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Thread: A controlling pushy pup named "DISASTER!" Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-08-2014 04:11 PM
selzer A couple of training tips:

1. Don't give a command that you cannot immediately enforce. This isn't forever, but while your dog is in active training, you need to only give commands that you can immediately enforce. This means your dog is on lead. There are other ways to get a dog to do what you want it to if it off lead. Commands in training need to be consistently enforced, so that you can then praise the dog, and reinforce the training.

2. Do not repeat commands. Say it once. Do not repeat commands. Say it once. Give him a chance to do it, then help the dog get into whatever position you want him in. This is quick. SIT -- 3 seconds -- dog isn't sitting, physically help him, "Good Boy." Physically help him, may mean lifting up on the collar, and running a hand down the back o the waist so that the dog will sit. Do not slam him into a sit position or push on his hips. Keep it light and keep it fun. Do NOT repeat commands. This teaches the dog to ignore you until you turn your I-MEAN-BUSINESS-VOICE on. This is VERY un-leader-like. Don't repeat yourself, it is annoying to you, and to your dog.

3. Train each command in steps. Do not put a leash on the dog and go heeling around the block. That's nuts. Well, if you put a prong on the dog you may get around the block ok, but there's a better way. Start slow. Rally Obedience is great because you follow signs that are placed so every 3-5 steps generally, you are changing direction, changing pace, sitting, downing, walking through a spiral, etc. What you need to do is get your pup where you want him, a lure is ok for this, then take a few steps, Good Boy! Good Heel. Try again, Good Boy, Good heel. Be patient, and increase your distance as you get better, and phase out treats, as he starts getting good at it. Make him work for that treat. But start out liberally.

4. Don't train for an hour all at once. Break it up. Tire him out with the ball in the back yard, then go for a walk. Heel across streets. The rest of the time, give him some line, just don't let him pull you. You're the one with the human brain, dig in your heels and don't follow if he starts pulling. Change directions and go the other way.

5. Only train a command 3 times in a row. Then move on to something else.

6. Start every training session with some thing fun and happy.

7. End every training session with something he knows, likes, and with plenty of praise.

I am sure there are others.

Good luck.

PS. Your dog does not sound like he is dominant. He sounds more like he is soft, and is giving you some avoidance signals, and shutting down. Soft dogs can be trained to be awesome dogs. But you have to approach training light and fun, with plenty of praise. You have to have realistic expectations, and you have to be patient.
02-08-2014 10:29 AM
e.rigby Sounds like he doesn't have fair and consistent rules. Relying on correction to get what you want doesn't always work when the puppy/dog finds great reinforcement in the things you don't want him to do... If I were you I'd incorporate the help of a trainer, implement a NILIF policy. Redirect and reinforce behaviors you want instead of correcting behaviors you don't want. Figure out a way to really exercise your puppy, if he's a high energy pup, a walk isn't going to do it. Off leash time where he can run and chase a toy might be a better option if it is viable.
02-08-2014 09:51 AM
carmspack a dog that is one and one half years is not a pup. behaviour which may have been "cute" as a pup , gaining the name Disaster , has become a bit of a self fulfilling prophesy - and unimaginable to endure over the next ten years of the dogs life. Something needs to be done for the sake of the dog , for the sake of the owner.

From your description in point one , the dog's toilet habits , I take it that you are taking the dog out on a leash to potty "he will sniff and pull and sniff and pull but never go" -- creating two problems , one is being on lead and expecting the dog to pull on lead and to take YOU for a walk, not the other way around, and two, is going to toilet while on a walk.
My dogs don't toilet on leash . There is a time and a place .
So that brings me to asking you if it is possible to create a spot which is a bathroom area in your yard . Can you dedicate an area that is enclosed , with a bed or pea gravel , wood shavings , patio stones , something that you can easily keep clean by removing solids .
You can get cheap pre-made kennels which need a bit of assembly , or get an x pen which you can span across the corner of your property fence .
Some of my pup buyers have been very successful in using a "sandbox" size garden feature which the dog uses reliably. Of course , easy if you had the dog from a very young age and taught the behaviour.
Every time the dog indicates you pop the dog into the "toilet" area , where he stays until he has relieved himself . Give privacy -- you go back in to the house. When he has done the business , you go out and you give the reward outside .

This "not only does he not do it the first time (I keep having to repeat myself) but he will put in a 'buffer movement' where if you tell him to do something, he will stretch, scratch, moan, yawn, spin, dart his eyes, or just plain ignore you until you have to physically make him do it" is clearly displacement activity . STRESS . Indicating that he does NOT know what you are asking him to do . Educate the dog.
Even one thing to start . Sit -- here , there , everywhere, anytime, any situation. Be solid . Be calm. He sounds like he hasn't had a lot of management in his life -- more unintentional mismanagement .
The dog is not lying , or putting on an Oscar performance . He is communicating to you that he doesn't know what you want , which creates high emotions and stress, which inhibits learning . He wants to escape , avoid training and he is showing you this by being very obvious -- you need to connect , slow down, show the dog what you want , never have anger or frustration enter in to it , ask little , praise (acknowledge) much . Behaviour can change in small steps which accumulate . So far the dog doesn't trust you.

Walking and pulling will change , no pulling on leash to potty. On leash one behaviour all the time. Consistent .
The whole thing is so Cool Hand Luke , "we have a failure to communicate". No connection either way , dog to person, person to dog.
Your number 4 -- a dog needs to be social and be with "us" , but a healthy well adjusted dog also needs to be okay AWAY from us -- even if we are home. Start by crating the dog when YOU decide . Create an outside area where the dog has his own "me" time . You think the dog is demanding on your time. He may have the same thought about you ! never a moments peace and quiet , always some interaction , probably not pleasant , aggravated , tension filled.
Space .
Manners on leash. That pulling and sniffing and determining direction and speed and visiting trash cans , could be behaviour learned and expected on your on lead go to potty walks. Change it around .
Take one walk on lead that is no more than 5 minutes long but do it correctly . End on a good note. Start with small steps -- praise each and every time . A dedicated training session - use a clicker if you want to . Very interesting comment I read somewhere -- a clicker doesn't train a dog any better than any other method -- but it tends to make the person a better trainer. You have to be focused, You have to be in the moment , You have to be attentive and reward . Training means no multi tasking , no gabbing with friends , no cell phone , no two different zones, dog in one , you in another . Connection.
Point 5 , sounds like the dog is exacerbated with you . He doesn't know what you want . "training" has become an ordeal for him -- high stress , chattering . Unfair - helpless in affecting , made helpless so switches into avoidance , if possible flight , can't because restricted by leash , so switch to fight - and boom handler aggression . Not because the dog is aggressive . The dog is frustrated .

6 you can be all those things , all mother earthy , people pleaser - without being a door mat , without being passive aggressive , and without needing to use these equally unproductive methods "He says that my dog knows what he can and cannot get away with, and if I allow it when I try and put my foot down it will only get worse" because guaranteed that will be match to fuel with this dog.

The dog is still young enough to change . Maybe you are the person to do it , maybe not. You have to want to be an active participant .

What class / training / trainer resources do you have in your area?
02-08-2014 09:36 AM
Sp00ks
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdanfam View Post
This is EXACTLY what we learned form our time with community trainers verses the working dog trainer. The first one we went to....was very biased and kept referring to them as bully breeds...they were 3 months old. She over corrected and justified it with they are aggressive, hardheaded dogs. You have to be hard with them. Needless to say we lost $400 because when she used that phrase I picked my puppy's up and our family left! You don't have to be hard for then to learn. Our second trainer had a shepherd and was able to teach us how to teach commands and tricks. But she noticed they were bored and put them in advanced class at 4 1/2 months they were will all of the older dogs. She said they had good work drive and wanted to please so they were being moved to get more for our money. We found the working dog trainer when they were 5 months old and switched because he focused on challenging working breeds. The second trainer was supportive saying the advanced puppy was as far as their place took dogs. The newer trainer said you have to be super careful about correcting until you know they have mastered the command. If do know not know they have mastered the command, you are not being fair or just and the dog will not be as willing to please.
+1

We found a trainer after extensive research that was experienced with training Shepherds, Malinois, American Bulldogs, Beaucerons etc. We consulted with them before we got our pup. They even offered to help us find a dog if we wanted the help.

With this statement "justified it with they are aggressive, hardheaded dogs. You have to be hard with them" I would have been out of there so fast the trainers head would have spun. Most Shepherds we have owned were very sensitive to correction.

I also agree that you need to find a trainer for the purpose of training you, not the dog. Puppy classes and beginning training is more about training the "parent" than training the dog. Get into a good trainer in your area, its worth the money or you will never fully appreciate your dog and he will rule you and the house for the remainder of his days.
02-08-2014 09:20 AM
sehrgutcsg
Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
If you give a general idea (such as city/state) where you live members may be able to help you find a good trainer.

I have often found trainers geared to the pet community may/may not be good with dealing with an out of control GSD. It is hard to get the right blend of training without overdoing the correction or not doing it at all. Flip side, it is not fair to correct a problem unless a dog understands why he is being corrected and sometimes YOU may think the dog understands, but he really doesn't.

+ 1 on this one - for certain..
02-08-2014 07:16 AM
MadLab Check TYler Muto on the leash front

Tyler Muto - YouTube

Quote:
I am quite tired of it and I refuse to take it any longer from my dog.
I would go with that energy. Dog needs to realize that you are in control. Anybody can control a dog once they know what they are doing. It starts with the right state of mind. Never get frustrated and work through any issues you are having.
02-08-2014 06:04 AM
mcdanfam
A controlling pushy pup named "DISASTER!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
If you give a general idea (such as city/state) where you live members may be able to help you find a good trainer.

I have often found trainers geared to the pet community may/may not be good with dealing with an out of control GSD. It is hard to get the right blend of training without overdoing the correction or not doing it at all. Flip side, it is not fair to correct a problem unless a dog understands why he is being corrected and sometimes YOU may think the dog understands, but he really doesn't.

This is EXACTLY what we learned form our time with community trainers verses the working dog trainer. The first one we went to....was very biased and kept referring to them as bully breeds...they were 3 months old. She over corrected and justified it with they are aggressive, hardheaded dogs. You have to be hard with them. Needless to say we lost $400 because when she used that phrase I picked my puppy's up and our family left! You don't have to be hard for then to learn. Our second trainer had a shepherd and was able to teach us how to teach commands and tricks. But she noticed they were bored and put them in advanced class at 4 1/2 months they were will all of the older dogs. She said they had good work drive and wanted to please so they were being moved to get more for our money. We found the working dog trainer when they were 5 months old and switched because he focused on challenging working breeds. The second trainer was supportive saying the advanced puppy was as far as their place took dogs. The newer trainer said you have to be super careful about correcting until you know they have mastered the command. If do know not know they have mastered the command, you are not being fair or just and the dog will not be as willing to please.


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02-08-2014 05:54 AM
jocoyn If you give a general idea (such as city/state) where you live members may be able to help you find a good trainer.

I have often found trainers geared to the pet community may/may not be good with dealing with an out of control GSD. It is hard to get the right blend of training without overdoing the correction or not doing it at all. Flip side, it is not fair to correct a problem unless a dog understands why he is being corrected and sometimes YOU may think the dog understands, but he really doesn't.
02-08-2014 04:33 AM
mcdanfam
A controlling pushy pup named "DISASTER!"

Agree with the others that say trainer!!! It sounds like you need a trainer that knows working dogs! We learned, not all trainers are equal! For the last 8 months we drive an hour to and from a trainer that owns, and works his shepherds....he knows the breed, he is amazing and makes sure we understand all the details of training! He has been so helpful and guided us though different phases with our dogs!

I am not a breeder or trainer, just know from our time with them...but if it were me...I would make sure nothing is going on medically for the potty issue...ours have never used the house or kennel for potty....if all is clear....I would start kennel training over, we have a bell that our puppy's have worked from 9 weeks old...to alert for potty breaks...when they were babies, we would take then straight from kennel, ring bell...to outside. They were not allowed to play or focus on anything until they were back inside....after 15-30 mins of play....we would put them back in their kennel and repeat this every 3 hours...don't know if this is the correct way, but we have never had an accident in over a year with either puppy.

I would also suggest....giving ZERO treats, toys, affection or food without having him do a trick or command...ours are great with people, easy dogs to be around, great on lead and have obedience down...but they still work for everything they get....that was a suggestion from the trainer. He said if they have to work for stuff it keeps them happier and better behaved...As wonderful as our dogs are....it seems to be the right call.

Good luck!!!



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02-08-2014 04:10 AM
middleofnowhere Not having read all the responses but:

"he whines and whines and whines to go back out. When I don't let him. BOOM. There goes my floor. " Listen to your dog! Please listen to your dog! You can only be angry with yourself if you don't listen to your dog. And when he does go outside - have a party! Name the "action" praise & reward your dog. Try to keep your composure when he dumps inside. Some dogs (my present pup among them) are slower than others.

{personal note here: I have a pup right now, I need to follow my own advise. - personal note #2: I recently ignored my 4 yo and insisted she just go in the spare room and chill. I think she let go a gallon in there. My fault. She told me. I ignored it and told her to chill. I'm just glad I don't have carpets! And that I am not any stupider.}

Focus: My 4 yo came with focus. No training necessary. Just reinforcing. My pup - focus has to be trained. But for somethings (she's very food motivated) focus training is pretty easy. Hold kibble in hand, ask for a sit, ask for a "look" and only reward when I get the "look".

Snapping on the leash isn't working --- OK so stop snapping on the leash. Just be a post when he's going on a charge. Do not move until he slacks on the leash. Your walk will take a long time and not go very far but it will get easier.

My dogs respond better to a calm quiet command. Maybe yours will too. (Let your neighbor train his own dog, not yours. - But maybe you do want to try a different tone.)
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