English Girls

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by summerkat, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. summerkat Active Member

    Hi all we are from England (Great Britain) well I am not only new to your site but to ever having any kind of animal. So I know you will be surprised when I tell you my first ever is.....( GSD ) she is just 2 days shy of 14 weeks old I got her at 8 week & 1 day. She is only breed I have ever wanted but the time had to be right. So any advice from you guys will be a god send she is a joy to train.

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  2. MaryK Honored Member

    Hi and welcome:) I too am English but currently living in Australia and my passion has always been German Shepherds, though at present I have a Kelpie X and a Blue Heeler.

    First, I would take your doggy to a Puppy Pre-School, she may be a little to old for some but there are ones which will take them up to 16 weeks old. Make sure they only use Positive Reinforcement Training, most vets hold puppy classes as this is a safe environment for a youngster. You'll learn heaps, plus your doggy (what is her name by the way) will get to socialize with others around her own age.

    Secondly, buy a clicker, they're cheap and the best training tool you'll ever have. If you're not sure how to use one, Kikkopup has an excellent video on starting to use a clicker. Your doggy will need to be 'loaded' with the clicker before you can use it in training. This is quite easy. Just get her facing you, do NOT ask for anything, not even sit, and then click/treat (use high value treats) at least five times in rapid succession. Then when you use the clicker for training, the moment she does what you want - i.e. sit - CLICK/TREAT. At first, with anything new she is learning, reward quickly with the treat after clicking, then as she become more used to the exercise you can leave a longer time between the click and the treat, but the click MUST still be right on the knocker when she does what you want. But DO make sure you click the nano-second she does as you want. Also if you click accidently, and it happens to us all, you MUST still reward. The clicker is the MARKER and if you click and do not reward it will become meaningless to your gal.

    A good exercise for you to do is to get some small toy, one which wobbles or moves is great, then get someone to start the toy in motion and you click the second it starts. Sounds a bit weird maybe, but it will sharpen your click rate which is important when using a clicker for training.

    I would also find a very good Positive Reinforcement Doggy School and enroll her. DO go down and check the school first before signing or handing over your cash. Any sign of anything other than P+ walk away, believe me it's not worth it to enroll with any other type of school. Personal experience here:) Most require the dogs to be three months old and of course be update with their vaccinations.

    You haven't said what your gal can do at present. If you would please list what she can do already, like sit etc. it will enable us all to help you with her training. Is she potty trained etc?.

    Do please remember PATIENCE AND LOVE, together with lots of praise, are essential elements in training your dog. She may be a fast learner or a slower learner all dogs, even ones from the same breed, learn at a different rate. As such it is important that you TRAIN AT THEIR RATE, not yours:) Frustration will set in at times, happens to us all even experienced trainers, and if that happens end the training session on a happy positive note, walk away and take some deep breaths LOL dog training is a wonderful way to learn deep breathing!

    Length of time in a training session. This will vary. Some youngsters (and even older dogs) have the concentration span of a Gold Fish, some just want to train and train and train,my Leaf is one who gives you a very surprised look and asks for more if you stop training under 30 minutes, but this is not the normal rule. The average time is around 15 minutes, though at school they'll do a full hour but it will be very varied work depending on the school.

    German Shepherds are very intelligent dogs and as you would know a working breed. As such they do require a good walk each day and plenty of physical and mental stimulation. Fail to do this and they'll make their own entertainment, which you'll probably not be exactly over the moon about:) But they are also grand couch potatoes, once they're had their walks and play, training sessions, more than happen to snuggle and watch a good movie with you.

    As I said earlier, if you could give some specific about your gal, it will be easier for us all to help you with training her. A well trained dog is a sheer joy to own. And above all HAVE FUN enjoy the puppy times, they don't last all that long.:)
  3. MaryK Honored Member

    Ooops sorry, just saw her name on the photo - my bad one of my cats is helping me type - ummm not sure how much though!:rolleyes:;):)
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  4. southerngirl Honored Member

    Welcome, Lia is precious. I have always admired GS. they have a very regal look to them. Great post from MaryK, I have nothing else to add to it.
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  5. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Welcome, and congratulations on finally getting a pet. I'm sure she is worth the wait.
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  6. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    Welcome! Beautiful girl you have there. Mary K has written a great post above and if you have a look around the site and dip into posts and feel free to ask as many questions as you need to. We all love to help!
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  7. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Welcome! Mary gave some great advice! Only thing I would add, is that even 15 minutes can be a little much depending on the dog. My dog is a border collie, and although she is very smart, a good training time for her is 5 minutes or less. Any more than 5 minutes and she gets frustrated and is no longer interested. Just experiment and find out what works best for your dog! Make sure you end when she's still having fun, not when she has already lost interest.
  8. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    Great point Kassidy.
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  9. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Hi and welcome! Leia is just beautiful. :love: Can't really add much to what's been said. I hope you'll come back and join in the forum. Enjoy your girl, they grow up so quickly! If we can answer any questions or help you with anything, please ask.
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  10. MaryK Honored Member

    Good point! Niamh (pronounced Neeve) an Irish Setter one of the other trainer's dogs at the school Leaf goes too has the attention span of about five minutes, even in class, but she's learning fast. Her handler does about three/four short five minute burst with her at home. In class she heaves a lot of sighs:D:rolleyes:
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  11. summerkat Active Member

    Well thank you all for such a great response to my post. Here goes Mary I have trained her already to ............................SIT, STAY, COME, OFF, UP, HAND SHAKE, GENTLY, OUT, FETCH, DROP, WAIT. Also she waits for OK when feed time, walks inline with me, taught her not to go in front of me be it stairs, walks, rooms. I house trained her in 4 days, also not to go on furniture. She is so eager to learn & this she does quickly I went to check out a puppy class on Sunday but to be honest really wasn't impressed as they had 3 classes in a small space all going on at 1 time it really seemed messy & they where all small breed dogs. I do need help in getting her to stop alert bark after she has alerted me that is.;) 009.JPG Leia 006.JPG View attachment 2799 View attachment 2799
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  12. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    Sounds like your doing great! (y) GSD's are generally very intelligent and a keen working breed. She looks gorgeous in your pics.
    With the barking - I found if you capture and teach a cue to bark then teach a cue to stop barking. I used clicker training for both of these and then added verbal cues and hand signals, BUT this can also cause more barking so it depends on your dog.
    Try having a read with some of these:




    Just ideas and I'm sure others will have a lot more ideas for you too!
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  13. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    I would also recommend having a look at kikopup on youtube. She has some great videos on a wide variety of training using positive training methods.
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  14. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I definitely found this to be true with Brody. He didn't bark a lot when we got him, but I thought it would be fun to teach him to bark on cue. That seemed to unleash his desire to bark, and he does not respond well to the quiet cue. My previous dog was a GSD/Chow who we adopted at age 7 years. She was very quiet, and we suspected she may have been hit for barking (she would close her eyes and turn away every time anyone reached a hand toward her nose). It took a long time for me to train the "speak" cue as she seemed very reluctant to bark in the house at all.
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  15. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    It is definately an iffy one to choose whether to teach with dogs as the quiet cue is a LOT harder to teach then the speak cue...
    Sorry to hear about you previous dog but at least she was adopted by the right type of owner in you for the rest of her life. I get so upset thinking that anyone could hit their dog for any reason :cry:. I don't know if Ripley was ever hit but I know that she shys away if anyone move a hand towards her too quickly so I suspect she may have been. Breaks my heart.
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  16. brody_smom Experienced Member

    It broke our hearts too. Every time she would lay her head on someone's lap and they would go to stroke her muzzle, she would wince as if anticipating something bad. My oldest daughter and I were in the room when she was euthanized 2 years ago, and we both were stroking her muzzle and marveling at how soft she was there, but it was the only time we were able to do it.
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  17. MaryK Honored Member

    Sorry for the delay in replying. You're doing really well in all that you've trained her, that's quite a list. I see you've already been given some excellent advice on the barking issue.

    What I do is when my dog(s) bark to alert (which isn't often with Zeus and Leaf they're both quiet dogs) I check out what they're alerting me to, and assuming it's all o.k., I then 'thank them' "good dog/name' and ask for 'quiet' and sit. The nano second they stop barking I click/reward.

    Blue Heelers are apparently notorious for being 'frenetic' barkers at least that's what I've been told, but Zeus calms the moment I ask for "Quiet" (and looks around for his treat of course). That he's never been a noisy dog does say that you can train a dog to not bark unnecessarily.

    From your post I understand she only barks when you're around????? Dogs can bark from sheer boredom if left alone too long without toys etc. to keep them interested in life.
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  18. MaryK Honored Member

    Also, the puppy school. Strange they have three classes all in the one area, that would be very noisy and confusing. I'd be looking a bit further afield, you need one where they have ONE class going at a time.

    I wouldn't worry about them all being small breeds, for some reason the puppy classes do seem to consist mainly of smaller breeds, but some places have classes for different breeds, i.e. small breeds in one class and larger breeds in another. I've taken GDs to puppy school where my dog was the only 'big' dog, didn't seem to upset or worry anyone at all:) Could be why she always loved small dogs and human babies;)
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  19. summerkat Active Member

    I am sure that I did state on earlier post that my GSD puppy of 18 weeks does not ever get left alone for more than 20 minutes and even that is not very often. My original post/question was how to get her to STOP after the alert bark particularly with my ex-mother-in law as for some unknown reason she just wont quiet until she goes. She is not an annoying vocal dog at any other time just need to know how to get her to STOP, I have already tried the ( Thank you, treat good girl treat. Not worked its getting where I have to put in another room & shut the door which I don't want to do as she will feel excluded from what is going on. Also tried > No Leia, / Quiet/thank you. xx
  20. running_dog Honored Member

    Have you managed to sort this barking out yet Summerkat?

    I was wondering whether Leia goes quiet when she's been shut in the other room? Then you could put her in the other room when she barks and when she goes quiet you could reward her by letting her back in.

    You didn't say whether you use a clicker. If you do (and Leia understands the principle of the clicker) it is a LOT easier to capture the behaviour you want. If you click (and treat) the instant of silence when your dog draws breath between barks then your dog will eventually get the idea it is getting a treat for not barking. You just can't do that without a clicker.
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