training hlep! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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training hlep!

okay, i have a 7 month old GSD and a black lab. first thing is, i cant give my lab any attention without zero my gsd whining barking or running over and biting her neck. he has very very high anxiety, when i come home i dont pay him attention untill he calms down, but even once he sits and waits for me to touch him he starts to cry right when i pet him and he shakes his head and wont sit still. i dont know how to calm him down! sadie my lab does settle very well, i can make it so she wont move for anything, he wont lay on his side without crying, i cant hug or pet him without him freaking out. he is the sewwtest dog in the world! i have to sccence of fear, just all attention has to be on him. would me petting sadie while i treat him get him used to the idea that me touching her is a good thing? i feel lke im just looking at this problem from the wrong angle..
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 08:22 PM
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Sounds like the pup needs more exercise and some manners. Puppies require a ton of physical stimulation and of course most dogs want scratches when they see another dog getting attention. However, if you treat your GSD when he acts like this you'll be teaching him to continue to bug you for attention. My GSD Zoe used to react in a similar manner minus the hyperness. She would butt my lab out of the way, gnaw on him, jump on him, and whine. So I started telling her no and when she didn't listen she would be removed from the room- it's rude behavior. Now she understands she must take turns though often now that she knows I don't like her possessiveness I can scratch and cuddle both without her hogging all the snuggles. It's perfectly normal for them to try it, but don't encourage it with food. Try taking them both out for a run when you get home to get some of that puppy energy out. Then when it's time for pets and love he'll be calmer to begin with which will help training the behavior you want easier. Every time he tries to gnaw on or budge your lab out of the way say no firmly and continue to pet your lab as usual. If he knows stay you can put him in a stay a few feet away and only pet him when he has calmed down and is displaying acceptable behavior. It took Zoe MONTHS before it sunk in there was really enough of me to go around just be patient
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 09:02 PM
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I don't think you need to spend much time considering how Zero is reacting to the lab, I think the lab is just a convenient thing for Zero to release his anxiety on (because she's moving, stimulating etc.).

The thing to work on is Zero alone, to get him to calm down and to respect boundaries. I second Zoeys mom's suggestion to try to tire him out. That will drain some of his nervous energy, so that he is more "himself" and who knows, when he is calmer he may very well respect boundaries without any real intervention from you.

Here is a good article on one technique to calm a dog down (you will need to register but it's worth it, and it's free, it's a good site):
Energetic, Anxious, or Reactive Dog? Try the Calm-O-Meter Method | Karen Pryor Clickertraining

I'm not a big fan of correcting a dog or trying to "train" him when he is in a hyper state, since they are basically out of control, and the training is not really the issue - the anxiety is. So clicker training is a great way to keep things positive but move towards calmer behavior. As Zoeys mom suggested, simply removing him from the situation can be a good correction to provide.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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thanks guys! ill keep working with him! i do use clicker training, he just graduated beginner class last night, hes really good, just when my labs around he cant think lol. i do agree i need to exercise him more. again thanks for the help!
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