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Old 01-07-2013, 09:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Good Or Bad?

I've had my GSD for awhile now, she is now eight years old. When she was young she and I were best friends but now we've grown apart and she doesn't listen to commands anymore but she is an intellegent dog. Like, in my room she listens and does each command almost perfectly. But on walks she ignores me completely, I've tried everything and I hate to admit it but I'm getting frustrated and discouraged. On the walks I ask her to sit but she doesn't do it, she just turns her head away from me and refuses to look at me. I've heared that this was a 'calming method' and I've tried looking that up but came up with nothing. What's your opinion? I've tried the alpha stuff but that won't work either. Please help! Thanks.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What caused you guys not to be best friends anymore? Why did you grow apart?
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I want to be a vet when I grow up and my mom expected good grades from me since she did so well in school. We were still friends but it was never the same. What do you think about the situation?
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Maybe you should get her checked out by a vet. as my last girl got older she did'nt want to sit, when I told her and I then became aware it was because it hurt her to sit. After that I never asked her to again, she would lie down when asked because that was not as painful She had bad HD.I don.t think you need alpha stuff with a older dog.If her health is good maybe some postive training would be in order to become bonded again. Also sitting outside can be harder for older dogs than inside on carpet. Check out clicker training to get her excited to listen to you.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks but she sits well on the hardwood floors we have and its not just sitting, she doesn't stay or lay down, come or even look at me! It gets me so sad because I'M realize this is my fault and sometimes I think she just hates me...
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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She does not hate you, You just need to find ways to bond with her. Clicker training with treats will help and training inside without distractions at first and then increase them. Do you give treats ? Sometimes you kinda have to go back and start over.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, I bought a large bag of treats recently. She is killing them. Idk, but I would like to learn more about the 'calming method', have you heard anything about that sort of stuff?
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Is it possible she has a harder time hearing you when she is outside due to there being more background noise? She is getting older, maybe some of her senses are not as sharp as they used to be.

I would have also thought it could possibly be pain, but you have already addressed that in an earlier post.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It still could be a veterinary issue, or at least have started that way and grown into a more universal training issue. Dogs can have odd responses to pain, and I have definitely seen some where their behavior is situational. In other words, she might listen at home because she feels safe, but pain combined with new surroundings on walks makes her unwilling to obey you. Depending on where you live, it is also possible that she actually is having trouble hearing you outside. If there's enough ambient noise where you walk (kids playing, cars passing, etc.) she may not be able to understand your commands, while in a quieter environment like your home, she can hear you. At her age, any significant change in behavior probably calls for a vet visit.

Otherwise, refusing to look at you does sound like an appeasement behavior. I would stay away from that dominance stuff, as it hasn't helped and may have made things worse if she didn't understand what you were doing. Instead, I'd recommend doing positive activities to help rebuild her trust in you and repair your relationship. Even 10-15 minutes a day of clicker training or other similar positive methods could really help, and surely you can spare that. Teach her that spending time with you and listening to you is a lot of fun! You can both reinforce her basic commands (sit, down, stay, etc.) as well as teaching fun tricks so she's learning something new. At first you'll probably want to lay a foundation by training this way in your house, but then move outside and see what happens. I've had a lot of success getting evasive dogs engaged and listening to me this way.

Anyway, that would be my suggestion...first a vet check to be safe, then if that comes back clear, fun training activities to rebuild your relationship. Like I said, it doesn't even require that much time, but you have to do it consistently--at least 4-5 times a week, and preferably every day.

edit: LOL I should know better than to leave the reply window open while I go make a cup of tea. I didn't mean to repeat the posts above, but I think it's great advice!
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks guys! You've helped a lot! I'll try all the things you've suggested. Tomorrow I'll take her to the park and have some fun with her.
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