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Hello to all you seasoned GSD handlers. I need your suggestions..
My wl pup is nine months old and has high food, prey and ball drives. Her favorite activity is to play ball; she goes nuts for it and has great difficulty disengaging from it. When she was just a few months old, I thought it was cute when she chased soccer balls and ran back and forth when people played catch at a local park. Well, it's not cute anymore. Two weeks ago, she drug my g/f down to the sand, while on a pinch collar, trying to get at a football being thrown back and forth by a father and his son at the beach. My g/f suffered a fractured finger. Whenever my pup sees someone playing with any type of ball, she gets too excited so I take her away from that environment. She became frenzied again yesterday downtown seeing a boy dribbling a ball, barked like crazy and pulled hard against her pinch collar. All I could do was turn her around, go around the corner and put her in a down/stay but was embarrassed as people looked at us to see what the heck was wrong with my dog. I recently started using an e collar for off leash recall, which works, but it confuses her. She will only perform a come/down while wearing the e collar and has forgotten to come and sit in front of me or at heel while wearing that thing. I guess an answer to my question would be to continue training all commands with the e collar, but I hate to use it so much. Suggestions for teaching her to ignore others playing with balls are very welcome!
 

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My 5.5 month old pup goes crazy over balls too! We have a 2 year old so our dog and the toddler get into it over the balls LOL. We basically tell my son not to play/touch the dog's balls and correct the dog (leash corrections) when she goes for my sons balls. My sons balls are a little bigger and our pup only uses tennis balls. Id try to have people play with balls in front of her and correct her every time she goes for them.
 

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Are you using any certain training method with the e collar? As far as people playing ball and her chasing after the balls. I would work on leave it command. My dog goes bonkers over balls, Frisbees, birds, small game, basically anything that moves that he can chase. At 1 he is able to listen when I tell him to leave it. I try and catch him before he actually starts to pull or run off. Mine gets this crazy look in his eyes prior to the chase. But I have called him off a chase with no problems also. I make sure we play plenty of catch and every now and then I'll ask him where the birds are and let him rip across the yard at some birds he has no chance of catching. This way he does get to satisfy his natural chase. The key is to get him to realize he does it when you OK it. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My 5.5 month old pup goes crazy over balls too! We have a 2 year old so our dog and the toddler get into it over the balls LOL. We basically tell my son not to play/touch the dog's balls and correct the dog (leash corrections) when she goes for my sons balls. My sons balls are a little bigger and our pup only uses tennis balls. Id try to have people play with balls in front of her and correct her every time she goes for them.
Yes, that's what I have to do. It's hard to get through to her when she gets that crazy though.
 

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A ball driven dog is a good thing!

The ball is the perfect training tool.

Here's an old thread.

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-information/101958-ball-drive-trainablity.html

Can't remember where I saw them, but there are videos showing dogs being trained with ball. Can someone chime in here?

First of all, your dog is very much a puppy and a pup with high prey drive. Sounds like you have this 9 month old off lead a lot. If I were you, I wouldn't have my dog off lead without first having a reliable recall.

I have nothing against e-collars and use them myself, but I'd ease off it for a bit. have you watched

www.loucastle.com

Michael Ellis has some good videos. Videos | The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers
one specifically on recall.

You might just be expecting a little too much too soon from this pup. Go backwards and train on thing at a time and make sure that is rock solid before going on.

Good luck.... think there are many on this board that would gladly take your dog off your hands :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Are you using any certain training method with the e collar? As far as people playing ball and her chasing after the balls. I would work on leave it command. My dog goes bonkers over balls, Frisbees, birds, small game, basically anything that moves that he can chase. At 1 he is able to listen when I tell him to leave it. I try and catch him before he actually starts to pull or run off. Mine gets this crazy look in his eyes prior to the chase. But I have called him off a chase with no problems also. I make sure we play plenty of catch and every now and then I'll ask him where the birds are and let him rip across the yard at some birds he has no chance of catching. This way he does get to satisfy his natural chase. The key is to get him to realize he does it when you OK it. Good luck.
She knows leave it but doesn't care if she's crazy mad to get after a ball. I've only just started with the e collar; some leash healing/positioning but primarily for off leash recall to disengage from other dogs while off leash. I can't articulate training methods. I'd say it's mostly positive/reward based and pinch collar corrections; some times it's grab her by the scruff of her neck and yell at her or bob her on the nose.
 

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Yes, that's what I have to do. It's hard to get through to her when she gets that crazy though.
Do you use corrections at all? We mostly do leash corrections but once in a while we have to get creative. And yes there are times, when leash corrections don't seem like enough. Ours was a hard core nipper. I never would have guessed that she would be done at 5.5 months and it was all because of leash corrections. It definitely took some time though. Just keep at it. She'll get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A ball driven dog is a good thing!

The ball is the perfect training tool.

Here's an old thread.

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-information/101958-ball-drive-trainablity.html

Can't remember where I saw them, but there are videos showing dogs being trained with ball. Can someone chime in here?

First of all, your dog is very much a puppy and a pup with high prey drive. Sounds like you have this 9 month old off lead a lot. If I were you, I wouldn't have my dog off lead without first having a reliable recall.

I have nothing against e-collars and use them myself, but I'd ease off it for a bit. have you watched

Home

Michael Ellis has some good videos. Videos | The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers
one specifically on recall.

You might just be expecting a little too much too soon from this pup. Go backwards and train on thing at a time and make sure that is rock solid before going on.

Good luck.... think there are many on this board that would gladly take your dog off your hands :)
Ha, no one is taking her off my hands; yes, I'm very lucky and was diligent in finding what I wanted. Our trainer is a business partner of Michael Ellis, but I can't get her to train with us around ppl playing with a ball. I do walk my pup off leash a lot so she can exercise w/o damaging her joints as she might playing ball fetch with me. Her recall is good if not engaged in prey or ball drive. Just have to keep working diligently on leave it I suppose.
 

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As mentioned above Lou castle has a very good e collar training program. It must be followed exactly but it is effective. The recall portion along with keeping up with the leave it command and you should be good. You may have to retrain a little since she seems to know when she has the collar on or off.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Have you tried playing with her around the others? Just have a ball on a rope with you, sit her, and when she calms at least a little the first couple of times, pull it out and reward her for behaving. Start at a little bit of distance, where she's aware of the other ball, but not amped up yet.
Thanks for chiming in Steve. I'll give that a try. What is the purpose of a ball on a rope? So I have a hold of it I suppose. As far as not amped up yet, she's 0-10 as soon as she sees someone playing with a ball. Just crazy nuts for it. I know I need to keep working with her as opposed to removing her from the situation.
 

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Just because she's already shown how much she likes a ball, on a string it gives you options for playing with her. A little tug, a little fetch. Its easier to tease her a little if you need to and then hold it still and drop it to her when she's sitting quiet so you can reward that. All about playing with you with it, not just playing with it on her own.
 

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Looks like you need to work on impulse control. Like if she is hungry you give the "ok" to eat. You give the ok to play too. Maybe try playing ball with her to get out the excess energy and then try placing the ball slowly until you release her to get the ball. Work your way up.
 
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