Has a backpack limited your GSD's lunging? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Has a backpack limited your GSD's lunging?

I've posted in several threads recently about my newly adopted four-year old's friendly lunging and barking when he's on a leash. The last few days, I've been experimenting with walking him with a backpack on him, carrying half a gallon (c. 4 pounds) of water in each side pocket. He weighs 80 pounds.

First results have been very encouraging. He notices people, but doesn't bounce toward or bark at them. He's still barking at dogs, but starts later (and ends sooner), and seems much easier to control. Anyone else have similar or contrasting experience? Will he revert to form as the pack becomes second nature?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 02:41 PM
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Thats interesting. I'm curious of what other's experiences are.

Kolby- GSD 7/17/2010

Jack- GSD 7/25/2013
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 02:51 PM
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I could be waay off...wonder if it's the same effects as a Thundershirt, calming from the pressure of the weight?

Kind of makes me think of Temple Grandin's calming machine as well.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Courtney View Post
I could be waay off...wonder if it's the same effects as a Thundershirt, calming from the pressure of the weight?

Kind of makes me think of Temple Grandin's calming machine as well.
I'm coming at this sideways, because I have far more experience working with children and adults with ASD than I do dealing with canine behavior problems like this.

Some people with ASD will wear snug vests for the calming effect. I just figured the Thundershirt worked the same way: not really "weight" but constant evenly-distributed pressure.

From GSDLearner's description, it sounds like he's seeing what we hope for when we put a weighted vest on a kid: not an elimination of the behavior, but at best a dampening effect of the extremes of the behavior. At least with kids, the efficacy declines over time though there are a couple of tricks you can sometimes do to extend it.

Look at the weighted backpack as a tool with an expiration date, and use the time to teach the dog self-control/more appropriate behaviors in situations that are now problematic.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 07:14 AM
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make sure 8 lbs is safe to carry. did you build up to the 8 lb carry or
did you place 8 lbs in a pack oneday start walking? don't depend on a
gadget when training is needed. i think if you use the weighted pack
you accomplished 2 things, you slowed the lounging and you're
training/conditioning your dog to carry a pack. train and socialize
everyday. i like training and socializing in short sessions. i conduct
many sessions during the course of a day. i train indoors and outside.
find out what's a safe amount of time for the dog to carry a weighted
pack.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Look at the weighted backpack as a tool with an expiration date, and use the time to teach the dog self-control/more appropriate behaviors in situations that are now problematic.
This is how I'm looking at it - something to buy some time while I get some good help with the problem. Even if the pack worked for good, it's not always going to be optimal to have it on him.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 07:45 AM
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Joey's 80 pounds, and has been lunging and barking too much lately.

What kind of backpack would work for a dog this size?

Faust von der Graf ("Joey")
13 year old GSD 11-22-05; SchH3
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