German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Over the past two weeks my 11 month old GSD male Rafi has become a woos! I think it's because my wife has become extremely affectionate with him, snuggling him, kissing him. Prior to that he was friendly but remaind aloof, following commands and was progressing in his bite training. He even doesn't seem to care to try hard to heel, ignores me. Could the "over-loving" as I see it be doing this?
He does flirt rag and jute biting at home, but at training he's been knicknamed "Sleepy Hollow" because he gets the sleeve and just lays down. Today even hid behind me part of the time.OUCH!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Zeus and I will rough play, and he has an awesome drive. I also do spend time where I do nothing but hug and kiss and pet him. He's still a pup. There's no such thing as over loving. =)
 

·
Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Joined
·
13,571 Posts
Depends on the dog. A truly high drive dog can spend all day playing and cuddling and still be willing to work at the drop of a hat. Many dogs with drive are not truly high drive, and these dogs can have their work performance and attitude negatively affected by lots of free play and attention. If he's getting what he views as more quality time with the wife, and her attention is free without expectations, whereas his time with you is more limited and also full of demands on his performance in order to earn reward, than it's natural for some dogs to lose interest in interacting with you, the trainer.

Also, proper training involves making the training itself by far the most fun and exciting thing that could happen. Far more fun than anything he gets outside of training. Unless the reward you offer him is so far superior to what he can get from the wife or anywhere else for free, enough to make him willing to work for it, than why should he be gung ho about training? If he can get it for free all day, every day, than why should he work for it?

At 11 months old though, anything is possible. It's an awkward stage when the dog is tilting on the edge between puppyhood and adulthood, raging full of hormones, and basically at that confusing teenage stage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Actually I spend all day every day with him as I'm retired, and take him for training at an indoor facility twice weekly. My wife sees him in the evening and on weekends.
It's been suggested that I crate him longer during the day when he's with me and take him out only for eating, training, and going to pee and poop. I live in Michigan, too, but have limited space outside ( small yard ) and there is a no dog in park law where I live even on a leash or long lead. We do excercises in the house and backyard.
There is another pitbull/X female 3 yrs old that is very docile and needy. They do roughouse in the yard, and he's treated her as his prey from the get-go. Does this perhaps interfrere?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,637 Posts
Quote:He does flirt rag and jute biting at home, but at training he's been knicknamed "Sleepy Hollow" because he gets the sleeve and just lays down. Today even hid behind me part of the time.OUCH!
Maybe putting him up to mature a bit will help? Could be a phase he's going through or that he truly doesn't have enough drive/desire for the work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,138 Posts
Just a thought but have you had your dogs hips X-rayed yet and I think he is close enough that you could get an idea on how the elbows are. Maybe there is something physical that is hampering his drives. Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hips and elbows are fine-Only physical thing might be car sickness. He's vomited on the way to his training site while in the car, although he's riding crated. He's been quite carsick when he was younger and seemed to be going out of that phase and infact his earlier trips to the training were his better ones but he got carsick then,too. We don't start right away when we get there, and he doesn't get fed the whole day before our trip in the car which takes 45 minutes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,138 Posts
Try some ginger snaps or crystallized ginger with as much sugar rubbed off as you can. Ginger is great for calming tummies.

Is he looking out the windows. One of my dogs get sick if she looks out the side windows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,649 Posts
Hi--my new guy is called Rafi too!

Most dogs I know who get carsick don't feel well for quite a while after the trip. My first dog was like that and I got her through it by doing very short trips around the neighborhood and then gradually lengthening them. I can't imagine he has much energy if he hasn't eaten and has been feeling sick. That could be the answer to his lack of drive--he's just not feeling well!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Is Rafi your dog? I did acclimate him with short rides, I just don't know why he's become the way he is but I am trying to nip it in the bud through whatever means it takes.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
This may get a bit of a negative reaction, but I have decided that all German Shepherd companion dogs are babies. They become so affectionate toward family and close friends their reaction toward those folks is overly friendly.

However, don't underestimate the protective ability of a German Shepherd Dog, like I did.

I cannmot tell why you have Rafi so if was purchased to be an attack/protection dog my answer would be different.

When my dog was in protection training he would not even grab the sleeve, just layed down and watched the other dogs. But will he protect me and my family, you bet.

I guess my question is why do you have a GSD. For attack or perhaps SCH training, or as a companion pet. There is a hugh difference.

I will add a few other notes. If anyone ever tries to hurt your wife you will be shocked at how aggressive Rafi will be.

If you are into Attack/Protection training 11 months is to young.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,742 Posts
I have to disagree with you, it's never too young to start training a pup for protection, developing his instincts and self-confidence. That without count bond with their handlers and basement obedience.

The OP is talking specifically of prey work, that's the way to go. but the final purpose of the training is indeed a good question.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I am training Rafi because of several reasons. First why we got him: I wanted a "pure" GSD as I had had several GSD/X's over the past 30 years, they were wonderful and when my last died I thought I'd try to raise and train a high drive full GSD. I learned after my last that we enjoyed training so very much but he had virtually no prey drive, just was a great companion and did well in obedience.
Rafi is first and formost a family member but he is very able coming from award winning German working lines. He's quite different than any other dog I've owned or known, but he's like a promising student or athelete and needs direction.
I don't want an "attack" dog per se, and have no doubts that he'd be protective of his family to the best of his ability. Schutzhund training provides both he and I with a special way to bond and excell together. I learned from my last dog how much he(we) enjoyed going to obedience-he couldn't have cared less for bite training. However as I understand, bite training is key to the rest of schutzhund and it's the whole philosophy I'm interested in, the journey as much as the destination.
There have been all kinds of opinions regarding bite training age for starting. It's a matter of degree. I don't want a mailman biter, child biter, stranger biter. I want a the equivalent of a Marine Corps boot camp graduate with the tools for bravery, restraint, reverence. He's still my pal. He can be my wife's "baby" if she wishes, just that he needs to realize and so does she the NILIF doctrine.
I've given up my diverse hobbies to a great degree to concentrate on Rafi's training. He was doing well and something happened and I am hoping to find out what it was.
Finally, I don't view my dog as a loaded gun. He's one of us! Not human but one of us. But he can be babied, loved , hugged, but I don't want him to hide behind me or my family when the s*%#t hits the fan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,742 Posts
Hey Rafi! your goals are a lot like mine
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
Tp each our own. I could disagree a bit more, because most of what you expect will come naturally from the dog unless he is extremely shy.

As for training, I end to enjoy Timber more when he swims with the labs, goes fishing, or does search and rescue. And that is why I asked what you wanted from your GSD.

Our opinions may differ a bit but good luck and thanks for the response.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,941 Posts
You say that your pup used to have good prey-drive for the protection bite-training and now is loosing it? The only thing I could think of is that something may have happened on the field or at training that scared or stressed him so he is shutting down?

I'm very limited in experience in this manner, but I think if it was my dog who went from loving bite-work to hiding behind me, I would think that she was pushed too hard, stressed beyond what she could handle. I would give her a nice long break from bitework, then re-introduce her to it as if she was just starting out, with a lot of tug prey-work, and build her prey drive up again, slowly and very carefully, erring on the side of caution.

And I agree that on the days that you will be training, keep her crated so that she will have a lot of energy to bring into it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,637 Posts
Quote:What does it mean "putting him up to mature a bit?"
Not doing any bitework with him for a month or two or three.. Giving the dog time to grow up a bit/mature more..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
Rafiboy,

Moving forward, post any questions about drive building and SchH development in the Schutzhund section. You'll get responses from people that have raised many dogs for this type of training instead of people saying the dog will "just be naturally protective".

Now, some suggestions...

1. He is young, and in an awkward phase of his development. Go back to the beginning and focus on drive building. Lots of tug without pausing for focus (if you are doing focus work) and working to really build his drive.

2. Amp up his crate time a bit, especially the day or two prior to going to club. You want his energy and willingness to work as high as you can get it. Your wife will have to sacrifice a bit for a while. Tell her that she will get to baby him (probably) after he has a clear understanding of what is expected of him on the field and he is willing to deliver it.

3. Be very very careful with the NILIF and how he is being handled in the house. NILIF is wonderful for dominant pets, and works just fine for strong working dogs but if your pup is not the highest in drive and not a very hard or dominant personality he could get a bit inhibited. That does not mean that he will not need it later as he's older, but raising a SchH puppy that will also be a family companion is all about balance and can be a very delicate endeavor.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top