Is it Counterproductive to.... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Is it Counterproductive to....

First off, I am new to the site as I just adopted an 8mo all black Shepherd named Kona (may have a little lab in her too) Anyway my number one goal with her is to be able to train her off leash. When adopted her, she was very skittish of everyone and even nervous of some things as well but on a good note she listened to everything i said........in doors

On leash she does great as well, I believe someone before me has taught her the command to "leave it" because she seems to do just that when I tell her too. We are currently working on heel when we walk as well.

Everywhere I read says 8mo dogs are just too immature to learn to behave off leash and you should really wait to train them later in that department however I was always under the assumption, the earlier the better.

Now to my main question.....As it is getting pretty frigid outside I have lately been just letting her out the door to do her business (I live in a neighborhood with very little traffic at this time of they day, and the furthest she seems to go is my neighbors yard) Off leash without ANY distractions and a pocket full of treats she'll listen about 70% of the time, if i'm lucky, and although she won't come when I call her in the morning, If i let her do her things she always comes back within about 7-8mins. Is letting her out to go pee in the morning off leash counterproductive to teaching her to obey off leash? (As she wont come when called but she will come when ready)

Thanks for all your help, this site has been very informative so far!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 08:38 AM
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To me and this is just my oppinion, I would leash her to take her out to pee and poop until she does listen to you, I would start training her on leash until she is sharp....not she does it sometimes but all the time. You can work on a "here" with a long line but I like to start with a 6ft lead first, tell her to stay, step out and have her come, then start working your distance out from there. I am no pro but that is what worked with the dogs I have had and is what I am doing now. Good luck.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 08:51 AM
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70% is a totally unacceptable precentage for letting a dog off leash. This is one of those areas where the dog must respond without a doubt 100% of the time or it shouldn't be happening. Earlier is better applies when they are very young puppies! IE take an 8 - 10 wk old out with you and if you have another well trained off leash dog, great. The puppy will come back and be more inclined to follow you around. By 5 or 6 months they are getting more independent, more exploring and some might say a little more deaf.

You need to either install a fence, or put your coat and shoes on and get out there with your dog if you want to continue to HAVE a dog. Do you realize how far away a dog can get in 7-8 minutes?? That's going to progress to 10 - 15 minutes, and so on. You need to train off leash in a large secure area. Somewhere that perhaps your dog doesn't realize there's a complete fence (look for public school playgrounds).

Regarding the dog not coming 100% of the time - this is a training and bonding issue. You need to be your dogs best friend for a little while. Carry small treats around in your pockets at home, and randomly call the dog. As soon as the dog comes to you give tons of praise and several good quality treats (ones the dog REALLY likes). Before long your dog will be flying to you when you say "come!" Also, you do not want to ever use the command when you can't or aren't willing to enforce it. If the dog blows you off, you need to get out there and go retreive the dog. Don't punish her for not coming, just make it clear that when she doesn't come, you'll be coming for her. Use a drag line if you need to if she's darting away from you.

If you can't afford a fence and won't go outside for potty breaks (who cares what the weather is? You don't have a fence, you make sacrifices) then at least get a strong tie-out for SUPERVISED (from inside I guess) potty breaks. Don't leave your dog out on this, ever. Just potty breaks. At least she'll be contained in your yard.

Your neighbors don't want her in their yard. Trust me. Doesn't matter if they say they "don't mind." They do. They're just being polite (which is what you should be as well, which means keeping your pets contained on your property). They didn't adopt your dog, you did. Keep her in your yard.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 10:26 AM
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Welcome to the site KonaK9~
I look forward to pics!

If you are letting her out and she is wandering in the neighbors yard, aren't you breaking the law? AC would be contacted if this went on in many places. Who wants a neighbors dog that goes poop in their yard?
I would absolutely not do this again.
Little traffic or not, you aren't being responsible letting her out without having a strong bond with her and knowing she can be recalled 100%.

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Last edited by onyx'girl; 12-04-2010 at 10:28 AM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Rerun View Post
70% is a totally unacceptable precentage for letting a dog off leash. This is one of those areas where the dog must respond without a doubt 100% of the time or it shouldn't be happening. Earlier is better applies when they are very young puppies! IE take an 8 - 10 wk old out with you and if you have another well trained off leash dog, great. The puppy will come back and be more inclined to follow you around. By 5 or 6 months they are getting more independent, more exploring and some might say a little more deaf.

You need to either install a fence, or put your coat and shoes on and get out there with your dog if you want to continue to HAVE a dog. Do you realize how far away a dog can get in 7-8 minutes?? That's going to progress to 10 - 15 minutes, and so on. You need to train off leash in a large secure area. Somewhere that perhaps your dog doesn't realize there's a complete fence (look for public school playgrounds).

Regarding the dog not coming 100% of the time - this is a training and bonding issue. You need to be your dogs best friend for a little while. Carry small treats around in your pockets at home, and randomly call the dog. As soon as the dog comes to you give tons of praise and several good quality treats (ones the dog REALLY likes). Before long your dog will be flying to you when you say "come!" Also, you do not want to ever use the command when you can't or aren't willing to enforce it. If the dog blows you off, you need to get out there and go retreive the dog. Don't punish her for not coming, just make it clear that when she doesn't come, you'll be coming for her. Use a drag line if you need to if she's darting away from you.

If you can't afford a fence and won't go outside for potty breaks (who cares what the weather is? You don't have a fence, you make sacrifices) then at least get a strong tie-out for SUPERVISED (from inside I guess) potty breaks. Don't leave your dog out on this, ever. Just potty breaks. At least she'll be contained in your yard.

Your neighbors don't want her in their yard. Trust me. Doesn't matter if they say they "don't mind." They do. They're just being polite (which is what you should be as well, which means keeping your pets contained on your property). They didn't adopt your dog, you did. Keep her in your yard.

Very well said! And great advice!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by KonaK9 View Post
Is letting her out to go pee in the morning off leash counterproductive to teaching her to obey off leash?
YES! You are teaching her that she doesn't have to listen to you.

Tracy

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 01:06 PM
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The biggest problem with recall is that YOU have to be more interersting that everything else (leaf, poop, bunny, etc.) It takes ALOT of practice in order to get to the point that you can reliably allow her off leash. Get a long training leash (like 20-30 feet) and bring her to a park, beach, or somewhere with alot of room. Play with her, walk with her and every few minutes call her "here!" in a sweet happy voice and give her an awesome treat (cut up hotdog, chicken, cheese, pupperoni, or anything that she just loves). It takes alot of practice but pays off in the end. I highly suggest that if that is what you are looking for, hire a professional trainer or take obedience group classes. Distance, Duration, and Distractions are the three things to work on (always individually!) Start somewhere where there is no distraction (ie house) and call her "here!" even going from one room to another. Get her used to following you everywhere and use lots of "jackpot" treats. This is also a great way to teach heel off leash (eventually). Fun is really the key with any training. If it's fun they'll want to repeat it. Think about it this way "What's in it for them? What do they get out of coming to you?" Good luck!

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the fast replies everyone! I went out today and got a 50ft training lead to begin training her with. We were out in an open field by ourselves and she came every time and seemed really happy to do so. I guess I'm going to continue doing exercises with her on the long lead and see how much progress we can make from there.

I forgot to mention, I've only had her about three weeks now so I understand I haven't really had her long enough to be 100% attentive. I'll keep everyone updated on the progress and the more tips yall have the better! I'm sure I'll be asking many more questions from here on.


Off topic: but as far as fetch or toys go, she never seems very entertained or interested unless its with the toy another dog has....
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 03:19 PM
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Off topic: but as far as fetch or toys go, she never seems very entertained or interested unless its with the toy another dog has....

She will just give it time, some dogs are born with tons of play drive and some it needs to be brought out a bit.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 05:21 PM
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Welcome!!! I am glad you took the advice as far as the off leash. I think having her off leash is too risky. You have not had her that long and she is gonna need time to adjust to everything to really bond with you. As far as the toys go you will just have to try different ones to found out what type of toy she will respond to. It took some time for my female to respond to tennis balls but she is having so much fun now chasing them. Once again welcome!!!

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