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Thread: Suggestions wanted for our weak nerved 8 month old GSD. Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-24-2012 01:28 PM
msvette2u You should work on some of these things. Can never hurt

Mind Games (version 1.0) by M. Shirley Chong
11-24-2012 01:23 PM
ChiliD We've socialized him since we brought him home at 8 weeks. He has been to parades, fairs, the beach, crowded downtown, etc, regularly. We just got home from the woods where we encountered a woman with a Lab, Chihuahua, and medium sized mutt, all off leash, and he did fine. Didn't even acknowledge the woman. Back to the car, berserk upon seeing a guy 50 feet away, then at every car on the short ride home. I've got to find a crate for my Jeep. The one we brought him in on Thanksgiving fits in my wife's car, not mine. I took him to Petsmart a few days ago to weigh him, and he did great. This is what confuses me a bit. To reiterate an earlier point, at my parents, he was fine when my sister and family got there. After awhile he began barking at my nephew. In the meantime the marker training continues, and we'll keep working with him.
11-24-2012 11:26 AM
Jo_in_TX Teddy (ten months tomorrow) definitely went through this phase, which did take me by surprise. My othewise laid-back, friendly pup barked frantically at people who approached the car, and even barked at a few folks in places like Petsmart.

She's already coming out of it. Petsmart was very crowded yesterday, and we stayed for a while, yet she behaved beautifully. No barking in the car and none in the parking lot. Let people pet her, when I was purposely avoiding people just a month ago.

She also just finished her first heat (a little on the late side, I think?). Frankly, I think she had a lot of pent-up, hormonal-type craziness for a couple of months.
11-24-2012 10:21 AM
MaggieRoseLee I absolutely positively know that my pups all grow thru different developmental (fear? ) stages and the more I do EARLY on to prepare them, the easier it is to work thru when they 'suddenly' crop up.

Vital to all of this is the socialization and instant feedback/assistance I get from dog classes. Going once a week forces me to deal with any/all situations weekly and gives me the tools to work thru them for the next session.

What are your classes doing to help with this? If it's only getting worse than I'd look into a different instructor with more experience in different breeds.

SOCIALIZATION with people and the world is so key for our dogs the first year and I'm also not clear on how many thousands (I'm not so much kidding) of people your pup has been exposed to so far. The more new people and new situations many of our puppies can be exposed to...... and that we guide them thru as calm confident leaders (giving and handing out treats) the less scary and more boring the real world will be. So over reacting in a totally inappropriate manner doesn't even come up when a pup is deeply in the 'we are going into town to walk down Main St AGAIN!' mode.
11-23-2012 09:54 PM
onyx'girl Karlo has never barked reactively in his crate in the vehicle(only when he hears gunshot/whips during training or sees protection)
People can walk their dogs by no problem. But with maturity, he doesn't allow people to put their fingers in his crate, it shows in his eyes and he has nipped or low growled when someone has done so.
Bark collars are fine, I'd get one that stims up til the dog shuts up, then you know the level needed. I wouldn't put one on a dog younger than 8 months though.
11-23-2012 09:01 PM
NancyJ I think he is a bit young but, honestly, I have no issues with a bark collar on an adult dog in a car crate. Several of our high drive SAR dogs go ballistic about their crates even though they are fine animals with no agression issues. The bark collar, we have found, actually helps keep the dogs from getting worked up in the vehicle and keeps them mellow all the way around.

Like I said, these are adult dogs. Not sure I wouldn't try other approaches with a puppy. Beau has been in his crate in the truck most Saturday mornings since he was a puppy and he actually puts his face against the side of it for my teammates to scratch because he has very nice associations with people and his truck. So even though he barks at the fence in my backyard, the truck is not something he feels any need to defend.
11-23-2012 08:24 PM
JeanKBBMMMAAN A lot of time it's barrier frustration for the car thing - it's like they are when they fence fight. And it can be fear based too/combo. That way no one will come near me eek. I had a dog who LOVED to do this - loved to pop up and scare the bejeepers out of people. When I was in the car with him, I could stop it, but not when I wasn't. So I am not sure how much reinforcing he was doing on his own - it seems like it happened more when I was nearby.

I did a lot of reinforcing of what I DID want him to do, after starting with corrections, which he just blew off - and it's not easy to do corrections while driving but easier to toss some treats back. When he got old, I'd let him do it. He loved it.

The crate should help.

For the home stuff, the kid stuff, I would talk to a behaviorist. I like to recommend Suzanne Clothier type trainers, or positive based trainers who might use a clicker - which smart dogs seem to really pick up on. I feel for you on the kid thing, that is too bad, given the research, etc.
11-23-2012 08:20 PM
Originally Posted by Elaine View Post
No, dogs do not go through fear stages. Pet people like to call them fear stages as an excuse for poor training, poor socialization, or poor nerves.
Oh, I didn't know weak nerves could come and go?
11-23-2012 08:05 PM
Originally Posted by ChiliD View Post
Exercise, or the lack of it is definitely not the problem. My guy get tons of it, mainly hikes in the forest near me, and I don't lollygag in the woods. My wife also takes him around the neighborhood on leash. Not a day goes by where he isn't exercised. Sometimes I question whether it is too much at his age. I don't run him yet, though he runs a lot on his own, it is fast hiking through very hilly terrain.

What about mental exercise? Some dogs require more mental exercise then physical exercise. Its a different balance for each dog, you just have to find it.
11-23-2012 07:58 PM
Sunflowers Have these behaviors begun recently, or was this a slow buildup?

Do you correct him for this, and if so, how?
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