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Thread: I am beyond proud of Serenity.

  1. #1

    Default I am beyond proud of Serenity.

    I am beyond proud of Serenity. Some may know but some may know, Serenity has a few issues. She is reactive towards people and dogs at times, she has also bitten before.

    I have been working this this trainer for a while now. While I've had my mistake and have gotten lazy, we aren't going to badly. I decided to work with this trainer because she's worked with many aggressive dogs and turned them around.

    She worked with a (damn, forgot the breed but he is a bird hunting dog and his name is Koda) who would try to attack anyone who came close to him, he was x100 times worse then Serenity. This dog couldn't be trusted with people. He was good with dogs.

    I finally got to meet Koda and it was amazing. This dog, you'd never know he had issues. He was so lovely. He enjoyed getting attention when I/people pet him. He was a completely different dog after all the work this owner put in. This dog used to wear a muzzle and now doesn't. She has another dog who does therapy work, the therapy people wanted Koda to do therapy work (though the owner said no). He's had that much of a turn around.

    So, Serenity's 2nd final training day (trainer is moving away soon) was to go to the dog beach (muzzled of course). She did amazing. At first she reacted to people that ran/rid past but by the end, she ignored the distractions. She didn't get many people interactions as the beach was almost dead but she got to meet a few dogs. Now, in my hands, she tried to attack all dogs I've come across while walking/or if she met them but this was due to fear) Today, she behaved so well. She did great around the other dogs, not %100 perfect but she did amazing. The one time I was %100 shocked and happy is that when a SBT approached her, she behaved so well! The dog sniffed her and she was relaxed. After he sniffed her, she actually sniffed him and was interested! In the past few months, I have not seen her be friendly with a dog for months, her tail tucks and she tries to attack. Today her tail wasn't tucked, she was interested. It was amazing. She behaved perfectly when we were leaving and there were a group of people/some dogs/guy with a surf board. She just kept walking, she got a bit excited but I told her to relax and she continued calmly walking next to me.

    While I don't %100 like the methods used, I saw the results with Koda and I've seen Serenity go from her wimpy self to being confident and comfortable. We still have a way to go but if I can get her to the point Koda is, that's my goal. We'll take it slow and I'll use some of those methods but I'll also use a lot of positive methods and I can't wait to see her improve.

    Of course she'll always have her issues and the trainer made that clear to me but it can be worked through, as long as I'm constant with her training and I know what I'm doing.

    She was muzzled the whole time. I'm happy and she was so much better behaved.

    Read more: I am so proud of Serenity.

  2. #2

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    Thats great to hear Tahlz ! It always put us on a high when our hairy ones take that step forward towards the end goal , I love it
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    That's great Tahlz!

    Have you had any more issues with your hinky neighbour?

  4. #4
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    Sounds like a great day for both of you
    Pets are forever

  5. #5
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    Well done both of you. And that is awesome that the trainer went with you to the dog beach.

    What methods do they use that you don't really like?

  6. #6

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    Pinkest; Thankfully, no, I haven't.

    Thanks Newfsie!

    Beloz; Thank you! I was so shocked Serenity behaved so well. Before or as she goes to react or if she does something she shouldn't, she gets a leash correction, a quick pop (not one to hurt her, just give that sharp correction). She isn't on a choke collar though (I hate them) We are using a 'Dominant collar' which is better then a choke, I hope. I just feel so bad because I know there are more positive ways and I've tried them and she responds so much faster and better to the corrections. Of course she was a bit stressed at times but at the end, she was so confident. I keep thinking, if I do it purely positive, I wont have to stress her out at all. She's just been doing so much better. I just feel I'm taking the easy way out by not doing purely positive..

    I just feel bad. I guess the corrections aren't to bad but.. everything I've read and believed in, had me against leash corrections and putting her in situations just to deal with it. In the end, I saw a good result and I saw Koda who had a complete turn around. I am still doing a lot of positive work of course but maybe some of those methods aren't to bad. I hope.
    Last edited by Tahlz; 05-27-2012 at 01:32 PM.

  7. #7
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    Yep never close your mind.........
    Pets are forever

  8. #8

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    Thanks for making me feel better.

    I guess I feel as if I'm doing the leash corrections, she's only purely not reacting due to fear of a leash pop. I hope that at one stage it just connects to her not to react because thats not what I want and she wont be waiting for a leash correction.

    I love her dearly and if this will help her in the long run, it can't be that bad. I saw Koda and if she can be like him, she'll be happier then she is now at the end of this.

  9. #9
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    It would be nice if reward based training would always work in any situation with any dog. But I do believe - and Newfsie's stories are always great examples - that sometimes corrections can work faster and are clearer and that that may be what a particular dog needs at the time. You say your dog is behaving the way she does out of fear of a leash pop, but your description of her increase in confidence seems to contradict that. Maybe she sees the leash pop as you backing her up in a certain behaviour instead? Maybe she sees it as you giving her permission to not go into fight or flight mode? I think it is extra hard to get into a fearful dog's mind, but in the end it really is the result that counts. And if she seems happy, go with it. And her experiencing that nothing bad happens when she does not react to stimuli the way she used to is a reward in itself. And maybe that is where her increased confidence comes from too.

    I think it is great that you have lots of opportunities to use rewards too and a good way of looking at it is that the the combination of rewards and corrections is working for you.

    I do understand your disappointment at not being able to stick to positive reinforcement only, but I commend you for trying different methods to make sure you help your dog the best you can. Awesome job!

  10. #10

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    Tahlz - methinks you need to reword the title of your thread - to something that allows you the kudos also ! I am reading that you are becoming more and more confident - and that really bodes well for fun training sessions with your pup !

    As newfsie - said - don't close your mind to other training methods. Just as our pups are different, so too are we ! Not one training method will work all the time with your pup, and as your confidence increases you will find that you will mix and match what works for you and your pup !

    Really pleased to read this and keep up the good work !

    Most important for the both of you is to have fun. If training becomes a bore and a chore - then you are doing it wrong !

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