Will a pup learn bad habits from an older dog?

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Wisco_Outdoors
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Will a pup learn bad habits from an older dog?

Post by Wisco_Outdoors » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:08 am

So I have recently wanted to get a hunting dog, but I may have a problem. My wife picked up a dog from the humane society a few years ago, before I started hunting grouse and ducks. He is a hound/lab mix, and may possibly have a mild case of mental retardation, we found that out a while after we got him. He doesn't play fetch, hates water, he's gun shy and is basically only interested in food. Will having him around while trying to train a pup to hunt hinder the pups training? Will the pup pick up bad habits from the big ole 75 lb cat?

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AzDoggin
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Re: Will a pup learn bad habits from an older dog?

Post by AzDoggin » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:33 pm

Wisco_Outdoors wrote:So I have recently wanted to get a hunting dog, but I may have a problem. My wife picked up a dog from the humane society a few years ago, before I started hunting grouse and ducks. He is a hound/lab mix, and may possibly have a mild case of mental retardation, we found that out a while after we got him. He doesn't play fetch, hates water, he's gun shy and is basically only interested in food. Will having him around while trying to train a pup to hunt hinder the pups training? Will the pup pick up bad habits from the big ole 75 lb cat?
Your description of the dog is hilarious!! (I owned one of those dogs once.) :D

I think there are lots of folks who have multi-dog households, and train their dogs fine. If you think about it, the pro trainers keep several dogs and make it work.

I'll be in the same predicament as you after this summer, but the "other dog" is a smart-as-a-whip, ball-crazy, play crazy but gun shy two year old Border Collie mix (in addition to two smaller dogs who are senior citizens). The BC hates to be left out of anything, so it will be some work to keep him from getting in the way. Heck, I might even include him in some of the yard training, alternating dogs on tether --who knows?

I think the situation can be managed.

The crate needs to become your friend, as does a "tie-out" or chain gang. When you are doing yard training, the other dog is either in the house or at minimum tied away so he can't be a distraction. Crating the pup for an hour or so before you train will allow them to focus more on what you are doing. I don't have personal experience with this, but I've read that crating them for at least 30 min's after training helps them "reflect" on the training session (???)

Obviously, the gun-shy dog stays home when you start getting the pup out in the field, so no "interference" there, either.

In the "little green" NAVHDA book, the authors state that you don't want a pup running free in the yard unsupervised with other dogs very much of the time (apparently, kennel is preferred). I'll be very interested to hear alternate opinions on this idea. With police dogs in training, the dogs are either kenneled or in training. Trainers want 100% of the imprinting to be with the human. Not sure, but I'd bet an awful lot of well-trained bird dogs were raised in more of a "family" environment.

So, IMO, having another dog around doesn't have to hinder the training of the pup, it just presents some logistics to deal with.

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Ryman Gun Dog
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Re: Will a pup learn bad habits from an older dog?

Post by Ryman Gun Dog » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:54 am

Wisco_Outdoors,

Yes dogs do learn bad habits from each other as well as good habits also. Seperate you dogs when training, let your older dog at home, take your pup out by himself
even seperate them when doing yard work.
RGD/Dave

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K9luke
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Re: Will a pup learn bad habits from an older dog?

Post by K9luke » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:10 pm

Take the pup out and train without the other dog around and you'll do fine. That includes obedience training.

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Re: Will a pup learn bad habits from an older dog?

Post by shags » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:05 am

If you stake the older one out where he can see the pup in training, he might learn something from the pup :D

jimbo&rooster
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Re: Will a pup learn bad habits from an older dog?

Post by jimbo&rooster » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:00 pm

is that the hound mix in your avatar? he's a good looking SOB. Always had a soft spot for hound dogs.
Jim
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Ron R
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Re: Will a pup learn bad habits from an older dog?

Post by Ron R » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:20 am

Ryman Gun Dog wrote: Seperate you dogs when training, let your older dog at home, take your pup out by himself
even seperate them when doing yard work.
Very simple and VERY sound advice. I would recommend following it exactly.
Ryman Gun Dog wrote:Yes dogs do learn bad habits from each other as well as good habits also.
I do disagree with this though. I don't believe a dog will learn any good habits from another dog, only bad ones. If one dog is misbehaving and one is not the bad one is not going to start behaving because of the well mannered one. Same goes in the field, if one dog is steady and one is not, the unsteady dog is not going to learn from the well disaplined dog. It's all about training. I truely believe that the only habits dogs pass on to other dogs are the bad ones. From taking birds out, to getting in the trash, to chewing on furiture, ect.
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