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Dazy at the dog park - a bit of progress!

Ford Girl
September 26th, 2007, 03:05 PM
So I took Dazy to the dog park Monday night this week and she was so good, not that we didn't have a few issues, but much better then she was before. She was showing agression towards puppies and adolecent pups when she hit 7 months old...we hadn't been back since, it scared me. In that time we consulted 2 trainers, worked on building the training we already had, obedience and tricks, and stayed away from large groups of strange dogs - mainly dog parks, she's great at day care without me around...my nervous energy made the situation even worse.

My trainers told me I needed to go back and try again since it's been just under 4 months...so we went, and as soon as I made the decision to go I got nervous and anxious about it, and she started to cry and get hyper almost immediatly, I saw this as a direct response to my uncertainty and nervousness (this is the approach I chose after talking to both trainers - change of leadership role)...so I pumped myself up on our way to the park..we can do this, we can control the situation, show leadership and trust in her ability to meet and greet new dogs without feeling the need to dominate every situation or gaurd me....

Anyways, we spent 15 minutes meeting and gretting in the stageing area, on leash, she didn't pull the leash at all, she did very well, only one lip curl towards a rather rambuncious lab - which I corrected, she aknolwedge it. So, we moved in to the park, her recall was stellar - by my side or came back as soon as I called her, she had no issues at all with most of the dogs she met....she met a very small begal pup, I could tell by her body language that she was ready to bully this guy around, leaning in on him, making her stance as big as possible, curled lip, bully mode, so I sternly said her name, clapped as loud as I could and told her to NEVERMIND - LET'S GO...I was in reaching distance should it have escalated, but I stopped myself from pulling her away before I could tell her it was unexceptable to do this..she stopped, looked at me and came to me, and we continued on our way. Not 1 minute later she spots a bouncy lab, she started the same bully stance, I clapped and told her the same thing, she looked, came to my side, we kept going.

Not until the very end did I have to step in and pull her away from a situation...at this point, she was tired and on leash ready to leave the park, a bull dog pup - full grown, but obvioulsy a pup, approached me very quickly and there was a group of about 15 dogs hanging out in this one area, she was right by my side, she stanced, snarled and leaned on him growling...I corrected her right away with her leash and verbally and she knew it...lucky for me, we were leaving anyways, so we got in the car, and she saw that as punishment...hopefully it helped that we left right away, she looked like she knew, and as you know with her...she doesn't ever feel like she's in trouble.

Before we couldn't even stand in the stageing area with her showing her teeth and dominating every young dog she met, even tho I had to correct her twice verbally and once on her leash, it was an improvment in my book. A step in the right direction.

Anyways, this is a long brag, I was just so happy to be back at the park, she loves the terrain and exercise...I was so happy, and I left feeling confident. I am still not going to go during peek hours - not yet. We still have lots of work to do. Funny how 95% of the change was me and my actions as a leader and my response to her bullying, and not so much her reaction to my behavior?? :clown:

JanM
September 26th, 2007, 03:49 PM
Good for you and Dazy! Our nervousness is just about the hardest thing to correct, isn't it??? As you know I have a similar problem with Amber - but just sometimes and getting myself to a quiet, grounded, point takes more than correcting Amber!

I'm sure glad you had a good experience - sounds like you and Dazy did very, very well! Keep it up:D

Winston
September 26th, 2007, 04:25 PM
I know exactly how you feel....boy Winston was a huge! hyper and very dominant puppy...He drove me crazy and I honestly think he knew...In puppy class he was always the example...He scared all the dogs away at times...For quite a few months my trainer had me hold him down until he submitted...he would eventually but he was a tough cookie! To this day I would never let him off leash in a park or even a leash free area....I just dont trust how he would be?? Dont get me wrong he is a wonderful dog...but it is the vibe he gets or gives off to other dogs and it always worry's me....It sounds like you have made fantastic strides with Daisy!! I think it is alot in how WE as owners handle it.....Winston has matured now and his recall is great but I just am not confident enough to try.

Practice makes perfect so make sure you keep going back....

Good Luck

Cindy

Ford Girl
September 26th, 2007, 05:27 PM
Thanks ladies...it's very hard to not cringe when I see a puppy..and I am thinking..."oh god, hope she doesn't see that puppy...oh no, she sees him, he's coming this way, yikes, we better go, go away puppy....Dazy please don't do it..." All the while holding tight to the leash, tense, stressed out..what kinda leader is that? LOL!

This time it was like...OH NO YOU DON'T, GET YOUR SAUCEY GOLDEN BUTT OVER HERE MISS BULLY....end of story! It's funny, cuz I am a very orgainzed, tend to take leadership roles, assertive and confident, some would say bossy - I wouldn't, but some might, LOL!!, in my life and relationships, but I think I treat her like a human baby and not a dog, I place human emotions and thinking where it has no place being.

Sound familular Winston? LOL!!!

Jan, I know you can relate for sure, I think Dazy and Amber talk to each other secretly...the Bad Ass Girls Club, no boys allowed unless they can beat them up first!! I think Bree is also a memeber? Altho she's a bad ass, she doesn't take part in the bullying!

JanM
September 26th, 2007, 06:18 PM
"Jan, I know you can relate for sure, I think Dazy and Amber talk to each other secretly...the Bad Ass Girls Club, no boys allowed unless they can beat them up first!!"

How true - and now Amber has yet another little quirk - on our hike this past Saturday we did the Holland Creek Trail - a very popular human, dog and bear -yes, there are bears there - place. Well, if Amber wasn't just as sweet as pie to the new dogs we met on the trail and then - she ran up to a woman and barked her fool head off at her! I was mortified... thankfully, I yelled DOWN and she did but egad what a horrid experience! This woman was terrified of dogs (we had met her earlier on the trail) and I think Amber sensed that and tried to take advantage of it. She is definitely a Bad Ass Girl!

TMac
September 26th, 2007, 07:05 PM
Yahoo Dazy and Teri!!!! Doesn't it feel GREAT!! I agree - a lot of it is our signals we give them, whether we know it or not....

Toby would have to be the only boy in the Bad Ass Girl Club as occasionally he can be snarly at some dogs he doesn't know. He's also much improved but I'm not ready for a dog park myself!

Good idea to take her to the park in off-peak times. I'm sure that way you will have continued success! :thumbs up

mummummum
September 26th, 2007, 10:34 PM
Keep up the good work ! It's obviously a great confidence builder for you. :thumbs up

Ford Girl
September 27th, 2007, 12:04 PM
Ok, Toby can join as long as he knows the ladies rule and he will forever be known as the man servant to the golden godesses....I think Penny is in this club....she's a bad ass girl too. :lovestruck:

I think I am going back today, I am off early and can be at the park before rush hour even starts, wish us luck, send your strong confident vibes my way! :goodvibes: :fingerscr :goodvibes: :fingerscr

Jan - they know who's weak or timid, and they seem to rush them, in their face, Dazy does this to a handful of girlfriends that I have that don't set her behavior straight, they actually back away from her, hands downs saying in a tiny voice "Dazy be nice"...as they back away...I tell them to speak up, stand up straight and use an outside voice with her and mean what they say. We work on this all the time, if I know one of these ladies is coming over I leash her...it is very embarassing, not to mention the drool clean up require.

Ford Girl
September 28th, 2007, 11:03 AM
Good morning! So we went back yesterday, we were at the park for almost 2hours, she was so good! And VERY tired when we were done! At one point she was a bit ahead of me, and she spotted the water and she bolted towards it, we always leave the water part of the park for last so she can have a drink and cool off, I called her, she stopped and waiting about 5 seconds for me to catch up, which she does if I say wait....when I got to the edge she was in the water and right beside her were...2 puppies! Really small ones, a boxer and a staffie, both 11 weeks old and very hyper! I didn't go down the bank, cuz she was ignoring them, I didn't want to trigger a reaction from her. When Dazy's interest in the water relaxed a bit I called her up the bank so she didn't have time to focus on the puppies, she knew they were there and she ignored them! I was so happy and proud!
:cloud9:
I think what really helps is that we spend 10 minutes in the parking lot, on leash, focused on me and practicing meet and greets. :thumbs up

Hi 5 to my girl! :highfive: Zero incidents at the dog park! :angel:

TMac
September 28th, 2007, 06:37 PM
AWESOME!!! Way to go Dazy!! :thumbs up

JanM
September 28th, 2007, 07:01 PM
WOW! Well done!