What do I teach first? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2009, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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What do I teach first?

I have two fosters. Foster #1 Nena, has been with me several months. She is a GSD, estimated age at 8 yrs. Her owners turned her in, because they say she tore up the house during thunderstorms. Yes, she is terrified of the thunder or loud noises. She pants, paces, drools and whines during a storm. But we are working with that. She is very attached to me, a typical velcro dog. Very laid back, doesn't care to play with other dogs. When out in public, she will let people pet her, but she is not interested in being petted. I call her an old lady, just like me.

Well...I decided to take on another foster. His name is Blitz. This one too, is an owner surrender. He was surrendered due to his owners lack of desire to teach him any manners at all. He is a one year old GSD. He knows nothing..nada..zip as far as manners. He jumps on me all the time. He licks me constantly. He gobbles his food without even tasting it. He doesn't sit. He doesn't stay. He is all over the place. I have no control over him.

A regular flat collar is useless, I have no control with that. I prefer the prong collar, but getting it off and on is a struggle, as he won't sit still. He wants to jump and lick and act like a wild dog. Wild dog, pretty much is accurate. Tomorrow I am going to check into a gentle leader type collar.

My question to you with more experience is..which behavior do I focus on first. Let's say I get him quiet and settled down...then what? Is there an order of things, that will work better?

I am so excited to take on this challenge, but believe me it is a bit overwhelming. He has a puppy mentality, but with the size and strength of a one year old. My hunch says this guy has had very little human interaction in his life.

I would love to hear your ideas/suggestions on what should be my first priority in bringing some control into this guys world. The goal is to ultimately make him feel confident and someday become a permanent member of his future forever family. I just need the knowledge to make this happen for him.

Thanks

Kathy
Bear - 1996-2008 - RIP big dog
Ruby - NSR foster
Nena - NSR foster
Bruno - NSR foster
Blitz - NSR foster
Glory - SCR foster
Leibe - SSR foster
Lessie - CPR foster
Reno - CPR foster
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2009, 11:46 PM
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Re: What do I teach first?

I would teach SIT first, its easiest and most handy..sit to bet pet, sit to get food, sit to go outside, sit to do pretty much everything..if he's sitting he's not jumping around like a wild man too. good luck

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 12:57 AM
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Re: What do I teach first?

I've always heard (but have never fostered) to just treat them like an 8 week old puppy and start with the basics.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 02:24 AM
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Re: What do I teach first?

I agree with sit, and patience! I have this issue with Anna still! She jumps like crazy, she knows the routine, she jumps, I turn my back, she sits, I turn around and then she jumps again. Lately, I have been just leaving. When I am working with her, right now she has to be seperated from me to prevent me from further damage to the shoulder, I keep her tethered and tied to the patio door so she cant follow me. If she jumps, I turn around, she thinks it is time to sit, but I leave the room and make her wait and calm before I come back in. I put her back in sit/stay and attempt to aproach again. She is far more hard headed then I have the energy so soon after the surgery. It has been very difficult to say the least! Good luck!

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 04:43 AM
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Re: What do I teach first?

First thing I always work on first with my dogs is Come. Nothing else matters if I can't get my dog to come to me.

Not Come, then sit. Just Come. Here's your treat. Ok, go play. The come again. Let's play tug. Ok. go play. Come again. Chase me!!!!
Come! Hurry! Come! Chase me again! (Do this a bunch of times -- you don't have to run fast, just run around stuff. Change directions a lot.). Here's a treat. Let's walk into the house together.

Now dog is somewhat tired and sits down. Capture that! Good sit! (Fork over the treat).

Ready to feed dog dinner? STand calmly with his dinner bowl about chest or waist high, depending how tall you are. Wait for the offered sit. Mark that (good sit!) and reward with his bowl.

When your dog jumps on you, simply step forward into his space. Don't say anything, just step forward. That will most likely cause him to squirm & try to jump up again. Keep stepping into his space. Eventually, he'll get backed into a sit. Mark that. Good sit! + treat (if you have one ready)

Here's what you're doing -- you're using your body and ACTIVELY training your dog. With young wiggly dogs, we can sit in front of them and do "training." Or we can work on training as we go throughout the day. The more times that I can use my body (as opposed to my language) to speak to him, the more effective I'll be.

So when you ask, what should I do first, my answer is, teach him that being next to you is the best place to be. So start with recall. But don't just call him when it's Game Over. Call him, reinforce and let him resume his play at least half the time. And don't call him to you when something bad is about to happen (going in his crate, getting a bath, etc). Go get him if you need to do those things. Once you have a good recall, he'll pay attention to you more carefully. You're the one that makes great things happen.

Then, train what you need as you go through your day. When he sits, mark it and reward it. When he lies down in an appropriate place, mark and reward it. When he wants to go out, open the door, but stand so your leg is in front of him, blocking him. If he starts to bolt out the door, close it quickly. Tell him to wait, then open it slowly. If he moves, close it again. Stand in front of him, then open the door again. When he remains waiting, then release him.

If you do these simple things repeatedly, they'll become second nature for both of you before you know it. And quickly, you'll have a dog that sits automatically -- it's his way of saying 'please.' You'll have broken him of his jumping habit. You'll have a dog that learns that lying down quietly is rewarded, so he'll be learning to settle down on his own. You'll have a dog that knows how to wait at a door, and knowing what Wait means is the first step to using that command in other situations and learning Stay. And you'll have a dog with a good recall and who can be taught how to focus soon enough, because he's learning to watch you all the time.

You can toss a couple training sessions in there too, if you wish. Personally, I like keeping training for during the day, and using those 10-15 minute training sessions to teach tricks. For the dog, it's the same -- we're teaching them how to learn. But for us, it's fun. And the dog figures out quickly enough that tricks are fun. They always get rewarded, never corrected, and they make humans happy.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 01:51 PM
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Re: What do I teach first?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: 3K9MomSo when you ask, what should I do first, my answer is, teach him that being next to you is the best place to be. So start with recall. But don't just call him when it's Game Over. Call him, reinforce and let him resume his play at least half the time. And don't call him to you when something bad is about to happen (going in his crate, getting a bath, etc). Go get him if you need to do those things. Once you have a good recall, he'll pay attention to you more carefully. You're the one that makes great things happen.

Then, train what you need as you go through your day. When he sits, mark it and reward it. When he lies down in an appropriate place, mark and reward it. When he wants to go out, open the door, but stand so your leg is in front of him, blocking him. If he starts to bolt out the door, close it quickly. Tell him to wait, then open it slowly. If he moves, close it again. Stand in front of him, then open the door again. When he remains waiting, then release him.

If you do these simple things repeatedly, they'll become second nature for both of you before you know it. And quickly, you'll have a dog that sits automatically -- it's his way of saying 'please.' You'll have broken him of his jumping habit. You'll have a dog that learns that lying down quietly is rewarded, so he'll be learning to settle down on his own. You'll have a dog that knows how to wait at a door, and knowing what Wait means is the first step to using that command in other situations and learning Stay. And you'll have a dog with a good recall and who can be taught how to focus soon enough, because he's learning to watch you all the time.
What she said! Carry treats on you all the time so you're always ready to reinforce any behavior you like, however brief. Give him no attention whatsoever for behaving badly, wait until he stops and calms down, however long that takes. In the meantime, he's the invisible dog, he does not exist. It shouldn't take him long to realize that in order to get the things he wants - food/play/attention, he has to follow certain rules. This is a dog crying out for NILIF: http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

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Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What do I teach first?

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I like having different ways of doing things, so if something is not working, I have a back up way of still getting the job done.

He is a handful and a real challenge for me. But with time, patience and using every opportunity as a lesson, he will come around.

I can do this, I can do this, I can do this...

Kathy
Bear - 1996-2008 - RIP big dog
Ruby - NSR foster
Nena - NSR foster
Bruno - NSR foster
Blitz - NSR foster
Glory - SCR foster
Leibe - SSR foster
Lessie - CPR foster
Reno - CPR foster
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 11:30 PM
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Re: What do I teach first?

Yes you can! Yes you can! Yes you can!

if you manage to consistently <u>not react</u> to the bad/negative & only respond to the behaviors you want, he will learn soooooo fast.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 04:43 AM
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Re: What do I teach first?

I like the idea of recall.

But in the mean time, I also say sit! It gives them something to do rather than jump all over you and be obnoxious when doing very basic day to day things...Oh what do you mean you didn't want me to jump on your back when you were looking in the cabinet...oh what do you mean you didn't want me to jump to your shoulders to grab that treat I know ya got?!

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 10:05 AM
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Re: What do I teach first?

As for training formal commands, I always like to work on the re-call and heeling first. It seems like sit, down, stand can be mastered within a few training sessions, so I usually don't spend too much time working on these in the beginning. Stark picked those up within three or four minutes.

Recall and heeling (as well as stay) are vital commands, that could one day save your dogs life, so I make sure to work on these have these down.

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