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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-16-2014 03:55 PM
Originally Posted by CalliMotherRunner View Post
Anyway, if you can, take a look at some pics of Bella. They told me she was a GSD, but the way her tail curls up, she has some Akita in her.

Thanks again.
She looks like she's mostly if not all shepherd. Maybe a little akita, like an akita mix parent, but she looks very close to a purebred shepherd. And my last shepherd's tail did the extreme curl like that. Apparently it's called a gay tail. So just because it curls doesn't necessarily mean she's not all shepherd.
06-16-2014 02:04 PM
llombardo My male GSD was real dog reactive when I got him. First I got him evaluated by a trainer. I worked with him for about a month, then attempted a class with barricades and that was not good. So I took the next two months to train him on my own. I started using a prong which helped a lot. Then I spent hours at parks and at the entrances of the pet store, never pushing him past his threshold. After a couple months of that I had evaluated again, that time he ripped open the trainers arm trying to get to another dog. She recommended personal training and I refused. He needed to be in a class setting to learn. The next day I went to the GSD club where he was evaluated again. He was allowed in the class and has not reacted since. Within a month after he started training he got his CGC and became a certified therapy dog. It took several months and several different training methods but we did it. You have to have an open mind to training , use different methods and figure out how to combine them. We did the prong and positive training.
06-16-2014 01:53 PM
ken k
Originally Posted by eddie1976E View Post
I have never heard of this a common practice?
depends on the trainer, thats where i learned if from, actually done it to mine the first few class`s he wouldn't stop barking, he didnt have "issues" just over excited puppy
06-16-2014 01:52 PM
Shade I think I should mention that Delgado did get bored often in class, I brought a small blanket and taught him that I expected him to stay on the blanket quietly while we weren't actively doing something. If I saw him get fidgety I'd quietly work on puppy pushups (sit, down, sit, etc) or anything else to keep his mind occupied (gotta love that puppy brain lol) I also brought a tug so we could quietly play while the teacher was speaking. He realized that I had treats and the toy and was much more exciting then the other dogs sitting in class and I rewarded eye contact and quiet so he learned that was what I wanted.
06-16-2014 01:51 PM
Thank you!

First off, since I am new, I have no idea how to put a picture up next to my name. So I did post some pictures if you go to my account.

I am lucky to be able to work remotely. So I get to take her out on walk twice a day with a doggy back pack (for which I got the idea on the forums here) We have a back yard where we throw the ball around. I only have time to do weekend runs with her.

My guess is that whoever had her when she was young didn't socialize her well or maybe she got bit on a leash. They also didn't feed her well either because she was really scrawny .

I live in the San Francisco Bay area. I found a trainer on Yelp and he'll be coming over in a few weeks. He has 68 reviews, all 5 stars. All of the dogs he trained seemed to have issues like mine, so i am very excited that an experienced trainer will be taking care of us.

I am just put off at the trainer from the store. She is the professional and should know better. She met my dog and saw how she reacted to other dogs in the store. That should have indicated that humm.....maybe Bella would not be a good fit for her class. I was nervous about going to class and should have just trusted my gut. But nope, the trainer assured me that it would be fine.
Anyway, if you can, take a look at some pics of Bella. They told me she was a GSD, but the way her tail curls up, she has some Akita in her.

Thanks again.
06-16-2014 01:45 PM
DutchKarin My personal experience with a difficult dog is to find the best trainer you can (my preference is that he or she has protection breeds as their own dogs) and pay for private lessons. I had nightmare experiences in group classes. Now I can walk my dog in town and constantly get praised by strangers about how well trained he is. Now mind you we are not perfect but out of the group classes I got next to nothing. My trainer now is awesome, can read my Dutch Shep amazingly well and can tailor classes to what we need and what we want to accomplish.
Good luck, it is worth the investment. Sometimes you can find good trainers by contacting Schutzhund clubs or even law enforcement K9 units.
06-16-2014 01:39 PM
Atika Hi Calli - I am not a trainer, but I had an Akita for 10yrs (RIP). She was very calm and sweet. As a pup, she was much like your mix. I began walking her first with very little distraction and building up to walking with noise and distractions near by. It helped to acclimate her to busy surroundings and other pets. Can't wait to see pictures of your rescue!
06-16-2014 01:13 PM
Originally Posted by ken k View Post
if you have a barker in class, and the trainer does not know what to do, buy a spray bottle of "bitter apple", when your pup starts barking, open her mouth and give a little squirt, she'll stop after a few or sooner
I have never heard of this a common practice? Mine wouldn't stop barking at the first class (almost 3 weeks ago). His only interaction with other dogs was at a socialization hour and it was all off leash. In his mind, when he saw other dogs he had to play with them. Now we are teaching him to look at the dogs, ignore them and look at us, he gets a treat every time he does this. He has gotten much better in class, but not perfect.
06-16-2014 01:12 PM
selzer Akitas and German Shepherds are both big powerful breeds, and both can be reactive to other dogs. I have no idea what Akitas are like as puppies, but with the behavior you are describing, I think that while it is not caused by the dog park, it can be making it a lot more difficult for you to manage him away from that setting.

Your puppy wants to run and play with other dogs, but the leash is giving him mixed signals. He may feel like he has to guard what he is connected to. He may feel some anxiety because he is smart enough that he knows he cannot run if a dog does challenge him. Usually he has two choices, fight or flight. And, when they know that flight is no longer an option, the only thing left is fight, so they tend to react before they figure out whether or not the other dog is a threat.

Also, he is feeling your anxiety -- how is he going to act, will I be able to hold him, is he going to try and attack those other dogs, what will they think about him, why is he making so much noise, and is this going to get even worse? This is all being transmitted down the lead. And when you tighten the lead and hold him in a death grip, he feels that much more anxious.

At this point your dog isn't a candidate for puppy classes. If he needs to go to any classes, he would be ready for basic obedience or basic household manners. Puppy classes are for dogs that are between 10 weeks and 5 months -- usually starting before the dog dog is five months old. Of course other puppy owners are concerned when a dog that looks grown and is big and is acting like a nut is in the class with their puppies, because a bad experience your dog can be really bad for their puppies.

On the other hand, I agree that your dog is probably just a large, over-grown puppy, that needs boot camp.

I think that your puppy will improve if you do a few things:

Management: If you are having trouble controlling his size, then muzzle him in public and use a prong collar so that he does not drag you into other dogs.

Leadership: Look up NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free). Read through it, and change your leadership style so that he is VERY clear that you are a strong leader and can protect him, give him directions, and that he can look to you when he is unsure.

Exercise: Right now he is full of energy. Before training get him out and throw that ball for 20-25 minutes, then go for a walk. Several times a day tire his butt out. Then do five minutes of training. Exercise his mind and body. A tired puppy is a good puppy. If you need a muzzle and prong collar to walk the dog, it is far better for him to get the exercise. Use a basket muzzle if necessary so he can pant, etc.

Training: You need to do regular training with this dog all the time. Lots of praise, lots of treats. Everything he gets, he should do something for it. Make him SIT before opening the door to go out. Make him lie down before you give him his bowl of food. Train him to WATCH you and give him treats for doing so. Train him at home with no distractions. Get good at the basics. Build the bond. Add in distractions slowly. Start with walks in low traffic areas. Then increase it. Start with the distance between what he reacts to as pretty far away, then reduce it. Try to stay under his threshold if at all possible. Call in a professional trainer to work with you and him alone, and possibly with a dog that he brings. Then after he is showing good progress, a group class would be beneficial.
06-16-2014 01:10 PM
Jelpy I got kicked out of puppy class as well. Fortunately the trainer was willing to let me take private classes and that worked a lot better. Word of will have to keep up with her training even once you leave classes or it does you no good. Meanwhile, don't be too embarrassed about having an obedience school drop out. It happens. Some dogs just need a bit more structure than others. If you'd like I'll send you links about my travails with Lycan.

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