Sarge went Nutz! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Sarge went Nutz!

Those of you that have read my previous posts know how proud I am of my boy, Sarge... and who wouldn't be proud of their gsd? right? But sometimes he just has me scratching my head.

Last night, we made a quick run to our local big-box pet store to buy dog food (which is a topic in itself) and decided to take Sarge and our little Yorkie (his best pal) Chloe. Things got off to a rocky start as we got out of the car he started pulling - which is new for Sarge, he's usually on heel without command now. I FINALLY get his attention and get him on heel to go in the store, but he is still not quite 'with the program' like he normally is. trying to wander away, etc.. this is the first time I've had to wrap his leash around my wrist to keep him from running off... it's was very weird.

We manage to pick up the dog food and head to the registers when a number of people come in the store, each with a puppy. there was a beagle, a very young lab and a scrappy terrier mix. - all of them pulling like mad, running in place on the tile, tails wagging, tounge out... typical puppies.

Sarge went nuts

He wasn't being agressive, he was wanting to play. Barking his head off, pulling on the lead, wetting himself, "prancing," and generally being what I call a "bad dog" - I managed to grab a treat off a nearby shelf and got his attention back (and yes, I bought the treat), but not until after everyone recoiled in fear, yanking their poor puppies by their leads - the only owner that didn't seem to have a problem was the beagle owner, he simply said. "oops,we've got him all excited, lets go..." and turned and dragged his little dog away.

Of course, barking your head off for a 5 month old gsd puppy who is already bigger than most dogs sounds like you've jumped the fence at the local junkyard andthe guard dogs found you. He's a noisy guy! I could tell by the look on the other owners faces that they were afraid their dogs were about to become a snack.. Meanwhile, Chloe is hiding behind my wife shaking like a leaf in her little harness. poor girl.

So my question is this: first, I dont' want to discourage Sarge alerting to the presence of 'unknowns' - but I want him to know the command "cease!" - basically to make him stop what he's doing, go to heal position 1 (sitting at my side) and SHUT UP!

Anyone with some good training advice on how to get this to happen, please let me know. It's never been an issue until now, and I've always been told that training is based on circumstance (wait for the good and reward, wait for the bad and redirect)

I know it was the other dogs that got him excited - we went to a Lowes right after this - FULL of people, and didn't have a single issue, not so much as a whimper out of him. he was on heel when we were moving and sitting at my side when we were still (or laying on the ground)... back to being... well... "Sarge"... for all practical purposes.

I'm really not that interested in taking him to a dog park as I'm concerned over disease and other poorly mannered dogs... so socializing him there isn't an option. does he just need more experience with strange dogs, or is this something he will grow out of?

Here's a fun pic of him: (I know, unrelated to the post.. but still)


German Shepherd - Victors Comic Soldier, AKA "Sarge" Born 11-29-2008
Cocker Spaniel - Castles Yummy Biscuit, AKA "Biscuit" Born 11-24-2001
Yorkshier Terrier - Misty's Princess PooPoo, AKA Chloe Born 04-30-2008
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 11:02 AM
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Re: Sarge went Nutz!

Join a training class.

I don't do dog parks either but it is essential that you socialize your dog with other dogs.

You can teach the dog to focus on you and stay in heel command but the best thing about training classes is that it helps you teach your dog to sit and stay or heel WITH distractions like other dogs and people.

If you can't join a training class, teach him to sit beside you and focus on you, (I put a piece of hotdog in my mouth or hold it in my hand at chest level) once you can get him to do this really well, take him back to the pet store and work with him there with all the distractions.

One of the really great things about dog classes is that usually after class your pup will get to play with other pups.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 05:07 PM
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Re: Sarge went Nutz!

sarge is cute by the way )

and yes join an obedience class, also how often do you take him to big box petstores? I'd do some 'visiting' just you and him just for the socialization aspect of it..

You can also go to the dog park, BUT stay outside, don't mingle inside, just hang in the perimeters work on some basic obed 'around' the vacinity of other dogs..

just some ideas
diane

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sarge went Nutz!

I try to take him somewhere at least every other day. Since I'm constantly running errands, it's not too hard. The pet stores are usualy once or twice a week, but it's not very often that we run into other dogs.

I'm working on getting information on obed classes but most of the basic classes teach what he already knows. I feel like he'd get bored and lose interest. I guess I need to talk to a trainer.

German Shepherd - Victors Comic Soldier, AKA "Sarge" Born 11-29-2008
Cocker Spaniel - Castles Yummy Biscuit, AKA "Biscuit" Born 11-24-2001
Yorkshier Terrier - Misty's Princess PooPoo, AKA Chloe Born 04-30-2008
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 07:18 PM
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Re: Sarge went Nutz!

even if he knows the basics,,it's great for socialization and hey, if he does know the basics,,think of it this way,,he'll be the smartest dog in class and will make ya look good! LOL..

Sometimes dogs like to embarrass us, they know all this stuff at home, get them in a class and they make us look like idiots )

So I highly recommend doing the basic class if for nothing other than the socialization aspect of it..

Diane
Ozzie vom Kleinen Hain
Danger Danger vom Kleinen Hain aka Masi
Tranquillo's Kizzy
Jakoda's Kholee
"Angel" Jakoda's Bewitchen Sami CD OA OAJ OAC NGC OJC RS-O GS-N JS-O TT HIC CGC
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 10:54 AM
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Re: Sarge went Nutz!

If he has not been to an OB class he will not be bored, you think he knows so much but you would be surprised (and happy) at all the new things you will learn to teach your dog.

My dog is 3, he spent about 2 years of his life in dog classes. After we stopped he developed some serious dog aggression issues, so back to training we go.

He does know everything but we still have a great time.

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Echo 4.5 year old GSD/Rottie
Cyrus 4 year old GSD
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 12:43 PM
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Re: Sarge went Nutz!

Dog classes are really good for teaching your dog the things they already know but DON'T always do with other dogs around. Marley is doing Obedience 1 for the second time!!! She already knows all of the things they teach but doesn't do them consistently with the other dogs running around her.

She will do a sit stay at home for 3 minutes but we can only do 2 minutes with the other dogs getting up and breaking their sits constantly. Same with the down stay. Home she is great, but at class she tries to keep getting up to go see the other dogs.

I think you should try it and you will probably LOVE IT.

Mom to 4 girls
Marley - 1 yr GSD
Sampson - Chesapeake Bay Retriever 11 yrs
Precious - Witch kitty 10 years
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 02:17 PM
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Re: Sarge went Nutz!

I agree.

The instructor always tells us that she does not want to hear "but she does it so good at home", because she would be hearing that many times a day.

Class is great because everyone there is working on the same end goal.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sarge went Nutz!

Sounds like it's off to obedience class for us.

German Shepherd - Victors Comic Soldier, AKA "Sarge" Born 11-29-2008
Cocker Spaniel - Castles Yummy Biscuit, AKA "Biscuit" Born 11-24-2001
Yorkshier Terrier - Misty's Princess PooPoo, AKA Chloe Born 04-30-2008
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 09:58 PM
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Re: Sarge went Nutz!

asking a 5 month old puppy to calm down and "heel" is like asking a 5 year old to go grocery shopping without buying ice cream and candy....

steve

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