Help!!! "prepping" my other dog for new GSD puppy!
I am hoping someone might be able to give me some advice on an issue I am having, that will directly impact our new GSD puppy we are planning on adding to our family.
Five years ago we adopted a male Pomeranian from a local shelter/rescue… to put it bluntly he is kind of an unpleasant individual, he came with a lot of "issues", most of which we have been able to break him of. He doesn't food or resource guard anymore, or bite at men. Overall his rehab into our house went fairly well.
So, my issue is.. him losing his mind and barking, biting, snarling at anyone that comes to our house door or when the doorbell goes off. I absolutely cannot have him teaching a large GSD that this is okay. It's not okay for my Pom either but I let it slide (which is now biting me in the butt) cause he is tiny. He is so bad that I actually have to pick him up and put him in another room cause I have ZERO control over him.
The stupid part is that he actually never bites anyone, he just air snaps at them , but never would/hasn't actually bite a stranger.
So, we started working with a trainer who told us that I needed to get his attention when he is "freaking out" and have him sit, and continue to treat him and make the person being there seem like it is a good rewarding thing. However, this is a lost cause- when he decides he has a problem with someone at the door he is in "the zone" and I could dangle a steak in front of his face and he would ignore me.
I am really hoping someone has some advice on what I could do to break this, as I said I can't have him teaching a 100 pound GSD that this is acceptable behaviour. We are planning on adding a GSD pup to our family in the spring of 2015 and so I am hoping to work on this and break him of his little habit before then.
Thank you guys- I really appreciate it. I don't want his bad behaviour (which is completely my fault) to effect our new pup.
Yep bit a difference with a pom behaving badly over the front door and a german shepherd. As your trainer says, focus training is really really important and can be introduced to your GSD puppy from day 1 with you and your family. I understand your issue with 'the zone', I too have a GSD male that can go into 'the zone' with other dogs. I have been working on him for over a year and he is still a 'work in progress' but definitely improving. I practice 'focus' with him and it does work. If it were me I would put him through focus training with the door bell everyday, have someone ring the doorbell every 15 minutes for an hour and each time, command your Pom to 'look' at you and reward, then open the door command him to 'look' then reward, have the person enter the house, command to look/reward etc. Keep doing this over and over again for up to an hour or even just a couple of times if you can everyday. I don't know how easy Pom's are to train, but I would imagine if you are consistent, he will learn.
With your GSD puppy he/she may follow the Pom's bad behaviour, however if you make it clear this is not acceptable and are consistent, the GSD will learn not to behave the same way and once older may even reprimand the Pom. Once your GSD gets over the juvenille stage (where they are starting to mature and will challenge you) they genuinely want to please you. However with GSDs it is very important you establish your leadership and most importantly show you can be trusted and are able to take control of situations, otherwise the GSD will take over.
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