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NWBuck

"High strung" GSP

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NWBuck

Thought there would be someone on here who could give me some advice...

I have a female gsp whose 2nd birthday will be Monday. When we're hunting, there's never any doubt in my mind I chose the right one from the litter. Hard charging, high energy dog with a great nose. Points solid, loves to retrieve and works beautifully in range with an occasional nick from the collar. If all a person ever did with her was hunt upland, field trial, whatever...I think you'd consider her an ideal dog.

It's the stuff at home that's got me considering getting rid of her. I've trained my share of dogs, but never had one that simply does not respond to my commands unless she wants to. And believe me, "keeping it fun and playing it cool" does nothing but encourage her to even worse behavior. The collar makes her very obedient, but she can't live her whole life with that on. Way too high strung to trust her with the kids alone outside, and now she's jumping the backyard fence and raising @#$% in the neighborhood. When I go get her back and reprimand her, it's obvious I could kennel her up, and 5 minutes later she'd do the same thing if given the opportunity.

And yes, she typically gets plenty of exercise. She has a big back yard to run, and we can throw the dummy, etc. back there regularly as well. It's just recently (primarily due to deep snow) that she's figured out she can escape by jumping the fence.

What are my options? Tips from those who've had similar experiences? Would having a litter of pups help, or just produce another batch of high strung little pointers? Thanks in advance.

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setterguy

By saying she gets plenty of excersize what is she doing? Is she simply running in the back yard? I'm not trying to be a jack a$$ but some of these pointing breeds will need in excess of 2 hours of running a day. She is only two so still very young and this will probably be the WORST time of her obedience. She is now old and big enough to get into all sorts of trouble, but still young enough to think she can get away with it. A tired dog is an obedient dog.

As far as jumping the fence, I would set her up while wearing the collar and burn her. I wouldn't normally suggest this but when the dog's saftey is involved I would rather sting em with the collar than have them meet the front end of a Ford.

Run her, work on obedience every day. It will get tiresome but she will figure it out. If you give up she won.

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nofishfisherman

A dog like that may need more exercise then being let to run in the backyard with some time chasing the dummy thrown in.

I have a 1 year old Vizsla and high energy might be an understatement when describing him at times. Exercise is key to keeping him from driving me crazy. And by exercise I don't mean letting him play in the yard, I mean a solid hour+ everyday at the local dog park where he can run full speed with other dogs the entire time, plus usually another hour of either chasing the dummy or maybe a run later in the day. If I can do that for him it helps take the edge off of his energy.

I find that talking him for walks doesn't help much since a 2 mile walk to him is like a nice little warm up. You'd have to walk 10+ miles to slow him down at all. Now that the ice is off the sidewalks I've been taking him running with me and that seems to help as well but it doesn't replace his time at the dog park. While he's at the park he can burn all that crazy energy and do all the stupid things dogs want to do.

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CJH

Definitely increase the exercise as much as you can. When they are that young, their energy is almost limitless.

We have a skinny field lab with insane amounts of energy (he runs circles around our friends GSP's), and he is just starting to settle down (slightly) at the age of five. We walk and run him everyday. Period. No exceptions.

Run her till she drops. Be diligent with training.

It will get better, but it sounds like she will always be a high energy dog. If its not a good fit than start looking at alternatives.

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JayinMN

Quote:
When I go get her back and reprimand her, it's obvious I could kennel her up, and 5 minutes later she'd do the same thing if given the opportunity.

Unless your catching her in the act of going over the fence and can stop her at that moment, there is no point in reprimanding her when you finally do catch her. Dogs live in the present, she has no idea what she is getting in trouble for when she gets home or why she is in a time out. Dogs aren't children, the only thing a time out does is gives you time to cool down. That is fine, but don't expect the dog to understand they are put in a time out for running away. It will never make the connection and she is going to do it again 5 minutes later. When you find her out of the fence and reprimand her what your teaching her is not to get caught next time and to keep running. If your punishing her when you get her home, you are way too late and she is not making any association to what she is being punished for. You should be praising her for coming back to you.

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rmkod

Like most said vigorous exercise will probably help. I trained mine to run on a treadmill which really wears her down. Not sure why you would ever think of breeding her. From what you say this isn't a dog that should be contributing to the gene pool.

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NWBuck

An old training thought, but simply not true with some dogs, and Pepper is one of them. The minute she makes eye contact with me, she knows full well why she's in trouble. Even while working the training dummy in the back yard, it is common that she'll bring it right back for 2 or 3 reps, and from then on, run off with it while looking back at me as if to say "I dare you to do something about it"...

And as far as exercise goes, I couldn't take her to any "doggy park" and have her run as much as she does in an hour in the back yard. Run her till she drops???? Not possible within human limitations with this dog. These are all strategies I've heard and or used numerous times with other dogs in the past, but Pepper seems to be breaking the mold, and I'm not sure what to do.

As far as breeding goes, she comes from great blood lines, and I've known others who claim that often times a female will settle down to some degree after whelping a litter of pups. Not sure if that's a smart move or not, but thought maybe an option...

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LABS4ME

breeding her will do nothing to tone her down. She is who she is... that is an old wive's tale.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Todd Caswell

There is a saying that goes like this " A good dog is a tired dog" I don't have pointers ,I have labs and my trial dog is a bit like this. Don't get me wrong he's a good dog, house dog , never wrecked or chewed anything but he's an even better dog after his daily training session.

Sounds like your dog may need more of a routine, daily training sessions that obviously involve exercise but also mental challenges as well. Free running in the fenced yard may be counter productive if thats your only outlet for exercise. And throwing a bumper for her isn't doing much either unless theres some structure to it.

I don't believe breeding her will have any effect.

She just needs structured exercise and lots of it.

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gspman

Exercise her hard. Get a roading harness for her and have her pull some weight (chains, welding cable, etc...) with it. Also for the retrieving issue you need to make her come back to you with the dummy. Returning is not optional. You need to make her come back. Put her on a check cord and when she doesn't come back on her own reel her in. Also some more advanced training like steady to wing & shot, backing, stop to flush, etc. might also make her more obedient. Having said all that she is only 2 and still a pup in many ways. She'll grow out of it some. If she has that much run in her you might consider field trialing her.

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kentuck_ike

What % protein is the food you are feeding? Protein in some dogs can be like caffine or sugar in little kids. If you are feeding a high protein food it may help to cut it back a ways. Is her [PoorWordUsage] mush or sticky? This can be another sign of too high of protein.

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NWBuck

That's a good point...it is a high protein food recommended by the vet because she's a very thin dog who struggles to keep on weight.

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LABS4ME

I'd say you need a higher fat content.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Walleye Widower

I'd Keep feeding her good food…

Protein in some dogs can be like caffine or sugar in little kids. If you are feeding a high protein food it may help to cut it back a ways. Is her [PoorWordUsage] mush or sticky? This can be another sign of too high of protein.

Do you have anything to back this statement up?? If true I will be adding more protein to my pups diets grin

I agree with the people who say physically AND MENTALLY wear her out. I have German Shepherd Dogs that are VERY high drive (=high energy), which is exactly what I look for in a dog; I compete with them. Learn how to use the drive in training and you will have a very good dog. I take all that energy and put it into something productive.

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Walleye Widower

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FCspringer

Walleye W makes a good point. The fact is in all gun dogs they come from what is classified as a "Sporting Dog" group. That says it all. yes many gun dogs are taught well and are great house pets. But there are many unruly ones as well. It is important to remember when you get a gun dog or a hunting dog, and you want one because you love hunting. You just obtained a sporting dog. They are not for setting aside for 9 months of the year and then used at our convince. They need to be run, trained, and be involved in our lives as well. One of the biggest mistakes people do is the "FREE RUINING" as a young dog. If this is what it learns for the first 2 years of it's life, then why be surprised when the dog is bigger and bolder, that it wants to run more. You need to set up structured training for the dog. If you can't do it, you will have to get help at an obedience trainer. You have to stop the free running and put the dog on a structured plan. The rest of the time until it is trained properly it needs a kennel. Once you have established obedience, and get a structured training or exercises plan. All will be well. You were using positive reinforcement training, thats fine. But too many Novice trainers do not know how to read a dog. Some are soft and thats all that works. Some are bull headed and need a much more firm approach, fact of life. You may need to be more firm in you approach to training this dog. A trainer that has worked with both Soft And Hard dogs understands this. It is often that free ran qute puppy for the kids to play with that get this way. Free running and no structure as a pup will lead to an out of controll pet.

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NWBuck

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Walleye Widower

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JayinMN

Quote:
An old training thought, but simply not true with some dogs, and Pepper is one of them. The minute she makes eye contact with me, she knows full well why she's in trouble.

Dogs are not humans and do not think or reason like we do. When you make direct eye contact with her she is either going to look away, act submissively or avoid you because with dogs direct eye contact is a domineering/threatening posture. Dogs evolved as pack animals and by doing so they evolved behaviors to help avoid conflict amongst them. Showing submission when you stare directly as her is the same thing she would do to another dog that is higher ranked then her. If neither dogs looked away a more threatening display would result and then a fight if neither one was willing to submit. As I already stated dogs are masters at reading our body language and she is responding to you the only way she knows how to, as a dog. What your doing is applying your emotions and reasoning to her behavior by thinking she understands her wrong doing when she doesn't. She is just reacting to your body gestures and tone of voice in an attempt to avoid a conflict. Training is all about the right timing and if you don't get the timing right your going to have problems. You wouldn't praise a dog your teaching to sit ten minutes after it sat and had already gotten up and walked away would you? Of course not, it doesn't make any sense. For for some reason people think its makes sense to discipline a dog that did something wrong 5-10 minutes or even hours later.

Exercising, training and discipline at the RIGHT time are going help you and dog. Good luck.

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setterguy

Very well said. I wish I could use that excuse with my wife.

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kentuck_ike

I discussed the protein in dogs = sugar in kids, with a vet at pheasant fest. I don't recall his name, but he is called Dr. B and I do have his phone number if you would like it. He works specificly with breeders, and prefers sporting dog breeders. I also agree with physically & Mentally wearing out sporting dogs. But if you do have a high energy breed and get a pup that is sensitve to protein it can a very hard dog to control.

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Walleye Widower

I discussed the protein in dogs = sugar in kids, with a vet at pheasant fest. I don't recall his name, but he is called Dr. B and I do have his phone number if you would like it. He works specificly with breeders, and prefers sporting dog breeders. I also agree with physically & Mentally wearing out sporting dogs.

Thanks and thanks for the offering up the contact info but not necessary (I did a little research on it last night), I just never have heard that before.

I dont know if I fully agree that using food to control energy levels is necessarily a good thing to do, I choose to feed what the dog really needs. If it makes the dog crazy then I will deal with it as long as it is healthy.

Good point though, sorry to highjack.

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vister

We've had several gsp's. To be honest I don't think they slow down at any age! My last dog was high strung, very high strung. After a few hours afield I'd give her a few tablespoons of honey. Then had to try keepin up with her. Made the mistake once, only once of given her honey before the hunt. Needless to say we didn't get any birds that day!

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Selmer

NWBuck, how are you coming along with this? We have a 14 month old Weimaraner that tends to have similar behaviors, although she hasn't had a chance to jump the fence in the backyard yet and I haven't gotten her into lots of birds yet, that comes this fall up here in MN and over in SD. We'll have to bring her over next time we're down - my wife was wondering if I'd talked to you lately on here so I did a quick search and found this - she has a bet that you call the dog "Pep" when using commands because you insist on dogs having a single syllable name. smile

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Acemac

she obeys with the E collar.... Sounds like the problem is solved if she is out of the kennel she has her E collar on. the collar did exacly what it was bought to do.

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