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: Obedience Training Day Here at Last!!!  ( 5856 )
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #15 : May 16, 2015, 11:53:03 AM »

Thanks for your wishes.

I do NOT consider myself a "new dog owner" .  My family got our first dog, a boxer, when I was 6 months old and the only time I've been without a dog was my 12 weeks in basic training/advanced individual training.  Our house in KS sat on 7 city lots (smaller than full) and at one time we had 5 dogs at one time, including a golden retriever.  Most of our dogs have been working dogs, 3 St Bernards, golden retriever, Siberian Husky, etc.  We've never had one with Joe's whatever he has before.

Again, thanks for your wishes.

Virginia
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« #16 : May 16, 2015, 01:22:40 PM »

Perry,

I read your thoughtful reply and pretty nearly all the points you made were my own observations when training our dog!  I think many dog "owners" fail to recognize the subties  of personality that diverse breeds present.  Gene pointed that out earlier in this thread and he was spot on. 

The real "key" is to making it work with your dog is to focus on the personality traits you like and discourage those you dislike.

Blows my mind that too many fail to focus training on the positive.  Praise, Practice,PERFECT. 
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« #17 : May 16, 2015, 01:51:19 PM »

Not *you* being a *new* dog owner, but the *dog* being a *new dog*.  I've had many dogs and most of them have been middle of the road personalities.  Easy to train, and mold into what I wanted.  I have one however, who has been a delightful challenge.  She has pushed all the boundaries, in a good hearted way, but if I didn't adopt a rigorous, no excuses regime, she would rule the roost.  Once she realized that I had everything, EVERYTHING under control, she has been happy to be my back up. 
There is a dog training philosophy called NILIF.  (nothing in life is free)  That can mean anything..sitting on furniture, at your level, sleeping in the bed or the same room with you.  When to bark, when to play or sit, stay.  When to go outside.  You control every aspect of their life. And you have to be a kind, but firm leader.  I have guests a lot here, and I ask my guests to NOT greet my dogs until the dogs are quiet and still.  When company greets the dogs, when the dogs are excited and barking and jumping, it just reinforces behavior that I don't want.
Getting dogs past adolescence, just like kids can be a challenge...
Perry

If at first you don't succeed, redefine success. If at first you fail, redefine failure.
bobbin
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« #18 : May 16, 2015, 03:44:33 PM »

This is a NILIF household, Perry!  It's a ton of work up front.  You have to require and enforce compliance.  You say it, the dog DOES IT.  "Negotiation" is not part of the equation.
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #19 : May 17, 2015, 08:06:26 AM »

I think our trainer agrees with the philosophy - focusing on the positive.  She said that first night, find one thing about your dog and focus on that positive -- not the negative behaviors that you are frustrated by.

With Joe, there are tons of positives.  We love his enthusiasm, zest for life, he's very loving, smart, funny, on and on. 

If I could only change one behavior, it would be the need to mess with Jim.  Even that, he will probably outgrow in time but Jim deserves to not be messed with at every opportunity.  Soooo, when he comes in frisky and doesn't go over trying to start something with Jim, we heap tons of praise on him and when he does he gets scolded.  We're about 50-50 so I guess we are making progress.  Somehow, I don't think Jim sees it that way.  You can tell, he's very frightened of being jumped on and hitting the ground so I keep close tabs on the two of them.  That is the one behavior that is NOT negotiable right now.

I am enjoying walking more with Joe "heeling" more and more.  There are certain blocks right now that I don't even try -- too many distractions.  God help me if the ducks from Suck Lake are nearby.  Joe loves him some ducks : O 

At any rate, he certainly is a challenge but well worth it, IMO.

Virginia
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« #20 : May 18, 2015, 03:52:30 PM »

I left a comment on your other post, but it looks like you are on the right track!

"Yard by yard, life is hard. Inch by inch, it's a cinch." ~Unknown
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #21 : May 19, 2015, 08:19:05 AM »

Week #2 training tonight.  I'm excited to see how Joe will line up, in comparison with the other dogs, as far as the training that we've been doing all week.  It's been very gratifying as, unless he is really fired up, if he's misbehaving I can tell him to sit and stay and he does.  That's HUGE!   When he goes over and starts messing with Jim, Jim starts whining.  I don't even have to be in the same room, I hear Jim whine and tell Joe "Stop" and he flies over onto the couch and tries to get an innocent look on his face.  Too funny!  Last night and this morning both, I heard the cats growling (but not screaming) and went out prepared to chastise Joe.  He was sitting less than a foot away but not encroaching, just in a stare down with them.  They were trying their best to "get Joe in trouble".  LOL for sure!

Still work to be done.  Joe heels but not textbook perfect as I believe his shoulders should be in alignment with my hips.  He gets very distracted on our walks: birds, squirrels, ducks, other dogs, people but I do see improvement daily.  Yesterday I had him heeling and there was an elderly gentleman ahead of us -- for you old timers this guy was doing the greatest Tim Conway Old Man Shuffle I've ever seen -- he had a huge dog.  Probably had 15-20 pounds on Joe.  Joe was aware of the dog and was extremely interested in the direction that the man and his dog were walking but I was able to keep him in our version of heel.  Same thing happened when we passed two of Suck Lake's ducks out for their morning stroll.  Joe rubbernecked for all he was worth but kept heeling.  Squirrels are the big struggle.  Joe really wants to play with squirrels and so far I've not been able to keep him heeling when they come out.  Even with the choke, Joe still insists on trying to get to them.  I really hate that and hope that it will change soon.

Virginia
kodydog
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« #22 : May 19, 2015, 12:22:46 PM »

Sounds like Joe is doing great. By the end of the course he will be walking lockstep next to you. Don't be surprised if he acts up a little in class. Lots of distractions and excitement there. The main thing (for now) is hes doing good at home. If you have time get to class 10 mins early and walk Joe around outside. Make him do some sit stays and give him a little exercise. This will help him calm down a little before you go inside. It usually takes about 3 weeks before the dog figures out your there to work.
« : May 19, 2015, 12:24:30 PM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
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Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #23 : May 19, 2015, 04:08:25 PM »

That's a great idea but won't be able to implement this evening.  We are smack in the middle of rain that is supposed to go most of the evening.  I can't take him in the building early to walk/sit/stay as we were broken up into two groups and the other group goes 6-7.  Hopefully, the weather will be nice next week so that I can get the "devil" out of him.

Virginia
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« #24 : May 19, 2015, 04:47:56 PM »

Must watch this cat vs dog video.

https://www.facebook.com/HuffPostUKComedy/videos/523956007707915/?fref=nf

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
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Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #25 : May 20, 2015, 07:34:09 AM »

Ugh - much of last night was just a total disaster.  Rainy night so I couldn't get any of Joe's hyperness run out of him before class.  At least Joe did walk into the classroom on his own accord this week instead of having to be pushed in.  George's female dog was in a witchy mood and barked at Joe as we passed by.  George had said that Hillary was much more territorial than Horton and that was the case last night.  So, we sat by Horton.  Joe seemed curious about Horton but the classroom rule is that the dog has to give permission for close encounters and Horton had not given permission.  I wasn't thrilled about going on the other side but it was the only vacant seat plus we want the dogs to get to know each other.  Anyway, dog on the other side, attendees later found out, was a dog with aggression issues that is currently staying at the Humane Society.  The Director wanted to see how deep the issues were.  I was pretty po'd about that.  We are paying for this class and the Humane Society throws in a couple of their most aggressive dogs to see just how aggressive they were.  Great!!!

So, every time Joe looked his way (a LOT), this huge Pit Bull jumps to his feet, baring his teeth, growling and barking.  Joe doesn't back down.  He didn't bare his teeth but he wanted a piece of the action.  The only redeeming factor was that this was going on the other side of the classroom with the other Humane Society dog.  I'm assuming they are doing this to help them determine whether or not the dogs should be euthanized or not.  It pretty much blew whatever we were supposed to be learning for the first half of the class.  Pit bull barked and growled, Joe barked, dogs on the other side barked.  I tell Joe "No Bark", "Sit", and other commands, mostly to no avail.  On the times, I could get him to sit, Pit Bull would start barking again and I lose control of Joe.  Handler took Pit Bull out of the room and Joe and the other dogs settled down.  Right after break the pit bull and the other dog (didn't see it close enough to know it's predominant breed) came back into the classroom.  PB was settled for a while and so was Joe.  For no reason that I could tell, PB jumped up baring it's teeth, growling, barking so Joe did as well.  Somewhere along the line, George & his daughter switched dogs and we have Hillary on our other side.  When the PB went off, Hillary started after Joe.  I pulled Joe as far away from both as I could.  George grabbed Hillary, took her outside and had a "Come To Jesus" moment with her and she was fine after that.  Both Humane Society dogs were pulled permanently at that point.

So for the last 20 minutes, things were great.  We did figure 8's, which Joe did perfectly.  Michelle (Instructor) came over and gave me a high five for how Joe responded.  We also did "Come" where Michelle had Joe's lead and I was on the other end of the mat.  I called Joe, she had the lead loose and he ran to me with Michelle running for her life.  Too funny!  Worked on "Down" during the PB stuff, which Joe knows already fortunately so we were able to pass that task.  There were a couple other during the dog stuff which I'll have to look at the course notes to see what they were.  "Turn about" (probably not the right name) was one and I know I'm not doing that one right so will work on that this week.

Anyway, most of it was not a great night.  Though Joe did great on the figure 8's.  Michelle apologized over the Humane Society stuff and assured us that it will not be repeated.  I'm still not a happy camper about it but not much I can do about it so trying to let it go and work with Joe on the stuff we worked on.  Hoping week #3 will be better.

Virginia
« : May 20, 2015, 08:30:58 AM Virgs Sew n Sew »
kodydog
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« #26 : May 20, 2015, 08:14:38 AM »

I'm all for helping out the Human Society but your right about being a paying customer. You want the biggest bang for your buck. There are enough distractions in week 2 without dealing with aggressive dogs who are not part of the class. Sounds like your instructor was trying something new and it was not working out. She should have asked them to leave sooner.  A situation like this could set your dog back weeks. There are better ways to socialize dogs form the humane Society. I'm also all for adding distractions to a class but usually not till the trainers have a pretty good handle on their dogs. Week 6 would have been a better idea.

I remember teaching classes and the students paying so much attention to there dogs and whats going on around them they completely miss what I was saying. I found myself repeating myself often and this is to be expected.

Each week you go to class you will see a great improvement in Joe. Hang in there Virginia, It'll all be worth it. Keep up the good work.

One thing I don't understand about animal shelters. And I've been to a bunch of them. They all seem to be loaded with Pit Bulls. Whats the deal with that. It's like they are putting down more adoptable dogs or breeds and trying to save this breed that very few people want.  If the dogs aggressive put him down. There are too many unwanted dogs out there.
« : May 20, 2015, 08:24:16 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
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« #27 : May 20, 2015, 12:06:15 PM »

I am not a big fan of Pit Bull's. Before everyone wants to crucify me and tell me what great dogs they are and they have gotten a bad rap let me explain.

There are some docile and gentle Pit's out there. But alot of the pit bull lines in America were not bred by responsible breeders but rather by people who didn't have a clue and had Pit's for the ghetto status symbol. ( I am a bad ass and so is my dog ). Many more were bred out of illegal fighting lines. What all of these breeders were doing was taking their most aggressive Pit's and breeding them back to other aggressive pits. In the end alot of the pit's today come from these aggressive lines. In essence they have nearly destroyed the breed.

The same thing happened with GSD's back in the 70's. They nearly destroyed the breed with crappy breeding and trying to breed aggressive instincts into them. It took over a decade to get the breed back on track again.

I think the Pit problems will continue until they fall from favor with the idiots who think its cool to own an aggressive Pit. They nearly did the same with Rottweilers. Thankfully that breed is starting to come around again.

The biggest problem we have today is people breeding dogs for profit versus trying to maintain and enhance a breed. Speaking of which there is a lady in Orlando who is now breeding GSD's that are crossed with a tiny bit of wolf and a little bit of collie. Her pup's are blue in color and their temperament is that of a collie but with the intelligence and personality of a GSD. The next time we are near her kennels I want to stop in and see her Pup's as this experiment of hers is interesting to say the least. I have seen the pictures and they are simply gorgeous.

I am a big supporter of the GSD breed and have spent 40 plus years working with them, breeding them and training them. When we buy a GSD we select the breeder carefully based on their history of breeding. I am withholding judgement on this lady's attempt to improve the breed till I see them up close and personal.

Chris
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #28 : May 20, 2015, 04:15:20 PM »

Need to add that Joe and I had our long after lunch walk and he was a champ.  We heeled most of the time.  Not "lock step" but more in line than yesterday.  Periodically would release him from heel so that we could reinforce "sit" and "stay".  Did use the "turn about" once when Joe was interested in a squirrel.  Don't think we did it completely correctly but he did respond nicely.  Will try and call George in the morning and have him explain it to me again.

He's been pretty mello most of the day but is starting to come alive.  I had him down in Sew & Sew but he's a bit too rowdy for a couple of projects that are within his reach so I had Bob put up the barricade and Joe's on him.  But Joe understands that it's getting close to supper and after supper comes the evening walk and that boy loves his walks.

Virginia
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« #29 : May 21, 2015, 08:06:18 AM »

I would like to point out that Joe looked at the Pit "a lot".  And the Pit was returning the same behavior.  A prolonged "eye lock" is a challenge for dominance between two dogs who both fancy themselves "alpha".  That was an issue with our dog who is big and very strong.   Work really hard on the "watch me" command, Virginia.  Use it frequently and every single time Joe looks to you see how long you're able keep him looking into your eyes instead of the other dog's.  Lavish him with loving praise when he will hold your eyes, esp. with a "distraction".  It's harder than you think, but it's the quickest way to diffuse a potentially dangerous situation.  I also suggest working hard on "leave it" and how to deliver a corrective jerk to break Joe's focus on a challenging dog.  And then keep right on doing the lessons Joe  does so well!  Think of the corrective  jerk and a "reminder" that it's more FUN to be with you.  Obedience work is really about "socializing" dogs.  Socializing is more about politely ignoring other dogs and greeting people with respectful acceptance.

Obedience work is about teaching the handler how to work effectively with the dog.  It takes practice and commitment and perhaps the class was the Pit's first, after spending the week in a cage/run with only basic human contact?  All dogs are potentially aggressive, esp. when leashed, in a strange place, and surrounded by several other dogs!  Working dogs are intelligent and protective, and they're usually good sized animals.  Terriers were developed to kill vermin and drive off larger nuisance animals.  They're smart, athletic, and focused dogs and are fully capable of doing great damage.

Excellent points on the degradation of certain breeds.  Collies with eye problems, GSDs with hip issues, etc.. 
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