|08-13-2013 04:37 PM|
|Mary Beth||Yes, it does take time and he will test your patience. Since you also mentioned anxiety issues, Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas may be helpful. It is a short book, also on dvd. YouTube also has a video.|
|08-13-2013 03:04 PM|
|LauraJav||Thanks- I'm working on the down and stay command.. he stays for about 3 minutes. I'll keep trying to work his off switch. He knows gentle- so if we go to pet him and say gentle he won't bite (most of the time)... so it's a slow process I guess.|
|08-10-2013 09:15 AM|
Mary's suggestions are also something you should practice. For my puppy it is near the computer chair/room or the tv where I want him chilling out and not running out of sight getting into trouble, or in the back seat of the car.
I noticed my pup would sometimes get car sick from looking out the window so I don't let him anymore. He gets put in a down stay and chills out back there chewing on a toy or sleeps. Anxiety and excitement are not allowed in the car. You can block states of mind just like you can block a behavior.
Pacing is right up there with whining as far as anxiety is concerned. You shouldn't allow it when you see it. If you are going to correct the behavior you have to block it when it starts and is at low intensity, otherwise to get it to stop you have to use progressively higher intensity corrections which IMO is counterproductive. Getting a dog to relax by yelling HEY! RELAX! is a little silly (although for some dogs it works).
|08-10-2013 08:54 AM|
With belgian mals and german shepherds sometimes you need to work on installing an off switch.
I usually do this by waiting till they are being lazy and tired (near sleep) and calmly praise them "good relax." You can choose a different word if you wish it really doesn't matter.
While you do this you can gently grab and massage a shoulder or something like that. It creates an anchor when you do this enough times. When they are hyped up or anxious you just grab them gently on the shoulder in the same way you did when they were calm and say "relax".
It is kind of like free shaping a relaxation command. Lots of people teach their dogs to potty on command the same way, simply by saying "good potty" when they are going to the bathroom every time they do it. Then when they go outside eventually they just say "go potty" and the dog will start doing it.
You should also correct your dog every time he starts to pace or whine or show signs of anxiety. Usually just a "hey" or a "no" and a little poke with a finger will do. Let him know you don't agree with it, then get him to relax and then give affection when he calms down.
|08-09-2013 02:03 PM|
|Mary Beth||Max needs his crate which is his den to feel safe, so I suggest you don't try to take it away from him. Taking it away only increases his anxiety level. Max does sound all wound up so I suggest you have quiet times with Max which will teach him to relax. There is an excellent chapter on this in the Monks of New Skete "How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend". So, I would start in the house with Max on his leash -you sit - have Max on the down/stay next to your chair - Max can have his favorite toy for company - then totally ignore Max - if he whines - yawn that is a calming signal but look away from him - if he gets up - put him back down - start with 5 minutes -you read. Then at the end - calmly release Max from his down/stay and praise him. Work your way to 30 minutes. Max will gradually learn that it is just better to take a nap. Then take your quiet times outside - I suggest a park - pick a quiet bench - again - sit , have Max on the down/stay. Then as he gets better - move to more busy areas - again sit on a bench with Max on the down/stay. For the walking - again take it slow - just a half a block in a different direction. Be sure to act calm and be patient - don't walk fast - let Max sniff. For the nervous diarrhea, I would give a daily pre-biotic to help his digestion, you can search some of the threads - I use Optagest.|
|08-09-2013 11:43 AM|
is this anxiety?
Max is about 10 months old. He has come a long way from the shark days of puppy craze. He is good, he listens well, plays fetch and actually drops the ball now. He barks when he wants to go out.. he bops my arm on his head to pet him- we adore him..
My question is- I've been noticing that he doesn't know how to calm down. He gets very nervous around people he doesn't know and other dogs- he wants to play and will eventually accept other people and dogs (most of them) but if he encounters anything new- he gets massive diarrhea. (his first time seeing lightning bugs was quite amusing) At the house, I want to remove the crate, but when he is outside the crate- he can't settle down.. even if I tire him out with a walk or game of fetch. (which also causes messy poop) he's always "on guard" and trying to see what everyone is doing (4 people in my house). He literally paces the floors.
When people he knows come over- he's fine with them. If we try to introduce him to new environments (like my sister's house, or PetSmart or what not) he stresses out and whines and cries the whole time.
I've been trying to slowly introduce him to new things over many months and I don't see an improvement. Even on walks, if I take a different route, he gets all whiney and tries to lead me back home and gets messy poops.
I know alot of the shepherd traits is to herd the pack, but how can I get him to chill out without putting him in his crate to nap. He has a dog bed in the house, which he brings his toys too- which is great.. but he won't sleep out of the crate and walks (where he encounters new things like a baby stroller or people stress him out)