Over Excited During Play - German Shepherd Dog Forums

Increase font size: 0, 10, 25, 50%

GermanShepherds.com is the premier German Shepherd Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-10-2012, 04:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 22
Default Over Excited During Play

Hi,

We've now had our Shepherd for a few months...and loving every second of it! She's just coming up to 10 months and coming on heat for the first time, but she's a pleasure around the house. Even (quite!) good with the cat.

We've done lots of basic obedience at home, and she's great at it when inside. There are times when it'll take a few repetitions for her to react, but we're working on that. The problem comes when we're outside.

When we play with sticks, we often try and do some 'down stay' training. She definitely understands both of the commands and can hold quite a reliable down stay for a while, but when sticks enter the equation, she's a little monster! She'll start by whining loudly and staring at us - and after a little while will jump up. If you try to hold her back, she'll nip. It gets to the point where it's either give the stick to to her or get pushed over/wake the neighbours/get bitten. I realise that giving her the stick only reinforces the issue, but in that situation, it becomes a necessity. Not great!

She obviously needs a long-term trainer (we're moving at the moment and it's been on and off for a while; all should be finished within two weeks). But: any tips in the mean time? She's mostly bright and attentive, but we're not sure how to get around this one. So far we've made clear that it's not okay with verbal corrections and by ending the play session immediately, but any other ideas?

Thanks in advance!
basedinberlin is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-10-2012, 06:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: California, US
Posts: 5,928
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by basedinberlin View Post
Hi,

We've now had our Shepherd for a few months...and loving every second of it! She's just coming up to 10 months and coming on heat for the first time, but she's a pleasure around the house. Even (quite!) good with the cat.

We've done lots of basic obedience at home, and she's great at it when inside. There are times when it'll take a few repetitions for her to react, but we're working on that. The problem comes when we're outside.

When we play with sticks, we often try and do some 'down stay' training. She definitely understands both of the commands and can hold quite a reliable down stay for a while, but when sticks enter the equation, she's a little monster! She'll start by whining loudly and staring at us - and after a little while will jump up. If you try to hold her back, she'll nip. It gets to the point where it's either give the stick to to her or get pushed over/wake the neighbours/get bitten. I realise that giving her the stick only reinforces the issue, but in that situation, it becomes a necessity. Not great!

She obviously needs a long-term trainer (we're moving at the moment and it's been on and off for a while; all should be finished within two weeks). But: any tips in the mean time? She's mostly bright and attentive, but we're not sure how to get around this one. So far we've made clear that it's not okay with verbal corrections and by ending the play session immediately, but any other ideas?

Thanks in advance!
ONE BIG TIP! DO NOT give her the stick just because she gets pushy. If you need to to, put a collar and a tab on her and correct her if she gets crazy. I.E dosn't hold a stay or trys to nip because she gets too excited. Now that oes not mean to "punish" her too much but just enough of a correction (with a verbal addition like "NO" or "EH EH" and then a reward when she stops the nipping or such. You can also try "OW" when she gets you - it works very well with some dogs. And immediately stop playing and ignore her for a little while.

But do this EVERYY time she acts up!

Shouldn't take too long before she realizes that acting too aggressively means that play is over!

If yo do that, what you have done is reward your dog for her actions! Actions that you do not want!
codmaster is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2012, 06:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
Sunflowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 7,545
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by basedinberlin View Post

I realise that giving her the stick only reinforces the issue, but in that situation, it becomes a necessity. Not great!
It is good that you realize that she has learned that bad behavior gets her what she wants. But it is certainly not a necessity, and you must be in charge. Stop all play immediately and make sure she understands why.

This is the age when they start to challenge you. If you give in now, you are setting yourself up for big problems later on that you will have to undo, and that is much more difficult than nipping the thing in the bud from the beginning.

Hans would do anything for the ball. He loves those things more than anything. When it is playtime, I tuck them under my arm and head out with him on a long lead.

Lately, he had started get too excited, then to try and jump up and steal them from me. Once he pinched my arm pretty badly in doing this. All it took was a very stern, "Ah-ah, NO snatching!" and an about face back into the house. The balls got put away and I ignored him for a while.

I had to do this a few times, but he quickly learned that rude behavior meant playtime was immediately over. Now I can tell he still wants to steal the balls, but all I have to do is give him a look and say, "No snatching!" and he knows.
__________________
Norden von Narnia (Hans) DOB 1-15-2012

Last edited by Sunflowers; 11-10-2012 at 06:48 PM.
Sunflowers is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2012, 06:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 22
Default

Thanks both for your great replies. They definitely make sense.

I've had problems with not giving her the stick as she seems to go from sulky to aggressive extremely quickly. She'll not be listening and then she'll suddenly be jumping up and trying to bite. It's like a switch flicks in her head. At that stage we take her in, but not before having to drop the stick to avoid a nip; we've already had a few (she ripped my jeans even this evening!).

Is it okay for her to pick up the stick while I'm re-leashing her to go back inside? I can't really see any other way...

Also: any tips on how to make her do the 'down stay' before the nipping starts? She spends quite a while just whining and jumping on the spot (ready to run after it) - only sometimes actually doing the down stay. I don't really understand why she's so persistent in not doing it, as she gets the stick as soon as she's completed it correctly!

Should we just do more practice on-leash/inside first? Maybe try more focus work? It's all a little infuriating, as she understands the commands and is quite happy to do them inside. Just gets over-excited when it's taken to the next level. Maybe just adolescence? Or does her being on heat also affect it?

Thanks so much again!
basedinberlin is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2012, 07:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 22
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
If you need to to, put a collar and a tab on her and correct her if she gets crazy. I.E dosn't hold a stay or trys to nip because she gets too excited.
One question here (maybe a British English thing): could you explain a collar and tab? Is the tab just the metal loop part on a collar?

She's already wearing a collar when we're training, and it's when I try holding that to correct her that she really gets frustrated and bites harder. Otherwise it's just jumping up and nipping on coat tails etc. Or do you mean to leash her for the training? I'm not sure how I could control her then either...

Sorry, probably missing something really obvious! Thanks so much for the advice!
basedinberlin is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2012, 07:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
Sunflowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 7,545
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by basedinberlin View Post
Thanks both for your great replies. They definitely make sense.

I've had problems with not giving her the stick as she seems to go from sulky to aggressive extremely quickly. She'll not be listening and then she'll suddenly be jumping up and trying to bite. It's like a switch flicks in her head. At that stage we take her in, but not before having to drop the stick to avoid a nip; we've already had a few (she ripped my jeans even this evening!).

Is it okay for her to pick up the stick while I'm re-leashing her to go back inside? I can't really see any other way...

Also: any tips on how to make her do the 'down stay' before the nipping starts? She spends quite a while just whining and jumping on the spot (ready to run after it) - only sometimes actually doing the down stay. I don't really understand why she's so persistent in not doing it, as she gets the stick as soon as she's completed it correctly!

Should we just do more practice on-leash/inside first? Maybe try more focus work? It's all a little infuriating, as she understands the commands and is quite happy to do them inside. Just gets over-excited when it's taken to the next level. Maybe just adolescence? Or does her being on heat also affect it?

Thanks so much again!
At 9 months, she is like a human teenager. She simply is young and rambunctious and impulse control is very tough to learn-- heck, even for us humans!

Definitely not OK to drop the stick, because in her eyes she won. I would leave the leash on so you can grab it quickly, and end it right there.

She may not be ready for as long a down stay. Keep it to where she can perform it well, and increase slowly. Do not set up your dog to fail.

And yes, the heat will definitely affect her behavior.

What I have found to work well when doing down stays is to get Hans tired first. I throw the ball until the crazy energy is burned and then he is able to focus better.

And here is a tab for you:
http://www.genuinedoggear.com/dog_training_tabs.html
__________________
Norden von Narnia (Hans) DOB 1-15-2012
Sunflowers is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2012, 07:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
Sunflowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 7,545
Default

Oh, and if she is jumping, make sure you have a leash on her so you can step on the leash and curb that straightaway. Hans, too, is trying to jump again at this age, something he had stopped at around 6 months.

I just step on his leash and that's the end of it.


PS-- the stick goes in your pocket. She needs to know that you own all the toys and the play is on your terms, not hers.
__________________
Norden von Narnia (Hans) DOB 1-15-2012

Last edited by Sunflowers; 11-10-2012 at 07:16 PM.
Sunflowers is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2012, 07:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 22
Default

Thanks for the clarification.

Leaving the leash on sounds like a great idea... Hadn't thought of it at all.

Here's hoping things calm down in the next few weeks when the heat's over!

(we have to stop the nipping in the bud (!), but she's quite perfect, really. a total softie. getting a shepherd was the best decision we've ever made. can't get enough of her. )

Last edited by basedinberlin; 11-10-2012 at 07:21 PM.
basedinberlin is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2012, 07:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
Freestep's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Posts: 6,117
Default

The solution is simple: Don't let her play with sticks right now.

Play with her with her ball, and practice obedience with it. Emphasize the "out". Do this every day, and make sure it's in her best interest to give you back the ball or toy. IE, if she gets posessive over the toy, nips at you, or tries to play keepaway, turn your back on her and playtime ends right now. Make sure she understands and is consistenly obeying your commands.

Wait another 6 months to a year before you start letting her play with sticks again. She may have matured enough to have some self-control, and learned to cap her drive.

I don't like that her "nips" are tearing your clothing. What if your skin was in there? This is a type of behavior that I personally do not tolerate in dogs after a certain age. Once a dog learns that it's okay to put their teeth on you, you're going to have problems down the road.

If you are training your pup in SchH or something like that, my advice might change. I assume this is a pet dog? If so, hiring a trainer would be a great idea.
Freestep is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2012, 07:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 22
Default

Hi Freestep,

Thanks for your advice. I'd assumed she'd be the same with anything (thinking "what's so special about sticks?"), but I'll definitely try a change.

The nips tearing clothing issue - we're not thrilled with it either. I'd be more worried if the 'bite' was causing them, but it's more that she jumps with her teeth out and catches clothing on the fall, if that makes sense? Still not acceptable, though. Could you give me some advice on how you wouldn't tolerate it? Is it just by stopping the play as usual?

When we get our permanent housing sorted, I'd definitely like to try out Schutzhund. We're in Berlin, so it seems like a great place to give it a go. Other than that, I wouldn't want to rule out the possibility of training some protection-style bite work in the distant future. We have a trainer in mind who specialises in this kind of thing near to our new place, so we should start taking her there regularly soon - at the latest straight after Christmas. Does this change your advice?

Thanks again.
basedinberlin is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:46 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset.net DobermanTalk.com GoldenRetrieverForum.com OurBeagleWorld.com
BoxerForums.com DogForums.com GoPitbull.com PoodleForum.com
BulldogBreeds.com FishForums.com HavaneseForum.com SpoiledMaltese.com
CatForum.com GermanShepherds.com Labradoodle-dogs.net YorkieForum.com
Chihuahua-People.com RetrieverBreeds.com