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Although we train daily, the sessions are hardly "formal". But frequently on our daily walks, we will practice heel, down, stay, recall and the likes. Today, however, I decided to up the ante and incorporate at least 15 min of "formal" training a day. She knows pretty much all of her commands and works well with moderate distractions but we still have that troublesome, "I want to kill everything that surprises me!" problem. Blowing leaves, rolling balls and running anything are all also difficult for her to ignore. So as I sat here this afternoon perusing the forum and catching up, I noticed out my front door there was my daughter and about 5 of her friends (the infamous Syd being one of them) running like nuts in the front of the building. Could there be a better training distraction??? I walked outside, sans Chi and explained to all the girls that I was bringing Chi out to practice, not to be afraid or run and scream if she barked or growled and to not approach us, to basically ignore us, unless I instructed otherwise. Kudos to the girls for minding me. I approached them with the "Hey girls, I need your help, can you do me a favor?" angle as opposed to the strict stay away from me, crazy woman that I am :)
I kept Chi at a fair distance at first working on heels and then down stays, she did great. Gradually I moved to the sidewalk and closer to the girls. She kept her attention on me and more importantly the hotdog slices in my hand. Eventually the girls ended up watching us and asking tons of questions. I had them doing jumping jacks and playing red light green light as loud as they could to see if Chi would stay focused on me and she did wonderfully. By the end of this "excercise" Chi politely took treats from all the girls and allowed Syd to pet her. This may be a double edged sword, I absolutely have to get Chi around more kids, especially the ones in our immediate neighborhood BUT I don't want Syd to be too comfortable with her and think she can approach her all the time or surprise her. I've spoken with her and her big sister again, Mark has spoken with her parents and I think she understands that she has to be very careful around Chi and only approach her with my consent. Today she was very mindful. This kid loves Chi, she has since the day I brought her home. It breaks my heart to tell her to keep her distance but I have to until Chi is more trustworthy.
But anyway, that's our piece of victory today. I have to add that before I allowed the girls to approach, I made sure they knew to approach very slowly and I had Chi by the collar just in case she reacted.
The kids play daily so this will be a new part of our routine. Did I mention that it is so hot here today that I have the air conditioning on??? :)

~Tracy
 

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Did I mention that it is so hot here today that I have the air conditioning on??? :)

Ohh, shame on you, that was a low blow!! I'm freezing right now!!!!

That's awesome Trac!!! Hey the best training oppurtunities (sorry-3 am, can't think to spell...) are sometimes (literally) right outside our door! Kudos to Chi!! Keep up the good work and socialization!! I'm sure Chi won't mind it if you keep the hotdogs rolling in too! That's the best way to get dogs to like kids too! Make the kids a "candy dispenser", I carried cookies with me everywhere I went (and still do!) and every kid that showed interest in Lexus, I got them a cookie to feed her.

Yah Chi!!!!!
 

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Great job, TracyJo. I might have been a little risky, but it turned out well. It sounded like your had it all laid out in your mind on how you wanted it to turn out. You knew what you wanted to do and what reponses you wanted, instead of worrying of what could happen. Thats a great mind set for training.

I saw this with my SO. After one of our training classes, we stopped by Barkfest, which was a fundraiser for our local shelter. There must of been atleast 300-400 dogs there with owners. My SO took the leash and she walked with Nikita right into the middle of the crowd to meet another doberman owner. Her mindset was awesome and I think that Nikita responded to that. No fears, Nikita acted the way the SO wanted and it was a pleasure to watch. The SO had the typical dobe fears the rest of the population of non-doberman owners have.

Good job and I bet it was fun too.
 

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Wow what wonderful progress! That is great!
Now as for the comment.. Low Blow!!! We are cold here too... and now I have my hubby's cold and no VOICE!! Kind of hard to sell house when you can't talk!! Well, good luck with the training...
 

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Woooo hoooo!!! You go girls! She's going to be great! Go slowly though and take your time with that gradual, increase in stimulation from the kids. Well done!
 
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