My husband has an almost-5-year old GSD. When I first came into the picture, I was told, along with the kids, to NOT give ANY commands to the dog, unless I was home alone and was asking him to go lie down. This has since gone away completely, and now the kids think it's their job to untrain this dog. When I or hubby tell the dog to go lie down, he goes to the kids for pets and lovin' because that's totally acceptable -sarcasm- and the kids aren't corrected or asked to stop, unless I ask (and then I'M the one who gets corrected).
Anyway. Bullet stays outside on a chain while we're at work (he will dig out of a kennel) and once we're home, he comes inside. I make him sit and stay while I take him off the chain and make him focus on me for a varied amount of time (some days I just want eye contact, some days I make him wait a few seconds), and if he anticipates and tries to go before I release him, I ask him to lie down and wait until I'm satisfied (no more than around 30 seconds). He will then wait for the 'ok' command to go. I have also been working with him on walking nicely next to me off leash (I should probably do this on leash first, yes?) until we get to the door, and then he waits for the 'ok' to go inside.
I use the same commands hubby used when training the dog, but I'm around more. Is it ok to 'retrain' the dog to follow commands the first time, instead of having to ask continually? Would it do any good to start him as if a puppy with focusing on his handler (me or hubby) while walking, like you see in Schutzhund? Can anyone give me any pointers on getting him to follow commands (when the kids aren't around to untrain him?)
Is there any harm in continuing to work him and get him to be a better, more obedient dog?
Male GSD 6/19/09
Domestic Medium Hair 8/01/10