Positively Success Story: Kerry
I got my GSD at 8weeks old. Made the first mistake of not socialising him enough.
He would lunge and bark at other dogs. He also wasn't too confident with people. He also barked a lot in the front yard at people going by (dog or no dog).
One day, I happened across "It's Me or the Dog", Victoria's hit show. I learnt the power of the "watch" command which I used on walks, of "time out" when he barked in the yard, and impulse control via the "leave" command (he already knew it, but we strengthened his response to this). He wasn't food orientated, nor had a favourite toy. However sausages worked wonders! I used to have him muzzled at our vets, and avoid other dogs on walks, but by using those three simple techniques I now have a 7 yr old GSD who has been described as the "calmest GSD we've ever seen" by vet specialists recently (a referral for torn cruciate ligament) and our local vet calling him "mild mannered".
I never thought I'd be hearing things like that! Consistency and positive reinforcement go hand in hand, my dog enjoys off leash walks with his canine buddies and gets lot of attention from people when we're out (including a cuddle from children).
Thank you Victoria for educating me on the kinder methods (we've always had dogs in my family but he is my first dog, I also had to educate my parents who still believed in the dominant approach. They use positive training now with their own dog, also a GSD). Thank you for enabling me to have the dog of my dreams, and helping me form a strong bond with my boy (he is my baby, but he's definitely my dog not humanised!) It was hard work, but worth it. I have even taught my friend the "watch" command for her miniature poodle as he is not great with other dogs. She was amazed at the transformation in my boy and at least now it's not my dog embarrassing us when we meet up!
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Articles from Victoria Stilwell
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- Why I’m Not a Purely Positive Dog Trainer
- Becoming a Dog Trainer
- Social Bullying
- Does Your Dog Respect You?