Cuz is Reaching New Horizons. Yes, The Dog Park.
Cruz has been reaching new plateau's every week. His recall is nearing 100% with collar on. His sit is around the same. By the way the sit command is coupled with a stay, meaning when he sits he's not to move until released. His place command is good and his wait command is also near 100%. He is doing so great and has made a 180 turn around. Even when we are not training just hanging out, his demeanor has changed so much. He's being much less bossy, trying to run everything.
So he has done so good in all phases, I thought why not hit the dog park? We just don't get enough dog on dog reaction training around home. Where better to go than the dog park to get some more training on our reactivity? We went Thursday and we were all alone and we worked on commands and stuff. He held his sit while I walked to the other side of the park, and did excellent.
We headed out Friday afternoon. We got there and it was busy. We just worked the outside of the park letting dogs come and go and working on our commands. He wanted in bad. I was reluctant. From what I was seeing, the owners were huddled in the center of the park and their dogs were running un-supervised along with little dogs that really were not suppose to be in the big dog side of the park. So we just hung out in the front and worked. People were looking up at me like there was something wrong with me and Cruz. "Why weren't we coming in?" I kind of chuckled to myself. These were regulars to the park. We just kept doing our thing and then called it a day. Cruz did pretty good.
Saturday came around and we went back but this time we worked outside a little and then we went in. I was satisfied with what I seen, owners actually watching their dogs. So we worked a little more then it was off leash time. Some of the same people were there as on Friday. Should have seen the looks on their faces when they seen me taking Cruz off the leash. They remembered me from Friday. I think they were concerned. Such a big dog and a GSD to boot equals trouble. At least that's the look they had. Understandable. First time Cruz has been off leash around other dogs since we started the E-collar. Amazing, the difference it has made. Not so over the top of every dog all the time. Acceptance of other dogs sniffing without getting all beside himself. We did a lot of work. Recalls, sits etc. He done really really good.
So we went back today. Different people different dogs. He was even better today. He came when called, sat when told to, and generally was the calm among the craziness that happens at dog parks. What a trooper. We walked the perimeter several times and it actually felt Cruz my wife and myself were a cohesive unit sticking together. It was nice. I think the true bonding is taking place finally. I'm very proud of Cruz. Total 180 from where we've been just a couple weeks ago. It's nice to walk into somewhere and not be the center of attention because of behaviors.
Don't get me wrong. There are gaps, but those gaps keep getting filled everyday and there is plenty of work to do. We're far from perfect, but the success so far is worth bragging on.