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CASTnBLAST

Heel No!

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I have two 13 week old Britts that I've been working on heeling.One is doing alright for a little bratt but the other absolutely hates the leash wants to put on the brakes.She doesn't have a problem being teathered out in the yard.Is 13 weeks too young to start the heel commands?I've read that before moving onto advanced commands such as whoa you should have your dog's heeling well.They sit,stay,come and even retreive a bit although the one with the heeling problem is a bunch more timid during training.Both are female littermates and I haven't used any harsh training at all.Do I continue taining as usual with both or ease up on the timid one,hate to have her fall too far behind especially with the cold weather season approaching.Also,if anyone has any good methods for teaching the whoa command I'd like to hear it.

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Each dog will train at their own pace. I would expect to have them at different stages of training troughout. Don't fret it. They will both get to the same end result just at different times

For the timid one. I would back off a bit and do a little more one on one bonding. Just a day or two should do the trick. Then try again.

Have you had these pups from birth or did you purchase both?

Brian

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I've had them since 8 weeks,I'll try that.Her sister is a bit bigger and more agressive so she might just be getting a little more attention from the wife and kids.

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The one thing that you must do if you're not already is do all training seperate. Ecspecially at this young age the dogs will catch on much quicker with out the distraction of a littermate around. What kind of reaction do you get when she's on the leash? A lot of thrashing, pulling, chewing? If this is the case you just need to wait her out. Give her your heel command, pull her close and wait. If it takes 20 minutes, wait. If it takes an hour, wait. Only give the command once then wait her out. The dog learns real quick that there is no other option, and they must obey before they can do anything else. It also helps that they will be figuring it out for themselves. I also have a couple of tips for whoa training that could be started anytime with dogs your age, very easy controlled technique that can be done in the living room.

I pasted this here from a previous post, if you have any questions let me know....

Ok this may be a little hard to follow but here goes...

First, get a standard leash. Wrap the leash around the dogs belly so the clasp goes through the handle part. Then attach the clasp to the dogs collar. If its hooked up right you should have a little dog suitcase. Now the dog will probably struggle and throw itself on the ground and throw a little tantrum right away, just stay calm and keep pulling them off the floor with the "suitcase". Once they have stopped struggling, start moving while holding on to the leash. Once they are walking with you, stop, give them a whoa command and gently tug up on the leash. If they move, pick them up with the leash and set them back in place. Again, they will probably struggle and throw a fit but with them restrained like this you have total control to get them back on thier feet. At the begining only make them stop for 5-10 seconds. Then give them a release command and start walking with them again. Give the whoa command and with a little tug stop walking. Again, if they move, pick them off the ground and set them back in place. You can start making them stay put for longer and longer periods of time then eventually start walking away from them. Just remember if they move without a command pick them off the ground and set them back in place. I know this is kind of a hard thing to picture but I tried........ This technique has worked with every dog I have ever used it on. It is a very simple, painless way to teach a dog that whoa means stop, and stay until told otherwise. I start with puppies as young as 12 weeks with this method, it doesn't hurt and the fact that they realize that you are in total control really makes them pay attention. If you need some more explanation just leave a post here. Hope this helps.

[This message has been edited by setterguy (edited 09-06-2004).]

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CASTnBlast - I agree with Setterguy. Work them individually. No two pups have exactly the same learning curve. Your expectation levels regarding how they progress should be judged individually. Trust me...it is not going to happen over night. But you should see progress and consistency within a relatively short period of time. One of the pups may progress faster than the other...but who really cares about that at this age as long as they understand and learn to obey the commands.

Basic obedience stuff like recognizing their names, no, come, sit, stay and down can all be accomplished very easily one-on-one. I wouldn't even try the basics with two pups together. Short and sweet sessions with lots of praise and treats. Stay in control, don't yell or raise your voice...be patient. The hardest thing for me was not to let my pup know I was getting frustrated. If yard work gets you frustrated and you start to lose control...that tendency will only be magnified 10x's when you start your field work. The pup will learn not to respond to anything other than you screaming at the top of your lungs.

Like Setterguy explained...show her exactly what is expected of her. Once you are sure she understands give her the command and wait it out. Make it fun when you take her for walks on the leash. Keep the leash short and don't let her walk in front of you. She will quickly learn that the proper spot for her is at foot on your left hand side. Use a firm tug and firm heel command to help get her back into the right position. At first make your walks short and end them on a positive note. Eventually sit, stay and come can be integrated into your walks with her. Walk for a while. Give the heel command. Then praise and treat. Then continue on the walk and come to a stop. Use the whoa command. Then praise and treat. Use the sit command. Then praise and treat. Then use the stay command. Then praise and treat. Walk slowly backward and then use the come command. Then praise and treat. This may take several weeks of practice and consistency. But trust me...it will pay big dividends when you start working them in the field.

I know you are excited about getting them out this fall. All I can say is...don't expect too much too fast. Don't try and mix training with hunting. It just does not work. Get them into birds as early and as often as you can. Game farms are great for this. I used chukars as my training bird. Don't plant them all at the same time. Buy ten birds, put them in a cage, pull out no more than three at a time, make them dizzy and plant them for your pup to find. I tied a blaze orange tag onto the tall weeds next to where I would plant a bird. Keep pup on a checkcord and let them find the bird. They will point, I used the steady command and hold them until flush, shoot the bird and give the fetch command.

I finally started to see my Brittany pup seriously respond to the whoa command in the field after he was nine months old and was fitted with the e-collar instead of the checkcord. Britts are quick learners and do not require heavy handed training. Make sure they both have matured and understand all commands before you introduce them to the e-collar.

Hope all this helps...obviously I'm not a pro trainer and no...I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night...but last year was very educational for both me and my pup!

[This message has been edited by Wild Willie (edited 09-06-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Wild Willie (edited 09-07-2004).]

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Well it's taken a bunch of patience waiting out the timid one to finally come to heel but by golly she's getting better all the time.I never work the two together.Don't know if I'll try much hunting with them this fall or not,probly too young...what are your thoughts?Got my last Britt in April and did hunt him in the fall(he was getting quite old and simply dissapeared one day).Planned on waiting untill spring but was worried the wife might bring some lap dog home in the mean time smile.gif.Actually only planned on one dog but the wife and kids went with and I caved in to buying two...now I've really got my work cut out for me!In-laws raise pheasants and may possibly have chuckars too,how old before I try them on live birds?They do point(sight) wing on string.Also is this a good time to teach whoa command(with wing)tried it once but it breaks concentration of point one even sat down after hearing whoa so I quit. Thanks for input guy's!

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Personally I wouldn't hunt them together this year. What I have seen happen is one pup is more advanced and does all the leading while the other one learns to follow the other dog to birds. Plus you could develop bad habits in two dogs instead on only one! As far as introducing them to birds it depends on what you mean. I wouldn't introduce any hunting situations just yet, but letting them get a look at and a mouthful of the birds wouldn't be such a bad thing. As far as the wing on a string trick, I would stop using that altogether. The dogs point, you know that now so letting them play with the wing just emphasizes the sight-pointing. Make sure your dogs are rock steady on whoa in all situations and then you can start introducing them to hunting situations.

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