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Old July 5th, 2016, 04:09 AM
Smileysam Smileysam is offline
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Training my Samoyed

I have had 6 weeks of dog training/behavioural training, but feel this was the wrong choice of training method for myself and my dog, when the first lesson, I was told not to talk to my dog for a week. Wait don't talk to a Samoyed? If you know a Samoyed, they are hard headed, smart, they have a jolly sense of humor and often exhibit it when disobeying. "Hmmmm your not going to talk to me... well I am going to go over there and get your shoe and chew it, toss it around and bump you with it, and tease you with it, till you talk to me"

Against my better judgement and looking into many dog trainers in our area, my husband wanted to take a course from a dog trainer, daycare owner who studied under and worked with Cesar Milan. So I agreed. All great… but.... It was a couple more weeks till he was out of puppyhood, so he was the age that he could have went into the puppy class that she was offering. (her first one) I felt we should have started him in puppy classes, you just don't get a second chance here, it's not like “I try it, if it doesn't work we can find another”. I had exposed him to many people, places, kids and stimuli from the day we brought him home, so I wasn't worried about not socializing him, after all he is already a social dog, bred that way. He has a soft bite, he has little squeaky squirrels, not a stitch out of them to this day.

But she insisted on throwing him into the adult training course. This course was based solely on energy, no commands, no praise, no touch, no talk, we were to have our dog sit, by pulling up on his leash, walk with calm assertive energy etc... I'm not against any one training method. I feel they all work in conjunction with each other. What works for one doesn't work for another. I find my calm assertive energy comes strongest behind the word or command I use. After the course, we put him in her daycare, he lasted 2 days and was kicked out, because they said he was not taking cues from the others dogs, which I understand he is a funny bully, he is middle of the pack, happy go lucky, dominant and his over excitement is dangerous and he wasn't ready for that kind of stimulation. They said they had to crate him at nap time, and he was very anxious, barking, and wouldn't calm down. I ask them if they had given him a chew toy, kong with a bit of food, or perhaps he needed to pee or poop? "We don't do that". He is a kong and chewtoyaholic, he has so many chewies, kongs, and ropes. I don’t have a tooth mark in any of my furniture. I don’t mind criticism or being shunned from anything, helps me learn more from someone looking from the outside, they see what I may not see or have missed and I can work on that.

So in tears I'm thinking oh did I just ruin my dog’s puppyhood?! I sat back for a bit and figured I need help. Wait I know how to train a dog geez! This is my second Samoyed, I just spent 9 years with the happiest, loving, well balanced and behaved Australian shepherd/collie x who never had one day in a training course. Samoyed’s are a challenge to train, so I started looking at Ian Dunbar for tips and a bit of insight to reinforce what I already know about training a dog. Funny how when you listen to dog trainers with years of experience, you think I’ve been doing it that way and right all along. I then started working on basic commands Sit, stay, down etc, lure reward training, and shush training with much success. He is doing great in the home, he has awesome manners at home and when we go for visits to my parents, they say how well behaved he is, cause my mother is queen of dog training, her dog were the perfect well mannered pups ever. I praise him a lot, try to make training fun.

The issue: loses all attention when outside. Still working on recall, he is dog reactive, he is pulling on lease while walking, and does not keep his eye on me. He lunges and barks when he notices other dogs. We are in a town home, and our front porch is recessed back between 2 garages so I can’t see, dogs walk by but I don’t notice till they are right on us, he just goes nuts.

Now the cats! I have 5, that is another issue altogether!
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Old July 5th, 2016, 12:03 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Samoyed are herding dogs so your dog could be trying to herd the other dogs at playground and not acting like a bully . I think it would be best to try find a trainer that know how to train working dogs . Samoyed need a job , I had one and she loved to pull my niece in a wagon. My dog thought she was 'working' and she looked so proud doing this .
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Old July 5th, 2016, 12:58 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Distraction outside is pretty common for most dogs--especially young ones. I'm not a trainer but I'll tell you what we did with our reactive young Brier. It works pretty well, and maybe it'll work for you.

I trained two commands--"leave it", which means: whatever you're up to, break off; and "relax", which means: come to me, sit in front of me and look me in the face. Both can be much easier to train if you have a buddy to help, and clicker training can be a plus because it helps you mark the behavior you're trying to capture. If you haven't tried clicker training, google it and check it out--we've had lots of success with it.

"Leave it" is pretty straightforward. It was a long time ago, but I think with Brier I scattered tempting things out in the yard, hooked him on a leash and walked him around the yard. When he encountered the temptations, I gave the command to "leave it", clicked the second his head turned away, then led him a few paces further and gave him a treat. He caught on quickly. Gradually work to a loose leash, then a check cord, then off-leash (if you have a training buddy, let them control the check cord as you give the command from a distance).

The "relax" command is a little trickier. I split it into 3 parts--"Come", "Sit", "Look at me". If Meeko already knows come and sit, you're way ahead of the game. "Look at me" I trained by holding a treat in front of my eyes. When he gets anywhere near making eye contact, click (or praise) and reward. You'll have to be quick--looking you in the face might feel foreign to him. Once you have those three behaviors down, combine them into "relax". With Brier, I took him in a quiet space, put him on a longish leash, had him come, sit and look at me, and once he did all three, he heard the word "Relax", and got the reward. This time, instead of lengthening the leash length right away, work in some distractions. Have your training buddy walk by at a distance with another dog, or throw something at a distance, tell Meeko to "leave it" if he turns to look at your buddy, and then "relax". Start out at a distance that Meeko can handle easily without getting crazy, then gradually shorten the distance. If Meeko reacts to the distraction, the distance is too short--have your buddy back off a bit.

That part took me a long time since I had no training buddy and had to rely on natural distractions like passing horse buggy or bike or jogger traffic... But patience, consistency and practice pays off.

Keep your training sessions short, but do them multiple times a day. And always end a training session on a positive note. This is supposed to be fun for both of you, but if Meeko is as energetic as Brier was, there will be days when you have to grab your patience with both hands before it flies out the window. It helped if I could distract myself from my frustration by focusing on how goofy he was being. Once I was giggling, it was easier to take and if you have to turn a training session into a play session now and then, no loss! If Meeko is having a rambunctious day, give him an easy command, like "Sit" to end the session with so he can be successful that day. There will always be another day to train.

The autumn after our summer of "relax" training, Brier and I were tested in a big way. We found ourselves a situation where we were 'trapped' between a building and road on a very short boulevard when an Amish buggy went by--I told him to relax and by gum! he plunked his butt down and looked up at me as the horse passed within 25 feet of us! I was, frankly, surprised that the training held so well, but my reactive boy passed with flying colors! (Can you say Proud Mama? )
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Old July 5th, 2016, 06:04 PM
Smileysam Smileysam is offline
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I would love to get him a sled!! I thought about it, even one on wheels for the summer, and yes even a wagon. When I have grandchildren, which will be very soon. it would be such fun for the dog and the children too!!
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Old July 6th, 2016, 11:11 PM
Smileysam Smileysam is offline
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Meeko understands sit very well, we are working on stay, he is getting better. I have been asking him to “come” every time I get up and move around the house, when we go outside on leash, when he needs his pee keeping the leash loose and walk a bit down the street a bit further each day. Keep repeating “Meeko come” when I feel him starting to wonder or get distracted.

I have been Saying “Look at me”, when we stop every few feet on the walk, I get his attention and wait for him to look at me, he will but LOL seems to lose it when we start walking, I have been working on “packing in” (changing direction when he gets in front of me) our walk consists of changing position every couple steps, LOL but I am persistent I will get it!

Although, most of the time my husband will hold the lease when we go on our long walk after dinner, he does better with him walking then I do. He can just take the leash and go. But the last 2 days have been very strange, Meeko will check in while he is walking with him, all of a sudden we have noticed that he is looking at me and checking in with me constantly. Weird, He has been keeping his eye on me while my husband is on leash with him. Is that normal? But as soon as I take the leash, he is off in his own little world again.

I will for sure try your “leave it" method! Give him something to tack too.

Our “Relax” LOL was put to the test too, this evening. Ya, he’s not there yet! The neighbour across the street came home with a brand new puppy a couple days ago. Their daughter, since she saw Meeko wanted a puppy ever since, so they got a little cocker spaniel, he’s adorable. She came across the street to chat with her little guy, Meeko was so excited and just would not calm down. Way over his threshold!! I have contacted a trainer, and will most likely get him to come and help address the issue.

Barkingdog mentioned about herding which I agree, I think he has such a strong instinct, I see it with the cats. He will nip them to get them to move, to chase them. I had a couple instances when I was trying to get a couple of them to move, It was funny, he came up to them with me and bumped them on the butt, like helping me get them to move up the stairs, so I could close the gate.

The cats when they are bombarded by Meeko, won't run from him, he is not biting or nipping hard, but the cats make it sound worse than it is. He did bite Taz, our second oldest when we first brought him home, with his sharp teeth he did puncture, but he has not punctured the cats since, and from watching very closely and monitoring how he is putting his mouth on the cats, he is not biting. So his bite inhibition seems to be good.
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Old July 7th, 2016, 07:41 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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The link is to herding dog instinct tests, three of them in the immediate future and close to you, or a least a pleasant country drive. There is one this coming weekend but that one might be just a trial.

Some people in my training group took their dogs to one of these some years ago. Some of the dogs were herding breeds but we were all surprised when the one who showed the most aptitude was the Newfie.
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