Training Journal for Kody - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Training Journal for Kody

12/6/2015

I took Kody out to the car between my work shifts today to work on getting him to calmly watch me open and close the car's back door. I put him in a sit, reminded him to stay, then touched the car door handle, then gave him a treat. Then pulled on the door hande, and treated. I worked my way up to opening the door all the way for a second or two after a few minutes. However, I didn't have his prong or ecollar on because I didn't think I would need them for a short car training session, and at point he launched himself into the car, ripping off one of my nails because of the way he pulled on the leash. Needless to say, I was in a lot of pain and very angry with him, so I immediately brought him inside and crated him before I got too frustrated with him. Tomorrow we'll be doing the same thing, but this time I'll be putting him on his prong.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 11:06 AM
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If your Kody is like my Sting, I can suggest trying a different approach. Sometimes it saves wear and tear on nerves & nails, to use one's wits. I would put a large box or a couple of boxes in the back seat or cargo area where Kody is to jump in. Then dispense with the treats as you touch the handle, and so on, as he was just waiting for his chance to lunge and jump in the car the second the door opened. Well, he can sure do that, but will run right into the box or cannot jump in because there is no room, if he does not obey your stay command. Then you can calmly repeat the stay and reach in to remove the boxes. Then give the command for Kody to enter the vehicle. Good luck!


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion! I'll try it out
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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12/13/2015

Yesterday I finally got the chance to take Kody to a park/hiking trail! I was able to buy an airline crate of the perfect size (for dogs up to 60 lbs; Kody is 59-60 lbs) last week. Side note: It fit in my dad's car, which I was happy about, but even better, I got a new car yesterday and it's literally the same make, model, year, and color as my old car, but a hatchback lol. Thought that was funny. But the point is, since it's a hatchback, I'm almost positive the crate should fit in my car too! It probably wouldn't have fit in my old car tbh.

Anyways, I took Kody to the Bob Woodruff Park in Plano (I live in Mckinney, if anyone else is in the North Dallas area!) for about an hour and 15 minutes. He ran circles and barked his head off in the crate a good 70-75% of the time we were in the car (the place was 30 minutes away). He was a lot better whenever there weren't any cars on either side of us that he could see. Maybe it would help to get something to cover up the back windows so he won't be able to see the cars? Like maybe those things people put up so the sun won't get in their kids eyes (anyone remember having those? lol)? So, sometimes he would calm down and lie down in the crate, but most of the time he was barking. Hurt my ears quite a bit.

Once we got there, I put his prong on and attached two leashes together to give him some more freedom since there weren't too many other people there and I wanted him to get some excersize. We got to see someone riding a horse with their white boxer following them! The dog didn't look leashed, which made me nervous at first, but we kept our distance and their dog had no interest in coming anywhere near us luckily. When I saw Kody start staring intently at the other dog and the horse, I distracted him with his tug toy and he was completely fine (yay!). We probably stayed a good hundred or couple hundred feet from them the whole time though.

We went over some basic obedience (sitz, platz, bleib, hier) in the large open park area, using his tug toy as a reward. The only other people there were 5-6 kids a little ways away from us, but even when we walked by them Kody was only mildly interested in them (he's never shown human aggression, but for some reason he would bark at people who tried to watch him while we were training in PetCo when we took classes there several months ago). His stays are SO good. I wasn't timing myself that time, but next time we work I'll try to start working our way up to a minute, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes. I stepped away from him about 30 feet for our stays. I probably could have gone farther, but I wanted to be able to step on the leash easily if I had to.

I had him fus on the paved walkway to the hiking trail and a biker passed us and he wasn't even phased . I need to work on his hier and fus a little more though; I had to correct him several times during fus. Once we made it to the hiking/nature trail, I let him trail ahead and sniff around and such. I just made him fus the last 10 minutes or so back to the car when we were done.

Overall, it was a good trip . We have a consultation with a trainer tomorrow at 5 to help us work on his dog aggression and nail his CGC.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 10:05 PM
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What a wonderful time you and Kody had He did so well with all the distractions on the hiking trail. For the barking in the car, the English Trainer Vicoria did use some type of coverning for the windows. She explains it in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS3zo7FWcKc


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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I love Victoria Stilwell; thanks for the video . Also, while we were at the park, he enjoyed the tug at first, but after several minutes wasn't very interested in it, so it was difficult to engage him and get his attention so we could work on his obedience. I'm not sure if he was just too distracted being in a new place or if he just got bored of the toy. I don't use a ball with him because he will either stop chasing it halfway through, refuse to bring it back, or drop it on his way back to me. Food only motivates him in very non distracting environments like at home or in the backyard.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 10:08 PM
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I think that is the most difficult part -working with distractions. Kody did very well. Sometimes less is more or I like to think of it as stop and end on a good note. Like in the park, a very short obedience session and end on a good note - then relax and enjoy the park with Kody - a loose leash walk and curving around distractions.


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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That's pretty much what I did, so I'm glad to know I did the right thing haha
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-16-2015, 12:01 PM
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Super Looking forward to reading the next installment!


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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-21-2016, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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2/19/16

I took Kody to the vet to get his bordetella vaccine, annual heartworm test, and annual exam. On the car ride there, I put the towels on top of his crate this time so that he couldn't see out the side or front windows (I left the bottom half of the crate door uncovered for ventilation since he couldnt see anything from there, and I kept the A/C on full blast cold cause it was warmer, but not intensely hot, day), and he did GREAT! No barking the whole ride there (10 minute drive). Since we got there early, I walked him around the side yard so he could pee as much as he could (to try to keep him from being able to mark inside the clinic, lol), and just to let him walk around and relax after the car ride. We saw another large dog come out of the clinic and to their car, and Kody perked up his ears, but I led him over to where he couldn't see the dog and had him do some sit-stays, and he was totally calm and focused on me .

When we went inside, we were waiting in the waiting room and there were no other dogs or people there, so Kody was fine. However, a lady came out of a room holding her boston terrier and stood right next to us to check out. Kody perked up his ears at the dog, but I told him to leave it and sit, and he obeyed and just focused on me rubbing his ears and telling him what a good boy he was the whole time until the lady and her dog left. I was very proud of my boy . Maybe the dog aggression is worse when the dogs are larger and on the ground??
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