug, , but right now I am taking it easy on those transitional teeth.
 

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So you are basically doing the same thing just shorter sessions.....do you do it over a longer time or just do less? Realistically how old before they are operational? I figured there was good reason for some of the tests saying 12-18 month minimum.
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yes. GSDs mature slowly. I can rock with a lab or golden generally at 12months. I do not do that with my GSDS. I let them be a pup. I teach the final trained response that I will use apart from searching. It is a game at this point. I eventually put all of the components together:)
 

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So do you see a problem with throwing balls for the little monster several times a day? If I don't do something he will figure out something else to do. He is very energetic. I always end the game with him wanting more. That little thing called a job gets in the way :) but I do work from home. So ever few hours we chuck the ball some.
 

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I know about the job thing....:) I see no problem with that. He is a puppy. I throw cute stuffed mallard duck toys for my Golden. Did with all of them. plenty time for work.
I do however when outside,throw it where they have to use their nose. Dogs can get locked into sight retrieving.
 

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LOL in order to slow them down a bit and increase run distance I built a fence inside my fence. If I stand at the back door and throw to the right they have to run to the left to go through the gate and it totally messes with visual marking. ....So I get A good 300 foot run for each throw...and they have to hunt but not a ton.(Cul de sac lot)

Also do throw it out in an open field behind me full of chest high weeds.
 
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