Gen. Training Questions Abt Rescue Dogs...
  • Darwin67Darwin67
    Posts: 400
    So, here we are...about to adopt a rescue pup. This would be my first and so I'm a little out of my element!

    While I have trained all my dogs, I started training them at 8 weeks....not at 2 years and 80lbs. Any suggestions as to how to get started?? I've identified her as very food motivated, but also a bit of a priase hound as well. She doesn't have the best attention span...typical for an Akita?? While she has been on a leash, she is a definate puller, no heel etc. Her only command thus far is "sit".

    What's in a name?? Well, while I like the name Rita...it's just not...well, something I would name my dog....we've been knocking around a few names, but then I thought...can you do that, can you rename a dog??

    Housetraining at 2 years old...is it possible? This is a dog that has been in a kennel for 6 months, and before that, I have not a clue...Any suggestions on housetraining a 2 year old dog??

    Those are my biggest questions, I am sure more will arise as the time comes...I really want to formulate a strong training plan from day one.
  • okironokiron
    Posts: 3432
    I can't help you with any of them except the name part. Yes you can successfully rename a dog. I mean, they respond to multiple names as is with all the nicknames us humans give them. I think all of them is possible though.
    -Rina
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 5510
    Training a dog can be just as easy training them as a puppy, especially if they are food-motivated. If anything, she will be a bit more calm & have a higher attention span then a puppy. Just start off training her as you would a pup, slow & easy, short training sessions, TONS of praise, specially extra-yummy treats to use only when training. The pulling thing can be remedied with a Gentle Leader harness, they're absolutely great for pullers!

    House training is also definitely possible, & also might be easier [ on you ] as she will not go to the bathroom as much as a pup would, so less running outside. I would suggest create training her, however, only if she is "ok" with being in a crate. Just make sure you take her out after she eats [ I'm not too sure about the time frame...hopefully someone else can suggest with this ] & tons of praise & another extra yummy treat when she does go outside & a good walk as a reward.

    & Yes, you can rename a dog, quite easily actually. Even if you don't directly train her, she'll pick it up, dogs are clever like that ;)

    & congrats! Hope I helped a bit :) ~
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • Having rescued all my life and only adult dogs, I would say you are in for a treat. Rescues need a little extra TLC but so long as you use positive training techniques you can teach them anything. I work at my shelter to train dogs to receive their CGC before getting adopted. Shelter dogs areso hungry for love and praise you will not struggle. Just (I cannot emphasize this enough) avoid ALL punitive training, chokes, prongs, alpha rolling; rescues have a hard enough time trusting. Punitive training muddies the message. Also shelter dogs LOVE clicker training. My dog Piglet was adopted at 6 years old. Her name was Belle when we got her and something else before that. Took her less than a week to learn her name. And only a few months to get her CGC. Good luck! And congratulations!
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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • LeonbergerLeonberger
    Posts: 3761
    Training her, if she's food motivated, shouldn't be difficult. Loads of positive reinforcement should do the trick. A clicker has worked wonders for us.
    House training should be a lot easier than with a puppy, since she should have control of her bladder and sphincter. A good solid routine should get you there pretty fast.

    For the pulling, this is what worked for Kuma, and it did so in about 10 minutes for the basics, and around 5 days for pretty permanent results:
    Every single time he took a step without pulling we'd click and treat him. Yes at first it was it was like a clicker machine gun, lol. 10 minutes of this (maybe less) and he realized he'd have more to gain by sticking around than going off pulling.
    Of course you don't want to treat a dog for every step he/she takes, so you start spacing out the clicks and treats to the point where you can actually walk a fair distance without clicking. If at any point the dog starts getting ahead and pulling, simply warn him/her that you're going to stop and actually stop. we'd say AH! to get Kuma's attention and stop. Don't pull the dog back, just stop. The dog will have put a bit of tension on the leash (or a lot) so you need to hold that position until the dog releases the tension (it shouldn't take very long, since it won't be a comfortable position) and as soon as the tension is released you continue forward.

    This is the method that worked for us, I'm sure there are many other approaches to this.
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • Darwin67Darwin67
    Posts: 400
    Wonderful information guys, thank you! I'm drafting an outline and reviewing lesson plans. I'm definately going to introduce clicker training this go round...given her age, breed, and size this does seem to be the best choice. Leash training will be interesting and intense I am sure....We'll definately be investing in a gentle leader. I think though, that the biggest investment will be patience.

    We had our house and yard evaluated today...that seemed to go exceedingly well. :O) so our fingers are still crossed!!! We just have to wait on our references to clear now.
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6185
    wow!! Congrats! All the above info is awesome, I'm trying to get a minute to see if I would add anything. Heed Jess's advice - the main goal here is to establish a bond built on trust, based on her unknown background and current living situation.

    Do Easy Walk harnesses work well on larger dogs? It cut out my Shiba's leash pulling on the first time wearing it!
    volunteers4paws.wordpress.com
    shibas, beagles & more!
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • I trained Piglet using an Easywalk harness. She learned so well she can wear just a collar now. She is not Akita big, but she is 50lbs of solid muscle and stronger than many dogs much larger than her.

    I am excited for you and if I can give you any insight on training a rescue please feel free to ask and/or whisper/email me. I hope this works out for you guys and thank you for opening your home so soon after losing a pack member.
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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3449
    How exciting! I know I am not the best (and my dogs get away with a lot when it comes to leash manners because I'm probably too soft), but if you ever want any help with basic obedience, I gladly offer you as many free lessons as you want for any of your current or future pets. If that doesn't tempt you :), I know some really nice places/trainers in our area you can go for lessons/in home lessons if you're interested.

    Keep a good potty break schedule and keep her leashed with you or in a secured area when she is not outside with you or on potty breaks. The one big mistake I did with Ike when he first came home with me, is I paid too much attention to him I think and I didn't give him enough time to just relax and chill out on his own.Hokusei Kashinoki Hokkaido and Shiba Inu
    masakadoshiba@hotmail.com
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    www.hokkaidousa.wordpress.com
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

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