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Old 03-22-2014, 06:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a white german shepherd named Ghost. I used to own his mother before my parents found her another home. (Against my will)
This was due to her constantly jumping the fence and trying to get inside the house. Ghost was the only pup of the litter, which was odd. However, he was healthy and huge. He did mature very quickly though. Started eating solid food at three weeks. He also seemed pretty intelligent and alert. He would bark and stand gaurd, and showed al lot of promise.
As he grew older I trained him. And after he got around six months, well, he got dumb. He licks everything he sees. Once he even licked a fire pit while it was lit. Then ran to his water because that clearly hurt. He also stares blankly for several minutes even if I try to get his attention. He cannot seem to understand the command "lay" no matter how hard I try to train him. He knows: sit, stay, give me paw, no, here boy, and his own name.
But somehow lay is too challenging for him?
Also, he is good on a leesh. He never leads, however he does constantly switch sides back and forth behind me.
Hmm.. what else. Oh! He does this weird hump thing. Where he arches his back and shakes while humping. I am worried he has a medical issue. I hope it's just excitement. Anyway, I'm worried he is mentally retarded.

Last edited by Castlemaid; 03-22-2014 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Removed offensive term in subject line.
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Old 03-22-2014, 07:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The lay thing and the switching back and forth behind you are likely training issues. The blank staring thing is probably normal. Licking a lit firepit though...I dunno.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This started about 6 mths? Beginning of butt head stage - up your training. If you aren't with a trainer now, locate a good one. You have a lot of his basics, but that extra set of eyes can see what you and the pup are doing and get you headed in the right direction. Keep in mind for some dogs, the down position is a tough one as it can be seen as a vulnerable position.

The staring and licking may be from boredom and/or the beginning of OCD behavior. Up his exercise and again his training.

Your pup isn't mentally retarded as you put it, but he does need a good vet check that includes a discussion of the 2 behaviors of staring and licking. Then a good training program with a trainer making him work his brain and body.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a dog that acts a lot like that, she's not dumb though she's just a bit stubborn. She took a long time to learn down, and she licks everything, stares a lot, I think it's a personality thing. She does have neurological problems (epilepsy) but I don't think that has anything to do with why she acts that way I agree with the person before me. Puppies are brats!
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Lay and stay sound alot alike, especially if you're getting frustrated and your vocal intonation makes a long "AAAYYYYY" sound. Maybe it's that simple, and changing the command to "Down" would work?
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It's his age so I agree with everyone else, get into a training group. If you're in HS and still with your parents, look for a local 4H group, those are usually inexpensive.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My youngest male is 19 months old, and he just learned "down"/"platz" about three months ago. Everything else was picked up quickly, but for some reason, down was much more difficult.
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't think he sounds retarded. since he knows so many tricks it may be that 'lay' just doesn't make any sense to him. licking may be a sign of boredom, or since dogs explore a lot through their mouths he likes the texture. who knows. he may stare at you when you talk to him but at least he doesn't stare in bewilderment at the walls or the couch, that would be retarded for sure. the fire thing may have been unwise but unless he did it repeatedly I think he showed some basic intelligence by only doing it once. learning through experiences and whatnot. my dog too changes sides repeatedly while walking. I never understood why 'heel' was such a good trick to teach until I got him. in summary, I don't think he's retarded. it sounds like he has his own personality
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Can we please stop using this very offensive term????


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Old 03-22-2014, 02:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've changed the subject line - it is offensive to many.
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