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Makes me wonder how many other talented animals I have seen were trained using a clicker.
Alot of them :nicejob:

Marking behaviors is an excellent way to teach dogs, as it's simple, easy for them to understand, and quickly relays the info in a way your dog understands. I tend to be very chatty with my dog, when we're playing, out and about, I just talkk to her alot. When we're training, my vocabulary gets VERY SMALL. Yes, no, good, that's about it. It's really all that's needed once your dog understands, and you start working as a team.

Good example, last night we're at a friends house, and Dakota goes towards the shed. My friend says that's where his compost pile is, maybe it's not a good idea to let your dog go back there. No problem, she approaches, I tell her "No, backup." She turns, and as she gets to a certain point, I tell her "good". That's it. When you practice, and are consistent, that's all it takes. Those 3 words told her:

1) I don't want you going over there
2) Where I said good, that is the boundary you shouldn't cross
3) If I don't tell you "no" as you enter a new area, you can assume that you are allowed to be there. If you're not sure, look to me for advice/guidance.

I use alot of non-verbal cues as well, as dogs pick these up better. Maybe the way I'm standing, the way I hold my head, the look I have on my face, etc. They pick this stuff up much more than words. Many times, if Dakota isn't sure if she should be doing something or not, she will look to me, and wait for the thumbs up or thumbs down, or a verbal cue. "go ahead" or "no". That's it. These body cues are much easier for dogs to undersand, and many people don't realize how powerful they are. I often hear/see people say something like "we walked past this shady dude, and my dog totally picked up on something". Maybe your dog did actually pick up on something, but the majority of the time, the dog probably picked up on the fact that you are responding negativley to someone approaching, which in turn tells your dog "This is the way to react" and will often follow. They can tell your nervous, they can see your body language shift, even if you don't realize you're doing it. Much in the same way your dog will pick up and react to these cues, you can then pick up on your dog's cues and react accordingly. A good thing to keep in the back of your head, is that most times, a dog doesn't just "do something". They give clues as to what they are about to do, and how well you can learn to pick up on and respond to those cues will make a big difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #122 ·
If you mean that we should turn all pet dogs loose to play Born Free and live (or die) in the wild, then yeah, I guess you could make that argument--extreme fringe PETA type folks say that very thing.

But hey, look, it's more about whether you use force and intimidation, or not.

As adults, we have to go to work, right? Unless we are trust fund babies, I guess.

We have choices to make about work--do I want to do this, or that, and why or why not. What appeals to me, what can I live with, what can I not.

Am I willing to do something that is less pleasant than I'd like...because there are great benefits and a big payoff?

How would I feel about doing something not-too-pleasant to me, if my boss constantly yelled, acted irritated, was forever pointing out every nitpicky thing I made a mistake on--by accident, because I never really got much formal training?

What if my boss expected instant compliance for every barked-out-command, even if I were in the middle of something else or I was confused and not understanding what he or she wanted?

What if they didn't even bother to pay me for my work?

Do you think I'd be very happy in my job? That I'd perform it well? Have a great attitude as I went about my tasks?

What if, instead, I was allowed to learn at my own pace, while being coached and challenged, of course? What if I got paid for all the work I did?

What if I got bonuses, regularly, for excellent work?

What if my supervisor was constantly looking for my strengths, and building on them, and pointing them out to me? And ignoring silly mistakes of mine, but rewarding me when I figure out what works well, and praising me for that?

^^^In some ways, dog and human brains work very similarly, and that's not coercion, that's simply fostering a good work partnership, for going forward in life together.



^^^That, right there.

Said so well, and really such a simple concept.

We humans have an old saying "Learn by doing," and this is true for all learning, really.

When an animal, two or four legged, makes a behavior choice, there are either good, bad, or indifferent consequences for that choice, right?

We learn by the consequences/rewards of the choices we make, and if we do it ourselves, with our own thinking caps on, we learn it and remember it soooo much more thoroughly than if someone just simply walked us thru it.

If I drive someplace new, I'll usually remember it forever. If I am a passenger, riding someplace new, guarantee ya I'll need directions, next time if I have to drive it.

Any of this resonate with you?
I had to read the first part of your message a couple of times to try and figure out your answer to my question (I didn't think we were on the same page for a second). All made sense in the latter part of your message. You're right, the alternative would be to offer them a choice (although you're still getting them to do what you want them to do, however, you're allowing them to figure it out for themselves).
 

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Discussion Starter · #123 ·
There is a difference between bribery, and rewarding. This may be a little tough to understand, I had a hard time with it for a while. You want your dog to understand that his behavior either positively or negatively affects what happens next. You don't want your dog simply working towards doing something he knows will produce a reward, because that leads to 2 things: 1) your dog will no longer give the desired behavior unless you show him a reward, and he knows he will get it: (Bribery)
2) You MUST produce a reward every time to keep the attention.

Think of the people that call their dog over, and over, and over, and the dog pays no attention. They go and get a cookie, and the dog comes immediatly. Prime example of why bribery doesn't work as a training method. The dog was given the option to either listen or not listen, and they chose not to listen. Nothing happened, so why should they if they don't feel like it? However, when a cookie was added in to the equation, now that dog had a reason to come, so he did. You never want "that reason" to be the reward, if that makes sense. I hope so, this is hard to explain lol.

These are things you want to avoid. Done correctly, reward based training phases out the reward quickly, as the dog understands. Eventually you no longer NEED rewards, and they actually become REWARDS, instead of BRIBES.

So the short version is : You want your dog to listen because he wants to listen, since he is learning that when the human is happy, life is good. You dont' want your dog to listen ONLY because you're waving a tasty snack...
Brilliantly put.
 

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Discussion Starter · #124 ·
That's awesome.

Every good old trainer I know always has said we humans talk and babble at our dogs way too much, anyway.

I'm glad you found some tools that work for you guys.

I cannot believe none of us have thought yet to point you to a great huge free resource, online--and that is kikopup's youtube channel.

kikopup - YouTube

She's common sense, and does great videos breaking down various behaviors, and the steps to instill them in your pup.
Thanks, but I already beat you to it, LOL. I had read somebody else's post prior to posting mine (they didn't quite answer the questions I had) and someone suggested kikopup. It's a great channel. She definitely knows her stuff.
 

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I had to read the first part of your message a couple of times to try and figure out your answer to my question (I didn't think we were on the same page for a second). All made sense in the latter part of your message. You're right, the alternative would be to offer them a choice (although you're still getting them to do what you want them to do, however, you're allowing them to figure it out for themselves).
Hehe, sorry for the lack of clarity and coherency.

Sometimes, I have really good points, I swear I do...but I ramble and don't get them across very clearly.


And yes, allow them to make the choice, and learn from the results of their choice.

That's what Viv was saying, too.

And, the great thing is--you teach your dog that YOU are the arbiter of the results.

Good things come from good choices on his part--but the good things are controlled by you.

You dog starts to see you as really cool--and it's an awesome thing to have a great, thinking dog like a Doberman think you are cool ;)
 

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I'm just seeing this post and getting caught up. Sounds like things are going better and in the right direction. I wanted to say I have raised several GSD's, aussies and various other dogs but my doberman was the hardest for me. He was not biddable and didn't care what I thought. I had never had a pup like him. I was lucky in that I was able to do free hiking with him by the lake and that helped our bond, he was a good hiker and stayed near me. Other than that he was well, just basically unconcerned what I thought. He is 4 1/2 years old and a therapy dog. His speciality is Alizheimers patients and Austic adults. He is awesome in this work, our bond is very strong but he is still a free thinker. I have in an advanced rally class and he still his ball as motivation. He will do the obedience for me once, twice maybe three times but then he is done and rally is often a group of sits maybe four at a time and he is like, "ummm yah, no". Unless there would be a reason like a person with a walker was coming up and we had to back up and sit several times, if he sees a reason great if not...well I needed it to be a fun game. He adores me, we are very close but that didn't come until after he was 2. Up until then he was difficult, strong, unyielding and sometimes he just didn't give a damn.

I am not new to dogs, I titled my GSD to a ScHI and my aussie girl CDX, I have done other things with my dogs but Eli, my doberman, well he was one of a kind. I used to come to this chat and cry also laugh. I wondered in my head and stopped short of saying it outloud why these people liked dobermans and were passionate about the breed. Now that Eli is mature I see why. He is the best in therapy work in my area with the specific patients I mentioned. He is rock solid, sudden movement and yelling doesn't bother him and he is fine with some hard hugging. He is bomb proof. I am so proud of him. No, he will never be the obedience titled dog I imagined when I got him but he has blossomed into a fine dog in his own right. Everyone loves him. He will however get titled in RN and RA. Just had to add that.

I have a new dog, he is a collie, he is 1 year old now. I do my agility and obedience with him and he will be titled, he is easy peasy. However, he could never do the therapy work with the "difficult" patients that Eli does. The collie would get worried about that sort of hugging and the other stuff that happens, it is very intense at times. I guess my point is that Eli taught me patience, he taught me truly that every dog has it's strong and weak points and our desires are just that, frankly reality has ended up much better. I heard the therapy dog director talking to a new person about Eli, Eli wasn't there I was helping with something and overheard, she was saying Eli was a one in a million dog that they had been looking and looking for. The director was saying, "it had to be a good sized dog, it had to a gentle dog, it had to have empathy." she went on and on describing MY dog, my doberman. she brought the new person over to meet me because of MY dog. I felt awash with pride but I get misty as I think about it today because I was so discouraged when he was 6 months, 1 year, 14 months, 19 months. God, I never would have guessed and I feel badly in a way that I thought of him as a rather bad dog, difficult at every turn and wondered if I would really ever enjoy him the way I had enjoyed so many of my other dogs. I can tell you now I do, I do, I do. So keep going, don't give up, please have a sense of humor, be gentle, read a lot, read what was recommended and find a great class or instructor. It takes a long time for some dobermans to grow up but once they do you wonder who the heck replaced your 15 month old crazy, uncaring puppy with this sweet loving beast. :) The path we undertake with each dog is different and with each one we learn more about ourselves. Take the time to watch your boy and appreciate the things he enjoys, like getting the rips in the backyard. It's okay to be frustrated but don't give up, don't stop learning the path is just beginning.
 

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Good to see you and your dog are getting in better tune.

Yes, dogs like routine, mine know exactly when they should go to the kennel in the morning for treats as I go to work. They also know when I should get up in the morning and tell me if I try to sleep in. So routines aren't always a bad thing.

There will still be some days where you or the pup or both are "not feeling it". It will decide to be a hellion, or you revert to some old methods and maybe forget to be patient. Don't beat yourself or the dog up about these days. Just remember it's a marathon maybe even one of those 100 mile ultra marathons and not a sprint to get the dog you want.

As for not talking as much, yup that's something I struggle with and my trainers have commented on. Short consistent words are best. Dogs pay way more attention to what your body and your eyes are doing than what you say, at least at first. I think that's why many people train with hand signals and words.

Good luck I hope you continue to see progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
I'm just seeing this post and getting caught up. Sounds like things are going better and in the right direction. I wanted to say I have raised several GSD's, aussies and various other dogs but my doberman was the hardest for me. He was not biddable and didn't care what I thought. I had never had a pup like him. I was lucky in that I was able to do free hiking with him by the lake and that helped our bond, he was a good hiker and stayed near me. Other than that he was well, just basically unconcerned what I thought. He is 4 1/2 years old and a therapy dog. His speciality is Alizheimers patients and Austic adults. He is awesome in this work, our bond is very strong but he is still a free thinker. I have in an advanced rally class and he still his ball as motivation. He will do the obedience for me once, twice maybe three times but then he is done and rally is often a group of sits maybe four at a time and he is like, "ummm yah, no". Unless there would be a reason like a person with a walker was coming up and we had to back up and sit several times, if he sees a reason great if not...well I needed it to be a fun game. He adores me, we are very close but that didn't come until after he was 2. Up until then he was difficult, strong, unyielding and sometimes he just didn't give a damn.

I am not new to dogs, I titled my GSD to a ScHI and my aussie girl CDX, I have done other things with my dogs but Eli, my doberman, well he was one of a kind. I used to come to this chat and cry also laugh. I wondered in my head and stopped short of saying it outloud why these people liked dobermans and were passionate about the breed. Now that Eli is mature I see why. He is the best in therapy work in my area with the specific patients I mentioned. He is rock solid, sudden movement and yelling doesn't bother him and he is fine with some hard hugging. He is bomb proof. I am so proud of him. No, he will never be the obedience titled dog I imagined when I got him but he has blossomed into a fine dog in his own right. Everyone loves him. He will however get titled in RN and RA. Just had to add that.

I have a new dog, he is a collie, he is 1 year old now. I do my agility and obedience with him and he will be titled, he is easy peasy. However, he could never do the therapy work with the "difficult" patients that Eli does. The collie would get worried about that sort of hugging and the other stuff that happens, it is very intense at times. I guess my point is that Eli taught me patience, he taught me truly that every dog has it's strong and weak points and our desires are just that, frankly reality has ended up much better. I heard the therapy dog director talking to a new person about Eli, Eli wasn't there I was helping with something and overheard, she was saying Eli was a one in a million dog that they had been looking and looking for. The director was saying, "it had to be a good sized dog, it had to a gentle dog, it had to have empathy." she went on and on describing MY dog, my doberman. she brought the new person over to meet me because of MY dog. I felt awash with pride but I get misty as I think about it today because I was so discouraged when he was 6 months, 1 year, 14 months, 19 months. God, I never would have guessed and I feel badly in a way that I thought of him as a rather bad dog, difficult at every turn and wondered if I would really ever enjoy him the way I had enjoyed so many of my other dogs. I can tell you now I do, I do, I do. So keep going, don't give up, please have a sense of humor, be gentle, read a lot, read what was recommended and find a great class or instructor. It takes a long time for some dobermans to grow up but once they do you wonder who the heck replaced your 15 month old crazy, uncaring puppy with this sweet loving beast. :) The path we undertake with each dog is different and with each one we learn more about ourselves. Take the time to watch your boy and appreciate the things he enjoys, like getting the rips in the backyard. It's okay to be frustrated but don't give up, don't stop learning the path is just beginning.
Thank you for your uplifting story. It shows that it IS possible to turn things around.
 

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I had not checked this thread lately.

got misty eyed a few times reading some of the posts.

I do tend to forget how 'difficult' some dobes can be at times.

cause of course all mine are/were the best, no problems................. ya right. heehee

Hugz to all Doberman, even the ones being............'difficult'. :)
 

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Lori, I was thinking about Eli and how cool he is.

My first big red rescue boy, Dill, was a lot like that. He was three when he came to me, so I do not know what his puppyhood looked like, but I shudder to imagine.

He was surrendered to satisfy a vicious dog petition, and was a confirmed multi-cat-killer. There was a long intensive rehab/training process, naturally. He went on to live happily and successfully with me and my husband and two indoor cats. No doubt in my mind that dog would have given his life for us, too.

I interned at a state mental hospital, and ended up going back to volunteer there with big boy Dill. He was awesome, knew when to be quiet and steady, when to be a bit goofy, and when to deal unflappably with some rather bizarre behaviors.

He brought a lot of smiles and comfort to both patients and staff.
 

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I've been with my Dobe for 4 years. She's my first dog. My husband and I are always crazy for the dogs and were excited to have her. Before she came, we read at least 20 books. We studied a lot.
However, reality is not always the same as books, you know. As I understood this fact and was prepared it in mind, I wasn't dissapointed my dog. Also, I'm a believer that a dog reflects the master/owner. My elderly neighbor describes her own dog "He's such a stupid dog." I translate it as she is a stupid master/owner and the dog is nothing wrong. I would/will never tell my dobe a stupid dog.

I remember that I felt a pressure from others who blindly believe Dobermans, even puppies, are naturally super-intelligent (=genius).
Until she reached one year or so, honestly I couldn't understand what she was thinking. She was far different from other dogs like my grandparents'. This turns out to be good because I observed her very carefully to read her mind. Still she outsmarts though now we're the soul mates.
OP, you'll see the light eventually!
 

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Aww, what a nice story. It is amazing how some dogs turn out in the right situation. Certainly Eli was nothing like Dill when he came to you but he was difficult in his own right, never aggressive but incredibly hard headed. He was also so boisterous, he didn't care if he ran you down, ran down the little's or ran into a wall. I do have dents to prove it. LOL. I really couldn't have imagined how gentle Eli could become with these special people. He gets them, Dill got them and it showed me that my dog has a side to him that is very intuitive indeed. Thanks for sharing Dill's story, these are the kind of stories I love to hear. Again, I think of my collie as intuitive, and he is with me but Eli somehow is comfortable and understands the people most of us do not understand at all. Thanks, I'm amazed at what a cool dog he has turned out to be and it was very nice of you to say so.

Lori, I was thinking about Eli and how cool he is.

My first big red rescue boy, Dill, was a lot like that. He was three when he came to me, so I do not know what his puppyhood looked like, but I shudder to imagine.

He was surrendered to satisfy a vicious dog petition, and was a confirmed multi-cat-killer. There was a long intensive rehab/training process, naturally. He went on to live happily and successfully with me and my husband and two indoor cats. No doubt in my mind that dog would have given his life for us, too.

I interned at a state mental hospital, and ended up going back to volunteer there with big boy Dill. He was awesome, knew when to be quiet and steady, when to be a bit goofy, and when to deal unflappably with some rather bizarre behaviors.

He brought a lot of smiles and comfort to both patients and staff.
 

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It's all been said and having been through it can confirm it's all true :D

I will add a couple more books worth reading..."Don't shoot the dog" and "when pigs fly" easy to read and packed full of dogsense. ;)

I thought Dobes were challenging to train...until an abandoned Jack russell x heeler landed on my doorstep. Took 4 months for us to bond (because he's not a dobe) as he was only ever going to be a foster ...that took 4 months to fail basically. He is over the top in every way, and the first 8-12 mths were hell. furniture with holes, house training, separation anxiety and reactive (Think zoomies every 2 hrs...right through the night squeaker toy a'squeaking...and this is with exercise and training and games).

Plus me learning applied opperant conditioning (had only studied it in theory prior) for the first time -clicker training- and yes, I was one of the old skool koehler trained that despite gradually adopting more positive measures was still skeptical about purely positive training. I'm also lazy...and I'm a hopeless chunker ...therefore all delays are my fault.

... so whilst he mightn't have lost his mogwai nickname yet...he is turning into one of the most awesome dogs I've ever had... and I have been lucky enough to have two incredibly awesome dobes in the past, and a couple of pretty good mutts too.

This little terrier has already surpassed the training of my dobes and he's not even 2 1/2 yet. I credit the clicker training and me finally getting opperant training for harnessing his psycho extreme drive.

don't get me wrong...he still answers back, blows me off on the "quiet" command, and does not take no for an answer when he wants to play. (whatever hour of the day/night). He is hard work...but he is sooooo much FUN! ...and a complete clown/comedian.

I'm the one who had to learn, and I'm the one who has to work at it. He's a natural when I get it right ;) ...and I will never consider dobes hard to train ever again, after this little terrierist.

oh forgot to mention...
At home he'd act up to get my attention...at training I'd be acting up to get his. Both of us ended up frustrated and barking at each other. When I finally worked it out (I'm blonde), and gave him attention at his energy level and attention span intervals ... a miraculous OFF switch appeared and suddenly I became more interesting than everything else at training. We got focus! (unless the trainer waffles on too much :lol: ) It was the true turning point in our relationship as it's turned to mutual admiration. :)
 

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DaleIcious...so glad things are starting to turn around for you!
So much of what you say reminds me of my hubby and his experiences with my Roxy.
When we first go her she was 12 months old and had no training at all.
Luckily, they got into a positive training class right away and started to "click."
He is an athlete, and a foreman at work, very driven, disciplined, and passionate.
Roxy hangs on his body language and takes everything personally, and so does he.
I think the more you learn, the more you will find that you and your pup are a lot alike in personality...soon you will find that your dog is reading you like a book, and offering you the behaviors you want before you even ask. It will be magic when it happens.
Please continue to share with us, it is a very inspiring story so far and so many people will benefit from your experience...thank-you!!! :)
 

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We call our 7 mo boy a "Male Model." Great looking, but not too smart. We're joking, of course. We know that, if anything, he's too smart. I have to agree with others that it's probably going to just get harder. We're committed to training, and we believe that with patience, he'll come along. Besides, we love him too much to not go forward. I truely believe he's going to be a fantastic dog....at some point in time. :)
 

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We call our 7 mo boy a "Male Model." Great looking, but not too smart. We're joking, of course. We know that, if anything, he's too smart. I have to agree with others that it's probably going to just get harder. We're committed to training, and we believe that with patience, he'll come along. Besides, we love him too much to not go forward. I truely believe he's going to be a fantastic dog....at some point in time. :)
We sometimes tell Elka "It's a good thing you're pretty." :lol2:
 

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Dobes are not dogs that take kindly to repitition. Trying something 20 times would shut my 5 year old down. Training sessions must be interesting and last only five minutes always ending on a good happy note where the dog has performed pretty much what you asked for and you are pleased.

There are so many training things you can do at five months beginning with sits, downs and recalls. Always have really good treats to reward with and always praise. I worked crate games at this age, walking on lead, variable surfaces and retrieve. My pup would retrieve things from out in the yard that my other dogs had carried out without me going along.

Since I also wanted to do agility I added a wobble board and a raised (8 to 10 inches) plank for her to walk across. We also worked two on two off on this plank. My dog loves the frisbee and/or the chuck it ball so I also reward her with fun. They can get stubborn about wanting to quit when YOU are ready but the lore of yummy treats usually wins out in the end.

Try to have several short training sessions in each day and always keep them upbeat plus have lots of patience. It will all pay off in the end and you will bond and become inseparable. :D
 

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We sometimes tell Elka "It's a good thing you're pretty." :lol2:
Ive said that to Nexus more than a time or two lol! She is real good about certain things, and some things she is down right terrible, and even improving on a few things, she is so worth the work though, I cant imagine not having her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #139 ·
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of those who gave positive support and/or advice. Especially those who suggested that I keep working towards building the relationship between Domino and I.

I'm so surprised at how things have turned around in the space of a few days. Not only are we in the early stages of what I hope will turn out to be a strong bond, but I'm seeing such progression in his training.

Reading your posts really brought it home to me that I really needed to chill out, and simply enjoy his company. By not being such a drill sergeant, and instead being relaxed, more tactile and affectionate I've seen such a change in his manner, behaviour and how he interacts with me. I LOVE MY BOY, I REALLY DO!

Even the trainers at his obedience class commented on how well he's coming along. I have never been so proud of him. Yes, there have been bad moments and really bad moments but the good moments and great moments far out weigh any other.

Many of you were spot on when you said that the problem was actually me, and I see that now. Even more clearer than ever.

Thanks to all once again,


DaleIcious and Domino.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of those who gave positive support and/or advice. Especially those who suggested that I keep working towards building the relationship between Domino and I.

I'm so surprised at how things have turned around in the space of a few days. Not only are we in the early stages of what I hope will turn out to be a strong bond, but I'm seeing such progression in his training.

Reading your posts really brought it home to me that I really needed to chill out, and simply enjoy his company. By not being such a drill sergeant, and instead being relaxed, more tactile and affectionate I've seen such a change in his manner, behaviour and how he interacts with me. I LOVE MY BOY, I REALLY DO!

Even the trainers at his obedience class commented on how well he's coming along. I have never been so proud of him. Yes, there have been bad moments and really bad moments but the good moments and great moments far out weigh any other.

Many of you were spot on when you said that the problem was actually me, and I see that now. Even more clearer than ever.

Thanks to all once again,


DaleIcious and Domino.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
Glad to hear that things are working out better for you! Just stick with it, and one day it will all begin to click, and you'll look back and say "Wow, wish I knew this last time". Eventually you will learn that the dogs are actually simple... it's the HUMANS that need the help!!
 
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