My German Shorthair Pointer Brings Me A Gift

My German Shorthair Pointer Brings Me A Gift

A noise in the middle of the night awakens me from a deep sleep.  Simba, my first German Shorthair Pointer, is still asleep with her heard on the pillow next to me.  I feel around for Gypsy, the other German Shorthair Pointer, on the bed and couldn’t find her. I sat up wondering where she went and then remembered that I noticed during our afternoon that her stomach was a little off.  A few minutes after putting my head back down on my pillow, I heard her coming up the steps.  She jumps on the bed and comes over to me to nudge me on the shoulder so that I raise the covers up as she slides in.  Both Simba and Gypsy start snoring and are sound asleep. Me on the other hand, could not get back to sleep.  I tossed and turned for about 20 minutes when my foot came in contact with Gypsy’s cold wet nose.  I moved my foot around wondering why her nose felt so slimy and squishy.  The more contact I made the more I thought it just didn’t feel right.  I tear the covers off the bed and there it was lying next to my foot.  A dead toad stretched out on its back!  I was on my feet so fast that my head spun as I yelled, “EWE! EWE! EWE!” for about 20 minutes.  I couldn’t get myself to pick up his poor little dead body but knew that I had to.  I knew that once I did pick it up, I would have to get rid of it as soon as possible in order not to vomit.  Running down a flight of stairs and across the living room was not an option.  The only other option was sending it to fishy heaven via the toilet.  The rest of the night, I laid in bed wondering if I would have to explain the toad in the trap to a plumber.  Why does everything seem so much worse at night.  By morning all was back to normal, including the toilet.  Gypsy being a German Shorthair Pointer will continue to hunt and bring me gooey gifts.  I just hope it’s not in the middle of the night and under my covers.

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How-to-Stop-Unwanted-Behavior

trusting paws

by Naomi Heck, M.Ed., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA

How to Stop Unwanted Behavior

1. Stop focusing on correcting or punishing bad behavior. Saying “No!” or squirting your dog with water might relieve your frustration but it can maintain or worsen your dog’s bad behavior. Corrections are deceiving. They momentarily suppress unwanted behavior so it seems to have worked. But if your dog does it again, it didn’t work at all! If you correct your dog often, you can diminish his willingness to listen and cooperate.

2. Choose a behavior your dog can do that will replace Continue reading

Training Dogs Afraid Of Loud Noises

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by Naomi Heck, M.Ed., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA

Training Dogs Afraid Of Loud Noises

Hi there! I love the blog!
I recently got my 8 month old female GSP “Charley” from her board and train program. She has received e-collar training for every command. The e-collar is not a punishment tool, but a communication tool. She is amazing in the house – no accidents, knows how to place/down/heel/sit/stay/come/off/etc. She has been introduced to agility and will start scent games and snake avoidance in the Spring. She plays fetch well and also has met my nieces and nephews this weekend for fun time in the backyard. She even did great while one nephew played the ukulele in the back yard. She does great off leash on hikes and while doing training at the training center we visit each week for polishing classes. We will be starting doggie day-care once a week this week! She really is so sweet and amazing…
However…. My problem is that she absolutely is fearful of getting on the leash to go for her morning and afternoon walks that last anywhere between 20-45+ minutes. It’s like she knows it’s coming and cowers/pouts. I try to put the leash on and just walk in the backyard/house and she’s totally fine, but going through the front door is a chore. The first couple days we had her she was exposed to some fireworks on a walk that were very very loud and ever since then she is pretty skiddish about loud buses/diesel trucks/construction noise near the house. Inside the house – fine. Backyard – alright, looks around at super loud noises and then proceeds to keep playing. We live in a busy neighborhood with lots of distractions and new houses are going up each day. I am doing my very best to remain calm yet assertive and even give her treats when we pass an object that gives her the shakes. Her whole body trembles. It’s really sad and makes me feel terrible because she NEEDS to go walk to get pushed through some of these issues, but I can’t help but think I may be making everything worse. 🙁 Sometimes she tries to run/escape away from me, but eventually settles back in with a “come”. It is taxing as I know she needs her walks along with some off-leash fun in the yard and neighborhood dog park, but the walks are difficult to start. I also know she is only 8 months old and has only been in our home since Dec. 29th. I’m running out of new ideas.
Do you have any suggestions to help her emotional state? Is there something else I should try? I really want the best for our GSP. Again, thank you for the blog. 🙂
Rachael from Texas
Hi Rachel,
When doing behavior modification for fear, it is crucial that you understand that Charley’s behavior is not voluntary and she is not being stubborn or defiant.  Fear is a survival state and is thus treated differently than regular training.  If food is used, it plays a different role(that of creating a positive association rather than as a reward for a voluntary behavior that is offered by the dog).  Charley has clearly demonstrated a deep fear of going for a walk.  The fear starts with the leash, then going out the front door, and peaks outside.  This is a classic example of a negative association created with a scary experience and the events that led to that experience (which now are predictors of something scary.   If you press to get the leash on her and coax her to do something she is afraid of (even when you try showing her there is nothing to fear), you risk sensitizing her to the situation and making her more afraid.  What is desired is de-sensitization, which must be done gradually to be effective.  A good explanation of the concept can be found here- https://positively.com/contributors/counter-conditioning
It would be best to enlist the help of a force-free trainer that is knowledgeable in science based behavior modification to help you design a program to help Charley overcome his fear.  Make sure the trainer does not employ any kind of flooding technique  (making a dog “work through” scary situations) because of the risk of overwhelming and sensitizing that I mentioned.  You can do a search for a trainer near you through this site – https://apdt.com/trainer-search
My advice to you would be to temporarily suspend your desire to take Charley for a walk and find ways to exercise her with games and enriching mental activities (lots of examples can be found on Youtube).  Start with desensitizing very gradually (without eliciting avoidance) to the act of leash clipping leash (with professional guidance).  If she runs away at the mere sight of the leash,  that would be where you would start, not with attaching the leash to her collar.   If she is not afraid of car rides, try taking her to a different neighborhood or a park for walks, but only if she enjoys it.
Fear is best addressed with a willingness to make her sense of safety be your top priority.   Being assertive is counterproductive because this is not a disobedience issue.  When an animal (or person) is so afraid that she trembles, the mind is not in a state to learn.  Survival mode has kicked in and that primal state will overshadow “logic” or obedience every time.  That is why helping her feel safe while you train in small baby steps is so important.    http://somuchpetential.com/the-value-of-empowerment-to-our-pets/
Hope this helps steer you and Charley in a positive direction.  😊
Naomi

Gypsy The Pointer’s Blog III

Gypsy The Pointer’s Blog III

Pointer And The Toilet Paper

My mum is the best. Today she left us these great toys to play with. They were white soft balls. The balls were shaped funny, they weren’t completely round but fun nonetheless. She bought 12 of them so that Simba and I didn’t fight over them. She was in such a rush put the door this morning that she left them on the counter and forgot to give them to us. It’s a good thing that I’ve grown and can reach everything on the counters. We had so much fun. The balls released like snow stuff when I pounced on them and threw them around.

Pointers new toy

Oops! I was wrong, again!  Mum’s squeaky voice and fiery eyes told me so!

DIY Dog Toys

DIY Dog Toys

Christmas is right around the corner.  If your pup is anything like mine, especially Simba, they love to open presents on Christmas along with the rest of the family. Toys don’t seem to last very long with these two.  Buying toys can get expensive so I want to share with you a couple of DIY dog toys you can make by recycling some items that you have at home.  They’re all very easy to make. First of all, go through your sock drawer.  This is a great way to put those old socks to good use.  SOCK BALL:  If I have a bunch of ankle socks, I stuff a bunch into one sock leaving 3 or 4 for the end.  After you’ve stuffed them and created a tight oblong ball, put the ball into one of the ankle socks you saved for the end. Insert it with the open side first, then insert it into the next sock again with open side going in first and continue until out of socks.  You can insert one of those squeakers Continue reading

Gypsy The Pointer’s Blog

Gypsy The German Shorthair Pointer

Mom bought Me and Simba new beds since I destroyed the other four we had. It’s not like I did Dog bedsit on purpose!  I like playing this game when Simba lays down. I wait until she gets all comfy. Sometimes it takes a long time because she goes around and around in circles then lays down only to get up and do it all over again. She makes me dizzy just watching. When she finally stays down, it’s game time. Pop Simba Off!  I tug and thrust the bed around until she pops off. Mom was not happy today when she got home from work and found this. Simba's dog bed


German Pointer & Hose

German Pointer & Hose

 

My Life With Two German Shorthair Pointers

My Life With Two German Shorthair Pointers

Gypsy is now a little over one year old.  She hasn’t slowed down at all but at least Gypsy 2016the destruction has.  She is fully aware that she has done something wrong but just can’t seem to help herself.  I believe she has learned right from wrong but every once in a while the puppy brain takes over and wins over her logic.  One and a half weeks before Thanksgiving, my oven/stove went on the brinks. The technician came a stated that the electronic panel (the oven’s brains) had to be sent in to be refurbished because they don’t carry replacement for that model anymore.  All was fine until he said it would take 3-4 weeks to get back.  That would not do!  Thanksgiving was a week away!  Besides not being able Continue reading

Clicker Game-Targeting

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by Naomi Heck, M.Ed., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA

GROCERY DAY!

GROCERY DAY!

Today is my favorite day of the week, groceries day!  I don’t understand why mom doesn’t get excited about groceries.  She leaves the house as if she has to go shovel cow manure.  I would not mind going to the grocery store every single day.  It’s just so exciting, there’s always a surprise hidden in one of the bags.  I can’t control my enthusiasm.  I jump up and down and run circles around her trying to see the surprise inside the bags.  I race her to the car as she goes back for more bags.  I like to help her bring the grocery bags by sticking my head inside the bag and guide her to the front door.  Oh boy, I smell a treat surprise!  I can’t quite locate it.  Where is it? Is it in this bag?  Or this one?  Why is mom not helping?  What?  She’s making a cup of coffee!  Not now!  We need to get the perishables in the fridge!  Maybe if I offer my ball and sit looking so cute she’ll help.  Yup, that did it.  This week’s surprise; sweet-potato jerky, yummy!