Need help training an older dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Need help training an older dog

Hello all ive been a lil inactive on the forum this year but i got a new gsd yesterday randomly. She is 16 months with NO prior training AT ALL not even sit. She is an akc dog comes from an execptional working line. I know i just got her so i still have w few weeks until shes at least used to me. Looking for someone with experience training an older dog. Is it doable by myself whats the reality of my situation? Or should i hire a pro. Im not a pro but ive trained 2 of my own and they are great.
I want to get a few sch titles with her.

She seems timid almost afraid, so i always go up to her and pet and say her name (yanah) in a playful manor. Should i stop doing this and just let her be?

Also she will not use the bathroom on walks, When i know she needs to go.(almost like she doesnt want me to see) But when we get back home she waits until im not around and will do her duty on the carpet.

She dOes the same thing with food when i give it to her she won't eat it. But when i set it down and walk away she peeks around the corner to make sure im gone and devours her meal?

Whats the deal with Yanah? Am i being too pushy having already trained dogs?

HELP ME GUYS!!!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 08:04 PM
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she sounds like she is lacking in confidence and is afraid/unsure.

Do you know anything about her prior life?

I would give her atleast a month of just getting used to you , her new home and surroundings.

IF she's pottying inside, you need to keep an eye on her and take her outside more.

You are expecting way to much from a dog that you got yesterday even tho she's 16 months old it sounds like she hasn't experienced much of anything prior to you getting her?

Schutzhund may not be in the cards for her.

You need to take it slow, let her check things out at her own pace, work on your relationship with her and letting her get used to a new home/person

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 08:22 PM
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I think you are right to pet her and give her verbal praise at every opportunity, as long as she's not afraid of being touched. If she's okay with the touch, gentle, loving pets are a good way to remind her that nothing hurtful comes from your hand.

It sounds like your Yannah didn't have humans she could trust in her past. She'll likely take more patience and creativity than your other dogs, but I've never had a more rewarding experience with a dog than I have seeing the timid ones come out of their shell and find their self-confidence. It's an amazing, life-altering relationship with a dog, when it works.

I don't know how you trained your other two, but with this kind of dog, positive methods are very, very important. She's the way she is because someone probably screwed up the "corrections" with her in a major way. If you decide to hire a pro trainer, please look for someone who uses positive methods, who has had success with shy dogs.

The secretive "potty" thing you describe is what happens when someone scolds or punishes a dog for going in the wrong place -- Yannah likely internalized the punishment to mean "humans get mad when they see me potty" (not "don't potty in the house" or whatever the human intended). You are, unfortunately, suffering from the potty-training correction errors of a prior owner.

Now she's afraid to let you see her do it and will be secretive...so how do you praise her when she does it, when she won't do it in front of you? The only way I can think of to undo this is to be sneaky and watch her without her knowing you are there, outside--the timing is tough to get right, though, as you need to praise as she's doing it, and watching from your kitchen window will make the praise too late. The goal is to let her know it makes you the happiest human who ever lived to see her potty outside.

If she's comfortable walking with your other trained dogs at this point (it might be too soon--I don't know), you can consider enlisting them to help. Tell them to potty on the leash, then treat and praise effusively. She'll notice. Same with in your backyard. They may be able to show her that it's okay to trust you, and through them, you can show her you don't get mad when you see dogs potty in front of you.

The food thing suggests she's also been punished for taking food she wasn't supposed to take, or taking it to roughly when she was young, so she thinks taking all food from humans will make you mad and result in punishment. Again, let her watch you with your other dogs. When she sneaks back in to take her meal, praise her (I wouldn't touch her while she's eating, yet -- happy, delighted, verbal praise is good here--the clicker trainers here might have better suggestions using that method with her, as it might make it easier to communicate with Yannah). Feeding her in a crate as part of crate training may also help her to realize that (1) she has a safe space to eat, and (2) it's okay to eat in her safe space.

I know nothing about Schutzhund other than watching events a few times, but I've rehabbed a few shy rescue dogs to become very good pets, and the one piece of advice I can give that should animate everything you do with this dog is (1) build her confidence, and (2) give her a reason to trust you completely and do nothing that would undermine that trust. Do everything you can to set her up for success and be effusive in your praise and rewards. Praise her courage and bravery when she does little things that show a bit of confidence.

She sounds fixable, and I salute you for trying to help this girl! BTW, I've always wondered whether one of these timid dogs could be rehabilitated to have the kind of self-confidence needed to succeed at Schutzhund -- if you do it, will you please post about your journey? I'd love to sit on the virtual side-lines and cheer Yannah's success!

Last edited by Magwart; 07-29-2012 at 08:27 PM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakodaCD OA View Post
she sounds like she is lacking in confidence and is afraid/unsure.

Do you know anything about her prior life?

I would give her atleast a month of just getting used to you , her new home and surroundings.

IF she's pottying inside, you need to keep an eye on her and take her outside more.

You are expecting way to much from a dog that you got yesterday even tho she's 16 months old it sounds like she hasn't experienced much of anything prior to you getting her?

Schutzhund may not be in the cards for her.

You need to take it slow, let her check things out at her own pace, work on your relationship with her and letting her get used to a new home/person
She ad a good owner, she really wanted to keep her but she actually ended up sick having to do chemo in december, and i guess thats where Yanah got kind of sort of abandon. Her son was taking care of Yanah, but by simply letting her out/in and feeding her.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
I think you are right to pet her and give her verbal praise at every opportunity, as long as she's not afraid of being touched. If she's okay with the touch, gentle, loving pets are a good way to remind her that nothing hurtful comes from your hand.

It sounds like your Yannah didn't have humans she could trust in her past. She'll likely take more patience and creativity than your other dogs, but I've never had a more rewarding experience with a dog than I have seeing the timid ones come out of their shell and find their self-confidence. It's an amazing, life-altering relationship with a dog, when it works.

I don't know how you trained your other two, but with this kind of dog, positive methods are very, very important. She's the way she is because someone probably screwed up the "corrections" with her in a major way. If you decide to hire a pro trainer, please look for someone who uses positive methods, who has had success with shy dogs.

The secretive "potty" thing you describe is what happens when someone scolds or punishes a dog for going in the wrong place -- Yannah likely internalized the punishment to mean "humans get mad when they see me potty" (not "don't potty in the house" or whatever the human intended). You are, unfortunately, suffering from the potty-training correction errors of a prior owner.

Now she's afraid to let you see her do it and will be secretive...so how do you praise her when she does it, when she won't do it in front of you? The only way I can think of to undo this is to be sneaky and watch her without her knowing you are there, outside--the timing is tough to get right, though, as you need to praise as she's doing it, and watching from your kitchen window will make the praise too late. The goal is to let her know it makes you the happiest human who ever lived to see her potty outside.

If she's comfortable walking with your other trained dogs at this point (it might be too soon--I don't know), you can consider enlisting them to help. Tell them to potty on the leash, then treat and praise effusively. She'll notice. Same with in your backyard. They may be able to show her that it's okay to trust you, and through them, you can show her you don't get mad when you see dogs potty in front of you.

The food thing suggests she's also been punished for taking food she wasn't supposed to take, or taking it to roughly when she was young, so she thinks taking all food from humans will make you mad and result in punishment. Again, let her watch you with your other dogs. When she sneaks back in to take her meal, praise her (I wouldn't touch her while she's eating, yet -- happy, delighted, verbal praise is good here--the clicker trainers here might have better suggestions using that method with her, as it might make it easier to communicate with Yannah). Feeding her in a crate as part of crate training may also help her to realize that (1) she has a safe space to eat, and (2) it's okay to eat in her safe space.

I know nothing about Schutzhund other than watching events a few times, but I've rehabbed a few shy rescue dogs to become very good pets, and the one piece of advice I can give that should animate everything you do with this dog is (1) build her confidence, and (2) give her a reason to trust you completely and do nothing that would undermine that trust. Do everything you can to set her up for success and be effusive in your praise and rewards. Praise her courage and bravery when she does little things that show a bit of confidence.

She sounds fixable, and I salute you for trying to help this girl! BTW, I've always wondered whether one of these timid dogs could be rehabilitated to have the kind of self-confidence needed to succeed at Schutzhund -- if you do it, will you please post about your journey? I'd love to sit on the virtual side-lines and cheer Yannah's success!
Thank you for the encouraging words! I trained my other two using clicker and N.I.L.I.F im no pro or anything but they are very well trained. I took them to one session but we never returned. In my past experience with trainers and or breeders they seem to be... ** comments removed by ADMIN. Swearing, breeder bashing and attacks on people is not allowed on this board. **

Anyway back to Yanah, shes Getting better with the food. this morn i sat her bowl at the ground and had a little ground beef in my hand positioned right over the bowl she took it and i praised her good, i will probally stick to this.

as far as the potty situation i took her on an hour and a half walk and nothing, she sniffs and walks in a circle like shes going to and nothing, bring her in and she of course poops, i cant let her stay outside with Semi & Germ because shes in heat and her area isnt done yet(cement still drying)

but i will use your method to let her see its ok to eliminate in front of me!

as far as Schutzhund ive got my feet wet but im thinking im ready to jump in I love the dogs so much and im always working with them so why not.

Last edited by lhczth; 07-30-2012 at 02:32 PM. Reason: using *******, attacking a local trainer.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:02 PM
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I'll add every time she looks at you, toss a treat. Even just a quick glance, toss a treat. When she is looking at you more and more often, add in calling her name, she looks, treat. Good yummy treats. Good things come from you.

Also, scratch and pet under the chin, not top of head.

One more thing lol. Try hand feeding entire meals to her. It takes time, you can't rush it. First few times may take even longer, but will help with trust.

Other then the house training and meals, I wouldn't push her on anything for the first month.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:26 PM
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can you bring the other two in and let her be out in the back with just you ? My female gsds would never poop on walks either had to be in the yard. Don't know why just had to be in the yard.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 05:12 PM
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[QUOTE=Germ;2543218]

as far as the potty situation i took her on an hour and a half walk and nothing, she sniffs and walks in a circle like shes going to and nothing, bring her in and she of course poops, i cant let her stay outside with Semi & Germ because shes in heat and her area isnt done yet(cement still drying)

QUOTE]

I have a GSD who will not poop on a leash. He'll mark, but not poop. You can also try using a long lead, you stand in one area and let her move around you. My boy will go if I have him on a 32' lead. Anything shorter, he'll just sit and look at me.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 08:45 AM
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I would not suggest walking to her and petting her, that is done by lower ranking pack members. She seems unsure and you want to be in charge to ease her concerns, and it will be confusing for her if you're coming over to lavish attention on her. Instead, call her over to you then give her attention.

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