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Thread: GSD Problems

  1. #1

    Default GSD Problems

    We're having some training problems with our German Shepherd. She is 20 months old, went to puppy preschool and started dog obedience school but we had to pull out due to health reasons. We want to start her back up but can't get her back into the school until January next year.
    She will listen to my husband (most of the time) but not me.
    She barks alot usually at people walking past or neighbours across the road.
    I also cannot walk her myself as she just drags me! Even on a check chain (she also pulls when my husband is walking her).
    She is very smart and so gets bored easily, even when we give her new toys and kongs, etc.
    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Re: pulling, have you tried a front attach harness? If you use it properly it stops the dog from pulling by using their own action to turn them around towards you. Had great results with my dog, but he's no GSD! But he barely responded at all to a check chain.

    Gentle leader make one called an easy walk harness, or there are the Sensible and Sensation harnesses - if you PM Devil's Advocate I know she had one going cheap recently, she also has GSDs so the size would be similar.

    Barking at passers-by is pretty standard behaviour, does she bark from the front fence or further in the yard? Any chance of keeping her away from the street so she can't see people passing?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by coliek View Post
    We're having some training problems with our German Shepherd. She is 20 months old, went to puppy preschool and started dog obedience school but we had to pull out due to health reasons. We want to start her back up but can't get her back into the school until January next year.
    There are some things you can do at home...

    She will listen to my husband (most of the time) but not me.
    This could have a lot to do with how your dog percieves the pecking order. She may not see you as a top dog and therefore would not have a reason to listen to you. To re-establish control over your dog it is a good idea to just do some basic exercises. Start with food time. When you get her food make her sit quietly before you feed her. When she is calm put the bowl down and tell her she can eat.
    Do not give her commands that you can not enforce. If you want to practice your command, put her on the lead before you do it. This gives you control. If you tell her to do something without that control it is then her choice to do it or not, which just lets her know that she can ignore you without consequence.

    She barks alot usually at people walking past or neighbours across the road.
    Like meegs said this is a very normal reaction for any dog. BUT it can be made worse if the dog is borred and if your dog does not get out she will be borred. No matter how many toys you give her it is still the same thing every day. Consider if you were in her possition. Kept in the same space 24/7 with the same toys and the only thing that changed was the people walking past, that would soon be the centre of your entertainment wouldnt it?
    A good way to cut down on the barking is to try to block her line of sight to the footpath. If she can not see them she will not feel sach a huge need to bark. To keep her interested in something else you could try swapping her toys around, make them seem new every few days, get a bubble machine and some animal friendly bubbles and put that out for her every so often, spend a lot of time out there with her just throwing the toys and playing. BUT this MUST be acompanied with exercise, a lot of exercise. GSD's are working dogs they need to get out and about.

    I also cannot walk her myself as she just drags me! Even on a check chain (she also pulls when my husband is walking her).
    First and formost: Do not continue to use the check chain. If she is just pulling against it then it is doing more harm than good, it is infact desensiting her to being corrected through checking. meegs sugestion of a front lead harnes is a good idea. You could also try using a Halti, you just have to be careful of your checking motion when you use them as if used incorectly they can cause some neck and nose damage.
    No mater what you use to walk her on, the moment she starts to pull you along, stop. Dog not let her go any further until she comes back to you. If she is pulling you over spread your feet to shoulder didtance, bend you knees and hold onto the lead with both hands. This stance should help with your ballance. When she stops pulling you can continue walking, if she pulls, stop. Keep doing this. It may take a while but you said she is a smart dog and she should soon see that the best way to get out and about is to walk quietly beside you. This will need a lot of time and effort on your behalf. You have to be consistant, and although it may take you an hour to get around the block it will be worth it in the long run.

    If you need me to clarify anything I have said just let me know. Good luck!

    Breeding, Showing, Training and general crazy making!!!
    If you seek understanding listen to the music, not the song.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashaari View Post
    Dog not let her go any further until she comes back to you.
    Freudian slip Ashaari?

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    Quote Originally Posted by meegsndogs View Post
    Freudian slip Ashaari?
    ooops lol
    Last edited by Ashaari; 05-28-2010 at 04:49 PM.

    Breeding, Showing, Training and general crazy making!!!
    If you seek understanding listen to the music, not the song.

  6. #6
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    What about a different obedience club?

    Mine does not have strange restrictions like that.

    And yes a front attach harness should help stop the pulling and give you more power on the walk. I use a "sensible" harness with Frosty. The difference is miraculous from two hands and all my body weight to hold her back, to two fingers and normal walking, but it doesn't work on every dog.

    You need to train her when it's ok to bark at people eg when they come in the gate, and when it's not, ie they're just walking past. It's not a good idea to have a dog in the front yard, so that people have to get past the dog to ring your door bell. It might be ok if you have an intercom on the gate but doesn't go down too well with meter readers or law enforcement or emergency workers.

  7. #7

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    we have a front attach harness and I love it! its really helped.
    The best thing I ever did was invest 1 day in fixing the pulling.
    - took entire dog breakfast in my pocket (dry food)
    - put dog on leash (yuk to choke chains though)
    - take 1 step
    - as soon as dog pulls stop. Dont say anything/do anything- just refuse to move
    - dog will pull/jump/play up, just continue to do nothing.
    - finally (eventually- might take 10 plus mins) dog will stop pulling and sit. AS SOON as this happens give a reward of a piece of kibble and lots of praise.
    - Take another step- follow same pattern.

    took us 3 hrs to go 100meters, however problem was pretty muched solved. If dog wants to move forward he must keep the leash slack and walk with you. As soon as the leash goes tight- just stop. Reward all good behaviour.
    Took about 6 weeks for the dog to start getting bowl fed- before that ALL food was rewards for good behaviour. Really wked.

  8. #8
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    I have a 7 month old GSD boy.
    I belong to the Vic GSD club, where we meet lots of other GSD's of all ages, there are a lot of 'pullers' when they arrive at the club with their new owners.
    These are working dogs. They need to be worked. I chose the word work over walk, as i mean, they need mentally to work, not just walk. or you get 'issues'.
    So give him something to do. LIst of bernie's jobs at bottom.
    I have 'jobs' for Bernie to do.
    I seriously cannot recommend Triangle of Temptation enough to you. Its on this web site, do a search for it. And get cracking. Your dog will learn this in 2 days. That is ALL it takes, to establish yourself as higher in the pecking order than he is.
    And then read, nothing in life is for free, and ensure every single member in the family reads it too, and sticks by it.
    Then, as 2 of the GSD trainer people told me, this is not a lap dog, stop asking him nicely "if you wouldnt mind Bernie, can you walk next to me please". And try, OI, HERE, NOW!" rude, attitude, And make him. Make him do everything you want him to. Do not accept no for an answer, about anything.
    So with a mentally tired dog. And one that has had a good run off lead. Bring him home, stick him in the garden, on the leash, and walk him healing. He gets lots of praise for doing it right, and immediate correction for not.
    This worked for me, once we had short bursts of Healing, in garden for me, we then extended to the drive.
    Now, he doesnt pull. Takes time, but you'll get there.
    Barking at others. Id assume, he's got crap manners, coz he doesnt know how not to. You teach him, that this person coming toward you, is cool, say hi to the person, ask your dog to come greet the person, you display, this person is ok, give the person a treat to give your dog. The aim being, for this interaction to be a positive one. The dog remembers by association, new person, may have a treat for me, lets go see?
    Try to remember your typical session at dog training. And repeat it at home, every day, till January.
    Seriously, this dog sounds bored and mischievious, and trying it on with you. Dont tolerate it. Put it back in its place, the dog will be happier, knowing others have its back covered.
    JOBS for GSD's.
    Fetch the frisbe.
    Find me car keys/your small ball, a rag etc, hidden in increasingly harder places to find.
    IN abandoned kids adventure play grounds, show him the course you want him to follow, then race him around it. Against the clock, for a crappy dog biscuit at the end.
    Put my sock under a upside down plate so he cannot see it, put several other plates down, only one has the sock, find the sock.
    Where is your lead?
    Bring me your......
    blow up a balloon, teach him to fetch it without bursting it. Mine grabs it so gently by the tied end, so as not to burst it.
    Tug of war.
    follow me on a bike.
    Get in the lake, fetch this piece of stick and bring it back.
    Get in the river, and swim along side me walking on the bank, till i let you out in 10 mins, knackered.

    I love shepherds, but they do vie for leadership when they think they can. IF i feel lousy on a day, i know, Bernie will use that to his advantage and play up. IF ive not walked the dog, he's a plonker and really badly behaved. That, is my fault.
    Good luck

  9. #9
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    Default Barking at neighbors

    Quote Originally Posted by coliek View Post
    We're having some training problems with our German Shepherd. She is 20 months old, went to puppy preschool and started dog obedience school but we had to pull out due to health reasons. We want to start her back up but can't get her back into the school until January next year.
    She will listen to my husband (most of the time) but not me.
    She barks alot usually at people walking past or neighbours across the road.
    I also cannot walk her myself as she just drags me! Even on a check chain (she also pulls when my husband is walking her).
    She is very smart and so gets bored easily, even when we give her new toys and kongs, etc.
    Any ideas?
    Hi Coliek.

    I have some thoughts about barking at neighbors.

    Your GSD is doing what comes natural to her. It's your job to teach her what you want from her. Our natural inclination is to punish the barking behavior, but that is not the best path. What exactly do you want her to do, when neighbors are active across the street?

    I like dogs to bark 2 or 3 times, then disengage and come find me. This is what I'll discuss in this message. I call this polite watchdog. It's impossible to teach her polite watchdog if you are not outside when she barks. If she is barking non stop at everything that moves, you'll need to kindly prevent her from practicing such skills. Move her inside or to another area. You do not want her to practice unwanted behaviors!

    Go outside with her. Wait until she barks 2 or 3 times. Be consistent - always do this after 2 or 3 barks, and one day it will become her automatic habit.

    As soon as she barks, tell her "neighbor, that's neighbor", and immediately command her to nose bump your hand target, then ask for sit, down, place, or whatever she can do. This tells her that you see the neighbors, and you are not concerned, and she should defer to you. In addition, the target gives her a very specific place to be and a very specific behavior to perform. Using a recall command without a target would take much longer for success.

    At first, your hand target will be only a few inches from her muzzle. As she begins to catch on, move farther and farther away from her.

    If she refuses to bump your target, do as another poster suggested. Block her line of sight with your body, and herd her away from the gate. (For some reason GSDs understand body blocks and herding). Say nothing - just let your body blocks tell her that this is your space and she should defer to you.

    Practice this sequence every day, and kindly prevent her from practicing naughty non-stop barking, and over time, she will bark 2 or 3 times and then come find you.

    Others' comments about meeting her physical needs, and NILIF are very important. And of course, you'll need her to cooperate with simple commands. Obedience training teaches dogs much more than heel, sit, stay. It fosters cooperation.

    EDIT: IT will be difficult to teach this in real time - for your neighbors might not be active when you are ready to hold class. You'll need to set up practice sessions with your neighbors, so you can repeat the teaching sequence several times in several short periods. Ask your neighbors to help, but don't do as I did once. I paid a 13 year old kid $10 to pass by a client's gate over and over on his skateboard. His parents were quite suspicious and came over to check us out!

    Also, if you need any instructions about target training, ask your trainer or visit dogand.com and select obedience training, basic commands, and read the post about the two-finger target.

    Happy Training!

    This dog is outofhere, catchyalater dogs
    Alan J Turner - How's Bentley - Memphis TN USA
    Last edited by Dogand; 06-21-2010 at 11:30 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Loose lead standing

    Quote Originally Posted by coliek View Post
    We're having some training problems with our German Shepherd. She is 20 months old, went to puppy preschool and started dog obedience school but we had to pull out due to health reasons. We want to start her back up but can't get her back into the school until January next year.
    She will listen to my husband (most of the time) but not me.
    She barks alot usually at people walking past or neighbours across the road.
    I also cannot walk her myself as she just drags me! Even on a check chain (she also pulls when my husband is walking her).
    She is very smart and so gets bored easily, even when we give her new toys and kongs, etc.
    Any ideas?
    Hi again.

    I like all the suggestions you've received about equipment and walking! I have some additional thoughts.

    Canny Collar works well for some
    dog-owner teams.

    Teach loose lead standing- before you teach loose lead walking. If your girl is pulling when you are standing still, she will most certainly pull when you begin to move.

    Happy Training!

    This dog is outofhere- catchyalater dogs
    Alan J Turner - How's Bentley - Memphis TN

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