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How do I stop my pup from picking up everything! Little fluffs, leaves, ants, turds, anything seen goes in the mouth and gets swallowed if I don't get there first. The pup had callouses, so I am pretty sure, coming to me from the breeder, at 4 months of age, she was mostly kenneled alone on cement. I imagine, being alone she kept herself amused and happy this way. And now, this her way of life. She has a great temperment, not too interested in people, more interested in what is a speck on the ground. It is a contant hunt. She is well fed and supplemented.

After 2 months with us, she is getting attached, but is constantly busy finding even lint or string. I alway did companion level obedience on all my dobies first and handling for the ring, second. I only had one with great gusto in the ring, as the the others were more interested in there own pride of being a well mannered dog and were happier in obedience. So, this time I am doing it the other way around. Obedience, I could keep her mind on what is expected of her. But show training, is having little affect on her mania for spots of things, inside or out, even on someone's pants leg. I am afraid of viruses and microplasmas because of her obsessiveness!
I use substitution, praise and commands to stop her, and now consequence, since she knows she is not to eat EVERYTHING, and does it anyway, after being given a command, like no, out, shusht or ahem. But it never influences her the next time, which is now not every 2 seconds, but is within minutes, that she repeats behavior. Can I train both obedience and show together. It's taken 2 months to get her attention on us, and to calm her down some. And now she will cuddle and trusts. We are always here! I never had a dobie that took so long to bond. It's almost like autism. Other dobes, would have been trained by now, and ready for fun and polish every moment as their source for happiness, ready to go and be with. Not her! She's only ready for the visual hunt and snatch, or bedtime! After all. the hunt can where a 6 month old out! Of course the other show breeders over the years that I bought from were fantastic at nurturing their pups with adequate attention. What should I do immediately?
 

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I always start out with show prospect puppies--and I start obedience training the day they walk in my door. I teach a sit, down and stand (with stand as the default if the puppy is intended for the conformation ring). It also means I don't teach an automatic sit with the heel. I do those things after the dog is out of the conformation ring.

Two months isn't very long for getting bonded to a puppy who was 4 months when you got her. Younger puppies bond faster and if she came with some bad habits already acquired you have to fade those behaviors (like picking up everything and anything) before you can really be successful at training the behaviors you want.

I don't know if it's the case but it sounds like you've gotten other puppies at younger ages without some of the pre-existing bad behaviors this puppy came with.

I've gotten puppies from breeders who have yelled at me about obedience training puppies while they've been showing in conformation but the bottom line is that my dogs show in the conformation ring like conformation dogs and they finish their championships and some of them have had CD's and RE's by the time they finished their championships. I do tailor the training for each puppy but with different collars and leashes of tracking harnesses they all seem to figure it out.

I think I'd be working with very high value treats all the time--not necessarily constantly feeding them to her but making sure that I had something much more interesting in my hand/pocket than fluff, seed pods, ants or turds. At least teach her a "watch me" so that you are encouraging attention on you rather than on stuff on the ground. I think it's just going to take more time to get her to the point where she understands you are a lot more fun than what she has been doing--try using toys too. I once was very successful in teaching a male who was quite prone to eyeballing other dogs and creating a potential for getting a fight reaction from them. I taught him to play with and carry gallon plastic milk jugs and as long as he had one in his mouth he wasn't trying to make eye contact with other males.

Good luck--sounds like a project...
 

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Practice at home in the yard. don't feed before the show. always keep a treat in your hand or in your mouth (we use chicken generally) it is easier to keep a hungry pups attention and looking at you if you do that. Keep the pup on a short leash so you can pull its head back up if it goes to dive for something on the ground. Never let the pup pick up a treat off the ground. If you toss it and it doesn't catch it, don't let it pick it up. You pick it up and toss it again. When we practice at home with a new pup, we have someone run infront of and one behind with a dog so the pup gets used to the ring set up. we also go to handling classes because it helps the pup get used to different settings and different dogs. during our practice I will throw treats down and not let the pup have them as part of their training.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I always start out with show prospect puppies--and I start obedience training the day they walk in my door. I teach a sit, down and stand (with stand as the default if the puppy is intended for the conformation ring). It also means I don't teach an automatic sit with the heel. I do those things after the dog is out of the conformation ring.

Two months isn't very long for getting bonded to a puppy who was 4 months when you got her. Younger puppies bond faster and if she came with some bad habits already acquired you have to fade those behaviors (like picking up everything and anything) before you can really be successful at training the behaviors you want.

I don't know if it's the case but it sounds like you've gotten other puppies at younger ages without some of the pre-existing bad behaviors this puppy came with.

I've gotten puppies from breeders who have yelled at me about obedience training puppies while they've been showing in conformation but the bottom line is that my dogs show in the conformation ring like conformation dogs and they finish their championships and some of them have had CD's and RE's by the time they finished their championships. I do tailor the training for each puppy but with different collars and leashes of tracking harnesses they all seem to figure it out.

I think I'd be working with very high value treats all the time--not necessarily constantly feeding them to her but making sure that I had something much more interesting in my hand/pocket than fluff, seed pods, ants or turds. At least teach her a "watch me" so that you are encouraging attention on you rather than on stuff on the ground. I think it's just going to take more time to get her to the point where she understands you are a lot more fun than what she has been doing--try using toys too. I once was very successful in teaching a male who was quite prone to eyeballing other dogs and creating a potential for getting a fight reaction from them. I taught him to play with and carry gallon plastic milk jugs and as long as he had one in his mouth he wasn't trying to make eye contact with other males.

Good luck--sounds like a project...
Oh, my goodness, I needed to proofread my post! My first line became part of the title because I neglected to write one and i made so many incongruous statements. I appologize. I'm amazed you decifered it! Thanks for responding.
I started training her to heel and have skipped the sit, also. We are just 2 weeks into it. Should I have her stand still at my side in place on stopping? I just skipped sitting and went into turns and about turns right and left about faces. On stopping she, hangs out or circles around me back to heal. Should I place her, correctly, but standing?

I was wondering if her pre-occupation is a common result of being in an outdoor kennel by herself and being bored out of her mind? I was hoping this is just the result of bad habit.

The first thing I did with her wild exhuberance, is run out and buy a huge assortment of toys and substitution items the day after her arrival. It started out nonstop take away and substitution with praise to start with, and no introduction of the word no for several days until she was more use to us.

You are absolutely right! All my pups I have bought were 9 weeks to 11 weeks old. All the breeders were exceptional with the puppies and their socialization, except for the last breeder. All the puppies, except for this one, were used to being held, pet, used to playing with people, and objects. They already understood pointing. She had no use for toys until just recently. The light has turned on. She doesn't get pointing yet. I will say look, look, get it and go all the way down to touching the object, since we got her and pointing still means nothing to her. So it is just different to decades of previous experience with pups. She acts the way I would think a puppy mill pup would act trying to make the best of it.

It's encouraging to hear about the bonding. Thank-you. Sounds like I am expecting too much, too soon. She has a job to learn her training and it has been making a difference. I have not crated her because of her uniqueness. I am considering starting for brief periods before show training now that she is bonding. What is your opinion on this?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Great advice, thanks. Should I also confine her to leash outside too and put her on an okay for a 2 week training period to stop her from grabbing mouthfuls of bushes and eating everything?
 

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Oh, my goodness, I needed to proofread my post! My first line became part of the title because I neglected to write one and i made so many incongruous statements. I appologize. I'm amazed you decifered it! Thanks for responding.
I've got lots of experience deciphering stuff--including veterinarians handwriting (worse even than doctors).

I started training her to heel and have skipped the sit, also. We are just 2 weeks into it. Should I have her stand still at my side in place on stopping? I just skipped sitting and went into turns and about turns right and left about faces. On stopping she, hangs out or circles around me back to heal. Should I place her, correctly, but standing?
I start teaching a show stack as a stationery exercise. And I at the beginning I don't use a collar at all. For any of the obedience I start with a collar and leash--always. So the first thing I do is stop the puppy tell it stand and stay keeping my hands lightly on the puppy to hold it in place then let it go after giving a treat. I do this preliminary stuff often in the kitchen and the beginning stuff for a stand and stay is very, very short. 15 seconds. When they can keep four on the floor for 30 seconds I move on to adjusting feet I start using a mirror at that point and adjust the most badly out of place foot and I use food to keep the puppy's head up and when they can let me move feet at will and leave them where I put them I then move on to putting them on leash and walking them into place and hand stacking them.

But as far as what I do with the heeling and the non-automatic sit--I want them to learn the heel position so I stop them in heel position and standing if what I'm working on is obedience.

So basically while I train obedience, or rally or anything else while I'm training for the conformation ring I do separate the training.

I was wondering if her pre-occupation is a common result of being in an outdoor kennel by herself and being bored out of her mind? I was hoping this is just the result of bad habit.
It's certainly possible. A friend of mine took a youngish bitch to train for Novice Obedience for a friend of ours and almost went insane trying to break a really unfortunate habit that got started when someone gave the owners a laser light and told them how much dogs and cat like playing chase the dot. All the bitch would do was watch for the light. The owners had to spend almost a year engaging her in other activities and never, ever using the laser light. Talk about unfortunate habits.

The first thing I did with her wild exhuberance, is run out and buy a huge assortment of toys and substitution items the day after her arrival. It started out nonstop take away and substitution with praise to start with, and no introduction of the word no for several days until she was more use to us.
I know many people who adopted perfectly nice rescue dogs who knew nothing about interacting with people--had to be taught about toys, treats and being petted--there is a whole world of dogs who never get socialized.

You are absolutely right! All my pups I have bought were 9 weeks to 11 weeks old. All the breeders were exceptional with the puppies and their socialization, except for the last breeder. All the puppies, except for this one, were used to being held, pet, used to playing with people, and objects. They already understood pointing. She had no use for toys until just recently. The light has turned on. She doesn't get pointing yet. I will say look, look, get it and go all the way down to touching the object, since we got her and pointing still means nothing to her. So it is just different to decades of previous experience with pups. She acts the way I would think a puppy mill pup would act trying to make the best of it.

It's encouraging to hear about the bonding. Thank-you. Sounds like I am expecting too much, too soon. She has a job to learn her training and it has been making a difference. I have not crated her because of her uniqueness. I am considering starting for brief periods before show training now that she is bonding. What is your opinion on this?
I would definitely start crate training--if you don't do anything other than feed her in a crate or toss treats or favorite toys in there--my dogs all ride in crates in vehicles--safest place for them to be when transported--over the years I've seen far too many badly hurt dogs come out of accidents and if you are showing in anything, conformation, obedience--a dog comfortable with being crated is a lot more fun to take places. <VBG> All of my cats (3 of them) sleep in the crate that is in the kitchen--and the dogs whine about it when they can't get into the crate because some bad cat is occupying it.

When I first started out with Dobes (1959) we used to see a lot more dogs who came out of kennel situations (not puppy mills or even back yard breeders) where people would end up with puppies who were often called "kennel shy"--most of them weren't even shy--they just had not been socialized and knew nothing about relating to people.

RM McIntyre has some very on point tips for conformation ring training in his post. And if you go to the DPCA site and look for Michelle Santana's "Raindeer Games" (I think it's in either breeder or owner education)--she's got several sections of how to teach specific show behaviors--broken down into component parts which can then be linked. Great information.

I do a lot of hand stacking of puppies--I keep the sessions very short and reward very well--and I do it for weeks and weeks before I start teaching a baited stack. If you've done all the homework by the time you start trying to walk a puppy into a stack you've stacked them so often they know when their feet are in the right place.

I also teach show ring style attention--head up, looking at me (or the bait actually) and ears up very early--while their ears are still in posts. Much of the preliminary stuff for conformation I do without a collar.

All of the obedience stuff I train with a collar and leash.

Sounds like she's starting to turn into a puppy who is learning to be social instead of a bored hunter of fluff!
 

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I agree with Dobebug 120% on a dog being crated while transporting. I had some friends who were moving and got involved in a fatal accident. When He climbed out of the truck to check on the people who pulled out in front of them their Doberman jumped out the door and was out of sight just that fast. I was able to track her down and fortunately she wasn't hurt bad but if she had been in a crate I wouldn't have spent days looking for her. With as sever as the accident was it could have been a whole lot worse for her, she could have been a projectile out the front window.
 
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