A good Trainer is worth their weight in gold - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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A good Trainer is worth their weight in gold

I accepted River as an evaluation dog in December; she had agression issues. As I already have 3 dogs, my silly little mind never really seemed to grasp that I wasn't giving up on her.

River bonds to one person and becomes fearful agressive with everyone around that person. We worked hard; she attached to me and was agressive to DH. So I had him feed her and walk her; crate her at night and release her in the morning and after a week of that, she was no longer scaring him into S***ing his pants. He never did get bit though.

After her continued agression and reactiveness, I told the GSRSV that I didn't feel that she was adoptable unless it was to a strong GSD understanding family with no small kids. I felt that she would always be a liability and would have to be controlled in all new situations, more than most dogs. It was either release her back in to rescue where she would get no work or training, or keep her where she was assimilating into our pack. (Rescue Failure?)

I recently took her to visit a behaviorist/trainer named John Connor who lives not too far away. He talked extensively on what my expectations were ( I don't want her to tear the clothing off of my middle child of 23 who fears her more than she fears him) and I would like to have a few friends over without fearing that they may have some parts removed.

It was a Highly beneficial couple of hours ($$$) as well. While I have attended several training classes, none of them really went into the depth of control without threat that he did. I felt so much more secure in my handling after this. I am able to walk River around our neighborhood through the reactive Doberman obstacle successful, as well as past the straining pitbull test and the double reactive dogs going the other way challenge. The closest we came to a confrontation was the horrible chihuahua walking in front of us obstacle (I Think that she wanted to get closer to find out what the heck it was)



So here is a picture that I never expected to see; especially after I've only been working with her since December. River is the German Shepherd looking dog in the middle, the rest of them are Belgian Shepherds and a couple of wanna bees. This is the first time that River has been around and close to people without threatening clothes or body parts.

Yay!!! She's not hopeless!!

Next phase is Suszanne Clothiers Seminar in Oakland in a week or so. Don't know if she's a demo dog or not, but lots to learn.

Carol, the Foster Failure
My Pack
BSD Ranger (4/2001), A.Husky Loki (12/2007), A.Husky Jukka (12/2007), GSD River (8/2006?)
Rainbow Bridge: Whimsey(4/2004-7/7/2008), Sparkie(6/1990-8/2005), Draco(10/1989-11/2004) Smokie(3/1997-7/2003)
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 12:11 AM
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Re: A good Trainer is worth their weight in gold

That's wonderful news!! Congrats to both you and River.

Ashley,
proud owner of:
Jerzey, Bi-color GSD. 4/23/08
Koji, spotted shelter kitty.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 02:15 AM
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Re: A good Trainer is worth their weight in gold

Congratulations! I know what a huge amount of work it took to get to this point, but it sure is worth it!

Karin and Dave

Heidi, 9-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from:
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 07:06 AM
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Re: A good Trainer is worth their weight in gold

I'm so happy for you and for her! I don't think it's nice for a dog to be so aggressive/fearful when other people are around. Can be very stressful for them and YOU of course!

There is nothing like a good trainer, I agree wholeheartedly! We took Blake out of the training school and now we drive 45 min to get him to a one on one lesson with a very experienced trainer and afterward he socializes with her dogs while we drink tea! The difference from just 2 classes is unbelievable.

Good luck with everything and keep looking for the GOOD trainers!

Blake - 2008/06/03
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 08:49 AM
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Re: A good Trainer is worth their weight in gold

this is wonderful news...we are working with our rescued GSD and just had a behaviorlist over for fear issues so I hope to soon be able to celebrate too
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 01:02 PM
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Re: A good Trainer is worth their weight in gold

Good girl River! I know first hand how hard and demanding is working with a fearful shepherd, but it is rewarding and surely makes us much better handlers and helps out to sort the priorities. Good behaviourists are a HUGE help!! I am so happy you kept River, she would never have a chance to find a better home and owners.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 02:31 PM
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Re: A good Trainer is worth their weight in gold

Carol, you didn't tell me you had PICTURES! That's so awesome!

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: A good Trainer is worth their weight in gold

Just got them up Had the dog party then the Easter Dinner then Mom's Surgery...finally back to work to get some rest and some pix up

Carol, the Foster Failure
My Pack
BSD Ranger (4/2001), A.Husky Loki (12/2007), A.Husky Jukka (12/2007), GSD River (8/2006?)
Rainbow Bridge: Whimsey(4/2004-7/7/2008), Sparkie(6/1990-8/2005), Draco(10/1989-11/2004) Smokie(3/1997-7/2003)
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: A good Trainer is worth their weight in gold

You can't tell by looking at the picture, but I believe that there were at least 5 more dogs behind us...





No Carol, you CANNOT have a puppy



or two



Carol, the Foster Failure
My Pack
BSD Ranger (4/2001), A.Husky Loki (12/2007), A.Husky Jukka (12/2007), GSD River (8/2006?)
Rainbow Bridge: Whimsey(4/2004-7/7/2008), Sparkie(6/1990-8/2005), Draco(10/1989-11/2004) Smokie(3/1997-7/2003)
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 05:13 PM
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Re: A good Trainer is worth their weight in gold

Congrats! That is a wonderful story! May you have many happy peaceful years ahead with her
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