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We just got a call from Grimm's trainer. Grimm has been at send-away training for a bit less than 3 weeks. The main problem was on-lead doggy reactivity. He saw other dogs in this supercrowded city we now live in, and would bark/lunge in frustration at wanting to initiate a party. After months of annoying prong corrections (weak hands), then months of helpful positive clicker training/FeistyFido-style and Halti usage, I still was dragged regularly into traffic, pulled down & dragged on my back along the sidewalk, and then finally got a concussion.


The current report: The trainer says, as other evaluators have said, that Grimm is great with other dogs off-lead. Grimm is turned out for 10 hours per day with a large doggy pack in a huge grassy field to learn doggy manners. Grimm has some dogs he likes, and some dogs he doesn't like. The dogs he likes, he plays with. The dogs he doesn't like, he ignores. Yessss!!
He is thank God not a canine bully! I was worried about that. He is young, and I myself have not had a chance to evaluate him with other dogs. I am SO HAPPY that he just ignores dogs he doesn't wanna play with. And, extra-happy that the German training system here so stringently insists on letting other dogs teach our dogs good doggy manners for 10 hours each day, so that they are reminded of correct calming signals, bite inhibition, and how to deal with dogs of all personalities. YES!


What's next? The trainer wants to keep Grimm for another week, to tighten his training a bit further. Grimm is learning: 1) to be reliable off-lead for heeling and recall, plus basic onlead & offlead obedience under distractions such as people, other dogs, bikes, etc. and 2) that he can not bark/lunge/initiate a party when heeling on-lead, but must either continue heeling, or if I feel it is warranted, lie in a down position on command and hold it until I put him back into a heel.

We will have several hours private training as part of the package, where the trainer corrects our mistakes with Grimm, and makes sure we are consistant, makes sure we handle Grimm correctly, makes sure the training transfers to us into daily handling situations with Grimm. Basicly, we get a behavioral overhaul in handling him. Cool!
And necessary as no trainer can be expected to 'just fix the dog' for the owners. The training can't transfer unless the owner participates and gets involved with the training.

The trainer reports so far that Grimm is much improved with the on-lead doggy wanna-start-a-party barking/lunging. He says that he must then see how Grimm does with us during the lessons at the facility, and that he will guide and correct us to make this training transfer, and work for all involved.

I feel badly that I was never able to provide Grimm with classes and doggy socialization, nor be a strong enough handler to manage him while he built up a habit of bad behavior onlead with other dogs. I feel eternally grateful to Grimm's breeder for deliberately breeding very stable, clear-headed dogs-- and for keeping her pups with the litters until 9 weeks to learn doggy language skills.

I miss my Grimmi very much. My tea isn't the same without sharing some honey with him, the books I read aren't as easy to read without a big warm puddingblob of GSD muzzle on my thigh making comfy "nyup..nyup...nyup..sighhhh" noises, and my trips to use the bathroom are so lonely without his mocha-colored jumbo clodhopper paw resting on my foot. Nobody licks my yogurt cups clean, nobody yodels during their nightly massage (okay, brushing). I miss his grinning face by my bedside each morning, his face being so extremely happy to see me that one of his ears forms his "Debbil ear"-- one ear bends back on itself when he is really overhappy, and looks like the letter "C"-- making it look like he has one devil horn.


I miss you, SnugglePig. Learn well, and Momma and Daddy will soon be there to learn, too.
 

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Sounds like you found a wonderful trainer and some awesome experiences for Grimmi. You will be reunited soon!
 

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There is no doubt he misses you too Patti - how could he not??!

It sounds as if Grimm is progressing well. Thanks for giving him this opportunity to learn in this way and thanks also for the update - I love reading your posts they are so warm and evocative ..... they always make me smile and often laugh out loud.

He'll be home soon.
 

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Patti, don't beat yourself up, in a perfect world we would be able to provide everything for our dogs and they would want for no outside training or for any thing else. But all dogs are different and all humans are different and some times we need a second/third or fourth person to help us with our dogs. The good thing is that Grimm is learning and that is what you needed.
 

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Thank you, Amaruq, Qyn, and Val. I sure miss my Grimmi-ThunderBunz. I really truly appreciate the encouragement. This means so much to me right now. Thank you!


I know one thing-- that I want to continue making exposure to other dogs while relaxing (or doing a bit of obedience) to be a very regular thing for Grimm. "The Wow factor" re other dogs really needs to be kept at bay via regular exposure. I may ask the local SV chapter if they will let me come observe with Grimm, and let me work Grimm a wee bit while I watch their dogs work. Yup.. I am a 15 minute walk away from the local SV chapter clubhouse! I would give my right arm to join, but, I may need my right arm for other stuff in life.
Membership is not costly, but it is sadly beyond my means. Am hoping and praying they will allow me to just visit regularly for exposure for Grimmi.
They are the only doggy group close to me that I can find here in my town.
 

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Patti Sounds like Grimm is making progress, now to have him do everything he has learned for you and not drag you down the side walk. I know with your disabilities it makes things a bit hard. But keep your head up Grimm will be back soon for you to baby like you have in the past. Jero sends his love and kisses to his little brother.
 

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It sounds like you found an awesome facility. Keep us posted about the feedback on training when you are there with him. I like the pack training - it sounds like it could be just what Grimm needs.

You should never feel bad about any of his training, you've done so much with and for him.

By the way - how many nicknames does Mr Grimmy have? 'SnugglePig' is ceratinly different!
 

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Thank you Chuck, coming from you, encouragement means a whole lot to me.
You are so familiar with these lines,
and having Jero, I feel almost as if you know Grimm, as they are in many way so similar.. Jero
probably being much more high drive than Grimm.

Bonnie, thanks for the vote of confidance-- I am grateful!
Grimm has a lot of nicknames. LumpyBear, HeftyBum, (manages to sit on my lap when I sit on the floor to read a book ) and SnugglePig are all common.. the neighborhood kids have named him
"Kissy." Gee.. can't imagine why...
 

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Every time I read one of your posts about Grimm, all I think of is "this is one really loved dog".

Through your posts (which I always chuckle over) I feel like I know him, and he sounds so much like my Cyrus.

I wish him luck with his training and look forward to hearing how it works out for you guys.
 

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Threedogs Grimm if anything like our Jero has such great possibilities. and both being from the same sire and dam makes these two such special boys. Patti always warms my heart when reading about her stories with Grimm. Yes Jero is a bit more drivey they both have the intelligence of their father Congo Vikar and being that they are 6 months different in age really tells me that Patti has such a special boy there. Everything Grimm is going through Jero has done just 6 months earlier. I love to hear the love for him as I feel the same for his brother Jero. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK PATTI it will get better as Grimm gets to maturity. And after reading your post kind of brought tears to my eyes to hear the love for this special boy
 

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I'm so happy to hear Grimm's training is progressing nicely. I bet you can't wait until you get to try the new methods with the trainer there to guide you. I'm sure this will be a wonderful experience for Grimm. You're doing the best you can for him so don't beat yourself up about it (I know it's easy to do, I do it all the time).

 

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ThreeDogs, you are right-- Grimmi is a very loved dog, for sure. I really wish I could meet your sweetie Cyrus! He and Grimm seem to have the silly gene.
Kindhearted, caring Chuck fell in love with Grimm's brother, I guess the silly gene really attracts great people.


Jamie, thanks for the kind words. You're right, I am itching to start and do things right, under the trainer's guidance. We actually have 6 hours with the trainer, and it will need to be 3 sessions at the facility while Grimm is still there. (as we have a tough time getting there via bus with connections and stuff, as we have no auto)

Anyway, can't wait to get guidance on doing things right with my Grimmi. Please pray for me when we have to go for the private training-- it will be in German, and my German is stalled at "Bratwurst" and "Fahrvergnugen."
 

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Yay for Grimm, and kudos to you for finding the right trainer!

I know it wasn't/isn't easy to have him out of your sight, but looks like will be worth it.

I think you did a lot of good foundation work that's probably made it easier for Grimm and the trainer.

Best
 

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Update! Well, a lot has happened. DH (Ulrich) and I got to go to visit Grimm today at the trainer's and have a 2 hour private lesson that is included in our training package.

I was extremely nervous! I knew I would be asked to hold onto Grimm while another dog was in sight... and I have always been in danger whenever that has happened. I was too nervous to eat or drink this morning.

When we got there, we discussed training rules, a few other things, and then he went to go get Grimm. WOW!! Grimm was in a great big grassy field with many other dogs of all types! In the 3 weeks that he has been there, he has learned better doggy manners from the other dogs. I did learn that Grimm plays a bit with other dogs, but not excessively so-- he is also content to go gnaw on a stick by himself, too.

Grimm looks GOOD. A bit thinner than I keep him due to the free running all day in the big playgroup in the grassy field, but he looks strong, healthy, well-- and something else. He seemed slightly less "silly" than usual. I think a part of that is being able to burn energy off adequately, a part is maturity from being away from Momma and Daddy so long, and a big part probably is that he isn't the baby of the play group there. He has responsibilities to behave well, or the other dogs, of all personalities, would take exception. He has perhaps emotionally grown up a tiny bit while away.

Grimm did spring on both DH and I. He is young, impulsive, excited to see us-- and needs to learn not to jump up. After a few moments, he was fine.

The trainer's methods are old school hard choke chain corrections. My way is to clickertrain with treats, a ball, petting, etc. But clearly, my way has NOT worked for a few problems with THIS type of dog. So, I will continue to use his methods for this training to transfer. (if Grimm and I are playing retrieval games or learning something new, I will use the positive training for that to mark and shape behavior-- but it is evident Grimm needs corrections beyond just ignoring or removing a fun motivator)

First, Ulrich went and worked Grimm under the trainer's guidance. Ulrich was unsure, but he did okay. Next, my turn. I also did okay.. but need to correct faster and firmer, as Grimm did test my limits a bit..... and that would get worse each day if not checked.

BIG surprise: Grimm was only wearing a fursaver, and low on his neck! This is all he needed. The corrections did work with only the fursaver. There were few corrections, cos the lead hangs slack most of the time.. but Grimm did respect the fursaver!

The moment of truth: The trainer warned me that this would be a tough test, he was bringing out an un-neutered stud dog that Grimm had never met. GAAACCCKKK!! HAAALLP!!

I had Grimm in a down stay, and waited under a tree in the cobbled yard. Out strolls the trainer with a muscle-y, double-wide, flews-a-flappin', flab-a-rollin' yellow Lab male with a head like a cinderblock. GULP! Okay.. I had Grimm sit, then I was supposed to walk right past the dog and trainer-- as they walked past me going the opposite way. I stared hard at the fence in the distance, keeping Grimm's head in my sight too, ready to correct him for too long a look ( a short look is allowed) at the other dog. I walked.. Grimm walked.. we past the other dog. No lunging. No barking. No growling!

Next, we passed eachother close yet again, and I did some heelwork while the Lab held his downstay. Then, I came up close to the Lab, and downed Grimm a meter or two away. I dropped the lead as the trainer told me to, onto the cobbles... and walked away. Grimm remained. Relaxed. Then Grimm casually rolled onto the side of his bum, since no other big thrills were gonna happen. Right NEAR another dog, and off-lead!! As the trainer spoke with us, Grimm then rolled further onto his side, stretching out in the shade (it was hot today). Grimm had never met that other dog.

We then walked outside the property, on the main farm road. I walked one way, and the trainer came up the road in the opposite direction-- with yet a different dog, an 11 year old Siberian Husky. Grimm was fine. He did test me a bit in the heeling and his responses, but that I can work on with him, and do better in correcting faster. I gave Grimm soooothing praise.

Note: In the first scenario with the big yellow Lab, while Grimm was in his down-stay, a Beagle-sized Jack Russel suddenly jumped a gate and unexpectedly but quietly crashed our party. The good-sized white and brown terrier sniffed and snorfled, ambling slowly along, sniff-o-meter checking out the cobbles. The trainer was unaware. Grimm was aware, but totally bloblike, totally relaxed. Grimm casually watched the terrier sniff along. The terrier was about 2 - 3 meters away from Grimm, and off-lead. I do not know if Grimm knew the terrier or not, probably not, as Grimm was only in a playgroup with similar-sized dogs. I made the trainer aware of the sniff-a-long terrier, and he scooped him up to bring him back to the doggy playgroup.

We go back for more private training on Friday for 2 hours. On Saturday, I think we go in a real training group! That is scary, cos I dunno how many dogs, all maybe more barky than the calm Lab and Husky and Jack Russel today were.. and maybe the owners will walk the dogs very close to me and Grimm. But, I will admit each time the trainer and his dog passed Grimm and I, it was pretty close, too. Maybe 2 meters away or less!

Whew. After the 1 more 2-hour private training and then the day we go to a group training... I think, will be a few hours private training here in our environment with Grimm and the trainer, probably, I hope, he will bring a dog or two with him, too.

The trainer will watch how we are working with Grimm in the next lessons, and decide if he wants to send Grimm home with us maybe Saturday after group training, or, maybe keep Grimm there maybe 1 or 2 weeks more to make the training tight. I am open to that. For me to be safe, Grimm's training needs to be sure.

I miss my SnugglePig, though.
 

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Wow Patti - sounds like Grimm has come a long way and I am sooo happy for you! It won't be long and you'll have your SnugglePig home to love and hug all you want.


Tessa sends her best to Grimm


Thanks for the update!
 

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Wow congratulations Patti. Sounds like Grimm has made progress. See I knew you have what it takes to handle Jero's little brother, and so glad that you found someone to help with his training.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
UPDATE:SnugglePig(Grimm) send-away training

Thank you Holly and Chuck.
I am still amazed at how things went today. My head is spinning!
I am determined to do even better Friday and Saturday during training with Grimm.
 

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Originally Posted By: BrightelfThank you, Amaruq, Qyn, and Val. I sure miss my Grimmi-ThunderBunz. I really truly appreciate the encouragement. This means so much to me right now. Thank you!


I know one thing-- that I want to continue making exposure to other dogs while relaxing (or doing a bit of obedience) to be a very regular thing for Grimm. "The Wow factor" re other dogs really needs to be kept at bay via regular exposure. I may ask the local SV chapter if they will let me come observe with Grimm, and let me work Grimm a wee bit while I watch their dogs work. Yup.. I am a 15 minute walk away from the local SV chapter clubhouse! I would give my right arm to join, but, I may need my right arm for other stuff in life.
Membership is not costly, but it is sadly beyond my means. Am hoping and praying they will allow me to just visit regularly for exposure for Grimmi.
They are the only doggy group close to me that I can find here in my town.
Diabla's breeder, in his training center has what he calls "Canine Spa" which is basically the same idea. Dogs go for a day or a weekend only to run and play with other dogs in the grass and a small forest monthly or every week or so.
 
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