Unsure what I am not understanding... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Question Unsure what I am not understanding...

Hello all,

I'll try to make this all short and sweet in hopes more experienced owners might have some tips for me.

The Culprit: Fawn (female, 16 weeks, my first GSD, adopted at 10 weeks, shares house with older beagle)

#1- The Outdoor Kennel: Fawn is crate trained. She sleeps/enjoys chews/stays in it when we're out without complaint. I wake once at night to take her out, it's rare she fusses in there. I tried the same positive association tactic with the outdoor kennel (larger, covered roof, located in backyard) and she just is not having it. She will howl in it, with or without a treat, if I am in the yard or not, non-stop. Am I expecting too much for her age?

#2- Physical Affection: She really only lets me pet her in the morning. She likes a short belly rub, paw giving and occasional arm hugging (she was bottle raised for a few weeks before being weaned). Any other time she gets mouthy or wiggles away to do her own thing. Should I be attempting to entice her into more affection so that she's accustomed to it? Or should I let her have her space?

#3: GSD is smarter than Me: I have taught Fawn "Off" to get her feet off the couch/my bed/etc as well as "Place" to go lay on her bed or a towel. She will do both these things for treats. However, now when I tell her "Off", she will get down and go lay on a bed. Great! Lately, she will even put her paws on my bed and before I can even tell her "Place", off she goes to lay down herself. I tried ignoring her and not rewarding this little game of hers and she barks like crazy at me and wanders between laying in her bed and jumping up on the bed. What am I doing wrong?

Thank you for any and all help!

♥ Faun GSD 12-22-13
♥ Daisy Rat Terrier/Beagle Mix 3/15/02
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 04:53 PM
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Not any help with the others but #2 I had the same issue with my pup but then I would just play with him and hold him and get him use to being touched and what not. Play with his paws, tail, ears, and just pet him while he ate too. After a week or so all he does is wants to snuggle and belly rubbed and touched. So you can try that.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 05:02 PM
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She's a baby

The outdoor kennel barking is cause she want to be closer to you. Barking to say 'I'm over here, stuck and can't get to you!!! Help me!'

Not all GSD's are huggers and you can use treats/toys to get them more used to be with you.

Your pup is SMART and offering behaviors You able to start official puppy classes yet? All is much easier with those weekly classes!


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 05:05 PM
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As for #2, my female GSD was pretty aloof and only wanted very limited affection. Any more than a pet or two and she would stalk away in a huff. And I had to earn her affections in the first place. Haven't walked her yet? Yeah, you can forget touching her unless you are putting on her leash. After the walk she might permit some loving but not very much. She was a rescue that I adopted at 1 year of age. I worked on this issue for many years and she did become a little more affectionate when she was old.

As for #3, welcome to owning a GSD. They are too smart for our own good. They will study you all day long while hatching their next exploit. All I can say is firm, fair and consistent leadership.

I could teach my girl a behavior and she could do it really well but she was always testing for what she could get away with. Example: playing fetch she was taught to bring me the ball and put it into my hand. 100 times in a row she would do it perfectly. The one single time I slacked off and didn't demand the ball in my hand and now suddenly the rule has completely changed, of course to her advantage. Back to retraining... Dog outsmarted me again.

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Madeline Ronan Heart (Maddie) Dec 1997 -- November 22, 2013 Rescue GSD, Sable
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice. I'll work on building more of a relationship with Fawn and if she's not a snuggle bug, it's not a huge deal. I plan to get her into puppy class soon!

Maybe I'll attempt the outdoor kennel again in a few months when she's a bit older.

♥ Faun GSD 12-22-13
♥ Daisy Rat Terrier/Beagle Mix 3/15/02
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 12:24 PM
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Hans was not really affectionate until he passed the age of one.

There is still lots of hope
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 01:40 PM
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As to affection - accept what is comfortable for the dog.
As to the kennel - maybe in a few months, hang out with her in the kennel. (You in the kennel with her.) I would not expect the dog to be happy in the kennel when they could see me outside working - at least not on the initial go round. Use the same command for that one as for getting in the crate. Make going in positive.
On the "out smarting you" she's trying to earn her reward. She's working. My 4 yo as a pup caught on very quickly that she could take the ball to the top of a terrace, push it down and chase it. No need for the human...
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