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Thread: New Member wanting GSP advice

  1. #1

    New Member wanting GSP advice

    Hi all I have a 6 month old GSP bitch called Skye, im hoping she will become a fully trained all round h.p.r dog for all uses including deer. She already has learnt so much basic obedience and has just about grasped initial retrieving into wind out in the open. I will at some point in the very near future be introducing her to tracking on a blood trail. I am fully aware she is still young and we have so much further to go, however as she will soon become a "teenager" I was hoping to get some advice on how I can keep going over initial obedience training to really drill it into her for future life without her getting bored? she has a very active brain and is not boystrous or mischevious yet, but she is highly intelligent and sometimes acts as if to say "come on Chris I know this! tell me something I dont know!"

    any advice greatly appreciated

    Many thanks
    Chris

  2. #2
    So, my advice for all its worth.
    REMEMBER she is a pup and as such she will think like any adolescent child, she will try thing an adult might stay clear of!
    eg as a child, teen, I would have taken on any heavy weight boxer going and taken a pasting for doing so, as an adult I would not try it as I had more sense.
    Your pup will tackle anything, will try harder to please you than she needs to and might well damage herself both physically and mentally in the process.
    Just stick to exercising her and basic obedience in a playful manner and let her have her childhood until she is older.

  3. #3
    I'd second what Levigsp says, let her have her 'childhood' before taking on too much, theres plenty to do with basic obedience in the meantime.
    I found that making games or doing things in different situations helps vary and enforce the basics (making her sit/stay around livestock, near roads. getting her to heel while you change directions, variations on recall scenarios). each example will be a new lesson learnt.
    You're right in trying to keep her attention and interest, exercise alone isn't enough unless you want fit bored dog, so personally Id be doing as much as possible on the basics in different ways or in different places, plus letting her get her own confidence by letting her explore her world.

  4. #4
    Not trying to teach my Granny to suck eggs,don't know what experience you have of GSPs but they are very slow to mature I find they don't
    Get a sensible head on much before eighteen months of age .

    The only thing I do with a pup as young as yours is the basic stuff recall, walking to heel etc none of mine have ever been in the shooting field much before two years old even at that they can be quite immature.

    Just remember its not a Labrador you have, good luck.

  5. #5
    thankyou all for your advice, she is my first gsp yes. although it sounds above as if Im pushing her to take on loads, each training session really consists of 10 mins of basic obedience and I then give her one or two retrieves as a reward. I wandered how I can keep this varied? I know that little and often and lots of repetition is key, I guess what im asking is, do you have any tips for varying basic training as recall,lead work,sit, stay etc can be very boring for dogs.


    many thanks

  6. #6
    You need to give GSP's a continual supply of fresh ground to work or they'll become very bored & will either become disinterested or start running a bit wild to get to some.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Grimbox View Post
    thankyou all for your advice, she is my first gsp yes. although it sounds above as if Im pushing her to take on loads, each training session really consists of 10 mins of basic obedience and I then give her one or two retrieves as a reward. I wandered how I can keep this varied? I know that little and often and lots of repetition is key, I guess what im asking is, do you have any tips for varying basic training as recall,lead work,sit, stay etc can be very boring for dogs.
    many thanks
    I think the core thing thats being said here is focus on the basics in the way you are doing, but vary the locations and scenarios as much as you can, and make games of what you're doing. Taking her to new ground will keep her interest up and you can repeat the basics happily, especially if you let her explore the area (under control of course) and play.
    a few examples I did with mine when they were ready were
    heel work in fields, along lanes, in town, around kids, around other dogs. Stopping whilst heeling, turning whilst heeling.
    sitting work as above, this can progress onto using distractions while she's sitting.
    working on the stop signal (use a long thin trailing rope and leg then it for stopping her at distance) again in different places and with different distractions.
    recall work again in different places, different distractions

    even with those four things, if you find four locations and do one or two lessons a day (one subject one lesson), there is plenty of variety in there to keep her interested.

    Its very easy to put yourself under too much pressure to create the ultimate gun dog, if you aren't relaxed and enjoying the lesson, she won't either, so try and enjoy the simple pleasures of each others company and enjoy playing too, Ive never seen a GSP that got bored by playing with its owner, as long as you are always the boss!

  8. #8
    Solid advice, thankyou very much!

  9. #9
    At six months you should have her basic hand training recal and the like out of the way, be sensitive to her starting to range and if she looks as if she is getting uncomfortably far , get her on a lead.
    Remember prevention is always prefered to sorting out a problem once its there.
    Dont rush her you have all the time in the world with her, i dare stick my neck out and say the typical 2 years old unwriten gun dog must be prety much trained rule is not aplicable here as with some breeds in my experience.
    Whern you do start to train her here is my personal achiles heal if you like Dont giver her too much open ground in too big a slices to begin with get the close stuff in her head get it well engrained, then start the more rangey stuff. If you dont hunt open unfenced moorland long range wants to be 150 yards 200 yards sort of area, the longer distance stuff is where you can start to come unstuck if you are not careful i do anyway.
    My curent dog 23 months i wanted him a more distantance dog compared to my previous dogs, and i am now paying the price for not quite getting it right- Get the recal very strong dont be confused by the GSPs inbuilt love for you making you think you have it mastered.
    I think i know where i went wrong with this aspect i was too focused on what i wanted to do with this dog, i skiped over the bassics and its now i would not say a problem more a concern, so DONT RUSH.

    Finaly WATER well the verdict is still out on WATER WORK for me, i have never quite got it right in five GSPs but with this one i am determined to get one to retrieve ducks and geese off anything tidal or not. Wish me all the best in this.
    Last edited by raglan; 16-02-2016 at 08:42.

  10. #10
    Following with interest. Mine is 14 weeks. Do they grow out of squatting when they come to greet you!? Should I be doing something to discourage it?
    Deer Stalking. Training and Courses. Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1, Training and Witnessing for the Level 2 Assessment.
    www.deercentral.co.uk

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