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  • Princess goes to school

    I decided to sign Princess (our German Shephard) up for obedience classes. The first one was this morning. She is a lover to people, but she doesn't get along well with other dogs. We were the first to arrive at class, and I grabbed a seat by a desk next to the door. The trainer came in, and we talked briefly. Every time another dog came through the door, Princess would bark non-stop, and try to get to the other dog. The trainer told me that he has dogs like her in several of his classes, and that I needed to pet her softly throughout the class to calm her down. If she got too bad, I had to take her outside for a few minutes to let her calm down, then bring her back in. The class went pretty well, with all the dogs (including her) responding to commands. The class was 1 1/2 hours long, and I had to take her outside probably 8 or 10 times during the class. She as a verrrrrry bad girl! I was a little surprised when the class was winding up and he told me I did a good job with her. ????? What ????? Oh well, by the end of the class, I was completely worn out, and so was she. The trainer seems to think that she will be able to be around other dogs without a problem by the time the 8 weeks is over. For the time being, however, we have our own place in class, and that's where we stay!

    Ed

  • #2
    Would somebody please toss Ed a Milkbone and scratch him behind the ears? He needs some TLC.

    While I truly believe there's light at the end of the tunnel, something tells me the next couple weeks will be challenging for him and Princess.

    Stay with it, Ed!

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    • #3
      You got that right Danny. It will be a challenge for sure!

      Ed

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      • #4
        Wow ED!!! This is so weird, I had a dog trainer come to our house on Saturday for a similar reason. Our pup, Junior, runs across our busy road to bark at dogs being walked by their owners. He has no fear of any of them even if they are twice his size. I'm terrified that he's going to get hit by a car so I got a professional dog trainer to visit our house, it was quite expensive too $105. The verdict from the trainer was he needs to go to obedience classes and socialise with other dogs so that he's not so attracted to them on the other side of the road. I spent $105 dollars to be told I need to go to free classes with him. ugh.
        Wonder what the odds are that we would both be doing a simialr thing half way across the world apart?

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        • #5
          Sanda,
          For that price you could have installed one of those invisible fences. Good luck.

          Ed,
          It's unreal what they can train animals to do with the proper motivation. I think she will do just fine. They offer those type classes here but I never tried them. Always just taught my dogs myself. Good luck.
          DJ

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          • #6
            Hang in there Ed. Helga is a graduate of the Riverwoods Obedience School. It really made a big difference with her. She was a jumper. Anyone who got near was knocked over and licked. Now she takes commands quite well, although she still goes for a refresher lesson once in a while.

            Like Sanda we were worried about her running into traffic so our trainer suggested we try an e-collar.(electric collar) Its like an electric dog fence only she wears the receiver and I carry the remote. Its great for when we are walking in the woods or areas where she likes to run free. The signal is supose to carry for up to a mile. I never let her get that far though. I really dont use it much anymore. Just having it with me keeps her from running.

            Give Princess lots of love and attention and I'm sure you will win out.

            PS Tell Princess Helga sends her best!

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            • #7
              Sandra,

              Too bad we're not close to each other. We could work on it together.

              DJ,

              I always taught our dogs myself too, but it seemed like a good idea to have more professional help with her. Many years ago, I had an English Pointer that I trained as a hunting dog. I used the book "Gun Dog" by Richard Wolters as a guide. I started with her when she was 6 weeks old. By the time she was 8 weeks old, I could give her a hand signal to make her sit and stay. I could walk around the block, and she would still be there when I got back to the house. It was unbelievable that a pup could learn that fast.

              Bob,

              Princess is unbelievably strong when she's trying to get to another dog. The trainer suggested that I buy a training collar for her. The collar looks like something they might have used in torture chambers years ago, but he assured everyone that it would not harm the animals. It has "fingers" on the inside that dig into the neck area when the dog pulls hard against you. Since the program is put on by the local Humane Society, I took his word for it. She will be sporting a new collar next Sunday, but it will only be used for training purposes. She does very well training at home. The only problem is that she's aggressive with other dogs (except Hooch) . Glad to hear the e-collar worked out well for you. I'll bet it didn't take Helga long to learn to respond to that thing!

              Ed

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              • #8
                Session #2

                Well, session #2 went better than expected. She was pretty wild just before the class began, when she was re-introduced to all the other dogs. As time went on, she seemed to be a little comfortable with the others as long as they didn't get too close to her. The trainer seems to be very good, and he's been offering suggestions as to how to calm her down. Today, I only had to take her out of class 3 times, and that was at the beginning. We took turns giving our dogs a command, and the trainer would observe, then let us know if we did anything wrong. We were told the dog should only be given a command one time. One poor guy told his dog "Down" "Down" "Down". The trainer assured us that if the commands were given as instructed, the dog would obey on the first command. He then told us that dogs were simple to train. It was the people who were hard. Then he took this guy's dog, and he obeyed on the first command by the trainer. I guess that's why he's instructing the class. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for next week. Wish us luck.

                Ed

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                • #9
                  If nothing else, it sounds like a nice place to socialize with other dog lovers. How many sessions do you get?
                  DJ

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                  • #10
                    I don't get to do much socializing. I've got my hands full trying to get her to socialize. But the other "parents" seem to be very forgiving toward us. Pretty nice bunch of people, and maybe I'll get to know them a little more by the time it's over. We have 8 sessions in all. I have a distinct feeling that we could use 28!

                    Ed

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                    • #11
                      Just being a classic "bad dog" huh? Just takes longer for some to warm up I guess. Maybe she just likes knowing her place in the pack and in this setting she hasn't been able to establish that yet. Who can figure a dog's train of thought? Good luck.
                      DJ

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                      • #12
                        We used to have daily 'dog parties' in my old neighborhood, and we found that MOST dogs "just wanta have fun". Dogs that were already socialized and used to being around other dogs and a variety of people were ready to play right away with any new dog that showed up. Dogs that had been kept in their own yards and weren't used to being around others took a while to get used to each new dog, but we rarely had any serious arguments. (There were a couple of skirmishes when an Aussie that was fanatic about retrieving had the ball or frisbee taken by another dog that wanted to take part -- but was seen only as interfering.

                        Ed, do you know what Princess would DO if she reached a dog that she was barking at -- have there been fights, or just aggressive barking and "standoffs"? If she isn't used to actually fighting other dogs, I'm sure that she'll get used to being around them in the next session or two and learn that it can be fun to have dog friends. If she's used to fighting -- that could take all of the sessions just to teach her to listen to you and NOT attack when she's being told to "Sit, Lie Down" etc. I'm so glad that you're taking the time and putting in the effort to help her change her behavior. If she learns to sit and stay like that Pointer you had, then she won't be able to be overly aggressive with other dogs -- until you let her up!

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                        • #13
                          My mother-in-law has a small poodle, and Princess chases her around quite a bit. But she never bit her. We did have to break up one fight between her and my daughter's dog, who is also good sized. I talked to the trainer again Sunday, and he still thinks she'll be okay. He told me he's had a lot worse than her in classes. She did much better in class this last time, so I'm hoping for the best.

                          Ed

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                          • #14
                            Session #3

                            I probably shouldn't say this, but I had a pretty good girl on my hands today. She didn't have to be taken outside one time, and at one point she was within four feet of three other dogs. The thing that surprised me is that she was able to be controlled on a *very* loose leash that close to them! I gave her a star, and hung her paper on the refrigerator.

                            Ed

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                            • #15
                              aaaah you proud Papa you. Just when you started thinking she would be hard to get through this, she surprises you. Glad to hear you both are learning so well.
                              DJ

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