She is actively ignoring me - how do I fix - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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She is actively ignoring me - how do I fix

Zoe is 18 months old, so right in the middle of her teen years. And I've got to admit, she reminds me a bit of me and my mother when I was a teen. She is totally a daddy's girl, and will do anything my husband says. With me, its more like 50-70%. If my husband is around and I give a command, Zoe sometimes will look to him as if for "permission." If he is not around, we sometimes get locked into a battle of will. For example, on our walk last night (just Zoe and me), we got to the end of the block and their was a neighbor coming out to a car. I told her to sit, she just stood there. I moved so I was in front of her face, and she looked away. She was doing everything she could to *not* acknowledge my presence. When she is not in a headstrong mood, then I am the bees knees and she does everything I say.

My thinking is that she sees my husband as the alpha (too bad she doesn't understand human dynamics ), and she is battling me for second. Sometimes she wins, and sometimes I win. I know I need to win 100% of the time, but I'm struggling and I admit I get discouraged and frustrated.

I didn't totally realize how bad this was until we signed up for an agility class. She is the youngest in the class and the most excitable. Our trainer has been great and recognizes her potential, but I get very frustrated in class when she pulls one of her "look away" things. Last week, someone took pity on me and gave me a piece of McD's burger (I had treats, but not as good ). This refocused her on me and the rest of the night was fine.

I have been taking her out on a long walk every night, without my husband, and throughout the walk I will make her sit, down, stay, and we won't continue until she does (even if it takes 5 minutes). What else would you recommend? (Sorry I'm so long winded )
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 09:57 AM
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Re: She is actively ignoring me - how do I fix

Oh the teenage butt head stage. I would do strict NILF with her, limit the Zoe/hubby time. Not sure if you are around during the day but if you are I would teether her to you, where you goes she goes and she doesn't have a choice.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: She is actively ignoring me - how do I fix

Unfortunatly, we both work But I could try tethering her to me for about 5 hours in the evening.

I do my best with NILF, have since we got her. I may have to do some talking with hubby about this, as I know he lets her get away with more (like walking through doors first).
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 10:13 AM
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Re: She is actively ignoring me - how do I fix

Quote:
Quote: I moved so I was in front of her face, and she looked away. She was doing everything she could to *not* acknowledge my presence.
All you describe sounds like 'calming signals' to me. NOT your dog being a juvenile delinquent. And it's important you learn the difference because if they are 'calming signals' and you don't treat them as such, your dog will just start throwing them more, and more and more, which will REALLY start your frustration levels soaring, so the dog will throw them EVEN MORE......................

There is an excellent video to show these (book isn't as good with photos and drawings) the DVD actually SHOWS what you look for. Teeny little quiet signals our dogs throw out constantly, and we 'stupid' humans constantly miss or don't understand.

http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fu...ategory_ID=260 has it.

What I know I would do is start creating a bond of my own with the dog. Using FUN stuff like play. Tugging is the best, why everyone in Schutzund, bomb dogs, search and rescue, drug dogs, etc. use it. To BOND and train with their dogs.

Think of the focus and attention your dog has when a squirrel runs across the yard. THAT is prey drive we link to when we create the tugging/toy drive.

http://www.thedogathlete.com/playing-with-prey-drive/

http://www.clickerdogs.com/createamotivatingtoy.htm

http://www.beardieagilitydiehards.or.../foodsock.html

Do you clicker train? Another great way to bond and train your dog, having great focus and attention. I want a partner in my training, a willing partner. Not a dog that does what I say BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO!!!!! I want the focus/attention because they WANT to..




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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: She is actively ignoring me - how do I fix

Interesting! I'm off to do more research on calming signals Thanks! Maybe its not what I thought at all. Thanks for all the links

And don't get me wrong, I want her to want to listen to me, too. I'm just frustrated because it seems like she doesn't want to nor feel like she has to either. And we do have fun and play quite a bit. We had a good long session of "mad dog" (what we call it when she runs all over the yard). Funny thing is I can interupt one of her runs and tell her to "table" and she gets on the table we build. Then we get all excited again and play with some toys and run around more.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 10:47 AM
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Re: She is actively ignoring me - how do I fix

Quote:
Quote:Then we get all excited again and play with some toys and run around more.
That's the kind of training I'd be encouraging. Sounds like she's focused and listening then. So think of how you can continue to add that to all your training.

It's the IF you do something I want, THEN we get to do the most fun in the world together (the play). Initially we have to do TONS of the play, and little of the behaviors. But as the dog 'get's it, you get way more training for less play. And the training becomes PART OF THE GAME!!! Not a boring thing to get thru but, instead, just as much fun.




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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: She is actively ignoring me - how do I fix

From a quick search on calming signs...
Quote:
Quote: This is a sign the dog is not comfortable
I'm making it worse. I guess I am not the only one who misinterprets this, but that was hard to read. Its making me rethink everything, but it could also be why the trainer made the comment that we need to boost her confidence around me (or in me - I don't remember which she said).

I want to learn and do right. Will look at the rest of those links soon (have some work to do first )
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 11:02 AM
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Re: She is actively ignoring me - how do I fix

I agree with MRL--this sounds like your dog IS deferring to you and is also trying to calm you down. She senses your frustration and doesn't want to work with you when you are in battle mode. She does not want to fight! This happens to me sometimes with Rafi. To get him to refocus on me I get very positive and use a ball or a really exciting treat.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: She is actively ignoring me - how do I fix

I like your version much better than the one I read here: http://www.neholistic.com/articles/0099.htm It made me feel terrible that I'm stressing her out.

I do realize I am stressing her out. But I like reading that there is hope And now that I know, we can work on it more. I'm so glad I came here and asked, otherwise I would have repeated the same thing tonight and probably had the same battle, gotten more frustrated, etc...

"And knowing is half the battle."
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 12:02 PM
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Re: She is actively ignoring me - how do I fix

LOL This sounds exactly like my Max. Him and I are more buddies and whenever I tell him to do something he looks at my husband first. LOL

He's also fixated on other dogs and seems like he's ignoring me whenever I'm trying to get him to refocus on me. One thing I have learned is that he may not be "looking" at me but he is "hearing" me. I didn't realize this was how I raised him, we are ball obsessive and are always playing, kicking, throwing the ball, so his sight is focused on the ball but his ears are on me, same with a dog that passes by. One thing that helps is the e-collar, which also means he doesn't have to look at me, but the e-collar is telling him mom is talking and he always obeys but just doesn't focus on me.

I have come to the conclusion that this is my husband's dog. When we first got Max, they really bonded because my husband had a lot of time off from work. He doesn't really follow me around or act like a velcro dog like all my other gsds, but he is my buddy and he does realize he must listen. Which means come next year, we'll be getting another gsd that will be Max's buddy and mama's velcro dog. LOL

Yes, I should tether him to me every evening and it would really help, but.....

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