Mortified!! What do I do? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Mortified!! What do I do?

K..so at the advice of several people on the board I have begun socializing rosco outside the house. Doing kinda better on walks, learning "watch me". So I make the very bad mistake of taking both dogs to the dog park. I didn't even get them out of the van and i see 5 dogs in the gated park and 4 of the dobermans. Rosco is starts going bananas. So i think well we wont go in maybe just walk around. The dobermans leave before I get there and there is only 1 dog left. He's barking, whining, pulling, twisting....I push him onto a down position and he in not growling or nipping just barking whining and pulling. I was absolutely mortified! We just left. People were just staring probably thinking I have a severely untrained dog. He is so good in the house, I just don't get it! Listens on command in the house, I know I screwed up by not doing this earlier...he is just barely 7 months. Is it fear? but he is not biting or nipping or just pure excitement? i am trying and he is just acting a muck... I have him enrolled in obedience school but of he acts likes this now, he is going to act like that there too, then what do I do if I can't even get him to listen? I am just so freaked and scared to bring him anywhere now because he acts out so badly.
Do i need to take it slower? He acts like this when he sees people or dogs outside. Doesn't matter if it is one or five...

~Jenni~
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 06:19 PM
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Re: Mortified!! What do I do?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: momuv2dogs I am just so freaked and scared to bring him anywhere now because he acts out so badly.
Take it slow and be cool. He picks up on your energy so you need everything to be fun and happy, not be stressed out. Practice practice practice. Who cares if people stare, just laugh and say I'm sorry, he's such a happy puppy!

I wouldn't take him out for socialization with the other dog. I do walk my 7 y/o female with my 9 month old pup but that's not happy hour. When it's happy hour ( goto home depot petstore etc ), she stays home.

-Jenn

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 06:41 PM
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Re: Mortified!! What do I do?

One dog at a time, like Sun says. Start at a distance that doesn't get the reaction. (Pat Miller has done a lot regards this.) Reward good behavior, ignor (to the extent possible) the "bad." If you do blow it, quit pushing, keep moving if you can or just stand still (post works here as well as on walks) I find a gentle nudge (like they do with their nose) will work a lot of the time.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 06:47 PM
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Re: Mortified!! What do I do?

Also, you may want to give your instructor a heads up - this is not such an unusual situation. I see with quite a few dogs when I assist in beginning classes at my club.

Have you worked on focus work? If so ramp it up and work on it without distractions first and then at a distance.

Repeat others - One dog at a time!

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 06:59 PM
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Re: Mortified!! What do I do?

Hey,

Don't be hard on yourself. We always socialized our GSDs (except for the attack-trained ones back when we lived in Rio...) from the get-go and here was Byron, no matter what was done, always skittish around other folks, no other dogs, and I mean ABSOLUTELY NO other dogs... It just wasn't his thing. He was perfectly fine within the family and our pack. He would go for walks just fine but no "pup meet-and-greet" or any of that. Maybe since he was EPI and therefore his adrenaline levels were constantly elevated that probably caused him to behave in a "anxiety disorder" kind of way. We'll never know. All my other GSDs have been fine.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Mortified!! What do I do?

Does anyone have a link or info on focus work. maybe i am just not doing it right or often enough...could use some good resources if anyone has any!
Thanks you guys... I love this site!

~Jenni~
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 07:31 PM
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Re: Mortified!! What do I do?

Patricia McConnell has a short training booklet called "Feisty Fido" that will be helpful to you. You can find it here: http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/pro...he-feisty-fido

Rafi carried on like that when I first adopted him. When we would see dogs on walks he would explode into this barking, jumping, twirling nutcase! It was very embarrassing! What I did was to teach him the "Watch Me" command. I used really good treats (real chicken at first, then dehydrated lamb lung). Once we had that down at home we went out in public. When we'd see a dog in someone's yard (at a distance) I would point the dog out to him and then put him in a sit and ask for a "Watch Me" and reward him. The trick is to go slowly enough (stay far enough away from other dogs) so that you can get the calm behavior without the crazy behavior. As he gets the hang of it and begins to associate other seeing other dogs with a yummy treat you can gradually decrease the distance.

Another way to do is to find a friend or family member with a calm, non-reactive dog who you an use as a decoy dog and gradually decrease the distance between them.

This worked really well for RAfi. In his case it turned out he was just excited to see the other dogs but I was so taken aback by his behavior that it took me a while to figure that out! He's been with me for a little over a year now and he rarely does this anymore.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 07:41 PM
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Re: Mortified!! What do I do?

You need to still do the obedience.Unfortunately Athena is the same way.I didn't realize it till the classes.The trainer will help you through it.You may be in the center of the classes so the dog can work on the distraction part but just take a deep breathe and realize it is for the good.Our last class 3 of the dogs in the class were in the spotlight,we were one of the 3.I had to walk Athena around the other dogs that were in a sit/stay and we had to sit in the middle of the class while the others heeled around us.I hate to be in the spotlight so it was hard for me too.Make sure you give immediate corrections and if it escalates put in a down position.Watch the dog and don't let him/her fix on anything,correct before that happens so it can't escelate.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 09:28 PM
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Re: Mortified!! What do I do?

Rarely, should anyone take a GSD to a a dog park. Do a bit of research starting with Leerburg kennels, the AllisonMethod, etc.

As for your elabrated comments about how a seven month old pup acts outisde, please post a seperate question. My guess is you have a wonderful, playful pup.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 09:46 PM
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Re: Mortified!! What do I do?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: momuv2dogsDoes anyone have a link or info on focus work. maybe i am just not doing it right or often enough.
Watch me is easy. Get a high value treat - something he doesn't get all the time - roast beef works really well!

Have the puppy sit. Give roast beef - Good boy! says super happy Mommy

Take another piece of roast beef and pass it slowly back and forth right in front of your eyes while you say watch me, watch me.

When he makes good eye contact (which at first is him watching the meat), Give him the meat and lots of praise, happy crazy silly praise oh you love him so much!

Repeat often.

-Jenn

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Morgan Donnermond 08/04/01 to 9/28/12 Long Live the Queen!

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