Dog is totally different in backyard. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Dog is totally different in backyard.

I have an incredible 8-month-old male german shepherd that has confusing behaviors. I have been training him since 8 weeks and he is a very fast learner and knows how to do the basic things as of now and proper manners such as waiting for me to go out of places first, gently take food and other little things. However, when he is in my backyard where he spends most of his time, everything changes.

If he's in the backyard then he is a totally different dog. He jumps all over me and likes to chew on my hand. However, he grabs my hand and is extremely gentle with it but his teeth are still hard and sharp. He tries to not hurt me at all but he is 80 pounds now and that is a lot of weight to control. It's hard to do much when I go in my backyard because he will act all crazy and wild with his jumping and hand nibbling. Also, he does not listen to any commands at all in the backyard if I don't have a treat. He just looks at me and barks at me like talking back.

He will ONLY listen if I have a treat. However, after a few minutes of training and treats in the backyard, he will get bored and just try to jump on me and grab it out of my hand.

Once he is out of my backyard and we go on walks or anything he is the most human and dog-friendly animal. He is extremely obedient and smart as well. I'm curious as to why he has a change in behavior in ONLY the backyard. I know he is very excited to see me by looking at his underside and tail wagging and panting. But he only does this in the backyard.

Once again, he does not try to hurt my hand when he grabs it. He just very gently nibbles on it which is weird.

I do own an e-collar but I am hesitant to use it. I have used a shock bark-collar on him 2 nights and that was all it took for him to learn to not nuisance bark at night.

I do exercise him well with about 10 mins of him sprinting every day and 30-45 min walk as of now. It will increase when summer comes.

I know this is a lot to read so thank you. Any feedback on what this behavior is associated to is greatly appreciated!!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 12:18 PM
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Your dog has the idea that the backyard is for free time.Most dogs will become habituated to specific behaviors that take place in specific areas.I'm guessing if he's spending most of his time there he is free to do whatever he wants 99%of the time.You've trained him what you expect indoors and on walks,and then the backyard has become the place where he makes the decisions.If it was me I would play a specific game with him that you both enjoy(tug,fetch,etc.),cool down with a drink of water,give him something to chew and a 'place' command.Create a new ritual.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 12:39 PM
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Well, it's great that your dog is so well-behaved around other dogs and people out in public. Have you done any training sessions in the backyard? If not, I'd start practicing some obedience with him in the backyard so he gets used to obeying you there. Start off with him on leash then move to off leash once he's reliable on leash. Remember not to repeat commands b/c that teaches dogs that they can ignore you. Try to only give commands when you can enforce them.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 02:12 PM
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As I've been told when questioning my dogs behavior: Handler error. You are somehow training this behavior.
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