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: Obedience Training Day Here at Last!!!  ( 6014 )
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« : May 12, 2015, 08:17:10 AM »

Tonight at 7PM, Joe and I officially start obedience training.  I have already been working on some things (my going in and out of doors first, my going up and down stairs first, increasing the length of time he sits, giving him heaps of praise when his behavior fits our expectations rather than a "treat", and a few others that escape me right now).  We have seen some definite signs of improvement.  This morning he and one of the cats sat less than 2 feet apart on the floor.  Joe didn't feel compelled to dive bomb the cat.  Eventually the cat figured out Joe wasn't going to eat her and quit making her irritating growling sounds.  His outdoor behavior with Jim has been on the money for several weeks.  He sometimes has hero worship, following Jim around the yard but mostly he'll take care of his business while Jim takes care of his.

Indoors he has wanted to get a little rough with Jim a couple of times.  He stopped when we told him "stop".  I also am keeping Joe out in the yard 15-20 minutes after walks to allow him to wind down as it seems like that is when he's most likely to overstep the bounds with Jim.  I try to throw ball/Frisbee 2 or 3 times a day about 15 minutes a shot (want to see his tongue really dragging).  Then he'll come in, drink water, find a good place to hunker down and then I come downstairs and get work done without interruptions for generally 90 minutes or more at a shot.

All in all, we're both very pleased with Joe.  He still needs the direction that OT will give him/us but I'm feeling very encouraged by the signs that both of us are seeing.  He really is a charmer and it's great to be seeing some positive signs, even before training officially starts.

Virginia
kodydog
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« #1 : May 12, 2015, 09:07:18 AM »

Sounds great Virginia.

An odd thing occurs in training called the 5 week slump. Things will be going smoothly then all of a sudden it'll seem like he has forgotten every thing he has learned. Books have been written explaining this occurrence on the dogs thought process changing from short term to long term memory. Don't become frustrated. Back up and start with the basics again. He will quickly relearn the commands and this time it will stay in his long term memory. Sounds like your doing a fantastic job. Enjoy the classes.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
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Darren Henry
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« #2 : May 12, 2015, 10:08:32 PM »

Glad to hear the good news. Hope class went well. Always nice to see some one get a good break after some bad luck. After the last few month's trials and tribulations you and Bob are certainly due.

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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« #3 : May 13, 2015, 07:12:56 AM »

Class went very well.

We got there and it was packed.  She is doing two different classes due to the size.  Joe freaked out at all the dogs and people and would not go in the door.  Bob's little brother is taking his two mastiff's back through the class, primarily so that they & Joe will learn to know each other.  He hopes we can bring Joe over for play dates when we meet them to play cards.  How cool is that?  His daughter came out and kind of pushed Joe's butt through the door.

He was one of the "barkers" so Michelle taught us "no bark", hand over muzzle.  That will definitely come in handy at home!  The good news was that Joe did not show any sign of aggressive behavior around all the dogs/people.  One dog very much was aggressive and I'm wondering if it will be asked to not return.  She said zero tolerance of aggressive behavior.

Mostly we worked on sit, stay, heel and a few brave souls tried come as well as entering/departing through doors first.  Joe passed all tasks with flying colors.  We are to train 2 10 minutes at a time until class next week.

Glad we went.  Glad Joe was not aggressive.  Looking forward to next week.

Virginia
Mojo
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« #4 : May 13, 2015, 08:44:34 AM »

Great news. :)

Chris
bobbin
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« #5 : May 13, 2015, 12:16:27 PM »

I was wondering how things went for you last night, Virginia!  I'm glad you had a good time.  And it's really amazing how much you learn about your dog in a busy classroom setting, isn't it?  Our dog was on full alert when we arrived at class, lol, while other dogs were really very timid.  The instructor told both the husband and I to deliver a very strong correction whenever he got a little too big for his britches and it worked.  We spent a lot of time on "leave it!" and "watch me" so we could break his focus on other dogs and bring him back to following commands.  The instructors were quick to point out that obedience classes were less about training the dog than they were about training the owners.  And within 3 classes you'll see who does their homework and who doesn't.   

20 minutes a day is really all it takes as long as you enforce the commands every time you give them.  I loved the classes and practicing was very easy.  I found our dog was much more receptive to more intensive work after he'd had a chance to blow off some energy.  10-15 minutes chasing a tennis ball seemed to put him "the right frame of mind" for homework.   It was the best thing we could've done to help our dog adapt his new home. 
kodydog
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« #6 : May 13, 2015, 12:31:43 PM »

The socialization alone is worth a million bucks. I would have paid that much just to see Joe in this new and strange environment. Glad to hear everything went good.
« : May 13, 2015, 12:34:11 PM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
Darren Henry
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« #7 : May 13, 2015, 06:09:31 PM »

Quote
He hopes we can bring Joe over for play dates when we meet them to play cards.

OMG--- I'm a Redneck!!! I totally "Tim the toolman-ed" when I read that. Just before the coffee flew out my nose I had an image of one of those self loading "clay pigeon" throwers the trap shooters use and a case of mini-frisbees; and Bob's brother having to carry those two mastiff's back into the house after Joe wore out LOL. BTW --- Al just reminded me that a safety shield around the moving arm of the machine would be in order.

Your right Kody---that was a good test of Joe's ugh disposition ? for want of a better term. It makes me believe that Virginia is right and that Joe's spring is just wound a little too tight at home. Not that I had any argument---She lives with the dog/ I read about him up here in Canada. A little hard to form a opinion. Glad all went well. 

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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« #8 : May 14, 2015, 07:15:22 AM »

Ah yes, loved Tim the Toolman.  You would have to know George to understand the play date thing.  His granddaughter is always bugging him to remind me that she and I need a "Barbie play date" -- lol.  And they always want us to play cards and we end up leaving because the dogs are home alone.  We brought Joe over after MIL died because George & Marcie fixed lasagna for everyone who came home for the funeral.  He ended up putting the big dogs in his daughter's yard (next door -- that is red neck!) and Joe and their little dog ran their fool heads off.  So, he & Marcie decided that the two big dogs should go back through the classes just so that Joe would get to know them.  We sit next to each other.  Joe started off barking at Horton (Horton & Hillary) but by the time class was over, he was oblivious to both dogs).

And yes, it was really quite amusing to see that "tough guy" Joe was such a total wuss when faced with a room full of dogs/people.  I was sorry that it wasn't being video'd for posterity. 

I'm doing my training time in conjunction with walks as he gets squirrely when the lead comes out -- jumps up & down for joy, grabs it in his mouth, etc for about half a block.  Then drops it and I can start working on heeling, sitting, and "finishing" (circling Joe while he maintains the sit).  Joe has gotten great about holding his position while I "finish".  Bob was thrilled to learn the "no bark" command.  I spent most of yesterday finishing up an RV chair (how do I get myself in these fixes -- the buttons were just the pits -- all 22 of them - ugh) and Joe went off on something or another.  Bob told him "no bark" once.  He said Joe looked at him like he had suddenly grown a second head but he quit barking immediately.

Joe was a little wired last night and wanted to get fresh with Jim while I was in the bathroom but Bob pulled out his squad leader command voice and Joe remembered his manners.  I need to develop such a voice but doubt that will happen.

Any suggestions on digging?  Joe has a couple of favorite spots to dig in.  I fill them in, he redigs when I'm not looking.  "No dig" has no effect so far.  That is one habit I want to break sooner rather than later.

Virginia
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #9 : May 14, 2015, 08:08:12 AM »

BTW Darren, the Frisbee tosser, with or without the covered arm, sounds like an absolutely fabulous idea.  Have you got that patented yet and where are they available for purchase.  Joe wears my throwing arm out when we have our play breaks so I'd love to purchase one of those numbers!

Virginia
bobbin
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« #10 : May 14, 2015, 01:35:07 PM »

I think the "deep hidden meaning" in obedience work is, making your dog an easy-going, pleasant companion.  You both have to speak the same language and the human has to be "Cap't. of the Dog Ship" to make that happen.  Obedience class was the key to

I loved training our dog.  It was rewarding, and it was the best reason in the world to get outdoors regardless of work load.  Win-Win for dog and humanoid!
Darren Henry
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« #11 : May 14, 2015, 05:52:33 PM »

Quote
I need to develop such a voice but doubt that will happen.

Did you not get some "voice culture" training on your leadership courses in the army? Up here our first leadership course is a requisite for promotion to master corporal after which you are expected to be able to instruct---including foot drill. Same voice---just not quite as load usually LOL. Ask any of the lifer's here that I have talked to on the phone and you'll see I was a walk on with my voice. My best was the day the late Lt. Col. Ross Thompson and I exchanged artillery fire orders by voice at 600 meters while the sorted out a comms issue between the OP and the command post.

As far as the frisbee cannon---I don't know if mini frisbies are the right size but there are also hand throwers that work okay,( at least with clays). Remember I mentioned the neighbour who used a tennis racket to gain range and reduce fatigue walking her golden retriever.


with the digging---If it's a shallow "wallow/nest" he's looking to make a cool place to lie down or to get out of a cold wind. If it's the size of the bone he thinks he's going to get after supper it's fridge. If it's a "tunnel" he smells something he wants down there (gophers/moles etc...). Until you find out his motivation, I'd lace the hole with cayenne pepper etc.. to make it less attractive before you back fill.

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
brmax
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« #12 : May 14, 2015, 10:44:10 PM »

Better hurry up Schools almost out and summer ball will be going full speed, So have a look on craigslist for the baseball throwers then just get you a lawn chair and an of course an Umbrella drink.
we will require pics

Good to hear you all having a good time with training
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #13 : May 15, 2015, 06:31:20 AM »

Darren:

The only leadership course I took was PLDC, Primary Leadership Development Course.  That was after Active Duty, when I was in the Reserves.  We did no cadence calling or anything requiring voice.  The main requirement was preparing and presenting a briefing.  Cannot remember if I told you this before or not - mine was giving a briefing on how to properly rate the male posterior.  : O  For the remainder of the course, every male there (with the exception of my ex) backed away from me.  Funniest thing I ever saw.

So, I am working on my drill sergeant voice.  From time to time, I hit it.  Other times, not so much.

Digging, he has several.  Some small ones that he puts his treasures into.  One shallow one by the house he dug on the hottest day of the year and I figured that was his "keep cool" tunnel.  I will try the cayenne pepper trick.

Not sure if the above mentioned throwers would help with Joe playing Frisbee or not.  I mainly throw balls as a way to entice Joe to drop his Frisbee.  Once he retrieves it, he thinks we should play tug-of-war.  I need to hit the Pet store again and buy a couple more of the cloth Frisbee's.  They throw better and he's getting good at catching them.  Hard plastic just land with a "thud".  We threw Frisbee after Jim & I returned from our after supper walk.  This is Joe's "chill-out" period.  In the space of 10 or 11 minutes, he caught 4 in air and one of those was a high catch and caught another as it hit the ground so I considered it a catch as well.  He probably caught 5 or 6 on the bounce.  He kind of altered the game by hitting the Frisbee with his nose mid-air to divert the course.  Not sure what the purpose of that is other than it seems to entertain him greatly.  He's so funny when he catches them in-air.  Flies around the yard a time or two, then proceeds to do the "shaken baby" syndrome with it, then runs over to me so that I can heap praise on him.  Then I throw a ball so that I can get the Frisbee back.  Fastest way to "hanging tongue" and a quiet evening of television I've found yet.  Plus it's just a ton of fun for both of us.

Bob & I were both shocked last night.  I was just taking the dogs out for "last chance".  Joe & I hit the dining room and Jim was still thinking about getting up.  Cass (the most vocal of the two cats in her disapproval) happened to be coming into the dining room from the hallway.  Joe stopped in his tracks when he saw her.  Cass flew over to him, got on her hind legs and proceeded to box him around his muzzle area.  She did that for close to a minute.  He never moved a muscle.  She finished boxing him, retreated back to the hallway and the safety of under a bed and Joe just looked stunned that she had done that to him.  Bob & I both burst into laughter, then heaped tons of praise on Joe for not chasing her.  Cass rewarded Joe this morning by growling fiercely at him every chance she got.

Gotta shower & hit the road.  We got out for breakfast on Friday and then go to the store.

Virginia
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« #14 : May 16, 2015, 11:08:42 AM »

Very glad to see that obedience training might do the trick. I can come off really non-warm/fuzzy when new dog owners have difficult personality dogs. Once a dog owner of a smart dog or a working dog "gets it", that the dog really needs and really respects and enjoys firm leadership, it is magical to watch the process mature. 

The 5 week slump in behavior backsliding is called, I believe, an extinction burst.  IOW, the dog (without really knowing what they're doing) before they dive into good behavior for good, they will revert extremely to bad behavior, just to give it one more try to work...

And sometimes in obedience classes or training, it's the smallest thing that makes all the difference in the world. A look or a gesture, or a word.  I have a word, that is really a non word, but if the dogs do something that I want to extinguish immediately, it's loud, it's guttural and it means business.  Whatever they are doing, they will stop. Immediately.  I don't overuse it.
A working dog or a smart dog, I think really likes a smart owner who follows the regime...that dog can relax in its environment, because you the owner has set good boundaries.
Hope it continues to go well
Perry

If at first you don't succeed, redefine success. If at first you fail, redefine failure.
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