Feeling Lost - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Feeling Lost

I have been reading a lot of posts from you guys and find myself saying "why can't my dog do that?" or "Gunner needs a job!" or "how can I teach my dog to do ...." etc. I understand we have only had him for about two weeks (on Friday), and I'm finding myself saying "if Hero was here, he would sit whenever I would tell him" or "if Hero was here, he would be right at my side during every walk".

It stinks for Gunner, because he is a totally different dog than my old shepherd, but I just want Gunner to be the best he can be. We have been working on patience, and giving eye contact before feeds, going outside, going inside (at a sit for each), and he has caught on quickly so I am proud of him for that. But when we are out and about (outside the home), he just gets distracted. I have been reading the post about having your dog's focus, so I am going to be working on that asap; however, I just feel lost. I don't know what to do next.

We have a lot going on in our life because we are moving next week, so as of right now working with Gunner is hard (I have been dog sitting at a friends house so Gunner stays with my boyfriend) . Maybe I just needed to vent to you guys, because everyone is awesome on here.

~ Jesi
Gunner - GSD (Adopted 6/29/12) - Registered Therapy Dog Inc.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 01:45 PM
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I think focus is the key. Work on that, everything else will follow. Just have patience and bond with him first. You'll be okay.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 03:50 PM
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Just give it time. I put down my 15yr old dog, and a few months later adopted a new girl. she had been an outside, chained dog, and had no idea what relating to people was all about. she at first felt like an intruder in my house, and really missed how well my old dog used to mesh, how after so many years he always seemed to be able to read my mind.

Took about six months for the new adoptee to sorta find her place and her role, about six months for me to really feel like we were a team. Normal to feel the way you do, and Gunner will find his place in your heart given a bit of time.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 03:55 PM
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Just like with anything new... there's always that adjustment period. You're so used to things a certain way and it suddenly all changes and things are different. You're still in that adjustment period with this new dog.

Give it time. I'm sure you're not over your other dog's death, so don't expect things to just happen overnight. Try to just get to know this new dog and let things happen naturally. And don't forget to breathe.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone this helps a lot. This is why I am so addicted to this board.

~ Jesi
Gunner - GSD (Adopted 6/29/12) - Registered Therapy Dog Inc.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 06:51 PM
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i would work hard on focus inside first, make sure he's got that down, then add a wee bit more distraction as you feel he can handle it. outside is a very distracting place. i would start at a distance from any distractions and then slowly get closer to things. make sure you use yummie food to keep his attention. you can even use toys he likes for rewards when training. how about a tug? it takes a while for some of them to get into the game, but teasing him with it and making it real exciting, have a high pitched voice while playing it etc..it all ndepends on the dog and the drive level, some dogs take more coaxing. keep trying until you find something he really likes. hold a yummie treat at arms length out to the side, make sure you let him smell it first and he knows you have it. he will look at it and it might take a few seconds, but he will look at you at some point. your timing has to be quick because the minute his eyes are on you, PRAISE and Treat. this is a great game to start with. then you can move to outsdoors and do it, once he gets it.

its hard not to compare former dogs to new ones, but this is a great challenge and a new beginning, do something different with your new dog. try tracking with him or some fun activity, thats how the bond builds by working with them and getting to know thier individual personality.

hang in there, things will come around.....

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 10:47 AM
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I know how you feel about comparing your current dog with your past dog. It is very hard, I am constantly making sure that I find all the good things about my current dog because I miss my last dog so much!
We are currently in a class at the local humane society named "Control Unleashed" it's based on a book by Lelie McDevitt. She is a trainer in Agility and came up with this program for dogs that she was training specifically for focusing in Agility but had found it helpful with all focus training. The book is worth looking into, also there is another training method that we are working on in class that is based on relaxation methods by Dr. Karen Overall, it's called "Protocol for Relaxation". It uses a 15 day training series that is really easy and fun for your dog, attached is the link:
Protocol for relaxation (I hope the link works)
You're probably a little stressed with the prospects of moving, take it easy on yourself, things will be better!

Bear GSD 10/16/11
Elsa GSD 12/23/03 - 11/10/11
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