Right now, our dog Samson is approx. 19 weeks old. It’s a mixture of Great Dane, Presa Canario, Cane Corso and Old English Mastiff (in decreasing order), by the way. It’s a project, to get the Great Dane smaller, healthier, more agile and gifted with a better life expectance. They try to breed the Great Dane back to the old Medieval functional dog types. Saupacker were meant to apprehend the boar and keep it down, until the nobleman arrived to kill it. Obedience is going better, although Great Danes are not known to be the most intelligent dogs. “Sit” and “stand” were pretty easy, “go down” took a long way and lots of treats. It finally worked out, because I started praising him when doing “go down” accidentally and I took his front legs and got him in position, sometimes. Walking on a loose leash was a disaster. We were on holidays in Poland and he pulled me along the seaside boulevard like a horse. I really feared, my shoulder wouldn’t survive it and my arms would reach monkey-alike length. Also, when we visited a nearby town, he pulled on the leash like crazy. It was a real tragedy. A real gamechanger was, when I watched a video made by Robert Cabral (sorry Will!) He shows how to teach a dog how to walk on a leash, using a treat put between the middle and ring fingers, so the dog only can lick on it. From the first moment on, I tried it that way, I immediately felt, that Samson grasped the idea of walking by heel. It was as if he told me: Now, I got what you wanted all time long! Stay is still a problem. It works as long as I look to him, as soon as I turn away, he stands. Recall I even haven’t started with.
A month ago, I was at the vet and Samson got his vaccinations. At that time, he weighted 30 kilos (66 lb). So now, he’s even heavier. Sometimes, he has his stubborn moments where he doesn’t feel like obeying quickly. He has lots of time and doesn’t rush into a sit or a go down or a heel. I.e. if he sees something strange or interesting, he just keeps on staring to that point without noticing my voice. So, I bought a prong collar. I watched loads of videos by Tom Davies who shows how to work with a prong very clearly. Now, even our 6y old daughter goes for a walk with Samson (under my control, naturally) and he responds to her. Where I live, people are not predominantly in favour of the prong, but as it is rather rural, they do have a certain comprehension for it, as many of them are hunters or farmers. Regarding the e-collar, it’s legal to sell and/or buy them, but you are not allowed to put it on a dog, because that’s against the law. I’m completely fascinated by the effects I see with the prong. I use that Herm Sprenger thing. It’s just amazing and Samson likes it better day by day. In the beginning, it was a bit a fight to put that collar on, but meanwhile he accepted it. Let’s say, he and the prong will never be best friends, but somehow acquainted.
We’re so grateful that all the reasonable, balanced dog trainers on youtube and on the internet proclaim to crate dogs. We are just so grateful, we can’t stress it enough. It’s such a release to put the dog in a crate, when eating or during nighttime. Potty training has, without any lie, been that much easier with a crate, we just can’t put it in appropriate words. Also, for the children, it’s very clear, not to touch the dog when he is in the crate.