|03-21-2014 05:50 PM|
|03-21-2014 04:52 PM|
|lafalce||That's really great news. Awesome that your breeder was able to recommend someone in your new town.|
|03-21-2014 02:55 PM|
I am so glad to hear things are turning around for y'all! Very few people will actually 'listen' to their trainer and realize changes have to come through you, first!
Great Job! Great Job!
|03-21-2014 01:37 PM|
|mego||Congrats!!! I'm glad everything is going so well. It's amazing what structured obedience can do Good job to you guys and Titan!!!|
|03-21-2014 01:35 PM|
Hello everyone! Once again, thank you for all your responses! I have a few updates since I last posted in this thread:
We found a great trainer:
We found someone who was highly recommended by our breeders and has a lot of experience with working lines. I say "sort of" because it is in a different city, about an hour or so away. We have had 2 sessions so far, and it has already made so much difference -- although so far, he has mostly trained us, instead of the dog. We have learned how to use the prong collar correctly, when to give corrections, how to make him work for everything ... although he said, being a GSD, the vocal whining and complaining will never go away I am assuming that we are still a few training sessions away from starting formal obedience so far.
What has changed (in Titan):
He now understands that he needs to work for whatever he wants. He is still rambunctious, but he is also only 10 month old, so I do not want to set expectations of an adult dog from him. After he throws his tantrums though, he realizes that they are not working, and then settles down to submission -- and that is when he gets what he wants. What we missed earlier is that we overlooked these small things where he got away with.
Does that mean he is now fixed? Possibly not. I say possibly because (believe it or not), we have not had even one face-to-face encounter with another dog since I last posted. Secret stairways, back-doors and grand escapes galore There have been times when he's seen other dogs, but I think I am getting good at knowing that exact timing when to tell him to "leave it" and move on. The next step is to perhaps, start off with a long distance, maybe 50 ft. then shorten it to a point where he can effectively pass other dogs without caring about it.
What has changed (in us):
I am putting the rest of the awesomeness in this section because I figured this is more of us changing rather than Titan. When I walk him, it isn't a walk to get him tired, or because he feels bored anymore. When I walk him, he is doing work for me. He does not get food, toy or even step out side of the house, without seeking permission -- which means, going down on the ground (chin on the floor), no panting, and giving that look of "Please, can I have it?" -- these rules alone, have done wonders. He knows when we play, he knows when it's business. Of course, there are the odd rebel moments, but then again he is only 10 months.
What this has done to my girlfriend and I, is given us confidence. When I see a dog now, I do not stress out, instead command him to follow me in the other direction, make him, sit, tell him to look at me. And it works. I was always told, it was me who is transferring the anxiety, and it could not be more true! Walks are much more fun! Also to get him exercise, we take him to this huge piece of unused land owned by my employer, put him on a 50 ft. check cord, then then let him fetch, run around, smell, but also work on recall, etc. It helps that there are no dogs there!
The next step now is to start getting him closer to other dogs -- not to socialize or be friends but just to be completely desensitized to them. We are still working on his focus before we start with that.
Once again, thank you so much for everyone's advice and support. I will continue to make periodical updates here.
|02-01-2014 02:19 PM|
I agree with the above, no locking in on other dogs...get that focus on you before it can happen.
You are showing stronger leadership so Titan is more secure and confident because he knows you've got this! Good for you to take control and use your handling skills successfully. Keep up the great work!
And you are right in the thought that he doesn't need to be buddies with dogs, but be neutral to them. Better to have one or two dogs he knows very well that he can play with now and then.
|02-01-2014 02:18 PM|
|02-01-2014 02:10 PM|
Walking him on the prong collar is so much better. We have gotten better already at avoiding dogs out on the streets -- if it is sudden and too close, we try to turn around and leave, or cross the street. If there is a fair distance, than I let Titan observe the dog(s) and if he stiffens up, I try to distract him with a command, and then reward if he listens, or correct if he doesn't. We have stopped going to the dog run that we have on the terrace of the complex because almost all dogs are off-leash and 1/10 have any sort of recall. So if they run to Titan (even to play), it may be a bad encounter for him, and we are trying to minimize that.
I took him on an hour-long walk through a busy route (dogs, joggers, cyclists, children) Thursday over to the Fremont bridge (Image) -- he seemed slightly skeptical of the swaying of the bridge, but very quickly handled it like a champ. We passed many dogs (at a distance) and he seemed fine -- wasn't stiff or anything, just curiously watched them and before that energy escalated, I broke his eye contact and we were off.
On our way back though, this huge dog (St. Bernard I think), ran towards Titan from nowhere, growling and barking. He was off-leash, so instinctively, I tucked Titan behind me and stood tall in front of the dog. Luckily, the owner called him back and the dog seemed pretty dog with his recall. I was surprised that Titan did not go after him but just watched. The dog tried running towards us the second time, but this time, Titan gave him a warning bark with the exhibit of his raised heckles. Even then, nothing like the raging "I will kill you" mode that Titan had recently been getting into. I played down the whole situation casually and we went on and he seemed fine. I guess I could call this a mini success?
Hopefully as time passes, we will be able to reduce the distance. I honestly don't care if he is able to be "best friends" with other dogs, or even play with him. If he can ignore them, I am good. Andre and I can provide him with all the fun time he needs. Of course, if he does improve and becomes friends with some dogs, even better. He continues to be excellent around humans, no issue there whatsoever.
I will post more updates as I see fit Thank you.
|02-01-2014 02:06 PM|
|02-01-2014 10:23 AM|
There are owners that just wont follow through with all the training and support. There is going to be a largely different mentality with the people who are on this forum regarding the commitment to changing bad behavior and that kind of thing vs the general population at large. If you board and trained at a good place with handler sessions and guaranteed support most of you would be pretty happy with how it turned out if you stuck with it.
I didn't see the value of it until i worked at one. The turn arounds in some of the dogs is pretty remarkable but more so than that the dog pack interactions really are great for the dogs. If i didnt have access to the facilities here without paying for them id def put the next pup into it if for no other reason for the confidence building and life experiences.
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