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lara's mum 05-02-2014 04:13 PM

Please could you help?
Lara our 14 month old bitch has been with us for 3 weeks now.I know it's still very early days for her, but as we cannot find a trainer who has experience with GSDs, we want to make sure we are doing the right thing while we look further afield. The trainers we've spoken to so far say "Well it's the breed".
So Lara is very vocal on the lead with other dogs. So we have let her off & sometimes if the other dog is quiet, so is ok. We've even walked with two quiet labs & she ended up ignoring other dogs because they were.
She will charge the other dog with a snarl, we then call her, she comes straight back. But because the other dog will usual yelp, even though she hasn't done any damage at all, the other owners obviously don't like it. We can stop her from going to the other dog by telling her to leave. She will also be distracted by her ball.
She's also very vocal around people on the lead. Last weekend our daughter & her dog visited. Lara was perfect in the garden with him, they played all day without any aggression.
Do you think she'll ever stop doing this? What can I do till I find a training class to help her improve?

RebelGSD 05-02-2014 05:22 PM

She probably has not had much experience with other dogs. An obedience class and a well-controlled environment with other dogs is a great start. She can be gradually desensitized and overall obedience will help this behavior as well.

Chip18 05-02-2014 05:32 PM

Well it sucks that you can't find a trainer! But post 8 has some good information, I highly recommend "Who pet my puppy or dog."

And I'm not clear on it but if your putting strange dogs in her face stop doing that, teache her to ignore other dogs... makes life much simpler!

carmspack 05-02-2014 05:34 PM

in three weeks it is not possible to really know a dog which has had 13 months of life that

the dog has too much freedom . It is not possible to fully know a dog that has had 13 months of life and experiences with some one else. Too many unknowns. On the other side, in three weeks the dog hasn't bonded and doesn't know you . Letting her go running with other dogs is a big risk. This "She will charge the other dog with a snarl, we then call her, she comes straight back" . One day she will meet a dog who will take exception to her rushing up and then it will be gloves off , big mess of a fight , and you , new to the dog , won't have control.

OP "even though she hasn't done any damage at all, the other owners obviously don't like it" and rightfully so. See how many other posts there are with people so fed up that they carry irritating sprays anywhere from vinegar to pepper spray.

Start with good control . Basic obedience . FOCUS, because if she is focused on you she can't be focused on the dog. Teach her the command , "quiet" .

lara's mum 05-03-2014 03:27 AM

thanks for the replies. We initially kept her on a lead, but we met a dog trainer on a walk who owned 3 GSDs. He assessed her & said it wasn't aggression but inexperience & that we should let her off. We did & she was good although didn't seem to know boundaries. He said we'd be making things worse by keeping her on the lead. To a certain extent that has been the case. We don't let her meet other dogs, it's other dogs whose owners won't listen when we ask them to keep their dog away. She will focus on us, but when a dog is jumping all over her & I've tried to keep the thing away but it's determined to still get to her, it's then she doesn't like it & nor do I!
I guess I'm frustrated that other owners won't listen when I ask them not to let their dog approach. I always put distance between Lara & other dogs, but other owners will let their dog run over from a distance. I should have explained that better. We did initially let her meet dogs until we realised she was not ready. Now it's other dogs which are coming over to her.

onyx'girl 05-03-2014 09:15 AM

Where are you going that other dogs are able to approach her? I would limit the places you go and let Lara know you are the one who has her back so she can relax and trust that she won't have to take action.

lara's mum 05-03-2014 04:33 PM

We've narrowed down the places we walk her to one where there are less dogs - a heath. But because we live in an urban area (& the UK is more populated!) it is not easy. We can see dogs coming so can move out of the way, but it still doesn't help when owners let their dogs run over to us from a long distance.
However we had a really great day today. Lara was so in to her ball she ignored cows & 2 other dogs. She's also had really positive meetings with people now. She was much less vocal when we parked the van up & I went into a shop. Hubby said she gave a little woof then sat watching people. She seems to have relaxed more.

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