6 Month Old Chasing and Biting Joggers/Walkers - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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6 Month Old Chasing and Biting Joggers/Walkers

Hi everyone,

This is my first post here although I've been grateful for all the incredibly useful threads throughout our training.

I have a 6 month old male pup with Czech bloodlines. He has been the most wonderful, intelligent, sweet dog. He has incredible focus and checks in with me on walks, and is friendly with strangers and other dogs. He has a good foundation of training and has been to puppy kindergarten and is about to start another obedience class. He does not nip my partner and I at all anymore and is very gentle with his mouth. I socialize him a lot and so far there have been no issues until a few days ago.

We were walking on an off-leash trail when a jogger ran past. Cub set off after them and nothing I could say would get him to stop. He nipped/bit at her thigh before I was able to grab him. I got a long line for him and we went on a hike the next day, every time a hiker/jogger went past i got him to look at them and then sit in front of me for a treat. He didn't go for anyone while he was on the long line.

This morning we were at the large off leash dog park in my neighbourhood, and there was a man with a large bag walking through the park. He was quite a ways off and Cub did the same thing, locked eyes on him and ran and nipped/bit. I called him using all the commands he knows very well but nothing worked. Both times he did not rip clothing but I can tell he's doing more than a little nip. Obviously I'm extremely concerned about this behaviour because he needs the space to run free but our backyard is not big enough for a real exercise session. He seems to go after people without dogs in areas that other dogs/owners are around. I've been looking into one-to-one training this morning but I would also appreciate it if anyone else had any suggestions. I know he is young but he is 50lbs already so I want to do anything I can to stop this behaviour. For now he is on a leash or long line at all times.

I'm thinking to work on recall even more, expose him to similar situations on the long line, and perhaps do LAT training. He's young, but I need a plan.

Any advice would be appreciated, I know there is a lot of experience here. I've read previous threads on chasing but I thought with his age there might be some different comments.

Thank you,
Jen
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 04:20 PM
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Stop letting your dog run loose. If he listens great except when... then he doesn't listen and needs more work. Continuing to let your dog run loose when he is chasing and biting people is inconsiderate, irresponsible and will get him dead.
I commend you for recognizing that this is an issue, and for reaching out for help. Please take this seriously. It sounds like you have done a lot of work and are willing to do more so yes work on the recall and keep him leashed.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 05:03 PM
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PUT. HIM. ON. A. LEASH.

He's only 6 months old. He needs training and impulse control.




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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:53 PM
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This needs to stop. Chasing and biting people is unacceptable, and he should never be allowed to do it again.
He needs to be under control at all times, and that means on a leash, being trained by you, treats in hand, his entire focus on you.
At 6 months, he is a puppy. Even at a year, a GSD is still immature. You have a long way to go until he can be off leash, if ever.


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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:10 PM
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6 months is way young to consider recall anything near reliable. Now he has been rewarded 2 times (gratifying chase and nip) for blowing it off. Keep up the training and hard work but nothing off lead until he is well older and after lots of proofing.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,
Thank you for the replies. Yes he will be on leash from now on until he is 100% reliable. He has had great recall until now (I understand that his recent actions mean it’s not good enough) and has enjoyed playing with other dogs off leash in the park, which is why we allowed it.

I’m curious if there are any specific types of training we can do while he’s on leash to help squash this behaviour. Anything other than getting him to focus on me as people go by, or LAT training.

I realize the gravity of this situation.

Thank you for your replies.
Jen
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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I have also contacted a professional trainer and am meeting them this weekend. Simply putting this out there in case people have dealt with similar behaviour and found something that works.

Thanks again,
Jen
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:49 PM
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Well, you put him on a long lead and practice recall. If he doesn’t come immediately, you reel him in.
Come means come, every time. Do not call him if he even has a remote chance not to obey the command. Then he learns that he doesn’t have to come when called.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Sunflowers, we will be doing this a lot.

Jen
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:52 PM
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I would not let this dog on leash even if you THINK he's 100% reliable. It should be a long, long time before he can earn back any off leash privileges -- given the mistake, challenge yourself to earn an off-leash OB title to prove he's as good as you want to believe by testing it in front of an OB judge before you trust your own instincts again on this one -- earning a CDX in AKC Open trials would give me a lot more confidence than "he's been good until now."

Here's why you don't have room to guess when he's "ready" after mistakes of this magnitude: getting this one wrong could result in your dog being taken and euthanized. I know pups that have done less harm than this and ended up impounded, held on rabies quarantine at the animal shelter, and then subject to "dangerous dog" hearings to decide whether to euthanize. Sometimes a "good" result in those hearings is the dog returned with a life-long order to be on a short leash and muzzled in public, and the owners must to carry a special canine liability insurance policy forever. Animal control periodically comes by and checks on containment and asks to see the policy document. One more incident will result in a dog like that being seized and euthanized, so there' no longer any room for that owner's mistakes. You don't want him to be on the radar of your local Animal Control -- and any jogger bit by him could file a report!

I'd ditch the long line on your walks through these places where you are running into people -- you don't have control with one. Put him on a normal 6' leash, in a prong collar with a back-up collar. When you see a jogger coming the opposite way, go off to the side, put him in a sit-stay, and let the jogger have the whole path to pass. If you hear one coming behind you, do the same thing. Since he'll be on leash, he'll be easy to correct -- I wouldn't let him stare or even follow the jogger with his eyes while he's holding his stay; the eyes should be on you.


It's "come to Jesus" time with dog training. I'd consider muzzling him in places where he might have enough freedom to chase and bite people -- so if you go for a long line, without control to stop him if someone gets close enough, then use a muzzle so a bad choice won't turn into a legal proceeding.

Last edited by Magwart; 04-11-2019 at 08:56 PM.
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