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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Heelllooo Everyone!!

First and foremost, let me say I am so very glad to have found this forum. This I believe will help me a great deal to communicate with other GSD owners and be the best "parent" I can be! haha.

My GSD's name is Mercedes. We got her from a breeder at 6 weeks and now she is about 6 months old. She is very sweet when she needs to be but also pretty aggressive. But I am sure that is just the "puppy" inside her. I haven't kennel trained her which seemed to be a bad idea because she is still eliminating in the house. (I definitely blame some of these issues on myself for not being consistent.) She knows her BASIC commands and she thinks she is a lap dog. But my God, she is getting too heavy for all that!

Mind you all, this is my very first actual dog as a pet. My parents were not dog people and I always, since I was a child, wanted a German Shepherd. Maybe its because I was born there because I was a military brat. But now that I have one I am scared that I will royally mess up my dog or not train her the way I want her to be trained. I want to be able to train her without going to a trainer so we have a better connection. Then she will be able to protect my family and I when that time comes.

When I go to pet Mercedes on the top of her head, she puts her face up so that my hand goes pretty much on her nose or her face not the top of her head. She really much wont let me pet her head only sometimes when she is just kinda in chill mode. Why would she do that? Now my 2 1/2 year old daughter can do whatever she wants to Mercedes and she wont do anything. She just sits there. I am sure that she has taken a more liking to my daughter. There are other things that I may need help with because I just need to know my dog better so I hope you are all ready to hear me! lol. I want to learn as much as possible from various people.

*Also, does anyone have any ideas on the "Don Sullivans Secrets to dog training?" I dont know if I should purchase it to help with some of the obedience issues or should I just do what I can in another way with her being in "puppy" stage. Thank you all for taking the time out! I hope to hear from anyone soon! LoL.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 10:18 PM
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My 80 Pound female is a lap dog too!

I would most definitely start crate training, it works wonders. My pup was housebroken at 9 weeks. I just took him out after every meal, when he woke up, before bed etc. They are a smart breed and very quick learners!

The resistance to pet on the top of the head is a dominance thing. By you petting her on the head you are being the dominant one and by her moving away that is her way of telling you she does not want to be dominated.

Can't help you with the dog training book, never read it.

Anyways welcome again .


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks SuperNova!

The Don Sullivan was an infomercial that was on the other day. 2 payments of $29.95 and you get his 2 disc dvd and 3 different length ropes, and a prong collar. It supposedly pinches the dog when you pull hard enough on the string the stop the dog from doing what its doing. Teaching the dog that its not right... I havent bought it yet due to not knowing what is best at this time.

A dominance thing... hmmm. how to overcome that?? Is it just something that will be overcome later. NOrmally when she does that I just keep going for her head. Sometimes I may grab her collar and keep her head still while I pet her on the head. Another funny thing is, once I get tired of trying to fight with her head, I will stop petting her and she will nudge the crap out of my hand to push it up so I can keep petting her. Weird! LOL. She is funny though!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 10:46 PM
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No Problem .

Hmm, personally I wouldn't buy it, but I have had many dogs and have learned how to train them, but since this is your first dog If you think it will help you, then go for it. I prefer choke chains. I put them right at the top of the dogs neck (right behind the ears) and that prevents them from moving their head towards distractions etc. A little jerk as a correction is all you need.
Prong collars have never worked for me as I find they get used to it and it eventually has no effect.

I would definitely start training her, maybe take her to obedience training if you aren't sure how to on your own. Dominance is most definitely not something that will self correct, they need to be taught that YOU are the alpha and not them. I nip dominance in the bud as a pup as I have seen many of my friends not adress this and their dogs turn into terrible untrained ill behaved monsters as adults.
I wish I would have had internet and sites like these to learn from when I got my first dog! Lol


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 12:34 AM
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Hi Kendrick, and welcome to the forum!

What Mercedes is doing isn't weird at all - at the tender age of six months, she is trying to control you. Welcome to the world of GSDs! At six months it is not full-blown dominance, but she is not showing appropriate submission to you, as the pack leader, for her age.

She wants to be petted when SHE decides, not when you decide, thus the ducking of the head when you reach to pet her, and then pushing into your hand (taking control).

She is still very young and sounds like she has a wonderful temperament being so sweet and gentle with your two year old. I commend you for wanting to deepen your bond and build your relationship with Mercedes, and the very BEST two things you can do to start off on the right foot and to continue in the right direction is:

Start implementing Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF) right away, and sign up for some positive/reward based group obedience classes. Oh, and forget about the training videos - nothing earth-shattering about this "method", other than a good way for the author to make a living.

Google NILIF for more info. It is basically a basic life-style for you and your dog where in everyday non-threatening interactions, your position as alpha and benevolent pack leader is subtly and directly implemented and continually re-inforced. It is simply asking the dog to work for everything. Food. A toy, Attention. Going out. Sometimes all you really ask for is a sit, eye-contact, waiting a few seconds - not much, but the dog is defering to you and waiting on you for permission for everything.

Training: Going to classes WITH Mercedes will do wonders for your bond and relationship. Training the dog is just a small part of it. Training the trainer (you!) is the big part of it. That is why it is very important to go together. A good teacher can be invaluable at watching you and Mercedes interact and give help and feedback. A six to eight week course is very affordable and will get you started on getting Mercedes where you want her. Training is an on-going process, because dogs forget if their training isn't maintained and refreshed on a daily basis. Years ago I used to think that training classes were a waste of money, but gave up and signed up when I was having problems with my rescue. Well, did I learn a lot!!! It completely changed my understanding of dogs, completely changed my relationship with Keeta for the better, and turned her behaviour and attitude 180 degrees around! Plus, added bonus, it was fun! I just couldn't stop, and went on to more advanced classes, and I am still hooked on training and working with my dogs.

So to sum up:

Welcome!
Mercedes sounds awesome!
Google NILIF and start implementing right away.
Find some classes and sign up, and most important,
HAVE FUN!

Lucia


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 12:41 AM
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Welcome to the forum!

Jamie Lee~blk GSD~6/24/10
Lola~mastiff mix~2/10/08
Samson~minpin~1/29/06
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! Glad to be here in the midst of fellow GSD parents!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendrick View Post
The Don Sullivan was an infomercial that was on the other day. 2 payments of $29.95 and you get his 2 disc dvd and 3 different length ropes, and a prong collar. It supposedly pinches the dog when you pull hard enough on the string the stop the dog from doing what its doing. Teaching the dog that its not right... I havent bought it yet due to not knowing what is best at this time.
Welcome! My advice would be to NOT buy the DVD package you mention. Instead, find a good training class and invest your money in that. Even if you have to travel to get to one, a good training class will be worth every penny and every bit of time and effort you put into it.

Besides, training your dog is a lot of fun and it is a wonderful way to meet other dog owners.

Good luck with your girl.
Sheilah
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 12:57 PM
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Welcome! I applaud you for seeking advice especially since this is your first GSD. Most definitely take her to obedience classes if possible. As other posters have said, the classes are usually very reasonable and the bond that you will build with Mercedes can't be bought. 6 weeks was way too early for the breeder to release her but that is over and done with. Are you taking her out and about to socialize her? You and your daughter will have many years of joy with her. Pics soon please!

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