I've noticed one of Sitka's behaviours has been getting worse instead of better, so I'm hoping I can get some advice here. Before I go any further, I am going to a trainer
The training will start September 19th, until then I am using knowledge I read in training books. I'm hoping some of you more experienced GSD owners can give some advice in the meantime.
Sitka is 6 months old and seems to be getting worse on a lead, especially when there are other dogs around.
For the first 1.5 months I had Sitka (he was 4-5.5 months old) he was quite timid and would walk close to me, rarely pulling the lead. Aside from sniffing the odd fire hydrant or telephone pole, he walked head up, following my stride.
Since I live alone in a new city, I was concerned about him not socializing enough (I don't know anyone here), so I started bringing him to the dog park. Sitka does great at the park and has never shown any aggression.
I've stopped going to the dog park because, since going frequently, he is no longer timid around other dogs while on lead, but overly excited.
Now, when we see another dog on our walk he pulls the leash very hard, jumping and straining to get to the other dog. On those occasions when I let me meet the other dog, he jumps straight into play mode, hardly giving the other dog time to sniff him (and often startling the other dog).
Also, he has started walking with his nose to teh ground sniffing nonstop, which I know is no-no when on lead.
To correct his behavior when jumping to other dogs is to pull the leash quickly and sharply away and say 'no' and then stop and make him sit. Although he'll sit quickly until I keep going, he is right back at jumping and pulling when we start again. If he continues I do the Cesar Milan 'claw grab' movement while he is sitting.
When he walks with his nose to the ground I pull up on the leash so that his head is up and facing forward and keep walking.
My concern is that he doesn't seem to be getting any better, and I'm getting more frustrated -- not to mention my shoulder/neck is killing me after walks!
Any advice would be great!
Ruth & Sitka