Tag Archives: video

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

Evaluation of Wolfhound Puppy

Wolfhound Greeting Before Training Lesson
Wolfhound Greeting Before Training Lesson

The video shows my initial meeting with this Wolfhound puppy and the beginning part of the first lesson. On this day we are training in the Anaheim Hills of Orange County. I start with a short evaluation. The video doesn’t show the whole behavioral evaluation but it will give you a glimpse of the initial assessment. You’ll notice this dog is quite passive, and active. Wolfhounds are usually not quite this active.

The next part of the video briefly shows the yard and environmental evaluation. In this part of the training I check the yard for safety hazards and other possible problems. I then talk to the owner about some common plants that could be a problem for the dog. When doing a yard check I’m also looking for a good potty area and checking the fence line.

In the next video we’ll begin some of the foundation training. The training process is part of a system, each component of the lesson has a purpose and is important. Even seemingly trivial points have a purpose. I believe all of my videos with the possible exception of the two Goldendoodles contain at least one important training technique or principle. The Goldendoodle video was just for fun. It was more an experimental video where I attached a camera to one of the dogs.

I’m wishing you the best in dogs and the best in life,
Andrew Ledford
So Cal Dog training
714-827-4058

Resource Guarding Taking a Real Beef Bone From Dog

Dog Training High With a Value Resource The Real Bone
Dog Training High With a Value Resource The Real Bone

Here is a follow up blog post and video showing the results of an in home training program with the boxer dog who had low level resource guarding.

Don’t try this a home. This is for entertainment purposes only. In this video I get a quick update on how the dog is doing with dropping and giving up toys as well as things it steals.

Then the big unboxing of the beef bone. It’s really more like unwrapping. I prepare the bone for training and then it’s test time.

Dog Training Resource Guarding With The Real Bone
Dog Training Resource Guarding With The Real Bone

Will all the training we worked so hard on pay off? Will this boxer be a good boy or will he bite the hand that feeds him?

The remainder of the video is me working the dog. I will be performing several different techniques during the training lesson. The primary goal is to take the high value resource (bone) from the dog without aggressive or possessive behavior. I expect him to “react” to the command by letting me have the bone and taking the food treat. You will notice that I do use techniques other than just taking the bone to make the dog feel more secure in this type of competitive scenario.

While this is the big day and in some ways a test for how the dog is doing, it is still a training session. That is why I’m taking the bone and not the owners. Usually I’ll work the dog before I have the owner do the drills. During most training sessions you will see me handling the dog first. Don’t miss the upcoming video. The next video in the series will show the owners taking the bone from the dog. Since we are still doing training with this dog the dog is kept on leash. I explain a little about keeping the dog on its leash toward the end of the video.

Stay tuned for the next video, same dog channel (site) maybe a different dog time. This video was done in Orange County California. So far I have not established a release day or blog/video schedule. I have been doing at least one new blog post and video a week, sometimes I do more than one. It takes a considerable amount of time to do some of the edits so I can’t do too many. A five minute video and blog post can take between 5 to 20 hours to complete. It depends on how it was shot. Most of these posts + videos take a fairly long time to shoot, and edit. Writing the post is usually not that time consuming. They are short and typically highlight what the video is about.

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

Beginning Target Stick Conditioning With Clicker Video Baby Boomer Dog Handling

Target Stick Dog Training
Target Stick Dog Training

Beginning Target Stick Training Video

Using a target stick for dog training isn’t only for Baby Boomers. However, as I get a little older I find it mighty helpful for training small dogs. You may ask, helpful for what? Well when training small dogs bending over hundreds, even thousands of time a day can get tiresome. Bending in itself isn’t so bad, but moving a small dog around while bending can put extra strain on one’s back. The target stick lets you move or lure the dog without bending.

A lot of trainers see slip collars on most of the dogs in my videos and think I don’t use positive reinforcement. Well the slip collar is there for safety. A high quality slip collar is the safest collar for an urban environment.

Conditioning your dog to the target stick is most easily done using a clicker. Yes the little dog from Long Beach is back for some additional training. In the beginning part of the video I’m getting the dog to touch the stick at the very end. That is the target. I usually start this training very informally. As you will notice while the dog is on its bed. Once the dog is comfortable with touching the stick inside the house we’ll move to the backyard. The backyard training is not in the video. Then we go out into public. Training in public and around distractions adds a whole new dimension to the exercise and needs to be done at a speed that is right for the individual dog. Don’t go too fast. When transitioning to public training it’s better to over train with low level distraction than go too fast.

While I don’t usually talk a lot about clicker training I have been using a clicker before it was popular. When I first started doing clicker training they were call party crickets or party clickers. You had to buy them at toy stores. I think I still have a few of those lying around somewhere. My Labrador Retriever who was in television commercials and film was trained with a clicker. That dog was trained with an all positive approach for about the first three years I had him. We would work between two to four hours a day training new and basic behaviors.

Although I don’t call myself a clicker trainer I have developed specific techniques for handling a dog while using the clicker. I am amazed that a lot of trainers who claim to be clicker training experts have not done the same. How do I know they haven’t? Well I don’t really. However, when I work with clients who have done training with one of these clicker experts and they can’t handle the clicker and the leash or the dog at the same time, I have to wonder. Usually I will ask specifically about what kind of handling was taught, assuming they just need a prompt to remember. Often all I get is “I wasn’t taught that.”

As I mentioned Baby boomers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from using a target stick. Some sensitive dogs do better when they’re at a distance from people. For these dogs the stick can be a helpful intermediate step. The target stick is just one tool to help work thorough training problems or speed up the training process. There are some trainers who really like using a target stick and they have built whole target stick training systems. This can have some benefits. I have used different types of sticks, wands, staffs, canes, scepters, and wooden swords as training tools for years. When used with positive reinforcement and/or as positive reinforcement (something the dog likes) these tools can have a positive and dramatic impact on a dog’s behavior.

Wishing you the best in dogs and in life,

So Cal Dog training
714-827-4058

Goldendoodles From Pasadena Board and Train Video

Goldendoodle from Pasadena in board and train program sitting in dog bed
Goldendoodle from Pasadena in board and train program sitting in dog bed

These two Goldendoodles are from Pasadena California, and they were enrolled in my board and train program. I try to take the dogs to a variety of training locations when they are staying with me. The red dog is a little more sensitive than the apricot dog. Usually we visit the park when it’s a little more active, but I wanted to get a video when there was good light out. The most interesting person we met on this day was a treasure hunter with a metal detector. We had a nice chat with him and then it was time for me and the dogs to go home. The video of our chat was edited out. The dogs were well behaved, but I didn’t think the treasure hunter wanted to be in the video.

Goldendoodle trained to stay in its dog bed by the door in my office
Goldendoodle trained to stay in its dog bed by the door in my office

Our usual walk in the park is around sunset or early evening. At that time the park is full of activity. Some of the distractions we see on a nightly basis are basket ball games, soccer, people exercising, friends and neighbors walking, jogging, and of course other dog walkers. The diverse activities provide quite a few distractions for the dogs.

I wish I had video of these dogs when they starting their training. By the time I got my new camera both dogs were fairly well behaved.

Unlike some of my other videos I don’t think you will pick up many training tips from watching this video. However, it is kind of fun to see how the new dog cam rig works. This is the first edition. I think I can make it better in the future. There is a lot of camera wobble. Maybe I can teach the dogs to glide along instead of the wobble, wobble gait they are using. In the future I will try some new training techniques that may help stabilize the video. Now that I think about it, training for a smother walk might also help teach the dogs a more precise Heel (walking by the handler’s side).

Teaching Focus, Off, and Handling to a Fearful Dog

Here is a video where I’m using the Off exercise and doing some handling exercises to help overcome fearfulness

There is a lot more going on with these dogs than the video shows. These dogs have already been exposed to a couple weeks of dog training. I did not start by picking the light colored dog up or by having the male member of the house hold it. Several issues have been addressed in the previous training session. At this point I am most concerned about building the white dog’s confidence. It must be mentioned that the last training session went very well. To build the dog’s confidence I’m using the off exercise in combination with other training drills, including handling and touching exercises. We are also using walks and outings to help the white dog bond with people.