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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, My name is David and I have an adolescent German Shepherd.

We had been making progress over the last 2 months. Yesterday, we had a slip-up. In the lobby, before class, he lunged hard enough to give me a rope burn and make me wonder if I had dislocated my thumb. It doesn't help that he is already 75 pounds. His 6 month birthday is the middle of this week.

We can walk up and down the street in front of my house on a nice loose leash walk. But, take that walk in public, he forgets everything he knows. arggg.

He had been doing so well earning privileges and freedom. Looks like we are going to return to puppy lockdown until this passes.

I thought we might adjust our training. Instead of training sessions, we are just going to do: ~10 min of exploring on a long line, ~10 mins of loose leash walking, and ~ 10 mins of tug and play. We will do these in different areas around our neighborhood. I'll try to get in 5-6 of these mini sessions a day to see how he responds.

Thanks for listening.
 

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I thought we might adjust our training. Instead of training sessions, we are just going to do: ~10 min of exploring on a long line, ~10 mins of loose leash walking, and ~ 10 mins of tug and play. We will do these in different areas around our neighborhood. I'll try to get in 5-6 of these mini sessions a day to see how he responds.
Good idea. You may get better advice than me though because I never had that problem.
 

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I have found with almost every pup I have raised that there is almost always a slide back on something at some point.
I had a retriever who was one of the easiest dogs to train I ever had, and she was super responsive no matter the distractions.....Until, around 6 months of age, she suddenly wouldn't come when distracted. Next day, back to the park with a long line. Let her get distracted, called her, small leash check and she would come running, big praise and reward. After a bunch of repetitions...problem solved.
You have worked hard with your pup and have a good handle on things, but "boys will be boys" and teen boys will be idiots...lol
 

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I am now starting to feel comfortable with some minor corrections followed by big praise and rewards. I am now confident that he knows what is expected of him.

On leash, I usually let him look at other dogs for 2 seconds then give him a 'leave it' followed by rewards and praise. If he looks back to me after seeing the distraction and before I say anything, he gets to play with his favorite tug. If he starts to bark or don't relax his gaze after 2-3 seconds, he gets a minor leash check, we walk away from the distraction for a couple of feet, I cue him to sit, and then give him the reward.

Hopefully, he associates the leash check with the barking or not turning away. Because of the several second delay, I hope he associates the reward with calmly sitting.

I know that over the course of my life, I needed a couple of corrections I would remember.... usually from a coach or a respected teacher or professor.
 

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One of these days you can share a video of the two of you working it out.
Our training sessions still look remarkably like a seal trying to teach a cat to sing :( I am not quite ready for the internets to provide their gracious feedback :) I'll post some pics as soon as I can manage a camera and my dog at the same time.
 

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oh, the picture I got in my head of a cat and seal singing...
whenever you are ready. Even if you never share the videos, seeing yourself doing the work (or trying to do the work) can help.
 

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A fun thread would be blooper training videos of our dogs :LOL: I had a good one last year I should have kept...we were having some work done on our house and I lined up several ladders on the lawn for a broad jump one evening after the workday.Samson sailed over them beautifully a couple of times.The third time when I tried to film him he ran around the ladders,snatched up his toy and got the zoomies.A major fail and me laughing for the soundtrack.
 

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Hello all,

My GSD, Max, is 6 months too and going through the exact same phase. He is barking at everything now and a lot more reactive. His recall went to sh*t so bought a long long to help reinforce it which has definitely helped, still don't trust him off leash though. I have had to alter our sessions to a 30 min walk and play/fetch in the garden so that i can at least get him running around then scatter his kibble in the garden to get him to work for his food. This 'normally' settles him for a few hours. Its a very tough period, my wife struggles to walk him so the trainer from puppy class suggested we try a prong collar until he is heeling better. I was unsure at first but after a few walks i can see that it is a very effective training tool (if used properly) and it means my wife can walk him without throwing her back out.

Max has started chasing his tail lately which has been another this to address, I know this is common in GSD's but can become quite an obsessive behavior, managed to calm it a little but he does it now when i am not around/close by so i have to get him to stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Something weird that I found helpful...

Every night at 1130 I take him for his final trip outside. Since the rest of the neighborhood has gone to bed, we have the place to ourselves. I know, a small town in the midwest :) We live in a coulee with only one road in or out. At night with headlights, you can tell if a car is coming 3-4 minutes before it makes it back to us.

We have been going on an hour-long off-leash walk around the neighborhood. First, we go through a local playground. We go about 1.5 miles down a bike path. Finally, we return down residential sidewalks.

I don't say a word the entire time. I just walk briskly. Once the zoomies are out at the park, he does a good job of checking-in with me. He will trot off ahead 50-75 feet, look back, and the sniff around. I walk by without saying anything. A few seconds later he will trot by, often pausing in the heal position look up and see if I have a treat or praise for him. Then repeat the action.

It seems to help our loose-leash walking when people and dogs are around. Much less nagging on my part for him to stay in position. Recall has improved greatly. he seems to have internalized that 98% of the time a recall is a time I need him to check-in. The other 2% of the time I need him to return to me so I can put his leash on if I see a car
 

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Good idea!My husband has been taking our dogs on early morning walks either down our dead end road or around the corn field behind us just before dawn.It's great exercise and a perfect time to let them do doggie things.The girls are on long lines and Samson has a light up collar so hubby can keep track of him when he's sniffing around in the woods.Sammy is trained to recall with a referee whistle in case they scare up any wildlife.IMO it's wonderful for a dog's mental,emotional,and physical health to let them relax and just be a dog.The only caveat is to have a plan for the inevitable rabbit or cat you will meet up with one of these nights.
 
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