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Thread: Aggresive behavior from my GSD Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-03-2014 10:38 AM
Blanketback OP, your pup sounds like a great dog - just lacking in some house manners. And also he's been taught some bad habits, like the shoe attack game. I know you didn't mean to teach him this, but if you "shake him off" then this is a fun game to him and he's not going to pass up the opportunity to play. Oops, lol.

Same with pinning when he's jumping on you. If you're grabbing him and he likes it (which most do) then you're encouraging him to continue. GSDs play rough anyhow, by nature. Some of us here roughhouse with our dogs, because we like it too

If he's good with his OB when he's near the training place, then he should also be good in your home - he knows the commands, he's just not being motivated to comply. I would stop giving him treats and instead: ask for certain behavior before a giving him an even better reward, like going outside for a game of fetch. Practice with him going into his crate, or lying on his bed. Get into the habit of tiring him out - and make it a routine where when he comes back indoors, he goes to his place and relaxes in the house. He'll learn that indoors is not a free-for-all area and outdoors is where all the fun is.
02-02-2014 09:58 PM
SunCzarina That last post paints a whole different picture. He's 2, you've had him for 6 months and his last home gave him up when he was still a teenager?

I would look at bite inhibition. He probably doesn't know he's not supposed to bite shoes. Someone in his past life forgot to teach him it's not okay to bite shoes.

Hide the shoes from him. Seriously, take them off and put them away before you see him.

Get him a boodah tug. Play tug of war with him to burn off his energy. You can even hang them in a tree or off a tetherball pole. They're physical dogs, they need to burn off that energy. Tired dog is a good dog.
02-02-2014 09:48 PM
David Winners I have a bit of experience with BAT, and the only place I find it effective is in fearful animals, where the primary reward of leaving the stimulus is high because of the relief of stress it offers. I find it very effective in fearful dogs, but not effective at all for dogs that are frustrated or truly aggressive.

This may be a limitation in my understanding or implementation of the training however, so I would ask that if you have had success with this protocol in a dog without fear as the root of aggression that you would share your experience so that I may learn from it.
02-02-2014 09:35 PM
JackandMattie You've had all the best advice already. No pinning required. That can totally backfire, and in a tragic way. NILIF, exercise, and with a GSD, you might think you're done training, but that doesn't mean you will ever be done working the dog A 2-3 mile run each day, even if you have to cheat and use a bicycle or golf cart (like I do, lol!), and 15-20 mins of OB per day will work wonders. Are you feeding him kibble? If so, don't put it in a bowl. Spend twenty minutes making him do commands to earn his kibble. It doesn't take that long, can be done in the kitchen, and has amazing results and it is FUN!


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02-02-2014 08:13 PM
Rick4714 Thank you for the in depth response. finding information and tips is sometimes a difficult to find. We rescued this GSD from a home about a 1 1/2 years ago and absolutely love him. He can be the sweetest dog in the world but at times can be aggrevating. I just signed up on this site today and will keep watching the posts I get taking notes as I go. Thanks again.
02-02-2014 07:03 PM
David Taggart I don't think that here you have a behavioral problem as such, you have a problem with young energy bursting out of him. He would rest on the settee and digest his dinner if he was tired. As far as I understand he is OK off leash. Think exercising him harder. "An obedient GSD is a tired GSD" - it was written in our club.
It would be wrong to define his behaviour as agressive. He simply demands yours and your wife's attention by biting you both, she can easily train him herself in your absence just knowing NILIF principles:
The Dog Trainer : Should You Use ?Nothing in Life Is Free? with Your Dog? :: Quick and Dirty Tips ?
02-02-2014 06:39 PM
carmspack BEHAVIOR ADJUSTMENT TRAINING - BAT FOR FEAR, FRUSTRATION, AND AGGRESSION IN DOGS - Dog Training Books - Dogwise.com
02-02-2014 06:31 PM
David Winners
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick4714 View Post
He will still do everything he learned when we take him by the training location for a visit.
It sounds like you need to generalize his obedience behaviors. I suggest doing fun play sessions with random OB commands in different locations until he is responding well.

If he isn't engaged with you while out and about, I would start there, working on "watch," or whatever you use for focus. You can be random and unpredictable when on walks to teach him to pay attention. Once you have good engagement, the distractions mean less to the dog, and you can retain control through OB commands if necessary.

Getting the dog in the habit of paying attention to you and looking to you for guidance is the goal of these exercises. You need to be interesting and unpredictable without jabbering constantly at the dog. Use movement and random reinforcement to accomplish this.


As far as the bad behavior at home, it is something you shouldn't have allowed in the first place. I only say that so you understand, and so others reading this will understand, not to demean you in any way. I know you are doing your best.

First, I would manage the behavior in the house with a leash or drag line in the house at all times. If he begins jumping, you can step on the leash to control the dog instead of engaging him physically, which he might see as play.

I would also show him what behavior is rewarding, and which behavior is not. Work him inside with some treats or a toy held at chest level, so he knows they are there. When he jumps up, you say "nope" and break the engagement with the dog, putting the reward behind your back. The dog needs to see that when he jumps, the game stops and the rewards go away. If he is too big or excited to do this, have another person restrain him with the leash while you leave the room. If he sits instead of jumping, BAM, he gets a reward and the game continues.


You don't say if you are using corrections in training. If you are, you can pair a correction with the jump or mouthing. I think this training will probably work best with 2 people; one holding the leash behind the dog and one engaging the dog.

As Chip kind of alluded to earlier, pinning the dog isn't going to get you anywhere except amping the dog up further, or driving him into defense. Neither of these things is going to be productive in your training. I think your communication needs to be clear and concise, timed so the dog understands exactly what works to get the reward, and what causes failure.
02-02-2014 05:10 PM
wyoung2153 Something to think about too is herding instinct.. not a clue if that is this situation.. but the not wanting you leave the house was definitely a light to me on herding. I had a boarder collie/lab mix that was like this. Anyone we talked to instantly said herding.

And yes, ramp up his exercise.. will help with calming him in the house.
02-02-2014 04:48 PM
Rick4714 Thank you for your comments. When I said he completed two training sessions, it was two complete obedience courses. A basic class and an intermediate class. He was the model student. He will still do everything he learned when we take him by the training location for a visit. My wife does share an active part in spending time with Hank, however when he gets worked up he can be overpowering. I do have a 2 acres fenced for him to play and we do go through lots of toys and we do take him to the local stores that allow dogs inside (although mostly on the weekend. I looked into Rally, wasnt quite sure what that was. This does look promising and there may be stuff I can do indoors. At times it's hard to get him out doors everyday in the winter for exercise since everyone in the house either works or has school. Sounds like he may just be getting bored in the house and wants something different to do. Again, I do appreciate the comments.
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