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316 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guess Im a little late on this post. Its Saturday already.
I dont know where the week went. Only reason Im
inside on the computer now is its pouring rain this morning.

Abby and I had our 4th class this past Tuesday.
It actually went very well but was a long session and
we both ended up pretty tired afterward.

We did more of the same stuff we had been doing
including the weaving around the other dogs. The
weaving exercise is one we always have problems with.
I think its just because we have no way to practice
it at home. I can walk her around and around trees
and light poles and almost anything else. But walking
around other dogs is just too much for her.

The new exercise for this week was off leash stay.
I thought..."oh oh...this is going to get ugly...".
The trainer even barricaded the door just in case.

Each person was to put their dog in a sit stay and
then drop the leash and walk completely around the
room and then come back to your dog from behind.
Ideally with your dog remaining where you told them
to stay. This was not going to be good. It was something
Abby and I had never done. We had done sit and down
stays but only with me standing in front of her still
holding the leash.

We were last in line so we got to watch all the others
screw up first. To my amazement most of the dogs
seemed to be doing OK on this. Only one that had real
trouble was the MinPin.

Our turn came up and I was certain this was going to
be bad. I get Abby into position and gave her a real
strong "STAY!" and off I went. To my utter amazement
Abby stayed right there like she was glued to the spot.
She only broke the stay when I got within a couple feet
behind her. She turned around to look at me. I think
my jaw was dragging on the floor...

Abby seems to be really getting into the groove with
our training sessions. Back when I was just thinking
about getting another GSD and not sure whether I
wanted a male or female I read all the male vs female
threads on this forum. One thing a number of people
said about females is that they are more serious. I
really didnt know what that meant. At least in regards
to dogs. I think now I am beginning to see some of
that "serious" behavior.

Yesterday though all that seriousness went out the
window. She was a total butthead all day. Just aggravated
the heck out of me and seemed to be taking
delight at aggravating me which just aggravated me even more.
Im just glad she wasnt that way Tuesday during our class...

· Registered
316 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well we have had another one of those days. For the
2nd day in a row Abby was in total butthead mode.
I was afraid we were entering into the dreaded butthead
phase. She was stubborn, sassy and really a complete bitch.

She got really mad at me for dragging her head out of
the garbage. Something Ive done at least a 1000 times
since I got her. She did that air biting thing.
It was actually kind of funny. When "biting air" didnt
have the desired effect she turned on herself and went
after her own tail.

Needless to say I didnt even attempt any training
practice with her yesterday. It would of been futile.
When out walking she pulled and bounced and jerked
all over the place. There wasnt much sense in trying to
correct her. I just held on for dear life.

Now...a day later...this morning about an hour before
we normally get up she decides to hop in bed with me.
This was something new. She had never even tried to
do this before and something I wouldnt normally allow.
But she seemed determined so I let her hop up and
she snuggled down beside me and went back to sleep.
Maybe she was trying to make up after being such a
bitch the past two days.

Once we got up and had some breakfast she seemed
in a better frame of mind so on our morning outing
we did a little practice. She did very well. Seems that
butthead mode is over...for now.

If this is what the butthead phase is going to be like
then Im really in for it. Maybe two days worth is all
there will be...yea right...

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1,674 Posts
You and your dog are in for a rough time of things with your dog if your frame of mind is that she is "being a butthead", "delighting in aggravating you", "being stubborn, sassy and a complete bitch". This sort of anthropomorphizing does nothing but harm the relationship between dog and owner. Unfortunately, the old fashioned training class you are in further promotes the thinking that dogs are constantly out to get the better of their owners. Your dog is not purposely working against you. She isn't a "butthead", "bitch", "stubborn", etc. she's a dog and is acting the way dogs do. You need to build a positive relationship with her, if you want to see improvement in her behavior. Training doesn't need to be a battle between owner and dog. Explore ways to get your dog to work with you instead of methods which encourage you and your dog to work against each other.

Complete training guide from start to finish on how to train dogs without the use of force.
(especially helpful is towards the bottom of the page "In the Game").

Articles about relationship based approach to training...

Flying Dog Press - Suzanne Clothier - Dances With Dogs

Flying Dog Press - Suzanne Clothier - Relationship based Approach to Training

These dogs are not trained by their owner being "dominant" and "making them" follow commands. Their owner's training philosophy is outlined here:
Our training philosophy


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179 Posts
I think it's funny that matty are so much alike...I have also been experiencing the butthead,tacky stage in short sessions, but mine is also involving the irritating the other dogs at the same time. My instructor stressed that the 4th to 5th week is the hardest because everything they are learning is transferring from short term memory to long term memory ...don't worry ..both of our ladies will live thru it

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316 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
AgileGSD...Im not quite sure how to respond to your
post. It was not particularly helpful.

I think you merely misinterpreted what I posted.
Not uncommon on online forums.

I was not saying "My dog is out of control! I need Help!".

I was just saying that Abby had reverted to her earlier
behavior of puppy craziness which I have posted about
in other threads. I actually thought some of it humorous
which is the reason I posted it.

As for my use of the adjective "butthead" it is not something
I made up. Its been used numerous times
on this forum by others to describe their dog's behavior.
I'm sorry if I used the term incorrectly.

And about "anthropomorphizing"...well OK...guilty
as charged. But dont we ALL do that?
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