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Old 01-15-2010, 01:58 PM   #1
gsdmama
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lesson learned

When Elsa was a puppy, she loved to take her red ball outside to play and she would hold it in her mouth to go to the bathroom. Well this past summer she had lost a lot of weight and we couldn't understand why. she had no worms took her to the vet no problems, then our trainer told us to stop everything well that is at least what he told me, and to increase her food till she gained her weight plus 5 pounds. so that is what we did and she finally was able to put all of her weight on. In October she started to bark at my husband when he let her out to go to the bathroom, she didn't do this to me for a few weeks then she started barking at me like a mad women, she was. Well we couldn't figure out why she was doing this. Our trainer told us to just ignore her. Well when she did this in the obedience ring and the judge dq'd us for her barking like a mad women, i was horrified, embarrassed and all.

Well the other night at a obedience workshop she wanted to start up again with the barking while in the ring. I got a hold of her pinch and corrected her and told her that she was a bad girl. she didn't do it again. Well yesterday while in the backyard, not their yard, i was working her on leash and worker her through our routine. When I removed her leash she was fine for a few minutes then she took off and had to go to the bathroom and of course i was talking to her like a kid...."hey you already went to the bathroom, now what" well as soon as she was done i called her to me and she started in again with the barking and all. Hubby had to come out and help me get a hold of her. he corrected her and we went inside.

to make a long story short, last night for their last bathroom break I always let Joey out first since he was our first dog in the house and the first dog always gets everything first from what people have told me. so when I let joey back in Elsa took to the hills, not literally but she ran to the grass without barking at me, i was so happy that i got her red ball and for her reward for not barking at me we sat and played!

so while laying in bed and reading a LIGHTBULB WENT OFF in my head. I told myself that she needs her red ball to go to the bathroom like when she was a pup. i called hubby right away and told him that is what we need to do first thing tomorrow morning. of course that would be me since he would be just getting into bed. and little did i know that after thinking for awhile, my hubby reminded me that we were to increase her food, NOT HER EXERCISE OR ACTIVITIES! i told him why didn't he tell me that months ago!! MEN! haha!

sometimes when things go wrong and you get all the advice in the world, you have to step back and take a moment to think about how things were and what you need to go back and learn from. I am so glad that the lightbulb went off last night as i was getting to my wits end.

the side yard use to have grass and now it is all dirt. well when it did have grass we use to throw the ball for Elsa for at least one hour! She has such a high ball drive. even when her tongue would be hanging out of her headache she would still want more.

so back to our old routine. I can hardly wait to see what Elsa is going to do and I will keep you all posted
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Last edited by gsdmama : 01-16-2010 at 02:27 PM.
rest in peace my little Nikko. until we meet again. momma misses you and her heart aches every time she thinks of you, wishing you were still here to play with Joey and Elsa.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:48 PM   #2
Momto3
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Doncha just love those AHA moments?! Hope it works out for you.
Sharon - Mom to Mozart, Monte, Merlin and Mylee! my boyz!
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:59 PM   #3
gsdmama
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so far it is working. i have put her out twice and so has hubby. it is funny she goes running out and plays for a few minutes and then she finds her spot and she has her toy in her mouth. then she comes running to the door to play and we do. now the test will be how she does on her on and off leash work this afternoon. keeping fingers crossed!
rest in peace my little Nikko. until we meet again. momma misses you and her heart aches every time she thinks of you, wishing you were still here to play with Joey and Elsa.
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:37 AM   #4
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aha finally. she is bad to normal. I worked Elsa completely off leash and boy she really stuck to me like glue, of course i had hot dogs! lol! she did so well that i didn't want to spoil it so we ended on a good note and we even played catch with her! after dinner i took her back outside and the same thing! I was so proud and beaming with joy! NO MORE BARKING OR ACTING LIKE A MAD WOMEN!!
rest in peace my little Nikko. until we meet again. momma misses you and her heart aches every time she thinks of you, wishing you were still here to play with Joey and Elsa.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:12 AM   #5
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This sounds great but I still feel you are giving in to her 'demand' to play.

You need to totally seperate play and work.

Yes, playing with a ball with a high ball drive dog is mentally releaving as well as physical. Its great that you found this outlit for her.

Use the ball to your advantage, hold it under your armpit for attention and under your chin for recall work, drop it to her when she does a good back to heel position. If she is high ball drive, the ball is more powerfull than any hotdog or cheese you can give her.

Do the heel and stops with the ball as reward.Remember to always drop it straight to her, not infront of the muzzle. The thing is you will have to phase out both the ball and/or treats when you go into the ring.

Put her on a stay and roll the ball to her, see if she will stay :P There is many proofing you can do with the ball to get her to really understand things solid.

The last competition I went to a old man in an electric wheel chair ran RIGHT beside the fence, causing many to break their stay. (lucky the judge let them redo the stays but technically didnt have to) And I have had kids playing with toys beside the ring...what would she do if a kid had a toy or a ball?

Another thing you might want to do is make a leash out of rope you can get at Gebos or somewhere, and use that and when they do well, release into a game of tug with the leash. =)

Hope everything goes well in a few weeks! I am really thinking of yall!
~Meredith
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:26 PM   #6
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I only use the ball to play with her and at the end of her training session. she loves to play catch. THAT IS HER BIG REWARD . during training though i use hot dogs her favorite treat she will do anything for those hot dogs. she has a high food and ball drive from the day she was born. that was her thing to take her red ball outside and she would find her spot and she would hold the ball in her mouth while she went potty. funniest thing!! so that is why she got her red ball back that night. she is happy as a clam. i took something away from her that she loved. i took all her activities away from her when i shouldn't have all i should have done was decrease the activities but not completely and increased her food. i took that away from her too. her walks, her toys her everything. now we realize what WE did wrong and gave it back to her. i am happy that she is no longer barking at us. she runs off with her red ball and does her thing and then goes off and plays. she played so hard yesterday on the grass and patio that she wore down one of her nails and hit the quick.

I spent a hour on the phone with the trainer that will be running her obedience workshop and she is looking forward to hear our progress last night. she has been training for 35 years, so she knows the ring and she is real excited to meet this high ball and food driven pup that i have.

can hardly wait to post her workshop today!
rest in peace my little Nikko. until we meet again. momma misses you and her heart aches every time she thinks of you, wishing you were still here to play with Joey and Elsa.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:53 PM   #7
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ELSA HAD HER AHA MOMENT TODAY!! AND I COULDN'T BE PROUDER!! i went to the obedience workshop and met the instructor for the novice ring. we did our long sit and down stays and Elsa shined, even when tons of toys and treats and noises were going on what a great distraction session! she was the only one that didn't move!! I thought for sure being ball and food driven that she would have gone after them but she didn't! Then we took our turns in the ring. before going into the ring we talked to the instructor one on one, which was wonderful! I told him about what had happened and what was going on and he understood. So first I got her focused and did some heel and sit even before going into the ring. Then we started the on leash. she did good. fine on the figure 8 and stand for examination. then it was time for the off leash. I got her all set and the instructor asked us if we were ready I took a deep breath and said "yes". off we went. she was focused and watching me. i was feeling the weight coming off my shoulder and found myself breathing instead of holding my breath which i have a tendency to do. when all was said and done she got a lot of praise and tons of treats and extras at the end cause I was so PROUD OF HER!! all this time trying to figure out why she was acting out and it we finally figured it out and all is back to normal!!!

He said that i need to work on some mechnical things and he said that will come in no time. nothing major he said just practice and it should come naturally by next saturday. It was a great group of people willing to help us!! unlike another group that we went to and they weren't to helpful!! They really want to see Elsa do well in a few weeks!!!

I am so happy and proud of my little gal!!
This chapter is closed
got to go! have company coming. just wanted to post this like i said that i would whatever the out come was! and I am glad that it was a good one.
rest in peace my little Nikko. until we meet again. momma misses you and her heart aches every time she thinks of you, wishing you were still here to play with Joey and Elsa.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:53 PM   #8
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hoOray! yay!
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