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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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training problems!

we've had beamer since 12 weeks (7 months old now). we've always done basic training things with her.. sit, stay, come, shake.

but she has jumping problems & chasing cats, which have become serious issues. so we bought a leash & have had it on her at all times like a lot of you suggested on this board. it works, we can yank her back & she will stay. BUT..

when we yank her back (its not hurting her) she lays down at our feet & rolls over. she won't sit, she just lays down & rolls over. & while she was laying down, she chewed her leash in half the other day. she also dug into our trash (not a common thing) & then started eating plastic bags. it's driving me crazy. she's ripping apart our house!

my husband thinks its just agression because we are becoming her "pack leaders" & not letting her be in control.

i just need some advice.

beamer - black/tan gsd 6/11/07
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 09:51 AM
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Re: training problems!

It's not aggression. It's not her being angry because she's not in control.

It's submission. The lying down and rolling over when corrected is dog language for extreme submission. Rather than understand your actions as a simple correction of something she shouldn't do, she feels you are essentially attacking her. She is lying down and rolling over in a submissive plea to get you to stop and show she's not a threat so your actions are unnecessary.

You shouldn't yank her back. You can correct her for jumping and cat chasing, but it needs to be a fair correction. And corrections shouldn't ever yank the dog around. If they are, it's too strong of a correction. Her severely submissive reaction also shows that it's far to strong of a correction.

The tearing your house apart is most likely anxiety induced behavior due to confusion and stress on her part. Keeping dogs out of the trash is easy. Put the trash where they can't get to it. Same for plastic bags. But while that will help keep down the mess, it doesn't address the underlying issue that you have a stressed, confused dog.

When correcting her for jumping on people, she needs a less severe and physical correction and much more clarity on what exactly it is that you do and don't want.

Tell her to sit. The person she's greeting only pays attention to her when she's sitting. If she breaks the sit, the person stops petting and ignores her so she gets no reinforcement for not sitting. If you need to correct her for not sitting, I'd suggest getting a pinch collar and learning how to use it. BUT the learn how to use it is key. You do NOT yank but rather give a light pop on the leash. This will allow you to give a correction without using so much force that you're yanking her all over the place and making her feel as if she's being attacked by you. And remember to ALWAYS praise and reward when she goes back to sitting and does what you want.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 09:55 AM
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Re: training problems!

Trash problem: Keep the trash in a child-proof cabinet or behind a secure door in the pantry. Trash problem solved. Trash is just too darn tempting, so it's best to keep that away from any youngster.

How hard do you tank your pup back? Do you wait until she's hitting the end of the leash and barking like mad and then drag her back sharply? She's probably scared of the sudden reaction, hence why she's rolling over. Or she thinks it's a game of horseplay- it all depends on the context of her mood. Have you tried distracting her from the cats with treats or even a hearty game of tug? How much exercise is she getting? If she's 7 months old, is she enrolled in an obedience class? If not, why aren't you enrolling her in one NOW? You both need to go to obedience classes where you can learn how to teach and train her, she can learn how to operate under distractions and drain energy, and you both can have a slightly calmer life.

She sounds like a normal puppy. Yes, you do need to provide strong leadership and yes you need to control her environment. Put the cats up in a cat-safe room when things are getting too heated between cats and dog or crate your dog for a settle-down period with a nice, stuffed and frozen kong to work on. Go to obedience classes to further leadership, training, and good behavior. Keep the leash up and away so she cannot chew on it and when she has it on, watch her carefully so that she doesn't mouth it! If she does, correct her and then stuff a good chew toy in her mouth. If she keeps going for the leash, be the more stubborn one and keep shoving that toy in her mouth! Engage her in a game with the toy! The leash is boooooring, the toy is fun fun fun!

She just needs more exercise, training, stimulation, and good leadership. Normal young adolescent.

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 10:21 AM
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Re: training problems!

One thing that helped me (I have cats too)..........watch him, his body language will tell you when he is about to go after the cat.......that is the best time to correct him, when he is thinking about it.

Betsy

Ava GSD 3.5yrs

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 11:17 AM
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Re: training problems!

This is all great advice. I soaked my leash in bitter apple to get my dog to stop chewing it. I also stoped walking and ignored the dog when she put the leash in her mouth. Hang in there 7 months is still crazy puppy age...

Ollie - BH, TR - 2, CGC, HIC, HCT, TT

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: training problems!

when she has the leash on we are only pulling harder because she refuses to listen idk what to do, we have a baby & cannt have her running over the baby to get to the cats.

beamer - black/tan gsd 6/11/07
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 02:50 PM
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Re: training problems!

Dogs don't generally refuse to listen. As the humans, it's up to us to communicate to the dog what we want them to do in a manner that is clear for them to understand. Once they understand that, they're usually quite happy to comply. It sounds like your dog doesn't understand what you want, and when your corrections escalate she submits, which is further proof that she doesn't understand the corrections and is only trying to appease you in the only manner she knows how.

Are you taking her to obedience classes?

If not, you need to start. GSDs need clarity in leadership and rules. She obviously doesn't have that and it sounds like from your posts that you're not sure how to give that too her. Classes will give you control, and teach you how to properly direct her behavior in an effective manner. Once you have the tools and the understanding of how to work wit her that you will get from some good classes with a good trainer, your problems at home will be easy to solve.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: training problems!

we are starting her training in february - we didn't want to take her to pet quarters training so we were trying to find an german shepherd training specialist - which we finally did & so she starts 1 on 1 training in feb.

beamer - black/tan gsd 6/11/07
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 02:27 PM
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Re: training problems!

How much exercise and play time is she getting with you and with other dogs?

German shepherds are wonderful dogs but they are very intelligent and have lots of energy. They need daily activities that will exercise their bodies and minds. They need rules that are calmly and fairly taught and enforced.

Do you have any books or videos on training? This does not sound like a power struggle. As Chris said, what you're seeing is compete submissive behavior. She is telling you that knows you are upset but she doesn't understand why you are upset.

Please step back and reassess your training goals. Puppies are like babies. They need lots of attention and like to have fun. Make training fun. It sounds like you have developed an antagonistic relationship with and attitude toward your pup. She is not a bad dog. She just needs structure, patience, time and love!

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 03:08 PM
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Re: training problems!

Quote:
Quote: we are only pulling harder because she refuses to listen idk what to do
I'm with everyone else, she just doesn't understand. Not 'refusing to listen'. It's weird how when I THINK I'm being crystal clear with my dogs, frequently I am not. And the way I can tell is when my dogs do understand, they listen and obey. And when they do not, uh, they do NOT!!!!!

I tell you, not having been born a dog, this communicating with my GSD's is not something I just 'get'. I've found I have to go WITH my dog(s) to a nice organized dog class. Group classes work best for me with the build in distractions and fun of everyone else in the room looking confused and also needing help (I am not alone!). Most important thing is that I'm there with my dog and we are both learning this 'dog training' together.

Biggest help for you if you do have to wait for your classes to start is WAY more exercise for your dog. Also, have you started teaching tons of tricks to him using treats and praise? It's a way to mentally get him involved and interacting in a good way. Cause otherwise they find their own way to keep busy and chasing the cat and getting into the trash would also be up on my dogs list for fun fun fun.

Clicker training!!!!!!




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