Training maturity? How old was yours? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Training maturity? How old was yours?

Quick question. I am being told German Shepherd can be immature for awhile. That once they "mature" they are able to focus and be trained better. That they aren't as ADD.

Well my girl is a year old tomorrow, and is still an ADD case. We have been doing training since 9 weeks old. Puppy classes at AKC and breeder. Then Basic obiedience at AKC/ and German Shepherd club. With intermittant classes at the breeder for more socialization and basic training.

She also did doggy day car from 4months to 7 months.

I am beyond frustrated. Am I expecting too much? I thought by a year and all this training she would be able to walknicely on a leash, come when called. Be abel to take her anywhere without her reacting to toher dogs (since I socialized the crap out of her non stop).

But the truth is:
she pulls horribly on the leash
will nto come when called
she will sit
she will lay down- but neither for an extended epriod of time.
She will fetch
she can not shake
She is very rough with my older female so i keep them seperated (older girl will hurt her if pushed too much)
She freaks out on leash for some reason- never had an bad experience on leash

Im frustrated. I stopped going to AKC training, they where afraid of her and didnt know how to deal with a shepherd. While goign there is when she started her leash issues. I think she could feel my frustration. They would talk bad about us, right in front of us. I left crying more than once.

The breeder classes are great, but very inconsistant. She was suppsoed to go stay with breeder for in house training at 7 months, but she says my girl is too immature.

We have been going to GSD club, they seem just like AKC but understand GSD's and do not talk down to me. But I still feel like im not geeting anywhere with her.

I really hope she goes t the breeder for her training soon, but until then i dont know what to do. Is this normal? Is the breeder just putting me off?
I had planned on showing her, she did one show as a puppy and got best in breed. I wanted her to do a big show this summer, but if it was tomorrow she would not be even close to being ready.

Has anyone had any similar situations? OR am I just loosing it. Mayeb i just need a vacation- lol
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 06:43 PM
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it takes time and patience. how often are you training her and for how long at a session? short sessions are best with puppies and not a lot of repetition
are you consistent?

have you only called her to come to you when you were able to enforce her compliance? this is the most common reason that dogs don't have a solid recall - their humans have already taught them that it's not REALLY required. If this sounds like it could be her problem, choose a new word "come" instead of "here" or vice versa. Start off with her on a 6 foot leash and if she is consistent coming then you graduate to a long line so that you can reel her in. Never call her to you for punishment. And never ever call her to you if you think that she wont come - go get her.

how have you been trying to get her to walk nicely? In a heel position or just not pulling? The simplest way is to simply stop walking when she gets far enough ahead to put tension on the leash. It can take what feels like an eternity to get somewhere, especially in the beginning but it does pay off in the end.

How long are you expecting her to stay when you put her in a down? When you are training, are you periodically rewarding her for continued good behavior? When first teaching this, literally stepping from beside the dog to in front of her and back is an accomplishment.

If you want to do conformation training, have you been practicing this as well?

With all training, it comes down to that. Practice and consistency.

As for when they "mature" Singe is 5 and still gets occasionally distracted by passing butterflies. At our last trial, we were chatting with a woman whose girl just turned 9 years old and is finally calmed down enough to "act like she has a brain for longer than 10 minutes at a time"
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 06:49 PM
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for the dogs, how did you socialize her with them? I'm assuming she barks, whines and goes crazy when she sees them? Overly excited and wants to play?

I don't let my dog play with other dogs. I work on teaching to ignore them from the time a pup comes home. Play times are only occasionally, with dogs that I know are good with puppies. Never at the place where we go to "work" and I don't allow him to greet every dog he sees.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 08:04 PM
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Find a private trainer. Your dog isn't responding to training and needs to be taught how to behave and follow your lead.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 11:05 PM
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Where are you located? Maybe someone can help you find a good trainer.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post
Find a private trainer. Your dog isn't responding to training and needs to be taught how to behave and follow your lead.
This is a good idea especially if you feel the group classes aren't working out. It will take her a while to mature but you should be able to obtain better results notwithstanding that with a private trainer experienced in GSDs. You need to reinforce her training everyday when not in training class or session and also make sure she gets enough exercise. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience at the AKC class. Their behavior was uncalled for and unprofessional. When you feel ready, try and find a group class (preferably with a lot of GSDs) that you are comfortable with. You can also mix private training with group classes. Forget the AKC class experience and move on. You'll show them!

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 06:17 AM
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slightly off topic question. What exactly do you mean by "classes at AKC"? Do you mean obedience classes taught by your local AKC Kennel Club or an AKC STAR puppy class?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 07:38 AM
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Yes, try and find a local trainer who will work with you and your girl together. I have found that most of the issues I had with rosko were more to do with my lack of knowledge or not knowing how to communicate to the dog clearly what I wanted. We have went to a private trainer who works with both of us. She will show him once or twice usually he gets it with that. and usually shows me 3 or 4 times. Until she's confident I get it. Then just be consistent and work a lot with her in short periods. And remember she will pick up on your frustration. Try and remain in control. If you get too frustrated with her at home or on walks it's OK to cut the session short.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 09:35 AM
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My dog is 15 months old and his brain is still not finished growing i love it though when you see all their changes and glimpses of adulthood. They remind me so much of kids growing in this respect.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 05:44 PM
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I totally understand where you are coming from, LOL. I have a malinois that is slow to mature. This is our first time raising a sports dog from puppyhood so we didnít know what to expect.

Somewhere between 15 to 17 months of age, she made a big leap in her OB and focus. Her prey drive was low as a puppy (it turned on at 16-17 months, late bloomer), her food drive is good but not great, so I was always worried about doing too much at a young age and squashing her drives. I tried my best to keep OB fun fun fun for her.

Between 12-15 months of age, she started to explore her surroundings, her focus was somewhat more sporadic outdoors. I just kept her sessions short and rewarded really well whenever she did a good job.

Between 15-17 months, we didnít do as much training outdoors because of Texas/summer heat. We walked in late evenings and I did short attention heeling (10-20 steps), really simple sit, down, stand, and rewarded heavily for focus/attention.

When we re-started training outdoors (parks) at 17 months, her engagement was a lot better, I think she matured, it seemed like she put all the broken pieces of her OB puzzle together, if that makes sense.

Correction-wise, she is handler-sensitive, so I try to use as little compulsion as possible. She started wearing an e-collar off and on at 6 months, but I didnít use it. I nicked her a couple of times for counter-surfing when she was 16 months, and I didnít use it on OB stuff until she was 19 months old (I rarely need it).

We did a lot of restrained recalls when she was a puppy, so her recall has always been good.

I didnít teach her duration longer than a few seconds until she was 15-16 months old, I wanted her to mature more, but thatís just me.

As for other dogs, we have two GSDs and a Westie as well, other than occasional play time, she is separated from them (her puppy energy is too much for the two seniors, our 3-year-old GSD doesnít want to play with her). I donít let her play with other dogs, and I re-direct her whenever she sees other dogs on walks/in parks.

At 21 months, she still has a lot of maturing to do. She acts more like she is a year old. She is ďbehindĒ on her OB when compared to dogs in her age group (we are training for Mondioring), but I am happy with her. She is confident, well-adjusted, goofy, people-friendly, and dog-friendly. In hindsight, I am glad I didnít rush her.

Here is a little video of us from last week (we just switched from food to toy reward recently)Ö.
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