View Full Version : Training for adult dogs - apparently Éowyn is clever!

10th August 2012, 04:55 PM
I have been to the annual vet check with Molly and Éowyn. Molly now has a slight heart murmur, but we shouldn't worry, just keep an eye on her. Éowyn was fine - and here comes the surprise. Apparently I have to reconsider her intelligence. We have always thought that she was less clever than Molly (whom we call Brain, Éowyn is (or was!) Pinky.

This vet has seen Éowyn for several times, and she has always - like many other - noticed her happiness, and her high acitivily level. This vet is also skilled in dog behaviour, and she said something completely unexpected, to me anyway. Éowyn is 4 years od in October, and she has got the right physique and temper - and INTELLIGENCE! - to become an a excellent tracking dog for lost items/persons, for hunters - and for bomb squads! I am quite surprised, and I was adviced to let her use her skills.
Of course I could never dream of parting from her and send her to war, but the vet recommended that I went to obedience and tracking training with her. Obedience in order to teach her the basics needed for tracking. There are three courses close by, and I now have to figure out, whether I should do this or not. My main problem is time, but I will have to think about it.

Does any of you have experience with training an adult dog from scratch? I mean, this was a complete surprise to me, and I had never thought upon this.

10th August 2012, 05:20 PM
I have a little experience training rescue dogs. I had beagles, most were "hunting" dogs kept outside their whole lives, I needed to get them ready to be family pets. Most were shy or crazy about coming in the house. I did not take them to formal training. I would think it wouldn't be super hard tho. I would think it might be fun. However, I would guess it does take time. And that would be time away from Molly too (at least in formal training classes). I am taking just basic obedience classes with Fletcher now. I hope we can one day do therapy work with children maybe even in a hospital setting. :xfngr: We have a large children's hospital close to us, I have volunteered there for a few years. The kids LOVE the therapy dogs!!!! They have little fact cards for each dog and the kids are all about collecting and sharing them. I think/hope Fletcher is sweet enough and he loves kids, but its only a dream now. It takes a very special dog to visit kids in a hospital.

It wouldn't hurt to try a class or so and just see how it goes.


Kate H
10th August 2012, 10:10 PM
I had Oliver at a year old and he has always loved his training. I took him to basic obedience classes and because he enjoyed it so much I started doing competition obedience with him. In terms of winning through the classes, he never did brilliantly but almost always got placed and won a rosette. I think he would have loved doing what in the UK we call Working Trials, which includes tracking, but there are no classes near us. I think we both enjoy the one-to-one time together that training gives us - you get a very special relationship with your dog.

I don't think age makes all that much difference, as long as the dog is fit and hasn't learnt too many bad habits that you then have to undo. A long time ago I started training a friend's 6-year-old Golden Retriever who did well and loved it. If you can manage the time, I should go for it with Eowyn - I think you will find it very rewarding.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

11th August 2012, 02:40 PM
What a wonderful surprise about Éowyn! I agree, try her with a basic Obedience class and see how it goes for both of you. She might enjoy the mental stimulation. Some dogs do, and other dogs don't. As the old saying goes, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

12th August 2012, 07:45 PM
Thanks a lot for the input. I was unsure whether or not it was too late to start training (she is almost 4), but it seems that she can learn a lot. We have discussed it a bit, and I will try to find a class that fits. At least we can try it for a few times. The problem is still time, but I will try to find a class that steers free of working evenings and weekends.
The vet told me that she has a friend who uses his cavalier for hunting. The hunters laughed, when they showed up, but his cavalier is one of the best dogs - and they have stopped laughing.