I'm at my wits end
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Thread: I'm at my wits end

  1. #1
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    Default I'm at my wits end

    I have been having A LOT of issues with my 9-10 month old lab. She has been back for about two weeks after being at a training kennel for 2.5 months. She knows how to heel, sit, whoa to sit (they specialized in pointers and taught this to her), shot over and she had been force fetched. All this is fine and dandy and she listens well... in the backyard... most of the time.

    Anywhere else she is uncontrollable even with a prong collar or an e collar. I can't even take her for a walk around my neighborhood without her forging ahead, pulling and pretty much choking herself when she sees a squirrel or someone playing with a ball. I live in the city so I'm limited in the type of exercise she gets. The trainer discourages playing fetch with her because she is OBSESSED with the ball/bumper and loses all focus. However I can't take her for walks because she is everywhere and once again I completely lose control when she sees a small animal or someone playing with a ball (she is screaming and pulling). She will not listen, not with food or force.

    I don't know what to do, I've called the trainers but they insist I keep working with her in the yard. I need to give her some sort of exercise so she doesn't go nuts and destroy everything. They also said her obedience would translate in the field, how would this work if I can't even get her to listen in a quiet neighborhood?

    Has anyone else had this issue? Should I try taking her to a local dog trainer for her obedience? I have a feeling the Gun dog trainer will continue to give me the same advice or discourage me from taking her out at all? I'm willing to do what I can but I do not want to have to keep her in the backyard and only take her out when the season begins. I do not want her for competitions, just a hunting partner who I could also enjoy as a pet in the off time. If my issues seem trivial or so simple to fix please forgive me, I am new to this type of training and I've never had these types of issues with other dogs.

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  3. #2
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    I think obedience would be a good place to start.

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    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    I've read through your previous posts.

    I'm not sure that this is the right type of dog for you, right now.
    When/if you decide to give up, I'll be willing to give her a shot.

    She sounds like the kind of dog that I like best.
    Last edited by copterdoc; 05-07-2015 at 10:25 PM.
    Considering the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that he did not also limit his stupidity". -Unknown

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    Senior Member GBUSMCR's Avatar
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    Obedience work for sure as 2.5 months really just got things going and nothing is solid yet. You might consider a Delmar Smith Wonder Lead for leash OB training. Some great discussion of its use on this site. I've never used it but filed it away for future reference. I work OB for all ages when walking my gang on leash for exercise. FWIW
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    Senior Member captainjack's Avatar
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    I don't take my dogs, especially young dogs on walks because I don't have the patience required to only walk about 30 feet when I go. Which is what you end up doing because as long as you continue to go forward when the dog is pulling, you are reinforcing that behavior in the dog. So when the dog pulls, you need to stop moving forward and bring the dog back to heel.

    2 1/2 months is not nearly enough time to engrain a behavior. Your trainer is correct in telling you to continue to work obedience in the yard. I've never heard of a trainer saying not to let a retriever retrieve. That makes no sense to me.

    My recommendation would be to buy Bill Hillmann's puppy DVD. You will learn how to balance the exciting work with the control work and end up after about 3 months of training, with a dog that will sit and walk on lead and will continue to progress with the work you will need for a hunting dog. Yes the puppy dvd (the original anyway) shows a pup from about 11 weeks to 5 1/2 months of age, but I've started a 7 1/2 month old right from the beginning with great results.
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    Quote Originally Posted by copterdoc View Post
    I've read through your previous posts.

    I'm not sure that this is the right type of dog for you, right now.
    When/if you decide to give up, I'll be willing to give her a shot.

    She sounds like the kind of dog that I like best.
    She's a great pup but I feel like she won't reach her potential with me. She just might be too much dog for me to handle. Even my sister who trains dogs has had a bit of trouble with her but it might just be that energy level of hers and my novice experience.

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    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfatomic View Post
    She's a great pup but I feel like she won't reach her potential with me. She just might be too much dog for me to handle. Even my sister who trains dogs has had a bit of trouble with her but it might just be that energy level of hers and my novice experience.
    It very well could be. Truly high-powered dogs are a handful for anybody.
    And usually overwhelming for a first-timer.
    Considering the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that he did not also limit his stupidity". -Unknown

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjack View Post
    I don't take my dogs, especially young dogs on walks because I don't have the patience required to only walk about 30 feet when I go. Which is what you end up doing because as long as you continue to go forward when the dog is pulling, you are reinforcing that behavior in the dog. So when the dog pulls, you need to stop moving forward and bring the dog back to heel.

    2 1/2 months is not nearly enough time to engrain a behavior. Your trainer is correct in telling you to continue to work obedience in the yard. I've never heard of a trainer saying not to let a retriever retrieve. That makes no sense to me.

    My recommendation would be to buy Bill Hillmann's puppy DVD. You will learn how to balance the exciting work with the control work and end up after about 3 months of training, with a dog that will sit and walk on lead and will continue to progress with the work you will need for a hunting dog. Yes the puppy dvd (the original anyway) shows a pup from about 11 weeks to 5 1/2 months of age, but I've started a 7 1/2 month old right from the beginning with great results.
    My sister actually started her off on the Hillmann DVD and the pup was doing great but still very 'obsessive' toward the bumper. Since I had her I've always done the stop and sit motion to the point here I stop and if she's ahead she'll stop and backtrack into the heel position but never stays in it very long. Either that or she'll be JUST out of position and she'll be jumping up and down or squealing on the walk. She has no concept of stay even though it's been something I've been working on, when that bumper is out it's 50/50 whether she'll break the sit. If there are no distractions she will stay but if I say any other word that is not SIT or if I make any noise, she breaks.

  11. #9
    Senior Member captainjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfatomic View Post
    My sister actually started her off on the Hillmann DVD and the pup was doing great but still very 'obsessive' toward the bumper. Since I had her I've always done the stop and sit motion to the point here I stop and if she's ahead she'll stop and backtrack into the heel position but never stays in it very long. Either that or she'll be JUST out of position and she'll be jumping up and down or squealing on the walk. She has no concept of stay even though it's been something I've been working on, when that bumper is out it's 50/50 whether she'll break the sit. If there are no distractions she will stay but if I say any other word that is not SIT or if I make any noise, she breaks.
    You need to do Hillmann. It's not for the dog's benefit so much as it is for your benefit. You need to understand and be able to apply what he is doing.
    Glen Guider, GA
    HRCH UH Candlewoods Captain Jack Sparrow MH QA2
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    GRHRCH UH Gandy's Ready for a Hurricane "Maggie" MH QA2
    Red Squad's Blue on Black "Jesse" MH QA2
    SML's Burn Notice "Fiona" QA2
    Red Squad's Randall Raines "Memphis"

  12. #10
    Senior Member Chris Videtto's Avatar
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    Sounds like your dog is driving the train! Maybe you and the dog need a trainer, someone to show you the ropes. Good luck with the pup and hang in there.
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