Hi, every one! I've been a long time stalker of these forums since before I got my GSD and as I've been raising him. I have a soon to be one year old male, intact German Shepherd. I have a few questions regarding his behavior that I would love some insight on from some Shepherd savvy people.
For starters - his breathing. Boone pants..all. the. time. It's like he is naturally a heavy breather. Even when he has been home, relaxing for the evening, he just pants. Right now as I type this, he is staring and breathing in my face heavily. (Thanks, pal) The dude just breathes heavy most the time, even when he has had plenty of time to cool down from play/work time. I even asked my vet, and he said there wasn't anything wrong with Boone, maybe he was nervous, but Boone is a pretty confident dog for starters, and it wouldn't make sense for him to be panting at home because he wouldn't be nervous here..sooo, any one else's GSD do this? Is this okay?
Also, as far as his whinnyness. I don't mind a whinny dog when we're working/training honestly, but I like to take Boone to a lot of public places and he has always been a really noisy/whinny/yippy dog. It is def. worse when it's a new place, but sometimes he does it in a place he is used to being at (ex: his obedience classes). Any tips on curtailing this? We've been working on the command "Settle" and then I reward when he quietens down and relaxes, but does that sound good? Any advice?
Lastly - walking on leash. He's doing loads better since I transitioned him to a Prong. So good that I let him walk on his flat collar again, which lasted about five minutes. He immediately began his pulling, tugging, etc. My question is...will I ever be able to smoothly transition him back to flat collar, or will he probably always need a prong? What has your experience been with your Shepherds? We work on Heel / Walk every day (I incorporate into his daily training) but man, he just will not follow the commands when he is on a flat collar. Only the prong seems to get him to focus.
Any tips / feedback is appreciated! Thanks, guys!