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Thread: 14 Week Old Deerhound - Seems Unresponsive

  1. #1

    Default 14 Week Old Deerhound - Seems Unresponsive

    Hi there!

    I am a new member to this forum and have been reading some great posts! I have a new deerhound pup (Hubba) at home - we got him about 3 weeks ago and he has settled into life with our 16 month deerhound staghound cross, Mabel quite well.
    The issue that I am having is that he doesn't seem at all responsive to any training that I am giving him. Furthermore he is lively and bright around our other dog but when he is on his own with people he tries to hide!
    I am not big on super trained animals; I toilet trained Mabel (der!!!), taught her to sit on command and come when she's called. That's about it. She is used up on the farm for hunting rabbits and foxes but for 90% of her life she is a beautiful and much loved pet. New puppy Hubba is on the same path...

    The problem that I am having is that every time I work with Hubba, he just doesn't get anything! I'm trying short sessions, several imes a day, different rewards (Mabel was so easy to train once I tapped into the fact that she was highly motivated by pats, not food) but with NOTHING sticking. Even with toilet training, I take them both outside, they will do their business (lots of praise and pats!) then he will come in and 2 minutes later, still manage to lay a big steamer in the hallway!! We keep joking that he is 'special' but I am starting to get worried!
    He comes from a registered breeder with great facilities and very good rapport with their dogs, passed his vet check with flying colours... Could it just be that he hasn't been handled by people a lot as a pup? We've tried getting him to sleep with us for the first week to 'bond' but still no response.

    Has anyone had any similar experiences? A few people we know that have had deerhounds have also sid that they take a very long time to mature and develop that 'bond'. Could he just be a dog's dog and not a people dog? Is our other dog a distraction? Should I send her to stay with a friend while I work with Hubba?

    I know I shouldn't compare him to my other dog but she was so quick to pick things up - any help anyone can offer would be great...

    Cheers!


  2. #2
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    Hi and welcome

  3. #3
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    In short my answer would be, male sight hound = doofus. He will come around. It's taking all his concentration just to manage his huge growing.

    I own Whippets, so part of the same group of dogs. I do find that the males of the sight hound group are a little bit more reserved, can be a bit simple to start off with but have to say having always preferred bitches to dogs in any other breed I am the opposite with the sight hounds.


    Toilet Training; remember also when he's been outside he's gotten all stirred up, excited about other things then comes into the house and it's suddenly, Oh yeah need to go now.

    I'd restrict his area inside the house, and then slowly over a matter of a couple of months open more areas up to him. Dogs do not like to soil areas they consider theirs. If he's just eaten I'd leave him out for about 40 minutes before letting him back in the house. There are plenty of threads here on training him to toilet on cue so won't go into that here.

    Look for the tell tale signs of circling, sniffing hunching etc, and if you can't watch him put him outside.

    I wouldn't worry, the bond will develop. And as for the training, both toilet training or anything else, it is a matter of repetition but remember he's not a Border Collie, sight hounds don't necessarily like to do the same thing over and over again. Short sessions, a couple of times a day. Maybe he'd prefer to work for toys rather than pats or food.

    I wouldn't send your other dog away, and I wouldn't go to him to give him affection, I'd make him work at getting some.

    Sometimes it can take 6 weeks + for a dog to feel at ease in it's new environment. Have different people come over but don't let them push themselves on him. I'd be ignoring him a bit and let him come around in his own time.
    Last edited by mouseandchicken; 07-02-2010 at 11:11 AM.

  4. #4
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    Ok first of all. Yes some dogs are just more dog-dogs than people-dogs. And he might just be a little slower than most to try to bond with you. When he realises that you are not that bad he will come around on his own. The best thing you can do is keep him with your other dog, train him with her so he can copy her movements, let her show him how good it is to be loved by humans.
    I found, with the last dog I had who didnt care for people, that when I pushed him a little bit, invaided his space, fussed over him, but still didnt push him too far. If I did that for a few times in a row then I almost completly ignored him and fussed and fiddled and sooked the other dogs he would get jealous and WANT my attention back and the only way to get it is to come up for a pat. Once he does that I start all over again pushing for a bit then pulling back. It took a lot of hard work and he did not respond enthusiasticly the first few times, but now he runns up to me for pats and if I sit on the ground he crawls into my lap for a cuddle.
    There is nothing wrong with him some dogs just prefer to be companions rather than overly lovey pets. As for his toilet training I can only sugest that you keep him outside until he does everything then, if you know he is going to do more inside, stay with him. If you do not let him walk away on his own and are there to catch him in the act then he will think twice about doing it once you catch him a few times. Just make it suficently nasty for him not to do it again but not too much that he will be scared of you because you still want to bond but it is important that he has boundaries.
    If I have not made enough sense then let me know and I will try again
    Good luck!!

    Breeding, Showing, Training and general crazy making!!!
    If you seek understanding listen to the music, not the song.

  5. #5

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    Thanks to all of you for your responses - they are most helpful...

    I do agree - Male sighthounds = doofus. Gold. He is definitely not the brightest crayon in the packet! Gorgeous but a bit on the dark green side...

    Perseverence...

    I'll keep you posted on how we go!

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    Quote Originally Posted by karenb View Post
    I do agree - Male sighthounds = doofus. Gold. He is definitely not the brightest crayon in the packet! Gorgeous but a bit on the dark green side...
    Oh, don't be like that! Just because some dogs do not respond well to people doesn't mean they're doofuses They're jut in their own world thinking and wanting their own thing. I reckon you should give it more time, not expect too much and he'll come around.
    Respect and you shall be respected. Animal is always right.

  7. #7

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    I find that male sighthounds (big ones especially) can take the longest to make initial connections with, but can also then connect deeper than anything. Does that make sense?

    My borzoi boy wasn't particularly fussed on much at all as a pup, he pottered about in his own world much of the time. At three he is the most phenomenally devoted hound I could imagine. I don't know when he changed from laid back pup to devoted hound, it must have been gradual. He waits at the gate for me to get home, he sits on my feet and gazes up into my face whenever he possibly can. His nickname is "Old Yella". My girls on the other hand, love a pat and cuddle from everyone in the family, then they run off to play.

    The most intense greyhound I've had when I was fostering was the same. For nearly three weeks he barely looked at me. Not aggressive or anything, I just may as well have been invisible. There was other things to do, and he wasn't going to waste time on me (slightly different as he had also been mistreated). One day he jumped into my arms at feed time, and was my shadow from then until he found his new owner. He is still a shadow dog.

    Don't rush it. You might find that he turns out to be more than you imagined. If you look at it from people terms, how long would you take to warm to brand new complete strangers if you lived with them? It takes time. You'll uncover his hidden treasure eventually. And if he is just a doofus, that will be just as precious anyway!

    Plus we need pictures!!

  8. #8
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    I do find that the males of the sight hound group are a little bit more reserved, can be a bit simple to start off with but have to say having always preferred bitches to dogs in any other breed I am the opposite with the sight hounds.
    [/QUOTE]

    I am in total agreement with Natty, I prefer my Whippet dog to my Whippet bitches (as stated above in a previous post) but it did take longer to bond with him.

    The majority of people I speak to who own sight hounds also agree.

    My Whippet male is not fussed by strangers, they are unimportant to him, whereas the girls will all greet strangers like long lost friends.

    All the best of luck with your boy, I love Deerhounds, beautiful gentle souls.

  9. #9

    Default sighthounds

    Just my 2c worth - I currently have a 4 month old standard poodle pup and two approx. eleven week old rotty cross shepherd pups (the girl is looking SO shepherdy now, can't believe it's the same dog, lol).

    Both pups were a little reserved with us (could be their background, they were abandoned in the bush with a very aggro mum). It took us a couple of weeks before they really did the whole smiling, wagging tails and walking up to us thing. They were very independant and confident in the yard and with our other dogs right from the start though. We didn't pursue them too much, just made sure they were involved in everything. Lots of cuddles and treats given as they got to know us, but we allowed them to do their own thing too. Having each other probably means they are a team deal. On the weekend, we had a play date with their litter mates and the lady who is fostering them and I was pleased to notice that our two frequently came over to me for a quick hello and they clearly viewed me as their person over the other people there, so they are bonding, it just took a while.

    Generally, I prefer bitches in any breed, but now three out of five in our pack dogs and they are great. We even chose to swap one of the rotty crosses ( a bitch) for a dog pup because he was a much better match for the other four). One thing I have found is that out of the rotty cross siblings, the bitch gets toilet training much quicker than her brother and the male standard poodle pup. Our toy poodle bitch, now five, got toilet training very fast too. I should add we have used crates and limiting the amount of house they have access to as well as plenty of well-timed outside loo time. The poodle boy is definate 'doofus' material in may ways, but totally lovable and very clever when he is actually focused, which has only been in the last month. Before that, he seemed to have the attention span of a goldfish. Now he gets in the ponds and tries to BE a fish, sigh........

    Would love to see more pics of your guys.......

    P.S - Re sighthounds, are great danes and bull mastiffs in this group, or are they scent hounds?

    Cathy.

  10. #10
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    No they are part of the non-sporting and utility groups.

    The hounds have such breeds as Afghan, Basset, Beagle, Borzoi, Dachshund, Pharaoh, Rhodesian Ridgeback to name a few.

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