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Old 08-18-2010, 12:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default does he know i'm alpha?

Hey guys so i just adopted a 2.5 yrs old white german shepherd a little less than a week ago, he knows how to sit, shake, and lay down. The problem is that i somtimes have to say the command like 8 times before he listens, but if i have food in my hands than he will listen on the 1st command.

The things i have tried to do to make him listen include
- Making him sit before we enter/leave any room or the house
- I walk out of any room first and he follows
- Before i feed him i make him sit, shake my hand, and lay down

I'm not sure what else i can do to let him know i'm alpha. He also pulls on the leash when we walk, I walk him twice a day, after awhile he will stop pulling because he gets tired.

any advice would be great
thanks
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Never give a command more than once. If he doesn't comply, guide him into the sit, or down, or whatever.
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like you're doing a bit of NILF (nothing in life is free) already which is a good way to establish yourself as the leader

I would suggest getting into an OB class, even if he knows the commands it will give you a chance to bond and further establish you as the leader. He's only been with you for a week, it'll take some time.
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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thanks guys, any advice on the leash pulling? people tell me to get a choke collar or a e-collar but i'm hesitant. Right now when he pulls, i just stop walking until he sits than we walk, but as soon as he pulls again i stop. But he almost chokes himself when i stop, and our walks take FOREVER because i have to keep stopping. How long did it take you guys to train your dogs?

I also give him treats to train him, so i will have a couple of treats in my hand. I'll tell him to sit and if he does i'll give him the treat. My GF dosent think this is a good idea because she thinks that he will only obey me if i have treats in my hands, which kind of makes sense. What should i do?
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I would not use a choke chain. I would try the sensations harness or the easy walk harness or a prong

I probably will take a while to get him to walk nicely. He's been pulling for 2.5yrs. A good thing to do would be start the walk and give him some time to sniff and settle a bit (if he will) and then start walking.

Stick with treats,toys..whatever motivates him Once he learns and will do commands then you can phase out treats but right now its important for him to learn whats expected.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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thanks for the info, i was just reading another thread and i think i'm going to try the clicker training as well.

what do you guys use as training treats for your dogs? do you use big treats to crush them into smaller treats? i cant seem to find any "training treats" any my local pet store. But he sure does like doggie cookies
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Little slices of hot dog.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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cut up hot dogs, cut up cheese, diced chicken
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Loose leash walking takes a looooong time to train for some dogs. Niko figured it out within about three or four months but it took a LOT of treats (mine are homemade, Google it for recipes and save $$$). Now he's about 80% loose leash, but he forgets now and then if he sees an animal or something worth sniffing. I have never used anything but a flat collar on him.

Miss Rosa, however, has made nearly zero progress over the past year using this method. If she weren't such a "soft" dog, I might consider something other than a flat collar for her. But she shuts down so easily, we are just going to keep with our method (stop when she pulls, start when she sits).

I'd suggest you follow the above advice and look at some of the other devices out there. Many, many people use a prong. That's not one I'd choose for my dogs but only because Niko's already almost got it, and Rosa couldn't handle it.

If it takes a treat to get him to do a command, it's better to use a treat than to repeat the command (he learns to ignore you). Like a trainer told us, "Would you work for free?"

You can ease off the alpha thing too, if you use NILIF. And it seems kinda strict to make your dog sit to enter/exit rooms IN your house. We used to try to leave the house ahead of the dogs, but gosh that's inconvenient! Now all they have to do is sit, and wait for our release word, and they may exit. I feel without a doubt that both dogs understand that my husband and I are firmly in charge.

You sound like you are off on the right foot though!!! Patience, your dog is still adjusting. Give it a couple more weeks, keep things mellow, strengthen the bond. And classes ARE a great idea. Plus it's fun to meet other dog people!
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i think the alpha stuff is over rated.

give your dog a command. don't repeat
it. make your dog do whatever it is with one command.

train, train, train and socialize, socialize and socialize.

i think through training, socializing and feeding you create
a mutual bond.

when i'm letting my dog out he goes to the front
door and waits. i open the door and he waits for a command before
exiting. coming into the house my dog waits at
the bottom of the steps untill i open the door and give him a command
before he comes up the steps.

at feeding time i find it's much simpler
to feed my dog first. if my dog hovers around my
plate i say "back up" or "go to your bed".

i'm just saying all of this because i've never
given much thought about the alpha stuff.

train, socialize and spend time with your dog.

enjoy the new dog.
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