Grim is changing, class was HORRIBLE!! - Page 5 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #41 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Jag View Post
Courtney- I don't think she was giving up on him. I think she just wanted me to get control of his mouth. Maybe she was seeing how I'd do that. I told her about him before he went to the class. I don't think she's a bad trainer at all. I've already been able to teach him things that I wondered "how do people get their dogs to do that?" It's just that he totally went nuts in there. I usually walk him to wear him out before I try to do obedience with him. Had it not started snowing like crazy on the way, I'd have had time to do that. He had too much kennel time on the he was totally "re-fueled" by the time we got there. The older he gets, I notice him being more obnoxious when he's bored or has too much energy. He's used to playing with the pug. I almost wish I could separate them.
I went back & re-read and misunderstood...thank you for follow-up
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post #42 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 09:52 PM
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One other thing, I did'nt see on here is, when you go to class, try and stay calm because your dog knows you are stressed and that makes it worse. Alot of times our dogs will do things in class that make us feel bad but keep training and it will get better. Don't let what other people say in class bother you because nobodys dog is perfect. I think the trainer had you stressed before you even got in the door.Sounds like your dog is just trying to demand he go play with the other dogs.
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post #43 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 10:34 PM
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I am no expert or even close but I can tell you that staring at other dogs in class did not work out well for me and Stella. It started when she was young...just wanting to play and just general excitement. And the barking and jumping too. Now at 19 months she has mastered "the stare" and other dogs do not like it at all. She no longer has the "puppy pass" that she had when she was younger. People are not too fond of a barking, lunging GSD either. I did do a lot of focus stuff with her when she was younger but apparently not enough. I thought the best thing for her was to be able to meet and greet other dogs. I would do it differently if I could redo things.
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post #44 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 11:43 PM
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My point was that at 6 months old Grim is definitely maturing. He might still be a puppy in his brain, but he looks like a full grown dog. My boy matured a little later, about 8 months, and I thought he was the sweetest dog ever until that point. I also thought that he could do no wrong and all he wanted to do was play...but there would be eye contact, and extended eye contact caused other dogs to react to him, which then caused him to react to them, and the one thing you have to realize is that the GSD is always going to be the aggressor to other people watching (I'm talking dog parks).

I wasn't saying that Grim has any issues...but you definitely need to start looking at him differently. Don't allow him to show you one day that he's a big boy and he can take things into his own hands. It's not fun to be peeling your dog off of another one. And if you keep thinking that his stare downs are always for'll never realize until its too late that its not for play. My boy has always been the "sneaky" dominator. He didn't out right start fights, but he'd do the staring and the putting his chin on other dog's backs. He'd herd with his butt and do all the little things to tell a dog he's the boss...without starting a fight. But once in a while that dog would start a fight...and guess who wouldn't back down from one of those. It's never fun, so I suggest you start learning to control some of those dog language things that we don't quite understand.
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post #45 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 01:36 AM
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I read a half a dozen posts on here and have to comment. (then, time permitting I will read the rest)


You are doing fine. It is embarrassing, but your dog is going through a phase. What you need to dog is continue with patience and consistency and maybe back up a few steps, and plow on.

Yes, this was his first time at this class and he was very, very distracted. It happens. Lots of six month old pups are butt-heads at times.

One more thing though, puppy classes dogs are generally permitted to get up close and personal -- greet everyone. Puppy classes are for 10-12 week puppies and go for 6-8 weeks. Your pup is beyond the beginning puppy class. After that class, dog interaction is generally frowned upon or totally not allowed. Even in basic obedience classes, the dog owners are coming from different viewpoints. Some want a well-behaved pet they can take on walks, some want a dog that will go to doggy day care or dog parks, and some want a dog that will go to shows and compete. Most classes are geared toward the show people, because they are the people that keep coming back.

And though the class is fine for all the types of people, how the individuals feel about letting their dogs interact will differ. Show people do not want their dogs to make doggy-friends in dog school. That is not what they are there for, and they certainly do not want their dog thinking it is play time when they are at shows.

So the expectation that the dog should be able to greet everyone is maybe not realistic.

Do not give commands more than once. Tell your dog firmly to come, and if he does not, use the leash to give him a tug to get his attention on you. If you give him a command more than once, then he will learn to tune you out. Tell him to SIT and if he doesn't help him get into the position. Tell him to COME and show him the treat, if he does not use the leash. The next time don't go so far away. You should not be across the room at this point. You should start in close so he has less distractions between you and himself. Do not use this command at this point if he is not connected by a lead.

Tell him what you want.
Give him the opportunity to comply.
Help him comply.

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post #46 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Selzer! I didn't know that they wouldn't be allowed to 'greet' (I've never taken a dog to classes before) so part of that was my fault. I actually did put him in a sit a few times when he was ignoring me... he just didn't stay there. The 'come' from across the training area was part of an exercise. Of course, at home he did it fine. We started with his leash on at a couple feet and he came right away. Then the instructor took each dog (in turns) to the other end of the gated area and we were to go to the other side and call them. We were the last ones to do this, and he was the only dog to not come flying when called. It honestly looked like I'd never, ever worked with him.

We're going to have to make a trip to the store for steak, and I'm going to be taking him out with the goal of him only paying attention to me. Up until now, he was glued to me. I guess he found out that he can do it all on his own and cutting the cord is fun?
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post #47 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 12:57 PM
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Ugh, he has discovered his big boy voice and is being a butthead with it.
Remember a couple months ago you said he didn't bark and I told you to give it a couple of months?
You can train him through this. It will be challenging, but you can do it.
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post #48 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 07:43 PM
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He sounds, as others have said, to be a typical, boisterous, confident male shepherd pup. I would never expect a 6 month old, relatively untrained dog to come to it's owner the first day of its first class. I imagine as he started acting out of character you got frustrated, worried and concerned what others were thinking. Not to mention you had just driven 2 hours in the snow, your pup didn't get a walk, it's your fault, what is wrong with my puppy and so on. So you were also acting out of character, which probably made him worse.
Relax next time. If he acts bad he acts bad, just deal with it each time. Do everything you've said so far - get him steak, work on engagement with you, practise in new environments.
Do not expect him to visit with the other dogs - that is not what he is there to do, he is there to learn. Most training groups/clubs/classes do not allow the dogs to visit during class - whether their friendly or not. And I would get on the staring thing. It generally is a challenge, and will lead to being a challenge, and other dogs don't like it and take it as a challenge.
I think you know what you're doing and starting to see whats going on. Be patient with your pup and work through it. Just think, he has always been able to visit other dogs when near them, and all of a sudden he is in a room full of other dogs and can't visit. Of course he threw a hissy fit, he sounds like my Eli who is a spoiled rotten brat lol. A few weeks from now he will be much better I'm sure, once the excitement of the class wears off

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post #49 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 08:13 PM
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Ya know, there are a couple of people in classes who have their dogs 100% trained before they ever show up on the first day. They are there simply to grumble at the rest of us who have the audacity to own a young dog that is not perfect. Occasionally their dogs do stupid shtuff too. And it is really fun to watch when it happens, because they really can't take it, not at all.

The rest of us are there because we or our dogs or both NEED classes.

I can teach my dogs the basics at home, but I don't. I am bad, I need to actually have that class to force me to do what I should at least during the class time. Even so, most of the time, my dogs act pretty good. Occasionally, there is some dog who acts way worse than mine, and it makes me feel better about my dogs for a couple of seconds. Once in a great while there is one that is actually dangerous to me or my dogs. But instead of sneering at the owners with disgust or incredulity, I make sure my dog is safe, but give that owner credit for getting out there and working with the dog. They have my respect because they are on a tough road and are doing their best.

Some of the people will see your dog being a butthead, distracted, barking his heads off, and they will smile a little. Don't think they are thinking: "boy am I glad MY dog isn't doing that." Think they are thinking: "I remember when Pukie was acting just like that." Probably, most of the time that is true.

Training classes are not for perfect dogs and perfect handlers. They are for works in progress.

The dog world has its share of snobby people. But it also has a lot of good people. I sometimes go through basic a couple of times with a dog. If I don't think they are walking well enough on lead, then I will go through again with them. If there is nothing else available or I have two dogs that need training and can put two in classes on a given night and save gas, I will. Some of those dogs were probably repeat customers in the class. If you still feel like a sore thumb after four or five weeks, you might want to finish out the session and find another place to train.

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Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear CGC

Last edited by selzer; 01-22-2013 at 08:17 PM. Reason: spellin'
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post #50 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, OK. Today I had to officially recognize that Grim is being a butthead. I was going through our 'class work' and did what the instructor wanted me to do at home. This was putting on his leash and leading him around the house (which isn't far, let me tell you!) with food in hand to get him to pick his head up off the floor when on lead. (He's been nose to the ground since day 1) Well... he barked at me a few times because he wanted to go out. It's colder than heck out today, and I wasn't taking him out for a walk in that. Besides, the exercise was to do this INSIDE to just get him used to not walking like that. Then he actually broke skin biting for the meat in my hand. Was jumping on me as we were walking. If not for the fact that it's a narrow path, he'd have knocked me down. When we worked on the other things, he again started barking at me... vocalizing, etc. I ignored him the first time, then started with the 'hush' again. He ignored that (or he really doesn't know what it means yet). So glad that we weren't in public again for that display. Yes, Grim found his bark. I do believe it's "leaking" as he was really excited. He wouldn't tug with a rope or the ball on a rope. However, he LOVES socks. So we started with that, and I praised him to death for tugging on that. I got him a two handle tug before I got him, but it's in a box somewhere in the garage along with most of my stuff.

Yes, you're right... I was mortified at his behavior and wondering how to fix it and if he would stop through the whole class. I'm sure he felt my tension. I am not usually tense when working with him. I love to work with him. However, I felt uneasy going to the class anyway (not the best with people I don't know) and the bad weather (almost wrecked before I got there)... I was stressed already. Also excited about the class, though. It's a good training facility. I want to have "that dog" that looks at you when you're working it or walking... that is quick to sit and down...somehow I've got to get all that energy that he's blowing off in every direction focused into what we're doing. Maybe he's too young, yet. I don't know. If he doesn't get us tossed out, I'd like to do more classes with him. This is an IPO prep type class (for us anyway, and the instructor knows that) so I've got to get his head on straight.
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