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Thread: 11 week german shepherd with socialization problems Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-16-2013 07:32 PM
Sansa's Mom I agree with what the others have said about enlisting professional help. I also recommend reading Ian Dunbar "after you get your puppy" (it is a free e-book you can download, just google it) because he has great tips on positive motivation and how to approach training with your puppy. You will need to completely change how you think about training.

You mention that you try to make eye contact with him, pin him, and stuff like that. Those things do nothing but scare your dog and undermine your relationship with him. Cesar Milan has no formal education, and bases his entire training philosophy on studies done on captive wolves. In reality, dogs (and even wolves) don't usually behave the way they do in captivity when out in the wild. So forget Cesar Milan. Most of the reputable animal behaviorists say that his methods will cause your dog to become wilder and more aggressive (kind of like what is happening to your dog).

Basically, you need to ignore him completely when he does something bad, and reward him consistently when he does something good. You want to become the supreme giver of treats and affection in your dog's eyes. Make him WANT to listen to you because good things happen to him when he does.
12-14-2013 01:45 PM
FortheLoveofChari
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kejasa View Post
Honestly, are you ready to take on a dog that needs intense work? Especially with a young child? I say re-home it now while it is still cute and get a pup that has been well socialized...especially if you are concerned for you child. Make sure to get an experienced owner who can handle aggressive dogs. I got a puppy like this once. They need A LOT of work. I never could fully trust the dog either. It would be fine one minute and the next it would growl at my little niece. We had to lock it up when people came over. I think you have a mix of bad socialization, too early removal from mom, and a more aggressive bloodline. I personally will never have a dog like that again. We finally got ours to become friendly toward people we meet on walks but it took 9 years.
I don't think this puppy is doing this behavior out of no where, this just might be an entirely different situation than you had. Also she's got great advice from someone.

Seems like the OP is going to take it now in a positive direction. The puppy is only 11 weeks there is a lot of time to dedicate, but all puppies need a lot of time to develop in the right direction.
12-14-2013 01:11 AM
DaniFani
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
I agree, and I think it's really too soon to tell if this is 100% due to a genetic fear issue, or at least partly a problem created by the owner being overly forceful with a baby puppy. It would be pretty easy to overwhelm a 4 or 5 week old puppy if you are constantly trying to dominate it and physically force it to submit rather than making socialization a fun and positive experience, engaging the puppy in play, and building confidence with reward based training.

Ditto on the book recommendation by Ballif - it's excellent!
This was my initial thought as well. Getting the pup that young, and not really understanding what a pup that young needs, can lead to huge problems. We are all (myself included) so quick to jump on the "it's the genetics" theory, but it is probably a combination of equal parts genetics, environment, and experiences.

I would stop everything you are doing until you can get a face to face trainer. Internet people aren't there to see your dog, nor do we really have a great idea of his life up until this point. Internet advice is great, for simple, "normal" things. But when you have such an abnormal, difficult situation, a face to face professional probably needs to be called in asap. Just my humble opinion. NOT an attack or "diss" on you at ALL, OP. Dog training is a steep learning curve, and even the "greats" can learn always learn more. :-) You also have a difficult situation, even a wonderful genetically sound pup, would have issues being taken away that early and thrown into this situation, imo.
12-13-2013 10:04 PM
shawnshayan9 Have you guys heard of the trainer Amy Peer? My friend used her and she seems like she really knows her stuff so I think I'm going to go to her tomorrow.
12-13-2013 10:03 PM
shawnshayan9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
I agree, and I think it's really too soon to tell if this is 100% due to a genetic fear issue, or at least partly a problem created by the owner being overly forceful with a baby puppy. It would be pretty easy to overwhelm a 4 or 5 week old puppy if you are constantly trying to dominate it and physically force it to submit rather than making socialization a fun and positive experience, engaging the puppy in play, and building confidence with reward based training.

Ditto on the book recommendation by Ballif - it's excellent!
I didn't start using the pinning down method until this week for a couple because I realized he is getting really aggressive. Thank you for all your advice i will be posting back and responding to everyone.
12-13-2013 02:42 PM
wolfy dog
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnshayan9 View Post
I watch a lot of Caesar Milan and I see him pin down dogs so thats where I got it from.
CM has some good advice but not the way to train your pup. The dominance model is outdated and will not work for a fearful dog. You need to build his self esteem by gently training him what to do. Look into clicker training. start all over as if you just got him.
Some good books: "Don't Shoot the Dog" from Karen Pryor and "The Power of Positive Dog (?) training" by Pat Miller.
Check out Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training Resources for trainers in your area that work with the gentle techniques. Observe the classes before you take your pup there.
Give it your all, this is the most crucial time in his life to make changes.
12-13-2013 01:55 PM
Cassidy's Mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by BowWowMeow View Post
Honestly, I think if you turn your approach around, start positive training classes and are a kind, clear and consistent leader you could see great results. If he is genetically fearful then you've got a little more work in store.
I agree, and I think it's really too soon to tell if this is 100% due to a genetic fear issue, or at least partly a problem created by the owner being overly forceful with a baby puppy. It would be pretty easy to overwhelm a 4 or 5 week old puppy if you are constantly trying to dominate it and physically force it to submit rather than making socialization a fun and positive experience, engaging the puppy in play, and building confidence with reward based training.

Ditto on the book recommendation by Ballif - it's excellent!
12-13-2013 01:30 PM
Baillif You probably want to go out and get a book called the Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson and do a bit of reading. You're likely going to have lifelong issues with this pup that you are going to have to start working on ASAP. The socialization issues to dogs and people are going to be part of that. You can't shy away from that kind of thing but you are going to have to work with him slowly. To be honest you really need to find a good behaviorist/trainer that has a lot of experience with cases like yours.
12-13-2013 12:26 PM
wolfy dog In your case I would take him to a veterinary behaviorist, the dog equivalent of a human psychiatrist. This person has a veterinary degree as well.
I agree with everyone else that this dog needs serious help. This puppy is under a lot of stress.
12-13-2013 12:15 PM
Bear L
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnshayan9 View Post
Guys thank you so much for your help. I am so worried now. I want to cry. I really hope he will be ok when he is just around me he is so loving and good to me. Do you think these problems can be 100% fixed if he is treated the right way? What are good GSD trainers in Los Angeles? I watch a lot of Caesar Milan and I see him pin down dogs so thats where I got it from.
Try having your dog evaluated (for free) by the GSD trainer I posted in my previous post. He has a lot of experience and is fair in his training approach, more positive than correction.

He may not be that bad if you change the way you've been interacting with him and given time to mature. But if he's of bad genetics, you just have to learn how to best manage that and he could still be a good dog with some limitations. I've a fearful dog but she's still a wonderful dog.
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