Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: We Have a Problem Re: Walks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    488

    Default We Have a Problem Re: Walks

    Ok so Troopa is generally well-behaved on our walks but there is a border collie that lives a few doors down from us (it's a well-trained dog) and the owner lets it off-lead out the front of their house (which has no fence) when he goes out to do yard work etc.

    We've walked passed there twice now when they've been outside and the first time the dogs barked at each other and Troopa pulled towards it, he jumped back a bit and let out a few whimpers at the end though as I was pulling him away. So that is leading me to the belief that he's doing it out of fear, please correct me if I'm wrong?

    Yesterday however, as well as the barking and pulling, Troopa actually snapped at the border collie. Didn't make contact but he definitely tried.

    On both occassions the owner has called his dog back and the BC has done returned to him.

    I've been giving a firm 'Troopa, come' and continuing to walk, pulling the lead along with me.

    So what do I do? Should I go straight to a muzzle for our walks or are there other methods I can try?


    With other dogs behind fences his ears prick up and he'll have a look but then keeps walking just fine.

    The good thing about yesterday is that halfway through our walk there was an old lady that had spotted us when we were a few houses back and waited behind her fence so she could have some contact with Troopa. He quite happily licked her hand so I was happy to see that he's friendly towards old ladies.


    I will add that I know this will stem back to him not having dog socialisation after he left his littermates. We have no puppy-preschool here and I'm now fairly terrified about starting obedience classes because I don't know how he's going to react to the other dogs and being a big dog there is strength.

    If you've read this far, thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Devonport, Tasmania
    Posts
    6,675

    Default

    Hey Megan,

    I wouldn't worry too much, because it sounds to me like Troopa has a fantastic temperament.

    That elderly lady is fantastic. Unfortunately, too many ppl shy away when they see a GSD coming, which doesn't help with human socialisation, sadly.
    Regarding humans first, are there any regular markets in your area? Or somewhere where ppl congregate in public on a regular occurance? If so, I would definately be walking Troopa as much as possible through those areas. Obviously, keep an eye on him and remember - he is in training. Don't stress though, or he will sense that, which you would know anyway. Lol. Every person he passes, he must learn to simply ignore. If someone (and hopefully there will be many) wants to say hello to him, ensure he sits politely first. Make sure he becomes calm before you allow ppl to pat him etc - that is imperative!

    Regarding the dogs, I can't comment until you tell me how many dogs Troopa has met, face to face? This BC, does it actually come out onto the footpath or what? As in, how close has this BC got that Troopa was able to snap at him/her?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    488

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Devil's Advocate View Post
    Hey Megan,

    I wouldn't worry too much, because it sounds to me like Troopa has a fantastic temperament.

    That elderly lady is fantastic. Unfortunately, too many ppl shy away when they see a GSD coming, which doesn't help with human socialisation, sadly.
    Regarding humans first, are there any regular markets in your area? Or somewhere where ppl congregate in public on a regular occurance? If so, I would definately be walking Troopa as much as possible through those areas. Obviously, keep an eye on him and remember - he is in training. Don't stress though, or he will sense that, which you would know anyway. Lol. Every person he passes, he must learn to simply ignore. If someone (and hopefully there will be many) wants to say hello to him, ensure he sits politely first. Make sure he becomes calm before you allow ppl to pat him etc - that is imperative!

    Regarding the dogs, I can't comment until you tell me how many dogs Troopa has met, face to face? This BC, does it actually come out onto the footpath or what? As in, how close has this BC got that Troopa was able to snap at him/her?

    Thanks for your response DA. I definitely learnt that if I stress, Troopa does too. Being an excitable puppy he used to try and jump up on people that we passed (of course I worry that people won't view it as a playful jump though). I began holding the leash closer to his harness when we apporached people and of course Troopa would sense the tension and think there was something to be on-guard about. So I stopped doing that and I just walk passed people normally, he still slows down to look at people with the ears pricked up but using the 'come' command he continues on normally so we're getting there with that aspect of things.
    I'll definitely get him out to areas where there are more people (clicker & treats in hand in case he gets a little crazy and I need to settle him down).

    In regards to how many dogs he's come face to face with other than his littermates the answer is one and that's the BC. The only people we really know here are my in-laws who don't have a dog.
    But, someone at my OH's work has a GSD a few months older than Troopa and I'm hoping we could organise a meeting on nuetral ground between the 2 of them if the other GS is good with other dogs.

    The BC does come down the driveway to Troopa, appears to be just sussing him out though. Troopa has been the first to bark both times.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Devonport, Tasmania
    Posts
    6,675

    Default

    Well, slowing down to look at ppl and check them out with ears pricked is nothing unusual. Quite point blank, he should be alert of every stranger he passes or sees. But try not to let him slow down - otherwise he is setting the pace, not you. Don't know what collar/leash set-up you're using for Troopa, but if he starts to slow down each time he passes/sees someone, correct him quickly and make sure he keeps his pace the same as before he saw the stranger. His pace should only slow if you do!

    Excellent and crucial part of training is that Troopa stops and sits every time you stop. As in, you are waiting at kerb to cross road, he sits when you stop. You approach a human and stop, he sits because you stop. Ruddy excellent, and I could never be without it for total control and calming ability!

    When you take him to populated places (yeah must find some ) be careful with the clicker and treats. Make sure they are given at exactly the right time, only once he has sat and is calmly awaiting attention from a stranger.

    Okay BC only dog. Oh dear. What I personally would be doing is approaching the owner of the BC (without Troopa of course ) to discuss their ability to assist you with Troopa's socialisation.
    I would be asking them to put BC on a lead, bring BC down onto footpath (NOT in BC's yard!!!) and introduce them carefully and very slowly. You will get an idea pretty quickly of how Troopa is going to react once both dog's are on nuetral territory, with owners, with leads etc.

    The BC owner may not want to help, which is fair enough, but I am hoping they will, given the circumstances. BC sounds very well trained, so the owners may be very dog-savvy and quite up to assisting Troopa with some much-needed socialisation.
    Last edited by Devil's Advocate; 04-26-2010 at 08:38 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    488

    Default

    We use a harness for Troopa, pic below:


    I use the commands 'stop' & 'go' at roads which he does really well with, I'll start taking along the clicker and treats and add a 'sit' to it starting today.

    I will also get onto talking to the BC owner. I walk passed there quiet often when I'm taking my daughter to kindy so next time I catch him out there I'll ask if he's willing to help me out.

    If we can do it, what's my game plan for if Troopa starts pulling towards him and barking?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Devonport, Tasmania
    Posts
    6,675

    Default

    Well, if he starts pulling towards other dog that's normal. He's excited.

    I guess it all depends as well on what the BC's like - it sounds well trained, so it may be highly socialised, and may just sit there ignoring Troopa's carrying on, who knows? Those are things you can discuss with the owner. If the BC is cool, calm and collected (which it sounds like it may be) then that is great for Troopa!

    Try and stay blase' yourself, but make sure you keep at a distance that Troopa can't hurt the BC. Chat to owner, , and correct Troopa every time if he lunges and carries on etc.

    Look, I could go on forever here...some dogs don't get along; some dogs don't like each other; some ppl think their dogs are acting aggressive when they are just acting like a normal dog; some ppl think their dogs are going to attack another dog when all they wanna do is meet and play; the list goes on...

    The fact that he's never been socialised with other dogs up till this stage IS a concern, so I would try and be VERY aware of his body language WITHOUT passing your feelings across to him.

    How much control do you have over him? In all honesty. You speak - he obeys 100%?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Devonport, Tasmania
    Posts
    6,675

    Default

    Megan, don't be terrified about starting obedience classes. Book him into the next course NOW!

    Bear in mind that they SHOULD be experts at dog training and behaviour management. Best thing is to talk to them about it prior to lessons starting. let them know he's had no socialisation so they can be prepared and ready to deal with any issues that come up, rather than being surprised on the spur of the moment, IYKWIM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    488

    Default

    Thanks for all this help DA. It's been such a massive learning curve getting a large breed, each time we manage to overcome one obstacle another is thrown our way. I know that Troopa and I will get through it all as I'm fully dedicated to whatever we have to do but sometimes I just feel a bit overwhelmed and can't help but wonder if I'm stuffing things up *sigh*

    How much control do I have over him? Yesterday on our walk with the BC encounter when I told him to come I had to pull him away as he didn't start walking on his own solely with the command.
    He does walk with a loose leash, he does obey the basic commands (other than yesterdays situation). So to some extent he does obey but I definitely wouldn't say 100%.

    Regarding the obedience classes, I'm sort of holding out hope that Troopa & I can meet up with the obedience instructor first off just so they can see him on his own and be fully aware of what he's like before introducing him to the rest of the class.
    And of course, you're right. I need to get onto this asap because putting it off isn't going make things better. I need to deal with it so we can get passed it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Devonport, Tasmania
    Posts
    6,675

    Default

    Well Megan, you are very aware of where things are at, and what needs to be done. To be honest, your attitude and how serious you are about dealing with it shows me that you and Troopa are a great team!

    I had a big spiel about it all, but deleted it due to realising my opinion on GSD's could be taken to be rather controversial by others.

    Just join asap, as you've said, because it's better late than never. If his temperament and disposition is what I think it is, he'll get used to other dogs quickly, Megan, and will have a total ball.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    488

    Default

    Thanks for the vote of confidence
    Feel free to pm me all about your opinion on GSD's

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •