Hello and could use some help! (barking issues and unfriendly w/new dogs) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Hello and could use some help! (barking issues and unfriendly w/new dogs)

Well, I should start by introducing my GSD and myself! My name is Matt, I am a college student. I live in Houston and have had my Shepherd (mix) for almost 2 years now. It's complicated, had him for a year, then my ex and I split up and he stayed with her for a couple months (stuck outside on an apartment balcony ) After that he was given to a family with a child but they didn't have the time for him ad were going to take him to a shelter and I just couldn't let that happen so I had to take him back! His name is Cosmo and he is a German Shepherd mix. His mother was 100% GSD but the father was undetermined. He was the last of the breed, hints why he is so small but he's a great friend to have around, just needs a little bit of work! He will be 2 years on July 26th. I call him a mgsd (Mini German Shepherd Dog )

Here's the things that I could use some help on!

Barking - Now I don't really know how to approach this because I do like the fact that he barks, it's just he barks a lot and uncontrollably. If he hears anything close near the door, he goes haywire! If I walk by people outside, and especially if he see's another dog/cat/squirrel or really anything moving haha

Being social - Any type of introduction with another dog (especially male dogs) he starts to be real aggressive. Growls, barks, puts his lips up and shows his teeth, really just looks mean and I have to hold him back while he goes insane! With people I can get him to calm down but at first he is just really protective.

He is really strong in the areas of sit, stay, lay down, drop (the ball lol) high fives, and hand shakes! Lately I have been working with him on heal to have him walk aside me as opposed to in front of me which is becoming better. Only problem is, once he see's someone or another animal, he completely ignores me and it's really hard to get him under control. Any help would be great appreciated!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 02:09 PM
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to be honest, it still sounds pretty much untrained to me. First off, you need to stop that behavior of charging or looking at other dogs and not paying attention to you. I would recommend a prong collar, and be sure to learn the proper way to fit one. Also, ALWAYS have a backup collar when using a prong.

When walking, at the moment if there is another dog, be sure you are on the other side of the road, and that YOU are in between the dogs, You are the leader and the dog must look to you for instructions on how to behave. For us, I used to make our pup law down facing another direction when dogs came by, and I would correct her for looking back at the other dog, and reward like crazy (if using a clicker, click -treat, click-treat over and over while she is staying in eye contact with you) when she stayed down and kept eye contact with me. Over time, I have allowed her to walk closer and closer to other dogs, she acts like they are invisible, unless I walk up and pet the dog and then allow her to sniff (I Only allow this around people and dogs I know extremely well).

Avoid dog parks, you are more likely to scare your dog for life than you are to "socialize" it there.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Well thanks for the advice! A couple days ago I took Cosmo on a looooong walk out by a road with some traffic and the sidewalk always has people riding bikes, running and etc. At first he was really protective about anything but it was like a 4 mile walk and he loosened up a lot. Actually got to the point where I could keep the leash loose and he would walk next to me without pulling. I did exactly what you said as far as seeing other people or dogs and it has helped tremendously! Now when he sees an animal he sits but just stares right at them (ear fully perked!) but doesn't bark at all I still can't get his full attention though. I understand it's going to take time but it's definitely a lead in the correct direction. Any idea's on the barking situation inside of the house? Like I said, I don't want him not to bark, I just want it to be controllable. Thanks again. Also I am going to go to the pet store today and check out some prong collars. Any recommendations?
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