New Puppy Advice

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Fromtherough

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Bit of an update. Desmond is now 5 months old and massive. Despite him ripping the fabric from underneath the dining room chairs, gnawing on the table leg, chewing a brand new carpet, breaking several drain pipes in the garden, digging under the fences and chewing several pairs of shoes/slippers; he’s no bother... ha! He’s an absolute monkey, full of character and the absolute centre of our house! He’s really good with our daughter and we all love him to bits. He’s still a bit hyper, loves attention and absolutely loves walks. He can be a bit of a nightmare with cyclists and joggers mind! We’re slowly getting there though.

Just wondered how others approached walking without a lead? We’ve been practicing recall, with mixed results. He’s desperate for a run, but I’m too wary that he won’t come back to let him off. I’ve looked at booking in him an enclosed field for ‘sensory activity’ and a run, but there’s a 6 week waiting list.
 

4LEX

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Looking at getting a dog for lockdown 5 or will it be 6 this winter :ROFLMAO:

I'm pretty active so want a dog with a bit of get up and go, but also one that can chill in the evenings. Currently liking the look of a show cocker, cavapoo or mini sausage. Anyone have experience of these breeds?! Advice welcome (y)
 

AmandaJR

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Bit of an update. Desmond is now 5 months old and massive. Despite him ripping the fabric from underneath the dining room chairs, gnawing on the table leg, chewing a brand new carpet, breaking several drain pipes in the garden, digging under the fences and chewing several pairs of shoes/slippers; he’s no bother... ha! He’s an absolute monkey, full of character and the absolute centre of our house! He’s really good with our daughter and we all love him to bits. He’s still a bit hyper, loves attention and absolutely loves walks. He can be a bit of a nightmare with cyclists and joggers mind! We’re slowly getting there though.

Just wondered how others approached walking without a lead? We’ve been practicing recall, with mixed results. He’s desperate for a run, but I’m too wary that he won’t come back to let him off. I’ve looked at booking in him an enclosed field for ‘sensory activity’ and a run, but there’s a 6 week waiting list.
Have you tried him with a long line? Can be tricky to manage without taking yourself off at the knees but gives them more scope to be further away as you work on recall. You could also try training to come back with a whistle. Basically get a gun dog type shrill whistle and every time Desmond comes back you give an excited toot toot toot - you're not at this point recalling with a toot rather than capturing his returning until he links the two. If he's a foodie then have his top favourite food to reward every time - sausages, cheese, primula cheese spread (very handy and less messy) or whatever it is he loves. Make coming back more exciting than staying away.
 

Lord Tyrion

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Looking at getting a dog for lockdown 5 or will it be 6 this winter :ROFLMAO:

I'm pretty active so want a dog with a bit of get up and go, but also one that can chill in the evenings. Currently liking the look of a show cocker, cavapoo or mini sausage. Anyone have experience of these breeds?! Advice welcome (y)
We have a show cocker, coming up to 11yrs next month. Lovely nature, great with people, smashing size. Just enough energy for any walk you want to do but equally happy to chill, you get a working cocker if you want a hyper spaniel.

Very intelligent dogs that you can train to do whatever but to get to that point you have to train consistently and regularly. We didn't so ours will do certain things very well but others, recall, walking to heel, very averagely. They are notorious for pulling on the lead so if you can't train that out of them get yourself a harness as that reduces the strain for you.

All in all a smashing pet, and would happily recommend. Fire away with any questions.
 
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Fromtherough

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Have you tried him with a long line? Can be tricky to manage without taking yourself off at the knees but gives them more scope to be further away as you work on recall. You could also try training to come back with a whistle. Basically get a gun dog type shrill whistle and every time Desmond comes back you give an excited toot toot toot - you're not at this point recalling with a toot rather than capturing his returning until he links the two. If he's a foodie then have his top favourite food to reward every time - sausages, cheese, primula cheese spread (very handy and less messy) or whatever it is he loves. Make coming back more exciting than staying away.
Weirdly, we ordered a 20m long line yesterday. Should arrive Tuesday/Wednesday. Not considered a whistle. Will see how the recall/reward thing goes first. He’s a right little gannet - so very food orientated. However, he’s also a bit of a scavenger and will pick up anything that takes his fancy when we’re out and about, edible or not! We’re practicing 1-2-3 where he gets a reward on 3 (automatically dropping whatever’s in his mouth) but mixed results so far. Quite apparent that his attention span wavers and he’s easily distracted, whether food is involved or not. Just hoping this won’t prevent him being let off the lead eventually.
 
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Would love to see updated pic of your Lurcher, we have a rescue Lurcher who is very food orientated which we thought would help with recall, he's good most of the time but if he's seen something or smelled something he likes then he'll come back when he's finished, my last Lurcher was very different, she was very obedient and not as headstrong.
As for letting him off the lead I try to get far from the popular places or as you say try to find an enclosed area, not many people like a large dog running at their dogs at speed, oh and never move when he's running back to you, I've ended up on my arse a few times when he's thrown one last side step in
 

rudebhoy

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My experience is that the sooner you experiment with your dog off the lead, the better. When they are very young, the world is a bewildering and scary place, and generally they will stay close to you and respond positively to you calling them.

If you go to puppy classes, one of the exercises they will do is to get all the dogs off lead, let them socialise, then tell all the owners to recall them. 90% of pups will respond immediately. You are their pack leader, and if you use a firm voice, they will do what they are told most of the time. The problems tend to come when dogs think they are of equal (or higher!) status to you.

I've never used food as an incentive to get them to recall, a firm voice, praise when they return, and lots of practice from an early age have always worked for me.
 
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Fromtherough

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Would love to see updated pic of your Lurcher, we have a rescue Lurcher who is very food orientated which we thought would help with recall, he's good most of the time but if he's seen something or smelled something he likes then he'll come back when he's finished, my last Lurcher was very different, she was very obedient and not as headstrong.
As for letting him off the lead I try to get far from the popular places or as you say try to find an enclosed area, not many people like a large dog running at their dogs at speed, oh and never move when he's running back to you, I've ended up on my arse a few times when he's thrown one last side step in
Your rescue lurcher sounds as if he has the same temperament as Desmond. He doesn’t look too dissimilar to the dog in your thumbnail:
https://i.postimg.cc/jdqNTjjm/A69-F9-A01-5-A3-C-4007-9036-8-E635855-BA83.png
 
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Fromtherough

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My experience is that the sooner you experiment with your dog off the lead, the better. When they are very young, the world is a bewildering and scary place, and generally they will stay close to you and respond positively to you calling them.

If you go to puppy classes, one of the exercises they will do is to get all the dogs off lead, let them socialise, then tell all the owners to recall them. 90% of pups will respond immediately. You are their pack leader, and if you use a firm voice, they will do what they are told most of the time. The problems tend to come when dogs think they are of equal (or higher!) status to you.

I've never used food as an incentive to get them to recall, a firm voice, praise when they return, and lots of practice from an early age have always worked for me.
We’re hoping puppy socialisation classes will be able to begin soon. I think they will help a great deal. Lurchers have high prey drives and love a chase. I daren’t let him off until I’m confident he’ll come back. Bit hit and miss at the minute!
 

drdel

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Train, reward. Train reward. Train reward...

Remember they are learning all the time, not just when you want. Reward good activity, but do not use sugary tidbits or over feed.

Scold bad behaviour, possible with at tap on the nose.

Pretty much applies to all young animals. Has worked for me on horses and dogs even cows and pigs.
 

fundy

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Bit of an update. Desmond is now 5 months old and massive. Despite him ripping the fabric from underneath the dining room chairs, gnawing on the table leg, chewing a brand new carpet, breaking several drain pipes in the garden, digging under the fences and chewing several pairs of shoes/slippers; he’s no bother... ha! He’s an absolute monkey, full of character and the absolute centre of our house! He’s really good with our daughter and we all love him to bits. He’s still a bit hyper, loves attention and absolutely loves walks. He can be a bit of a nightmare with cyclists and joggers mind! We’re slowly getting there though.

Just wondered how others approached walking without a lead? We’ve been practicing recall, with mixed results. He’s desperate for a run, but I’m too wary that he won’t come back to let him off. I’ve looked at booking in him an enclosed field for ‘sensory activity’ and a run, but there’s a 6 week waiting list.

We have the same issue with Poppy, no recall, part greyhound and a very high prey drive. We have used long lines (be careful she doesnt bolt and your holding the other end unprepared), secure fields etc but still arent able to let her off in public, were fortunate to have rented a house currently with a 150ft+ garden and its so joyful letting her have her own field to run around in. Were constantly training her (lots of positive reinforcement and food based!) and with no other distractions shes now excellent with recall, but if theres any other animals she just wont disengage enough from them. Making finding a new house with a big garden to buy even harder!!!!!!
 

hairball_89

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Bit of an update. Desmond is now 5 months old and massive. Despite him ripping the fabric from underneath the dining room chairs, gnawing on the table leg, chewing a brand new carpet, breaking several drain pipes in the garden, digging under the fences and chewing several pairs of shoes/slippers; he’s no bother... ha! He’s an absolute monkey, full of character and the absolute centre of our house! He’s really good with our daughter and we all love him to bits. He’s still a bit hyper, loves attention and absolutely loves walks. He can be a bit of a nightmare with cyclists and joggers mind! We’re slowly getting there though.

Just wondered how others approached walking without a lead? We’ve been practicing recall, with mixed results. He’s desperate for a run, but I’m too wary that he won’t come back to let him off. I’ve looked at booking in him an enclosed field for ‘sensory activity’ and a run, but there’s a 6 week waiting list.
I would say absolutely everything here that is a negative is dealt with *excellently* in the Dog Training and Support Facebook group. Mentioned on the previous page, I think by @AmandaJR

As others above. Reward good behaviour. I disagree with scolding bad, however. But that's personal preference! The thinking behind that is your dog wanting to do the good thing that gets a reward and not avoiding the thing that gets him told off. A subtle different, but also a cavernous one!

We're slowly on the off lead training with our rescue staffie. He'll happily play around with us on a long line - they take a lot of getting used to! - almost as if it isn't there a lot of the time. But other dogs (with whom he has zero manners!) or other big distractions can still be an issue so the line is invaluable.

Re the secure field mention - I suggest finding a "dogs of your location" Facebook group. We found an excellent field at £10ph which was available almost instantly.
 

4LEX

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We have a show cocker, coming up to 11yrs next month. Lovely nature, great with people, smashing size. Just enough energy for any walk you want to do but equally happy to chill, you get a working cocker if you want a hyper spaniel.

Very intelligent dogs that you can train to do whatever but to get to that point you have to train consistently and regularly. We didn't so ours will do certain things very well but others, recall, walking to heel, very averagely. They are notorious for pulling on the lead so if you can't train that out of them get yourself a harness as that reduces the strain for you.

All in all a smashing pet, and would happily recommend. Fire away with any questions.
Thanks mate, appreciate the reply. You've literally summed up every reason why I'm leaning towards that breed. I would be very strict with the training right away, definitely wouldn't let the tail wag the dog. I think dogs enjoy themselves more if they know who is in charge anyway and are rewarded with treats and love. What are they with being left alone for 4-5 hours? That's my only concern really as my job requires me to be out for that period 5 times a week.
 

Lord Tyrion

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Thanks mate, appreciate the reply. You've literally summed up every reason why I'm leaning towards that breed. I would be very strict with the training right away, definitely wouldn't let the tail wag the dog. I think dogs enjoy themselves more if they know who is in charge anyway and are rewarded with treats and love. What are they with being left alone for 4-5 hours? That's my only concern really as my job requires me to be out for that period 5 times a week.
Ours is fine with that although we don't do it regularly. She comes to work with us but we made sure to leave her for periods when she was young and we do it every so often now just so she doesn't get anxious about it. 4-5 hours is easily in the manageable zone based on my own experience. I wouldn't worry on that front 👍
 

Wilson

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My experience is that the sooner you experiment with your dog off the lead, the better. When they are very young, the world is a bewildering and scary place, and generally they will stay close to you and respond positively to you calling them.

If you go to puppy classes, one of the exercises they will do is to get all the dogs off lead, let them socialise, then tell all the owners to recall them. 90% of pups will respond immediately. You are their pack leader, and if you use a firm voice, they will do what they are told most of the time. The problems tend to come when dogs think they are of equal (or higher!) status to you.

I've never used food as an incentive to get them to recall, a firm voice, praise when they return, and lots of practice from an early age have always worked for me.
Agree with this, with my 1st dog, we were advised by our Trainer not to take them off the lead for the 1st year, lots of recall training in the garden, long lining etc. as soon as he came off the lead he legged it, and has been a pain ever since! We took the opposite approach with our 2nd, bar a small period as he got to a year old, he's always been good as gold, even the period when he was a pain, he never ran off, just kept trying to extend each walk and pushing his luck.
 

Aztecs27

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My experience is that the sooner you experiment with your dog off the lead, the better. When they are very young, the world is a bewildering and scary place, and generally they will stay close to you and respond positively to you calling them.

If you go to puppy classes, one of the exercises they will do is to get all the dogs off lead, let them socialise, then tell all the owners to recall them. 90% of pups will respond immediately. You are their pack leader, and if you use a firm voice, they will do what they are told most of the time. The problems tend to come when dogs think they are of equal (or higher!) status to you.

I've never used food as an incentive to get them to recall, a firm voice, praise when they return, and lots of practice from an early age have always worked for me.
This is excellent advice (imho, of course). Although comes with it's stresses!

Our Springer Spaniel Poppy, now 5 years old, was off the lead when she was about 12-14 weeks old. Life was good, she loved running to us and doing everything we told her. Then she got a bit older, and a bit more confident and found an interest in birds she thought she would catch. So she'd run miles away to the other side of the field before (Eventually) giving up and coming back to us. She did grow out of that, and is, by and large, great off the lead now. But we know what drives her and when she's going to go mental - this is mostly with deer, squirrels, rabbits and sheep. So if we go anywhere, we make sure we're not going to see any deer/sheep before letting her off (squirrels and rabbits are small enough that they escape up a tree/into a burrow before she gets anywhere near them). Cows and horses she's fine with now - will give them a token bark if they're staring at her (she doesn't like being stared at!), but will largely just ignore them if we call or whistle her to stop being a bell.

From experience, if you have a dog with a high prey drive or is drawn to things that move - expose them to as much wildlife as possible as often as possible, from an early age, and they will slowly get used to it and then it becomes the norm and not something super interesting.

We didn't do this with Poppy (hence she likes to run rings around sheep - which she's only done once with an understanding farmer, fortunately! and attempt to chase deer (lord knows what would happen if she ever caught up with one - I wouldn't fancy her chances!) and regret it.

Half the battle with off-lead training being brave enough to do it. Long-lines are a good starting point, and if you can find an enclosed space where they won't get into any trouble if they do have a brain fart, that helps you with your stress levels immensely!
 
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