New pup/ DIY training re-hash

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by constructeur, May 3, 2013.

  1. I've read previous threads here, talked to a few folks, and have searched the vast interwebs, but am still up in the air on the best route to train our future dog, a GSP male, that was born 2 days ago (we pick him up 3rd week of June.)

    Most of everything I've seen suggested here is specifically for Lab, or retriever training, and I'm just curious if if really matters what training regiment I choose so long as I stick with it. I'm in the middle of reading Wolters Game Dog (I love his premise that dogs should be able to work birds in any terrain) and am curious if those out there think I should skip Wolters and buy some pointer specific training, supplement with something, ??, etc. There seem to be too many options and trainer names for me to sort through and I need to get a plan together before the pup arrives and runs right over the top of us.
  2. constructeur, last year I got my first GSP and purchased Perfect Start/Perfect Finish. Great videos with excellent results so far. If you have the capability of burning DVDs you're more then welcome to borrow them.
  3. Constructeur - I used to live near where Wolters did and trained with a lot of his crew. While Dick had a number of books out he was primarily a gardener and a tinkerer. He trained and hung with a lot of pro trainers and was by all that I could gather a very solid trainer himself - but he was abut selling books. In his methods he never mentioned e-collars. The word from his former training companions is that he used them and used them well, but that if he covered them in his books his sales would likely be negatively impacted. However the fundamentals that he lays out are still the fundamentals. And everything in life from paddling Class V water to skiing steep slopes to the health of personal relationships with canines and humans boils down to fundamentals. All that being said, let me also say that I am a retriever guy who hunts mostly upland.

    Re your statement about dogs working in any terrain... No magic there. Once a young dog figures out that birds are good and that it is what they were born for they get super motivated and quickly figure it out. Each season I seamlessly move my dogs from ptarmigan in AK to grouse in WA, to sharptail and prairie chickens in SD, to pheasant in ND and then back to WA for more pheasant, quail, huns, chukar and grouse.

    Good and great resources in the pointer world likely exist, I just don't now of them. Your breeder should be a good resource for a trainer, and my suggestion is that you book a few afternoons with said trainer. Since you are obviously motivated to do this the right way, and since you are obviously spending the money on a quality pup, spend a few more hundred and get with someone who can show you a progression - but most importantly show you timing in working with your dog and timing in corrections. I have hung with Doug out at Canyon Creek in years past and I consider him a good trainer. He also has access to gobs of birds - which is essential in training any dog.

    Assuming that you are getting the pup at 7 weeks old your dog's brain will go through huge growth in the period from when you get them to about 14 weeks. Before you get to into training minutia consider those initial weeks. Do you have the crate set-up? A secure dog run in the back? Do you have your schedule cleared to spend as much time as possible with he / she? Most importantly what are you going to do with the pup for socialization? You will want to expose them to as many things as possible in those early stages. Some of the things that I do: take them into any and all retail stores that will allow it. Lowe's and HD are tops on my list - lots going on - lots of stimulation. Get them on laid back hikes - on snow, at the beach, in forests, in taller cover, get them into warm, shallow water to play. Let as many people as possible pet / play with / hold them. Travel with them everywhere that you can - hunting dogs need to travel and be comfortable with it. Show them at this early stage that the world is a great place, and they he / she is loved. It will build trust in your later training.

    Your pup should also be trained in this period, and at this stage EVERYTHING is training. But by 12 weeks old they should know (understand the meaning of and know the desired behavior associated with) "no" (a big one), sit and heel. "Stay" has no place in my world. If I tell a dog to sit they sit until told to do otherwise.

    Puppies are a great journey! Enjoy!
  4. First off, congrats . . . you have a magical & marvelous time ahead of you.

    I agree with Marty on everything except teaching a pointing pup to "sit." If desired, associate this command with "sit" after pup has the other lessons learned . . . finding & pointing birds/well-established prey drive, heel, stay/come. A pointing breed (unlike a duck blind dog) does all of their work from a standing position. Teach a pointer pup to sit & it will default to that position whenever it becomes confused (and there WILL be moments of confusion.). If pup gets tired & wants to sit, pup will sit . . . I just don't teach that command early-on. Also, a bit of time invested with a good trainer is both time & money well-spent. Apart from what has been stated, socialize, socialize, socialize; Hank still goes everywhere possible with me . . . and always will (I truly believe that Hank considers the little Jeep his, lol & I reckon that the back half is, lol.). He has also done a fine job of training me. Good luck & enjoy!
  5. Congratulations on becoming a "doggy daddy"! My "kids" are sacked out on the couch as I type... spoiled hounds! Wolters' books are "it", no question. Except with Irish Setters. I don't think Irish Setters can be trained to do anything except head for the pub...:D
    constructeur likes this.
  6. Thanks for the thorough reply Marty. We have thought of most of the prep type things you brought up, and I've even found a couple of large areas to run him in the city, and a few places to swim him that are close. I'll be able to take him to work, and our daughter is already the rage of the neighborhood with those that don't yet have a pup. He'll be socialized I recon.
    I have to admit the proactive attitude towards training is due to Upton O. Karl has also been helping our 10 year old out with weapons handling handling (she'll be taking hunter safety this Summer) so hopefully she and the dog will be able to get on well, and learn a bit together.
  7. Jim-

    Thanks for your thoughts. I've got a 92' Landcruiser, and the daughter/pals have claimed the 'way back' part for themselves and the future pup. I think having an active dog is another excuse to go outside, learn something, and burn a calorie, and I can't wait.
  8. You have a great summer & fall ahead of you. Hank spent the morning with me while I trimmed way too many shrubs . . . he was a perfect gentleman . . . no chasing the neighbor's cat, no chasing Robins (tho he did go on-point when a pair of Quail ran along the other side of the street.). Remember, the strongest drive that a dog has is to please the alpha/master. Once they "get things down," they will . . . every time. Even tho this old boy was exhausted when the chores were done, we played with his tennis ball for a while . . . Hank's reward. Don't train too hard during the first couple months; stay, come & no & in short sessions . . . let him be a pup for a while.
  9. I wanted to post an update.

    After a bit of furthur research I found the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association.

    After putting some thought into the plan and goals, I recon our (kidlet and I) hunting will be a bit like our fishing trips, fair-weather and opportunistic, so versatile and adaptability will more than likely be key.

    I also rang the PNW chapter president and was suggest to check out the Bob West DVD's and to read through Joan Baileys How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves for the puppy part of the training.

    So we joined NAVHDA, have another book and 3 DVDs in the mail, I've got a heap of new fence installed, and other projects like the dog door in the pipeline.

    I think we're on the path to puppy enlightenment :cool:
  11. constructeur, Congratulations on your new puppy. I have four GWP's, three of which are NAVHDA tested. I am always training and live in N.Seattle. If you would like to train, talk, etc. PM or e-mail Kirke
  12. [​IMG]

    Pretty poor lighting, but whatevs.

    I made a change in kennels (more on that at a later date) so we visited the new place, Sage Brush Gun Dogs in Ellensburg today, and Scott showed us 3 litters of puppies, a couple of super damn cute English Setter pups, and I got to meet his stud, a stout GSP named Willy.

    We've got one more visit in the plans, and pick up our pup in late July.
    Brett Angel likes this.
  13. Not sure if I mentioned it in our conversation, but that's were I picked up my GSP. Same stud and Minnie was the bitch. We were just looking at the new litters online and I've almost got my wife sold on another. Beautiful pup!
  14. Right on, Scott is a good egg. We've got a male pick on the Willy x Snap litter.
    Karl warned me this whole thing was a slippery slope, and the girls last night were also telling me that one dog *may* be lonely...there was talk of how cute the English Setter was.
    ribka, Guy Gregory and Brett Angel like this.
  15. Since the last update I've turned my wood raft bench front seat into a collapsible camp table/ NAVHDA style dog training table.



    The top is Finn-form, I had an ironworker bud of mine weld the angle tabs up, and the legs are from a left over sign stand (they extend out for use as a full height camp table, but for the dog training they're sturdiest down low.)

    I've found a different style of leash that seems cool, called a Jaeger lead, and have one on order with the French clip. Nuances eh? :)

    We're off in an hour for another pup visit, I'll post some more pics then.
  16. [​IMG]

    Piper made a pick today, This is Sage Brush Sol-leks. 3 more weeks till we bring him home. I'm chuffed.
    Brett Angel and Blake Harmon like this.
  17. Got our little man home late Friday. Saturday morning cartoons:

    Post 'pooped all over his leash and rolled in it' bath. His lesson to learn, now he smells like frou-frou lavender.

    He's already picking up on his name, 'come', and 'kennel' commands, which is a pleasant surprise for me. He chases our daughter around like he can't breath if she's farther than 5' away, what more could we want at this point?
  18. Cute pup!

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