Saturday, January 24, 2009

Follow Up With Sunshine

I had a follow up lesson with Sunshine yesterday & I was more than exctatical about how well she was doing. Every once in a while I'll have a case that absolutely touches me and the dog makes a HUGE transformation. Well Sunshine is that case. She has come leaps & bounds from where she was behaviorally & I couldn't be happier. She was already a sweetheart of a girl but she didn't know how to show that behavior in public. . . now she does. I am so happy to report she is well on her way to being off leash in the front yard without barking at or chasing cars, people, other dogs, etc. She is responding very well to her owners & they are doing equally as well with her. It's so fantastic! I'll post more on her continuous progress as it comes!

Down To One Dane :*(

Today was Jemma's last day :( She was so excited to be back home with her momma! She did very well & I was very proud of her. I'll have a follow up lesson with her when I get back from Virginia. I can't wait to see how she is doing!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gus Is A Remote Collar Super Start

Gus has taken to the remote collar so wonderfully. It has really brought things together for him & he's doing better than great now. He's responding with very little correction at all from the collar but when he does need to be corrected he's super responsive. He doesn't freak out he just stops the behavior he's doing & runs to me as if to say sorry & then goes about his business. We have a birthday party at the dog park to attend on Sunday, which his momma will be at. So, that will be the ultimate test. I'm hoping it goes well, especially since its on my day off. I just want to enjoy the day & not have to make it too much of a training session. We'll see. Gus is definitely a dog that wants to please but he also has a side that knows if you're not in control or not & if you give him an inch, he'll take 10 miles. He's going to need to stay on a "short leash" metaphorically speaking when he returns from training. He's going to have to earn all his privileges back as his behavior improves. He's here until Wednesday morning, so we should have everything wrapped up by then. He'll be great!

For Every Good Day. . .

Well, I'm starting to notice that for every good day of training Jemma there are 3 or 4 bad. She is scheduled to go home tomorrow which I am sad about because I've loved having a second Dane around, but from a training stand point, she could really benefit from staying a bit longer. Today she has really been fighting me on everything. Her momma is definitely going to have to be more firm and persistent than Jemma chooses to be. She is on her place right now thinking about the lesson we just had. I've noticed that when there is something or nothing going on that Jemma wants to be a part of she will throw an all out temper tantrum, like a 3 year old. She's going to get it. . . some just take a bit longer than others. She needs to use that sass & attitude towards a job, like search training or scent work or agility would be great for her confidence!! But on a positive note, Jemma ignores the counters completely now, so no counter surfing, she stays on her place just wonderfully. She stayed put while I worked Gus as well as cleaned the kitchen up & returned some work e-mails. I'd say it was about 2 hours. Then we had a break time & a bit of playtime outside & now she's crashed out hard asleep on her place. She is doing great at the horses now. She's not fearful at all & she even seems to be excited when we pull up. It's great. Well, keep your fingers crossed that this morning's lesson nipped the last of the sass in the bud. We'll have a better lesson this evening; I can feel it!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Duke - 4 Months Old

I can't believe he's 4 months old now. He's growing so quickly & becoming such a cool dog. I see so much potential in him to take many avenues in his training. I'm not sure exactly what I want to do with him just yet. He had to return to River Cliff Animal Hospital today to have his ears rewrapped. They're definitely standing by themselves but the tips are folding just a bit so we're just doing minor tweaking :) Hope you like the pictures!

Part dog, part Kangaroo

Spoiled rotten I tell ya Say Cheese
Look at that chest

Jemma . . . Horse Savvy??

Jemma, horse savvy?? . . . . Well, not just yet but she's getting there. She has been very fearful & acting out a bit aggressively because of that fear. She's overcoming her fear & allowing them to sniff her now, which is great. They are super dog friendly! She spent the evening with us at the horses yesterday & she is starting to cut loose a little & relax. (I always forget my camera when I go there) She's not drooling when we're there & she's not trying to eat everything that comes around her. She is at her stubborn point really bad in her obedience right now. The whole 10yards; not minding with numerous corrections & repetitions after repetition, back talking, snapping, running away the second she thinks I'm not looking at her. Such the stinker :) So needless to say I have my work cut out for me the rest of this week while we're trying to tie up the loose ends & polish her up. She had her 7 bath this morning. . . yay! She's getting really great at that. We have a hard day of work, work, work today so I'll post more pictures & a good progress report tonight!

Gus' Big Day at the Park

Gus & I went to the dog park yesterday & met an old friend & trainee Stella and her new baby brother Vinnie (referred to in previous blog). The dog park, for Gus, is his biggest challenge. He plays well with the other dogs but the walk down to the park, from what I've heard, is quite comical. He taught himself how to do back flips on the way down all the while sounding like he's being murdered or going to attack everything in sight. Needless to say yesterday was NOT like that at all. He barked at a few people as soon as we got to the park from inside the truck but that was promptly corrected. He was excited to be there but minded his manners & heeled relatively well on the way down. When we got to the gate & he saw Stella and Vinnie going in & he had to hold his sit, he came unhinged. We had to work on him understanding he doesn't call the shots as to when he does things, right now, I do :) He greeted people & dogs nicely & then once in, he was off to play. Then he started with the chasing & taking dogs down by the back on the neck. This behavior is a sure fire way to start a fight, so I had to correct that as well. I definitely got my exercise walking all around the dog area keeping him in check. He had a few melt downs when I had to correct him for either jumping up or playing too rough. He finally got the idea I believe & he settled down a bit. He came home & pooped out for a short time & then he was back to running around like a fool :) Gus' mom has decided to finish out the training with the Advanced Obedience which makes me so happy. I really think she's going to enjoy him so much more with that added help of the remote collar. He's going to stay with us through the rest of this week & he'll have his go home lesson on Wednesday morning of next week. I'm very excited! So, more to come on Gus' progress as we head into the remote collar training!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunshine's Homecoming

I was sad to see Sunshine go but her family was very glad to have her home. I'll see her again next week for a follow up lesson & see how she's progressing at home!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jemma, Jemma, Bo-Bemma.....

Jemma had a pretty easy day. We worked on her place command for a while this morning as well as heeling w/auto sit, sit-stays, down-stays, come from a distance, & I set her up placed food on the edge of the counter to see if she's try to take it (glad to report, she didn't). I'm going to set her up again because I know that's a big problem that her mom would like to see corrected. She's responding much better to her commands today. OH MY! Jemma is the poopingest pup I've ever met in my life. We definitely need to get on the same schedule as far as her #2 schedule goes. She goes outside for a while, we work for a bit & then she goes in her crate while I work someone else and. . . . she poops and then she poops again when I get her back out about 30 minutes later & we go back outside!! Where is is all coming from!! She's not having accidents in the house at all, which is great. She always goes to the door.... it's just in her crate. Ewwie. But on a better note, she's warming up to me much more today. She's trying to give me lots of smooches & wanting to please when we work on her obedience. I think she's going to be just fine. She's really going to blossom when we start working on her socialization with people!

She Has A Sunny Outlook on Life ;o)

My favorite picture of Sunshine - Smiley Girl!
Little Miss Sunshine had a great day. We went for a short walk around the park again today & she didn't react to anything. We didn't do it off leash. I wanted to make sure while she was on the leash that she would be a good girl; and she was. I'm so proud of her. She is very social with the other dogs. If I see she might even be thinking of acting inappropriately with the other dogs, I tell her "no" she walks away with her tail wagging & goes about her business. She's such a lover. She just melts my heart. Such a sweet girl. After the park this morning Sunshine practiced her place command while I straightened up the house & paid a few bills. She does great at her place command. We'll work on it again tonight at dinner. I'll be sad for Sunny to go home Thursday but I know her family is ready for her to be home!

Hello down there
Sunshine bonding w/Ty & Chase
So cute

Gus' Progress

Gus had a much better day socially. He did a bit better from an obedience stand point but we have a lot of work to do. He did try to play nicely today & everyone was much more willing to play. He did well with the intro to the cats. He actually didn't pay much attention to them at all. He's a bit more fearful than interested. In the obedience world, we worked on Gus down at the side & holding his down while I walk away & out of sight. He did okay. More work on that tomorrow. He's very excited & loving when he sees me now. I think he's starting to understand, good behavior gets lots of love & acting like a maniac doesn't. He's very excited when I get his leash out. It's pretty cute. He's a very sweet boy & I can see he wants to please but he definitely has to have an authority figure or he makes wrong choices. More to come on Gus later on :o)

Gus & Ty saying hello
Everyone is waiting for me to throw the Kong
Hello, Duke's butt
Run for your lives!!!Gus holding his down command after playing in the yard

Monday, January 12, 2009

Where Have All the Bad Dogs Gone?

Sunshine & I took a short trip to the park today to work on passing unruly bad dogs that aren't trained ;o) Wouldn't you know it..... not a one! There were roller bladers & bikers. She acted, for a split second, like she might want to go ba-zurk-o but she held herself together looked up at me like she knew she made the right decision & she pranced like she was proud of herself. Such a sweet girl. I just love her. We'll see what the park offers tomorrow morning.

Mesa is Back for Boarding

(I'll add pictures later today if possible)
Mesa the Am. Staff is back for boarding. She brought along her Grandma's dog, Tiger who is a Pitt Mix. He's a big sweet boy. He's slowly adjusting to life around the other dogs. He doesn't so much mind them around but if he's not in the mood to play..... stay back. We're working on his social skills. He is incredibly obedient & has already been through the remote collar training which works great for me! Mesa & Duke on the other hand are back to their old ways of playing & playing & playing & a bit of sleeping but then it's back to playing. I really enjoy having her around & so does Duke!

New Trainees - Jemma & Gus

We have two new trainees with us! Jemma is a 7 month old Great Dane. She is with me for the Intermediate Obedience along with working on her social skills, attitude (snapping & "talking back" when she doesn't like things), along with a few other behavior problems her mom would like to see, no more. Most of that is stemming from her lack of confidence & under socialization. She is starting to warm up to me. Not so much when she is in her crate but once she is out she is happy to stay close to my side. She hasn't quite opened up enough to play with the other dogs but she's happy to be around them & she's made herself quite at home in Duke's bed. So far we have worked on Jemma not pulling on the leash & walking with a loose leash, heeling at my left side & sitting when we stop, holding a sit, down at the side, & place. She has been through training with another trainer prior to me so if it seems like we're moving a bit fast, that's why. She already knows the commands, I'm getting her used to doing them the first time without a treat & around distractions. We cut her nails as well, which prompted a dramatic tantrum. She seems to think that showing her teeth & barking & snapping is going to result in her getting her way. . . WRONG. We're working on that :) She is doing really well with everything up to this point. I want to see her not reacting so fearful of strangers, if I say it's okay. Once I get her responding to her commands like she should we're going to venture into the big scary world & work on her socialization! Stay tuned for more on Jemma.

Gus is a 6 month old German Shepherd. Gus is here for the basic obedience as well as socialization. He is a bit too big for his britches as well as acting like he's going to eat other dogs in sight. He's really a sweet boy, he just doesn't know any better. So far we have worked on getting him used to the other dogs & acting proper around them. He has a tendency to want to bully them & be intrusive & if they give him the dog signs to "please stop" he wants to fight about it. He has to learn to be a dog but be social & play. We did a bit of work at PetSmart when I picked him up but I didn't feel like we made much progress. His momma was not far behind & he kept looking to her as his safety net. He's doing much better now. He's heeling at my left side & sitting each time we stop, he's holding his sit while I drop the leash & walk away. The other dogs are distractions. So far that's all we're going to work on for today. Tomorrow I'll introduce the cats! Stay tuned for more on Gus!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tying Up the Loose Ends

Sunshine is doing very well. We're just fixing little behaviors like there's still a bit of ignoring when she's off the leash, holding her commands for extended periods of time, socialization with unruly dogs. I'd like to see those things a bit more on point so we don't have any challenges when it's time to go home. She's scheduled for her go home lesson on Thursday. I'm excited for her parents to see how great she is doing!! We have our lesson with the unruly dogs tomorrow so we'll see what tomorrow brings!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Training in Progress

I am happy to report we had a few hours of sunshine yesterday to work Sunny. We went on a walk off leash & worked in a fenced area on her off leash commands. We have a lot of work to do in this department. She didn't do terrible but her focus was definitely not on me & I didn't feel confident that she'd respond if there were huge distractions around. So we worked again this morning in the lovely sunshine. I think she's so happy to just be outside in the sun that she just doesn't want to pay attention. Not a big deal, just a thing we have to work through. We'll work again this evening & hopefully again tomorrow. Saturday is calling for rain but we'll see. Next week we're moving on to harder distractions (strange dogs, cars, other cats, dog park). I'm very excited to be out of the house & moving forward with her training! Oh, she is doing FABULOUS on her place command. She stays on place while we eat dinner, I can answer the door, check the mail, take a shower, watch a movie & she stays nicely on her place with her Nyla bone. She's no longer tempted by the other dogs walking around or a crazy cat running past her or me leaving the room. She's such a good girl.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Duke the Dufus

YEAH!!! Duke had his vet appointment this morning & they said his ears are doing wonderful & this will be the last time he needs his ears taped up!! Such a relief! He is 15 weeks old now & he's 51 lbs. Sounds huge but he's still too skinny. I can't keep enough food in his body to make his look normal to me. The vet says I'm just too paranoid & he looks great. So 10 more days of taped ears & then hopefully he's done!! Such a stud :)

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Sunny looking so purdy on her place

Goodness Gracious with this rain. I'd like to say things are progressing wonderfully but due to the wonderful weather conditions. . . we're not. Sunshine is doing great at everything we've worked on up to this point. All her on leash commands around heavy distractions, she's holding her commands for extended periods of time inside & out, she's responsive to all the commands in doors off the leash but we really really need work on her off leash outside around distractions. She did awful at place on Saturday in the beginning. Every few minutes she'd get up & walk around like she'd lost her mind, she got up when UPS rang the bell, when my neighbor dropped by but she finally got the idea she's was supposed to stay on her place through the long haul. She hung out on her place again that evening through dinner & a movie, right up to bed time. She did fantastic!! At this point we just really need to focus on her off leash control, i.e. going for walks without a leash, control at the park. She's going to hang out a few extra day so hopefully this dreary weather will move out & give us the opportunity to work outside!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Sunshine, Sunshine

Sunny holding her "down" command
I wish we had sunshine, sunshine. This rain is really starting to put a damper on my progress with Sunny. Today we're working on her "place" command for extended periods of time with distractions of service people, UPS is coming & I'm having my neighbor drop by & say hello. I was going to take her to the dog park today or tomorrow. . . . so obviously, today is out. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
Sunny holding her "sit" command.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! Can you believe '09 is here? I definitely can't. I hope everyone stayed safe, sober & had lots of fun!! Me, Tom & the pups had a low key night at home watching all the cold fun on TV. Party animals I tell ya :) Today will probably be a get out of training free card for Sunny. We have family coming over so I'll get to work on her reaction to the door & people pulling up in front of the house. We get to work on her holding place with heavier distractions then we've had the last few days. Okay, so I guess there's still going to be a bit of training today..... It'll be great for her. More updates on Sunny's progress to come!!

Monday, Monday

Monday was quite a treat with Little Miss Sunshine. Her stubborn streak has finally kicked in. We're working on heel w/auto sit, sit & down stays, come w/auto sit & we started "place" command. Now that she knows all the commands, she's gotten quite stubborn. Nothing out of the norm just a speed bump. We took another trip to PetSmart & she was fabulous again. She doesn't even react at all now. She's just along for the ride. She's doing great. We'll take on the dog park this weekend or the beginning of next week. That should be fun. She is playing great with everyone now. She is great with the cats as well now. Nothing too bad to report. She's a great girl & she's coming along nicely!