German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello All, first time poster, long time GSD lover, here looking for any advice you could give me to help better manage my high strung 11 month old boy, haha.

I have two German Shepherds, one that just turned 2 (Hartwin) and another that is about to be 11 months old (Max). Both are males and neutered. Max, who is definitely the Alpha male, is going through some of his crazy teen years, decides that he is smarter then me and doesn't want to listen at times. He has been a handful despite my exercising him and attempting to establish some basic training. My biggest issues I want to tackle is his aggressiveness towards other dogs, barking, his jumping up on people, and his recall and would absolutely love to get to a point where I can walk him off lease on the country trails and be comfortable that he will obey my commands.

When we are hanging out in my back yard, and the next door neighbors dogs come over to the fence and starts barking, Max sprints over to the fence as if he is ready to fight and starts barking and nipping at the fence. During this time, I cannot from a distance get Max to listen to me and stop the barking, I have to go over to the fence a grab him away. This same situation occurs when Hartwin, Max, and I are walking in the neighborhood and pass by another dog, Max gets extremely worked up and I can't seem to calm him down. However, walking is hit and miss, and at times he can walk by a dog just fine and nothing happens.

Another point that may be of value, if I am walking Max by himself and we encounter other dogs things are usually fine, no problems. I took Max to the Vet by himself and many dogs were around and he was as calm as can be. At the same time, when I walk Hartwin by himself or take him to Pet Smart to get some toys, he is extremly obedient. Now, when they are together, walking or in the back of my truck driving, and we encounter other dogs, they both get hyped up, as if they are competing against each other's energy and they are completely different dogs. But Max is usually the one who initiates the barking and the hype over Hartwin.

All in all, I would like to address these issues with Max and possibly Hartwin at some point too. I am definitely thinking of getting private lessons. My question for all the GSD lovers around here, is this normal adolescence of our beloved breed? What books, sites, etc can give me a better understanding of my dog's behavior, including an understanding of my dog's body language. What are some safe management techniques and other tools to safely change my dog's behavior in the situations that trigger the problem behavior and what training techinques can I use to teach my dog alternate behaviors through positive counter-conditioning methods. I am all about positive reinforcement methods, I appreciate any insight, thank you...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,460 Posts
Welcome to the site and keep on posting! It's a huge help to us though if you can go up to your 'My Stuff' then 'My Profile' and post your GENERAL location.

The fact your pups are so close in age is adding to your situation. So you are not crazy, it is much harder. Even though there is a bit of a split in their age, truth is behaviorally it's very similiar to if you had gotten littermates. Here's some great info that may sound familiar:

http://www.leerburg.com/2dogs.htm

http://www.gsdhelpline.com/2pups.htm

Are you taking both dogs to obedience class right now, or just one? What is your trainer recommending? And if nothing in their background/experience is helping then I'd go somewhere else for help for awhile. All trainers are not the same!

There are some basic leadership (not so much obedience) skills we an all gain that a dog understands. I found The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell to be a huge help (and an easy read). As well as most of the articles by Suzanne Clothier found here:

http://www.flyingdogpress.com/articles.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for taking the time to respond. That is some great information that you provided to me. It really helps me begin to understand what makes my dogs tick, the way he thinks, and reacts…especially during these times. I am finding through my learning experience and research that most the battle is figuring out how your dog(s) think, and then from there adjusting to meet those needs. They always say that Power is in knowledge, and I am learning that first hand. Training and understanding your dog is definitely an art form and a trial of patience, especially when you have two that are so close to age and one that is going through his teens and is obviously smarter than me, so his attitude tells me.

I have not yet begun formal training with either of my boys. I have personally trained Max and Hartwin myself with the basics, so they are solid, at least when I have treats in my hand. I would obviously love to get a lot further in obedience, but I feel that I have set a decent basis from which to work from. I have set up a private lesson this week with Max which will begin his formal obedience training. I have many questions to ask the trainer and I am really looking forward to the edification. I did some extensive research on trainers in the area and have found that this specific trainer has long standing success with clients of all shape, size, and demeanor. But with all that aside, my number one goal is to learn and see progress, so I will continue to be objective during my sessions and ensure that Max and I are getting the most out of the time spent.

If anyone else has similar stories please share. I am here to learn about our beloved GSDs, I am all ears. Thank you…
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top