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: Obedience Training Day Here at Last!!!  ( 5142 )
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #30 : May 21, 2015, 08:17:33 AM »

Watch me definitely sounds like a command we need to learn.  I think it's about turn not "turn about" that I was referring to.  You jerk the lead quickly and turn the dog in the opposite direction to diffuse the situation.  Did that on our walk yesterday when Joe wanted to chase squirrels.  Worked great.  Also am using Leave It, especially when he wants to torment Jim.

Of course, the figure 8's are my favorite since Joe did them so effortlessly.  I'm sure that's just for show and not anything of value but still it was fun to have Joe perform so well after the first half of class was such a disaster.

We should actually have sun today (first time all week) so our walks should be more fun just because of that.  It's been either sprinkling or cold all week during our walks.  Can't believe the weather is as cold as it is this late in May.

Thanks for all of the tips and encouragement!!!

Virginia
Mojo
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« #31 : May 21, 2015, 09:03:39 PM »

Bobbin:

Your so right. Once a certain breed becomes popular ( which runs in cycles and can even be brought on by movies ) you can pretty much count on a degradation of that breed. All the people looking for a quick buck start these puppy mill's and breed their dogs with known health issues.

Irish setters became popular and eye problems including blindness was passed on from liter to liter. Dobie's were the same way and had their health issues. GSD's had bad hips and then later elbows and were passed on in numerous liters. Cocker spaniels, Dalmations, Rottie's, Pit's, Goldens, etc. had popularity cycles and with it came many health problems that were ignored and bred into hundreds of liters.

I have a female GSD that has not been neutered yet. I have considered breeding her as I have several family members that would like a pup from her. But I refuse to just breed a dog based on how pretty she is. her hips and elbows would have to be certified clear and she would have to have a test for DM which is a common problem in loosely bred GSD's ( a degeneration of the nerves and spine ). 

I also am not crazy about going through the puppy thing again. Been there, done that and have the T-Shirt. It is a ton of work with alot of risks to puppies and the mom. We also have enough puppies out there without me adding to the numbers.

I think I just talked myself out of it. I will probably have her neutered after she is two. More and more University studies are coming out that show in large breed dogs that spaying/neutering before the growth plates close off can cause issues in the dog later on. Many breeders are requiring new dog buyers to sign a statement saying they will not have their dogs neutered/spayed till they are at least 2.

Chris
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« #32 : May 22, 2015, 07:59:38 AM »

I once talked to a customer from England. She told me over their because of strict breeding laws they have no strays. Being form America I found this very hard to fathom.

Americans have a knack for screwing up breeds. The dog in my profile picture came from strict breeders. His father was German and mother came from Holland. But in the end he still managed to get the disease Chris spoke of. Degenerative Myelopathy. He basically lost the feeling in his back legs. A doctor at the University of Florida Vet School is a  spet in this disease and we tried many types of therapy including acupuncture and stem cell but in the end the disease got him.

The figure 8 is a fun exercise but it does have training value also. In the obedience ring the judge is looking for a brisk steady pace from the handler The handler should never break his stride or slow down or speed up for the dog. The dog on the other hand will have to slow down on an inside curve and speed up on an outside curve. At the same time paying close attention to the handler and never breaking the heal position. The dog should not be distracted by the human posts. In class we used handlers and their dogs (in a sit stay) as posts. This causes great distractions for all dogs involved.

By the way Virginia, what type dog does your teacher use for demo's.
« : May 22, 2015, 08:01:45 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #33 : May 22, 2015, 08:25:09 AM »

Nice to know that Joe is excelling at something that has training value ; )

There are 3 or 4 people in the class that are experienced handlers that she is using for demos.  My brother-in-law, George, is one of them.  Horton & Hillary were the top in their class when they took it several years ago.  They are a combination of dalmation/mastiff.  Another woman has the larges yellow lab I have ever seen -- a very gentle and obedient fellow.  There's a teenage girl that has a shepherd/???? that has also been through her class before.  I think those are the only ones.  She has them come up and demo the commands.

As far as screwing up breeds, don't forget to put St Bernards in there too.  We had three.  Fabulous dogs but all of them had hip issues.  Our female was diagnosed with dysplacia at 8 months of age.  We lived 40 minutes from Kansas State which has an incredible vet school and opted to take Gertie there to get her hips fixed.  By the time the first hip had healed , she was too old for a good outcome and as the top vet there said to me, "It costs too much money for this surgery for anything other than a positive outcome."  She lived to be almost 7 but always ran funny because her hips weren't in proper alignment.  I was absolutely disgusted with both breeders.  I called to let them know of the hip issues and pretty much begged them not to breed again.  I was told "No one else has called, so it must be an anomaly."  That's when & why we quit buying pure breeds.  I know the technology has changed now to where you can identify things like bad hips, etc but we feel like there are too many strays or rescues in need of a good home so we are going that route now.  Can be a little more challenging because they probably didn't come from a loving first home.  But with patience and love, both Carly & Jimmy turned out to be incredible dogs.  Hoping for the same outcome with my rowdy friend, Joe.

Virginia
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« #34 : May 22, 2015, 04:07:28 PM »

Gene mentioned earlier on that certain breeds are better suited to certain owners.  I think his observation was "spot on". 

Labs. are wonderful dogs, but for me? too "cling-y".  Always underfoot and "in the way".  In my experience they don't know how "take a powder" (but I'm a cat person).  I've found that I prefer the more independent nature of working dogs and terriers.  And I'm willing to do the work to train them; not everyone is "wired that way".  I should note that people with the aforementioned breeds of dog who DON'T train them piss me off big time. 

I had horses in my earlier years.  The most important lessons I learned were:
1.)  it's easier to "outsmart" them than out muscle them
2.)  you achieve more with patience and praise than with punishment
3.)  if the lesson is not taking hold, go back to the basics because YOU'VE obviously failed in teaching a basic command!
4.)  training is a reflection of YOU.  If the animal "doesn't get it" you are the responsible party!
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #35 : May 22, 2015, 04:28:16 PM »

Absolutely agreed bobbin!

I have gotten more response out of Joe since I have begun using a more authoritative voice.  90% of the time he responds.  The other 10% he is just too wired or I wasn't as authoritative sounding as I thought.  Note:  there is a difference in being authoritative (in command) as opposed to losing it and yelling.  The difference is night and day.

Virginia
bobbin
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« #36 : May 22, 2015, 05:23:04 PM »

Ain't that the truth!  And when you're really pissed off it's a whole lot harder to take a deep breath, think a little bit, and take a new tack. 

I have "lost it" a few times.  Really yelled, grabbed the scruff of his neck and given it a really good shake! proud? not hardly.  But it did make an impression and I recovered quickly enough to go right back to basics.  Things that were "easy" for him and easy to praise.  Back to basics is key.

My dog has taught me every bit as much (prolly more) as I've taught him!
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #37 : May 27, 2015, 02:33:03 PM »

Week #3 here and gone.  First of all, Joe started getting squirrely Saturday.  Looked to us like he and the cats were playing.  They didn't run off to a hiding place so we let them go.  In retrospect, should have halted it.  Once he "got by", he started goosing Jim and jumped on his hips in the back yard Monday night.  Not hard enough to drop Jim, but I was a bit ticked at it.  He started pulling towels down, getting into my nicely folded fabric and other irritating things he hasn't done for at least a month.

Soooo, off to school we go.  I was encouraged because Bob didn't have to hoist him into my car.  We got there just as the 6 PM class was letting out so (a bit early), so I thought we would do some about turns, sits, etc before class.  Joe immediately drops on his side and WILL NOT do anything.  So, I get him over to our seat.  He started barking.  No Bark with hand on muzzle, no effect at all.  Would not heel when we were showing off how well our dogs could heel.  Pretty much everything all night long.  I was discouraged and embarrassed by Joe's behavior.  Got home and he was extra squirrely.  I did finally lose my cool and yelled in a very command voice according to my hubby (a former platoon sergeant).  Joe did stop what he was doing and did listen.  He has been listening and obeying since then but it's early yet.  Hopefully week #4 will be better.  He did great on our walk, other than trying to rip my arm out of the socket when he saw a cat he wanted to chase.  Otherwise he either ignored or responded to "Leave It".

Virginia
Mojo
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« #38 : May 27, 2015, 04:30:17 PM »

Bobbin: Horses  ?? Do not even get me started. We used to board horses when we had the farm and I worked with green horses up through great trail horses. They are a very smart animal and you never take one for granted.

I have been bucked off, leaned on, bitten, kicked, thrown and head butted but I still love my wife and married her anyways. Opp's, back to horses.

All kidding aside horses can be a real pleasure or an ugly 1,000 lb animal that will kick your head off.
I was always amazed at how smart they were whenever someone got in the saddle. They knew if they had a green rider, a kid or an experienced horse person and would respond accordingly. We had a mare on lease and was extremely kid safe. The second you put a kid on her back she would behave like a dream. The second my Ex-wife ( who the horse did not like )would get on her back she would grab the bit in her teeth and go.

They are amazing animals. I loved being around them. I had my share of run ins with them and got injured a couple times messing with ones that were not broke but I enjoyed spending time with them. It was my stress reliever back then.  I miss the days of being in the barn brushing and grooming them, hearing and seeing their breath on a cold day.

I can say the same thing about women too. :)

Chris

bobbin
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« #39 : May 27, 2015, 05:02:14 PM »

Joe is  a "kid"! he really does like being "told what to do"! but his memory is short because he's a "kid".  Stick with the routine, make sure the commands are always uniform and that  you follow through within 3-5 seconds.  You say it, he does it.  End of story! make him "hold it" and then praise lavishly! waiting and looking to you for "release" is the goal, Virginia.

LOTS OF EXERCISE before you get to work on the obedience stuff.  Burn off the energy and he'll be much more receptive to what needs to be practiced.  Trust me on this! he's so full of dynamite that concentrating is just too hard at a time when learning the voice and hand commands is still new and he just has to race around like a fool. You're doing everything right, and keep up the good work.  Too many people wimp out when it gets "hard", don't be an "obedience pussy".  Stick with it!  (patterned a slip. the other day in a home with an obese, fear aggressive mini-Schnauzer.  Was told, "Don't look at her or speak to her and she'll be fine."  No kidding).

My reply?  "OK, but trust me, if your dog even tries to bite me I will drop-kick her into the afterlife.  Or, you can keep her behind her behind a securely closed door and both of us will be secure." I winked and went about my work.  This particular "Homey" don't play that! sorry!
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #40 : May 28, 2015, 06:28:01 AM »

Thanks bobbin, I needed that.

Joe's day yesterday was pretty good actually.  One cat in particular seemed bent on getting Joe in trouble yesterday.  She was hanging under the dining room table.  Joe would put one paw in the dining room and honest to God, she screamed like he was ripping her limb to limb.  lol.  So have to be extra careful to make sure he is really messing with cats before getting on his case  Ain't siblings great ; )

Anyway, he responded well to "Leave It" when necessary yesterday.  Evening walk, he did want to chase a squirrel and the two neighborhood ducks were too much to ignore.  About turn and leave it had no effect so I kept repeating the commands while trying to drag him away.  Too much fun!  In both cases, once we got away from the situation, he returned to a pretty good heel.  Got home and did our figure 8's (perfect) and then about a dozen about turn's just to get him used to them.  You could tell when it was almost bedtime.  Big yawns but could't resist going into the dining room just to hear Michelle scream.  Most of the time, he didn't go near her, just wanted to hear her ridiculous screaming I think.  Arghh!  Dropped as soon as the lights were out. 

He will probably sleep a lot today as it was a short night.  There is a car wash across the street and their motion detector started going off a little after midnight.  Horrible racket.  After the third time, we called the police (actually thought it was the neighbor's car).  Called back when the officer went by without stopping and that's when we found out it was the car wash.  It was after 1 before the owner could get on site and probably 2 before the patrol car and the owner left.  Once they got the siren to quit going off every time a leaf blew in front of it, they had a nice chat (I'm sure they were making sure that it wasn't going to go off again).  Because the windows were open and it was quiet otherwise, we could hear their voices and Joe barked a time or two.  We were good with that though as that is his job.  I've got sandpaper eyes for sure.  Ugh.

Michelle (cat) is stomping about the living room right now, obviously po'd that she can't get Joe to take the bait.  Poor dude just wants to sleep.  I didn't even have to tell him "Leave It" when we went through the dining room to go outside.  He also did not try to swipe Jim's treats at all yesterday or their first treat this morning so those are some nice differences.  I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and we'll see how week #4 goes.

I also think I need to accept some of the blame for week #3.  I know that I handle the lead more confidently when we're out and about in the neighborhood than when we're in the classroom.  Joe picks up on that and takes full advantage of it.  Think that is also the problem when we hit squirrels or the ducks.  I'm not confident in being able to diffuse it, Joe picks up on it and wham it becomes a nightmare.  Good thing I do upholstery an have lots of arm muscles or I'd never bee able to manhandle him out of these spots.  So, that is my exercise to work on.  Being confident in being able to control Joe through the trouble spots.  Don't expect to master it over night but will work on projecting confidence in those situations, as well as using my new "command" voice and see what changes that brings.

Virginia
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #41 : May 28, 2015, 07:42:50 AM »

Oops, forgot to mention that instructor started the class by saying that last week's behavior was inexcusable and that her "zero tolerance of baring teeth" was again being implemented.  I was really po'd at that because the ONLY dogs that bared their teeth were the two from the humane society that she allowed in the class.  Yes, Joe was in an alpha male dispute with one of the creatures and barked/growled at him but Joe NEVER bared his teeth at anyone, nor did any of the paying customer's dogs as far as I could tell.  So she allowed two aggressive dogs in her classroom, then grumps about the behavior of the dogs.  So that put me on edge as I was pretty sure Joe was one of the dogs whose behavior she was referring to.  Yes, he's all puffed up about his alpha maleness but after watching some aggressive behavior in this class, I don't believe Joe is aggressive.  Just a very energetic puppy with tons and tons of energy.  So, I think I was extremely nervous (socialization time) that Joe would bare his teeth and get booted.  Joe fed on that and we just went downhill from there.

End of the class, she "thanked" everyone for keeping their dogs in check.  Duh!  There was no aggressive dog in the classroom, no problems other than Joe and a couple of other dogs who are in love with their voices.  I did have to laugh because it seemed like when I would get Joe to quit barking, then a dog on the other side of the classroom would start barking.  They would get that dog shut up and Joe would start in.  Arghh.

Next week could not get worse so I'm sure that week # 4 will be fabulous. ; )

Virginia
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« #42 : May 28, 2015, 07:24:09 PM »

Quote
So she allowed two aggressive dogs in her classroom, then grumps about the behavior of the dogs.  So that put me on edge as I was pretty sure Joe was one of the dogs whose behavior she was referring to.

She failed her mission. Allow her to save face, and to use a bad experience to reinforce a positive standard. That's how leaders apologize and regain the situation. Right Bob?

 
Quote
I also think I need to accept some of the blame for week #3.  I know that I handle the lead more confidently when we're out and about in the neighborhood than when we're in the classroom.

To paraphrase a mantra from the British Sandhurst Military Collage; One cannot command unless they are in command of  themselves and the situation.

I'm a little less subtle as a Snr. NCO. " Screw "them" . You own the dog, the place in the class, and will not be  intimidated . Assess the situation , draw a deep breath and walk in calm and in control, and get the  best bang for your buck. You may need to yard on your boot laces----but don't be any different than at home. Joe is relying on you for direction and control. You can do it girl---just quit being shy at class.   

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #43 : May 28, 2015, 09:04:34 PM »

 Smiley's don't work with an apple  :) ;) :D ;D >:( :( :o 8) ??? ::) :P :-[ :-X :-\ :-* :'(

Joe had a great morning walk.  Only issue was when we walked by his boxer buddy -- he did want to run but I didn't press the issue too much because they have been fence buddies since we started walking.  Otherwise he was responsive to "Heel", "Leave It" and better with "About Turn" ... evening walk was not as good but again, that was probably me. He was doing very well.  We met 3 squirrels and a couple of dogs and we were able to "Leave It" -- sometimes took more than one "Leave It" to get the desired result but solid progress.  We passed a large dog and I knew Joe would have to Alpha male it and was a little shaky on my initial handling and Joe was more than pleased to take advantage of it.  Lesson learned for Virginia.

He's been a little owley tonight.  Too stuffy to play much Frisbee so we just didn't get as much energy out of him as optimum. 

10 minute Frisbee break just taken.  Joe caught his first 8 Frisbee's (6 cloth and 2 hard plastic).  Dropped the rest of the plastic, 3 or 4 of the cloth and then caught at least another 6 of the cloth Frisbee's.  Came in with his tongue dragging so hopefully he used up his remaining energy and we'll have a reasonably quiet evening.

Anyway, all in all I'm pleased with where Joe is at.  When he gets squirrley or owley, I just have to force myself to go into my command voice.  He is still responding to that.  Work harder on my confidence in controlling Joe when we meet creatures that he goes into spazz mode over.

Good news is that we finalized MIL's estate issues today and should get checks Monday or Tuesday.  That enables us to start the yard enlarging process which will also help Joe to run off steam a tad easier.  Next week we can start getting contractors lined up for our first project.  We have several other items around the house we want to improve but we both agreed that getting a larger yard for Joe is our top priority

Also, tomorrow is our 33rd Anniversary.  How time flies.  We were talking tonight about our "big" day, laughing about my MIL freaking out when we didn't get service as fast as she thought we needed, the after keg party and so forth.  As with all marriages, we've had our share of ups and downs over the years but we've gotten through all the rough spots and the hard times always make the good times sweeter.  Hoping for 33 more Anniversary celebrations (at least).

Virginia
« : May 28, 2015, 09:05:11 PM Virgs Sew n Sew »
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #44 : May 30, 2015, 09:45:46 AM »

Quick Update:

Joe shows improvement every day.  One thing that seems to be helping is a new choke collar.  The collar we replaced was purchased 6-8 weeks ago and Joe has filled out A LOT since then.  I was afraid that we wouldn't be able to get it off of him if we didn't get it replaced soon.  It wasn't choking him -- was still plenty loose around his neck but his head is larger than his neck.  There is more give with the new one which makes it easier to flick it, gaining his attention.

He is also sitting at the door waiting for me to exit first.  He doesn't completely understand that he is also supposed to wait for me to enter first but baby steps baby steps.

The HUGE change though is with Jim.  He still has his moments of getting squirrely with Jim.  I don't even have to use "Leave It" with him.  If I'm out of the room, I come in and he flies over onto the couch.  If I'm in the room, all I have to do is stand up and whoosh, he's off Jim in a flash.  He is 7 months old and still playful and he really wants to play -- just doesn't understand about 12-1/2 year old hips.

So, despite a dismal week #3 classroom performance, I rate Joe's improvement in the B+/A- area.  Needless to say, Bob & I are both thrilled.  Still lots of work but obviously Joe knows what he is supposed to do.  Both of yesterday's walks were also a vast improvement (due partially to a better fitting collar and partially to me being the "Captain of my Ship).

Joe loves his Frisbees and I've been throwing them a bit higher every day.  He catches maybe 3 to 1 and it's obvious that he finds this great sport.  When Joe is being good, he absolutely rocks!

Virginia
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