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Old 11-17-2012, 02:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the help - I'm glad I asked here.

I should add that at first my condition was pretty bad. He had about a month of just being inside and going out to potty. My interactions with him were pretty limited for a while.

It became clear before my injury that he needed to burn off lots of calories. His fetch ball still is on the refrigerator - I think I'm about ready to give that a go.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Good luck - and I'm sure things will get much better once he's back to the regular exercise. Honestly, I can't think of many things worse than a bored GSD, lol.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I like the Place idea, for when your DW enters the room, if that's a concern. It's a very easy thing to teach, if he's food motivated. . . .
Yes, he's a food freak. Carrots I think are his favorite - he likes the crunch.

He gets carrot pieces now as rewards for good behavior. I'll see if I can use that to help the wife situation.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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From all that you've said, I really can't see the wife situation being a problem. I know, I'm not there to see everything, but if you were laid up for all that time after the accident, your DW would have been doing everything for your dog, right? That would have formed a bond, even if there was not much of one there beforehand.

Carrots are great, but sometimes you'll get better (faster, lol) results by upping the ante. And if it's something that he only gets at certain times, he'll make that connection and you can use that in your favor.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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if you were laid up for all that time after the accident, your DW would have been doing everything for your dog, right? . . .
He was more or less on his own for a month or so.

I have an office next to my house, and he stays with me. While I was in the hospital my dog was in his kennel except to go potty. After that there was a lot of effort going into my care in addition to her doing both of our household duties and working too, so the dog was a distant priority.

He's a pretty high-octane dog to begin with, and is at a high input stage of development right now.

I think that neglecting that kind of dog at that stage in life is asking for trouble, and that's what happened. I learned a lot handling my first GSD, also a working line dog, but this guy is more than I have ever had to deal with.

Thankfully I am to the point of getting back to real management. My big problem is I don't have the level of knowledge I need.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Ok, I'm sorry that I was jumping to conclusions. Being neglected like that definitely didn't do any of you any favors. If you think you're in over your head, maybe you can find a good GSD-savvy trainer to give you a hand with things? Internet advice can only be worth so much, lol. But firm, fair, consistant rules should go a long ways. I'd stop all the confrontation. I know you've stopped the muzzle holding, but even the looming over him isn't what I'd consider communicating any kind of correction, just possibly antagonizing him.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:28 PM   #17 (permalink)
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for another mind game if his kibble is small enough get a buster cube

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...94&cagpspn=pla


and feed his meals in that,he has to figure out how to get the kibble out and that will work his mind (noisy unfortunately on hardwood or non carpeted floors lol) but it will keep his mind busy trying to figure out how to get his meal out of it... and since you are recouperating, you could train him to be sort of a service dog- teach him to fetch your shoes, paper, turn on /off lights etc.... that will work his mind too and you dont have to worry about you walking longer then you can...
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:22 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Ok, I'm sorry that I was jumping to conclusions. . . .
No problem. This kind of thing is difficult to describe accurately online, and I am sure there are body language-type things I am not getting right too.

When I say "over my head" I mean that I don't presently have the knowledge to handle this right, not that I will not be able to. I just need to learn more.

When I was training my first GSD (also my first dog) it became clear that a major part of training, maybe even the biggest part, was me figuring out the process. My dog was far better at inter-species communication than I was.

That was an eye-opener for me then, and has been the way I have looked at dog handling ever since: it is mostly a matter of the human learning to effectively communicate with the animal, both sending and receiving.
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