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Not to put you off dock diving because I love it, but my non reactive dogs learned really bad habits there...all the dogs scream and carry on on and near the dock. With the barking problems you describe you might regret dock diving. Overstimulation is pretty common...

Maybe tracking? For us tracking is the right kind of exhausting and also seems settling.
 

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He looks great! I agree with tracking....it is mental exercise and I know most pups love to track. I watched his brother Uri track yesterday and he was pretty amazing. It was a pretty long track with corners and he was super focused.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
He looks great! I agree with tracking....it is mental exercise and I know most pups love to track. I watched his brother Uri track yesterday and he was pretty amazing. It was a pretty long track with corners and he was super focused.
I was thinking about giving tracking a shot! Chris didn’t think he had an especially strong natural instinct for it, but I’m sure he’d still enjoy it. We just won’t compete at the super high levels. Uwin also tracks, and so does Unni, I believe. Maybe I will get Archer into it!

And @Thecowboysgirl good point about the dock diving. I hadn’t thought of that.
 

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If you ever want to do AKC Tracking, at least the tests I've been to, the dogs were pretty chill. It tends to be a long somewhat boring day where people caravan around to different fields for each dog's track. So the dogs waiting in cars are rarely near aroused dogs or even the clapping when someone gets the glove. Actually not much in the way of arousal problems because you sren't allowed to do much more than quietly praise your dog when they get an article so everything is pretty calm

I've done some AKC tracking training groups that were similarly pretty chill and potentially a good way to work a reactive dog.
 

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I love his ears. He is a beautiful dog. Very regal. Learn tracking for fun. He doesn’t have to compete to enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
If he has a little food drive, you could probably have some fun with tracking. Spread some food around in your grass and see how much he'll sniff around to find it.
He’s got great food drive! I actually spread his entire breakfast in my backyard for him to find every morning, and he loves that. He’ll hunt for it for an hour in the morning, then continuously go back throughout the day to find more.
 

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He’s got great food drive! I actually spread his entire breakfast in my backyard for him to find every morning, and he loves that. He’ll hunt for it for an hour in the morning, then continuously go back throughout the day to find more.
Try some scent pads, just a section of grass maybe 4' x 4' where you stomp down some grass and put the food there. Do 3 of them in one session, about 6' apart. Keep a leash on him just so he doesn't wander to the next one and point him to the ground to start him. What you're looking for is him to leave the scent pad by a little bit, then come back to it with as close to zero input from you as possible. At some point doing them you'll usually notice them not leaving it and following the edge of it making the association between the crushed grass and the food.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
He’s got great food drive! I actually spread his entire breakfast in my backyard for him to find every morning, and he loves that. He’ll hunt for it for an hour in the morning, then continuously go back throughout the day to find more.
Try some scent pads, just a section of grass maybe 4' x 4' where you stomp down some grass and put the food there. Do 3 of them in one session, about 6' apart. Keep a leash on him just so he doesn't wander to the next one and point him to the ground to start him. What you're looking for is him to leave the scent pad by a little bit, then come back to it with as close to zero input from you as possible. At some point doing them you'll usually notice them not leaving it and following the edge of it making the association between the crushed grass and the food.
I’ll give it a try! Should I do this in a different place than my backyard? I’m sure there is still random kibble out there, and he’s used to the backyard having kibble all over the place. He might be confused and expect the kibble to be spread throughout.
 

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I’ll give it a try! Should I do this in a different place than my backyard? I’m sure there is still random kibble out there, and he’s used to the backyard having kibble all over the place. He might be confused and expect the kibble to be spread throughout.
Yeah, if you have access to a place with lawn that isn't freshly mowed. That would be good.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Well, this guy is getting big. He will be 6 months old on Tuesday. He seems to have come into his rebellious teenage phase a bit; he seems to be thinking about if he wants to do what I say rather than hopping right to it, so I’ve doubled down on rewarding a quick response and enforcing commands he decides he’s not so keen on.

He encountered snow for the first time this morning. At first he was confused, but he quickly realized that he LOVES it and didn’t want to come back inside. I take him for hikes every week with his corgi friend while we work on his barking at other dogs. He does much better than he used to, and he loves playing with the two dogs I’ve carefully introduced him to. He prefers to go on pack walks rather than playing, and I have to say that I prefer that too. Everyone is happy.

This guy is such a love. He cuddles with the best of them, but he’s always ready to jump up and play at a moments notice. He is completely solid environmentally (minus the dogs) and I have never seen him even slightly nervous of a new surface or strange object. So far, since he’s still young, he loves people and always wants to go say hi to everyone he sees. He’s great about sitting and paying attention to me as they walk past, but you can still see his tail wagging hopefully.

He’s amazing. Chris breeds awesome dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
The first snow pics are so cute, Archer is beautiful, leggy, big ears and all...but I sure am glad we don't have snow in Michigan yet!
I actually love the snow, so I was ecstatic this morning! I usually don’t take Archer for walks anymore, but I took him for a quick stroll tonight just to get us out enjoying the weather. He had a great time.
 

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I prefer snow to mud....dogs definitely love snow and mud! Archer is getting so big! Now that teething is finishing up, I bet he will have a huge growth spurt and his ears will look smaller! I have a relative of his through Ira, as my pup is a Wildhaus grandchild. He's just starting to teethe bigtime. I feel so bad for him as he is clearly uncomfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Next update!

Archer is just over 7 months old now. Last weigh in he was 58.4lbs and he’s about 23” tall. He just got his NTD (“Novice Trick Dog”) title today. He’s an enthusiastic worker and will do anything to get me to throw a ball. His barking at dogs has gotten so much better. He still hackles when he sees other dogs, but he usually looks to me for his treat instead of barking. We can walk past other dogs without issues most of the time (sometime he has off days), and depending on the situation, will go up for a quick greeting before moving on. He’s doing well!
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Archer is now 9 1/2 months, and he is huge! He definitely draws attention wherever he goes. He’s always so happy and has the goofiest smile on his face. Life with him is incredibly easy around the house. Who said working lines were tough? ;)

Unfortunately, Archer has pretty much gone back to the beginning with his barking at dogs. He can’t even see another dog without throwing a huge fit again. I attribute this to a couple things. One, his age. He’s a teenager now and is probably starting to feel his oats. Two, dogs often go through regression phases like this. Three, he’s been charged/attacked by I have no idea how many off leash dogs now. I’ve truly lost count. The last couple times I was worried Archer was going to attack the dogs. This final time, he did. He got in a dog fight last week when an off leash dog charged up to us (he was on a leash) and ever since then, he’s been just terrible with other dogs again. I’m back to having to be hyper vigilant and feeling like I can’t take my dog anywhere. The joys of owning a reactive dog.

Anyway, I love this guy and can’t imagine life without him. Despite the barking, he’s an amazing puppy, a joy to live with, and I wouldn’t give him up for anything.
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