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My goal is to get Rogue over his thing with other dogs so we can actually do PA training.

I did meet w/ another trainer and the advice I got was to mark him noticing a trigger instead of asking for eye contact + marking/rewarding eye contact and to keep him under threshold 100% of the time which might work if I lived in a suburb and could easily avoid all of his triggers. She also didn't see what he's like when he's reacting to a dog - he didn't react to her dog. But he reacts to dogs around my house. And squirrels. And now some people. And there's a lot of all of those things (and also people feed the squirrels so they're crazy aggressive and unafraid of dogs/humans/cars).

The only other advice I got was to try a head collar. Which I'll try.

But honestly I think plan B is take him to a place where the dogs aren't going to go away when he tantrums (like outside of a dog park, a class, etc) and let him have his episode then mark + reward when he stops.
 

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My main goal is still polite leash walking. I'd like Milo to walk in a loose heel position to my side. He has made huge improvements but he gets frustrated if he sees too many exciting things. If we're on grass (which he loves to run on) and then a dog goes by and makes a playbow at him he loses his 80lb puppy mind and starts zooming around on leash and trying to play tug. I'm trying a three pronged approach right now.
1. Find less distracting places to work on walking and work to better define what walking looks like to him. I used a fenced tennis court yesterday which worked well.
2. Work on him being able to amp up and then calm down rapidly. Along with this I need to figure out fun playful things we can do on our walks so he has something to do with all his frustrated play energy.
3. Decrease his excitement with new things/people/dogs by working on settle in public. I've basically been taking him to a coffee shop with outdoor seating and had him do a calm settle for 10-15 minutes. I taught the settle at home first and am now generalizing it to out of the home.
 

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We had our first class in a very long time last night. She was a model student! Her heeling was beautiful, but she definitely still needs to work on sitting politely while being approached for an exam. She just gets SO excited when people come to her, it is a very very difficult thing to train. Silly, goofy, exuberant dog that she is. Aside from that, she did great - first time she has worked in a ring with rally signs and she acted like she has done it all her life. She managed to keep her attention focused on me MOST of the time, even when the other dogs would walk by close to her, so that was pretty good too. First classes are always sort of a wash anyway, so I hope to really start working on more advanced skills as we progress.
 

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Well we did a run-through of the CGC test last night. My dog was perfect in every way... except for the stranger greeting. UGH. This is just SO HARD for her. She gets so excited and jumps and just won't sit still to be approached. By the end of the class, she was doing it fairly well and even allowing me to walk to the end of the leash while someone else approached her to touch her head. If I kept my hand cue in place, she was OK and stayed fairly still with her eyes focused on me. But I'm pretty sure during the actual test we won't get multiple chances for her to get it right, and I'm also fairly certain I wouldn't be allowed to hold a hand cue during the greeting. It's very frustrating. If the person approaching her is COMPLETELY new, she just loses her mind. I guess I need to take her somewhere and just sit there and ask people to approach her for an hour or so? It's the ONLY thing she doesn't get on the first attempt. I mean I guess it could be worse - I could have a dog that hates people. But I'm just a little discouraged that we're going to be able to get her CGC with her current levels of loving exuberance. Sigh.
 

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Well we did a run-through of the CGC test last night. My dog was perfect in every way... except for the stranger greeting. UGH. This is just SO HARD for her. She gets so excited and jumps and just won't sit still to be approached. By the end of the class, she was doing it fairly well and even allowing me to walk to the end of the leash while someone else approached her to touch her head. If I kept my hand cue in place, she was OK and stayed fairly still with her eyes focused on me. But I'm pretty sure during the actual test we won't get multiple chances for her to get it right, and I'm also fairly certain I wouldn't be allowed to hold a hand cue during the greeting. It's very frustrating. If the person approaching her is COMPLETELY new, she just loses her mind. I guess I need to take her somewhere and just sit there and ask people to approach her for an hour or so? It's the ONLY thing she doesn't get on the first attempt. I mean I guess it could be worse - I could have a dog that hates people. But I'm just a little discouraged that we're going to be able to get her CGC with her current levels of loving exuberance. Sigh.
My dog does that, too. Perfect at everything else (excluding being left with a stranger because he is a baby, lol) except the greetings! He wants to jump up on them. Especially if he's never met them before, then its ultra exciting.
 

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Perhaps this won't make sense, but instead of looking at the "greet a stranger" as a greeting exercise, try training is as a heavily proofed sit/stay. Does that make sense? See if you can teach your dog to hold a sit/stay no matter what. Then have the greeting mostly be a "distraction challenge" rather than a social event. Might make things easier for the CGC.
 

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Yeah that makes total sense, and kind of what I was trying to do by holding a hand cue while she was sitting and being approached. I suppose I'll just work on that, then phase out the hand cue? Oddly, she's actually better at being left with a stranger than the greeting part. She will sit there nicely with someone while I walk away. After trying to jump on the stranger holding her leash of course. LOL! She's so smart that I feel like we'll get there, just maybe not at the pace I originally anticipated. Though it makes me realize I did the right thing by taking off a few sessions before taking the CGC prep class. She just needs to mature a little now.
 

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Ahh... that's good to know! After I read that, I did some googling and found the evaluator's guide to the test which I actually found much more helpful than the student's guide. It lets me know what kind of flexibility is normal for each test item. I'm just going to have to really work with her very hard on some of these things. We go out in public a lot - Cabela's, Tractor Supply, Home Depot, that sort of thing. But we rarely encounter other dogs in those places so I think we need to go to pet stores too. She is great at ignoring people and dogs on trails when we're hiking, but in actual public places it's a little harder. And definitely more difficult to keep a loose leash while out and about. Eh, I guess we'll get there. Or not. :)
 

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Ahh... that's good to know! After I read that, I did some googling and found the evaluator's guide to the test which I actually found much more helpful than the student's guide. It lets me know what kind of flexibility is normal for each test item. I'm just going to have to really work with her very hard on some of these things. We go out in public a lot - Cabela's, Tractor Supply, Home Depot, that sort of thing. But we rarely encounter other dogs in those places so I think we need to go to pet stores too. She is great at ignoring people and dogs on trails when we're hiking, but in actual public places it's a little harder. And definitely more difficult to keep a loose leash while out and about. Eh, I guess we'll get there. Or not. :)
Our evaluator was pretty relaxed about the LLW; she just wanted the dog to respond to verbal redirection (e.g., "This way!") and for the dog to not strain against the leash at all. But walking to the end of the leash to sniff something was okay, as long as the dog could be redirected/refocused easily.
 

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My monster is doing significantly better about other dogs...he still might freak out if the other dog is actively inviting him to play, but other working dogs are off limits (he actually didn't see them when he was on duty, but there was another service dog and a police dog on our route and he was interested for 20 seconds and then relaxed.)

He's also better in pet stores than he is in the park so there's that. He might give me a whine if the other dog comes up to sniff and doesn't, but no meltdown.

I'm thinking he'll get better with maturity but speaking of immaturity:

Leaves are suddenly very interesting again! Oh my gosh! He keeps wanting to pounce on them. Squirrels are exciting enough that if they run backwards high over his head he'll look back so far he tips over. Wow. I've just been kind of planting myself when this happens but wow. He's mostly pretty good in therapy but the last two sessions he just kind of short-circuited and either really really really wanted to be petted RIGHT NOW or was really distracted by my therapist's shadow. On the way home he saw a statue of a bunny and was scared of it. He's also being a little weird and squirrely about people petting him (kind of walks up and asks to be petted then walks away very quickly when they actually try to pet him).

I'm not actually worried about this, just...wow. Happy birthday + second fear period.
 

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Well we graduated our class last night, so only one more class to go before the CGC test. I'm a little unsure as to whether or not I will still pursue it - it's hard to give up on a goal I've had since she was a puppy but I have serious doubts as to whether she is cut out for it, honestly. I just don't think she will pass the stranger greetings and the strange dog greeting portion, but who knows - I don't have to decide right now as the school is closed for the holidays and next session doesn't start until second week in January. I didn't think our instructors this time around were that focused... I mean they are really sweet ladies but spent more time telling stories than teaching. It's all a little ladida. So it depends on the instructors as to whether or not I'll take the CGC class & test.

Warning: rant to follow.

So anyway, I was already a little stressed heading into the last class last night because my cousin came to visit on Friday and brought his dog with him (without asking, by the way). He arrived at the house maybe 5 minutes before I got home from work, and DH says that he walked out to greet him, let our dog out, and my cousin came around the corner and was like "Oh, yeah, my dog is here" and the dog (ESS) came charging around the corner of the deck while my dog was charging around the corner of the deck from the opposite direction - they have never met before, and they met in the smallest, most confining space possible. There were snarls, then they ran out to the yard which is when I pulled up, which didn't lessen any chaos. So I think the initial greeting between dogs was just such a disaster and my dog didn't take a liking to his dog. I then had to listen to him lecture me about training, and how I shouldn't let her get away with that and yada yada.

He said he didn't understand why I *LET* her choose who she does and doesn't like, and felt that I should have put her on her back and let his dog approach her while she was in a submissive position. I told him that wasn't in line with my training philosophy and he just hammered me about it. I was pretty frustrated, but ultimately told him it was MY house, MY dog, and to please respect that my methods are different than his. I suggested we take the dogs outside in the yard and walk them around (my go-to method for greetings, which usually works just fine). He didn't have a collar or a leash for his dog because he had neck surgery recently. Sigh. So for the last four days we had to manage the situation, and my dog spent a lot of time upstairs blocked off from the rest of the house. But here's the thing... my dog was very obedient and didn't try attacking his dog or anything like that - she was interested, and I could tell sometimes she wanted to lunge at him when he would snarl at her, but mostly she listened really well to me. When we were in the same room together in the house, my dog stayed on her bed as directed, didn't engage, and I'd leash her to walk her by the other dog if we had to go out, and she didn't pay him any attention. We even had them both on the couch (opposite ends) at times. When she started drifting into his space, I gently corrected her and she changed direction. Other than loving that dog, I'm not sure she could have behaved any better. On the other hand, when his dog found out I had treats in my pocket he lost his mind. While my dog was inside, I was out with him and asked him to sit & down so he could have a treat. My cousin said "Oh he doesn't do anything". Huh? So the same guy that just lectured me for two hours on how my training methods are stupid, and that thinks every dog should always love and get along with every other dog ALL THE TIME.... HAS NOT TRAINED HIS DOG. Couldn't even sit!

It was just so frustrating because I have spent SO MUCH time training her since she was a puppy, but I guess since she didn't love his dog that means nothing. He also doesn't believe genetics plays into it at all... that EVERY dog, no matter the breed, can be trained to get along with other dogs. I do think that training and socialization is about 80% of that, but I told him you simply can't eliminate genetics from the equation at all - she's a bull dog! She's going to be a bull dog sometimes! He thinks that's BS. SIGH. Sometimes I despair that she will be 100% reliable around other dogs, but then other times I really don't care that much - as long as she listens to me, and I can direct her focus, then that works for me. Obviously I'm not going to stop working on this, but I also think she has a right to dislike a dog every now and then. I just get really sick of people judging me for my training methods because I'm not old school anymore.
 

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Honestly, I think that pretty much every stable dog with some training can pass the CGC. Sometimes you just have to let them grow up a bit first so they are out of their "must jump on everyone" stage. If you don't think the goal is attainable right now, set it on the shelf for a bit and come back in a year or two. Or just try the test and see - at least then you'll know where to focus, and she may surprise you.
 

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Sassy was dog reactive and passed the CGC easily. A dog used for testing is going to be a really easy going good dog. She mirrored that good calm behavior and passed easily. Same with the tester. Will not be a normal dog lover that subconsciously cues a dog to jump but somebody that doesn't allow such silliness.
 

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Hmm... well that's comforting. And maybe elrohwen is right and I should at least take the test anyway - it can't hurt, even if she doesn't pass the first time. She does much better with the greetings if I hold a hand cue for "stay" - she gets wiggly but keeps her feet down, at least in class - so there IS hope. I was just feeling down about it because of the last several days of stressing over my cousin's dog. Also, as soon as we got into the building for our class yesterday, I was taking my coat off (had dropped and stepped on the leash to do so) and a lady approached us while I was doing so - beelined for us, actually, with her dog... that barked and charged my dog, who barked and charged back. No harm was done - it actually looked like they just wanted to play (tails wagging). It was just a little chaos and I was kind of pissed that she couldn't wait 30 seconds for me to remove my coat and move to a different part of the room before bringing her dog so close.
 

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Good grief. If that's the sort of situation you are worried about don't. Very few young dogs can be calm when they are getting charged by rude dogs and native handlers! I dream of such a dog, a peace maker that can defuse any situation..........

If she fails the test how soon can you retake it? This isn't pass or fail forever. Could consider it a pretest even.
 
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