May Be In The Wrong Section (again)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by mewzard, May 26, 2011.

  1. mewzard Experienced Member

    I bought both at the same time, the trainer recommended the referee whistle but i thought i'd try out a proper dog whistle - I got one that was supposded to be best for German Shepherd types, think its the 211.5 but for some reason she treats it as optional, even though i used the same meathod to 'condition' it. First time i blew the thunderer she came bolting in from the garden to see what the noise was - i piled boiled chicken into her mouth and the rest is history! Though you really have to watch your ears!

  2. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    running_dog - he is rough with the cats, both mine and my partner's, and my mum's two, but only because he wants to play. He comes off worst every time haha, they will full on chase him around the house and he just about poops himself when they retaliate. Strange cats, well, thats a different story. He will chase cats that run. Oh and he is obsessed with the guinea pig, who doesnt care about him at all. I got her out one day to show him she was a friend, and his eyes just about popped out of his head. I use the command 'gentle' to make sure he is careful [with cats, children etc] so he... lol... 'gentley' tried to eat her haha. Very slowly and carefully tried to put his mouth over her. It was funny but he isnt quite so crazy about her any more. Sorry about the derail Tash
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  3. mewzard Experienced Member

    Showed Oka my sons new hamster and Oka's eyes nearly popped out of her head. She wasn't quite so calm and managed to get herself over the (closed) stair gate.
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  4. Dodge Well-Known Member

    :LOL: lol,just want to say any dog that can be gentle with another creature other than a dog will get the biggest clapping fest from me,Dodge goes nuts at our hamster and any cat (ok,any animal for that matter:rolleyes:) at any given time :cautious:
    Anyway,I ve been gone so long,I ve managed to read some of the posts on my phone via internet but could not reply :cry:
    Oka has been doing sooo well,just managed to watch your video,crikey,well done you,Dodge done a runner after another dog in the woods on friday and took us 20 minutes to get him to come back,despite blowing the whistle like looneys,we couldnt see or hear him (needless to say that I was ready to burst out in tears :oops:)
    I would never get bored of your updates,its a lovely success story and I love reading it(y)
    Not sure if anybody would still be interested in this head collar write up,but I may aswell as I ve got it with me here now:Dso here goes . . . (Lexi88,it didnt say anything about endorphins,christ,I hope the spelling is right,lol)
    Puppies instinctively relax when their mother picks them up and pressure is applied to the scruff of the necks.This enables her to transport them with minimal fuss to escape from enemies or threats.The neckstrap of the gentle leader causes this instinctive relaxation respond by exerting pressure on the back of your dogs neck when he tries to pull forwards.
    Dogs of any age,but young ones especially,often seek reassurance from older and more experienced members of their group by offering their muzzle for them to hold momentarily in their mouth.The older dog's gentle grasp promotes social bonding and communicates security.The gentle leaders snug noseloop encircles your dog's muzzle in the same socially sensitive area and thus acts similarly reassure your dog and promote your calm direction.

    Omg,that was long and I m a rather slow typer :ROFLMAO: better go and check out what else has been going on (y)
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  5. running_dog Honored Member

    Hi Dodge! Glad to see you back!
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  6. mewzard Experienced Member

    Welcome back!!
    Oka did this too about a week ago. She didn't return despite the whistle... Chicken just doesn't trump dogs! Though her want for toys seems to be increasing (finally!!) so i may start using that as a reward more...
    I've not let her offlead in a couple of weeks as she is just not reliable, if there are no dogs then she is fine but i can't guarentee that they won't pop in the forest and she ran off after them.... so i just can't see it's safe to let her off. In the park i will let her trail a line around if there are no dogs... but if one comes on the park i hold the line again.
    She has been really good recently, her general attention and behaviour have been alot better. Her walking on lead is better too, not just keeping it loose but her attention on me has improved. She is thinking more when we do tricks and not just doing what she wants then getting in a humph when she doesn't get the treats. I have most of her tricks proofed out on the park (except for if there are dogs). She will play small games of fetch on the park, even if there are dogs - only if the dogs are on the other side of the park - but still a HUGE improvement.
    I had my neighbour bring her dogs over yesterday and they played for 2 hours in the sun. I just realised how happy she is when she's with another dog...she really needs a pack mate. She even listened to me!!! I called her over a few times (so i could get the ball to chuck again) and she came to me!! I had to get treats out so i could reward her for it becuase she's never done that before...previously she wouldn't even look at me.:D
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  7. Dodge Well-Known Member

    Aww,thank you:)
    What a shame that you cant leave her off lead,I defo think having some doggie mates help a lot,we meet up with two other boxers every day and at the park and he s no trouble at all with running off after other dogs,the woods is a different thing as there are sooo many other smells I think,though he may have scared himself a bit,we think. He stayed with us and the other two boxers after he got "lost",fingers crossed that he will have learned his lesson,I really dont want to go back to putting him on his long rope and in the woods, it just wouldnt be practical,he would probably hang himself:( so I will have to live in hope and train,train,train:D

    Well done for everything else,I love it when things improve,gives you such a rush of achievement and makes you so proud :love::love: ))clap clap(( to you and Oka :)
  8. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    It is really good having doggy friends come over to play while you practice recall in the safety of the back yard. Maybe you could teach her a command like 'this way' or 'Im leaving'. I say these when Blade is off lead and gone after another dog. I call it out to him and then start walking the other way. He doesnt want to be left behind so will come after me. Of course practice it first without distractions so she knows that when you call it out to her, you are going somewhere else and if she doesnt come, she will be left behind.
    Dodge likes this.
  9. mewzard Experienced Member

    We use "this way" as a recall word, but it doesn't work around other dogs. It worked in the garden which is the first time ever. It works 100% when we are out and there are no other dogs. It is starting to work out at the park if there is a dog there but it has to be atleast a football pitch away (though she has to be on a long line).
    When she see's a dog she goes into a hypo mode (jumping, whining like crazy) trying to get to the dog..... think of a dog trying to attack a dog from the end of a lead - minus the aggression - then you have Oka when she sees a dog. There is no getting through to her, so even if i say "this way" and walk away - she doesn't notice until she's come out of that state - then suddenly realises that I'm not there...this takes a good 10 minutes. I've started to say "see ya!" as i walk away instead of calling her in the hopes that evenutally she'll realise that mean i'm going and leaving her...
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  10. mewzard Experienced Member

    oooooo.....2 months on....
    So we had to stop the kibble feeding. :( Oka went from 34.6kg to 30.9 in 4 weeks....she decided she didnt want to eat it and no matter what we did she wouldn't eat more than around 200g a day. It did work wonders in the beginning....i think the problem was that she was raw fed at first and then we were changing so many things at once.
    However, she has improved reguardless... We have been getting her to sit if a dog approaches close to us, and she will stay sitting till they pass....huge improvement to the dog that would pull as soon as she saw one. Her recall offlead (or on a unheld line) without dogs but with other distractions is about 80-90%. Sometimes she ignore but i just run in the other direction which makes her follow.
    <> I have found that calling her "close" (heel) actually works better than recalling her! She will wait til her release of "go play" before moving off.
    I managed to get some calm walking towards another dog in the park yesterday...whilst the dog was playing, Oka was really good, only pulling ahead when the dog ran away from us (chase reflex i think).. she could also listen to other commands like "wait" "sit" whilst watching the dog - another huge improvement.
    In reguards to her weight she has put on a Kg in 1 week - she looks alot better again...
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  11. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Not sure how I managed to miss this whole thread - but somehow I did! :confused: Great job with Oka! She's still technically a puppy - and look how far she's come in the last few months. She's still a teenager (and it doesn't matter how many legs they have - we know what means!:eek:) - it sounds like she's doing really really well!

    If you decide on another dog, would you ever consider getting an adult dog? I'm asking because I'm thinking about the situation I have here. Both mine are rescues, I avoided the whole puppy thing you're going thru. But, thinking about your situation, I was thinking about my two. I look at Makena, I can't let her off-leash as you can, she's fear-aggressive (a whole other thread) - but - she also is a much more independent dog, very bright, energetic, alert, sounds a lot like Oka (except for the social aspect - she LOVES people, just is fear-aggressive with dogs). Then there's Alfie. He LOVES other dogs - but people trump all. He loves nothing more than to run and meet other dogs - but I'm his favorite reward. Of all the dogs I've ever had, there's probably not one with a better recall. He and Makena are connected at the hip - but one "hey Alf, let's go" and he's with me (and it's a great way to get her, cuz if she's distracted, it might be iffy). If you were able to adopt an older dog (maybe just 2 or 3 yrs) who's personality you knew, maybe one in a foster home, you might find one who loved to play, but was more 'settled' (thinking Alfie here) - and it may help Oka, in the way that she might be inclined to follow his lead (him hopefully following you -- in time). Just a thought.

    It sounds like you're doing a fabulous job - keep up the good work. It may help you to look back at where you were at the beginning of this thread and give yourself a big piece of chocolate for all the work you've done!:p And sheesh, I know it's a long time - but think of where you'll be in a year! I probably shouldn't say this, but knowing she has a lot of GS in her - they don't mature til around 3 yrs old. :eek: And look how far she's come!! :LOL: So - that's really bad news/good news!! I think she's gonna be an amazing girl - everyone will be envious!

    You mentioned really early on about the prejudice against GS (or big dogs in general) being aggressive, etc. You know, the best way to combat that is just to try to have the best behaved dogs possible. I try to be polite around people, have well-behaved dogs, and let them be good ambassadors of the breed. My friend has Goldens, one who has had issues with kids in the past. We were walking at the beach one day (dogs on leash). My Alfie LOVES kids, while she tries to keep kids away from her female. Wouldn't you know, we'd see families walking toward us and of course, they'd see Alfie and it was like the parting of the Red Sea - omg, grab the kids, it's not only a Germ Shep, but a black one, and heaven knows, all black ones are dangerous!!! Parents would grab their kids' hands and pull them far away from us. But - she was constantly reigning in her Golden and asking parents to please keep their kids back - oh look a (strange) Golden, we're going to run and throw our arms around it and love and hug it to pieces and the parents would be smiling - never imagining that the dog was scared of kids and may very well bite them out of fear. Alfie would have loved to have had some "kid time". But not only is he a Germ Shep, he's black - he's got a double whammy - cuz as we all know, all black GS's are horribly dangerous dogs, even with his soft ears. :LOL: I guess I'm babbling - but I feel your pain. Just keep working with Oka, help her to become the best dog she can be. Do keep her out of other peoples' space - I say that on behalf of all those with dogs like Makena, she just can't handle loose dogs running up to her, she has a meltdown (but otherwise, now does fine taking walks after lots of work).

    I can't wait to read your update in a few more months - cuz I bet she'll continue to impress you more and more as she matures. Keep up the good work, you're an inspiration!
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  12. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    Omg well done Oka!! She sounds like she is doing amazing and isnt it so much less stress and so much more enjoyable when they are like that! I am so happy for both of you :)

    The prejudice against big dogs and in particular, GSDs is the same here in NZ. Whenever I meet other owners of them at the park or whatever they all always say that the sight of a GSD empties a dog park and its such a shame because most often than not, GSDs are big sookies and love to play with other dogs. And to be honest, I simply cannot recall there ever being a GSD 'incident' in NZ, but thats a whole other story. Jackie is completely right when she says "You know, the best way to combat that is just to try to have the best behaved dogs possible. I try to be polite around people, have well-behaved dogs, and let them be good ambassadors of the breed." (y)

    Keep up the good work and keep us posted!
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  13. Anneke Honored Member

    I have missed this too!!
    Sounds like you are on the right track!
    My first thought was the food thing, also, but if she looses so much weight, that goes out the window;)
    Something else that worked for me, was to be unpredictable during the walk. Sudden changes in direction, has to keep them focused on you. Sometimes a 5 minute walk would take me 15 minutes... Jinx would pull on the lead, I go the opposite way. She is walking besides me, but scanning for other things(not minding me), I would make a right turn(she is usually on my left side).
    And something I did from the very early stage is the tug game. Something I got from a Susan Garrett webinar.
    Basicly you start this at home, without distractions. I think I read, that Oka loves tug games, so it might work for her.
    I have the tug with me, I bent forward(invitation to play) My cue for this is: I'm gonna sssssmmmmoke ya!!! Then I run away and only allow her to get the tug, when she is besides me. Then we have a good game of tug. I break it off and start over again. I started to take the tug on walks and use it as a sort of reward. Asking her to sit down and as soon as her bottum hit the ground I would run. Not a real reward, but only to keep it interresting and unpredictable when the tug game would begin. It has become so strong that I can call her away from playing with lots of other dogs. She will just break away from them, when I start my I'm gonna.... I hardly ever have to finish the sentence these days:D
    Susan had a few more tips in that webinar, but I can't find the material right now. I'll find it tomorrow and look through it, to see if I think there is anything in there you could try.

    As for getting another dog, I would wait untill Oka is fully mature, not only in growing, but mentally too. Usually that is around two years of age. By then they will listen better and be more stable.

    And when you spoke of the lady saying Oka snapped at her dog, when she was holding it up... Well, that IS because she is holding up her dog!!! By holding up her dog, she is telling her dog, that it is higher in rank. She is confusing the other dog(who is approaching) and causing that dog to jump up, to find out what is going on.
    I can understand the reaction, we have had little dogs and it is quite scary to see a big dog come running up to your little one. But is totally unnatural. The dogs can't meet the right way, they can't reed each others bodylanguage. I have a dog that did the same thing(Cooper is big:rolleyes:) and have tried to explain to little dog-owners that he isn't bad. In vain, by the way:(

    Any way, like some others have said... I wish I lived near you, so we could let our dogs play and help out with the training...
    Keep at it, don't let the bad days get you down!(I know it's hard sometimes:rolleyes:) It will improve, because you keep working at it!
    mewzard likes this.
  14. mewzard Experienced Member

    Thankyou all.
    Jackie - thats what we have come to the decision older dog (age 2-3) that is more focussed on people than dogs, but still good with them. She does well with my neighbours dog who is 4 and she will follow him back if you call him. Doggies like your Makena are why i have to crack the dog thing. It's not fair if she goes bounding up to a dog that is afraid of other dogs - it does nothing to help them and is more likely to set them back in thier progress. Since starting training the only time she's managed to run up to other peoples dogs without permission is when she's ripped the long line out of my hands. Thats the other reason why she's not been offlead in months as she would hear a dog and then go looking for it - even if that meant going well out of my eyeline.
    Anneke - I have used Garretts chase game with Oka, the problem is that she would run past me so i'd turn and run again...thing is she would get annoyed that I didn't allow her to get it and then wouldn't play no more....I can only do things like that once or twice before she deems it too much effort ... "whats in it for me?" is how she views everything. I love Susan Garretts idea's but they just don't work with Oka she isn't a dog who will repeat and repeat excerises if she can't see a point. Also getting her to tug around another dog is a trial in itself... she loves to play in the house and now front garden but i'm starting from scratch in the park - e.g rewarding for picking it up, rewarding for holding it.
    We shan't be getting another dog until atleast after xmas, by which time my OH will hopefully have a job again. In the mean time i will be working with her still - I'd love to do her good citizens award but there is no way she's going to sit in a hall with 10 other dogs and listen to me!! I do think though that in 1 year she will be marvelous, she already is and i am so proud of her but we still have quite a ways to go.
    Anneke likes this.
  15. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol, I missed this one also. Sounds like you and Oka are on the right track. :) In a couple years you'll be at a dog park and calling Oka away from all the dogs like it's nothing, and she'll obediently run right to you and you'll both walk away.... and you'll be thinking back when Oka was a pup, and thinking, "I can't believe we're here!"
    Keep your chin up. Oka's just keeping you on your toes. :)
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  16. mewzard Experienced Member

    So Oka went to the kennel for a week in the holidays. Ok not the greatest idea for a dog who gets over excited around dogs but we needed a week to sort things out (DP just lost his job) and to go places with the kids in replacement for the holiday we couldn't afford...
    Mark collected her and the woman called her a "madam" and commented on how she was very smart and needs a job to do. Since getting her back, she has been better in many ways. She used to get overexcited in the garden when the neighbours dogs were playing, to the point she would bark through the fence. Improvement #1; She now recalls into the house despite being excited and running up and down the fence line.
    Improvement #2: She is more attentive in general. She follows us around a bit more, meaning we can reward more for being with us. We can play games in the garden even if the neighbours dogs are out, so long as they don't play fight - she can't see the dogs but she can hear them. This is a big step up.
    Improvement #3; Seeing another dog in the street doesn't hype her up for 10 minutes. When she was first back she got super excited like before but within a few days she will sit and dogs can pass without her lunging
    My best news is that we felt OK enough to let her off lead the other day. So typically a rabbit ran out in front of her within 5 seconds of us saying "go play". So she chased, we called, rabbit went into bush, lady and off-lead dog came round the corner closer to her.....'uh-oh' is on everyone's minds! Oka spun on the spot, came belting back to me got to my feet spun again and ran off to the dog. LOL - i call that a semi-successful recall. She played with the dog who told her off for being OTT, the she was good and even sat and gave eye-contact to me whilst we talked to the lady, and the other dog was wandering around.
    I'm proud of her!
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