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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-05-2016 03:03 AM
Originally Posted by maxtmill View Post
Yes, I do see the merit in allowing a dog to be a dog and run free, but safety is a concern. A solid recall first will be essential, I assume!
Young puppies are very reluctant to leave your side when off lead, it is natural for them to want to follow and stay with you. You can build on it from there. Of course, you would do this somewhere safe, but many on this forum use this method with great success to teach solid recalls. Leashing puppies all the time can be counterproductive to this simple method.

Ask the owners of the well behaved dogs you admire in Costa Rica. Don't be surprised when they tell you they have never leashed their dogs.
07-04-2016 08:39 PM
maxtmill Yes, I do see the merit in allowing a dog to be a dog and run free, but safety is a concern. A solid recall first will be essential, I assume!
07-04-2016 04:22 PM
Jenny720 Growing we had a dog that lived down the block his name was mulligan- he was a beagle mix- medium small sized. The owners always let him roam the streets. My mother nicknamed him Mulligan Stew because many neighbors would get angry with him as he got quite a few female dogs pregnant or raided their garbage. they were not happy with him. I heard 1 man shot him in the eye with a bee bee gun because he impregnated his dog- yeah the man was not well like regardless. Mulligan was blind in one eye because of that and yet the owners still let him roam free. We would see him trot down the middle of the road always looking like he had somewhere to go and was late. Anyway this dog out lived 2 of our dogs- I swear he lived to be around 18-20 if that is possible. I was in 2 grade when he was a pup still around when I was in college. Mulligan I'm sure he can tell quite a few stories. Not that I would let my dogs free roam Just always thought mulligan was a mystery.
07-04-2016 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by maxtmill View Post
I currently live in Costa Rica, where there are many many street dogs; they trot around downtown, appear to know how to cross the streets without getting run over, and never make a nuisance of themselves. Most of the dogs in the main part of downtown are fed scaps by people, and don't appear starving (unlike all the strays in the country!). Many of the locals have pet dogs who follow them around town unleashed, but they follow their folks and never run off. The locals are not known as being dog lovers, but their dogs are very well behaved! It is somewhat of a mystery to me!
When I grew up, there were no leash laws. The dogs were also very well behaved and responsive to their owners. To this day, I can see the same in dogs who are given plenty of freedom off leash starting at an early age vs dogs always housed inside, and/or fenced / tied outside, and always leashed off property regardless of length of leash.

I don't know, maybe it has something to do with just letting a dog be a dog unfettered. I can't fathom how a dog can be mentally and emotionally healthy when constantly restrained.
07-04-2016 09:41 AM
Julian G Leerburg is against anyone petting your dog or any dog parks. I can see why.
07-04-2016 07:44 AM
Way Too Quiet I have to say that I was very concerned about our GSD's temperment after bringing him home at 8 wks. He seemed too shy and a bit nervy. Bringing him out to a park seemed too much for him and he would mostly bark and acted like a wild animal in public. And he had had come from a great breeder who exposed the litter to noises and people/kids, etc. Consistent training at home and plenty of car rides within the comfort of his crate have paid off. My husband and I took him out this weekend to a very busy downtown area and farmer's market and he was really good! He's 6 months old now and I will be bringing him out much more now that he can handle it. I think if I would have pushed him with too much when he was younger it wouldn't have turned out so well. I questioned myself a lot during the last 4 months though. Everyone says, socialize, socialize, socialize. I think you can only do what your pup is ready for.
07-02-2016 08:19 PM
Originally Posted by Chip18 View Post
Rocky my GSD taught me the value of ignore and move on. The breed of dog has a bearing on the issue also. My BullMastiff/Pit mix and my Boxer loved, people they learned to ignore other dogs,Vet visits and dog parades were not an issue for them.

Everyone one wanted to see Struddell White Boxer and she loved the attention and Pitt people loved Gunther ,neither of them had an issue with strangers it was just there nature. So they were free to engage if people "chose" to do so

Rocky Blk GSD...not so much! I got him as a 7 month old as a rescue and I would have though he would have been used to strangers?? We had guest over for the first time and he growled at them???

Got him away from company, got a muzzle and instituted "move on and ignore" step in front and a "no you can't pet my dog policy" no forced intros whatsoever, No people meeting no doggie intro, dogs and people became furniture to him.

After a few weeks dropped the use of the muzzle, when I knew how to "read "him. We went to vaccine day (without the muzzle) all kinds of howling, barking, vet biting, little dog craziness. Kept Rocky by my side on a loose leash, He stood calmly by my side observing the goings on without interest. His turn comes and again no issues, no muzzle and no problems,

He still doesn't welcome company with open "paws" but he's no longer a threat to guest. Had I insisted on him being the happy go lucky "never met a stranger I did not like" I love everybody kind of dog my other dogs were, I don't know what I would have today?

But today he's a confident, self assured, safe in public example of a well behaved GSD! That's all I wanted from him and it's what he delivered once, I understood what his limits were and made allowances for his needs !
Hi Chip! Yes, I agree that breed means alot. Everyone loved our Boxers, and they absolutely loved everyone! I don't expect or want that from my GSD. I want him to acknowledge then ignore people, and I don't want people falling all over him/her.
07-02-2016 08:10 PM
Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
In my time spent in rather "ancient" cultures, the way dogs are treated is vastly different than in the pet culture of the western world. It is a myth that people of the middle east do not like dogs. Many have them as pets, and the herding and nomadic tribes utilize dogs for work and companionship. In Korea, there are many dogs that live in the city and move freely along the streets with their owners. You see litters of puppies hanging out in front of stores, or in some alley.

These dogs are raised as part of life. They are not fawned over by every passer by. Most people notice them little more than they would a discarded food wrapper or group of children playing a game of stones. The dogs reciprocate this "normalcy" of life, in that they don't seek attention from every passer by either. Unless they are hungry and you are offering food, they don't even respond when enticed to interact.

The herding dogs will protect their flock and family with their lives. They put on a big display if you come too near, and will attempt to drive you off if necessary. If you turn to leave, they fall back into normal life, in control of themselves and the situation with no guidance from their family. Many times you will see a very young child, 8-10 years old, by themselves in the mountains with the flock, accompanied only by a pair of dogs to watch over them. Vegetation is so sparse that the flock must continually move to feed itself. The child knows the route of movement to take that will bring the flock through the most fertile areas and back to the village in a few days. The dogs maintain flock integrity and provide warning and protection to the flock and the shepherd alike.

These same dogs, who will drive you off if they encounter you in the mountains, reside calmly in the village when they are home. They are not contained and know the rules of living with people and other animals. They are calm and obedient to their owners, but in a general way. They understand normalcy and fit in to life because they are a part of real life from the time they are born, not some orchestrated and condensed socialization plan that overstimulates them.

In places where dogs are not a big deal, are not fawned over and are not put under pressure to be something unnatural to their genetic temperament, dogs successfully integrate into daily life without pause. They learn through observation and regular routine what is expected of them and how to behave. Their job is much like that of the people who choose to have them as partners. They fill the voids in their group and strive to help where they are asked. They will chase down a chicken for the evening meal, escort a toddler to the river to fetch water, fight off a pack of coyotes and bark when an unfamiliar face shows up on the horizon. No training DVDs required.

I think we trainers could benefit from being put in a down stay and being forced to observe dogs behaving well until we are calm
I currently live in Costa Rica, where there are many many street dogs; they trot around downtown, appear to know how to cross the streets without getting run over, and never make a nuisance of themselves. Most of the dogs in the main part of downtown are fed scaps by people, and don't appear starving (unlike all the strays in the country!). Many of the locals have pet dogs who follow them around town unleashed, but they follow their folks and never run off. The locals are not known as being dog lovers, but their dogs are very well behaved! It is somewhat of a mystery to me!
07-02-2016 07:55 PM
Originally Posted by Courtney View Post
Luckily for us what people told me socialization was supposed to look like right off the bat made me uneasy. It seemed so forced-fake. I'm not a outgoing person with a ton of friends always on the go. My social circle is small. My husband and I private. The idea of having to meet random strangers all the time, stopping for petting zoo type of encounters with people, puppy play dates...yuck.

I liked the idea of the GSD personality. Aloof...somewhat of a one person dog. Perfect for my personality. We will be great partners.

I did expose and socialize but it was done my way, it was casual & part of my life already. He was my tag-a-long for any errand. We explored together. Love getting him outside to climb, jump, crawl low, balance, etc. My husband would build obstacle courses for him in the yard with whatever was laying around, so much fun. Those moments when he wasn't sure...encouraging him, building that confidence. You are a rock star puppy

I took him to the gun range several husband was already there. He sat and watched, interested.

Sure he met strangers & children along the way. He learned to ignore other dogs in class - gets to romp around sometimes with my neighbors awesome dog.

We are active and love to be outdoors hiking & camping. He runs with my husband.

But sometimes I just want to stay home with my sweats on and have a down day to watch movies under the blanket all day, do nothing. It was important that I had a dog that would accept down time and not need to be entertained and on the go all the time. I have that with Rusty and I think it's because I just kept it simple with 'raising' him...if you will.
Hello! I know this is an old thread, but SO informative. I am much like you - I am somewhat of an introvert, and enjoy my privacy.When I go out with my current dog (not a GSD), he gets a lot of attention due to the rarity of his breed where I live, plus his good looks. But I make him sit to get petted briefly. I don't allow anyone to fall all over him. My last shepherd would just sit and ignore my neighbors when I would encounter them on a walk, and they didn't try to pet her. When I get my next GSD pup, that is what I will prefer-quiet acceptance and basically ignore other people. I love a "one person dog". All that lovey-dovey socialization is not my cup of tea.
06-25-2015 11:36 AM
carmspack Bailiff reinforces exactly what I have been saying !!!
just read pages 3 and 4 of this

I said it here -- keep on going and you'll need the book Fired Up , Frantic and Freaked Out

more from Bailiff "

Doesn't matter what their day was like.

They are conditioned to relax in the house. I don't allow them to play in the house or do anything high intensity in the house outside of something that has a cue to start and finish.

When we go outside or in the training room they go nuts. When they are in working mode they are wired. In the house or crate it is chill time.

People always go assuming a tired dog is a good dog. No. A tired dog is a tired dog. If you went to a maximum security prison and saw a serial killer who had just gotten done lifting weights all day because that is all he had to do, and he was asleep in his cell would you go and say oh what a good man? No. He is still a psycho killer he is just asleep. Same with dogs.

People who don't understand dogs and training assume keeping them calm is about tiring them out and it isn't the case. Keeping them calm is about managing and training their mental and emotional states. "
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