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Old 12-14-2012, 03:04 PM   #51 (permalink)
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You should really stop delaying training because of reactivity. You need to find a trainer that will work with you one on one. Agility, nosework, tracking are all "one dog" exercises and I've heard of many successful agility dogs that were at one time dog aggressive.

The first step in training them to not be reactive is to get them comfortable with a certain type of work. When they are really good, or at least controllable in that setting, you start introducing other dogs. This way, the reactive dog is so busy doing its own thing, it doesn't even realize the other dogs are there. Obedience is mostly worked on at home/by yourself as well. You get your dog to a point where they will always look up at you and just do what you ask when you are on your own, and then you add other dogs to test if the dog will do it in all situations. The idea is to, again, have such great focus on you, that the dog doesn't notice the other dogs there.

You talk like you have to train past the reactivity before you can start training in a sport, but in reality, training in the sport is a huge part of training past the reactivity.
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:46 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
You should really stop delaying training because of reactivity. You need to find a trainer that will work with you one on one. Agility, nosework, tracking are all "one dog" exercises and I've heard of many successful agility dogs that were at one time dog aggressive.

The first step in training them to not be reactive is to get them comfortable with a certain type of work. When they are really good, or at least controllable in that setting, you start introducing other dogs. This way, the reactive dog is so busy doing its own thing, it doesn't even realize the other dogs are there. Obedience is mostly worked on at home/by yourself as well. You get your dog to a point where they will always look up at you and just do what you ask when you are on your own, and then you add other dogs to test if the dog will do it in all situations. The idea is to, again, have such great focus on you, that the dog doesn't notice the other dogs there.

You talk like you have to train past the reactivity before you can start training in a sport, but in reality, training in the sport is a huge part of training past the reactivity.
I was laying up last night worrying about this. Thanks, should I join the schutzand? I find when I look for training, there are so many theories, the different trainers criticize the others. The first one I took her to, is where all the lunging started.
Ellie has her assessment tomorrow with someone who works on reactivity.

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It's called "tough love". It is harder on the mother than on the kid but it works like a charm. It will each your daughter to think twice next time when she knows mom doesn't solve it any longer.
I wish I could, but when it comes to our pets, we can't. If it was anything other then a living creature, I can't do tough love. I have her bird now too!!!

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Exactly, people don't learn to take responsibility when you always take the responsibility away from them. If it is her dog, it is her dog and she needs to take charge of it.
I wish I could take a hard line, but I just think of Ellie, locked in a crate for hours and hours crying or play, go for walks, never alone, getting trained here. It is an easy choice. Another thing that is super serious is if she is trained willy nilly, she will bite someone, if she does, her fate is not in my hands anymore. She doesn't like kids. If I didn't worry about that, and Ellie is a nice well adjusted dog, it might be different.

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I still think your daughter needs to be involved. If one of the dogs is hers she needs to take responsibility for it, whether that is her or sending the dog back to the breeder. That should be her responsibility. I don't always agree with the way my siblings raise and train their pets but as long as they aren't being abused I try to be available to help when asked.
She just partys too much and her brain goes out the window
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:48 PM   #53 (permalink)
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I appreciate everyone's info and personal experiences, it helps!
We started the NILIF last night!
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:19 PM   #54 (permalink)
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If you can implement these, too, it will help a lot

Mind Games (version 1.0) by M. Shirley Chong
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:46 PM   #55 (permalink)
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As an owner of two littermates (Frenchie males) and now living with two females that can't be together without a blood bath, the only thing I can say is either rotate dogs or find a new home for one of them.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:02 PM   #56 (permalink)
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I was laying up last night worrying about this. Thanks, should I join the schutzand? I find when I look for training, there are so many theories, the different trainers criticize the others. The first one I took her to, is where all the lunging started.
Ellie has her assessment tomorrow with someone who works on reactivity.
No you don't need to be doing Schutzhund. Schutzhund is a huge commitment and starting out with a reactive dog would not be the best way for your to learn about the sport. You need something that' a bit easier, but something that your dogs will excel at. Find a place, or a person that will teach you how to do something (anything) and then practice, practice, practice at home. You don't need a class, just a person that you can meet weekly, or just periodically that helps you get through obstacles you might run into while training. Agility is pretty easy to do by yourself, if you have a yard, you can set up a pretty good course and work certain articles. Obedience...you might want a person there to instruct you on how to handle and how to teach certain things (like a recall, retrieve, ect). But you don't need to concentrate on the reactivity of your dog...just teach her stuff.

I should add...if you have the time, and can commit to Schutzhund, then do it. But it will be tough to do because rarely are you training Schutzhund by yourself. And as someone that is new to the sport you will need all the help you can get, and the help comes with other people and their dogs. That's why I'm recommending something else, there are easier sports, that are easier to figure out for us rookies without the need for an instructor or a group.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:24 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
If you can implement these, too, it will help a lot

Mind Games (version 1.0) by M. Shirley Chong
I just printed it out, thanks for that.

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Originally Posted by Konotashi View Post
As an owner of two littermates (Frenchie males) and now living with two females that can't be together without a blood bath, the only thing I can say is either rotate dogs or find a new home for one of them.
No blood yet, but thanks for your input.

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Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
No you don't need to be doing Schutzhund. Schutzhund is a huge commitment and starting out with a reactive dog would not be the best way for your to learn about the sport. You need something that' a bit easier, but something that your dogs will excel at. Find a place, or a person that will teach you how to do something (anything) and then practice, practice, practice at home. You don't need a class, just a person that you can meet weekly, or just periodically that helps you get through obstacles you might run into while training. Agility is pretty easy to do by yourself, if you have a yard, you can set up a pretty good course and work certain articles. Obedience...you might want a person there to instruct you on how to handle and how to teach certain things (like a recall, retrieve, ect). But you don't need to concentrate on the reactivity of your dog...just teach her stuff.

I should add...if you have the time, and can commit to Schutzhund, then do it. But it will be tough to do because rarely are you training Schutzhund by yourself. And as someone that is new to the sport you will need all the help you can get, and the help comes with other people and their dogs. That's why I'm recommending something else, there are easier sports, that are easier to figure out for us rookies without the need for an instructor or a group.
I will see what the behaviorist recommends for Ellie tomorrow and then I will talk to the other trainer I trust.

I also *might* go to that Michael Ellis school with Izzy the last two weeks of January.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:35 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Is Michael versed on behavior issues? He's a great trainer, no doubt but not sure you'd be getting your $ worth at this time if Izzy is reactive.
I'd try to have a local trainer first help you, and implement the suggestions posted here. I bet you'll see a different dog when committing to the exercises posted.

Then go and visit Michael!
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:43 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Is Michael versed on behavior issues? He's a great trainer, no doubt but not sure you'd be getting your $ worth at this time if Izzy is reactive.
I'd try to have a local trainer first help you, and implement the suggestions posted here. I bet you'll see a different dog when committing to the exercises posted.

Then go and visit Michael!
Izzy is much better, we can walk by dogs and people now. I think she is ready. Like I said Izzy and I have been doing focus work for months now.

Her only trigger now is if someone approaches her with their hand out, looking her in the eye. Or a dog eyeballing her and of course a dog lunging at her.

That could be a protective thing.

I was actually going to post a question about that.

The difference between -reactive barking- versus -protective barking-

I have no idea what is a typical behavior for a barker. My other dog (RIP) never barked, except when he was young.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:52 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Most dogs at the age Izzy is are reactive out of fear not protective behavior.
The ones that are truly aggressive protective are far and few between(she may be one of them?).
Thresholds play into it as well.

Is the behaviorist or trainer you will be visiting knowledgeable on the GSD?
I know it was mentioned NOT to get with a SchH club, but I would possibly contact a club for an evaluation, it won't hurt and the TD/ members in the club knows the breed better than "pet" trainers.
Though if the trainers you've contacted are very familiar with the breed(and hopefully the lines you have) then all good!
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