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Thread: emotional frenzy around people and dogs??!! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-08-2012 01:37 PM
Cassidy's Mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Shepherdfan View Post
I know i'm going to hear that he is not socialized enough and needs to get out and see more people. I'm going to hear that i shouldn't raise a gsd in a truck. I'll hear lots of negative things and i really dont want it or need it.
Not from me. From your description it sounds like he really likes people and the flailing and nipping is purely out of control excitement, not aggressive behavior based on fear. What I would be doing is TONS of work on impulse control. Right now he's getting to meet people in spite of his inappropriate behavior, so he's being reinforced for doing exactly what you don't want him to do. To fix that you're going to have to make sure that this behavior NEVER works to get him what he wants, while training a new behavior for polite greetings. The most difficult part of this may be getting people to go along with it.

If when you're busy with your truck and can't really control people from approaching him, you might want to consider putting him back in the truck after he goes potty. And then when you have a few free minutes, bring him out and get some nearby people to work with you on it. Once he figures out that the ONLY way he gets to meet people is to sit calmly, and that if he breaks his sit and starts to flail about, they either stop and freeze (best if they ignore him and look away too), or even back further away from him, his behavior should start to improve. The second he gets excited and bitey, the people leave. His behavior controls his access to people.

We worked on an exercise in puppy class where all the dogs were tethered to the hooks in the walls, room, and the people in class went around the room and approached each dog in turn. If they could get close enough, they would reward the dog with a treat and then move on to the next one. But they could only continue approaching if the dog remained calm. Think of it as green light - go (dog is sitting and calm), yellow light - stop (dog is standing and starting to get excited), red light - back away (dog is whining or barking in excitement and/or flailing about). Yellow light means they have to wait until he calms down to continue approaching, red light means they have to increase distance so they're further away.

Although this starts out with impulse control around food, I've found it's a great game to play with puppies:


From food you can go onto toys, and there's no reason you can't use it with people too - have them stand still while you approach with him on leash, and either continue approaching them, stop and wait for calmer behavior, or back further away depending on his demeanor, as I described above.

Exercise is very important, but I think a lot of people don't also reinforce calm behavior enough. Just like any other behavior, you can teach a dog to calm down, to relax, to hang out and chill for awhile. Training a dog to go to a mat is great, and something you can easily start now. I wrote about it on this thread: http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ml#post1509124

Remember that attention is very reinforcing so if he continues to get attention for inappropriate behavior there is no incentive for him to stop doing it. He needs to be managed so he can't behave badly when greeting people, while he gets tons of reinforcement for doing it right.
12-08-2012 12:05 PM
NJ Shepherdfan
emotional frenzy around people and dogs??!!

Chewy has been with me since i picked him up as a pup and he is 3.5 months old now.. Still has his teddy bear like fur and all the dopey cuteness we all love and adore about GSD pups.. His ears are up with the exception of the right one that keeps wanting to flop halfway through the day but that's ok i know it'll change soon enough. ..

Chewy is NOT my first GSD but he is the first i've ever raised in a truck.
Chewy lives with me in my truck (tractor trailer) and yes he is being raised in the truck. He does pretty good with it so far. Being that he is a high energy dog i do my best to make sure he gets lots of run time and take him for frequent walks. He knows a lot of tricks and commands and he very intelligent with the exception of his behavior at certain times.

Before i go into it i'd like to say that i am 44 years old and i've had MANY pets growing up and into my adult life and yes GSD's and i've never had this issue come up before so its really got me concered because i just don't know how to deal with it. When i get to a truck stop or delivrey i make it first rule to go and take Chewy to do his business because if i dont he WILL and has pee'd and pooped all ovre my truck and no its NOT fun at all... With that said he does his business and i often tie him outside while i get my flatbed trailer ready to unload or load. People naturally see him and they go into " cute puppy" mode and want to go pet him and cuddle him and that's fine. As soon as they get in his zone though he goes into a little frenxy where he is almost trying to turn himself inside out just to get to them and have all their attentions... Its not that easy tho folks because he is jumping up at them and digging claws in and he is barking and biting too.

Since Chewy was a pup he has had this fixation for feet and shoes and still hasnt learned to stay away from feet. Yes i've trained him to stay away from mine but he is still a bit defient with that too but with strangers he goes in and bites their fancy shoes and nips at their pants legs and rips holes in them. When i pick him up so they can pet him he is now a 35 pound nut who is flailing around in m arms and trying to climb inside everyone he meets. He nips and bites their arms and shirts and coasts and DOES bite holes through them and i've been lucky that no one has demanded i replace or repair their garments. I'd be broke if this were the case. I try to hold his snouth when he is getting out of control and he turns to me fast licking my face and digging claws at me with wagging tail and nips and bites my cheeks and mouth and neck. Its embarressing that he is soo out of control like this and i'm not sure how to address it because in all my years of having dogs i've never had this situation to deal with.

Last weekend i took him to Petsmart for a puppy bath and it was his second time there so it was old hats to him ya know... I dropped him off and later on i get a call 2 hours later saying to come pick him up and i was told by the girl that he was very out of control with the nipping and biting people and that he'd bitten and torn a hole in the girls pants and did the same to a manager who came to help get him settled down. They told me that if he had this behavior again that he wouldnt be welcomed back for any grooming services at all..... That's NOT cool

This is NOT appropriate behavior at all and i really want to curb this and turn it around.

I know i'm going to hear that he is not socialized enough and needs to get out and see more people. I'm going to hear that i shouldn't raise a gsd in a truck. I'll hear lots of negative things and i really dont want it or need it.. Chewy is no differant then any other dog and as for a dog being raised in a truck i know an older trucker who drives with 3 dogs in his truck!!! LOL now to me that is nuts!!!

My goal with Chewy is to nip this problem NOW before it grows into a much BIGGER and more SERIOUS problem down the road. Please help me get this Tasmanian devil calmed down around people and other dogs before its too late...

FYI he is fed and watered well enough.
has lot of toys to chew on and lots of thing he is NOT supposed to chew on but does anyways.
he is VERY intelligent and follows commands very quick.

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