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So my german shepherd girl just turned 3 yesterday and had an appifiane of sorts. When she was just a one year old pup my life turned upside down and the situation I was put in forced me to make her an outside dog. Seeing as within the next year and a half I will be moving on from my current situation and will be getting my own house in which to keep her inside like she belongs to be. But that was besides the point. The point I'm trying to make is within the last two years my bond with my dog has almost been completely diminished and I don't know what to do! I've tried and failed to regain some of that bond within the last couple of days but she is completely disinterested. She isn't leash trained, has no basic obedience and barks constantly! I'm so lost and it kills me that my dog doesn't seem to want anything to do with me. I refuse to give her up because once I commit to something, especially an animal, I'm in it to the end. I was just hoping someone can give me some advice to help me with anything and maybe tell me what I'm doing wrong!?!?
 

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Is she is a chained up dog? If so, get her off the chain and work with her.

Why aren't you doing things with her, regardless of her not being an inside dog?
She barks out of boredom, frustration. How can she have any obedience if she is out and about to her own devices? Truthfully, committing yourself to your dog, may not be in her best interest if it is living life in a yard with no purpose. She deserves more than that.
Classes, and activities can be done with an outdoor dog, living outside isn't an excuse to not work with her.
 

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No she is in a kennel and I've tried to work her but I just don't know where to begin. She listens to me if I have food but that's about it. Everything I've read says to work on new commands in distraction free zones but I'm not able to do that since she's outside. My social situation keeps me from doing most of the things I want to do with her like agility and schuhzund. Trust me my dog is my life and I try to do things in her best interest but I just don't know where to begin.
 

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find a trainer to help you...add your general location for suggestions if you can't find one on your own(Pet store type training is not what I'd recommend though)
Sometimes people who train in agility or schutzhund will also be 'professional' trainers who may be willing to do some private lessons with you if classes aren't doable.
Where there's a will, there's a way!
 

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So my german shepherd girl just turned 3 yesterday and had an appifiane of sorts.
Epiphany?
3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
If so, I'm not sure that's the word you're looking for. :)
 

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Maybe, if your will to explain in more detail; "your social situation" the "reasons the dog was kenneled/caged during the duration of thing's" someone here can guide you through..

So, many unanswered questions :

We need pictures and details...
 

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Forget about her age or what's happened in her past and your situation and don't think about what you think she *should* be able to do....work on the dog you have in front of you right now. Make small goals so that you can see progress, take baby steps. You cannot expect a dog that's been living outside to suddenly be doing obedience and heeling on a leash. She's going to need the treats for a while and if that's the reward she's working for it will need to be slowly faded away. But more importantly you need to establish a relationship so she WANTS to work with you, treats or not, and that just takes a lot of time.

I would sign up for a basic obedience class. If you're getting frustrated, you'll benefit from the help of a trainer who can observe and help you make some realistic goals, get the ball rolling as far as progress.

There's no reason she can't enjoy your company and learn obedience even living in a kennel, provided she's getting enough interaction, physical exercise, and mental stimulation.
 

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If she is unruly on a leash then buy a prong collar and fit it correctly.



Yes, she should learn how to properly walk on a leash without having to use a prong collar but since you can't really walk her right now with how she behaves then I would get a prong collar and start there. Walking her will help form a bond as well as working on basic obedience using food since she is food motivated. Get her some toys and play with her in the yard.
 

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What a horror story. I feel really bad for your dog. I don't know you or the details to your situation due to the vague details you provided. But just reading your story and thinking about you dog I am almost heart broken. Hopefully you can get past this or find a great companion for your dog to go live with.
 

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keep trying and NEVER give up. spend as much time as you can with her. its NEVER too late to start training. forgive yourself and move forward.ASAP.
 

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I too am curious why you haven't interacted with her more when she was outside. Living in a kennel outside isn't a death sentence and you could have still given her training and guidance. I have no clue the situation due to vague details, so sorry if that is offensive.

I'd definitely get you both to a good trainer and start with the basics. You need to build your bond and trust with eachother again. It can be done, you just have to be consistent.

How do you currently interact with her?
 

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Your post is a bit vague, so I could be making assumptions, and if that is the case, I apologize.

I'm not sure what you mean by your 'social situation'? If you mean you don't have time because you have engagements with your friends, you should maybe consider giving up some nights out in favour of working with your dog.

This is a breed that bonds really deeply with their people, they are highly intelligent and high energy and NEED interaction with their people. So if she's acting aloof toward you, I can only guess that you spend very little, to no time with her.

This isn't fair to the dog. You need to find a way to make time for her, or get her into a home where they do take the time.

If her only interest in you is food/treats, then use that for training. That's what most of us do and there's nothing wrong with that. Or find a toy she likes and get her working for that. :)

There's no reason you can't turn this ship around, but you need to get into a new routine and plug in with your dog. Being an outside dog does not mean you abandon training and working with them.

Try to find a trainer to come work with you, maybe see if you can find a sport you guys can participate in. I never thought I'd end up doing dog sports, but I got into it after getting my GSD and I'm having a blast and so is my dog.

So having said that - Don't get frustrated, get determined.

There's no reason at all that this situation can't get better, it is just going to take some work. Things will probably start to improve dramatically in a very short period of time, if you really buckle down and get to work. These dogs love to work as a team, once she realizes you guys are having fun together, I'm sure everything will change.

Best of luck and I hope you'll keep us posted on your progress!
 

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There is hope -- my girl was abused, neglected, and 4+ years old when I adopted her, and she bonded to me very deeply and powerfully. Just takes time. Obedience training, playing (catch, fetch, tug, etc) and nosework (starting with games, like "which hand?") are excellent, safe ways to bond. As far as walking on a leash - I'd try to walk on a leash in a safe, enclosed, secure yard first. Since she is not bonded to you strongly and doesn't have obedience training (recall), one of the worst things that could happen would be her tearing the leash from your hand or popping out of her collar. ALWAYS use a backup collar on this dog until she is 100% on recall -- use 2 separate collars or a collar and a harness and attach them both to your leash with a coupler (found in any pet store for $9 to $12; it's a tool that allows a dog-walker to walk 2 dogs at once).

Make sure every time she sees you, it's a happy event. Everytime she looks at you, give her a treat and/or lots of praise, to start with. She has to start associating you with happy times :)
 

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If she is unruly on a leash then buy a prong collar and fit it correctly.



Yes, she should learn how to properly walk on a leash without having to use a prong collar but since you can't really walk her right now with how she behaves then I would get a prong collar and start there. Walking her will help form a bond as well as working on basic obedience using food since she is food motivated. Get her some toys and play with her in the yard.
great advice and picture.
 

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What a horror story. I feel really bad for your dog. I don't know you or the details to your situation due to the vague details you provided. But just reading your story and thinking about you dog I am almost heart broken. Hopefully you can get past this or find a great companion for your dog to go live with.
It made me sad reading it too. No offense to the OP but if you haven't shown any interest in her, why would you expect her to be interested in you just because you think she should? Give her some love and attention and she will be interested because she wants that love and attention. Good luck :)
 
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