Category Archives: Dogs

Hound Dogs in Southern California and Hound Dog Training

Andrew Ledford your hound dog trainer 714-827-4058

Yes I like hounds and I do Hound Dog training in Southern California.

The training I do is for pet dogs and not hunting dogs. Although I do like going out to talk with the hunting hound dog groups in the area. I have also included a hound dog rescue video at the end of this article. The video give a little bit more information about a few of the different hound breeds.

Most positive reinforcement training research has been done with hound dogs. At least the early research mainly used beagles which is a scent hound bred for hunting rabbits.

Beagle Dog Training. Beagles are the most popular hound dogs I work with in the Southern California area.
Beagle Dog Training. Beagles are the most popular hound dogs I work with in the Southern California area.

Hound dogs have some peculiar behaviors that make them a challenge to train. Being scent oriented often makes this breed pay more attention to some good smell and not to the owner. It’s ideal if you can teach this breed to get off scent, on command. This will give you more control at a time when the dog is focused on something it finds highly rewarding.

All hound dogs even the Blood Hound has special traits that can make them more difficult to train than other dog breeds
All hound dogs even the Blood Hound has special traits that can make them more difficult to train than other dog breeds

Next I would over train the recall (come on command.) You should be able to get an orientation response using the dog’s name no matter what the dog is after or doing.

One of the most noticeable features of many hound dogs is their extra big ears.

Black And Tan Coon Hound With Big Ears
Black And Tan Coon Hound With Big Ears

Over the years I have had several different breeds of hound dogs. One of my best was a walker hound. That dog had a good deal of drive. I remember the night I was driving down a dirt road with that dog in the desert when I heard the first Gulf War had started. He was the darndest dog you’d ever seen. He had a great voice and made a good deal of racket when he got something treed. But during the spring and into the early summer he would kill a baby opossum every night and never make a peep. When we would go to clean the kennels in the morning there was always a dead opossum to great us in his run.

I have also had Blue Tick hounds and a Red Tick along with a Black and Tan Coon Hound and a Plott Hound.

I think the walker hound was the best out of all of these. But, because of his rather intense hunting drive he was also the most difficult to train.

Surprisingly from all that I have read, as Plott Hounds go, the one I had was easy to train. Plott Hounds were originally bred to hunt wild boars. It is my understanding that there are long eared and short eared Plott Hounds. Mine had short ears, no hunting drive, and zero aggression. She was a very sweet dog and made a good pet. You don’t see many Plott Hounds in Southern California.

The Black and Tan was in the middle and was a good dog who was moderately easy to train with a scent oriented personality and a bay to match the breed.

My other hounds were somewhat average run of the mill dogs. I got all of these dogs from one of the hound dog rescue groups or from the dog pound. Except for that Walker hound, he was given to by a guy who was moving.

I have included a short video I did about Hound Dog Rescue that first aired on Long Beach Public access Television.

Wishing you the best in dogs and in life,
Andrew Ledford
Southern California Dog training
714-827-4058

German Shorthaired Pointer Training and Temperament, Plus Rescue Video

I have had a couple of German Shorthaired Pointers (GSP) in my time. One was the most hyper dog I ever owned and the other was quit calm as German Shorthaired Pointers go.

German Shorthaired Pointer Playing
German Shorthaired Pointer Playing

German Shorthaired Pointers are great dogs that are a fairly new breed; they were developed in the 1800s. All the German Shorthaired Pointers I’ve owned and worked with have been very trainable. My fist Pointer was one of my best trained dogs. This breed is usually quite active and benefits from a good deal of exercise. As with all active or hyper dogs you may have a bit of a challenge with impulse control. However, with consistency and a little extra work this breed can become very reliable.

German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy
German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy

If I had a choice I would prefer getting a pet quality GSP from show lines as opposed to hunting lines. Being shown in dog shows is equivalent to undergoing a very mild temperament evaluation and tends to favor calmer dogs. Not that all show dogs are calm, but in general show dogs are bred to be calmer than hunting dogs.

GSP Puppy
GSP Puppy

The GSP is bred to hunt in one of two ways. The first is where hunting is done on horseback and these dogs tend to range farther afield. The second type of dog is bred for hunters on foot and they tend to stay in closer to the handler.

German Shorthaired Pointer Retrieving From Water
German Shorthaired Pointer Retrieving From Water

German Shorthaired Pointers are versatile game dogs and can be used to hunt game other than birds. They also tend to be fairly good watchdogs. My first GSP was good at letting us know when someone was approaching the house, although she was extremely friendly. My second pointer, the really calm one, was not such a good watch dog, but she was a wonderful dog overall. Both of these dogs came from the pound. The second dog was a rescue I trained and rehomed, she was a great pet, even for a first time dog owner. My first GSP was a handful and required quite a bit of training. I had my first GSP when I was in high school, so I had a lot of time to train her. She was a great dog, it just took a bit more work to get her under control.

GSP At The Park
GSP At The Park

It is believed German Shorthaired Pointers were created by breeding a descendant of Spanish Pointers with German hounds mixed with a dash of English Pointer. I plan on talking a little about German hounds in the next video post.

As with many breeds it’s desirable to have a GSP with dark eyes. I think there is a good reason that light eyes in the GSP are considered a fault. The most common coat color for German Shorthaired Pointers is liver and white or all liver. In this video you will see a dog with a black and white coat while not sanctioned by the American Kennel Club it is one of the colors found in the GSP.

Even though German Shorthaired Pointers do have short coats they shed a lot. I found my old dog’s hair in furniture and other places over 10 years after she passed away.

In this video the people from German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue talk about the breed’s traits and what kind of home they will best fit into. They also talk a little about some medical problems you may encounter with the breed.

I need to mention one trait that can lead to medical complication and that’s the German Shorthaired Pointers susceptibility to gastric torsion. Being a deep-chested and active breed can be a deadly combination. Dogs with these two traits are more susceptible to gastric torsion. Gastric torsion is where the stomach flips over and without immediate medical attention the dog will die. Instead of feeding one large meal a day I usually feed deep-chested dogs smaller amounts of food several times a day. Feeding smaller amounts of food helps avoid gastric torsion.

German Pointers are probably my favorite of the pointing breeds. However, out of all pointers I think Vizslas are probably the best choice for the average family.

Vizsla And German Shorthaired Pointer Puppies
Vizsla And German Shorthaired Pointer Puppies

If you need help teaching your pointer basic dog obedience and/or impulse control, for those overactive moments in life, please give me a call so I can get the necessary information to help make your dog the best that it can be.

Wishing you the best in dogs and the best in life,
Andrew Ledford
Southern California Dog training

Orange County Pet Expo Video

I now have a program on Long Beach Local Television called Dogs By Andrew. This is our first on the air dog show, however we have many shows to come. Most of the shows in the near future will be about the different breeds we met at the expo.

Andrew from OC Dog Training at the Pet Expo
Andrew from OC Dog Training at the Pet Expo

I am fascinated by the many dog breeds and they all have unique traits that at one time had a particular purpose. While the dogs of the past may have been working dogs, today’s dogs tend to be bred more and more for house pets.

I am wishing you the very best in dogs and in life,
Andrew Ledford

Almost Awesome Dog and Christmas Tree Lane

Merry Christmas dog people. I am sure you have heard that a trained dog is a happy dog. Well, I do have vested interest in statements such as this. But let me tell you a story about Christmas, lights, and dogs.

It was not so long, long ago…

There was a dog trainer and he had this really awesome dog, well this story isn’t about the really awesome dog, it’s about the other dog the trainer had. The other dog was very good, just not awesome.

And the dog trainer he was like a workaholic. He was dog training all the time. Oh, sometimes he would work on his website, but mostly he was dog training.

In southern California there is a place called Christmas tree lane. They have big Christmas trees and during the holidays the whole street is lit up with Christmas lights.

The dog trainer had a friend who wanted to see the Christmas lights so he took his friend and his almost awesome dog to look at the lights. He knew he would also get to talk to people about his dog and give out a few business cards as well.

German Shepherd Dog And Christmas Lights
German Shepherd Dog And Christmas Lights

After seeing Christmas Tree Lane they went to a house that was built by his favorite treat. No, I’m not talking about dog treats, I’m talking people treats. Yah, it was built by ice cream.

There is, or at least was a famous ice cream maker’s house that would get all decked out for Christmas. They would have baby Jesus and reindeers and all kinds of Christmas stuff.

People would come from all over the world to see the house that ice cream built. Here are some picture of that famous house and the almost awesome dog of that very same dog trainer.

German Shepherd And The Christmas Ice Cream House
German Shepherd And The Christmas Ice Cream House

The moral of the story is, if this almost awesome dog wasn’t trained it couldn’t go mingle with all those tourist and tourist buses and babies and traffic and crazy holiday cheer.

Wishing you the best in dogs and the best in life,
Andrew Ledford
So Cal Dog training
714-827-4058

Labrador and Pointer at Dog Beach

This is a tale of the Labrador and the Pointer at Dog Beach. I have owned a few German Shorthaired Pointers and have trained a whole lot more. As far a Labradors go I’ve owned at least 13 of those dogs. One of my Labs was trained for theatrical work and was in a few movies and commercials. But above all else my Labs and Pointers were my best friends and pets. Just wanted to let everyone know I’m not taking sides here, I just happened to capture the playful antics of these two dogs.

Labrador Retriever at the beach

Labrador Retriever at the beach

German Shorthaired Pointers Swimming in the ocean

German Shorthaired Pointer Swimming in the ocean

Labrador Retriever with its ball

Labrador Retriever with its ball

German Shorthaired Pointers moving in

German Shorthaired Pointers moving in

German Shorthaired Pointers positioning

German Shorthaired Pointers setting up the big grab

German Shorthaired Pointers the first grab

German Shorthaired Pointer’s the first grab but he fumbles the ball

Pointer second grab is successful

Pointer’s second grab is successful and he takes the ball

Pointer takes ball the getaway

Pointer takes ball and makes his getaway

The thrill of victory!  Touchdown for the Pointer.

The thrill of victory! Touchdown for the Pointer.

Dog Beach German Shepherd Pictures September

I had a mix up with a dog training appointment in Huntington Beach so I had a few unexpected hours. I decided to use those hours to visit dog beach. Fortunately I also had my camera with me. Here are a few pictures from my dog beach excursion.

Here are a few of pictures of the German Shepherd Dogs that I saw.

Enjoy the GSD pictures

 

German Shepherd at Dog Beach

Two German Shepherds at Dog Beach

Two German Shepherds at Dog Beach

Young German Shepherd at the Beach

Young German Shepherd at the Beach