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Hi everyone! Hoping to get a little advice on this behavioral issue that I'm noticing with our two. They are about a year old now, spayed female (Luna) and neutered male (Auggie). They are from the same litter.

On their own, they are great when we take them out. They walk on a leash fairly well, tend to ignore strangers for the most part, and may occasionally bark at a strange dog, but nothing crazy. When they're out together, however, it's a completely different story. They want to bark and lunge at every strange dog they see. They pull constantly. They seem to feed off of each other and it's quite embarrassing.

I am extremely aware of some people's perception of the breed and so attempting to take them both out around other strange dogs together to attempt to correct their behavior seems a little nerve-wracking. I know that the sight of two large GSD's barking and lunging can be a scary thing to people (and rightly so). What gets me is that both of them are good by themselves, so clearly they know how they're SUPPOSED to behave....it's just when they're together that they have these issues. Before adding these two to our household, we had a pair of GSD's, but did not have this problem. Then again, they were not from the same litter (as Auggie and Luna are) and were brought into our family separately.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much!
 

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Well, just don;t. Yes, they feeding off one another --- I can hear it now. From here. And part of the problem is, of course, same age pair. And sibling pair. And taking them out together. I brought up the old saying on another thread recently -- something about doing the same thing and expecting different results.... Ahem, change what you are doing ...
 

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Large dog littermates can be much harder to train when together. I volunteered to work with my son's 2 very large GSD/
Husky mixes when they were young and they were tough due to no training whatsoever, even alone.

I'd only walk your two where there's no distractions of other dogs or people or activities to get their attention.
How I did it initially was, only move forward when both dogs were behaving and not pulling. At the same time I taught them the commands "WALK, WAIT (or halt or stop), WALK, WAIT. Even if it's only 1 or 2 steps then stop til they're
quiet and not pulling. Praise when the do it right. It becomes a game to them. Then walk more steps and Wait.

But in the beginning you can only do this where there's no distractions. Also I didn't let them walk way out in front of me, but kept them beside me. Only after they're doing this consistently would I take them where there's distractions.
It takes lots of practice and patience, but it's doable.

Lots of good obedience training, singly, would help also.
Good Luck, some day you'll have well behaved siblings and won't even remember how rambunctious they were.
 

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I'd recommend doing training sessions with them both together. They need to learn that they can't just goof off and have fun when they are together.

If they know a place command you can work on having one in place, or just laying down and staying while you work with the other one. Go through a couple of the commands and then switch to working with the other pup. Throughout the day incorporate training into your routine. If you're outside playing with them make them lay down and stay and then release them. You can also train them both at the same time. So call them both to and then it would go something like. "Luna sit" Auggie sit. Auggie lay down, Luna release to run off, auggie release to run off. You could also teach them different words for the same command so they easily know who you're talking to. So like Auggie would know platz for lay down while Luna know lay down for lay down.

Right now though it doesn't sound like either of them are great on a leash so step up your game, get their basic obedience better and their leash manners better individually and then start working them together and don't take any of their crap. Don't let them act like brats and they won't. If you have a yard maybe exercise them pretty hard before going on a walk unless you're taking them somewhere they can go run offleash for a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all - I appreciate the insights and suggestions.

For the record, 95% of the time, when I do take the dogs out, I take them individually. Today was the first time in some weeks that I decided to give them a try together. Obviously the result was not what I wanted.

I will take all of your suggestions to heart and give your techniques a try. And thank you for the tip about the Stonnie Dennis videos!
 
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