Ah. I reckon this is where owners of food motivated dogs have it easier. (I first wrote "food motivated dog owners" but that sounded wrong, lol) But others may disagree with me on that.
Do you use a clicker or marker word?
I agree that once she gets to that state it is probably futile to try get through to her. My dog does that to me sometimes and I might as well not exist then. I think Hyacinth's idea is good - get her out of that "danger zone" until you can get some focus again and then gradually move closer again, rewarding for calm and focus as you go.
Another thing you might try - no idea if that would work in a case like this - is time-out? I stated using it with Banjo to stop her greeting visitors at the door with way too much youthful exuberance. And she gets it fairly quickly. I just keep putting her in the laundry every time she jumps up on a visitor. Only for a minute or even less. Then let her out again but as soon as she jumps or bites, I put her back in the laundry.
As per usual I agree with Hya on a lot of things.
There are some things i do at home...i have four big dogs. i have taught mine "place".......place is a place (anywhere, I just point) where they have to stay, no matter what. I train this with a clicker, but there are many different ways to teach this........Also grabbing the collar can often lead to "lead aggression" ( it gives the dog confidence), I know that you had to do it, but sometimes if you know someone is worried about dogs, you need to manage the situation and remove the dog, before the person comes in. As you said the dog was much calmer when it came in later. this was most likely, because it had like a time-out.
It is extremely difficult to deal with young unreliable dogs and nervous worried people. The two do not mix.........If you want to train through this, you need to maybe ask the help of people who are confident with your dog. When they come, you go to the gate when your dog barks..........I say thank you, shush and tell the dog place and let he person in. It is very important for you to be comfortable and confident.
The early training is place and from there you go to the gate and people. I would also take your dog out in more socail environments away from home. Where he can meet a lot of people whilst doing Obedience training with you. It is important to keep dogs meeting lots of people if you want them to be social.
Besides "place", I also train "shush".....I have taught my dogs to bark and shush on command. Ian Dunbar has some lovely methods on this. Dog is barking.......interrupt with something the dog likes, ball for you, and say good shush.....give the reward after longer and longer quiet's and say "good shush", reward. I agree, treats are much easier. I love my treat mad dogs for training new things, but you will have to improvise
Pets are forever
welcome to maturity in the GSD. It's a guarding breed and she's doing what comes naturally particularly since she's used to patrolling the perimeter. Your friends fear reaction would have kept the ball rolling when it came to her guarding as well. You have missed the mark in controlling her, she's now thinking this behavior is acceptable and her maturity is kicking it up a notch.
Time to start teaching a command like LEAVE. My dogs have a command in Serbian which is to shut down their barking/protection and go about their business, I'm handling it, thank you for your input lol.
What state are you in? I think a session with a good working dog training is required to help get control over her. Meanwhile, when the doorbell rings, get her to go straight to her crate/bed and don't let her be first to the door/gate. That is only going to encourage her guarding instinct further. I am a little loath to give you advice over the internet simply because I cannot see the dog and her behavior fully enough. She's not aggressive, just doing her job
Thanks everyone for all your replies. I do clicker train her and use a leave it command along with a on your mat command (she has a specific mat out the front). Also, I am familiar with the guarding instinct of the breed but have previously been successful in controlling the patrolling behaviour at the fence
My problem with this particular GSD is that she is trained and I guess I should say was responding every single time until about 2 months ago. Its like all of a sudden a switch has been turned on and now she only responds (at the gate) 85% of the time. Most of the time she still listens but then every now and then its like crazy dog is back and refuses to listen to anything I say or do
I should also add that anywhere else apart from the house is also fine. At the dog park she is 100% controllable, same at the park, at football games, outside the shopping centre etc.
Then I really do believe that the only adjustment you may need to make is to take it in very gradual steps. She is obviously very responsive to training and you know what you're doing, so try a few of the approaches suggested for a while and see if she 'gets it'?
It sounds like a frustrating issue, but isn't it cool how they all come with their own personalities and traits. Maybe your dog was just predestined to becoming a bit of a difficult teenager.
Also thanks Nekhbet, I'm in Sydney.
I will also definitely try your suggestion too of putting her in her crate when the doorbell rings. Its just so frustrating! Everything else she will 'leave' it, but not this. Worst of all its not ALL the time, just select people but obviously I don't want her being a neighbourhood nuisance so I want to stop it before she gets even worse.
Hahaha!! You have hit the nail on the head with your description of a 'difficult teenager'! Sometimes I just look at her and think, can you please just CHILL OUT! She's actually extremely friendly and tame once they get in the house, its just getting there can be a bit of a rocky road :P
This is a very similar situation as what happend with Koda! and you have been given some great advise... i dont think there is much i could add to except to just stick with it, even if it seems like its not working just keep repeating what you are doing and eventually your dog should get the hang of it
hopefully you will be able to sort this out soon, i know what it is like having a dog that is agressive to visitors!
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