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Old 01-23-2014, 12:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What do I do now?

Ive had german shepherds all my life. no dog has ever quite made me scratch my head as much as she does. she doesn't do things DOGS do. like sniffing at the garbage, counters, plates at eye level. Every dog starts with sniffing next thing you know they are sneaking a taste from the source. Not her. She didn't get into the garbage until after she seen a dog my mom had in for training do it. when she did. she'd make sure no one was around then carefully remove one tasty bit lick it clean then hide it behind the couch, or other piece of furniture she knew wouldn't be moved.

I found her stock pile a weeks later when i was cleaning. the second I found it she went to her crate with sad eyes. I yelled at her. she never did it again that was her at 8 months old. you can set your plate on the floor and leave it there with a rare steak and some gouda cheese (her faves) and it would not be touched. Now if you point to it and then hand her a piece while on the floor, its gone, at that point its for her though. My point is she has never been a normal GSD. Ive raised her with rules that she knows are to be followed, period.

She was well socialized. loves people to death. Wasn't keen on dogs but she tolerated them and were fun to play with. If a dog barked at her I could just tell her to 'shhht' and she wouldn't make a sound. Then after awhile she just ignored them and was congenial with each dog she met and well behaved.

Until the incident. At 10 months old she was brutally attacked by 3 'bear' dogs (dogs used for hunting bear, the improperly trained ones are highly aggressive and dangerous to every one). they not only attacked her but were trying to rip her apart (one had her by the head another her shoulder which chewed down her leg and the other had her by her rump trying to play tug of war) she didn't fight just tried to get away. That was the only time I hit a dog with something and wanted to hurt it. If I hadn't they would have killed her.

$600 dollars and 8 stitches later. She was all patched up. Afterwards I only took her around the most sweet gentle dogs because she was afraid of all dogs. (the dogs that she sees now that look like those dogs she seen that first month she doesnt have nearly the reaction to) she seemed to get back into her groove for awhile. I let people bring over puppies to play with her and other dogs that love dogs. for the longest time all she would do is watch other dogs if we were in the truck she'd let out a soft whine and Id correct her because I dont like whiney dogs.

This is a dog that never barks. well 8 months ago, my mom brings her dog over who is a socialized dog that has always been well behaved. Delilah has met her before. well the dog came up to her with raised tail and delilah raised her tail and the dog went after her and delilah fought back. I yelled just one word and delilah backed down and came to me. my mom snatched her dog up and reprimanded her. I gave delilah a firm disappointed yelling at and a smack on the rump. The other female avoided delilah. delilah stuck by me and kept an eye on her but otherwise seemed to ignore her.

Now for the last few months she has gone from watching all other dogs to raising her hackles at all other dogs to barking, growling and hackles raised. heck a key jingle (sounds like collar tags) and a stranger walking by can make her hackles raise. Ive tried outright reprimanding her to just letting her get it out. Ive tried exercising her til tired then taking her around other dogs. Ive tried distracting her to show her she can enjoy herself and they wont hurt her as recommended by a local trainer. none of it worked. Ive tried so much. Ive tried laying her down in a submission style, making her submit to me and not letting her up until her body is relaxed.

Ive tried a lot. none of it had made any difference. She does this the same with everyone, its actually worse if its not me holding her because i can shut her up with one "no, Look what you did". I'm always confident, relaxed and calm. She thinks that they are out to get her just by the way she watches any door when it opens. Now I have to lay her down to introduce her to new dogs. They sniff her, even if its a puppy. When she relaxes I let her up she sniffs their butt and they are good chums after that. she will play carry on and otherwise be best friends with the dog. I dont have any good trainers in my area they are all are treat based trainers except one who is a SCH trainer but he's out of ideas other than leaving an e collar on her at all times. because that's the only time she WONT bark. hackles still go up she watches intently but no barking or growling. I want her to feel comfortable enough around other dogs that she doesn't think they are out to get her, that's no way to live. what do I do now?
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds like you have a nice dog that is having fear based aggression caused by the attack.

No amount of physical corrections will make that fear go away.

If you let go of the idea that you have to use punishment to make the problem go away you will have a far easier time addressing the fear in your dog.

Rewards based training is not something just used for poodles in the circus. Most police, military, sport and competition dogs are trained with rewards, including food and toys. Corrections are kept to a minimum with many trainers.

Delilah needs to learn that she doesn't need to fear dogs, or what you may do to her when another dog is around.

If you can take a step back and except that there are other ways of training that have value, besides compulsion, you have a great chance of working through this with your dog and an experienced trainer.


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Old 01-23-2014, 02:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ive tried the treats for good behavior or even marked improvement (like no growling, no hackles or just for giving me her attention) anything to gain even a baby step towards better behavior.
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Delilah's_Human View Post
I dont have any good trainers in my area they are all are treat based trainers except one who is a SCH trainer but he's out of ideas other than leaving an e collar on her at all times.
I would suggest you find a reputable rewards based trainer to work with. Even just a couple of personal sessions could make a huge difference in how you teach the dog things. I personally think some professional help is in order, and I would highly stress to not stim the dog with the e-collar while it is looking at another dog.

I'm not a clicker crazed zealot. I believe in balanced training that includes proofing behaviors with corrections. I also believe that showing a dog what to do in a given circumstance is far easier, and far better understood by the dog, than showing them what not to do. The right trainer can help you with this.

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Fama - T.E.D.D. OEF XI-XII (GSD)(RET... )
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Lucian - Med Alert (Cane Corso)
Pud - the old man (Pit x Lab)
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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When I laid her down I physically laid her down, there was no actual corrections I made I just would let her try and see that they weren't hurting her. Ive tried her ball the only real thing she even showed slight interest in. if she'd look at me Id take out her ball but she'd go right back to carrying on. taking her mind off the other dogs didnt work either. If using treats is a way to help her, first Id have to buy more cheese because she hates dog treats with a passion. Ive tried pretty much all of them. just shy of cooking her a steak...

But besides that where am I going wrong with the treats then that I was unable to get results? I attempted for about 3 months with no change in her behavior.

Also when I do find something that works it only works for THAT dog. so for instance I spent a whole day doing short sessions of walking her in front of the yard of a barking boxer (id spoken to the lady, he's a big softy and she said she'd love to help) Id correct her each time she showed any excessive behavior and if she was quiet she could stop and look at him. when she got ecited we went back to walking back and forth down the block. I was doing this after a long play session at home so she was already tired out. any how by the end of the day she could sit quietly and walk past him with no issue. so I let her go meet him and they played and she got along famously with him (her reward, because she loves playing with other dogs) but now I can go down the next block to the boxer down there that barks and its like starting all over. Its that way with EVERY dog.
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Im talking petsmart and a few back yard trainers that teach people to teach their dog how to sit, how to come and how to shake.

any trainer that is worth his salt I cant afford and is also a 3 hour plus drive away. the collar I had was set to vibrate only and was only used when she hackled AND growled. It was never used for shock purposes to correct this behavior (she hates the vibrate cause she is highly ticklish). It was really helping with the e collar on. she wouldn't bark, growl or hackle up but would sit quietly just watching. but take the collar off and she was back to the old behavior.
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well you've laid out a perfect example of why many of us "don't go to dog parks".

Your number one jobs is to protect your dog. This dog shouldn’t be around other dogs,She's stressed and now feels she has to protect herself because you didn’t!

More punishment isn’t the answer. You have to decide if your going to continue to push this dog to be around other dogs or give her and your self a break and condition her to ignore other dogs,,,no more dog parks no more doggie friends!

Give up the dog to dog stuff and I think you can fix the damage on your own. If you insist on having a dog park dog...your going to need a qualified trainer!
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Chip18 View Post
Well you've laid out a perfect example of why many of us "don't go to dog parks".

Your number one jobs is to protect your dog. This dog shouldnít be around other dogs,She's stressed and now feels she has to protect herself because you didnít!

More punishment isnít the answer. You have to decide if your going to continue to push this dog to be around other dogs or give her and your self a break and condition her to ignore other dogs,,,no more dog parks no more doggie friends!

Give up the dog to dog stuff and I think you can fix the damage on your own. If you insist on having a dog park dog...your going to need a qualified trainer!
The OP didn't state anything about dog parks.

How do you suggest he trains the dog to be around other dogs without being around other dogs?

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Fama - T.E.D.D. OEF XI-XII (GSD)(RET... )
Marshall - T.E.D.D. OEF XII-XIII (Lab)(SF EDD)
Lucian - Med Alert (Cane Corso)
Pud - the old man (Pit x Lab)
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Delilah's_Human View Post
Im talking petsmart and a few back yard trainers that teach people to teach their dog how to sit, how to come and how to shake.

any trainer that is worth his salt I cant afford and is also a 3 hour plus drive away. the collar I had was set to vibrate only and was only used when she hackled AND growled. It was never used for shock purposes to correct this behavior (she hates the vibrate cause she is highly ticklish). It was really helping with the e collar on. she wouldn't bark, growl or hackle up but would sit quietly just watching. but take the collar off and she was back to the old behavior.
Could you afford this book?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0970562969

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When a dog saves the life of a man, it becomes clear that partnership knows no bounds.

Fama - T.E.D.D. OEF XI-XII (GSD)(RET... )
Marshall - T.E.D.D. OEF XII-XIII (Lab)(SF EDD)
Lucian - Med Alert (Cane Corso)
Pud - the old man (Pit x Lab)
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you want to review training techniques, you can look through the aggression section of the forum. I'm not really comfortable trying to explain everything you need to understand to make this work. I still think your best bet is to consult a trainer. In the meantime, manage the dog to keep her and others safe. No playing with dogs.

David Winners
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When a dog saves the life of a man, it becomes clear that partnership knows no bounds.

Fama - T.E.D.D. OEF XI-XII (GSD)(RET... )
Marshall - T.E.D.D. OEF XII-XIII (Lab)(SF EDD)
Lucian - Med Alert (Cane Corso)
Pud - the old man (Pit x Lab)
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