This is why we do what we do!
A positive update for you all …. Long post alert
We’ve been a member for some time now. Mackie n Parker (rescued 18 months ago … that long!).
Mackie was nervous; a previous and still an occasional guarder with a high chase/prey drive (seagulls being his nemesis). I tried some of training from the guides and had some success, but couldn’t quite get him to the finish line. With guides and changing my expectations, I have successfully got him ball/toy motivated on the beach or fields but not whilst walking.
We previously posted when we successfully diverted his attention and he listened, didn’t run off down the beach to chase the seagulls. We even got him close to them with no response.
I decided to take the boys to our holiday home in Cornwall on my own. I was nervous, although I walk them everyday, but Mackie absolutely loves the beach. Parker is amazing off lead so I didn’t need to worry about him. Well, we had great success again and have built on what we’d gained … although I still had his training line on (more my reassurance having 2 dogs on my own). He played on a small cove for 40 minutes with over 30 seagulls on it. Sitting in a corner he didn’t even eye them up, lunge or attempt to run at them. We even sat there for 5 minutes taking in the view and he was very happy to sit. On other larger beaches he went to go to other dogs and I called him back and he happily returned.
I’ve been doing a swap with the ball and a treat as once he’s got it he often won’t let go or throw himself on it, so I would divert his attention, say swap, and give the treat as I’m picking up the ball/tug. So I thought I would put into practice what we’ve been doing. I was able to pick his ball up without the treat, and even though he was sat over it, there was no lunging mouthing or moving it, so I played with him doing quick turns of bringing the ball back me picking it up throwing it again
I always celebrate my successes, however minor, with him as we come from a 7 month old pup who was alpha rolled by a trainer and he trusted no one, not even us and I don’t blame him tbh. His behaviours just exploded, and we were completely overwhelmed. At times we have felt like we were not getting anywhere. There have been plenty of tears, trust me.
He’s an amazing boy. He’s lovable in his own way, and he’s very intelligent. He seems to have come on in leaps and bounds this last year, particularly since we’ve had Parker who he adores. This would not have been possible without this group who I relied on heavily to begin with, once I’d found you. I use a mix of methods, all positive force free now, as Mackie doesn’t seem to fit the ‘norm’. I’ve grown in confidence and knowledge and realise it’s not just about the training but also about how you train … a huge thank you for teaching me the patience understanding and for the encouragement to train.
Thank you to all the team. Love us