Grimm-- training update
A year ago, Grimm was a hyperactive, unfocused, distractable, reactive, pushy, overexcitable, headstrong monster in any tool I used-- prong, Halti, choke chain, e-collar, etc.
Now, he walks beside me in heel, in a simple cloth flat collar!
I found my inner leadership, or something.
He also potties on command onlead or offlead.
Service Dog tasks: He picks up things that I drop when my grip is too poor, he carries things at heel by my side when my hands will not close to carry an object, and he does a bracing heel for balance & bracework for mobility. ( He has also alerted to my seizures, but since I cannot usually remember much then, I have no idea how often he has or has not done that. )
Grimm's doggy "can't wait to play wiff youuu!" reactivity is now much more easily manageable for me, but it is not yet where I want it to be. So, I will likely have a trainer at send-away camp again work with him, then with me for weeks following, so the training transfers and the habit is broken. (there's no aggression or fear.. it's a habit of anticipation: gotta play, gotta play right now! etc.)
He isn't mature yet. His breeder says that he has another year before he is "adult" in his head.
Grimm can be controlled by me by a sharp intake of breath-- he wants to please me. Sometimes, at his age, he cannot be so easily managed as that, as he is still young enough to be distractable and excitable. He is a young immature workinglines GSD who only has only medium drive and only medium energy-- thank God. He doesn't even have much prey drive for a GSD-- another plus for this work.
With the public: Grimm is totally okay with strangers, men, coming right up behind him and GRABBING his head from behind. He just never gets insulted. No agression, just friendliness. He loves everybody. He adores kids.
He is still young and (too) excitable. He is hugely better with things though.
When I move back to The States, I hope to find a trainer, I hope, who can do what I cannot. Someone who will "proof" Grimm in all situations, and "be my hands" for fast, sure corrections when needed, insisting on self control.
Choosing a trainer will not be easy. A sportdog trainer understands dogs like Grimm the best. But, a sportdog trainer trains so that the dog's drives can be joyously fulfilled in competetive sport, and thus usually expects different from a dog than a dog doing Grimm's job. A pet dog trainer might understand better that Grimm must be under calm control--always--in all situations, never allowed to engage in the slightest of shenanigans, etc... but may not anticipate Grimm's responses or reactions.
Anyway, Grimm and I have come a long way.. from a dog who could not be controlled by me in prong, Halti, or any other tool-- to a dog who listens to my leadership and can walk in a simple cloth flat collar. Too young and excitable still? Yup. But, we have come a long way. Hopefully, we can find the help in The States that meets our unique situation.
Grimm van den Heuvel, aka "The Doofinator"
My strong-minded, very loving boy