Teaching and bonding with a 6 year old dog
My wife, and I just adopted a 6 year old German Shepherd from the Humane Society. I grew up with big dogs, but this is my first GS and the first big dog I've had in about 15 years.
A little bit about the dog to help with my questions, before I continue on: He's 77 lbs, a little under weight. High hips, and larger than a lot of GSs I've seen. He's got a fairly low drive. He is interested in playing with tennis balls, but he definitely doesn't go crazy. Fairly laid back, likes to lay around a lot. Was already fully house trained. Doesn't try to grab food off the table, knows the difference between toys and everything else. Very friendly and relaxed. Instantly decided my wife was his new mom. Gets along great with our Schnauzer/Scottish Terrier (also 6 years old, 20 lbs). Wants to be friend's with our cat. But she is unsure of him, and keeps her distance. He respects her caution, and keeps his space but cries. He doesn't mind if you get close to him, but he seems pretty unsure if you try to hold his paw or restrain his head in any way. He won't be aggressive, but he will just move around and try to get out of the situation.
He already knows commands such as sit, lay down, and paw. But he ignores these commands about 90% of the time unless you have a treat or ball in your hand. He will play fetch, but when he brings the ball back he will go past you, and randomly drop the ball a few seconds later behind you. Of he is in the other room, and I call he will come, but once he gets to me it is hard to get his attention. He wags his tail though and will come near, and but still doesn't like to fully listen.
I've only trained dogs when they were young, and it seems fairly different when dealing with an older dog. What's the best way to establish a relationship with him? I've only had him about 3 days. Any articles or videos would work. I rather ask people who have the breed then search through the internet, and find the wrong information. I've also heard people argue with establishing a master relationship first with some strictness then easing up, and others say to start friendly as a family member first. I rather do what's right from the beginning.
Thanks for you help in advance!
Last edited by AJ555; 06-01-2016 at 11:50 AM.