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Hard to train after 3yrs?

1703 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  EJQ
My black GSD just turned 3yrs old a little over a week ago. Back when he was a pup, a few months old, I put him in puppy kindergarten...but the "teacher" put him in the wrong classes with older dogs, so he didn't really learn all that much, as he was mostly sectioned off from others. However, he did learn a few of the basics (sit, come here, no)...he just picks and chooses when to listen and when not to. I do admit, it was mostly, if not all my fault, because I should have followed through with strict training after kindergarten. That's where I went wrong and it was no ones fault but my own.

Now, with him being 3yrs old, and having 3 years of pretty lax discipline and not really treating me as the alpha...would it be hard for me to train him as he should of been trained when he was a pup? I'd do anything and everything in my power to have this happen. I just don't want to wait any longer and have it be too late. He's a very friendly dog, but at the same time, very intimidating...he has problems with jumping on strangers/guests, barking, our household cat, etc etc.

Considering he sees me more as a buddy/friend rather than alpha/master, I'm sure it'll be that much more difficult to get him to listen in order to properly train him. That being said, is it still possible for ME to train him properly, or is it already too late and should be left to a professional? Are there any books/suggestions someone may have to help me through with this if its not too late for me ME to train him?

Any help/suggestions would greatly be appreciated. Thanks!
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It is not too late at all. Find a positive trainer in your area and go back to school. The trainer will also help you become a better leader while you train your dog.

Luckily, at 3 your dog should be past all the puppy stages and will probobly work very well with you. Training is a great way to bond.
It's never too late to train. In fact, I train with my dogs everyday. I have to, otherwise they lose those good manners I taught them.
Oh my gosh, NO! NOT too late! My rescue didn't even know so much as "sit" when I got her at one year old. Was a strong, independent and challenging dog who did not understand the concept that someone other than her is in charge. She started her first obedience classes 6 months later. Started Schutzhund training when she was two years old. Is doing great and thrives on the regular work, our relationship has progressed from being confrontational to being smooth and effortless and seamless!

All with regular fun training and a big supply of weiners! Go into the training with the attitude that you are going to have fun with your dog, and it will ge great!
ahh, thanks everyone for all the insight. I will start actively looking for a trainer in my area and in the meantime, I will begin doing the basics with him. He's a great looking dog, very playful and energetic. I just wish I had stuck to the training all along. Nevertheless, I now know its not too late and will start right away!

I'd have to say one of the worst traits he has is his aggression towards moving vehicles. I'll be walking him around the neighborhood, and as soon as a car comes, he goes into attack/bezerk mode...barking very aggressively and trying to go after the car. He didn't have this aggression when he was a pup, not sure how or why he picked it up. I'm sure a trainer will help with this, but anyone know how to minimize it? I know this belongs in the aggression forum, but figured I'd just ask here. I'm going to start bringing treats with me while we walk and give a stern "no" when I notice the car, and give him treats as the car passes...not sure if this is going to work with him, but its worth a try.

By the way, heres a couple pics of the big fella...

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Good looking dog!

No, not too late at all.

Just start over from lesson 1 and be consistent.

Good luck
What a BEAUTIFUL FELLOW! Nope, not too late to start training.
It is nearly impossible to tell over the internet but barking at a car is most likely not "aggression" but more likely fear based. As you work with him on the basics you will learn to reward him for doing what you ask and, over time he will become less focused on distrations such as cars.

The first step is making sure the basics are WELL understood. Once he knows and fully grasps something such as the sit command you can give him that command BEFORE he starts barking at a passing car and reward him for sitting. Timing and a positive attitude are the most important things to have when training a dog.

some NILIF will help with him following your leadership.

look into clicker training and desensitizing him to his triggers. desensitizing is a slow process but effective for many.

a trainer would help you alot with everything i suggested.

keep us posted!
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Gorgeous gorgeous guy you have.

Never too late for training. I just started my nearly 7 y/o female in Rally O. I had my oldest son when she was barely 2 so she's been out of training a looooong time. LOL, she's doing 'good in school' except she thinks she's too cool to platz out of motion.
What a great looking guy!

It is never too late to start a training program. I would suggest, as Skye's Mom did, that you look for a positive reinforcement trainer in your area.

If you will PM me I can suggest a trainer that is located in your general area.
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