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Thread: Off-lead or Not?

  1. #11
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    I second Occy's sentiment. Your dog needs to go to obedience training. Exercise her mind. Get her manners in check before you let her fail. I would NEVER personally let my dogs offlead with dogs I didn't know and trust.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoodiesGirl View Post
    I second Occy's sentiment. Your dog needs to go to obedience training. Exercise her mind. Get her manners in check before you let her fail. I would NEVER personally let my dogs offlead with dogs I didn't know and trust.
    Thanks for your comments. I've had this little darling since she was a pup and socialised her but didn't discipline her enough. Of course, that became a problem around 7 months and I've had her at puppy class (12 weeks), obedience class (20 weeks) and obedience (11 months). She does work well but in everyday situations she's not so obliging. I'm aware that the dog isn't the problem and I am trying hard to be a good leader. Consistency is probably my problem but I will keep trying until I get it right. I don't want this poor dog to suffer because of me though and would love to get her integrated with other dogs off-lead now while she's sort of small(ish).

    I must say, from my experience at doggy classes, socialising is actually frowned upon! I thought it would be good for her too and although the actual obedience part is, the fact that she is unable to get to the other dogs frustrated her even more and has actually worsened the problem in that way. One of the instructors would say 'don't let your dogs get together, it's not playgroup', and the other instructor's (at her first obedience class) idea of dealing with her frustration was to send her away from the other dogs which totally made her freak out. Of course, I see now that I should have been very strict with her and made her sit as calmly as possible but at the time I didn't want to break her spirit. Ah, hindsight - if only I had had it then. So, as you can see I've had a bit of experience with obedience class and have been told that my dog is the dominant sort and so I conclude that it is up to me to get it right. There is such a lot of conflicting information out there that it's hard to know what is right.

    I will get together with dogs she already knows from walking at my local park. Most of the folks there are ok. It's not entirely closed-in but has river boundary a big park before the road. Playing on-lead beforehand is a great idea and I think she will follow the lead of the other dog which will be a load off my mind.
    Sorry to be so long-winded. Many thanks for your help

  3. #13
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    You need to stop thinking of your dog as a little darling - go see my "real shepherds" thread and have a look at what GSDs are capable of. Then decide if you want an untrained dog off lead. BTW sounds like youve been going to VCA obed clubs - try a companion dog school

  4. #14

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    Don't let her off lead unless you are 100% confident in what she will and won't do.

    Have you tried channelling her energy a bit more? Are you able to jog? Maybe up the exercise, get her jogging along for a little while so she's feeling more relaxed. It will have the same effect on you.

    Be her confident leader.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nattylou View Post
    Don't let her off lead unless you are 100% confident in what she will and won't do.

    Have you tried channelling her energy a bit more? Are you able to jog? Maybe up the exercise, get her jogging along for a little while so she's feeling more relaxed. It will have the same effect on you.

    Be her confident leader.
    Thank you. I would dearly like to be 100% confident in what she will do when off-lead. I reckon I should be able to call her off chasing a bird (for example) and if I can't then she shouldn't be off-lead. We let her off-lead on a 'deserted' beach once and she baled-up a surfer trying to leave the water. She's had a bit of training since then but no off-lead work. It's so difficult to know what she's like off-lead when you can't actually practice off-lead. It's a real dilemma for me at the moment for I can see a crossroads between puppy and adult and I so don't want her going into adulthood without having socialised enough. I'm going to step-up and be a better leader, demand more obedience from her in all situations and take it from there.

  6. #16
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    Sorry I didnt read all the replies so I am sorry if this has already been said BUT I would try and socialise your dog in your own yard to start off with.

    Try and find a friend that has a really easy natured dog.

    The thing with letting a dog off leash is it needs to be able to respond to your basic commands, so even if they are friendly they can get over excited and accidents happen. In your case, even with a muzzle I woudlnt be confident in doing that at all.

    Goodluck.

  7. #17
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    I've sent you a PM Bex

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamingoflove View Post
    Sorry I didnt read all the replies so I am sorry if this has already been said BUT I would try and socialise your dog in your own yard to start off with.

    Try and find a friend that has a really easy natured dog.

    The thing with letting a dog off leash is it needs to be able to respond to your basic commands, so even if they are friendly they can get over excited and accidents happen. In your case, even with a muzzle I woudlnt be confident in doing that at all.

    Goodluck.
    i have to say that i disagree strongly with this advice.

    dog park is neutral territory.

    your own back yard, especially with a GSD, will probably see her get defensive at the "invader".

    maybe find a fully enclosed dog park?

  9. #19
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    All of my dogs have been soclialised first and foremost in their own backyard.

    I have never encountered any problems, however I am a confident dog person and dont get nervous so I have always had control over the situation.

    These are my personal experiences, I am not a qualified trainer.

  10. #20

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    the breed of dog or age the dog was socialised at may have something to do with it tho dreaming? i don't know what you have sorry. I'm going off my own experiences, both with the protective nature of the two GSD's i've had, and a friends dog who is wonderful at the dog park, but down right vicious towards other dogs (even those he knows) in his own yard.

    I think alot of dog owners stress far too much about dog-dog interaction personally. in the years i've been taking my mutts to the dog parks, i've rarely seen any more than a growl, and the few times teeth have come out, it's resulted in one dog being submissive, and the fight stopping. remember, these animals have it coded into them the way pack heirachy is worked out. they respond far better than we do to the other dogs body language (i notice this especially with Zeus, as i know how he tenses up when he's getting annoyed, if he's having an "old grumpy man" day, most dogs pick up on it and know not to push him).

    and then there's the case of how unlikely scuffles are to turn into blood baths. i mean Keesha (my malamute) is a dominant dog, and will never shy away from a scuffle for dominance, especially with other mal's. her "boyfriend" and her will wrestle for hours without either one getting a scratch. fights to the death are much rarer than most believe (and considering people who bother to socialise/walk their dogs are probably not the owners of such viscious dogs... you should be right).

    it may be a generalist comment, but i would say all the horror stories of Mr tuff guys rotti destroying old Mrs rose's maltese are probably the result of an abused dog. same as most people attacks.

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