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-   -   advice on dominance issues? (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-behavior/427010-advice-dominance-issues.html)

lilsunshine 03-20-2014 04:13 PM

advice on dominance issues?
 
Hello everyone :) Bentley is my handsome almost 9 month old GSD. For the most part, he's a good dog but he has some dominance behaviors that concern me. First of all, I'm having a hard time showing him who's the pack leader. He jumps all over me, snaps at my hands and even my face if it's close enough to his and paws at me. I've been reading a lot on dominance and couldn't find anything that I'm not already trying to do so I'm hoping you fellow GSD owners can help. When I take him outside, I make him sit or lay down and wait for me to walk out of the door first and to give him the okay to follow. The same goes for coming back inside. I also make him wait for his food. He isn't always on his leash, but when he is, I grab that and try to correct him when he jumps, snaps or paws but that doesn't seem to phase him. I put my knee to his chest when he jumps and that doesn't seem to bother him either. I try to take him daily on structured walks and we play ball inside the house since it's too cold to play outside right now. (lovely Wisconsin weather) I'm really at a loss at what to do. My fiancÚ doesn't have these problems as often as I do so I know Bentley respects his space and sees him as a pack leader. My question is what can I do to show him I'm serious and to get him to see me as a leader as well?

Lilie 03-20-2014 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lilsunshine (Post 5236394)
I try to take him daily on structured walks and we play ball inside the house since it's too cold to play outside right now. (lovely Wisconsin weather) I'm really at a loss at what to do.

And there lies the foundation of your problem. Your pup is wired. It needs more exercise. Jumping on you and biting at your hands is a behavior that should never be allowed. But in order to fix the behavior, you need to help your pup succeed. You need to up his exercise...big time. That won't fix your problem, but it will help him focus on which ever training technique you choose.

Picture giving a child Redbull and Pixie Sticks before you send them off to bed. Sleep is the last thing that child will do.

SuperG 03-20-2014 04:43 PM

I've heard some in here use the NILIF ( nothing in life is free ) approach. I incorporate it as well at times.


"Dogs want good stuff. If the only way to get it is to do what you ask, they'll do it.
Good leadership encourages good behavior by providing the guidance and boundaries dogs need.
Practicing "Nothing in Life is Free" gently and effectively communicates to your dog that you are the leader because you control all the resources."


Besides the obvious benefit of controlling resources....leadership, IMHO..goes well beyond controlling the resources. Too many times, I have seen my wife "ask" the dog...coupled with a wishful hope that the dog will mind her....it's amusing to watch at times but she doesn't care much for my chuckles. I also believe setting a dog up for success rather than failure has great merit to it..especially in the beginning learning phases. Patience to me, means...waiting for the best moment to get the desired result rather than giving a command and hoping for a good result.


I recall with the jumping as a pup routine ...I would greet my pup with a high value treat in hand and made sure she saw it before having the chance to jump up on me....if she jumped up on me, I would verbally mark with a "NO"....leave the kennel ( with treat in hand ) and try again in a minute or so. In the beginning, I'll bet the dog didn't get it's treat barely 1 out of 10 times....but patience....patience. 1 out of 10 times became 2 out 10 and so on over a short time span..until the dog was no longer a jumper. I also put an emphasis on the down/wait training and utilized that in conjunction with treating for not jumping on me.


Lots of different dogs out there and I assume what worked for me most likely will not work for others....but patience, proper expectations, confidence and leadership most always win the day.


Oh, I appreciate your weather situation as I live in MN.....however the first day of spring was wonderful today!


Hang in there,


SuperG

SuperG 03-20-2014 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lilie (Post 5236522)

Picture giving a child Redbull and Pixie Sticks before you send them off to bed. Sleep is the last thing that child will do.


That's what my folks gave me .....along with a rake and orders to rake up the leaves in the yard.:D

SuperG

selzer 03-20-2014 04:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lilsunshine (Post 5236394)
Hello everyone :) Bentley is my handsome almost 9 month old GSD. For the most part, he's a good dog but he has some dominance behaviors that concern me. First of all, I'm having a hard time showing him who's the pack leader. He jumps all over me, snaps at my hands and even my face if it's close enough to his and paws at me. I've been reading a lot on dominance and couldn't find anything that I'm not already trying to do so I'm hoping you fellow GSD owners can help. When I take him outside, I make him sit or lay down and wait for me to walk out of the door first and to give him the okay to follow. The same goes for coming back inside. I also make him wait for his food. He isn't always on his leash, but when he is, I grab that and try to correct him when he jumps, snaps or paws but that doesn't seem to phase him. I put my knee to his chest when he jumps and that doesn't seem to bother him either. I try to take him daily on structured walks and we play ball inside the house since it's too cold to play outside right now. (lovely Wisconsin weather) I'm really at a loss at what to do. My fiancÚ doesn't have these problems as often as I do so I know Bentley respects his space and sees him as a pack leader. My question is what can I do to show him I'm serious and to get him to see me as a leader as well?

Are you currently going to dog training classes. When did you start? Could you give a little synopsis of how your trainer works with you and your dog?

Lilie 03-20-2014 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperG (Post 5236546)
That's what my folks gave me .....along with a rake and orders to rake up the leaves in the yard.:D

SuperG

Very smart folks!!!

zyppi 03-20-2014 05:03 PM

Cold or not, your pup needs more exercise than ball in the house. Energy is just bubbling out any way it can.

Is there a mall here you could take hime to walk around and around and around again?

Also, your pup is getting attention, negative or not when he acts out.

Try walking away, closing the door behind you if necessary.

jocoyn 03-20-2014 05:07 PM

I think your pup is just being an unruly puppy and not showing what people call dominance behaviors.

Agree with the others structured walks is not enough. I am sure we have members in Wisconsin who figure out how to exercise their pups during the winter!

The NILIF approach is great.

SunCzarina 03-20-2014 05:54 PM

Brain games. Hide and seek is great and I agree he needs to be in training class.

Puppies do jump and they do grow out of it. Sometimes screaming and faking pain helps - sit down and pretend he's punched you in the nose or eye (think of the last dental work you had) cover your face so he can't see your expression and shun him for a few minutes. Then look cross and don't be all happy playful for a while.

David Taggart 03-20-2014 07:18 PM

The term "dominance" is applicable when you are talking about a pack ( your whole family), not just you and your dog.
In order to make him obedient - you should exercise him harder. For how long he runs chasing his ball before you train him? That could be the answer, you should let the vapour out before training and expecting him to be soft and obedient.
He wants something from you and he knows how to ask. Probably, that is the reason why he bites you - he wants you to start playing with him as soon as possible and biting is his way to demand. Your commands and other obstacles became a preliminary part of that game. Obedience classes wouldn't help you here. When your dog demands to play with him - practice NILIF. Also, he must learn to deal with frustration - lock him away until he cools down if you are at home, pay special attention to exercises to exercise his patience. Seems, the trick with his food hasn't gone well, train him this way daily. Tether him to a tree, take his ball in one hand and ask several commands for 15 min before you give him his ball. Ask to remain in sitting position while you are walking around the tree, he must do the same off leash.


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