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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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engagement

Please post engagement articles and thoughts in this thread. Here's an interesting article I just found:

https://www.collared-scholar.com/are...sing-the-mark/
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 05:20 PM
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Please post engagement articles and thoughts in this thread. Here's an interesting article I just found:

https://www.collared-scholar.com/are...sing-the-mark/
Yes, yes, YES!!! She said it SOOOO much better than I did, but YES!

And THIS is why it was worth it to me to take almost two years out of Kodi's career to work on this. Sometimes I think I make it sound like we hit a wall or something, and things were going terribly wrong with Kodi. And that's not it at all. I was becoming a better trainer, and I wanted MORE. And BETTER. Based on relationship. We COULD have continued, and we COULD have gotten Q's. But I didn't want "just Q's". I wanted THIS. Total buy-in from my partner!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 01:15 AM
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What a timely post. I was just about to send PMs to the above two posters about this exact subject. I seem to have hit a wall with Skye. Yes, his loose leash walking is getting better, his recall is getting better, stay, wait, place are all getting better. All of our training objectives are getting better. But it seems like our progress is so very, very slow. I feel the lack of "engagement" if that is the term I have been looking for. We just haven't made the transition from working for treats to working for his enjoyment or working as part of our relationship.

I have had a wonderful working and loving relationship with a canine companion before. I have had a lot of discussions with my best friend about this. He'll ask how things are going with Skye. I tell him how slowly I think things are going and he says "You have to remember Sam (our last dog) was a very special dog. Just keep training every day and you'll get there." But I am at a loss on how to progress. I don't think I am doing much different than I did with Sam. Positive reenforcement. I try to keep him mentally and physically active. We play fetch and tug. No punishment. The only thing I have done differently is getting him out socializing more and enrolling in puppy training classes.

The only thing to add is Skye seems to prefer females. Quite the opposite from Sam who tolerated females but really preferred the company of men. He loved both of us but he was "my dog". My wife was not totally sold on the idea of another dog, but Skye has turned into "her" dog. She works just down the street from our house and today popped home for just a second to drop off some paperwork. My goodness, the pitiful wailing when she left without cuddling him was heartbreaking.

So, Karen and ShamaMama, how do I start to build a real relationship? Courses from Fenzi? I'm totally at a loss and don't know what to do.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 12:54 AM
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What a timely post. I was just about to send PMs to the above two posters about this exact subject. I seem to have hit a wall with Skye. Yes, his loose leash walking is getting better, his recall is getting better, stay, wait, place are all getting better. All of our training objectives are getting better. But it seems like our progress is so very, very slow. I feel the lack of "engagement" if that is the term I have been looking for. We just haven't made the transition from working for treats to working for his enjoyment or working as part of our relationship.

I have had a wonderful working and loving relationship with a canine companion before. I have had a lot of discussions with my best friend about this. He'll ask how things are going with Skye. I tell him how slowly I think things are going and he says "You have to remember Sam (our last dog) was a very special dog. Just keep training every day and you'll get there." But I am at a loss on how to progress. I don't think I am doing much different than I did with Sam. Positive reenforcement. I try to keep him mentally and physically active. We play fetch and tug. No punishment. The only thing I have done differently is getting him out socializing more and enrolling in puppy training classes.

The only thing to add is Skye seems to prefer females. Quite the opposite from Sam who tolerated females but really preferred the company of men. He loved both of us but he was "my dog". My wife was not totally sold on the idea of another dog, but Skye has turned into "her" dog. She works just down the street from our house and today popped home for just a second to drop off some paperwork. My goodness, the pitiful wailing when she left without cuddling him was heartbreaking.

So, Karen and ShamaMama, how do I start to build a real relationship? Courses from Fenzi? I'm totally at a loss and don't know what to do.
I thin k the first thing to remember is that no two dogs are ever going to be the same and the relationships are going to develop differently and over different periods of time. You can't force them. So be patient. You didn't say how old Skye is, but one thing to remember is to really appreciate and enjoy the journey.

I can't tell you how important the concepts I learned in Denise's Engagement class were to me, and my training, with all my dogs. That, and CONTINUING to honor that relationship, above everything else. That doesn't mean letting them walk all over me. They are still expected to have proper "house manners". But when it comes to performance/sport training, that is something they do for ME. and they have to enjoy it as much as I do. So I make darned sure that they understand it well enough and think the game is fun enough that they WANT to play it with me.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 01:20 AM
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I think the first thing to remember is that no two dogs are ever going to be the same and the relationships are going to develop differently and over different periods of time. You can't force them. So be patient. You didn't say how old Skye is, but one thing to remember is to really appreciate and enjoy the journey.
I have that concept firmly burned into my brain. We were dogless for over four years after we had to put Sammy down. The main reason was I was questioning if I could be fair with another puppy, or if I would be constantly comparing him to Sam. I had to truthfully answer that question for myself before we made the decision to get Skye.

Skye is 7 mo. old today. After I posted my ask for help I looked at where we had come from. The first behaviors he learned at 13 or 14 weeks old are solid. For "Down" he body slams himself onto the floor looking at me. "Sit" is so fast and hard that sometimes I think he is going to suction cup his butt to the floor, again looking at me. An enthusiastic "Yes" from me seems to be as satisfying to him as a treat. Even the act of doing the behavior seems to please him. Then I got to thinking. When he learned those I was down on my knees. At his level. The light bulb came on. So the past couple of days I have been spending a lot of down where he lives. Kneeling or sitting on the floor to play fetch. Sitting or kneeling to play tug. Just rolling around on the floor with him. I can see and feel the difference in his attitude. When we have been in the back yard to potty, play, or train he comes right inside with me without having to call him. I see him looking at my eyes a lot more. Just a lot of little signs that we are building a mutually satisfying relationship.

Now I know that we can't do most things with me on my knees. But if spending some time at ground level with him helps to build trust and a relationship I'm more than happy to do it.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 11:51 PM
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I have that concept firmly burned into my brain. We were dogless for over four years after we had to put Sammy down. The main reason was I was questioning if I could be fair with another puppy, or if I would be constantly comparing him to Sam. I had to truthfully answer that question for myself before we made the decision to get Skye.

Skye is 7 mo. old today. After I posted my ask for help I looked at where we had come from. The first behaviors he learned at 13 or 14 weeks old are solid. For "Down" he body slams himself onto the floor looking at me. "Sit" is so fast and hard that sometimes I think he is going to suction cup his butt to the floor, again looking at me. An enthusiastic "Yes" from me seems to be as satisfying to him as a treat. Even the act of doing the behavior seems to please him. Then I got to thinking. When he learned those I was down on my knees. At his level. The light bulb came on. So the past couple of days I have been spending a lot of down where he lives. Kneeling or sitting on the floor to play fetch. Sitting or kneeling to play tug. Just rolling around on the floor with him. I can see and feel the difference in his attitude. When we have been in the back yard to potty, play, or train he comes right inside with me without having to call him. I see him looking at my eyes a lot more. Just a lot of little signs that we are building a mutually satisfying relationship.

Now I know that we can't do most things with me on my knees. But if spending some time at ground level with him helps to build trust and a relationship I'm more than happy to do it.
I can relate to this. Perry's sit and down are so much more solid when I'm sitting on the couch and he's on the couch beside me or when I bend down . We also play a lot of fetch with me sitting on the ground or on the couch. We really need to work on it all with me standing fully upright
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Karen, Melissa, and Alan for your posts. Shama is VERY INTO my DH who never grooms her and who almost never trains her. He is just fun, fun, fun! (He also lets her kiss him on the mouth!) I'm pretty sure Shama associates my lap with grooming and therefore never comes to my lap. Now that she's almost four, she will occasionally sit on DH's lap. I think you're onto something with the getting down on the floor, Alan. I found some free engagement exercises online last summer. (I am a teacher so have a lot more free time in the summer.) I'll try to find them again and put the link in this thread. There must also be kikopup videos, I would imagine. As far as the wailing goes, there is a lot of information in the forum about separation anxiety. Shama doesn't make any noise when we leave/return, when our exchange student leaves/returns, or when our dog walker leaves/returns. We worked hard to prevent separation anxiety from being an issue. (See other threads/posts.) More later. Finally nice enough weather to mow my lawn for the first time this spring.

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