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Old 09-05-2011, 05:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Thor's behaivior@9mths.

Thor is now 9 months and he seems to be going thru some changes, he is becoming more protective of our house, and who comes in the house, if he has not met the people b4 he will bark and his hair down his back spine will stand up, he stands his ground wont move or back off, unless I get him from his color, and hold him and tell him to sit. I don't want to take any chances being that he's growing and getting stronger so for the most part I lead him to the back yard while we have someone new in our house. I still socialize him at the dog park and seems to be doing really good as far as that goes, doesn't show any aggression toward other dogs, he does like to put his weight on them and stand over them while putting his paws on them and wrestling with them. He still has that puppy in him, but I sense and see the changes that he's going thru, in a way it's like seeing my son growing up, but faster. I still feel blessed to have made such a good investment on our Thor and allowing him to be part of our family. He is always around my son or me, and when I'm at the office and my son is at school he stays in the house with my mom, and follows her around, and listens to her. Any advice on how I should handle him around others when they come over? I've gotten him to smell them and have them pet him, but don't want to take any chances.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yup, it's really important to get him to follow *your* lead when people come over, and teach him that when you (or your wife or son or whoever) says that someone is allowed in the house, then that person is allowed in the house. Thor does not get to decide.

When someone comes over and knocks on the door, put Thor, with his leash on, in a down-stay somewhere that he can see the door but he's out of the way. We use a hallway right next to the front door. While you're opening the door and greeting the person, Thor needs to stay in his spot. If he gets up, correct him and put him back in the down. Once the person has come in, hugs and handshakes and taken off their coat, etc, get Thor's leash, release him from his down, and have him *politely* greet your guests.

It's really really really helpful if you can get someone to do this with you, so you're not having to do it with your in-laws when they come for Christmas dinner. You can even start teaching him the behavior with your son-- one of you plays "guest" and the other plays "host," then you switch. Then gradually work up to using friends, neighbors, anybody who comes over. Your friends will think you're weird, but practice this a couple of times per visit if they're willing.

Stuff like this is tedious and makes you feel wierd, but it really really really reinforces yours and your son's leadership and will help make Thor into a really great dog.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yup, it's really important to get him to follow *your* lead when people come over, and teach him that when you (or your wife or son or whoever) says that someone is allowed in the house, then that person is allowed in the house. Thor does not get to decide.

When someone comes over and knocks on the door, put Thor, with his leash on, in a down-stay somewhere that he can see the door but he's out of the way. We use a hallway right next to the front door. While you're opening the door and greeting the person, Thor needs to stay in his spot. If he gets up, correct him and put him back in the down. Once the person has come in, hugs and handshakes and taken off their coat, etc, get Thor's leash, release him from his down, and have him *politely* greet your guests.

It's really really really helpful if you can get someone to do this with you, so you're not having to do it with your in-laws when they come for Christmas dinner. You can even start teaching him the behavior with your son-- one of you plays "guest" and the other plays "host," then you switch. Then gradually work up to using friends, neighbors, anybody who comes over. Your friends will think you're weird, but practice this a couple of times per visit if they're willing.

Stuff like this is tedious and makes you feel wierd, but it really really really reinforces yours and your son's leadership and will help make Thor into a really great dog.
That is great advice!!!
Your Thor is so much like our Luther who is 6months old. That photo of him looking over the fence.....I would swear that was our dog!!!!
He is gorgeous....good luck with him
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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invite lots of people to come and visit.
the purpose of the visits is to train and socialize.
when my dog was a pup i invited family, friends and neighbors to
visit daily. my neighbors would visit several times a day.
when any of the invited guess came into the house i told them
to make a fuss over the pup and treat him. i also used that time to teach my pup how to greet people. i also invited people to visit with there dogs.
now when people visit there's no barking, jumping, extreme excitement, etc. if i need to tell my dog "go to your bed" he does without any hesitation. like all things you have to train and socialize accordingly.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Emoore View Post
Yup, it's really important to get him to follow *your* lead when people come over, and teach him that when you (or your wife or son or whoever) says that someone is allowed in the house, then that person is allowed in the house. Thor does not get to decide.

When someone comes over and knocks on the door, put Thor, with his leash on, in a down-stay somewhere that he can see the door but he's out of the way. We use a hallway right next to the front door. While you're opening the door and greeting the person, Thor needs to stay in his spot. If he gets up, correct him and put him back in the down. Once the person has come in, hugs and handshakes and taken off their coat, etc, get Thor's leash, release him from his down, and have him *politely* greet your guests.

It's really really really helpful if you can get someone to do this with you, so you're not having to do it with your in-laws when they come for Christmas dinner. You can even start teaching him the behavior with your son-- one of you plays "guest" and the other plays "host," then you switch. Then gradually work up to using friends, neighbors, anybody who comes over. Your friends will think you're weird, but practice this a couple of times per visit if they're willing.

Stuff like this is tedious and makes you feel wierd, but it really really really reinforces yours and your son's leadership and will help make Thor into a really great dog.
Thank you Emoore, i definitely will try the leash and the down position, so he can observe and feel like he still has some control of the situation, I don't think I have to worry about him actually biting anyone yet, he has yet to growl at anyone or any other dog, he's good with me or my son putting our hand on his dog bowl or water bowl while eating or drinking, just don't want to have any surprises or accidents where someone can get bit. I really like the advice about putting the leash on him and keeping him close, and in the down position. Sorry It took me a day to respond, been a lil busy but I do appreciate your help.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you Emoore, i definitely will try the leash and the down position, so he can observe and feel like he still has some control of the situation, I don't think I have to worry about him actually biting anyone yet, he has yet to growl at anyone or any other dog, he's good with me or my son putting our hand on his dog bowl or water bowl while eating or drinking, just don't want to have any surprises or accidents where someone can get bit.
It's not only about people getting bitten, it's no fun when your 80 year old grandma comes to your house and your 90-lb "puppy" is jumping all over the place and won't calm down. I think you're going to really like this method. It makes a great impression when people come to your house and your dog is calm and well mannered. Let me know how it goes!
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That is great advice!!!
Your Thor is so much like our Luther who is 6months old. That photo of him looking over the fence.....I would swear that was our dog!!!!
He is gorgeous....good luck with him
Thank you Sparra, he's a character alright, he's like a strip of velcro, Thor will follow me everywhere, and anywherehe's starting to test his boundaries with me, just like a lil teenager.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That hair up all down the spine is fear . I would quit the dog park for socializing . You are creating a bully dog out of him. You say "he does like to put his weight on them and stand over them while putting his paws on them and wrestling with them" . Sounds like a dominance posture to me . He hasn't met his match yet. One day he will do that and the other dog will object mightily and bingo bango ferocious dog fight on hand.

Dogs need to be socialized in our world . Little harder to do because you are not opening the gate to some dog-park to let the dogs romp around while you stand there watching.

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Old 09-08-2011, 09:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Good call, Carmen. I completely missed him talking about the dog park. My feeling on dog parks is that they create a lot more issues than they solve, especially with dog aggression. They reinforce the idea that every dog in the world is there to be played with, bullied, socialized with, or dominated. I want my dogs focused on me and giving me the right behaviors, not straining at the leash to play with or fight another dog.

Dogs really need to be socialized with people a lot more than they need to be socialized with dogs. Old people, young people, handicapped people, Black people, White people, Asian people, Hispanic people, people on canes and walkers, people in funny hats. . . you get the idea. Take him to Lowe's, restaurants and coffee shops with outdoor patios, go sit on that bench in front of the Alamo and just let him get a look at people. They don't even have to pet him and play with him, he just needs to be out and around them.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That hair up all down the spine is fear . I would quit the dog park for socializing . You are creating a bully dog out of him. You say "he does like to put his weight on them and stand over them while putting his paws on them and wrestling with them" . Sounds like a dominance posture to me . He hasn't met his match yet. One day he will do that and the other dog will object mightily and bingo bango ferocious dog fight on hand.

Dogs need to be socialized in our world . Little harder to do because you are not opening the gate to some dog-park to let the dogs romp around while you stand there watching.

Carmen
Carmspack Working German Shepherd Dogs
Thank you so much for your input, but I strongly disagree with your input about the dog park, i've taken Thor since he was a puppy, and have continued to ever since, he is now going on 10 months, and he has yet to bark or bite another dog or puppy at the park, I don't want to have a GSD that Is gonna be skittish of other dogs, putting his tail under his legs and running away or hiding under a bench, not only is he good with the other dogs, but with the other owners he does very well also, as far as people around or inside my house, I try very hard since my son is 12 and has his friends around the house or in the yard with Thor, he Is very playful and can be a lil rough at times with his paws, but he has never shown a sign of aggression with the kids. I am always testing him with his food or water bowl while he is eating, and not once has he tried to growl or bite my hand. I do not allow Thor to be a bully with other pup's, but I do allow him to express himself just like any other pup, I am trying my best to raise a confident GSD, and not a timid one. I hope i've picked the right words for you, and that you do not take my reply in a wrong manner, it seems a lil harder when typing than when talking and choosing the right words.
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