First Day of Obedience Training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Talking First Day of Obedience Training

Some of you many remember I was going to send Xena off to doggy boot camp for 3 weeks for obedience and potty training. Well we ran into a problem with the facility and I'm holding off on that at this time. There's a story but not sure if it is true; Facebook site taken down due to threats and such. Anyway I found a facility that I take Xena to and we both train an hour a week; it's suppose to be 2 days but I can't make the other day.

Wow; just wow. The facility owner is training use AKC standards with verbal, hand, and foot commands. So today we have worked on heel and sit; which Xena could do and she stayed in a sit with older bigger dogs (all GSD except for the yorkie) walking around her at the end of the hour. She is stubborn and had to be fitted with a training collar and I learned how to get her to stop jumping and it sink in for her. I know this won't work for everyone; but I know several of you keep advising a trainer and I found one. There were show dogs there as well.

I guess I'm rambling but happy, and excited for my girl. Only bad part; she still got car sick even with the medicine...she was drooling so bad I thought something was wrong and called the vet; but it was fine. Not going to be fun practicing in the cold but I'm not going to not practice with her since I've paid money; plus drive an hour each way.

I'm still putting her in a crate as we travel but she's really outgrew it; but where she gets sick I'm afraid not to crate her. Sorry OT again....I know where Xena gets it lol.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 04:38 PM
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It's good you found a trainer you like.If you don't mind my two cents worth of advice - it's not her being stubborn if she doesn't know what you're asking her to do.Gsds want to please their owners.Teach and reward what you want is how she'll understand.Enjoy your pup!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 05:03 PM
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Most GSDs love to go to training and it's so much fun to watch them learn something new. It's fun doing things together as a team too.
When I first adopted Hans, he was 18 months old and had ZERO manners. We went to training a couple of times a week and he was always so excited to go. A couple of blocks away from the trainer's place he would start whining from excitement. He also absolutely loved the trainer. His trainer started him with a prong collar and after awhile he only needed a regular, flat collar. It's sounds like she's doing well!
Hopefully, you can find a way to lessen the car sickness. Sometimes, they will kind of grow out of it. Keep trying different things...what kind of medicine is she taking for it?
Have you tried starting with very short little trips and working up to longer ones?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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She is taking Celena I think is how it's spelled. Her first car trip with me was to the vet about 30-35 minutes away on curvy rural roads and I thought that was the issue. Every time she has been to the vet for her shots she's gotten sick. I've taken a couple of short trips with her and she was fine; but in the front seat with me. I'm unsure about buying just the harness seat belt and clipping her into the back seat since she is still getting car sick. My mother has been riding with her in the back; and that does seem to help but a bigger carrier might make that harder. And at 30 pounds does she really need to be in the carrier? Like I said still totally new to dogs in cars; and other dog things.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 06:24 PM
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When my husband and I went to the breeder (in Kentucky!) to pick up his cowdog, for some crazy reason, they had just fed the whole litter. We put her in a crate for the trip home and she got really sick and vomited all of the food she'd eaten....and then vomited once more. Well, that pretty well set the tone for future car rides. She doesn't throw up now, but she seems like she doesn't feel well and you can plainly tell she'd rather not get in the truck. He started allowing her to have the window down just enough that she can breathe some fresh air and that has made a big difference. I wonder if a crate fan blowing into your girl's crate might help some? I know in the wintertime we all have a tendency to get it really warm in our vehicles. You might try keeping it a little cooler (as long as it's warm enough for human riders). The timing of her meals might help some too. You wouldn't want her to have a full stomach, but sometimes GSDs have a tendency to throw up bile if they haven't eaten for several hours.
If she does ok on short trips, it might work to take some short trips and extend the length of the trip a little each time until she can ride without getting sick. If she gets too big for her crate, I do think a good harness, made for travel, would be better than leaving her loose in the car. I don't know if you've read any of the threads on this forum about harnesses, etc. You can use the search engine to find them. It might give you an idea of what will work best for your pup.

Also, you might be like me regarding training out in the cold. Winter doesn't seem quite as bad as it used to be now that I have dogs to do stuff outside with. I've always hated winter. Then I got a GSD that loves cold air and snow. It's hard to be in a bad mood when I'm watching him running around, scooping up snow in his mouth. Here in Indiana, we got our first (very light) snow of the season.
He was super revved up all day.
Crazy dog.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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I fasted her for 12 hours and we didn't eat until we got home about 2ish. The ride back was better. She's just so hyper and maybe scared since it's a struggle to get her in the carrier in the first place. We just played in the snow a few minutes ago; she wasn't really impressed. I'm in Kentucky btw. Tomorrow we will work some like we did at the trainer's; walking in a circle with the heel and sit command in the snow! I shouldn't be excited but I am.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 07:48 PM
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Is there a favorite toy (that's also safe for her to chew on) that she could see you toss in the carrier first, so she might actually not mind going in? Normally, it's easy to crate train using food, but since she gets sick that's probably not wise.
Oh, you definitely should be excited to train. It's very satisfying to see that moment when they "get" something you've been working on. You can also expect some frustrating days too, so when that happens, don't push it-just stop and go for a walk or just sit and pet her for a few minutes. Always end on a positive note. Right before you quit training at home, give her a command she already knows well and then praise her big time for doing it and give her a nice treat-if you use food in your training. That way every day's training session ends with you both feeling happy and with you both looking forward to the next time.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so update time. Now we've been to 3 classes. Xena's doing so good. She is doing so well with Sit. This week we started Stay & Down. Those commands haven't been doing so good with. But Xena is doing better with walking on the leash and not trying to jump and bite my shoes. Just the 2 of us have been working on Come and she's getting better with that. She comes running at me as hard as she can and runs around me! I love it. When we are at training she looks at me like "I'm doing a good job right?" I give her praise; lots of praise. She does good with praise and affection.

The trainer corrects me when I do wrong and makes sure I'm doing it right. Xena loves the trainer and this Saturday even in the rain she was much easier to get out of the carrier. Plus she's getting so big! I'll post pictures soon.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 09:20 PM
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Nice progress! Training your dog yourself will have a lot of rewards and bonuses that sending her away to boot camp would not have given you guys. You are learning how to communicate clearly, are having fun together, working towards a goal, and bonding during the training. You would have missed out on all these great brags.

Don't think of Xena as being stubborn - think in terms of her needing clear lines of communication from you: a clear Yes! Good girl, and a clear "No! There are clear and immediate negative consequences to this action", which is where the prong collar comes in.

Keep up the good work!


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