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-   -   Need help assessing my new dog... (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-behavior/402786-need-help-assessing-my-new-dog.html)

lawhyno 01-27-2014 09:06 PM

Need help assessing my new dog...
 
Just got a completely green 12/mo DDR female from a reputable breeder. The breeder said the dog had "very high drives" and I had no reason to doubt that. The pedigree is outstanding so she's "genetically qualified."

I'm thinking she's a little timid and she's still feeling out her new environment. She's been howling at night (separation anxiety) but is otherwise timid and unsure. Not running away by any means, but slowly walking foreword...

Here's my concern…

It's been 3 days now. The dog is engaging a little more as each day goes by but she doesn't seem to be excited about treats. She also doesn't seem to bite with energy when I give her a toy. Basically, it's difficult to engage her right now. She's not very motivated for treats or toys like my last dog. Can this be because she's still a little uncomfortable?

I'm hoping this is just a common thing. If so, how long does it take for a dog to come out of their shell?

Also (since I'm here) … how long do you usually wait before walking the dog with a prong collar? I don't plan on giving corrections yet and I'm a little weary of making her uncomfortable at this stage… any insight will help. This is only my second dog but a very different dog than my last (at least it seems that way right now).

lawhyno 01-27-2014 09:21 PM

Just a little more info too…
When I say she's doing better, I mean that she's engaging a little bit more. She actually bit harder today and took a toy, but she ran away with it and sat under a tree to munch on it. She is eating treats out of my hand and I'm showing her the meaning of the marker, but she's still not pressing foreword for the treats. It's almost as if she's saying, "I guess I'll take this since you want to give it to me." Then she chews on the small treat for a couple seconds. She doesn't just consume it quick. I'm starting to wonder how I'm gonna train this dog if she continues this behavior. i'm really hoping someone else dealt with this and can tell me it's just the beginning stages of bringing in a new dog.

Colie CVT 01-27-2014 09:33 PM

I guess I can chime in to say it can take some time for them to settle in some.

I was having the same issue with my new puppy. He's younger than your dog and different lines, but only now after we've been going out and about more, he's seeing other dogs doing things, is he starting to get more interested in toys and treats. It has been slow going, and so far I haven't really done any super formal training minus him knowing his name, come, kennel and wait. I've had him almost two weeks now and he's settling in much better.

Just this last weekend we started to learn how to get him used to the idea of doing bitework eventually, just by playing with a little rag toy. :) The trainer had me get his attention, dangle it before him and toss it off a short distance before running in another direction saying his name, clapping, etc so that he would hold onto the toy as he followed me. It took a time or two but he was holding the rag rather nicely in the end. ^^ He's just hitting 6 months now, so my guy is still teething, thus no tuggy but he shows an interest in playing tug.

I wouldn't be so quick to think this is what you will deal with. It took some time for Doyle to figure out this is his life now. Keeping things fun right now should help introduce her in a good way I would think. :) DDR lines take quite awhile to mature too lol. My roommate's female is probably only now starting to kind of act like a grown up dog... kinda.

martemchik 01-27-2014 09:37 PM

What are your goals with this dog? What did you plan on doing with her?

How much do you trust this breeder? Any idea on how she was trained before you got her? I know you said she's green...but its a big deal on how she was actually trained and not what she actually knows at this point.

She might not have high food drive...but most dogs, no matter how uncomfortable, if they have any sort of food drive will take food from anyone. What you're seeing, isn't what I witnessed with the bitch I got a month ago at 2.5...but each dog is different. Without seeing the dog in person, its really hard to tell you what's going on with her.

lawhyno 01-27-2014 09:52 PM

Thanks Colie!

@martem… My goal is to put her in sport and eventually do personal protection when she gets to the right age. I was planning on preparing her for her BH as soon as she started feeling more comfortable and our engagement was solid.
She has absolutely no training. Just some drive developing work where they let the dog chase and bite different surfaces. But no obedience or serious bite work. This is a first in every aspect for the dog.

gsdsar 01-27-2014 09:57 PM

Not to generalize too much. But the true DDR lines are late to mature. I found my male was hesitant to engage with strangers until about a year. Now he is better. Let her bond, settle, feel comfy in her home, then start texting her.


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onyx'girl 01-27-2014 09:58 PM

Did you have anyone test for your goals her before you purchased her? Most dogs that are for 'sport' are confident right out of the box and don't need to settle to take treats or tug. You do have to take it slowly, IMO and maybe utilize some of the two week shutdown exercises and NILIF to help her settle in.
Are you in a club yet? If so, there should be people that can help you evaluate her and help you with any issues she may have.

lawhyno 01-27-2014 10:19 PM

@gdsar… thanks for that. Each day she's getting a little more comfortable and slightly more engaged. It's just a very shallow gradient at the moment. At a pace this steady, 2 weeks sounds like a decent timeline.

@onyxgirl… the breeder was a referral from someone I trust. They are reputable and I have a friend who has a relative of my dog who is a very solid sport/protection dog. I would say she's confident so far. She hasn't ran away from anything. She has been a little timid around strange things, but she is moving foreword towards the things that are obviously alien to her. She was accustomed to acres of deep woods and creeks so being in Los Angeles brings a completely different environment (noises, weather, agriculture) and she's sniffing at everything from a table to a shovel to the bbq and the air conditioning unit. She saw her reflection in the french doors and started barking with hackles raised… but that's about the only stressful thing she's experienced so far.

lawhyno 01-27-2014 10:33 PM

@onyxgirl… two week shutdown was a great article. Thanks for that.

Blitzkrieg1 01-27-2014 11:48 PM

I personally have some patients for a pup but a 1 year old that came to me the way your describing for PP or sport would be returned.

If she is just for club level sport and your not particular about the PP part of it then Im sure she will work out just fine if you have a decent decoy once she settles in.

I have a personal aversion to nervy dogs and if I felt like I was being taken after paying good money for a decent dog I would blow a gasket.
Its a tough thing, there are so many people that will sell you a crock of nonsense.

The major danger in buying green dogs is you wonder why the dog is really being sold. Why did the breeder/trainer keep the dog then decide to sell it at 6month to a year. Is it because the dog is not what they were hoping for in terms of nerves, drive etc? If you cant see the dog in person and take the dog off property and somewhere unfamiliar you never really know.


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