New Member + New Pup

General Brittany Discussion

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Did your Britt make you laugh today? Did he do something so smart, you are blown away? Those puppy teeth causing you to tear up, and you need an outlet? Or do you want to post a picture of his or her latest point? This is the place for it!
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brittanydog
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New Member + New Pup

Post by brittanydog »

Hi there

I just thought I'd join the forum to post a picture of my new dog. I'll probably not post much I just come on here to read about other brit owners experiences. Here is a picture of our new pup, his name is Bobby. We would like Bobby to be a pet and a pointing field dog so we are doing some training with him at the moment. He loves the training and is very intelligent. The only behavioral issue we have encountered so far is a bit of demand barking, only directed towards me. The way we are handling that is to ignore Bobby until the barking stops.

The nipping is pretty intense right now as well, but we are confident he will grow out of it.

Anyway thanks for reading.
Adam

Image

http://imgur.com/gallery/XaD5lN2

PCTech01
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by PCTech01 »

WOW! What a good looking pup! That face made my heart skip a beat!

Cindy
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by Cindy »

VERY handsome boy!!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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gagesbarb
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by gagesbarb »

Welcome! What a cute boy! How old is he? JJ is a big demand barker...can certainly be annoying but he is much better as we try to do as you suggest and ignore him (problem is he barks at me, and then looks at me, perking up his ears, and looking adorable...hard to ignore him). He was about 5 yrs old when we adopted him, so good for you to get a handle on this behavior right away...much easier to get it at the beginning than to "un-do" it.

brittanydog
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by brittanydog »

Hi there

I wasn't able to login or respond for a few weeks (I'm not sure why), it was likely my computer...

Thanks for the replies. Bobby has finally given up the demand barking and has lightened up on the nipping as well. It might sound weird but I've found the more I do with him in terms of activities, and off-leash time etc. the better he behaves. Generally, the weekends are the best because that is when he gets in multiple hours of extended play with us and other dog friends. Some days throughout the week it is a bit tough to get 2+ hours of walking and sniffing, but we are getting used to Bobby's exercise requirements.

Bobby is quite receptive to training, and I can see the desire for direction when I say "focus" he stares at me waiting for direction. Currently, I am working on loose leash walking. I can lure bobby around with a treat, so he can position himself right at my heel and sit until we start walking. Generally we are able to get a few steps in before Bobby lunges forward to smell something nasty or bite a leaf blowing by on the sidewalk. I am following a positive reinforcement training style, so there isn't a whole lot of correction or modification of undesirable behaviour such as lunging ahead. I'm a bit stuck at this point though, I'm confident Bobby understands the commands, it seems he simply doesn't want to comply, perhaps due to his age, or hormones or whatever.

Do any of you have any experience training Brittany pups that might offer some guidance, on how to actually get a Brittany pup to heel? I'm registered in formal training programs but to be honest, the instruction is light, and there are a lot of dogs in his class that need more help than Bobby. It has also occurred to me that I might have too high an expectation for a 4.5-month-old pup.

Here is a new video of Bobby doing what he loves, running through long-grass and finding dead snakes and other gore.

https://youtu.be/Q5_j3kNU2B8

Thanks
Adam

gagesbarb
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by gagesbarb »

Glad to hear from you and what a beautiful boy! Love to watch joyful dogs...congratulations that he checks back with you!
also--thank you for using positive reinforcement...I belong to a dog club that offers puppy classes and "family dog" classes; we are exclusively positive, force free trainers and appreciate hearing others are applying these methods...a couple of thoughts about loose leash walking-- it is a hard behavior to get consistently...your guy, being young, makes it more of a challenge. I really don't think he doesn't want to please you, but as a trainer told me once, he has many thousands of years of genetics leading him to follow his nose :lol: I would suggest a no pull harness (leash hooks in front; I like freedom harness brand, but there are many different ones; careful about "easy walk" brand as my dogs have pulled out of them)...these discourage pulling...won't stop it entirely, but helps, and let's you take a walk without stopping every two feet or letting the dog "practice" pulling. In our classes, we do "clicker training," i.e. use a marker (clicker), to reinforce frequently when the dog is not pulling...the clicker let's you "mark" the desirable behavior quickly...overall, with loose leash walking, same principle as not responding to barking, i.e. focus on what you want and ignore (stop) when dog pulls. We actually start by having your dog face you, "click/treat" when the dog gives you attention and leash is loose; you take a step back (moving backwards encourages the dog to follow) and click/treat when the dog follows you, keeping leash loose; gradually take more steps, clicking/treating frequently. Then you pivot so dog is at your side, and continue click/treating ALMOST EVERY STEP for loose leash; frequency of reinforcement is important...you are competing with all those interesting smells and sights in the world... This is hard to describe (sorry) and sorry also for going on and on; you may want to do some reading. Karen Pryor is the trainer who starting applying clicker training with dogs...lots of others...we recommend Peggy Tillman's Clicking with your Dog book--easy read and lots of practical suggestions...many other books and approaches, but maybe these will get you started. Let us know how it goes :D

Cindy
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by Cindy »

Loved the video! That's what we call Brittany heaven. There's nothing they love more than a big field with lots of stuff to put their noses in!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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brittanydog
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by brittanydog »

gagesbarb wrote:Glad to hear from you and what a beautiful boy! Love to watch joyful dogs...congratulations that he checks back with you!
also--thank you for using positive reinforcement...I belong to a dog club that offers puppy classes and "family dog" classes; we are exclusively positive, force free trainers and appreciate hearing others are applying these methods...a couple of thoughts about loose leash walking-- it is a hard behavior to get consistently...your guy, being young, makes it more of a challenge. I really don't think he doesn't want to please you, but as a trainer told me once, he has many thousands of years of genetics leading him to follow his nose :lol: I would suggest a no pull harness (leash hooks in front; I like freedom harness brand, but there are many different ones; careful about "easy walk" brand as my dogs have pulled out of them)...these discourage pulling...won't stop it entirely, but helps, and let's you take a walk without stopping every two feet or letting the dog "practice" pulling. In our classes, we do "clicker training," i.e. use a marker (clicker), to reinforce frequently when the dog is not pulling...the clicker let's you "mark" the desirable behavior quickly...overall, with loose leash walking, same principle as not responding to barking, i.e. focus on what you want and ignore (stop) when dog pulls. We actually start by having your dog face you, "click/treat" when the dog gives you attention and leash is loose; you take a step back (moving backwards encourages the dog to follow) and click/treat when the dog follows you, keeping leash loose; gradually take more steps, clicking/treating frequently. Then you pivot so dog is at your side, and continue click/treating ALMOST EVERY STEP for loose leash; frequency of reinforcement is important...you are competing with all those interesting smells and sights in the world... This is hard to describe (sorry) and sorry also for going on and on; you may want to do some reading. Karen Pryor is the trainer who starting applying clicker training with dogs...lots of others...we recommend Peggy Tillman's Clicking with your Dog book--easy read and lots of practical suggestions...many other books and approaches, but maybe these will get you started. Let us know how it goes :D

Thank you, it wasn't hard to understand at all, I appreciate the detailed response. I haven't tried backing up and getting Bobby to follow me, that could work! We opted to use our voice we just say 'yes' to mark good behaviour. I'm not sure if I would have enough hands to hold the leash, click the clicker, and hand over the treat in time to actually reinforce the good behaviour. I think I'd need a third hand. lol.

Also I appreciate the feedback about the harness, I'll definitely invest in one, when Bobby pulls sometimes I think his eyeballs are going to pop out of his head, even as a puppy my hand is red from holding the leash I shudder to think what it could be like with a full grown stronger dog.

I'll be sure to come on from time to time with progress updates. I also post videos on my Youtube page.

Thanks
Adam

brittanydog
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by brittanydog »

Cindy wrote:Loved the video! That's what we call Brittany heaven. There's nothing they love more than a big field with lots of stuff to put their noses in!

Thank you Cindy, I know what you mean. I love seeing Bobby so happy out there doing his thing.

gagesbarb
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by gagesbarb »

I know what you mean about trying to juggle leash, clicker and treats...we teach people to hold the leash in the same hand with the clicker, with the button on the clicker under your thumb (a clicker with a button may be easier than a box clicker); you can certainly use "yes," although the "click" seems to "get through" a little more than your voice, which the dog is more used to...it is awkward, but does get easier with practice...you might also look into a hands free leash or make one--get a heavy duty belt, a carabiner...knot the leash to the carabiner (using several ties so it is secure) and hook it on the belt...then you have two hands free (we only suggest this to people who are pretty stable on their feet...last thing you want is to be pulled over by your dog)...also, get a food tube (camping equipment), put canned dog food mixed with peanut butter, cream cheese, braunschweiger, etc. in it and you can squeeze a little out quickly to reinforce the dog. You have to have a high value treat to compete with the world and be able to deliver the treat quickly and frequently :lol: I often have people use a hunk of string cheese, which dogs seem to love, but rather than cutting it into little pieces and trying to get it out of your hand quickly, just let the dog lick the cheese stick hold the stick itself, not the cellophane or the dog will pull the whole stick out of the package)... Holding the leash (and clicker if you use it) in the hand opposite to the side you eventually want the dog to walk allows you to deliver the treat by the side you want the dog, encouraging the dog to be there...Again, it does seem awkward at first, but having the right equipment, and practicing in your kitchen where distractions are minimized, can help...there are videos/detailed descriptions of all sorts of ways of teaching loose leash walking...clickertraining.com is one source...thank you for sticking with a positive approach!!

AuntieMom
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by AuntieMom »

Bobby is adorable. He seems really good for such a young pup. Yes, they have all that energy but that is what you get with a Brittany.
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brittanydog
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by brittanydog »

gagesbarb wrote:I know what you mean about trying to juggle leash, clicker and treats...we teach people to hold the leash in the same hand with the clicker, with the button on the clicker under your thumb (a clicker with a button may be easier than a box clicker); you can certainly use "yes," although the "click" seems to "get through" a little more than your voice, which the dog is more used to...it is awkward, but does get easier with practice...you might also look into a hands free leash or make one--get a heavy duty belt, a carabiner...knot the leash to the carabiner (using several ties so it is secure) and hook it on the belt...then you have two hands free (we only suggest this to people who are pretty stable on their feet...last thing you want is to be pulled over by your dog)...also, get a food tube (camping equipment), put canned dog food mixed with peanut butter, cream cheese, braunschweiger, etc. in it and you can squeeze a little out quickly to reinforce the dog. You have to have a high value treat to compete with the world and be able to deliver the treat quickly and frequently :lol: I often have people use a hunk of string cheese, which dogs seem to love, but rather than cutting it into little pieces and trying to get it out of your hand quickly, just let the dog lick the cheese stick hold the stick itself, not the cellophane or the dog will pull the whole stick out of the package)... Holding the leash (and clicker if you use it) in the hand opposite to the side you eventually want the dog to walk allows you to deliver the treat by the side you want the dog, encouraging the dog to be there...Again, it does seem awkward at first, but having the right equipment, and practicing in your kitchen where distractions are minimized, can help...there are videos/detailed descriptions of all sorts of ways of teaching loose leash walking...clickertraining.com is one source...thank you for sticking with a positive approach!!

Hi there

Just as an update Bobby is getting much better, it took a while. But if I am honest about it it was more of a persistence thing than anything else. I bet I spent about two weeks, or so, working on loose leash walking with Bobby, always after his hard run, so he was a little more relaxed and giving automatic focus. I did get a harness, not the one you recommended, only because I didn't have enough time and the shop didn't have that exact harness but they had something similar. It helped a lot, thank you.

I noticed the trainer did something unusual when she was demonstrating loose leash walking with Bobby and what that was is that she allowed Bobby to walk behind her, and let the leash actually wrap around the back of her legs, so Bobby was pulled in much closer to her left heel, at first I thought it seemed a bit dangerous to do that, but it actually seemed to work for Bobby, I've noticed when I walk with him now and I have the leash in my hand loosely he tends to stick closer to me then he does if I have a good grip on the leash with both hands. It is sort of counterintuitive but it's working, so I'm going to stick with it. The trainedr also showed us how to lure the dog back in to position so he is always facing the same direction and right at my heel. Bobby still occasionally pulls ahead a bit but he is getting it...

Thanks again for all your help. I'll come on here from time to time with questions and updates.

Merry Christmas everyone.
Adam

brittanydog
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by brittanydog »

AuntieMom wrote:Bobby is adorable. He seems really good for such a young pup. Yes, they have all that energy but that is what you get with a Brittany.
Thanks! We are thrilled with him, so glad we held out to get a Brittany. He is definitely making an impression on our family and friends.

gagesbarb
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by gagesbarb »

Sounds like you are making great progress :D Thanks for letting us know...and please keep the updates coming :D :D :D so nice to hear when things are settling in...as with all of us,
two-legged and four-legged, nothing is ever perfect, but when that little (and big) pup leans up against you, or puts his chin on your knee looking up at you, or sprints around the yard with pure joy, who cares about those imperfections :lol:

brittanydog
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Re: New Member + New Pup

Post by brittanydog »

gagesbarb wrote:Sounds like you are making great progress :D Thanks for letting us know...and please keep the updates coming :D :D :D so nice to hear when things are settling in...as with all of us,
two-legged and four-legged, nothing is ever perfect, but when that little (and big) pup leans up against you, or puts his chin on your knee looking up at you, or sprints around the yard with pure joy, who cares about those imperfections :lol:

Tell that last part to my wife. Every day it's like Christmas when I return home to see that Bobby is still there, let's just say Bobby hasn't won over everyone yet. Have a great holiday. Adam

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