2012 was a Dane good year!

Well mostly, it seems that keeping Riley off of the couch will continue into 2013…Dogs behaving badly

Christmas Day…





Great Dane on couch


New Years Day

Both days busted with my new point and shoot  🙂



But besides the couch issue we have made so much progress with both dogs.  If you had told me earlier this year that I would be doing pack walks the 5 to 20+ dogs a couple of times a month with both of my dogs I would have said you are CRAZY.  And yet at least two times a month I’m doing just that.


Over all a doggone Dane good year!

Social outtings

I decided that Riley was ready to get more social training so we have been taking every opportunity for meet and greets. We did a winery greet, Hopyard greet, and yesterday we did an outing to Home Depot. He met 7 or 8 people at the winery and 4 or 5 more at Hopyard and all greets were really good.

I was a little worried about the Home Depot outing, but he did great. He flirted with anyone that would have him and wasn’t bothered by any of the carts. Next week I will go on two outings a week, split the outing between pet stores, Home Depot & Lowe’s.

It seems that it is a good time to take him to the next level!

A new training tool…

So a few weeks back on a pack walk one of the gals had a Pet Convincer, it is a CO2 cartridge with a aPet Convincer Dog Training Tool head trigger.  The device was based on acoustic sound and Pavlov’s behavior research and it works like a charm.

You just give a squirt of air when my pups do bad behavior and it gets their attention.

We are using it in the house when Abby gets to spunky with Riley when they play and when Riley is on the couch.  I also use it in the car for barking, its great to have something to stop the barking that is safe to do while driving.

The It works really well, they don’t like it at all and it’s getting to the point if I just pick it up they stop the bad behaivoir.



Diva Girl on the pack walk

So Abby was a snarky diva on our pack walk this past week.  She decided to snark at an unsuspecting Bernese Mt dog, fortunately the human was good about it and let me work Abby with her dog for a few successful  passes.  The bad think was she wrenched her shoulder and has been limping all week.

We had some new faces on the walk, one gal we had encountered a few weeks back.  We passed her on the trail at Silver Creek, she seemed like she had a snark pup because she avoided us by leaving the trail.  When we passed her several of us told her this was a leash monster class and she got Sue’s info.  It was good to have her join us…



Another couple from San Francisco joined us.  Rachel has a lot of the same anxiety I have about her dog.  She gets nervous when they encounter other dogs, I hope I can help her the way Sue helped me.


Another mostly good weeks

We had a great week last week, all of walks during the week we were seeing a lot of dogs and Abby was really good, no reactions.  We continued to work on going through the garage, Abby is going past the car on or off leash, before or after me, its great progress and it happened quicker than I thought it would.  We found another training opportunity with the car Sunday after the pack walk.  We couldn’t open the back hatch because a car parked too close to the Rav, so we tried to get Abby in the car through the side door, and that wasn’t gonna happen.  Abby wanted no part of going through the side door.  Riley had no problem with this, he hopped right in, and fortunately the car moved so we were able to get Abb’s in the car through her preferred method.  When we got home I took Abb’s out through the side door and will continue that for the next few car rides then we will work on getting through the side door.

This week we realized a few things about when we walk the dogs together, Rob has been walking Riley before he goes to work three days a week and this week I joined him on Friday.  Riley was more reactive and was chewing on the leash on Friday, things he doesn’t do when it’s just the two of them.  We know that Abby taught Riley some good behavior, ringing the bell at the back door, offering behavior for meal time, but what I didn’t realized is that she also was teaching him bad behavior.  Looking back at our history I think a lot of the trouble we have had he learned from her.    When we adopted Riley without realizing it I would avoid dogs on walks because at the time Abby was still really reactive on the leash and when we would walk them together Rob would avoid with us.  My friend Cheri and told me early on “try not to avoid with Riley” and silly me didn’t listen, I think we taught him to be leash reactive, ugh.  Hind sight is 20/20.

We ended the week with a pack walk, Riley was really good and Abb’s had a couple of little snarks, but overall they were good pup’s.

leash aggression trainingDog trainingDog Training - Leash aggression













The really funny thing is the pack walk training really poops out the pups!  The walk is not far and not fast I guess it’s all of the stimulus…

The small things

Abby, since the beginning of time, has been uncomfortable with change, unfamiliar places and small spaces.  Doesn’t like when yard decor changes, if a person is standing where there isn’t usually a person standing, won’t come in the house if the door is all the way open, she just likes things to be the same, like how we return home from a walk.  We usually go in through the side gate around back and in the back door.  Rob changes it up, lets the dogs go to the back and he goes in through the garage.  Abby doesn’t like it when we do that, she stands at the door looking as if to say “hey you are going the wrong way”.

training opportunity

So over the last couple of weeks I have been coming in from our walk through the side door and encouraging her to follow me.  To get to the do you need to go in front of the Chevy, not a lot of room so Abby until recently refused to go that way, and in her defense she is a big dog.  Over the last few weeks little by little I have coaxed her into coming with me past the car.  Now with some hesitation she is passing the car on a regular basis.

I guess I have believed that all of my interaction with Abb’s is a training opportunity, but lately I’ve found success in working on the oddest of things, like getting her to go past the Chevy.  I think these small odd things spill over in a good way to the bigger things I’m working on…

Someone of like mind

So I took Abby out to the Sports Park this week after my hike with Riley.  She was really good walking around the park, lots of people a smattering of dogs, it was good.  At the end of our walk I ask a gal if we could use her and her dog for a training exercise and she said yes.  As I was working Abby we were chatting and she also had some leash reactivity with her dog although it was better.   We had a good chat about our struggles stupid people, dogs off leash, flex leashes…  More on the evils of flex leashes later.

Our Tuesday hike turned into a conf. call with my boss, but okay hiking with my dog on a call with my boss.

We had a good week for the most part, with the exception of our meetup with the girls at Shadow Creek on Friday.  Teri brought Grayson and he was a bit spunky mad about Riley but I kept Riley on leash so only a few spunky moments…

The weekend walks were good, so we ended the week on a high note.



Another Sucessful Week

We had a good week several walks with both of the dogs because Rob was home.  Both pushing the envelope, challenging the dogs to behave around other leashed dogs.

We ended the week with another pack walk and something changed for me.  Forever I have felt like if Abby had a reaction on a walk I failed.  Always in pursuit of the reaction free walk that never seemed to happen.  Over the last few months working with the new trainer I have learned to look at things differently, it doesn’t matter if Abby reacts.  She is doing so much better in closer quarters and that’s what important.

We did the dog weave and dog knitting (random weaving around the dogs)

Dog TrainingDog TrainingAbby had a couple of reaction on the pack walk, one kinda big, but it didn’t matter it was a hard situation with an unknown pair of dogs pitching a fit at all of us.

dog trainingThe guy must have know that his dogs would react passing all of the dogs on the walk, some on the right  of a bridge and some on the left, and he really didn’t care, shame on him.

It is so nice to be making progress, with me and the dogs.


Never before seen…

Walks so far this week have been really good, with a few exceptions while walking.  It is so much us and the dynamic between the dogs and us.  We did the business park Sunday and the first dog we saw both dogs reacted, but I think it was our fault.  We pulled off and we should have just hammered through, the next two dogs we pasted both Abb’s and Riley were great.  Sue our trainers said it’s easier to control them on the move and she is right.  Monday’s walk was uneventful and Rob had one issue on Tuesday when he walked Abb’s (Riley got to hike that day).

Wednesday was the big event for me, Rob got Riley out early so I walked Abby.  We went out the gate to three dogs two in the park as we left the driveway and we passed one leaving the park as we crossed the street, no reaction from my girl!  We passed another dog alone the way with no reaction and we finished walking around the park with one of our neighbors and her dog.  Never before have I been able to do that and my neighbor was equally surprised.