I have been having a struggle lately - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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I have been having a struggle lately

Kaiser has been giving me some issues on our walks and at training lately... if he sees another dog he really pulls towards it to go and play, it is totally non aggressive but it is very frustrating for me and him I'm sure. And I'm also sure scary for the other people walking their dogs as it looks like a big german shepherd wants to attack their dog... I've noticed that people aren't very good at reading dog body language.

I don't allow him to go play, I distract with food/toy and make him sit, other times we walk in the other direction if I see that the distract technique isn't going to work.

At training he pulls to see the other gsds at the start and then calms down and gets on with what he is supposed to do, so that is good. At the end of training I say to him "go play" and I give him about 1 minute of meeting the other dogs before I take him away. He usually gets over excited and jumps on the other gsds, so we leave before this escalate.

Yesterday after training all the little gsd puppies were waiting their turn to start training - 12 weeks old or so... super cute. Kaiser was desperate to go and see them. I was worried he would get over excited and jump on them but thought I would keep a short leash and let him just go over and say hello. So I say to him "gentle, they are just little" gosh, you would have thought he understood me... he went down on his tummy, crawled towards them and stayed down whilst licking their faces... he was super cute and gentle. I couldn't have been prouder of my guy who is usually so over exuberant. And when I said "Lets go" he got up and walk away with no issues or pulling to go back to them. Ahhh it melts your heart when they get it right
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 09:36 PM
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I don't have any advice, but Kaiser meeting the puppies - AWWW! What a good boy.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 10:11 PM
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What a sweet story!Good boy Kaiser

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 10:21 PM
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I love it!! Im proud to hear when a GSD does good. Especially a friends. Awesome!#

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 10:59 PM
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I wouldn't let him greet the orher dogs at training. He is pulling, which you do not want him to do, but then he still gets to greet the other dogs, which is what he wants to do. What incentive does he have not to pull toward them if he still gets to greet them no matter how he acts?

I'm pretty militant about training being for training, not for greeting other dogs. I'm the same way with walks. I don't want the other dogs to have value to my dogs while we are trying to do things. There are lots of ways to fix the pulling, depending on your training style preference. Has your trainer given you any advice on how to stop it?
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't let him greet the orher dogs at training. He is pulling, which you do not want him to do, but then he still gets to greet the other dogs, which is what he wants to do. What incentive does he have not to pull toward them if he still gets to greet them no matter how he acts?

I'm pretty militant about training being for training, not for greeting other dogs. I'm the same way with walks. I don't want the other dogs to have value to my dogs while we are trying to do things. There are lots of ways to fix the pulling, depending on your training style preference. Has your trainer given you any advice on how to stop it?
No he doesn't get to greet them no matter how he acts. Only at the end of training, when he has done a good job and he gets the instruction "ok, go play" then he is allowed over to say hello. If he is pulling towards the other dogs we work on sit and distract or walking away (heel, left turn, right turn etc). After 1 hr of training he is tired, he isn't as excited and he doesn't pull to get to the other dogs because he has been working next to them for an hour and that is when he gets to go over for a brief hello. At no other point at any other time during our walks/outings is he allowed to greet any other dogs.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by KaiserAus View Post
Kaiser has been giving me some issues on our walks and at training lately... if he sees another dog he really pulls towards it to go and play, it is totally non aggressive but it is very frustrating for me and him I'm sure. And I'm also sure scary for the other people walking their dogs as it looks like a big german shepherd wants to attack their dog... I've noticed that people aren't very good at reading dog body language.

I don't allow him to go play, I distract with food/toy and make him sit, other times we walk in the other direction if I see that the distract technique isn't going to work.

At training he pulls to see the other gsds at the start and then calms down and gets on with what he is supposed to do, so that is good. At the end of training I say to him "go play" and I give him about 1 minute of meeting the other dogs before I take him away. He usually gets over excited and jumps on the other gsds, so we leave before this escalate.

Yesterday after training all the little gsd puppies were waiting their turn to start training - 12 weeks old or so... super cute. Kaiser was desperate to go and see them. I was worried he would get over excited and jump on them but thought I would keep a short leash and let him just go over and say hello. So I say to him "gentle, they are just little" gosh, you would have thought he understood me... he went down on his tummy, crawled towards them and stayed down whilst licking their faces... he was super cute and gentle. I couldn't have been prouder of my guy who is usually so over exuberant. And when I said "Lets go" he got up and walk away with no issues or pulling to go back to them. Ahhh it melts your heart when they get it right
I'm sorry, I must have misunderstood. I took the part I bolded to mean he pulled to see the other GSDs and succeeded. If that's not the case, my bad!
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Last edited by GypsyGhost; 06-19-2017 at 12:54 AM.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 08:40 AM
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Kaiser did great meeting the little guys.. That is fantastic. Kaiser is still a young guy himself right not a year old yet? good boy Kaiser.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 09:00 AM
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"At the end of training I say to him "go play" and I give him about 1 minute of meeting the other dogs before I take him away. He usually gets over excited and jumps on the other gsds, so we leave before this escalate.

and

"No he doesn't get to greet them no matter how he acts. Only at the end of training, when he has done a good job and he gets the instruction "ok, go play" then he is allowed over to say hello"


I am sorry but that is a contradiction .
Letting the dog go visit for one minute builds frustration beautifully. One minute ?
That is a tease . What state is the other dog left in ? Just enough to be stimulated and
then left - that goes for both dogs.

And as cute as your story is you are still enabling a behaviour you are having some problems with .

quote " Kaiser was desperate to go and see them"

so what happens ?

" I would keep a short leash and let him just go over and say hello"

even if he was gentle and crawled on his belly -- he still was satisfied and rewarded by going over .

so when you are out for your walks both you and the dog are frustrated.

he sees another dog and his focus shifts to that dog and he starts pulling you in that direction.

who cares if he is not aggressive and just wants to play. Maybe I am that other person with a dog with
issues who does not enjoy any dog coming into his zone - and will not "play" .

well yes

"And I'm also sure scary for the other people walking their dogs as it looks like a big german shepherd wants to attack their dog... "

Those people at training club with the very young pups took a chance . Your dog wasn't in control - excited .
Their pups might be at any point of social experience and might take an advance of a large dog as intimidating.

If I had a pup and I wanted to do a social visit I would go to the "other" dog -- once I see a calm state and handler awareness and control.

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Last edited by carmspack; 06-19-2017 at 09:03 AM.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 09:39 AM
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Kaiser sounds like a fine dog and you just need to figure out how to train through this and alter behavior. Again, wanted to emphasize gently... it is you that needs to change not Kaiser. It does sound like he pulls and eventually gets what he wants from the way you describe it and that it appears to not have improved? How old is Kaiser? My first thought is to train you on how to use a prong (training) collar but maybe he is too young (< 6 months??) I don't like the idea of all the pulling on his neck and trachea.

I am no longer that excited about training classes especially when there is "play time" involved. I guess it works for some. But many puppies just get overstimulated and then I think you lose control and then I think you have taken steps back in training. I prefer working one on one with a very good trainer. So much more gets done than in a class. I also like training that does not include play time with other dogs... play time with me... yes.. that builds a bond with you and not a bond with other dogs. Taking a break to recharge, yes, but dog/dog play time no. If my dog is going to socialize with other dogs it is completely separate event especially as puppies. With trained adult dogs it may be different. But I want to structure training as "work" or the "job" and bonding with me.

Is this a class with an instructor?

Just my two cents for what it is worth. Good luck. Sounds like a very nice dog.
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