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Manic German Shorthaired Pointer

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Clare&Oscar, Aug 15, 2009.


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  1. Clare&Oscar

    Clare&Oscar PetForums Junior

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    Hello all, I'm new to this forum business so please bear with me and I'll apologise in advance for not replying quickly as I don't get time to come on here often.

    I have a very hyper GSP and I'm tearing my hair out at the moment. He is 8.5 months old and he won't seem to calm down. We had a GSP for 10 years up until we lost him last year so we have had some experience with the breed but I don't remember it being this hard with him.

    Sorry if this post is long but so is the list of problems with Oscar! He pulls on the lead, we have tried treating when he is walking by my side but as soon as the treat has gone he lunges forward again and if there is any distraction (people, dogs, bikes, children, anything really) I have to brace myself as he tries everything in his power to get to it and I can't seem to keep his attention for more than a split second.

    He is currently being fed on a dried junior food and someone has suggested that I may need to reduce his protein intake but I'm not sure the best way to do this and still get him the nutrients he needs being a young dog.

    I have given up on puppy training classes as it is impossible to hold on to him with so many people and dogs around to jump on or run around. I thought maybe gun dog training would be a good idea but I need something very local as he really does not like going in the car at all. (sometimes sick and he will lay down as flat as possible to avoid being picked up to go in it even when he hears the keys rattle).

    There is absolutely no aggression in him but he is just so full on and bouncy when he sees anybody or if anyone comes visiting (which people are avoiding at the moment). Please help.
     
  2. SEVEN_PETS

    SEVEN_PETS PetForums VIP

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    I would try a headcollar to try and control him on walks. You could use a headcollar whilst training him to heel. A headcollar will give you control, and when you see other people, dogs etc, walk in the opposite direction until the distraction has passed or your dog has calmed down.

    I would say keep him on the junior food because he'll need the added nutrients for growth, especially as he is a large dog. I'd say keep him on the food until he is at least a year old.

    I would say start dog training classes again, and get them to teach you how to control your dog around distractions. It'll be good practice for walks, and you will find out the best way to control him. Maybe use a headcollar in the classes also.
     
  3. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    Hi,
    Obviously you need something which will motivate your dog,does he have any favourite toys,rather than using food,maybe a ball and try getting him to focus on you.

    What dry food are you feeding ? Some dry foods are not very good and do have a high protein content which can cause hyper behaviour.
     
  4. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    I would definitely stick with training classes, but look around for one that doesn't use a "one size fits all" approach - it could well be that for the first few classes, you need to work on getting your dog's attention on you rather than joining in with what the others are doing, and then gradually work up to joining the class. Ring round a few trainers, have a chat and see which ones sound best to you. Avoid ones who talk about "dominance" and focus on ones who use positive methods.

    How much physical exercise does he get? How much do you play with him? How much mental exercise/training do you give him?
     
  5. james1

    james1 PetForums VIP

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    I came across a GSP the other day who had a head collar and he was uder great control.
    Training classes - which ever you decide to go with will only benefit him, the idea behind them is to do it every day. Theres no point in attending them and then not following through with what you have learned.
    If you dont attend - you are besically going at this alone .... which if hes causing you trouble now will only get worse.
    Try to be consistent in your commands and dont use a variety of words for the same thing ie no, bad dog, off, oi, hey, name, come here. Use the same word for each behaviour you want correcting. But dont forget to praise whenthey are good - personally i dont use food as it doesnt really focus their attention on you, it focusses them on the food - which is not good :)
     
  6. Franklin

    Franklin PetForums Junior

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    Hi

    I haven't had a dog for very long, but he's a gsp x and thought some of the things I've noticed with mine might help....

    When I first got him he was having Vitalin puppy food, and although I expected lots of boisterous puppy behaviour I kept thinking there was a bit of a manic edge to it, so after some research went from vitalin (which is 32% protein) to arden grange puppy food (which is 26% protein if I remember rightly), and he has seemed to really calm down. It could be coincidence as a result of him maturing a bit but he just seems easier to manage. I changed his food quite slowly over several weeks but his calming down did seem to coincide with this.

    He also pulls like a maniac out on walks some of the time, and most of the time at class. They have recommended we use a gentle leader as a training aid, probably for the next year they said. Not suggesting it specifically for you as I don't know much about dog training myself but maybe its something to look into? Hope that helps.
     
  7. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    Food is an excellent training aid and motivator for many dogs. Sure, if you wave your hand about with food in it, the dog will focus on the food. The trick is to teach the dog that food, or whatever reward you use, is contingent on focussing on YOU ;)
     
  8. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Hi. Sounds as though he has way to much energy!

    What is he like if you take him somewhere and allow him off lead? Is he calmer?

    Are you planning on neutering him?
     
  9. james1

    james1 PetForums VIP

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    theres no trick to food use, the dog is only sitting as it can smell food, the dog is only staying because it can smell food, without the food it is likely that when the time is needed for the dog to come - sit or heel.... unless the scent of food is around you they wont do it instead trott of the other way.
    The trick is - in dog training to have the dog respect you enough to not need to be given treats or rewards for doing things it is more than capable off doing without them
    I dont know why anyone would suppliment their daily food with extra treats if more simpler methods will get the same results. What you end up with is a dog that could potentially walk off with anyone offering it food, a dog that is heavier than its recommended weight and a dog that wont do as you say (for long) unless it knows a treat is coming:rolleyes:
     
  10. james1

    james1 PetForums VIP

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    neutering wont stop disobedient behaviour - it will simply stop the ability to reproduce:confused:
     
  11. DevilDogz

    DevilDogz Guest

    Ahh so many people think it is a quick fix to a bahavioural related problem! :rolleyes:
     
  12. Vicki

    Vicki PetForums VIP

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    Why did you get a German Shorthaired Pointer? Since they are bred to be bird hunters they are very active and they need a lot of physical exercise. But most of all they need mental exercise. Bird hunting is of course the best activity, but there are other ways to exercise the dog mentally, for example obedience training, tracking or agility. They are also the perfect breed for skijoring.

    I also agree with colliepoodle that you should try to find a training class that uses positive methods. I believe that they can give you the help you need. Good luck!
     
  13. Vicki

    Vicki PetForums VIP

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    You really don't know what you're talking about. First of all, you need to make a distinction between a bribe and a reward. A bribe is when you use the food for example above the dogs head to make it sit. A reward is when you give the dog the food when it is already sitting. If you use treats correctly, i.e as a reward, you will never have any problems with your dog not listening or walking away when you don't have treats.


    I know this for a fact, because I have trained several dogs and also competed in obedience classes and I have always used treats as reward (but not as a bribe).
     
  14. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Neutering calms down male dogs, in my experience. It is not the be all and end all, but it does have an effect.
     
  15. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Very true, it does not cure all, but if can certainly help.
     
  16. james1

    james1 PetForums VIP

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    You must be having a laugh right? Treats are used to get dogs to do things or to get them to do things they are already doing yeah but why use them at all!??? If a dog doesnt do as you first say - it doesnt get your "bribe" it doesnt get your "reward". If it does do as you say then its gets the "bribe" it gets the "reward" for being good.
    If you want a dog to come away from another dog do you think it thinks 'right if I go the my owner ill get a juicy reward' or do you think it thinks 'if I go to my owner ill get a juicy reward' bribe/reward = no difference. The way you percieve it is nowhere near what your dog does.
    Your splitting hairs over nothing. Treats are the worst way to train a dog FACT. Do you see working dogs given treats or do you see them listening to what the owner wants them to do knowing praise or play will follow as a "reward!". This extends all across the range of working dogs: guide dogs, rescue dogs, prisons, police dogs ..... There is no room for treats end of - bribe or reward pah! I get the distincition but for a dog to simply stay at your heel, sit or come - the simplist commads there are - it gets a treat??? tosh. Theres really no room for you to question me or defend your methods its just plain lazy.
     
    #16 james1, Aug 15, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  17. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    It is whatever works for you and your dog.
    If food treats work then what's the issue ?

    Both of my dogs have been trained using treats (food)neither are overweight,both have excellent recall and both do as they are asked.Sometimes they are given a reward other times they are not.

    I trained by giving treats,however not all the time,when we were confident our dogs understood the command given,they would/wouldn't be rewarded.

    Dogs do something because there is something in it for them.

    .James I would be interested how do you train your dogs ?
     
  18. clueless

    clueless Banned

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    Agree with Sal I train my show dogs with treats I can take 9 of mine out together and they all come back no probs Always have trained with treats for over 25years now and never had a problem
     
  19. james1

    james1 PetForums VIP

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    I use basic 'your a good boy' principles with hand signnals (I sometimes make my own up) .... the initial stages are on lead and when he knows them they are done off lead.
    I have edited my post just incase you want to re-read it. I utterly do not see the point in using treats, im travelling 10 miles out of my way simply because all the classes locally use treats. I attended one where if the dog followed you it got a reward, if it sat by your side it got a reward. I though a big fat no to that, found another and from 14 weeks I havent used treats. Just a matter of patience when he gets it wrong:)
     
  20. clueless

    clueless Banned

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    Treats are the worst way to train a dog FACT


    Can I ask about your comment above. Is this you who is stating it is a Fact or have you got professional proof that it is ????
     
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