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I have a 2 yo GSD who is generally a good girl, but 3 weeks ago, she saw a squirrel and sprinted after it, taking me along. I fell and broke my hip. Now is 3 weeks later after emergency surgery, in house critical rehab and lots of pain learning to walk again I adore her, but this is the 2nd squirrel she ran after. The first fall wasn't bad, but this one really hurt me. Don't know what to do. I don't want to take her for walks and am only comfortable taking her off leash. She is not reactive and is very concerned about me. Don't know if she understands what she did, but I'm afraid it will happen again.
 

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I use a halter, (Gentle Leader is one brand) and find that with it on, the dog will not pull away from you. The prong or the e-collar are more effective for actually training him to not chase or better put, to stay by your side. But meanwhile with a halter, you'll be able to walk him with confidence. You have to acclimate him to the halter. Mine hate theirs and try to rub it off. I still use one when I go into areas of high distraction.
 

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Dogs can definitely still pull while wearing a head halter like a gentle leader or Halti, and if they really want something they will do it. However, a head halter does seem to provide a bit more control. But - this is more of a behaviour issue than an equipment issue imo. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
 

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Dogs can definitely still pull while wearing a head halter like a gentle leader or Halti, and if they really want something they will do it. However, a head halter does seem to provide a bit more control. But - this is more of a behaviour issue than an equipment issue imo. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
I’d agree and go a step further. In my experience of watching other dogs - haltis just look like a recipe for disaster - lots of pulling until their neck looks ready to snap. Of course a lot of that is down to misuse/lack of training.

I’d recommend a prong collar with some guidance.
 

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I hope you make a speedy recovery, and I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s not a hard thing to teach a dog not to not chase animals. Find a good trainer and expect the issue to stop on the first session. A good trainer will be able to walk the dog past squirrels by the end of the first session and prevent the dog from chasing with light or no pressure (will take harder pressure at the beginning). Dont settle for anything less. Of course you’ll need to reinforce this behavior, but you need to work with someone who is going to get you results. Even if you can spend most of your time off leash, there will be always be situations when you need to use a leash.

You’ll always need to pay attention to the dog. It will be interested in squirrels probably for the rest of it’s life - you’ll see it’s ears perk up, it thinking about a chase - that’s the moment you stop it. If you aren’t paying attention you don’t have a chance. If you are paying attention and you cant stop it, then let go of the leash if there are no moving cars around. What’s the worst that can happen? The dog will tree the squirrell and you go leash him up.

There is no shame in rehoming the dog and getting a better fit for you. There are countless dogs who would love to go a walk and not pose the same risk as a big strong, prey driven german shepherd.
 

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ouch! I hope you heal quickly and completely. I have no suggestions for dogs that take off like a rocket, Ellie gave me quite a tumble when a rabbit ran across her path. Duke, gentle giant that he is, is just curious about the squirrels. He barks out the door at them and when we walk he has to stop at each tree and look up expectantly.
 

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Eska von den Roten Vorbergen
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When my dog goes out in the yard, she immediately starts looking for squirrels. She has actually caught at least one. When we are out walking, she pays them very little attention. The reason? TRAINING. She has been taught to focus on me and me only when we are together. A good trainer can help you with this.
 

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I have a 2 yo GSD who is generally a good girl, but 3 weeks ago, she saw a squirrel and sprinted after it, taking me along. I fell and broke my hip. Now is 3 weeks later after emergency surgery, in house critical rehab and lots of pain learning to walk again I adore her, but this is the 2nd squirrel she ran after. The first fall wasn't bad, but this one really hurt me. Don't know what to do. I don't want to take her for walks and am only comfortable taking her off leash. She is not reactive and is very concerned about me. Don't know if she understands what she did, but I'm afraid it will happen again.
You have every right to be concerned; both of you depend on your independence.
Something very similar happened to me right after I adopted Maggie (as an adult & of course very active, “drivey” GSD).
While walking her on a standard lead & flat collar, she took off twice & pulled me to the ground. I knew I needed help & thought it would be hard to find.
I got lucky when my first phone call to a GSD rescue organization got a response that worked.
I pray you 2 will find the help you need.
 

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Dogs can definitely still pull while wearing a head halter like a gentle leader or Halti, and if they really want something they will do it. However, a head halter does seem to provide a bit more control. But - this is more of a behaviour issue than an equipment issue imo. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
I’m sure this is true in the long term but I’d like to mention that in my case, changing to a strong halter & lead allowed me to walk her with safety for myself while progressing with training.
 

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I’m sure this is true in the long term but I’d like to mention that in my case, changing to a strong halter & lead allowed me to walk her with safety for myself while progressing with training.
Absolutely - I agree that it can definitely be a helpful aid with gaining some control and complimenting training.
 

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Get rid of the GSD and get a lap dog....ugh.


You're new so I'll let this slide. We are constructive, not destructive around here. I know my dog would never give up on me, so I cannot imagine giving up on one of my dogs. Elllie may have pulled me down but I should have let go. My bad. She'd had a tough life and a series of owners. We never gave up on her and - in the end - we had a real sweet but difficult dog for 10 years.
 

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+1 to Prong or e collar with a good trainer. Just based on your description, I would prefer e-collar , as the prong requires non trivial physical dexterity and will (you have to “mean it”, if that makes sense) in order to be effective. Both require impeccable timing.

As a complement to the collar, I would invest in playing with your dog in a structured way (ie providing play as a reward event), to the extent you are able (look up “Michael Ellis playing with your dog”). The main reason ME gives for rewarding your dog with play is that it teaches the dog to obey under high states of arousal. This can save your dog’s life, in addition to obviously preventing another serious injury to you. Good luck to you and your dog. I’m sorry this happened and hope you are able to find a solution that works for you.
 

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I had a broken arm when I tripped over my puppy when she was 6 months trying to chase a car. Silly me. Our bones get brittle as we get older, and we also loose some of our sense for balance and fall easier. As she grew bigger she made me fall two more times, luckily nothing broken though.

To your problem, I always was against prong collars. Thinking they were a cruel device based on punishment. But my dog wants to hunt everything that moves, cats, rabbits, cars.... And she can pull really hard. So in my desperation, I tried a "soft" type of prong collars. The Herm Sprenger Neck Tech Collar. It only has short and wide area prongs, made of flat stainless steel instead of wire, that barely penetrate the fur on my long hair dog. What a revelation, now I can hold the leash with one finger. It's like servo steering in a car. I highly recommend you give it a try. Just make sure you watch a few Youtube videos on how to properly fit these collars and how to use them (and if in any doubt seek advice from a trainer). To me it was a revelation. Now I put it on whenever we go for a walk, and take it off when we come back. Whenever I touch the collar she comes running in anticipation of a fun walk, and is very happy to have it put around her neck.

Funny thing, these German made collars are cheaper in the USA, about half as much as in Australia. So I ordered it from Amazon USA. Just to have it seized by our border police. It is illegal to import prong collars to Australia. I had to buy it from a local store. They import them in pieces which is legal, and assemble them before selling which is also legal. Using them is legal too. Go figure.......

PS: there are two H.S. Neck Tech collars. Only one is a prong collar. This is the one:
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