Sky Training Review & Report


Summary
Sky is an adorable little dog with a lovely character to people that she knows and is familar with.

Her previous behaviour (displaying aggression, jumping, barking, lunging etc.) was a product of her nature and insecurities as well as being allowed to practice it. It is entirely possible to control her behaviour around other dogs and also to limit her unwanted barking with exceptional care and consistency (meaning being very clear of what is acceptable and what is not) and communicating this to her in a fair, clear and firm manner.

A correction is ONLY warranted if the dog can avoid it in the future. The correction should be significant enough to stop the behaviour, but not excessive. We should use the lowest possible, but the highest ‘firmness’ if needed.

She is a very likeable and food motivated dog which makes training very easy when she is engaged. At times, she can be uncomfortable / afraid of new places or situations (she shows this by panting, body language and not eating) which although can improve, may not be completely resolved as this is partly a genetic disposition as well as her upbringing from puppy up to 6 months old. (Early socialisation period)

Since she LOVES food and treats, these should be given for a SIT which is a passive behaviour rather than jumping etc. The SIT should come first and the food is given as a reward (not necessarily a bribe)! 🙂

Updates, videos and photos + training notes

One of the last walks of her training, new dog, same usual daily walks at the local park.

You can see she has vastly improved around other dogs. We have also had dogs come up to her, and she has been fine.

If she shows any aggressive behaviour (growling/snapping/barking etc.) she should be corrected immediately and firmly to ‘cut the drive’. This will be explained to you in-person.

Around a controlled environment with a German Shepherd (barking)
First time around a GSD

Going to new places with new people and new dogs is very challenging for ANY dog. With just 2-3 weeks training, it’s a very intensive, and somewhat short training time. Imagine changing a habit or one of our own behaviours that we have had for 7 years, in 2 weeks… quit smoking, changing diet, mentality etc. It’s VERY VERY difficult.

I would normally say at least 6-8 weeks to resolve problems that Sky has had, I don’t know exactly the outcome when she returns with you. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND at least maintaining what I teach you for 3 months.

Distance is your friend. Further away = easier to control.
Pass by, reward if the behaviour is good. Correct IF bad.

Working with my own dogs at the beginning helped a lot, and then working with more difficult (energetic dogs). She really didn’t like any dog at first… I’m sure you know!!

With my dog Yuna, training a little recall at sunset in Cambridge.
Sky with Luna
Training with a young 3 month old puppy.

Fear/uncomfortable in new strange places

It’s important to ‘lead’ Sky and not pay attention to her behaviour of fear or discomfort. The role of you should be to encourage, support and guide her. As she gets used to this, she will tend to improve, hopefully.

This is a video of Sky’s first time at the woods.

You can see she wants to go back to the car…
To help her, we encourage her with gentle lead tension, when she follows me, praise.

Sky’s walks along Cambridge River

Sky river walks

Sky’s first video – BEFORE video, barking at dogs!! 🙂