Attacking a stranger - Page 7 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #61 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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I should mention that both dogs respond really good to my whistle. They both come from wherever they are when I recall them. They stay within my vicinity all the time. I taught Ava to keep an eye on me all the time. So there is no sneaking away from her. Problem now is putting her on the leash.


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post #62 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 12:25 PM
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I don't try to convince them to not look at something and stare at me. .
I went this route initially with Jax. It was a nightmare. Imagine being scared of something but not being allowed to keep it on your radar. You must look away and never know what it's going to do. That's what you do to your dog when you demand that they can't even look at it.

I found it created MORE stress in her to be made to not look at something she was worried about than to teach her she could look at it, release her to look at it with the command "look" and teach her that the reward was to look at it, not react, and then look back at me.
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post #63 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 12:32 PM
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I will do! This is great. I think Iíve been spending a little too much time at the dog park Lallygagging instead of using the time to train. Itís cold itís just easier to let them go at it. At home both are pretty close to perfect. They are Obedient and donít get into mischief much. But there are areas that Iíve already started refreshing. Iíve been working on Avaís recall since the incident and she is already better. But she does still get skittish. With her I need to incorporate more games as well. She used to be really good pretty much till we got Phoenix. Thank you. Your post is very helpful. Iím organizing it all again in my head. Canít lose the sight of the fact that itís a continuum with such young dogs.


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Remember that dogs do not generalize. She learned it at home. But now you go somewhere, change the picture, change the distraction. You need to take 2 steps back and start over. Keep her farther away and work it like you are just starting. When she has that, then move closer, again you've changed the picture, start over.

I once heard a general rule of a dog doesn't learn until you've done it 20 times in 20 different places. Work that theory.

For example, I'm teaching my dog a running stand right now for competition. He's doing it perfectly. I took him to training and he blew every single one. New place, new distractions. STart over with luring, helping him with hand movements, etc. End of day, he's locking up and doing them perfectly.

Take your time and read her comfort level. It doesn't all have to happen in a day. A dog that has been shaped and rewarded and taught to think will be able to handle stress far better than a dog that has been controlled and corrected.
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post #64 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 12:42 PM
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ENOUGH with the making things personal. Stop bickering. People are allowed to politely disagree. Warnings have been sent. I suggest everyone re-read the forum rules.
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post #65 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 12:46 PM
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I once heard a general rule of a dog doesn't learn until you've done it 20 times in 20 different places. Work that theory.
Same principal, but the way it was explained to me is dogs learn from repetition. So if your problem is recall, or if your introducing something new, I generally stick to just that one thing, over and over again, not combined with anything else. There's days I'll still only work one single thing out of how ever many things that have been trained. I go out and tell him its time to start, I train whatever, I tell him he's done. That's the easiest way I've found to keep from blurring things.
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post #66 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 12:56 PM
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One of mine is nervy and bothered by, I don't really even know how many different things. I can take him anywhere, and it doesn't really show, except that I know it. Obedience becomes like a comfort zone. At first its like the anticipation of reward or play with you, and like with him, it ends up narrowed all the way down to just walking or sitting next to you is a security blanket. You can't change their temperament, but they'll stick to what they succeeded at and where they found that comfort zone.
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post #67 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 01:09 PM
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One of mine is nervy and bothered by, I don't really even know how many different things. I can take him anywhere, and it doesn't really show, except that I know it. Obedience becomes like a comfort zone. At first its like the anticipation of reward or play with you, and like with him, it ends up narrowed all the way down to just walking or sitting next to you is a security blanket. You can't change their temperament, but they'll stick to what they succeeded at and where they found that comfort zone.
One of mine is kinda nervy too. Not really bothered by much unless it involves strangers in certain situations such as approaching and yelling loud at her. No one would ever know she is nervy unless they know what to look for. I know though.
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post #68 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 01:57 PM
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What Steve said!My dogs have learned/been taught default behaviors for when something makes them uneasy or afraid.It's definitely a comfort for them.They don't have to stop and think about the best way to protect themselves and feel safe.
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post #69 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-19-2017, 03:12 AM
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Working on desensitizing a dog to anything is generally going to make everything worse unless you improve the relationship bond first. And training, obedience, rally, agility, nosework, flyball -- it doesn't matter, anything that improves the bond of trust between the dog and the handler. Evenmore helpful if you can do a lot of it privately until things are smoother, and then in a group setting, where everyone is controlled by a leash.

First train without distractions, then add in distractions. Too much socilization is done when the puppy has no trust at all in the handler. Some puppies are ok with this because they are at an age when their leeriness of strangers doesn't kick in yet, or the are super confident dogs. But for the less confident dogs, no socialization is better than bad socialization. With less confident dogs, we need to let them relax and get to know us first, then we can go out there and try not to overwhelm the puppy, but going slow.

Instead we have suggestions of 100 persons, places, and things by 16 weeks. Fine for a dog with a solid temperament. They will handle that just fine. For a dog that is less secure, it will overwhelm them. When a puppy is overwhelmed, only some will back up and cower behind their owners. Others will stand out in front growling, barking, snapping, and even biting out of fear. When that happens, then we need to do more than properly socialize the puppy. We need to rehab. Because usually when dog snarls, snaps, barks, lunges, or bites, the object of their reaction generally steps back and gives more distance to the dog. This is EXACTLY what the dog wants. He is rewarded and learns that his bevhavior did what he wanted. It's like a counter-surfer that was rewarded by a big juicy steak. Any dog will be looking up onto that counter for weeks or months after such a tasty reward. And to stop the behavior, sometimes more than an Eh-eh or No! will be necessary. Maybe a very un-pleasent sensation will be necessary to eliminate the behavior.

And so the dog that has gotten what it wants by reactive behavior needs to be corrected. First improve the bond by building trust through training. Manage the environment so that the dog does not have another opportunity to make the negative behavior a habit. And then, with added maturity and a better bond, and improved leadership, it will then be time to decrease the distance between the problem and the dog. And if the dog does react, a quick correction, and moving on. Repeat. And then enough for one day. Take it slow, this is not a race. The dog will probably need to be corrected a few times, before he has enough exposure to figure out that he survives these people.

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post #70 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-24-2017, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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Working on desensitizing a dog to anything is generally going to make everything worse unless you improve the relationship bond first. And training, obedience, rally, agility, nosework, flyball -- it doesn't matter, anything that improves the bond of trust between the dog and the handler. Evenmore helpful if you can do a lot of it privately until things are smoother, and then in a group setting, where everyone is controlled by a leash.

First train without distractions, then add in distractions. Too much socilization is done when the puppy has no trust at all in the handler. Some puppies are ok with this because they are at an age when their leeriness of strangers doesn't kick in yet, or the are super confident dogs. But for the less confident dogs, no socialization is better than bad socialization. With less confident dogs, we need to let them relax and get to know us first, then we can go out there and try not to overwhelm the puppy, but going slow.

Instead we have suggestions of 100 persons, places, and things by 16 weeks. Fine for a dog with a solid temperament. They will handle that just fine. For a dog that is less secure, it will overwhelm them. When a puppy is overwhelmed, only some will back up and cower behind their owners. Others will stand out in front growling, barking, snapping, and even biting out of fear. When that happens, then we need to do more than properly socialize the puppy. We need to rehab. Because usually when dog snarls, snaps, barks, lunges, or bites, the object of their reaction generally steps back and gives more distance to the dog. This is EXACTLY what the dog wants. He is rewarded and learns that his bevhavior did what he wanted. It's like a counter-surfer that was rewarded by a big juicy steak. Any dog will be looking up onto that counter for weeks or months after such a tasty reward. And to stop the behavior, sometimes more than an Eh-eh or No! will be necessary. Maybe a very un-pleasent sensation will be necessary to eliminate the behavior.

And so the dog that has gotten what it wants by reactive behavior needs to be corrected. First improve the bond by building trust through training. Manage the environment so that the dog does not have another opportunity to make the negative behavior a habit. And then, with added maturity and a better bond, and improved leadership, it will then be time to decrease the distance between the problem and the dog. And if the dog does react, a quick correction, and moving on. Repeat. And then enough for one day. Take it slow, this is not a race. The dog will probably need to be corrected a few times, before he has enough exposure to figure out that he survives these people.


How to do this when the dog never reacts to anyone except that one person? Seen only a couple of time. Never before or in between these 2 happenings. Never to anyone else. Doesnít show fear at all. Iíve been watching her ever since and no sign of the same behaviour.


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