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Powerstroke

Frustrated cry for help.....

9 posts in this topic

SO I picked up a English Springer pup in August. He was 7weeks when I brought him home. At the time I couldn't find any of Wolters books, only the DVD. The other training books I found, much like the DVD, didn't really focus on what to do in the first 4 months. I've tried to excite my dog about fetching and worked on sit and come. FInally my copy of Game Dog arrives and makes me seem like more poop puupy has been done a disservice by the poor level of work I've put forth towards him.

This is my first dog, if thats not too obvious. Now my pup is almsot 16wks and he hardly obeys sit and come and wont retrieve to me. He only wants to chem on the training dummies and its so hard to keep positive with him when he won't work on it. He's really smart and his natural instinct in the field is amazing. I will have to do very little to teach him how to work the field, but the basic things are killing me.

Is it time to pay a trainer? I don't want this pup to be ruined by me being a first time and amatuer. I also don't have an extra several hundred dollars lying around to send my dog away for a month or more.

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Okay. Here's the deal. First, take a couple of deep breaths. Maybe have a beer (if you're old enough to drink) and then go sit with your puppy and listen. To me and others. Your pup is just that, a puppy. Take the dummies away. Don't let him play with them. Store them. Start with a simple command. SIT. Work on it, over and over and over. He'll get it. Do the simplest trick to make him come to you.....with a 10-15' rope. Over and Over and Over. Remain calm. It is tempting to try to cram TOO much into a young dog. Don't do it or you truly WILL wreck him. When he is good and solid on ONE THING move to the next thing. Get basic sit, come, stay and then work on heel. Once he starts learning you are going to be surprised at how well he ENJOYS working with you and learning new things. Don't hurry. Hell, it migh be a couple years before he's as smart as you are. And he hasn't had as long to learn it.

Again now......relax....breath deeply, fondle the dog. etc.etc.

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find a group that works with dog like navhda there a lot of good help there and it take a lot of baby step to get even the simply thing done good luck and take your time

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Powerstroke-

The one book I tell all the people that have bought pups from me is HUP by James B. Spencer. A close second is The New Complete English Springer Spaniel by Julia Gasow and Edward K. Roggenkamp III. The second book is divided between the Bench and Field bred Springers but the field portion of the book is good. These books are geared twords the spaniels. Also as mentioned before there are many clubs that are specificaly for springers with many very knowledgeable spaniel people involved. There are 4 or 5 of them in Minnesota alone. Look for a web site called ESSFT(dot you know what the end of this is). This site has plenty and links to more info then you can imagine.

Hope this helps you out.

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You are correct that I need to take a deep breath. I needed it badly about the time I wrote that.

I'm not worried about my pup being smart. He shows glimmers of genius when he wants to. For me the difficult parts has been trying to develop consistancy. I realize I have high hopes and expectations.

He took crate training exceptionally well and for those that know springers, he has learned "OFF" too. This keeps him off my firniture, kitchen table, my kids and the neighbors.

Sit has become very difficult to repeat. He will do it when there is some form of incentive (bringing out food), but trying to repeat it has been a battle.

I do keep the dummies sperate and only use them when I'm trying to train fetch. Early on he would retrieve them to hand and was very excited about it just like in the books. Then he decided the dummies were just another chew toy. I bought some pheasant wings too since I can't get live or dead birds and he just trys to pull the feathers out and hides from me.

I have checked the ESSFTA website out before, but I find little info to use. Just a lot of info about past things. I may have to hang otu there more and find out how to network with other owners of this breed.

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First off congratulations on your new pup, second like the guy said relax, training a dog isn't rocket science, enjoy it, two main things you have to remember is patience and consistancy. I have had a few dogs and what I have learned is not to expect to much when they are young, and not to tell them to do something when they are young that you can't enforce. Joining a local club is a great idea lots of brains to pick and your dog gets used to being around other dogs and people. Have fun

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Powerstroke-

ESSFTA is the national organigation for the breed. There is another website ESSFT that has more info and links. Another website is spanieljournal. This has articles from pros with training tips. Another very good infomation site.

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Keep your training sessions short, 10 minutes max, concentrate on heel and sit, when he has them down, work on stay. Stay is tough for a younger pup. If you have time, do a couple sessions a day. Let him out to play for awhile first, hes a puppy, let him burn off some energy. Once you're done with the 'work' of heel, sit, stay, then get the dummy out for some 'fun' retrieves. Always stop throwing dummies before he wants to. Walter does a good job of talking about the basics. Patience and enjoy the pup! Before you know it, you'll have an old dog that just wants to lay there!

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I have a 1 1/2 yr old springer that I went through the basics last summer (05'). First of all, as everyone stated above, stick with just the basics for the first year. Stay calm and don't push or skip steps. I started with the sit, heal, stay. With a short lead on the pup I would walk a square. The pup will want to continue the line when you make the corner. With a sharp (but gently) tug give the heal (I actually use here) command. It may not seem like your doing much but it will show later on.

For the sit, take the same short lead and walk around (you could incorporate this into the heal square walk). When you come to a stop pull up on the lead and give the sit command. Pulling up forces the pup to drop his rear to make the situation more comfortable for him. Once he sits let of the lead. If he stands up, lift up again and give the sit command.

Once the pup begins to sit on command (without lifting up on the lead) incorporate an open hand in front of his/her face when you say sit. This will lead into the stay.

Get them to sit and hold the open hand out in front of them. I say stay but the sit command could be transformed into meaning sit and stay together. This should all be done on a longer lead now (30' or so). Start by walking a short distance (6-10') in front of of your pup saying the word sit or stay with the open hand up to him. If they break early don't yell at them or or say no. Just simply bring him back around next to you go back into a short walk with the heal/here and then sit. Try again. When they stay there for some time give the heal/here/come and if they don't come to you just lightly put reel them in with the lead. By reel them in I don't mean pull on them but when they give you some slack, take it up and soon they will be by your side.

Once you have a rock solid stay by just walking out in front of them a distance you are going to test this some. Do everything the same, but now go out in front and start walking side to side. Keep the open hand up to them and give the stay command. You'll eventually be able to disappear behind a car/vehicle/tree for a short time and then actually be able to give the command and walk around the house etc.

The sessions don't have to be that long but it works best to do it daily. I worked with him twice a day on all this above from May until Oct. the summer of 05'. I also had some live birds that I introduced to him during this time as well as introduced him to gun shots (.22 shot at a distance). I hunted with him the first year and this spring/summer really pushed the retrieve.

Just what seemed to work for me. Good Luck

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