German Shepherd Dog Forums - Reply to Topic
Thread: Low threshold Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-03-2014 08:46 AM
blackshep Sorry, wasn't on over the weekend.

She went to puppy class at 10 weeks of age where she was allowed to interact with the puppies briefly (5 minutes or so?) under supervision. The group was divided in between the more boisterous pups and the more shy ones. She's never been to a dog park, and I have no intention of taking her there, after hearing all the bad stories. She's always reacted to other dogs, first time was at 9 weeks of age, I took her to Bass Pro Shop to socialize her and she saw some dogs about 50' away and barked at them.

I have gone on 2 group hikes with her, they were leashed walks and I think she just got frustrated and was crying. I haven't gone back on them, since it was obviously more than she could handle.

She objects to dogs who get in her face, I try to protect her from these dogs, but sometimes it's unavoidable, like when people have their dogs off leash and you hear them yelling "It's ok he's friendly!!!" as they are charging over, I try to get in between, but my dog is usually trying to get to the other dog, so it's hard. If they run up to her, she barks loudly at them, but after a minute she wants to play. I think she maybe is unsure about other dogs at first, but once she gets to know them, she is ok, but she tends to play really hard (as GSD's do) and so I don't normally allow her to play with other dogs.

I get differing opinions on this, some people think I should let her play with other dogs more often, I think letting her play with them will just make her more excited to meet them.

I can't find any rhyme or reason to the dogs she barks at, in terms of size, male/female etc. I'm guessing it's their body language, she seems to hate bully breeds the most, even when they are very sweet natured dogs and are ignoring her. She will ignore some and fixate on others. When she starts to fixate, I try to walk her a few steps away to get her to focus back on me.

In obedience class, if the dog does a recall too closely she freaks out, lunging and barking. I think because she is behaving herself about 99% of the time in class, people have a false sense of security and let their dogs get too close. It's a new group, so I have to say something to the people in my class to please give her more distance.

Things like one time I was walking her and there was a lady with a Mastiff who was carrying a Jolly Ball in its mouth while they were walking towards us. They were probably at least 50' away. My dog was fine, but then just as we were passing one another the Mastiff dropped the ball and the lady kicked it, so of course my dog got excited and started to bark. I just gave her a little pop on the collar and told her to leave it and kept walking past. So stuff like that creates a reaction. (I had nowhere to go in that instance it was either move closer to the lady with the Mastiff, keep going the direction I was headed, or go into the Caledonia river lol)

I think an ecollar is a valuable training tool when it's used correctly, but I wouldn't trust myself to time it right, and I also worry that it might make the problem worse.

I think I'll try to just give her as much distance as possible for the recalls, which I think will help. I wasn't sure if I should be correcting the behavior, but maybe what I'll do if it happens is just tell her "let's go" and walk the opposite way.

She's so glued to me when it comes to other people, if they try to take the leash from me and walk her away (to do our recalls) she gets really upset (she's fine if I tell her to sit and wait and hand them the leash though). But then other dogs her focus is totally on them if they get too close. So I have to figure out how to make me more fun than other dogs I guess, I'm just not sure how to do it.

She can otherwise work ok near them, we were doing an exercise where we do figure 8's around some chairs, and this is done pretty close to other dogs and she watches my face the whole time. It's mostly just if there's any running involved, she gets overstimulated.
02-01-2014 06:05 AM
carmspack the dog needs to calm and focus . The problem may have been accentuated by the handler , promoted.

e-collar? really --- in this instance LEARNED HELPLESSNESS.

dog needs to learn to function in the environment . Needs to be an active participant.

you don't clean up this behaviour -- you help the animal work through it.
02-01-2014 05:57 AM
If she were my dog I would clean this up with an e collar.
With both issues? The recalling of other dogs and the over-reacting/over-stimulating when walking in a group..

Just curious because I don't use e-collars.. Well, not yet anyway.. I have one and I know as my training evolves with my male I may eventually need to go down that road.. but for him it wouldn't be because of being reactive...
02-01-2014 12:39 AM
Blitzkrieg1 If she were my dog I would clean this up with an e collar.
01-31-2014 06:24 PM
carmspack you said ", but she tends to get pretty aroused around other dogs"
" but the moment any kind of activity happens my dog FREAKS OUT"
"she is noisy about it at first, then she gets pretty excited trying to initiate play and whatnot (in other words, she's obnoxious about it). "

puppy socialization ??
not uncommon as a result of young pups having a wild and crazy time
at the dog park ,

about socialization and dog to dog interaction, even the guide dog training manuals state that there be periods where KNOWN dogs , ideally the same age group , are allowed to interact - under supervision , controlled and for BRIEF periods before too much excitement. That way they learn to read each other and learn dog etiquette and also control .

Dog parks are marathon events , owners hoping to take the wind out of the dogs sails.

In those zones the dog should be focused on YOU , not food , or something to jam in to her mouth , YOU have to be the preferred social contact . You need to quiet her , teach her control of her emotionally charged state . No corrections.
01-31-2014 12:12 PM
Blanketback I'm trying to understand when she's reacting to the other dogs, and it sounds like: only when they're running their recalls? And otherwise she's fine? Except on pack walks, when she must be in the lead or she'll be very vocal?
01-31-2014 12:04 PM
blackshep Oh jeeze, ok. I think I'm going to need help with this :/
01-31-2014 08:37 AM
David Winners Try working on a football field. I got the idea from Lou Castle.

Game Chasing (Crittering)

You can use whatever DS/CC training that fits your program. I like the e-collar, but whatever works for you.

So what Carmen said. I use flags or a football field because it has lines on it that keep me from going too close to the stimulus.
01-31-2014 07:55 AM
blackshep I'm not sure I didn't ask. This is the place I do my scenting classes and they fit me into a class right before the scenting class, since it's a 45 minute drive for me. I can't realistically do it more than once a week, because I work full time and I have a horse farm I manage at home as well, so weekdays are pretty busy for me.

The class only has 2 other dogs in it as it is, who are good about ignoring my dog. And we go one at a time.

I'm going to see if moving the other dogs further away will work for now before I go changing thing up. My dog is fine doing recalls, it's when the other dogs do it that she acts up. I don't see how changing the dogs will really change how she reacts, since they are not the problem, if that makes sense. I don't think it's about the individual dogs, but the distance, so I'm going to see if we can increase the distance and see how that goes.

She's fine with everything else, so I'll talk to them about changing how we do the recalls to hopefully get her far enough away from the action that she doesn't get all riled up. If that doesn't work, I'll have to figure something else out.

Thanks for all the advice everyone, I think it will be a long road, but hopefully we can make some progress.
01-31-2014 06:35 AM
G-burg Does this place offer private lessons? That way you can work on this one issue in a more controlled lower key type of environment?? With the trainer bringing in one or two dogs..

Then once you have a better grasp on it, you could go back into the group setting?
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome