Down in the dumps..... - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 10:29 PM
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I think it's great that you are on this forum and that you care enough about your dog to want the best for her! That already makes you in the top percentage of dog owners (reading between the lines, Stella is one lucky girl!).

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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 10:46 PM
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I understand somewhat and can empathize with you!

I don't have any serious medical issues but I do have bad sciatica and arthritis so I'm in a lot of pain all the time and am unable to work as a result(and I'm only 30!)

My problem dog isn't my GSD but our Golden who we worked SO hard on training and socializing when he was a puppy. He's had bad resource guarding issues and recently he's begun just nipping dogs for very little reason... He's nipped two puppies this month who weren't doing anything but standing near him. He bit the tip of my Chi's ear off and nipped my GSD pup several times. We now know his triggers and have him on NILIF which has helped a great deal but because of his unpredictability around strange dog we can no longer let him be around a lot of dogs and be unleashed. Which is heartbreaking for all of us because he can't do the things he loves to do anymore.

It's also caused a lot of stress in my marriage, my husband gets very stressed when he does these things and then he blames me because I got the dog and he 'didn't want him'. It's been very rocky and things are starting to stabilize a bit but believe me I know how stressful these things can be!

You're doing all you can for her, reactive dogs take a lot of work! I'm sorry your husband said that too, I know how it feels.

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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 10:47 PM
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To no fault of her own (or yours), Stella probably just doesn't have the best nerve base. You can't change a dog's gentics... she was probably just born a not so confident dog. Instead of trying to change her, you should just focus on managing and accepting her for what she is. With that way of thinking... I think training may be a little less stressful for both of you guys.

Like someone else mentioned... she's probably just not a social butterfly. That's fine, because that's who she is as long as you're willing to accept that.

My advice for future interaction would be no more saying hello. Instead of just walking up to dogs for a nose-on-nose interaction that makes Stella feel uncomfortable... try having her focus on you as you walk by the other dogs. How is her focus and heeling? Have you ever worked on that?

IMO, there's no reason for dogs to say hello to other dogs that they don't know. The best interactions are none at all if you ask me. Dog's don't need to be friends with other strange dogs. They're pack animals and as long as they're good and happy with their pack (your family), that's enough for a dog like Stella.
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 11:19 PM
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It is an ongoing process! I have been living with a reactive GSD for six years now and it is often a two steps forward, one step back kind of life.

And dealing with our own chronic pain can make everything seem like such an effort. And when we do make the effort it seems like we aren't doing anything particularly well. I had cervical spine surgery in October and those last few weeks were just ridiculously impossible. Including, but not limited to, my own meltdown about four days before I ended up in the emergency room and then later that same day having surgery. I felt silly after the meltdown, but there is only so much we can juggle before we lose the balance.

Go easy on yourself. Take a deep breath and tell yourself that it will get better.
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 11:52 PM
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I have 2 reactive shepherd pups!

I know how you feel. I try not to let myself get down about the dogs for too long, I always think feeling sorry for myself is a luxury I can't really afford, the time I spend feeling badly, I need to use that time to train them and feel good.

I am a terrible trainer too, a big softee.

We can do it!

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post #16 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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So very glad I am on this forum. Have learned so much. I needed a Stella break yesterday and put her in the doggie day care for 4 hours. It was so great to see her response when we first got there. She "peeked" through a window in the facility to see some dogs playing, and I swear she looked like she was smiling Her tail was doing a happy dance too. It was so great to see that after her crazy terrified reaction to 2 other dogs the other day.

How do those of you with chronic pain exercise your dogs?

Her focus is not the best. This is something we are working on. She tends to look all over the place.

And I am convinced now that men really are from another planet... Last night at a friend's New Years gathering, a few of us decided that 2012 was not a great year and we were glad it was over. My dh looked at me and asked, "What was so bad for you besides the holiday meltdown and the Newtown shooting?" I was not sure quite what to say....fortunately my friend replied and said,"Hello???!! Pain pretty much every day? Several ER visits, and procedures??? Duh."

Well, 2012 is over and I am hoping for a good 2013. Will start with baby steps with Miss Stella. Am going to try and avoid dogs for a while, other than the ones in her training classes and at day care. Then I will try and get her to just "see" other dogs at a distance. But of course there are no real dog free areas. Hoping that the cold weather deters most other people and me and my girl can just have a good walk. After that....we'll see.

Happy New Year.
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post #17 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 10:20 AM
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everyday is the begining of a New Year. drop the wimpy,
whiney. start training again. because your dog is reactive
doesn't mean it's your fault. get everybody on board with
the training and socializing. happy new training, happy new
socializing, happy new dog, Happy New year.
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post #18 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 10:28 AM
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no hoping. hoping is defeatist. you're going to have a
great life to the end because you're going to make
it happen.

Originally Posted by katdog5911 View Post

Well, 2012 is over and I am hoping for a good 2013.

Happy New Year.
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post #19 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Sure would be nice if everyone was on board with the training. Not happening though. I am the only one who does any training or pretty much anything other than a 10 minute ball toss or a little indoor playtime. Don't have any kids at home anymore so it is 99.999% on me. Not so terrible when one is feeling well but it is quite difficult on the days when I can hardly move my head off the pillow due to pain. Fortunately I have not had it that bad in about 2 months.
But by tomorrow everyone is done with vacations and visits so maybe things will get a bit less crazy and I can do my thing with Stella.
Not sure I agree that hope is defeatist. I kind of lean towards no hope is defeatist. If I didn't have hope that things would improve.....
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post #20 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 06:37 PM
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you've been thru alot with stella, and I think you should be congratulated for hanging in there))

I think it's great that she loves doggy daycare! I agree with the others about trying to avoid outside influences when you can..BUT an "idea",,since she gets along great with the dogs at daycare (I know your OP, said you ran into a couple and she was scared)..
Can you get together with a couple of those dogs/owners and even take a good walk outside of the daycare,,I don't mean meet up somewhere, but walk out the daycare door and go for a walk???? I'd work on that if you can buddy up with someone, and then expand her horizons by meeting up with them somewhere else.

Hey 2013 has GOT to be better right? )) Hang in there, your doing yourself a disservice by thinking your a lousy trainer, Stella is probably a dog that will teach you everything about dog behavior and then some

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