Just adopted an older GSD, possible behavior/taining issues. - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-05-2013, 06:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Just adopted an older GSD, possible behavior/taining issues.

Hi all!

I just adopted a 6 y/o GSD. I will be the dogs 4th owner. His first owners had him for 1-2 year then dumped him off at the pound; I don't know anything about them. The next owners had him for about 2 years; don't know much about them either except they had a toddler in the home. The last owners had to get rid of him because they lost their home, were living with the in laws and had to keep him chained up outside. He absolutely was not allowed in the house. When I met the dog for the fist time he was in a chest harness and one of the over the nose harnesses. He was not listening to his owner, whining a lot and going between the owners legs. They also allowed and encouraged him to jump up to "give hugs". I get the impression zero obedience was practiced with this dog.

I brought my dog to see how they would get along. It seemed that they did ok after the initial meeting and we ended up taking this GSD home. My current dog is very well behaved, socialized and has obedience training. I put my dog in the kennel so the new dog could check the new place out. The first thing that GSD did was piss on the floor next to my dog who was in the kennel. I immediately said "No!" and then pointed my finger and said "Out", which he complied with. He continued to check the place out with the exception of our room and my sons room which is off limits. I have noticed that he listens only when he wants to; this applies to sit, down, out and come. I have implemented NILIF, its only been two days but there is a dramatic improvement. He follows commands more often than not and when he does comply he gets a treat/praise. I also put him on the leash and practiced heel and sit. I change directions, start/stop frequently and change pace. He is a real smart dog.

Since this dog has probably had no consistent obedience training, what is the best way to go about doing this?

There are two things that are currently driving me nuts. The first is his jumping up. He will just walk up to me and jump up. I could be sitting or I could be standing. My first instinct is to say no, but that just compounds the problem because he was seeking attention in the first place and then got it. I now ignore it, tell him to sit and when he sits I give lots of praise/scratches. Now he will come up to me and sit(although I can see him thinking jump up in his eyes). Am I doing this right?

The other thing is he will come when called when he feels like it. This afternoon I called him and he flat out ignored me. So I got some treats in a crinkly bag and then called him again. I crinkled the bag and he came. I did that for the next ten minutes or so and by the end didn't have to crinkle the bag. Is this the best way as well?


Thanks all!!
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thank you for taking on this poor boy. I think he is doing amazingly well for just a few days. You must be patient with him. He spend the first 6 years of his life with little to no training, and being encouraged to do the wrong thing. Don't blame him for the mistakes people made. I'm sure he is very smart. Be consistent. I would treat him the same as a puppy. Go back to basics. Work on one command at a time. Praise, praise, praise. I believe in a short time, you will really see him shine.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is a link that discusses "two week shut down" for a new rescue/adopted dogs. I think some of the info could be helpful. Some people use it some don't, but might be worth a read.

Two Week Shut Down Debate...
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You sound experienced and imo doing the right thing with him. The things you have described, to me sound as though he is dominant, with the peeing on things and jumping up on you, and also through no fault of his, he has just worked out that he will do what he wants when he wants. I think consistent obedience training, your other dogs good manners and clear rules and boundaries will help you to help him. With the crinkling of the treat bag, I have used this when mine were young and also when they were going through that 'teenage defiant' age, and worked quite well.
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if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

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Old 12-05-2013, 10:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with Nigel. The 2 week shut down is worth a shot. I was in a hurry last time I posted, but I had noticed you saying you put your "current" dog in the crate while the new dog had a look around. And THEN the new dog urinated near your other dog while he was in the kennel. I think the "new" dog should have been in the kennel. I understand you wanted to let him have a look around, but it seems to me, you gave him a privilege he did not earn and took a privilege away from the dog who DID earn it. That is where the 2 week shut down is helpful. It is not about isolating the dog or not giving him attention. It provides an opportunity for the new dog to decompress and take in the family routine. It is less stressful for him that way.

NILIF is good for teaching the new dog the ropes and helping him to earn more freedom. It is obviously working, since you have already seen improvement. Mind Games is similar to NILIF. I used Mind Games when I got my shelter dog. It worked wonders in stopping unwanted behaviors. The link is below. It definitely sounds like you are on the right track with him.

Mind Games (version 1.0) by M. Shirley Chong
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the great information! Should I keep the two dogs apart for a little while? My husband put them out together yesterday and my dog was initiating play (paws out/down, butt in the air, tail wagging) and the GSD appeared to get a little aggressive? He was growling and baring his teeth while circling my dog, who ended up fighting back to hold his ground. he wouldn't come and avoided me altogether. In the house there is none of that. The GSD does try to mount my dog but we nip that in the bud as soon as he starts.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for helping this guy. I really found the shutdown to be the way to go with my two sr. girls. Do you have other dogs in the house? sending you wishes for a easy transition and many happy years.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy&Lucky's Mom View Post
Thanks for helping this guy. I really found the shutdown to be the way to go with my two sr. girls. Do you have other dogs in the house? sending you wishes for a easy transition and many happy years.
OK I missed your post re your other dog. I found neutral territory to be the best way to introduce and walking them in a circle on leash was how we handled our intros.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The only interaction I would do with the two dogs right now is walking together. Let them get used to being a part if the family together. The yard may be too over stimulating right now and the new dog may act out dye to insecurity and a lack of knowledge on how to respond.

Sounds like you guys are doing a great job so far. Rescues are amazing, and this guy is very lucky to have a family willing to work on his issues.


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