Recently Adopted GSD-Extreme Protectiveness - Page 4 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 11-23-2012, 11:07 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Elaine View Post
I most certainly do not do any version of your shut down. I just got a new foster today and she's shockingly running around loose in the house with my dogs. I've already had her out for a car ride too. I would have had her out and about walking with my dogs and to the store for socialization, but the weather is really nasty out and will have to wait until tomorrow. I want her to meet people and learn new manners right away.
Like with any training tool there are people who are for an against. I have had two trainers recommend against. With some very valid points. Shepherds being social animals like to be with people locking them up for two weeks can be harsh punishment and cause issues. I once read an article about keeping a learning toolbox because each person an animal learn differently. So I keep the two week shut down in the back of my toolbox in case I run across a dog I need to use it on, but for the sweetheart shepherd I just adopted shutting her out for two weeks would have just crushed her.

I think the thing people need to remember is just like people not all dogs are alike. That two week shutdown from what I can find was created for the Bully breeds which have totally different personalitites than Shepherds...

I would recommend anyone having trouble with a new rescue to contact the rescue and ask for help. Many have trainers that they contact and get a more personalized response rather than well meaning but potentionally harmful recommendations picked up over the internet.

Last edited by lhczth; 11-23-2012 at 11:28 AM. Reason: Removing deleted comments from the quote
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:32 AM   #32 (permalink)
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What a nice post Shepherdmom! Hopefully it will work at keeping some of the tension out of this thread!

Hope you had a great thanksgiving!
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:54 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Well, of course you need to tailor the method to the dog.
No one is suggesting this is done with all dogs, especially those that are fine from the get go. It may be just the thing, however, for a stressed, overstimulated new dog that is acting up.
No tool works on everything, and no one is suggesting that it does. I think all recommendations here come with a big YMMV.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:15 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Shepherds being social animals like to be with people locking them up for two weeks can be harsh punishment and cause issues.
If anyone bothered to read the "shut down" they'd realize you don't lock the dog away for two weeks. That's the whole POINT.

It's really a huge misunderstanding of the tool. And anyone who knows pit bulls knows they are bigger love sponges than GSDs, oftentimes, especially a new dog to your home.
Before making such statements as "lock away the dog", please read through the articles.

You'll be surprised that you spend A LOT of 1:1 time with the dog when you do.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:20 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Hi Rebecca,

I am not an expert, and I am very new to this forum and to owning a dog. However I would like to offer some advice, please know that my intentions are good and I want what is best for both your family and the dog.

First of all I would like you to imagine what life is like for your dog, put yourself in his shoes. Imagine you have been passed from pillar to post in your 4 short years, never having a truly loving home. Then one day, you are introduced to a family who are very loving and give you the best home you could wish for. The next day, strangers come to your home, the other dogs are going crazy, you dont have a clue whether this is a threat to your new family, a threat to you, or someone trying to take over your territory. you also dont know if it is simply friends or family of your new owners.

German shepherds are known for their loyalty and courage, it only makes sense for them to become defensive when they are threatened. As humans, we understand what is going on, but dogs dont, so they react, rather than logically thinking about the situation.

I would now like to offer some advice for helping you with this dog, First of all establishing yourself as the pack leader, so your dog doesnt feel he has to.

1. NILIF - Nothing In Life Is Free. I think a good way to show your dog that you are the pack leader is to feed them yourself, this shows them that YOU are in charge of supplying their food. Along with this comes making them work for their food, you said that your dog knows sit, down and stay. tell him to do this things before giving him food, and dont give him it all at once, make his meal a glorified training exercise, thus showing him that you have the authority and not him. Use this to teach him new tricks at the same time, so that this does not become monotonous.

2. Shut down - as mentioned, a shut down is a good way of slowly introducing your dog to new things. Whatever method you use, be consistent, and do not overwhelm your dog, thus bringing him to a heightened state of excitement. Try keeping him indoors for a few days and slowly allow visitations, first by using the same person, for example your sister as she is not afraid of him, and then as his exitement for visitors drops, introduce other people. This may be a difficult task as you should ideally spend a few days on this and as we know that is not always a viable option, but give it a try. use calming and distraction techniques, along with rewards for good behaviour.

3. Keep him leashed AT ALL TIMES. I believe this is a follow on from the shut down theory, what we are teaching the dog here, is that YOU control where he goes, he has to look to YOU for direction, thus promoting yourself to pack leader in his eyes, and removing the need for him to "Protect" you.

4. Herding, This I would like to hope would calm down once the dog learns his place within the family, but if it doesn't, you could try a number of corrections. Set up a controlled environment in which your dog may think about "Herding" your daughter. Have your daughter walk the path she would normally walk and then as soon as the dog looks at her, and you think he might start herding, Firstly shout "AH, AH!" use in a firm, loud manner (Not too loud so your neighbours can hear, but loud enough so that he knows you mean business). At once your daughter should stop and stand still, ignoring any actions of the dog. If your dog listens to you and ceases the herding behaviour, praise him and give him a treat. keep repeating this exercise until the dog gets it. if the dog does not listen to you when you shout, then remove him from the environment so that he can think about what he has done to cause him to be away from his family.

Obviously the herding behaviour is of number one importance since you can deal with the rest, however hopefully by following the advice i have offered, you should see a change in all of these areas.

Dogs are very smart, (especially GSD's) if they are shown that there is nothing to be afraid of, then they will usually settle in nicely, but this does take time, and patience.

The advice I have offered has come from books and other trainers experiences working with dogs, if they do not work, along with some other ideas posted in this thread, please seek advice from a PROFESSIONAL trainer, rather than a vet, when it comes to behavioural issues. also please do not take, one persons opinion, have the dog checked out by a number of individuals, before making any decisions. It may be that the dog is completely healthy and simple needs time and socialisation, or or may mean that the dog has serious psychological issues that can never be resolved.

I look forward to hearing how you get one with your dog
Excellent post
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:21 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Shepherds being social animals like to be with people locking them up for two weeks can be harsh punishment and cause issues.
Who's advocating locking up a dog for two weeks? It's just a settling in period, nothing more - it does not involve isolating the dog. Even if every rescue doesn't NEED it, it certainly wouldn't be harmful either. I think a lot of people have decided this is a bad idea without even bothering to read about exactly what it entails.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:26 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I think a lot of people have decided this is a bad idea without even bothering to read about exactly what it entails.
I've certainly found that the biggest naysayers seem to have no idea what the "settling in" period entails!

One of the biggest benefits of that (as hundreds of other references can attest) is the dog is able to see how the home works without being a direct part of it.
It's tremendously beneficial especially when you have kids, that the dogs view how the "pack structure" works, before being in direct contact, and often conflict, with the pack.

The most ironic part of this is that people come on here saying "my new dog is NOT working out, HELP!" and the anti-"shut down" people say "OH don't do this!".

Well, what they've been doing is not working, so we recommend they go out on a limb and give it a try, what can it hurt?? Nothing.
What can it fix? Potentially everything.

**Another huge part of the "settling in routine" is leashing the dog at all times. I have no idea why this works so well but it does, and it's a primary part of the routine. When the dog is not crated, it is leashed to you. If you're single, have no kids, and have no other pets in the home, leash the dog and "wear it"
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:29 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sunflowers View Post
Well, of course you need to tailor the method to the dog.
No one is suggesting this is done with all dogs, especially those that are fine from the get go. It may be just the thing, however, for a stressed, overstimulated new dog that is acting up.

It may be, or it may make things worse... all I'm saying is be really careful which tools you use on which dogs.

No tool works on everything, and no one is suggesting that it does. I think all recommendations here come with a big YMMV.
No doubt about that.

Kyleigh : Happy Thanksgiving to you also!!! Have a wonderful weekend.
I'm off to brave the shopping crowds.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:36 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
Who's advocating locking up a dog for two weeks? It's just a settling in period, nothing more - it does not involve isolating the dog. Even if every rescue doesn't NEED it, it certainly wouldn't be harmful either. I think a lot of people have decided this is a bad idea without even bothering to read about exactly what it entails.
From the two week shutdown posted here: "I crate the dog in a room by itself if possible.(Believe me, dogs are sensory animals, they know more than you think without seeing it)".

^^^^ This right here is what I have a problem with. I absolutely think avoiding stressful situations for the first two weeks is a good idea but I don't agree with crating the dog by itself.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:39 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Yes, but that doesn't mean the dog is crated by itself all the time!
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