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Author Topic: Update on Sapphire  (Read 3406 times)
Good Hope
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« on: September 22, 2005, 09:37:46 PM »

As everyone who read the two threads (1 in Kuvasz Discussions and 1 in Great Pyrenees) is aware, I was very concerned about Sapphire's fearfulness last week, although I probably overreacted at first.

However, I thought you might like an update on how Sapphire is doing after one week.

I have been walking her every evening; there were only two days when almost no one was out.  I was unable to walk Sapphire on two of the mornings, but usually no one is out in the mornings anyway.  She sometimes completely panic, usually because she is afraid of someone or has seen a trash can being moved or a bicycle being ridden.  Her tail gets curled way between her legs, her ears are down and flat against her head, and she just RUNS.  There is some improvement here: she is doing this less and less, but she still gets scared.  Now, rather than run, she often starts going fast, but not running, toward home; she then pulls against the leash, and if I am already going in that direction, she pulls me along faster than I would like to go.  Except when she is scared like this, she doesn't pull, so I think of the pulling as a fear issue rather than a leash training issue.  Whenever she sees someone, she gives an alert/slightly nervous look: ears up but not fully forward, tail down.  This is distinct from her very alert/agressive look: eyes fully up and fully forward, tail held almost straight up and often waving it also.  Sometimes she barks at these people; sometimes she does nothing.  When the person approaches, however, Sapphire often backs away and barks, which I correct by a tug to prevent her pulling on the leash or sheltering behind me.  On a better note, she will allow anyone, once I get her to stand still, to hold out their hand to her; if she doesn't like them she will back away and sometimes bark.  If they persist and attempt to pet her (I allowed one man who seemed to understand the danger posed by a fearful dog to attempt petting her after she backed away from him in this manner) she gives a warning growl and would probably snap.  Otherwise, they can pet her.  She has adjusted to most of the other things she sees on walks, except cars that pass nearby.  She wants to run in the opposite direction, but I would rather it stays that way.  Wink  The last thing I want is for Sapphire, should she ever be out in the road, to think that running cars are okay.

The aggressive attitude I mentioned never comes except when someone comes into our house and she is upset and barking/growling.  After she realizes that we don't mind, which generally takes several minutes even with sharp leash corrections, she occasionally givers her alert look (without any nervousness in it) and barks some more.  So this seems to be improving, although not as fast as I would have liked.

Overall, this seems to be the case.  There is some improvement, but it is slow and will take lots of time and effort to solve.  So, I'm learning that training dogs takes time, especially when the dog doesn't have a very people-oriented, really-wants-to-please-you attitude.

As an aside, she has an ENTIRELY different attitude at Petsmart. The class we took previously did help, but it was not in the way we had hoped.  Grin  We went there this Saturday for the socialization, even though the class was cancelled for the next two weeks and we will have to cancel our enrollment in it.  Once she realized where we were, she hurried in to find the trainer and enthusiastical ly greeted everyone we saw at first with her friendly attitude.  Her ears were way back, so that you couldn't see them from the front, whole rear end wagged along with her tail, and she rushed toward people, trying to sniff them.  Once she got over that, she acted a little more wary of people, but is still far more cooperative with people, tolerating all of them unless they approach her.  There are a few people that she doesn't like and barks at when they come towards us, but she is fine with almost everyone.  She is also less nervous around dogs there, but she is quite wary enough to get away from those that growl, snap, or otherwise act aggressive.  The difference is so big it would absolutely hilarious if it weren't for the disappointment of her behavior in our neighborhood.  I still think it is a little funny. Smiley

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

I will probably post pictures of Sapphire this weekend.

Sofia
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DixieSugarBear
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2005, 09:54:14 PM »

That is great news.  I take my two to Petsmart once a week with or without a class.  They love it and it is such a great socialization tool.  We look forward to those photos. Grin

Lisa
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Lisa, owned by the following:
Sugar Bear - Great Pyrenees 4.5 yr.
Dixie Darlin - Great Pyrenees 4 yr.
Penny Lane - Great Pyrenees 2.5 yr.
Beauman - Great Pyrenees 14 months
Izzy - Great Pyrenees 14 month
Rosie - Great Pyrenees (at the bridge)
GYPSY JAZMINE
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2005, 11:20:18 PM »

By the sounds of it it should not take her long to get past her problems...Gre at news!...When sam first started to try & get over his fears he would do what I call "drive by sniffings"...lol...He'd go up behind a person & sniff them from behind...Our job was to act like nothing was going on so as to not alert the person that a very large dog was sniffing their back side...lol...W e have a whole lot less "drive bys" now & more approaching people to sniff them from the front...Keep up the good work...I think she'll be just fine!...B.t.w., there are still people Sam decided he just doesn't care to know & that is fine by me...I probably don't want to know them either! Cheesy
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kildeskennel
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2005, 06:27:56 AM »

Congratulation s on a job well done, and good luck on continuing your work with her!
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Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed.
Storm Jameson
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2005, 02:07:27 AM »

This morning I took Sapphire on her walk and there were five trashcans left on the street.  Yesterday was trash day here.  I made her walk right up to the first four and get close enought to sniff them, despite her barely controlled "panic attacks."  She did calm down for the fourth one.  So, as we approached the fifth, I decided not to make her stop by it.  Instead of pulling me to the other side of the street, she walked past acting only looking at it slightly nervously.  Then, when we had just passed it, SHE TURNED AROUND, stepped closer, sniffed at it, and then walked right over to the front and nearly touched her nose to!!!

YEAH!!!! < : )  We ought to have a confetti-throwing smiley.  I need one here.

I praised her to the skies (and that is only a slight exaggeration).

Here are the pictures.  I was going to post one from June 15th, but I'll need to use a different computer.

Sofia
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GYPSY JAZMINE
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2005, 03:14:18 AM »

It's not taking her long at all!!...Fantastic news!...I'm very interested in Sapphire's progress because I had the same kind of issues with Samson...It is wonderful to see them becoming more confidant!!...& those are some great pics!...Gorgeous!!
« Last Edit: September 24, 2005, 03:27:04 AM by GYPSY JAZMINE » Logged
kildeskennel
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2005, 03:23:42 AM »

BEAUTIFUL pic's!  Is that your sister?  SHe is a beautiful girl too!  I am so happy she is doing better! Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Grin Grin Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed.
Storm Jameson
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