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Old 01-24-2012, 12:13 PM
 
Location: In the AC
972 posts, read 2,138,801 times
Reputation: 830

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We give up - sort of. Our rescue has turned out to be an incrediable smart, active dog when we are used to dumb sweet silly dogs.

I met a trainer last week who has ideas for training her to do different jobs around the house to keep her occupied plus work on better off-leash behavior.

Has anyone had luck with using a trainer? How hard was it to keep up with the skills once you are on your own?

She was super easy to train to do the basics. I just don't know where to go from here, as I've never had a dog like her before. She is happiest when she is doing some kind of work, like "rescueing" the kids when they are swimming or keeping us on schedule in the morning. (She has a very accurate internal alarm clock.)
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:31 PM
 
Location: In the middle...
1,253 posts, read 3,031,947 times
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Okay, put a doggy backpack on that girl and give her more jobs including walking her. You can slowly increase weight in the pack (up to 20% of her body weight). It gives her something to do...all the time.

Things that add weight: can of soup, bottle of water, hand/wrist weights, etc.

I recommend REI.com and put dog backpack their search engine. The reason I like their packs better, they are well made and worth the money. The one I like cost, $55. That is only $15 more than the one I found at PetsMart that is cheaply made, I know because the one I bought I had to re-stitch, I used it everyday. (This was before I knew about the REI packs.)

Anyway, REI has more expensive packs but the $55 does exactly what I need it to do and I love the large packs. If you have a REI close by, take your dog in for a fitting. If not, get a tape measure of her chest girth, that is how the pack is sized. If you think you might be in-between a size, I would suggest going with the smaller of the two.

Let us know how it works!
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:51 AM
 
Location: In the AC
972 posts, read 2,138,801 times
Reputation: 830
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvABull.Denver View Post
Okay, put a doggy backpack on that girl and give her more jobs including walking her. You can slowly increase weight in the pack (up to 20% of her body weight). It gives her something to do...all the time.

Things that add weight: can of soup, bottle of water, hand/wrist weights, etc.

I recommend REI.com and put dog backpack their search engine. The reason I like their packs better, they are well made and worth the money. The one I like cost, $55. That is only $15 more than the one I found at PetsMart that is cheaply made, I know because the one I bought I had to re-stitch, I used it everyday. (This was before I knew about the REI packs.)

Anyway, REI has more expensive packs but the $55 does exactly what I need it to do and I love the large packs. If you have a REI close by, take your dog in for a fitting. If not, get a tape measure of her chest girth, that is how the pack is sized. If you think you might be in-between a size, I would suggest going with the smaller of the two.

Let us know how it works!
Thanks! she is already walked two times a day with a pack. Your right - the petsmart one is falling apart. I'll check out REI today. She also picks up litter when we walk, things like empty bottles. She is so proud of herself when she hands them over!

I am hoping the trainer can teach her to pick up her toys and close the back door. She can open doors just fine and let herself in.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:21 PM
 
Location: In the middle...
1,253 posts, read 3,031,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msm_teacher View Post
Thanks! she is already walked two times a day with a pack. Your right - the petsmart one is falling apart. I'll check out REI today. She also picks up litter when we walk, things like empty bottles. She is so proud of herself when she hands them over!

I am hoping the trainer can teach her to pick up her toys and close the back door. She can open doors just fine and let herself in.
You weren't kidding, she's a smart cookie!

Allow her to wear the pack around the house and backyard. The REI packs are rugged and can handle it. As I said, I had to completely re-stitch the PetsMart pack. Although once I did, it really lasted.

I just like the three point lock system on the REI pack I found and highly recommend, not to mention the top handle has a quick release to become a short leash. I also like the heavy duty mesh to keep them a little cooler in summer...speaking of which...

When summer gets here, you can put cold packs in there for her to carry. It will help to keep her cool on walks and still add weight to burn energy. I put them next to the wall in the pack by the dog, not allowing other items to get in the way of them cooling the dogs down. Here's where carrying water bottles and a bowl would work out, too.

You know, as smart as she is, have you considered agility? Talk about burn some energy! Even if it's only setting up a course in your backyard, it would be fun for you, her and the kids...not to mention the bonding. (Just a suggestion...)

You could all take turns running her through the course you set up...through out the day (as you find time) heck within a week or two, you can just give her the command she can hit the start button, run the course, hit the stop button...Check her time, repeat (sorry, smart dog - visual)

Now I've seen "starter" courses on Amazon BUT I don't know if they are any good. However, if you know a good builder, you could have some agility pieces built and that is that. (Again, just a suggestion.)

Let us know how you and your new addition is doing.

OH, thank you for saving her life
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:19 PM
 
5,702 posts, read 16,148,257 times
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Do you have time for agility training?
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:49 AM
 
Location: In the AC
972 posts, read 2,138,801 times
Reputation: 830
We built a course last summer. But, the problem is that we just don't know how to train a dog like this at that level. That was the heart of my original question - will we be be able to do what the trainer does when he is gone? I have no doubt in my baby's abilities, it is our own skills that worry me.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 13,063,686 times
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A good trainer in a situation like this trains the dog owner.
The dog owner now trains their dog.

After you done (if your ever really done) any reputable trainer will be willing to help you after you are trained.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:01 AM
 
5,702 posts, read 16,148,257 times
Reputation: 8567
Quote:
Originally Posted by msm_teacher View Post
We built a course last summer. But, the problem is that we just don't know how to train a dog like this at that level. That was the heart of my original question - will we be be able to do what the trainer does when he is gone? I have no doubt in my baby's abilities, it is our own skills that worry me.
I think so. I took my dog for training and the woman was amazing. She told clients to come back at any time for refreshers for free. So when I would go to the classes sometimes people would show up that I hadn't seen before. They were the refreshers. lol. I do better with hyper active dogs than the non hyper. I am having a terrible time with my beagle.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:36 AM
 
Location: In the middle...
1,253 posts, read 3,031,947 times
Reputation: 1821
Quote:
Originally Posted by msm_teacher View Post
We built a course last summer. But, the problem is that we just don't know how to train a dog like this at that level. That was the heart of my original question - will we be be able to do what the trainer does when he is gone? I have no doubt in my baby's abilities, it is our own skills that worry me.
Oh, ye of little faith...you will do fine. Do what the trainer does. See if the trainer has refresher classes. (Ever thought of video recording the training sessions? That is if the trainer will allow it...) There are books on Amazon or at your local library. You can search the Internet and of course always ask questions here and discern the answers.

Believe in your abilities as a pack leader as well as a dog lover. Your smart girl has been put in your life to challenge you, that is a good thing!

I love that you are doing things to challenge her. You have brought in a trainer and are asking questions. YOU are doing ALL of the right things.

This dog is so LUCKY to have found you. Some might give up but you, you are seeking answers.

BRAVO!!! 👏*hands clapping*

You are who she needed. I think you will do just fine. Just be consistent with her and you will be fine.
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