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Thread: I own a reactive German Shepherd - what do I do? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-01-2012 06:19 PM
Odin24
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf1728 View Post
Thanks to all of you who replied.
If nothing else, I can see this will require a lot of work.
As all of you probably know, it is much better to have a dog that you have raised from a pup. Adopting a full-grown dog means you are also "adopting" all the training (or lack thereof) the dog has previously received.
I have a reactive dog that I got as an 8 weeke old pup. He will be 6 months old next week. He is a reactive dog and I have been working with a trainer using the Control Unleashed program. This is working well but we still have a long way to go. Getting a puppy doesn't always mean you won't have some issues to work on together.
12-01-2012 03:51 PM
Ucdcrush
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twyla View Post

You say he barks as long as he sees the dog, what else does he do during this? How does he look, his body, face, ears? Is this from inside a fence, house, on walks?

I have an FA dog, had the options of 'boot camps' etc for training, instead opted for training for both of us. We became a team, he has learned to take direction from me. I've learned to watch his language and understand where his brain is.
OP, if you are looking for some concrete advice, answering the above questions would allow it.

In the meantime.. you want to do whatever you can do keep him from reacting. That might mean keeping him away from the window etc., or when you see another dog coming, be proactive and distract him with something. You are basically seeking to change how his brain responds to other dogs. Right now it's frantic barking, and the more he does it, the more it is reinforced.

I have a dog who was reactive (it's been so long since I've had an outburst I feel comfortable saying WAS, and it feels great) and worked through it by reinforcing calm behavior, working at a distance with treats (a distraction for him, but it also served to change his reaction from being frustrated barking to getting a nice treat). Depending on the circumstances of when/where your dog "reacts", the advice may differ.
12-01-2012 12:50 AM
carmspack Izver do be careful that the people you are hiring are not members of some franchise .

I want a skilled , observant , instinctive, intuitive trainer who can SEE the dog and read the dog. Over my dead body would I fill out a 10 page questionnaire.
I would turn this around and ask them to fill out a 10 page questionnaire . Who taught them. What is their experience. They want your money , they want your trust -- earn it then.
In the meantime you can do a great deal for yourself -- read some good books so that you know when something is grounded or bogus. Dr . Ian Dunbar -- just one true behaviourist as an example.
" We can purchase additional 1 hour sessions as needed after we’ve completed the package we purchased."
that sounds like "business" to me .
Be wary of a trainer that will suggest your bring your dog offsite for the sessions as well. Our Jake behaves differently off his territory and he won’t display the same behaviors there. You need to correct the issues at home and have control over them there first before taking your dog anywhere for training sessions.

Also, be prepared to spend a significant amount of time on training and following a training plan provided by the trainer if you want to resolve the issues. "

I would be wary of the trainer that confined themselves to a single environment , especially the home.
I think a good game plan is to find a local competitive training club . Ask your AKC or Can KC about training clubs.
Here are some in the GTA of Ontario that have been around for decades and hold obedience trials , a good public proving ground for the training that they do Swansea Dog Obedience Club Hamilton Dog Obedience Club - just some examples.
I like when things are out in the open , in public for scrutiny .

I like the idea of a good classroom with a good instructor .
12-01-2012 12:18 AM
llombardo
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf1728 View Post
Thanks to all of you who replied.
If nothing else, I can see this will require a lot of work.
As all of you probably know, it is much better to have a dog that you have raised from a pup. Adopting a full-grown dog means you are also "adopting" all the training (or lack thereof) the dog has previously received.
Has this dog ever been around another dog or played with another dog as far as you know?
11-30-2012 10:41 PM
katdog5911 You are right....it will require a lot of work! I have been working on reactivity with Stella for months and months. Tried many different things....went through a few trainers too. The tool that cinched it for us was using a prong. But that went along with a lot of focus, threshold. look at that and obedience training as well. I can tell you that my persistence is paying off. Just today we were able to enter a new training class in a new room, with all new dogs, and a new trainer, and there was no acting like Cujo by Stella. She was able to focus on me (for the most part). The key here I think is persistence and consistency. This forum was a great help, especially when things weren't going so well. So don't give up but prepare for a lot of work!
11-25-2012 08:33 PM
wolf1728 Thanks to all of you who replied.
If nothing else, I can see this will require a lot of work.
As all of you probably know, it is much better to have a dog that you have raised from a pup. Adopting a full-grown dog means you are also "adopting" all the training (or lack thereof) the dog has previously received.
11-19-2012 01:49 PM
FlyAway I have had a lot of success with the "Look at That" game. Every time my dog looked at another dog without going wild, I'd click and treat. I didn't exactly do it correctly, but he learned that he got treats when other dogs were around. He can now stand quietly next to another dog, as long as the other dog is not in his face. Not perfect, but so much better.
11-19-2012 01:37 PM
sit,stay OP, I don't know where you are located, but I would recommend finding a trainer who uses the "Control Unleashed" training protocol. I have a reactive dog and "Control Unleashed" helped us a great deal.

Even if you have to put some effort into traveling to and from classes, it is well worth it. Reactivity is something that requires experience and an almost perfect sense of timing to deal with. You really need the guidance of a qualified trainer.
Sheilah
11-19-2012 11:26 AM
kiya You need to do lots of focus & threshold exercises http://functionalrewards.com/BAT-basics.pdf If you find a good trainer with group classes you can teach your dog to coexist with other dogs, they don't have to like other dogs but ignoring them can be just as good.
11-19-2012 11:07 AM
x0emiroxy0x If the dog was left in a room with a window or the backyard, he probably barked at every dog that walked by the house and learned that if he barked, the dog "would leave" (the owner would keep walking and your dog thought he was scaring them away).
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