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Old 01-01-2013, 10:05 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I didn't.

I decided to take the advice and stay away from other dogs. I don't speak canine, I'm not CM, and nor am I qualified to figure out to read the signals.... No matter how much I talk about it, or read about it.
Kira WILL bark at other dogs. If i'm near her, she will stop on command. If she's in my home, and a dog walks by the front, she will go bonkers, until I call her off. She will NOT stop on her own. I've noticed that she will lunge at small dogs, and scare the heck out of them. She's apprehensive with larger dogs. Still unsure of the result of an encounter. She's been attacked before, and she knows it.
She's 100% neutral with people, when leashed or off leash in public.
She's unpredictable in my home, with strangers.. 99% of the time, she accepts guests. Every so often, she'll scare the cr*p out of someone for no reason. ( I honestly can't see a pattern, or reason). Because of this, I now secure her when stranger enter. I will either keep her in a down, stay next to me, or I've instructed my family to crate her when guests come over. She has NEVER been comfortable with guests in my house. It took me a while to understand and recognize it

As you can see, I have her number in most cases, and do my best to rebut her actions. I treat each scenario as it happens.
Yes, they are a lot of work. Kira is a handful.
How did you get her to stop on command? When Stella gets into reactive mode I don't think she even hears my commands. By then it is too late.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:27 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I am so very very thankful to have found this forum. It never fails to help me.

Unfortunately, I am an organized person in theory....just not in practice! Left on my own devices, I think I tend to fly by the seat of my pants.(is that the right expression?) But that is hard to do with Miss Stella Bella. I definitely need a bit more organization.

I would love to find a few good walking buddies. I will talk to the doggie day care again. And also at the training classes.(but these are a bit far away)
From past experience having doggie friends is not fool proof either. My 9 1/2 yr old newfie x had a ton of doggie friends. We met just about every morning and the dogs all romped around while the humans walked. It was wonderful. Then one day Ruben, my dog, lost his mind and bit one of the other dogs. He was starting to get a bit more aggressive towards all dogs in general. This started after he was attacked at a dog park. At the time, I just wasn't able to work with him on it so his time of doggie friends came to an end. He has been able to be with some other dogs, not many, and of course he came to accept Stella. I am sure he does not feel deprived in any way. just I was really hoping to have a dog that I could take everywhere this time around.

I have a flirt pole and Stella is learning to enjoy it. I liked one that was mentioned earlier by Squishy dog or something like that. I may get that one. That same company also made a tug toy you put around a tree. I just wonder if Stella would enjoy tugging with a tree instead of me or Ruben. It would certainly help my neck issues if she did!

Carriesue-what natural supplements are you on? And do they really help?
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:37 PM   #33 (permalink)
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How did you get her to stop on command? When Stella gets into reactive mode I don't think she even hears my commands. By then it is too late.
It's not just that command, it's more of the foundation of basic commands that I've taught her, that allow me to gain control, when she's in that state.
I can call her off anything, or anyone. I can get her attention just by calling her off. That came with basic training that I've done at home.

When I see that she might be going into that heightened state, I would attempt to catch it early, and simply call her off. Just a few minutes ago, she went bonkers at the front window of my home. I'm in the back of my house, about 45-50 feet away. When she started barking, I called her back, and gave her the "mat" command. Even though she was huffing and puffing, she went to her mat, and calmed down. That's the best I could do. Whether it's what a pro trainer would do or not, I really don't know, but it works for me.

So I guess it starts with the basic commands.

Carmen, Freestep, and a few others had to drill me about exposing Kira to uncomfortable situations. Maybe it would be best to keep her away from all the stimulation of other dogs.
I spend ALL my time ALONE with Kira. No dogs at all. Her attention level has been superb. It may be something you need to do. At least for now.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:54 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Carmen, Freestep, and a few others had to drill me about exposing Kira to uncomfortable situations. Maybe it would be best to keep her away from all the stimulation of other dogs.
I spend ALL my time ALONE with Kira. No dogs at all. Her attention level has been superb. It may be something you need to do. At least for now.
Hmmmm. I believe that was how I started with John more or less. Avoid all dogs as best as possible. Then he started the foundation and trained me and then dogs were allowed again.
I don't think Stella is uncomfortable in the daycare. She only goes for a few hours when I need a break. And she seems ok in the obedience class (not John's) she is in. I am going to at least start by giving her a break from dogs that she doesn't know, in places she doesn't know. As best I can anyway. There seem to be dogs everywhere!!! Hard to find a place to walk without other dogs. Maybe the cold weather will keep them indoors.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:12 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Hmmmm. I believe that was how I started with John more or less. Avoid all dogs as best as possible. Then he started the foundation and trained me and then dogs were allowed again.
I don't think Stella is uncomfortable in the daycare. She only goes for a few hours when I need a break. And she seems ok in the obedience class (not John's) she is in. I am going to at least start by giving her a break from dogs that she doesn't know, in places she doesn't know. As best I can anyway. There seem to be dogs everywhere!!! Hard to find a place to walk without other dogs. Maybe the cold weather will keep them indoors.
I started a thread about the CM workshop, and how much one can accomplish in a single week-long workshop. THIS is precisely what I was talking about. Only so much anyone could do, in so little time.
John (trainer) started with one on one, and no dogs. Stella started to respond, otherwise John would not have allowed other dogs. In this case, John felt confident that he could handle Stella in a heightened state. John is a professional with 40 years of dog handling. In our case, I think we need more time to work on Stella, without the stimulation of other dogs.

This may not be the best overall advice for anyone, but if Stella is reactive like Kira, removing her may calm her down, and allow you to strengthen her obedience base.

I once spoke to someone in a Shutzhund class. If I recall, he was telling me that they don't allow their dogs to interact. They want their dogs to enjoy to interact with the handlers, not other strange dogs.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:21 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I started a thread about the CM workshop, and how much one can accomplish in a single week-long workshop. THIS is precisely what I was talking about. Only so much anyone could do, in so little time.
John (trainer) started with one on one, and no dogs. Stella started to respond, otherwise John would not have allowed other dogs. In this case, John felt confident that he could handle Stella in a heightened state. John is a professional with 40 years of dog handling. In our case, I think we need more time to work on Stella, without the stimulation of other dogs.

This may not be the best overall advice for anyone, but if Stella is reactive like Kira, removing her may calm her down, and allow you to strengthen her obedience base.

I once spoke to someone in a Shutzhund class. If I recall, he was telling me that they don't allow their dogs to interact. They want their dogs to enjoy to interact with the handlers, not other strange dogs.
More food for thought. I have been so intent on wanting to socialize her with other dogs and for her not to react to other dogs that I have perhaps not spent enough time on getting her to focus on me. Although I don't know how the heck to get her to focus on me when there are so many more interesting things.... At OB class there is no interaction allowed with other dogs until after class. But maybe I need to change my priorities.... Now how to build focus........??????
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:49 PM   #37 (permalink)
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More food for thought. I have been so intent on wanting to socialize her with other dogs and for her not to react to other dogs that I have perhaps not spent enough time on getting her to focus on me. Although I don't know how the heck to get her to focus on me when there are so many more interesting things.... At OB class there is no interaction allowed with other dogs until after class. But maybe I need to change my priorities.... Now how to build focus........??????
^^^ THIS is the REAL problem^^^

Go back to basics, and instead of focusing on her reactivity, don't put her in situations, where she could become reactive.
Instead, start a step by step "back to basics". Get Stella's attention when you need to.
I started with a strong "leave it". In a pinch, if I wanted her "away" from something, a serious "LEAVE IT" would let her know I mean business.
It could start with something as simple as a treat in front of her, and reinforcing the leave it command. Then I stretched it out to shoes, and various items in the house. Then ( as I would walk past other dogs), I good "leave it" would keep her walking, and look ahead.

Does Stella act like this?
There was a cat sitting in front of my house. Kira was off leash, and I happen to catch her. She was only a year old at the time.
To this day, I can't stop this behavior INSIDE my home, but she doesn't do this on leash, or walking with me off leash.


When she was only 10 months, I was working her leave it.
Does she know Leave it?

Here's my own personal exercise I used to do to strengthen her leave it.
I guess this was her final exam


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Old 01-01-2013, 11:59 PM   #38 (permalink)
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More food for thought. I have been so intent on wanting to socialize her with other dogs and for her not to react to other dogs that I have perhaps not spent enough time on getting her to focus on me. Although I don't know how the heck to get her to focus on me when there are so many more interesting things.... At OB class there is no interaction allowed with other dogs until after class. But maybe I need to change my priorities.... Now how to build focus........??????
That's why I asked you if you feel that you may be doing too much. I fell into that trap too. All I was concerned about, was socialize, socialize. I wanted her to be everyone's friend (dogs included). Unfortunately, it didn't work that way for me. She was attacked as a young pup, and IMO never forgot it. I wanted, SO BADLY for her t play with some of the local dogs. And each time I tried, it backfired. I had to really come to grips that it was in her best interest, to have me and my family as her playmates.
That's not saying that Stella won't play with other dogs, but it does seem like you need to catch up on focus, before setting her free.

Just my opinion.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:21 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I agree with Anthony, Stella has doggie friends at daycare thats great, big accomplishment for you and her I think...I'd keep those doggie friends.

She doesn't "need" to be social with dogs outside her 'circle' of friends, just learn to ignore them/deal with them in the area. She doesn't 'need' them in her immediate space

I like your idea of observing the dog park from afar, actually observing ANYTHING from afar, to work on desensitizing her to other dogs out and about.

If there's a reaction, back up to the spot where there is no reaction only observance.

I also teach all my dogs a good "leave it"..

When Masi was very young she was nailed by a few dogs that bullied her,,brought out her defense mode quite fast and I had to retrain / rework that behavior, that EVERY dog she saw was did not mean "I'm gonna get you before you get me"..

Teaching that "leave it", and maturity proved to work. If I'm out walking where I know I'll run into dogs, if I see one approaching (on leash not loose),,even before a reaction I just say "leave it",,she does, we pass, no problem. To her, "leave it" means a few things, leave whatever your doing, or don't bother reacting just leave it alone I've got you covered.

Charging dogs is another thing, you (general you),,can't expect a dog to not react when it's being charged by a dog that they do not know , they are going to either react out of fear or react to defend itself..Masi has high defense drives and tho I've never had a dog actually physically 'attack' her from a charge, I use "leave it" when say, a dog is circling us, and she can shut off that defensive behavior.

All of the gsd's I've had/have, had/have a circle of doggie friends that they interacted with no problems, I never have felt they needed to be "friends" with every dog they meet..

Just rambling here)
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:41 AM   #40 (permalink)
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After reading everything here, and thinking it through, I have decided-
New Year, new FOCUS!
I would love to be able to join a group of people and their dogs for outings and walks etc. But for now that is not going to happen. I think I have been way to focused (there's that word again) on socialization and being friendly with every dog. She has been socialized from day 1...met other dogs, went to stores, took trips etc. I guess for whatever reason she is not confident with certain things and I will just have to accept that. At this point I will focus on getting her attention on me. She knows "leave it" but I will work on making it bomb proof.
Any good suggestions for training good focus? In the house I can get her totally focused on me if I have treats. In the yard we do ok too. I have been working on "fuss" with her and trying to keep her attuned to me. We take a few steps and if she is looking at me, treat. Also have her walk with me and then I will throw a treat away from me and if she wants another one she has to come back and walk with me.
Any other ideas???
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