Pack Walk with Joanne

Another successful pack walk today, Sue starts by giving us the rules, pointing out dogs that may be spunky about dogs or humans, general rules, etc.

Today Riley got a treat, my friend Joanne join us and she handled him and she did a great job with him.





We walked for about 40 minutes and then back for dog weaving.  We came across one of Abby’s biggest trigger twice, a dog with a human on skates. She reacted the first time and was perfect when we saw them again.  All in all she did good, and Riley did great.

One by one we all went down the gauntlet weaving through the dogs Abb’s was pretending to be a very good dog until she came across a new dog and she snarked but only once.  Riley on the other hand was really good for Joanne!

Great Danes and the couch

So I often wonder if its a genetic thing with Great Danes and the furniture.  Abby has pursued the couch from the start, but after many discussions she is not often found on the couch.Dog on the couchEvery once in a while I find her bum on the couch

Great Dane on couch


Now Riley is a different story, any time he can gets on the furniture.  Most deterrents only work some of the time, like the basket on the couch, if it’s favors one side of the couch he finds enough room to lounge.

Dog on furniture



I usually have a pot on this chair and it seems like he just knows when it’s not there…





There is no hope to keep him off the bed so the bedroom door stays shut most of the day.





He does look comfy!


So now there are two

October 17th we met Riley, that wasn’t his name yet, he didn’t have a name. He was 13 months old with no training until he went into rescue. Riley was a basically a backyard dog with little or no training.

After having a meet and greet with Abby we decided to take him home for a home visit to see if the dogs would get along.

Riley came for a visit starting on the 30th of October.

Riley over all health was good but he was really underweight.

He had no house training so we put him on puppy watch.

  • Wakes up, he goes out
  • Eats, he goes out
  • Drinks, he goes out
  • In the house for an hour, he goes out

With only living in a backyard we had a lot of behaviors to correct

A maze of dogs, and an attack cat oh my…

Sunday was a really good walk the walk was quiet the new attach cat we have in our neighborhood. I can’t believe that we have three cats that become big puff balls and charge at Abby… What the heck. So we are walking past a house that we have passed hundreds of times and there it was this big orange puffer cat hissing while edging towards us. I turned into Abb’s got her in a sit which was amazing, grabbed her gentle leader under her snout and we walked off. How can we have so many bold puffer cats in our neighborhood.

The rest of the walk was a cake walk after that. It was dullsville until we got to the tennis park where we maneuvered through a maze of dogs, one in front we were gaining on so we crossed the street only to find a loose dog two houses down… We back tracked and crossed the street continuing to follow the first dog. The human an dog went into the park so we went on to find a gal with a snack in her arms so we crossed the street again past the not loose dog. Abby got a lot of cookies because she was brilliant.

So other than the puffer cat Abby was a star.

100% Reaction Free – Sometimes seems impossible

So three times on our walk today Abby started to lunge at something in a yard. I can’t figure out what she is seeing. I have been stopping when Abby lurches at the unknown, letting her see there is nothing of interest in the yard hoping that will help… Who knows.

She was good with all known challenges, but the walk wasn’t reaction free because of the three yards with thing unknown.

I’m feeling defeated, the no reaction walk just seems so out of reach.

The surprise

So we would have had a quiet walk but we came out of the garage to a dog which was just a bark. Then we were walking and we approached on a corner that we have passed so many times before and when we passed the bushes there was a dog. The last issues was at the sports park, a guy came out of the bathroom, she gave a bark we had a spin and went on our way. I guess two of the issues were small but they were reactions. Ugh. The good news is that in all three she corrected fast.

She was brilliant with all issues except the surprises…

To avoid the unknown is the goal.

Let the challenges begin…

Abby put on about 10-15lbs per month so in December at 4 months she weighed about 50 lbs and was full of piss and vinegar. In November Abby started what the breeder calls the zoomies. This is when your puppy runs at light speed around the house with a crazed look in the eyes, occasionally spinning donuts. We call it the steeple chase because her route included both couches (the downside of having both couches away from the wall). Abby would get zoomies in the house and the backyard. With either place if you tried to stop her she would get barky and nippy, all in all no fun. We tried to deal with it but it was really hard for me. In all honesty she scared me and I didn’t have any faith in my ability to handle her.

Christmas week I was having a hard time with the steeple chase so we contacted Wendy Krehbiel (Tell a Tail Dog Training) to come for a home visit. Luckily I had been in email contact with Wendy since we got Abby. She had helped me with the pet sitter and with finding a puppy class, so she agreed to come over the holidays to help us.

We started in the backyard and she showed use what to do when Abby got out of control. Mostly just don’t feed the behavior and be united in how we dealt with her. Wendy saw that Abby was a good little sitter. She showed us how to capitalize on that, sit to go out, sit for food, and sit for toys. It’s kinda funny she will be spun up and you ask her to sit, she’ll stop, cock her head, you can tell she thinking “wait I should be doing something” and sometimes she will actually sit.

At the end of the session we were telling her that Abby would go to the door when she needed to pee and poo, which was great, but if we weren’t there in a nanosecond she would go on the rug at the door. Wendy ask if I had a bell, I got the bell and she taught her to ring it in no time and to this day she rings the bell at the back door to go out.

After the session we started using the ‘sit’ for just about everything. It was a big help at feeding time because I really don’t think Abby chewed her food, just inhaled the contents of her bowl. We started asking for a sit before she could dive in, and surprisingly it slowed her down. This turned into a sit, watch and then take it.

There was more steeple chase over the next few months, but I handled it much better.