training a GSD??? HELP PLEASE!!! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-06-2008, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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training a GSD??? HELP PLEASE!!!

Hi, I have been here a couple of times and have gotten alot of good advice from alot of people! I have had some issue's with my 1 year old male GSD Duke, I have now put him back into the house and he has changed alot in the week with his behavior, but now that he is back in, i cant seem to get him to do much.

He will still sit, lay, and come to me but, when i want him to stay he wont do that anymore, also he has been sleeping in our bed and i dont want him to sleep in our bed, also when we are out playing ball he will get it and the frisbee but he wont bring it back to me.

How do you get them to protect you also? Like when a stranger comes up he is weary of them at first then he will walk right up to them and be all over them, i dont want that!! of course i dont want him to bite anyone but i want them to know that he could if needed!! one more thing, when he does things he shouldnt do, how should i disapline him? alot of you say tell them down and stay there but how do u do that if they wont do that?

Also i guess one more when he is doing his treats and we tell him to stay or wait before he gets them he gets impatient and gets up and walks away how do i stop that?? thanks alot!!

Shawn & Stacey

Duke~8 1/2 GSD~ 2007~2016 Always Near
Molly~ 3 GSD







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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-06-2008, 11:05 PM
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Re: training a GSD??? HELP PLEASE!!!

I'm glad you've put the dog back in the house. I know my pup hates even being apart from me when I'm in the bathroom showering; I can't imagine how he would feel living his life outside, constantly away from me.

Your problems with your dog may seem overwhelming, but they are actually relatively minor.

1. Your pup is still pretty young, young enough that he might still have puppy phases in which he does what he wants when you want him to stay. Have you taken him to obedience classes? Those help a lot. Also, be patient. Remember, Rome was not built in a day, and the same is definitely true with dog training. Teaching your dog stay takes time and patience. I've been working at it with my boy for a few months now and he still sometimes breaks stay when he feels like it.

2. If you don't want your dog to sleep on your bed, don't let him on the bed. Is he crate trained? If not, teach him to enjoy the crate as his "den" and make him sleep in there.

3. My dog doesn't naturally fetch either; he's a shepherd, not a retriever! If you want to teach him to retrieve, put him on a long lead, throw the ball, encourage him to get it, and reel him in while saying "Fetch!" or whatever command you want to use once he has it in his mouth. Then praise heavily once he gets back to you.

4. GSDs are naturally aloof, and if they are bonded with their owners, will show their protective instinct when the need arises. I assume the people your dog comes in contact with do not pose a threat to you, so it is perfectly acceptable for him to be friendly towards them once you have deemed them "friends." The other side of the spectrum would be your dog growling or snapping at strangers, in which case you would have an aggressive dog on your hands, which is a huge problem. At least your dog is aloof! My pup still rolls over on his back for every single person he meets, stranger or not! Also, I find that merely having a GSD by my side is protection enough--the actual protection comes from me protecting my pup, not the other way around.

5. There is a lot of controversy over the correct way to discipline your dog, which I won't go into. I prefer positive reinforcement. Prevent the behavior from happening in the first place. If you don't, oftentimes a verbal correction is enough. Don't try to force your dog into doing a command he hasn't completely mastered yet. Also, down-stays are generally not corrections, they're just obedience commands in situations that call for it. At least that's my interpretation. Perhaps others can elaborate more thoroughly on correction techniques.

6. If you want to teach the "wait for treat" command, start out slow. Make him wait for 5 seconds, then gradually ramp it up to 10 seconds, then 30 seconds, then a minute, then a few minutes. You get the idea. If you start out big, he'll probably get frustrated and leave.

Sorry this is so long; I'm procrastinating from studying for an exam. Hope it helps!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-06-2008, 11:07 PM
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Re: training a GSD??? HELP PLEASE!!!

So many questions! So, I will try to get to them all, if I don't sorry!

Staying. What you want to do is do it a lot and build up to moving and longer holds. Put him in a sit stay for 5 seconds, and reward until he can do it everytime. Then 10, then 15. After that, if you can get good solid stays for 15 seconds, then start walking around him. If you can walk around him in circles without him moving, then you can walk away with him in a stay and build up time.

Should he move while you are doing the 5 seconds at the very beginning, put him back in the sit stay again. Keep doing it until he gets it right. Short but productive training sessions are key.

When my boys are on the furniture, I taught them the command "Off" it just means, get off the furniture. At first, pull him off, reward, say the command clearly as you do this. Just repeat this process until he gets it.

Protection is something that is instinctual. If you wanted to train him in protection, you will have to ask someone who does SchH or someone who knows that well, I don't have sufficient knowledge about that.

Disciplining a dog could be several things really. I try to ignore bad behavior as much as possible because I believe in positive reinforcement. If I say no, my boys freeze and stop their bad behavior. But, should my boys start barking at something or someone they are permitted to, I squirt them with water from a squirt bottle. It's quite effective. Some will disagree, but this is what I have found.

Also, enstill NILIF if you haven't already, it'll give you more authority, and through it, you dogs will learn that it is better for them to listen to you than not.

Zeus "Zeusy" - GSD 2 year old DOB 3-19-08
Baby - Cat 5 years old
Rhett - Cat 4 years old

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-06-2008, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: training a GSD??? HELP PLEASE!!!

No, it wasnt to long, i really appriciate all you have wrote! it helps alot! I have not taken him to obiediance classes, i dont know where to find one at, how do i go about doing that? i want to find a really good one, and i want it to be right.

Are the obiedance classes pricey?

Again thanks alot for all the info!

Shawn & Stacey

Duke~8 1/2 GSD~ 2007~2016 Always Near
Molly~ 3 GSD







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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-06-2008, 11:14 PM
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Re: training a GSD??? HELP PLEASE!!!

Well what I did was type in Google Obedience classes in (whatever town you live in, whatever state you live in). If that didn't show up anything, I would google dog clubs in your area, and then contact the training director.

ETA: Our Obedience classes were $100 for six weeks. I'd say that's fair.

Zeus "Zeusy" - GSD 2 year old DOB 3-19-08
Baby - Cat 5 years old
Rhett - Cat 4 years old

Max, Champ, and Apollo waiting at the bridge.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: training a GSD??? HELP PLEASE!!!

thanks alot for the info! i really appriciate it alot! yes, i think its a good price. i didnt realize it was that cheap! what all do they teach in obedience class? im knew at all of this!

Shawn & Stacey

Duke~8 1/2 GSD~ 2007~2016 Always Near
Molly~ 3 GSD







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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: training a GSD??? HELP PLEASE!!!

also will they take a dog that is a year old?

Shawn & Stacey

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 12:57 AM
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Re: training a GSD??? HELP PLEASE!!!

The instructors usually set up their own schedule as to what they teach. For sure they will cover basics like sit, down, stay.
Teach focus exercises, and start on heeling, among other things.

The main thing about obedience classes is that YOU learn how to motivate your dog, and how to work as a team.

They will for sure take a year old dog. They will take dogs of any age - my rescue was a year and a half old when I started classes with her, and over two years old when I started Schutzhund, so even the older dogs can do very well!

They might have seperate classes for puppies and older dogs, or they may have dogs of different ages together, it depends on the instructor and how they structure their class.

Just make sure the class uses positive, reward-based techniques.
Using food rewards has been proven to be a very strong positive motivator and dogs will learn faster than in classes that only use praise.

Lucia


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 01:36 AM
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Re: training a GSD??? HELP PLEASE!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted By: momtodukealso will they take a dog that is a year old?
Allie was around one yr old when she came to us from rescue and we had to do the beginners puppy class to move on to any of the other classes. And I mean these were puppies like 4-5 months old (most small breeds just a bit bigger than the squirrels she loves to chase!) It was fun though, she was of course larger than everyone else, but it was a great time to work on controlling her on leash prey drive/excitement/reactivity and OB under distractions! She did great! And I really noticied her increased ability to focus vs most of the younger pups, so it was interesting.

Agree with what Castlemaid said and this was a positive, reward based class and worked very well for us, and all the pups there!

Best of Luck

-Steph

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 03:49 AM
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Re: training a GSD??? HELP PLEASE!!!

Class's would help all these problems alot, you also have been given great advice above, i just wanted to add a little something to your Fetch question. How i taught it was i would throw the toy my dog would go get it and i would raise my voice really high and excited clap my hands and my dogs would get excited and run back to me, if they were in the whole im not coming back to you mode, chase me instead i would never ever give in to that keep away game, instead i would run away from them clapping my hands, making funny high pitched repetitive nosies being silly and looking like a complete idiot and i almost always ended up with a toy in the back of my leg, Once my dogs got to me i just praised like crazy pet them everywhere except for around their heads i didn't want them to think i was going to Steel their prize, after a few mins of lots of praise and petting, i would just ignore them that would sometimes make them drop the toy, if they didn't work then i would ask for a drop it by offering a trade they seemed to respect a trade, their prized toy for a treat or there toy for another toy the Second i got the toy back i would throw it Right away again, so they learned they will get it right back and this was fun to do, The chase i think is the best part to a dog, i never tried to grab it out of their mouths becuz it usely ended up in a tug game they initiated, and those arent my rules to tug, i pick when we play tug not them, just another way to teach the game they might help, I love that my dogs will fetch and always bring it back because its fun for them and its a GREAT way to Exercise them, and it helps me on those lazy days when i just don't feel like running with them and exercising myself
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