Over Reactive German Shepherd Wins Award At Graduation.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by MaryK, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. MaryK Honored Member

    I have been attending, prior to starting as a trainee myself, a wonderful Positive Reinforcement Dog School here (the only one actually). At the school there is a beautiful, rescue German Shepherd, who due to a very bad breeder, was attacked by three adult German Shepherds whilst he was still a puppy. And of course, also having an under shot jaw, was about to be put down.

    He was rescued by a wonderful lady who found that she had a somewhat over reactive German Shepherd on her hands. And as you can all well imagine, one small lady, one large dog, could spell disaster or end with the dog being deemed 'unmanageable' and sent to a Shelter. There his life expectancy would be extremely short. However, his wonderful owner, a crazy German Shepherd lover like myself, never gave up on Zac.

    He was duly enrolled in Bronze Class, sporting his yellow lead, collar and bandana, to let the world know he 'needed his space' and, for the first few weeks, proceeded to almost drag his owner of her feet, they must have covered miles across the oval, he really could lunge.

    But she, along with the wonderful trainers, never gave up on Zac.

    Last Monday night was Graduation Night and all the love, patience and Positive Reinforcement Training paid off big time.

    Zac, who has fallen in love with a Chinese Crested Dog and is good friends with a very quiet, well mannered Standard Poodle something no one expected to happen quite so quickly, added yet another achievement to his C.V. He - DRUM ROLL PLEASE - won the Award for the "Most Improved Dog" in his class!!!!!!!!! To say I applauded, as Zac and his owner proudly walked up to collect their Award, is understating it, I danced with joy! Felt very much like a surrogate Mom, I was so thrilled!:D Zac handled himself like a true Pro, no reactions, just a dignified acceptance wag of his tail as he graciously accepted his Award.

    All this in just 12 short weeks, with a couple of lessons missed because he had 'that' operation.

    Made my night I had tears of pure joy in my eyes. So everyone with over reactive dogs, never give up, they do respond, they will become model citizens, just like Zac!

    And just to top off the night, his friend the Standard Poodle also won an Award - now that's a perfect ending to a Cinderella Story don't you think?:);):cool:

  2. Anneke Honored Member

    What a great story!
    Nope I won't give up on my reactive boy. Never ever, although it is hard sometimes;)
  3. blacknym Experienced Member

    Yay!!! im feeling a gush of pride myself. lol what a great story. :D
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  4. MissyBC Experienced Member

    Nice to hear such wonderful amazing stories! Well done, Zac! We're all so very proud of you.

    My Missy can be quite reactive at times and sometimes, just sometimes, I feel like giving up... but I tell myself, "No! I am NOT giving up." :D

    Not giving up always wins (it helps that she's so cute!! :love: )
  5. Caiti Experienced Member

    Thank you for sharing! :D

    Wylie was quite agressive when we first got him, and it was hard for my parents to not give up. My dad even suggested that we send him to a shelter before he ended up seriously injuring another dog. That was four years ago. The fear of losing my best friend made me work so hard, researching and working with him every single day after school. We've overcome the problem now, thank god, and Wylie is still in my home, forever. I love him so much, and I can't imagine life without him.
  6. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    AWESOME! I am so glad she didn't give up on her dog and take the 'easy way' out and drop him off at a shelter! Good encouragement for anyone working with a reactive dog.
  7. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you everyone.

    Anneke: I know you'd never give up on your boy. He'll 'get it' in his own doggy time.:)

    Blacknym: Yep, amongst true dog lovers we share the pride don't we:)

    MissyBC: I know how you feel, can be frustrating at times, then they surprise you and suddenly 'get it' and LOL oh yes, sure helps they're so darned cute!:)

    Caiti: Thank you for sharing about Willie. So happy for you that he's now a Model Canine Citizen, you both deserve a huge treat for all the hard work. Sure has paid off!:)
  8. Linda A Experienced Member

    How wonderful!! (y)
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  9. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    Thanks for sharing! It is always nice to hear stories about reactive dogs that get the help they deserve! I see first hand at our shelter how short lived a life is for reactive dogs without owners that care enough to work with their dogs.
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  10. MaryK Honored Member

    Must be hard for you, as you would know that with love, care and P+ training reactive dogs can be turned into model Canine Citizens. Zac's one of the lucky ones, his owner will never give up on him, and he's improved so much in such a short time, I'm thrilled for them both.
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  11. Dlilly Honored Member

    That's a very inspiring story. I really admire owners who have that much pateince and who take on challenging dogs. They both did an excellent job, I'm so happy for them!:)
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  12. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    He is a very luck dog. I'm glad he ended up in the right hands.

    I can't tell you how many times I've cried at the sight of reactive dogs being brought in because the owners "Can't deal with them anymore." It's rare that they are even put up for adoption. It's horrible. Remi isn't aggressive but he is overly excited reactive, and I couldn't imagine giving up on him just because we have set back in training.

    I think people need to face it that no dog is ever going to "perfect." Every dog needs some kind of training, whether it's basic training or more.
  13. jackienmutts Honored Member

    That's a great story!! I can only imagine how proud you were -- which was probably only a small portion of the pride Zac's 'mom' felt!! (y):D Kudos to her for hanging in there and not giving up on her boy. I know how frustrating, exhasperating, demoralizing, exhausting (and could go on .. and on .. and on...) it is first hand -- but I also know how wonderful it is when you see them take that deep breath and relax and start to enjoy their lives. Thanks for sharing his story -- cuz so many are dealing with this very thing, it's always good to hear success stories!!! WOO-HOO!!!:cool:
  14. MaryK Honored Member

    I can feel for you, that's why I just cannot work in a Shelter which has a 'kill' policy, yes I know I'm a total 'coward' but, well you understand.:cry:

    Remi is a wonderful dog with a wonderful owner, one of the lucky ones, so happy he's with you:love::)(y)

    You're so right, no dog, like humans, is ever going to be 'perfect', they all have their wee foibles, even my totally bomb proof boy will resource guard balls, and he truly is about as near perfect as a dog can get, having a laid back disposition and a sang froid attitude to life. Ra Kismet has his little 'ways' but hey I love them both!
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  15. MaryK Honored Member

    So right Jackie, that feeling when they relax is the finest feeling possible. LOL I think Zac's Mom almost burst with pride when she realized he'd won 'most improved' you could see that written all over her face. Everyone, trainers and other dog Moms and Dads where all so happy for her.
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  16. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    I took me a long time to get up the juts to volunteer at our kill shelter. I knew the fate that most dogs face and isn't something I wanted to face. But I just told myself I was doing good, and needed the experience. It has humbled me in ways I never thought possible, and ours don't even euthanize nearly as much as others. I completely understand why you can't work at a kill shelter. My mom has a love for animals but doesn't want to submerge herself in the a kill shelter because she can't stand to see animals behind bars when they don't deserve it. You aren't a coward, you are human. :)

    Remi is an amazing dog, and a learning experience. I look at all my dogs as just that, a learning experience. Every trial I'm faced with is a way from me to help another dog with a similar problem in the future. I always get dogs with problems. :LOL: Of course I wouldn't give up on them anyway since I love them dearly and they are my children. :D
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  17. MaryK Honored Member

    I have the deepest and sincerest admiration for your courage. I can well understand it would be so hard to find the guts to volunteer at a kill shelter. That it is humbling I can also understand. I am so glad your Shelter doesn't euthanize as much as many I know do - the RSPCA being one of the worst here.

    Thank you so much, yes I am like your Mom, I just cannot bear to see animals behind bars, knowing the fate some of them will meet in the end. I can just stand to see them behind bars when I know, as at Moorook Animal Shelter were Ra Kismet came from, they are ALL loved and the lady who owners the Shelter will not have any dog euthanized, not even a dog who's owner didn't want her any more and tried to chop off the poor dogs head! She paid for all the vet bills, nursed the dog herself inside her own home and eventually found the little girl and wonderful new furever home. She doesn't receive any grants etc. so the shelter isn't 'glamorous' but boy are those dogs loved. Unfortunately they're three hours drive away (six hour round trip) and I don't drive.

    Again thank you for saying I'm not a coward, that does make me feel a lot better.

    Remi is gorgeous:love: I too look on all my dogs (all rescues) as a learning experience, they teach us so much don't they.
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  18. Dogster Honored Member

    What a wonderful story!!!:D
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  19. Maggi VIP Silver Member

    such a touching story! we have such a responsibility to our dogs, and such love...never to give up, and to keep working. Change can happen. I sometimes feel that i don't do enough with my dog when i hear all of these stories of the dedication that is given by these wonderful owners.
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  20. MaryK Honored Member

    Maggi, I think we all have that feeling at times. Everyone would love to spend all day every day working with their dogs, but unfortunately we also have other commitments, like work, school, etc. I am sure you spend plenty of time with your dog.:)
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