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Old 03-24-2014, 08:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey everybody,

I have a one year old GSD. I've raised him since 8 weeks and did all the research associated with being a first time GSD owner. Came from a reputable breeder. Met hundreds of people, dogs, places and things from an early age. Everything was done positively, happily and using reward based training. We're progressing good in nose work and exercise 1-2 times a day depending on weather.

With all the being said my problem is a lack of attachment. He seems indifferent to being around me even though I love being with him. He is protective over the house but could really care less about me. I know more goes into the come and recall command but he almost never comes to me when called. (Not my real problem just an example) Every other gsd I've known and seen have very solid attachments with their owner, and I'm confused why we don't have one as well.

This is really my only complaint about Kobe he's a sweet friendly dog but I was just curious if anyone has had similar issues ? And also what I can do differently to strengthen the bond ?

Thanks for your time

Hopefully someone can help strengthen my bond with my awesome GSD, Kobe
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like you did a great job finding a good breeder and have a great dog. Some dogs are just more independent than others. Some don't like a lot contact, don't like to cuddle or get hugs. It's their personality.

If anything I would work on eye contact. Get his attention and reward for eye contact and engagement. Reward him for pushing you for play.

As for the recall, have someone hold him while you run away. My boy, who is not overly affectionate, goes BALLISTIC, when I run away from him. It helps to strengthen and reward that desire.




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Old 03-24-2014, 09:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice. I will def start incorporating them. Do you think his hormones could be fueling/exaggerating his independent personality or are they separate things ?
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Met hundreds of people, dogs, places and things from an early age. Everything was done positively, happily and using reward based training.r.
I hope that is a wild exaggeration?? If it's not that's your problem. Great people are everywhere what does he need you for??

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This is how I "socialized" my people aggressive GSD and I taught him to ignore other dogs (No dog Parks) he turned out just fine and is safe in public and around kids (under my supervision). And only cares about his pack.

What you describe is a new one on me, but if you actually did you what stated... then yeah I can see that happening.

I'm sure we can help but clarify further if you can.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No not an exaggeration. He literally met hundreds of people. We had a checklist of situations and types of people to meet and we did just about all of them. I also read about a 200 person before they turn six months and we did that also. But he lives exclusively with me and for the past few months the socialization is a minimum (passerbys on walks and such) It's supported by literature (at least what I read lol) that meeting that many people positively leads to a well balanced dog.

With that being said, do you think meeting that many people is/was overboard. What can I do now to counter that ?

Thanks
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This is an excellent thread on socialization - very experienced people participating:

rethinking "popular" early socialization
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's probably just her personality. Some dogs are just more independent than others. I would do as gsdsar recommends. Work on engagement, and reward any attempt to look at you or engage you.

When I was raising a pup, I always had treats in my pockets - well, just kibble, but that is enough for a food motivated dog. As I went through my day, and time my pup looked at me, he got a piece of kibble. Anytime he came towards me on his own, he got praise and kibble. When out walking, whenever he naturally fell to walking by my side, he got a handful of kibble, etc . . . pretty soon, they start doing all these thing more and more and more until it becomes ingrained behaviour.

My rescue, whom I adopted when she was a little bit older, was/is very independent. Liked people well enough, but I suspect she was a tied dog who never developed a relationship/bond to a person until I got her. I had a lot of issues trying to work with her, and finally enrolled in clicker classes (trying to 'alpha' her into submission wasn't working - I didn't know any better at the time ). There we worked on eye-contact focus, and I thought this was genius!!! Wow!! Teaching a dog to just look at you and pay attention to you! Teaching it as a specific behaviour like sit or heel. Why didn't I think of this before LOL!!!
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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No not an exaggeration. He literally met hundreds of people. We had a checklist of situations and types of people to meet and we did just about all of them. I also read about a 200 person before they turn six months and we did that also. But he lives exclusively with me and for the past few months the socialization is a minimum (passerbys on walks and such) It's supported by literature (at least what I read lol) that meeting that many people positively leads to a well balanced dog.

With that being said, do you think meeting that many people is/was overboard. What can I do now to counter that ?

Thanks
Me personally, I think it's insane! That's my take and yes what you did is supported by literature and I'm sure if you talk to Cesar Millan's client's you'll find that many, most, or all did similar things. And throw in dog parks and "I thought my dog was friendly folks' and you have the source for most behaviour problems.

I did none of that crap and none of my dogs would ever be featured on a fix my dog show.

I'm not a pro I'm just an average guy that has a history of training happy well behaved family pets. And all my males have been Dominant Male and Dominant Aggressive Male my (GSD) dogs They are all tolerant of other dogs and safe in public. And there worlds revolved around me.

Not trying rant here or lecture you asked "my" opinion and that's it.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The link I posted would be an excellent start, dial the maddness way back, everything that breathes (another member used that phrase) does not need to be his friend. You basically taught him that nice people are a dime a dozen so why are you special ?

Maybe he is independent, maybe not, my take is you don't know what he is because you changed him. A less heavy hand in the "socialization" and you would have seen who "he" is but you stacked the deck. So now he is the dog "you" created.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think it's probably a combination of his personality type, the lack of that natural "click" between the both of you (sometimes certain dogs and certain people just don't mesh), and partly probably you not being able to "reach" him and create a stronger bond via training and life experiences. There are a lot of views/ways on how to improve that. Posters will chime in with different ideas that can help you out. You should do your own research also. Learn through trial and error. Pick and choose what you feel is best for you and your dog.

Last edited by KaiserandStella; 03-25-2014 at 05:07 AM.
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