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Progress for Cody now 2 years old

Discussion in 'Behavior' started by unimog, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. unimog

    unimog Forums Regular

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    We got Cody at 8 weeks old and he went through many of the behavioral issues that is talked about on this forum such as spinning, chasing anything, fearful of strangers and noises, fearful of public places and very difficult to have him walk on a leach in a certain direction. He also would nip heels and try to herd me constantly. Try to bite his leach to the point several had to be replaced. He wanted to be in control. Would bark constantly at anything. However for some reason he loved to drive with us in the Sprinter van in his Crate. As soon as we started to drive he would relax and go to sleep. When parked and he could hear a car close by he would bark at that but as soon as we drive he would be back to calm again.

    We live on a rural farm close to the Appalachian trail and we have a lot wildlife around that can be very distracting to a Sheltie puppy and then there are the barn cats that love to tease him no end. So lots of distractions around.

    I am 76 years old and Cody motivates me to keep up all the time. We raised 9 kids in the day so raising Cody is like another kid to raise. The next writeup I will talk about our progress with Cody to date
     
  2. unimog

    unimog Forums Regular

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    Attended a training class for basic obedience with Cody when he was 6 months old and that gave some basic ideas to help train Cody further. Other than that it is the daily interactions that help form a bond with Cody and gets his attention. He walks nicely on a leash now on my left side and follows turns and changes in pace very well. We have a very long driveway that we walk daily for about 3 miles. On the first leg he sniffs out all the wildlife that came by the night before and at the end of the driveway he sits while I cross the street to pick up the paper or mail. He is now able to sit without reacting to cars and trucks driving by on the road. May not sound like much but for Cody it is a major accomplishment. Also on the way we feed the cats at the barn and he has a platform that he sits on while I feed the cats. He knows the Place command means step up on the platform and sit. Cats will walk right in front of him and he will not move until released to go. On leash he still wants to react to the cats and we have more work to do there. He can sit on command when in front of his food bowl and not eat until he hears go.
    He obeys sit, come and down commands very nicely but we need to work on doing it with increasing levels of distractions.

    He is still scared of public parking lots with truck and car noise and going the the store is still a fearful experience for him Making small progress by finding isolated places and not so busy stores.

    He barks when he hears a car approach in the driveway and we appreciate that he is letting us know someone is here.

    He wants to be involved in all my activities and if I go outside without him he barks and jumps for quite a long time. As long as he can hear me outside he reacts to car tractor noises etc. So I usually take him with if at all possible and
    he is fine. He feels useful when I carry in firewood as long as he is with me.

    We have a large fenced area at the barn where he can run and he loves to make huge running circles around me at full speed until exhausted. Then we do retrieval of balls and frisbees which he loves.
     
  3. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    How wonderful to hear of all the progress Cody has made! I can understand how difficult it can be when your Sheltie is afraid of places or noises (my 1 year old doesn't like strangers, he's a barker, hates to be picked up or put on a table but is getting better) and how much of an accomplishment it is when they start to gain the confidence they need! You've done an amazing job getting him to where he is now and I'm sure made Cody a much happier dog!
     
    KarenCurtis, Jams and ghggp like this.
  4. unimog

    unimog Forums Regular

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    I am not sure how much credit I can take for Cody doing much better. It seems like all of the sudden he grew up and started to listen and accept guidance and commands. For almost two years we were wondering if he would ever calm down and behave in acceptable ways.
    We had a Lab for many years that showed up at the door like he wanted to stay. We called animal control and they found the owner and returned him and then Jake showed up again. After a few returns the owner showed up one day and said you might as well keep him. Jake wanted to stay with us and he always did anything to please us without really trying to train him. He escaped from being chained at the owners house and he saw a good thing so he stayed
     
    Jams, ghggp and Piper's mom like this.
  5. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

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    Your patience had to be the key. I know of people who wouhave put him on meds to “calm” him. You gave him space, time and love. I wish we were neighbors! (Do you by chance live in Virginia?)
     
    Piper's mom likes this.
  6. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    As Chris said, your probably a patient person. Some people just have a way about them that helps calm a dog.
    It's so true when they say a dog will take after its owner...a neurotic person will have a neurotic dog. The time you took with Cody, patiently helping him absolutely helped him to get over his fears and created the much calmer dog you have now. My older boy Piper (going to be 4 in a month...where'd the time go?!) used to bark at everything...mailboxes, decorations, people, kids, kids on bikes...now he's just the most relaxed social butterfly! I hold a lot of hope that my 1 year old Finnie is as relaxed as Piper when he's 4.
     
    Jams likes this.
  7. unimog

    unimog Forums Regular

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    Thank you for your comments.
    Yes Cody is doing much better. Ideally we would want to be able to command Cody to sit down in any distracted situation so we can safely have him off leash. Although we have lots of land we are worried he will chase some wildlife and get lost. He will sit down when we are close by and he does not have severe distractions. Also to come on command needs to be improved. He will come when we are close by usually but to do it reliable at a distance is a whole other ball game. Getting Cody more comfortable in public places is also an area that could be improved significantly.
     
    Piper's mom likes this.
  8. KarenCurtis

    KarenCurtis Premium Member

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    Great progress!
     
  9. KarenCurtis

    KarenCurtis Premium Member

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    You have done great! What does Cody behave like in public places? Does he love certain treats you could use for rewarding calm behavior in public? I have to do this when Sandstorm walks past people on the road- he can be rude, barking, lunging a bit though it's better
     

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