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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so had his first ''Training class'' last night. The trainer came to our home to asses his behavior and get to know him a little before we worked on a few things inside before a walk.

He's 4, And apparently he's above my wife in the pack order, but not myself (YET - She said he seemed confused about his place)

He practiced waiting whilst we put his colar/lead on and off until he could do it patiently without jumping around exited and dragging us to the door, then he practiced waiting for us to open a door and walk through it without pushing past us to the door.

After that we showed her how, If we're sitting on the sofa he will want to be there, in our faces crying for attention, to be up in between us and so on, she advised if we don't want him there, just gently push him away and tell him no, so we done this a few times and he sort of got the hang of it.

Since then we've started establishing what should apparently be ground rules;

He sleeps by me on the bed - no longer allowed?
If he comes up to the sofa - Don't let him?
If he comes for attention - Send him away?

Now, I think those are all things that should be OK - but on my terms?

He's now decided he wants to stay out of our way, doesn't want attention and will shy off when we approach him?? doesn't seem good?!

If I ask him onto the bed, The sofa or if he comes for a stroke, Surely thats fine?

I feel like I'm being asked not to love my dog to correct his behaviour problems? Is it right to question when I give my dog attention?

some honest suggestions please?
 

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What was the issue causing you to hire a trainer?

My dogs sleep with me, come up to me for love ect. No problem. But also no behavioral problems associated with it. The pup can be a little too pushy and demanding about getting in our faces for attention and we have recently set some new rules about that which he is adjusting to fine.

Sometimes it is necessary to stop giving out so much free attention and affection if the dog is not sufficiently motivated in training because why work hard for something they can get free and on demand.

My dog would get kicked off the furniture in a heartbeat if he ever refused to move if I needed him to or copped an attitude about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He pulls on the leash alot and doesn't like strangers, or dogs, we have only had him a year, don't know his past and he's tried to bite a few people (not made a point of going up and biting someone, he's been pestered etc) We just found out we're expecting a baby and where advised to get him through some training lessons to ensure he's on point and behaving as he should in 7 months time.

He will move when he's told, but a few times my wife has went to stroke him whilst he's been on the sofa or the bed with her and he's growled or gave made it known he wanted her to leave her alone - my opinion was just tell him to get off and dont touch him?

Either way - he needs leash traning and socialising with people and dogs.
 

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Well I obviously do 'tknow enough about your trainer to be able to say whether they are any good,

But the dog has growled at your wife who is now pregnant and this absolutely warrants total overhaul. In my opinion losing furniture privileges is totally appropriate. It will be easiest for the dog to understand no more furniture period and safest for your wife....heaven forbid there if a conflict with the dog while she has a baby in her arms.

As for giving affection, is your trainer trying to implement Nothing in Life is Free? If so I would agree with that, too. Is the trainer saying don't dver pet the dog, or....?

I think the most important thing is that you do anything and everything you can do to support your wife with this dog so there is no conflict.
 

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Ok, so had his first ''Training class'' last night. The trainer came to our home to asses his behavior and get to know him a little before we worked on a few things inside before a walk.

He's 4, And apparently he's above my wife in the pack order, but not myself (YET - She said he seemed confused about his place)

He practiced waiting whilst we put his colar/lead on and off until he could do it patiently without jumping around exited and dragging us to the door, then he practiced waiting for us to open a door and walk through it without pushing past us to the door.

After that we showed her how, If we're sitting on the sofa he will want to be there, in our faces crying for attention, to be up in between us and so on, she advised if we don't want him there, just gently push him away and tell him no, so we done this a few times and he sort of got the hang of it.

Since then we've started establishing what should apparently be ground rules;

He sleeps by me on the bed - no longer allowed?
If he comes up to the sofa - Don't let him?
If he comes for attention - Send him away?

Now, I think those are all things that should be OK - but on my terms?

He's now decided he wants to stay out of our way, doesn't want attention and will shy off when we approach him?? doesn't seem good?!

If I ask him onto the bed, The sofa or if he comes for a stroke, Surely thats fine?

I feel like I'm being asked not to love my dog to correct his behaviour problems? Is it right to question when I give my dog attention?

some honest suggestions please?

Sounds like the trainer is doing something similar to NILIF. Trust the system. After all that's why you chose this trainer right?
 

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Can you take things away from him? Has he been around children? Children will pester a dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ah I must say, It was a few month before we found out she was pregnant the dog had his episode, he was rightly punished at the time(told off, not allowed up etc)

So is it fair to say if I call the dog, ask him to sit and give him attention, then Its fine as he's sort of worked for it?

I agree with just sticking with it too! Just feels a bit weird not being ''best pals'' with the dog - as my wife calls it ha.

She basically said give him attention at the right times - Maybe I should have asked when the right time is!!

Yea the trainer has had good results with GSD's so we went with it.. I mean what she does is making him better behaviour wise .. maybe I'm over thinking it and I'm afraid it will damage our bond!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Yes we can take anything from him, I can sit next to him when he eats, remove it, put it back and so on, same with toys, blanket and so on, if he has a toy and thinks its a game of tug, he gets told to ''leave it'' and he does. he's good in that manner

he's walked by children on his walks, a toddler ran up and cuddled hit once (Totally caught me off gaurd as she came from behind a car I never saw her) he's never bothered, but i've never intenionally involved him with children as nobody I know has any!!
 

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Ok, so had his first ''Training class'' last night. The trainer came to our home to asses his behavior and get to know him a little before we worked on a few things inside before a walk.

He's 4, And apparently he's above my wife in the pack order, but not myself (YET - She said he seemed confused about his place)

He practiced waiting whilst we put his colar/lead on and off until he could do it patiently without jumping around exited and dragging us to the door, then he practiced waiting for us to open a door and walk through it without pushing past us to the door.

After that we showed her how, If we're sitting on the sofa he will want to be there, in our faces crying for attention, to be up in between us and so on, she advised if we don't want him there, just gently push him away and tell him no, so we done this a few times and he sort of got the hang of it.

Since then we've started establishing what should apparently be ground rules;

He sleeps by me on the bed - no longer allowed?
If he comes up to the sofa - Don't let him?
If he comes for attention - Send him away?

Now, I think those are all things that should be OK - but on my terms?

He's now decided he wants to stay out of our way, doesn't want attention and will shy off when we approach him?? doesn't seem good?!

If I ask him onto the bed, The sofa or if he comes for a stroke, Surely thats fine?

I feel like I'm being asked not to love my dog to correct his behaviour problems? Is it right to question when I give my dog attention?

some honest suggestions please?
I'd forget about pack order. What you're really looking for is clear black and white rules. What the trainer is probably seeing is a dog that's unsure about things in general and is feeling his way around and trying to figure it out for himself by the way he comes for attention or pushes up onto the couch. I think its better if instead of creating a cycle of trying to stop him from doing things, you concentrate on teaching him what to do.

Come here when you tell you and then he'll get attention, not when he's nervously pushing for it helps make coming when called mean more to him. Giving him a spot to lay and relax away from you on the couch teaches him to relax in his surroundings instead of needing you're reassurance.

Some dogs are fine with being on the furniture, some it just leads to confusion and its better to keep certain boundries and a routine that they can count on before you have the baby. There's always a balance, its not like you shove him away anytime he comes near you, but the trainer is probably seeing something in the way he's doing it that isn't exactly like he's just happy to be there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes I see where you're coming from, As if he's getting rewarded with attention for coming when called for? I have been teaching him to lay down on a blanket when we are on the sofa, he gets the hang of it and will lay wherever it is, but sometimes still comes looking to be up, or get attention.

Yea the routines and boundry thing, we thought that hence hiring the trainer to make sure we addressed everything. He's going to get two classes a week.. hopefully he responds well!
 

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We have an 11 1/2 year old French Bulldog who has been on NILIF for... let's see - 11 1/2 years! He resource guards, including people's laps, beds, chews, everything. He never gets petted or picked up or fed or anything unless he works for it. He must sit, or lie down, etc. If he is put on the floor off our lap and growls, he is crated for a time out. Eleven and a half years. Yup. It is just part of life. He is not toy oriented, so the other dogs can have toys. But absolutely no Bully sticks, elk horns, etc. Those are given while the dogs are crated. With our other dogs, they are not on NILIF, because it is not necessary. Every dog is different.
 

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It is completely normal for your relationship to change a bit when implementing new rules and boundaries.

Being on the bed and couch are PRIVILEGES he has to earn!

Most of the "affection" we give dogs is for us, not them. It makes US feel good. Setting expectations now, and solidifying behaviors before the baby comes will be a huge blessing once the baby is born. You and your wife are going to go into crazy protect mode when the baby comes homes. Changing things then, will confuse the dog and cause problems. So get him used to it now. The baby will be in the bed and on the couch. The dog should not be.

Sounds like your trainer has a good plan. I would stick with it.

CONGRATS on the baby!! Very exciting!
 

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As others have stated any dog that is having behavioral issues ... should not be allowed on furniture much less the bed ... period. It sounds like your trainer is fine?? But he comes twice a week and you live with the dog 24/7 you could be undermining there efforts??

Rather possibly undermining them you could compliment there efforts by "instituting a "No Free Roaming in the House policy." And training "The Place Command" and doing "Sit on the Dog." Those last two help to train "Calmness into a dog" a quote from "bailiff who is a "Pro" on here also. :)

At any rate "Rules Structure and Limitations" are what all dogs need and if he were at a full time board and train ... that would be happening. But he's not ... that does not mean you can't do the same. Looks like this.:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/8006017-post7.html
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yea he seems to be responding well. I managed his walk last night without him pulling much, and when he did he stopped upon correction - Like people have said, correction with a tug of his leash and a ''tssh'' noise and he'd be right.

This morning he didn't want to go for his walk, he sulked off and went and lay down - this was after he came, sat and waited nicely for me to put his muzzle on ha, then I got 3/4 of the way round his walk before he became hard work, and again was getting better with correction, I had to take his muzzle off though as he has made the top of his nose bleed trying to get it off.

He has been corrected for trying to come onto the bed last night but gave up and came to sleep on the floor by the bed, and he hasn't tried to get on the sofa for 2 days now. He's still coming for attention, So I ask him to sit, give a paw or something before I pet him.

I think persistance has worked, but a few times, when I've just been talking to him he's looked at me like he's terrified!! whats that about? we're not being rough with his training or anything.

This is a fun yet strange learning curve for both of us!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Also, I forgot to ask - should I be taking him on long walks for leash training or do it in short spells?? or every walk?
 

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No wonder he doesn't want to go for a walk if he is wearing a muzzle that makes his nose bleed....

He needs a new muzzle....

Is there a part of your training program where you are teaching this dog what you want him to do and rewarding behavior you like?
 

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Wait the dog bloodied his own nose trying to paw off the muzzle?

In that case, use food and train him to wear the muzzle without fighting it. There are lots of youtube videos on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Yea he tries to get it off, 90% Of the time he's alright with it, he's not fussed about putting it on, He doesn't respond to treats or food, Just general positive attention seems to make him happy, this is what I do;

Get myself ready for his walk - call him to the door, ask him to sit - reward with good boys and pets etc
Tell him to stay whislt I put his muzzle on ( no problem ) - reward as above
Tell him to sit and stay when I want to put his leash on him - reward
Open the door, leave the house ask him to sit whilst I lock the door - reward
We then walk and as we are going, if his behaviour is good, I tell him and pet him, ask him to sit and pet him some more etc.

I really struggle with the ''treat/food'' thing as a reward - works great indoors but outdoors he isn't interested, just turns his head.

He only really responds positivly to attention and a ball - ball makes him hyper so its sort of ruled out.

Its difficult (from my point of view) as I'm also learning as we go, I'm bound to make mistakes along the way.

should I persist with treats and see if it gains a positive reaction?
 

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Just something to think about James, but when you guys have the baby, I'd be surprised if this dog is comfortable around him or her. If you look for advice on that, there's generally 2 different approaches mentioned. Show the dog the baby=good or teach him the babies mine, don't touch. I'm of the opinion dogs temperaments will tell you whats right, they either like and respect babies and kids, or they don't. With the latter, you just show them they have to tolerate, don't look to create some bond that isn't there. That's kind of in line with how this trainer is working with you, and just bluntly, a dog that needs a muzzle isn't getting with in 3' of my baby, period.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just something to think about James, but when you guys have the baby, I'd be surprised if this dog is comfortable around him or her. If you look for advice on that, there's generally 2 different approaches mentioned. Show the dog the baby=good or teach him the babies mine, don't touch. I'm of the opinion dogs temperaments will tell you whats right, they either like and respect babies and kids, or they don't. With the latter, you just show them they have to tolerate, don't look to create some bond that isn't there. That's kind of in line with how this trainer is working with you, and just bluntly, a dog that needs a muzzle isn't getting with in 3' of my baby, period.

Steve - I don't know why she's asked us to train him with a muzzle, Our trainer said get a muzzle and a slip leash so we did! He's snarled at the wife once, months ago, didn't bite ... I'm not expecting to create a bond between the child and the dog, but I don't want to damage the bond between myself and the dog by training him to do things such as walk calmly on the leash, know his boundarys etc using certain methods.

Surely training him to walk nicely stops him choking himself everytime we go for a walk! got to be better for him, and me?!
 
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