Why does she walk differently with me than our dog walker? - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 08:54 AM
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My "assistant dog walker" is my husband. :-)
He would sometimes come back from walks reporting that Rumo barked at some joggers, or growled at another dog!
I was like, wow, got to train that out of him. But R does not behave like that with me, so how to train it?

We went on a family hike one evening - for a while I had the leash, and then my husband had the leash. While he had the leash, a big dog and his people were coming up behind us on the trail. I saw my husband's whole body tense up. He was saying things quickly to Rumo, and he tightened the leash, dragged Rumo off the trail and stood there. He nearly knocked me over in his haste to get off the trail! Then Rumo was standing there watching while the other dog passed, and he lunged and barked. So my husband was telegraphing Alert! Alert! with his body, voice, and leash handling...plus he was letting Rumo get in a good "stare" at the other dog, ( Heck, even I felt nervous! ) Anyway I have shown him how to make his "dog handling" more similar to mine, and now he will report, "Rumo was very good" and "Rumo passed another dog calmly." So perhaps a joint walk or two (with you observing Katie) would help!
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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
It's why in group classes good trainers will sometimes take the leash of worst dog in the class, and even use that one as the demo dog, and instantly the dog's bad behavior vanishes when the leash changes hand. Same dog, different handler. It's why dog training classes are about training people more than dogs!

Off topic....but this made me laugh as it reminded me of a group class I attended to deal my young dog's reactivity towards other dogs. Exactly as you say.....the "good trainer"used my not so civil dog as the demo dog and ended up hanging my dog on her prong when my dog didn't get the memo and went ballistic with another dog as the "trainer" guided my dog to a point where it was obvious what was going to happen. The trainer looked at me and said ..." Wow !...she sure has a hair-trigger " The most amusing part of this worthless group class was it was advertised as an "all positive" approach to DS/CC a reactive dog......and the fact they never objected to the prong I had on my dog puzzled me. My guess is ...a dog savvy trainer or individual can take a somewhat unruly dog and get better results almost immediately because the dog is a bit off balance with this type of person's attitude and air about them.


In regards to the OP's observation of differences in a dog's behavior dependent on who is at the controls.....I saw the same thing with a couple of my GSDs.....whether it is a sense of comfort/security or the aura a different handler gives off....my dogs have taken different "attitudes" dependent on who is at the helm. It's easy to see....body posture/ position the dog takes during a leashed walk/ degree of overall attentiveness to the rest of the world/ scenting/ intent listening/etc....in general a sense of uptightness or lack of depending on who is handling the dog.



I eventually decided not to tolerate the reactive leashed crap and the dog learned that....whereas my wife was more along for the ride and the dog knew that as well. Once my wife decided to clearly show what was acceptable and unacceptable....it all changed.



So....maybe with a dog that is a bit thin on nerves....the dog requires a more confident handler that clearly defines what is acceptable and corrects and rewards appropriately.........


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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 11:10 AM
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I am definitely not a big fan of Cesar Milan, but by gosh, there are SOME things he gets right! One is showing owners how their own body language and lack of confidence affects their dogs! A lot more gets telegraphed down the leash than we realize.

Another thing people need to realize is that a lunging dog needs to be corrected the second his attention starts to fixate on whatever his favourite trigger is. That's where the focus exercise I posted earlier comes into play - use it to get the dog's attention off the distraction, and onto you, then reward them for obeying. You don't tighten up the leash - just give a slight pop and call the dog's name, or say 'leave it' - whatever the dog's been trained to respond to - reward, and keep on walking.

Some people think the quick results Cesar gets on his show can't be realistic. Believe me, if a trainer knows their stuff, they ARE! I was in a training class with my dog-aggressive dog, and another very reactive dog. He was so reactive, he's throw a lunging fit every time he passed my dog, even though we were on the opposite side of the room! My dog reacted the first time he did this. I corrected her, got her focus back on me, and it didn't happen again.

Eventually, with the trainer's help, the other person got their dog under control, and we ended the class with both dogs in a down-stay , only 5 feet apart!
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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
...this made me laugh as it reminded me of a group class I attended to deal my young dog's reactivity towards other dogs. Exactly as you say.....the "good trainer"used my not so civil dog as the demo dog and ended up hanging my dog on her prong when my dog didn't get the memo and went ballistic with another dog as the "trainer" guided my dog to a point where it was obvious what was going to happen. The trainer looked at me and said ..." Wow !...she sure has a hair-trigger "
What a total idiot! Any trainer that couldn't read your dog well enough to KNOW your dog was about to go ballistic has no business working with dogs! The pricked ears, the intense stare telegraphs the dog's intentions long before the actual lunge! Hair-trigger my A**!! Hope you didn't actually pay money for that useless excuse of a class!
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 12:29 PM
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also consider if your dog might be tired or hot, etc. Yesterday my hubby and I took the dogs to Bass Pro Shop to buy a boat. It took way way way longer than we expected. By the time we were about to leave my gal-dog was burnt out. She had been wonderful and being very good and patient. Oddly enough when someone went to pet my big-boy she got quite upset. I gave her an instant correction and had her look at me, which she did perfectly. I can just imagine her thinking, "leave him alone we are all tired and are so close to the door I can smell the fresh air I want to go home now!". Sometimes our dogs just don't think like we do...well, maybe I was thinking that myself but I didn't make a commotion.
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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sunsilver View Post
Oh yes, they pick up on our breathing! I was having trouble with Eska breaking her down just as I was about to give the recall command. I finally realized she was using the big breath I took just before the command as her cue, instead of waiting for the actual word!

I stopped taking that big breath - problem solved!!

Have you ever worked on focus exercises with her? It's the first thing I was taught to do with my dog when training them for a loose-leash heel. It is the key to getting your dog's immediate attention when it's being distracted by another dog, a squirrel, etc. :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irg3IQdSWoI
Thanks for the suggestion - it's another hot and muggy one today, so we'll work on this at some point. People comment on how attentive Xena is, never straying too far and looking to me for direction, but I can't take full credit there. I think it's part of her personality and I just encouraged it when she was young. So it's not something I've felt the need to work on in years, but it's time for a refresher.

Btw, we had a mini success just about 10 minutes ago. This company here leads Segway tours that pass right in front of our house, which drives Xena nuts. I was standing on the porch about to throw a frisbee when I saw them coming behind her. So I said "place" and she went directly there without hesitation. Once she was there, of course, she was facing the sidewalk and saw the Segways going by. She started barking and tried to charge, but I was able to hold on to her until they passed.

Another exercise we do at least once a day is sit out front, me in a chair and her at her "place" (a couch). This time of year, there are always pedestrians, Segways and golf carts flying by and I can't keep track of every little thing that's moving. So she goes to her place, I sit down next to her and put her on a training leash. When I see her ears prick or sense she's about to charge, I tell her "no" and give a little correction. But I don't know if it really sinks in since she couldn't get to the fence, even if she wanted to.

When we were working on getting her to stop charging the fence, the trainer suggested I set a 2-3 foot boundary from the fence, like a line in the sand she can't cross kind of thing. When she tried to cross that line, she got a correction and eventually stopped where I wanted her to, and then the trainer worked with me on getting her to stay there, with the gate wide open, until I gave the "release" command. But that seemed better in theory than practice and I didn't follow through. My reasoning is that she's out there all the time chasing balls and frisbees and sticks, and if one goes into the no-go zone, what's she supposed to do, just stand there and look at it?

Last edited by gsdforever850; 06-17-2018 at 01:46 PM. Reason: clarification
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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sunsilver View Post
I am definitely not a big fan of Cesar Milan, but by gosh, there are SOME things he gets right! One is showing owners how their own body language and lack of confidence affects their dogs! A lot more gets telegraphed down the leash than we realize.

Another thing people need to realize is that a lunging dog needs to be corrected the second his attention starts to fixate on whatever his favourite trigger is. That's where the focus exercise I posted earlier comes into play - use it to get the dog's attention off the distraction, and onto you, then reward them for obeying. You don't tighten up the leash - just give a slight pop and call the dog's name, or say 'leave it' - whatever the dog's been trained to respond to - reward, and keep on walking.

Some people think the quick results Cesar gets on his show can't be realistic. Believe me, if a trainer knows their stuff, they ARE! I was in a training class with my dog-aggressive dog, and another very reactive dog. He was so reactive, he's throw a lunging fit every time he passed my dog, even though we were on the opposite side of the room! My dog reacted the first time he did this. I corrected her, got her focus back on me, and it didn't happen again.

Eventually, with the trainer's help, the other person got their dog under control, and we ended the class with both dogs in a down-stay , only 5 feet apart!
Our trainer came with us to Bass Pro Shop and some of the shopping centers around here to work on just that! We'd be walking down an aisle and someone would be coming toward us, and the moment I sensed Xena making a move toward them, she got a correction.

I still feel kind of torn about that one, though. I can understand the theory behind it, that she's only allowed to approach or pay attention to someone when I say okay. I probably made her sound worse than she is, but she's almost always friendly and sociable and loves meeting new people. I tell her "Go say hi," and she'll walk directly up to her latest admirer and try to weave between their legs, lick their faces, even flop down on her side or go belly up every once in a while. It's just the random person here or there who she feels the need to put in their place. Most of the time, actually, I'm not even aware the person's even there until Xena starts acting up.
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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 05:38 PM
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When we're walking along and see another dog, for example, or someone with a baby in a stroller or little kids, I won't risk it. I just cross the street, or sometimes the other person crosses first. which I think it how Xena sees it.

You are conveying to the dog that these things are suspect instead of using them as an opportunity to teach your dog that these are harmless and can be passed without going on alert.

[/QUOTE] As for redirecting her focus, how, exactly, do you do that when she zeroes in something and I may as well not exist? I always have the remote collar on her when we're in the front yard. But when she sees a golf cart, she zeroes in on it and nothing, not even the collar, can distract her. I've also taught her "place." So if I see a pedestrian or whatever before she does, I tell her "place" and she'll go. But if she sees is before me, forget it. She just disappears into her zone. [/QUOTE]


Timing is everything. The time to correct is before she zeroes in on something. You have to look for and recognition the signals she's giving you. The lift of her head, or the moment her ears come to attention, that is when you correct or redirect. If she sees things and reacts before you do then your timing is off. If your timing is off you could be doing more harm than good especially if you are using a remote collar.

Please consider group lessons. I always participate in a group class with a new dog. I'm looking for a rescue dog right now and when I find her, we'll join a group class.

Good luck with your dog; you sound like a concerned and loving owner.
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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 05:44 PM
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Oddly enough when someone went to pet my big-boy she got quite upset. I gave her an instant correction and had her look at me, which she did perfectly. I can just imagine her thinking, "leave him alone we are all tired and are so close to the door I can smell the fresh air I want to go home now!". Sometimes our dogs just don't think like we do...well, maybe I was thinking that myself but I didn't make a commotion.
I think your dog read you perfectly.
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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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You are conveying to the dog that these things are suspect instead of using them as an opportunity to teach your dog that these are harmless and can be passed without going on alert.
As for redirecting her focus, how, exactly, do you do that when she zeroes in something and I may as well not exist? I always have the remote collar on her when we're in the front yard. But when she sees a golf cart, she zeroes in on it and nothing, not even the collar, can distract her. I've also taught her "place." So if I see a pedestrian or whatever before she does, I tell her "place" and she'll go. But if she sees is before me, forget it. She just disappears into her zone. [/QUOTE]


Timing is everything. The time to correct is before she zeroes in on something. You have to look for and recognition the signals she's giving you. The lift of her head, or the moment her ears come to attention, that is when you correct or redirect. If she sees things and reacts before you do then your timing is off. If your timing is off you could be doing more harm than good especially if you are using a remote collar.

Please consider group lessons. I always participate in a group class with a new dog. I'm looking for a rescue dog right now and when I find her, we'll join a group class.

Good luck with your dog; you sound like a concerned and loving owner. [/QUOTE]

Thanks so much for your insights and advice! And good luck in your search for a rescue - much as I love Xena, if it had been up to me, we would've gotten a rescue, too. Too many GSDs end up in shelters because their owners didn't know anything about GSDs beforehand and then end up blaming the dog for being a GSD. I'm sure we'll be seeing pics once he/she joins the family.
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