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Thread: Am I making things worse or do I persevere? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-14-2014 02:42 PM
LynnPritchard Thanks for the vote of confidence and the solid advice! And HOORAY for your girl (and you!)!
04-14-2014 09:57 AM
Amurphy26 Whatever you do don't make the same mistake I did. I was so worried about what other dog owners might think of my barking, lunging GSD, for a while I avoided other dog owners. Big mistake! It just made her worse.

Good luck, I'm sure yours will calm down. 8 mths to 18 mths was the hardest time so far.x

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04-14-2014 09:50 AM
LynnPritchard Hallelujah!! Such great news!

Mine means so well and is a sweetheart, but when 83 lbs of shepherd looks aggressive, it isn't pretty to others, human or canine!
04-14-2014 09:48 AM
Amurphy26 Maturity probably does play a large part. She's 19 mths now and we've both noticed that in general life she seems a lot calmer and relaxed. Part of our problem was also a lack of other dogs for socialising but I lost confidence in her and my own abilities which made things worse. A friend of mine has a 3yr old GSD who they said was exactly the same as our bitch when she was younger. Total demon and very reactive, she's now going on walks with 10 other dogs and is very well behaved. They're my inspiration.

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04-14-2014 09:33 AM
LynnPritchard Do you suppose that general maturity could have anything to do with it, too? I cannot remember how old she is.

We're now a bit concerned about our GDS 8 mo old puppy, as there aren't enough dogs around him for him to be properly socialized. Frankly, he's a ninny, but his general insecurity that tends to manifest itself in his barking at and appearing to be aggressive toward both other dogs and people. Nothing is easy.
04-14-2014 09:17 AM
Amurphy26 Thank you. I'm so used to her reacting I didn't really know what to do with myself! I loved it!

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04-14-2014 09:11 AM
LynnPritchard What WONDERFUL news! Well done! So very glad to hear about your progress!
04-14-2014 09:01 AM
Amurphy26 Progress!!

I can be a bit negative sometimes and often feel like I'm not getting anywhere but recently we have made amazing progress! I think a combination of techniques such as using the 'leave' and 'watch' commands and BAT have slowly increased my dogs trust in me. It started with finding that she calms down much quicker after her initial explosive reaction and both yesterday and today were amazing!

Today in particular I took her into our local village. It's starting to get busier now that the weathers better and there were loads if barking dogs about. We didn't have one single reaction! A choc lab that she has previously gone crazy at from 10 metres away was doing it's best to wind her up but not only did she not react she looked relaxed! She looked at me when I said leave when I thought she was staring for too long and even went for a pat from a stranger!

I'm sure that there will be some bad days and there hasn't been an over night transformation but so far I am loving this good day!

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02-16-2014 01:30 AM
Chip18 Give yourself a break, Nobody expects you to be perfect, I'm certainly not! You got sandbagged it happens, glad you found some help! Doing it alone can be very hard and overwhelming and you can't "fix" everything at once. Baby steps and time is what it takes and you learn along the way.
02-15-2014 09:54 PM
Originally Posted by Amurphy26 View Post
Thank you. I'm working with a trainer at the moment on handling her reactions at the initial greeting and at the same time organising to meet up with other like minded dog people to build on the work I've been doing.
Originally I wondered if I was pushing her too far and at the point I started this thread I definitely was.

With regards to her recall, the off lead dog was at her before I had a chance to call her, I have to give her length in the lead as part of the training and if I was a brilliant handler without fault I wouldn't have asked for advice. I am a determined and dedicated owner so with all my failings I will continue to work with her but there will always be slips and times when I doubt myself. Cheers for the support. I'll let you know how we get on.

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Yay! I'm confident you'll make good progress I'm pretty sure all of us have had poor timing, bad judgement, and seriously doubted our handling ability, but perseverance and imperfect dogs make better trainers of us all Wishing you luck!
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