Discussion in 'Your Training Logs' started by Shamas' mom, Mar 7, 2018.
What a great read. You are doing wonderful work with Shamas
I'm really happy with his progress! when I realised what a challenge I'd adopted as my first dog, I was concerned that I'd not be up to the task....true, I come from a dog family, but all of the dogs in my family are trained to the Prong collar. The more I work with Shamas, the more I realise that the other dogs are not so much trained as managed. They know many tricks, but off of the prong collar, they behave no better than Shamas does-and he's not been to school yet. Those dogs are all breeeder bought except one, and raised from puppy-hood.
I very nearly made the same mistake with Shamas, and would have if not for the resources available through the forum. Here, I learned to tell the difference between fear aggression and outright aggression. I learned how to change his outlook on the things that scare him, and how to increase his confidence. I learned about front-clip harnesses, and why they're healthier for a dog who pulls than a collar and lead. I have been tackling things one at a time, and have a long way to go.....but the relaxed dog who walks next to me instead of well out in front of me is testament to the knowledge that has been gained here on the forum and through the related links/articles.
I didn't put Shamas in classes at the start, because I feared the worst if I dropped his dog-reactive/aggressive personality in with a group of other un-trained youngsters. now I think he's about ready. He reacts very well to youngsters on-leash at Petsmart now, and that's where I'd be doing his classes on Thursday nights, when the next round starts.
My current goal with Shamas is to walk him on both collar and harness-so that if we do happen to leave in a hurry and decide to take him, or if his harness wears out(it's already showing wear and tear after less than a month) I am not left with an il-trained dog that can't be walked. I'm holding a 1foot lead on his collar, and have a lead attached to his harness-I have the option to release the short lead to give him more freedom, and he's still attached....and I believe it has the benefit of showing him the comfort of a relaxed harness walk. Shamas has been off of a collar long enough now that he does not like the feeling of pressure from a collar--so he doesn't pull on the collar. Which is nice, because that was always the thing I hated. I hate it when dogs choke themselves to get places faster.
I took Shamas out on just his collar this morning, to get a feel fo rhow that segment of his training is coming along. He did really well, though he did pull a little a few times, so I won't take him out on it if I'm going to cross roads or let the kids walk him.
His biggest acheivement this morning:
A HUGE Mastiff?? dog came barrelling towards us off-lead, and Shamas didn't hackle, only flagged his tail. When it got to us, it slowed, and Shamas made friends. they sniffed, and exchanged scents while the owner caught up and picked up his leash. Shamas was calm-he made this meeting on his own, without the standard sniff-sniff...was I a good boy? sniff, sniff...I'm still a good boy, right? He's a big one for checking in for positive re-enforement when meeting other dogs. He was VERY unsure of how to do this when I got him, and had to learn...so when we socialised him at Petsmart I would praise polite behavior, and call off if hackles came up or he crowded the other dog.
For my part, I only panicked for a second, as I saw the thing barreling towards us. Then It registered that the dog looked like it was having a romp in a field and I calmed down
I noticed that the water bowls are coming up empty too often. I have multiple bowls, but also 4 animals...so my solution, to avoid running out of water: 5 gallon fish tank with a brand new filter lol. Now they have freshly filtered water that never runs out and tastes better than straight tap water. we have a fairly high Chlorine count, so this is better for them too. i had already noticed that Shamas will always go for my fish buckets every time I clean the tanks...so I expected him to like this option. I'm actually considering putting a little fish for the cats to watch at night lol. They're good about fishing- we've had fish in the house for years.
We got Shamas out to Petsmart during Class time yesterday. He was generally good, but a bit snarly at one point(possibly overwhelmed by the largish group and one nervous dog)...might need another month or two to ready him for a group setting. he did meet that nervous dog, about 1/2 hour later, but only for 2 seconds before the tail went stiff and I called "ok, that's enough let's go" and got the nod from the owner as he treated his boy for good behavior and I praised mine(forgot my treat bag) I noticed he went head low, non-threatening while the other was head high, ready to run. Looks like he's starting to learn the dog-language a little now
I spoke with hubby about taking him up during class times so that the place is chok full with dogs in training, on the leash of attentive owners. give him time to acclimate to a bustling setting, while not yet in the training area. So far he's only been in an empty training area for some Private sessions. If classes have to wait even until January, I'm fine with that- it's just for Basic training, such as Leave it, Stay, and things that I missed while working on the more pressing issues of leash walking, fear aggression, road terror. and I still need to set up a session with the trainer to have him assessed as to whether he's best in beginner or intermediate classes. Heidi (Petsmart's last trainer) seemed to think Internediate, back when we saw her in November.
I swear, Shamas grinned for a good 3 hours after last night's trip!
Thank you very much for your advice, the truth is that they have been very useful to me.