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guice 02-18-2014 05:40 PM

4yr GSD snapping at my partner. Need immediate help!
I need some advice:

Recently, my 4yr old GSD (Sampson) and my partner (we'll call him Ax) have been at odds with each other. In general, things are good. However, last night Sampson snapped at him (not the first time unfortunately, but it *has* to be the last). Ax put his arm around Sampson (over body), and Sampson did not like it at all... Ax really took it hard; he's terrified, and now has problems approaching Sampson over it. :(

I need advice.

I think what might have happened is Ax has been using and threatening Sampson with a shock-collar. I'm not a fan of shock-collars, but outside of a first few shocks, I was under the impression it's been purely a intimidation method. However, I fear this may have created wedge between them, particularly on Sampson's part.

Unfortunately, because I don't use the collar (I'm the one always taking _off_ the collar), Ax feels I'm not concerned for his safety... That can't be any farther from the truth! :/

Ax is new to dogs. We just moved in together about a month ago. He's never had pets before, let along a 100lb GSD. This is all new territory for him. I need help helping him.

How can I get things back in order between them? What can I do to show Ax I understand his concerns, but there isn't anything I can do punish a dog outside mere minutes of the incident (or am I wrong?? Please! Correct me if I'm wrong here!). I don't think Ax understands the ADHD of dogs.

Thanks. Please, help!

PS: Outside of these incidents, Sampson is 100% chipper, hyper, all lovey-dovey around Ax. Sampson DOES very visible cower at the sight of the shock-collar and remote; Ax has used it as intimidation when Sampson gets a little too pushy in our space.

Arlene/Archer 02-18-2014 05:47 PM

Is this a genuine query? You're letting your boyfriend 'shock' your pet for wanting to be in your 'space' and now you're wondering why the dog is reacting to your boyfriend being in his space?
If you're not a fan of shock collars why are you letting this man 'threaten' your dog with one? Seriously, I were you I'd ditch AX and rebound with my poor dog. Certainly I would NEVER allow someone to shock my dog- particularly someone with no clue about dogs in general. Disaster waiting to happen.

onyx'girl 02-18-2014 05:47 PM

Why on earth do you allow someone who has no clue what they are doing put an ecollar on your dog?
Sampson is probably in a defensive mode because he doesn't understand Ax's motives. Things need to be clear to a dog...
I would practice NILIF and have Ax completely ignore Sampson.
Don't use the collar again..... Ax should be trained on how to properly use it. Get a trainer for help in this.

guice 02-18-2014 06:00 PM

I take full blame for allowing Ax to use it.

I've used a shock-collar in the past, and didn't see it being a big problem. However, you are right: I've let him walk over me as far as usage. It worked great for me in the past in extreme situations (when he ran after cars), but never actively used it outside of that.

We'll get rid of the collar, immediately. NILIF; I'll take a look at that.

Msmaria 02-18-2014 06:01 PM

Hes terrified because the dog snapped at him? Did the dog bite him or just snap? i agree with the others. he should not be using a shock collar to gain the dogs trust. Instead he should feed and help train the dog, with rewards to Samson when he does well. If your boyfriend insists on using the shock collar and not respect you and your dog now, its not going to get better down the road.

guice 02-18-2014 06:07 PM


Hes terrified because the dog snapped at him? Did the dog bite him or just snap?
Sampson has an ear infection, in both ears. I believe when Ax went to hug him, Ax may have touched a sensitive area. Sampson then snapped: he didn't actively bit him, but teeth did get around his arm someway: he was wearing his hoody and Sampson tore a hole in it. Ax believes Sampson would have drawn blood if it hadn't been for hoody. I'm believe it's from getting caught on Samspon's teeth when Ax pulled back. However, I'm not bringing up the past here. What's done is done. I need to move forward.

He's terrified because he thinks _next time_ Sampson will do more bodily hard. Ax is a short guy. He is actually not much larger than Sampson himself: Ax is aprox 135lb, Sampson is 100lb.

I'm looking into trainers. I'm heading to one school -- Cooperhaus | San Jose, CA -- this weekend for a quick course, and may talk with them in more detail about further in-depth training.

guice 02-18-2014 06:30 PM

I'm looking at the NILIF program:

Within a day or two your dog will see you in a whole new light and will be eager to learn more.
I've actually done this, for more than day. And no change. He's still pushy, harder and harder, which is what it says. However, Sampson knows who's boss - or am I just blinded? I can fully alpha-mount Sampson, and hold his head down, without any sign of resistance from him. But he continues to push himself onto us to play. I make him sit and stay every time we go for a walk; but every time we go for a walk, he _still_ runs to the door, spins around in excitement, tries to push his way out.. Every time. I make him stop, sit, and wait every time, but nothing seems to sink in.

When I feed him, he does successfully goes to his kennel and waits (well, 90% of the time): if he follows me, I stop, and he (on his own accord) goes back to his kennel. However, every time I put his tray down, I have to tell him to leave it -- it's never automatic. I've been doing this for over a year with him (the door thing is last 6 months, or more)... And it's still not automatic.

What am I missing?

onyx'girl 02-18-2014 06:39 PM

Why do you alpha 'mount' him? I think your inconsistent training is the problem. Black and white clarity is what your dog needs. He should be your partner, IMO, the bond you share should be unconflicted. He pushes you to play because he is bored. GSD's need to do something with their brain and body. Get him some fun exercise for his well-being.

If Ax isn't going to ignore him, then he should be practicing NILIF as well as anyone else in the family....consistency is key. Dogs like structure because they don't like the 'unknown'.
Training is a great way for bondbuilding/confidence. Also crate games teaches the dog how to self control urges.
Hope the trainer you are visiting can help!

Nikitta 02-18-2014 06:45 PM

Get rid of the shock collar and the boyfriend and get some decent training. Alpha mounting him? No wonder he's snapping.

guice 02-18-2014 06:53 PM


Why do you alpha 'mount' him?
Was just as a recent test. I wanted to see if he would respond. Plus, a read it's one to the best ways to brush a dog's teeth -- something I'm having to look into here recently. I do at least make it a point to play with him while he's laying down.


I think your inconsistent training is the problem.
You are right. I'm a horrible trainer, too. I'm doing my best.


He should be your partner, IMO, the bond you share should be unconflicted.
Sampson has shown nothing but unwavering devotion -- towards me. Ax is a recent variable. I'll show Ax NILIF tonight.

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