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Discussion Starter #1
Jupiter is a mild-mannered dog for the most part, but one behavior is starting to cause problems: the chase and nip.

Basically, there are certain dogs at the dog park who like to run and be chased. Sometimes Jupiter will accommodate them. The only problem is, at the end of the chase, he tends to nip their back, hard enough to get a yelp. He has done this probably three times in five months of regular dog park attendance. First, it's not nice, and second, people don't give him any benefit of the doubt because GSD. On two occasions, this has caused the dogs to be permanently afraid of him, and fearful in general. And that causes them to run from him, which is the thing that causes him to chase in the first place.

So what I'd like is the ability to call him back when he starts chasing. I don't have a problem being watchful, but once he's on the chase, sometimes he will ignore me.

Is this a realistic desire? And if so, how would I do this?
 

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I'm sure more experienced trainers will answer, but I would say first of all start on a leash.
I know the point of going to a dog park is to let them run free but it will be much easier to correct him for chasing if he's tethered to you. If he starts to chase, hold him back, get him to look at you (that might take practice), and reward him when he is not focused on trying to chase another dog.

That would be for training him out of the chase, not necessarily for good recall.
But for good recall you want to start away from the park. Inside even. I can't think of any good videos off the top of my head but there are tons of great resources for training a good recall! It's all about getting the dog to trust you and enjoy coming back when you call him.

POSITIVE reinforcement! Don't make the dog come back to you out of fear. He's more likely to want to return to you if he knows he'll get something good out of it. Use a Strong, Specific whistle to signify "come back right now!"
I cant make whistle noises with my mouth so I use a blow whistle with my dogs. It's louder and more effective than just calling their name.
 

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Also what is your level of experience in training?

Because I realize that helps a lot for someone giving advice! That way we wont be too broad or too basic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Gaia, thanks for your reply. I have taken Jupiter to Puppy Obedience, Obedience I, and Obedience II, at all4paws training, which is a reputable place here in Tempe, and I train him every day with his kibble. He is excellent in class and in the kitchen, but unfortunately, I have not done a good job of extending that outside the house, where he only listens to me if there's nothing else going on. He is an independent-minded (stubborn) dog and is very food-oriented.

Lately, I have been making an extra effort to keep drilling recall, and have started interspersing "come" during walks and randomly throughout the day, but the dog park is a whole other level of stimulation. Once in a while, he's broken off pursuit at my call, but other times, he has ignored me.
 

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Ah okay, excellent! It sounds like he has a really good foundation.

I'm going to leave it up to a more experienced trainer to give you specific advice, but I can give a couple tips!
I know it's good to introduce distractions at each level of training (i.e. teach recall in 1 room and then introduce distraction, teach recall in the yard then introduce distraction, teach recall on walk then.. etc, etc)

But like you said, the dog park is a whole other level!
I saw your other post in the aggression forum about him, and I think I would agree it might be time for him to keep away from the dog park. At least while you're trying to train a new behavior. Because any progress that he makes in dealing with distractions is going to be undone if he can get away with disobeying while he's at the park.
 

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What ausland said ^^^^.The chase and nip thing is very possibly a herding behavior.My Samson will try to do this whenever we have a summer gathering/BBQ.He doesn't nip but he will chase and circle any humans or dogs that want to break off from the loosely arranged group.He's sure he knows best how to keep a group organized:)I either keep him next to me or indoors if I'm otherwise occupied.
Your Jupiter may always feel he needs to control those other dogs so practice,practice,practice until it's ingrained that recalling is not optional.
 

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I know a dog that has done this. Once he got there, it's a rough nip then he circles barking. He tore skin on a dog enough for stitches which his owner paid for.

I think the real trick for this would be to catch him before he does it as well as having a solid recall or maybe an emergency down. There is more than likely a subtle queue he's giving off before he gives chase that you don't quite recognize. Practice at home, in your yard, then in increasingly distracting environments before the dog park.

However...for liability reasons, I would try to find an alternate way to entertain and exercise your pup. Since adding a third, I take mine to an open field and play with them - flirt pole, fetch/Frisbee or let them chase each other. I know it might not be realistic for some people, but it's a better alternative than your dog being labelled an aggressive/dangerous dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Unfortunately, Jupiter has already been labeled by the kind denizens of the dog park. It seems to be coming to a head. A lady who I thought was a friend joked that he needed a muzzle--this because he's nipped three dogs in approximately four months. Meanwhile I overhear someone outside the park saying, "it's that black one I'm worried about," apparently speaking loud enough to be heard twenty feet ahead. And one of the guys whose dog got nipped, whose dog is an aggressive-playing terrier, told someone else that he was afraid of Jupiter because he hadn't been neutered yet.

Meanwhile, a husky is circling around like a madman, nipping multiple dogs and rolling them in the dirt, and no one seems to think it out of the ordinary. A weimeraner that attacked Jupiter unprovoked once and has drawn blood on other dogs gets little criticism. A fluffy white mutt that continually attacks a Dane that had heart surgery and barks and snaps at everyone gets a pass. And the Dane himself had chased and nipped the dog before Jupiter did it, but no one holds it accountable.

Yeah, I'm thinking this is a GSD thing!
 

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I definitely understand the frustration of being unpopular at the dog park ?

For a time I lived in an apartment that had a private dog park right outside my front door. It was the best and most convenient way for me to exercise the dogs. But a lot of the other dog owners had smaller breeds or breeds with smaller teeth, and there was only 1 fence, no separate space for smaller dogs! And they didnt seem to understand that the chase and nip is a herding behavior, not an aggressive behavior.

It got to where I would only take them out when no one else was in the park.

Now I live in another city and I go to the DP here every once in a while. There seems to be a close knit community of regulars. But for some reason they think it's okay to bring all of their little tiny dogs into the big dog enclosure! There are two fences! Their little dogs were getting scared of my giant dogs and the owners were acting like it was my dogs' (or somehow my own) fault!! Take them to the small dog fence, they're separated for a reason!! ?

Anyway! You cant expect everyone at a dog park to understand dog behavior and body language (I wish you could, but this just isnt the case!)
Work on his recall and on minimizing the chase behavior and maybe find a few good friends for him and schedule play dates with them! And if he's going to continue going to a dog park he really needs to be neutered. It's just a fight waiting to happen if he isnt. (Another thing that bothered me about the apt I lived at! So many intact dogs and no regard for the rules!)
 

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Unfortunately, Jupiter has already been labeled by the kind denizens of the dog park. It seems to be coming to a head. A lady who I thought was a friend joked that he needed a muzzle--this because he's nipped three dogs in approximately four months. Meanwhile I overhear someone outside the park saying, "it's that black one I'm worried about," apparently speaking loud enough to be heard twenty feet ahead. And one of the guys whose dog got nipped, whose dog is an aggressive-playing terrier, told someone else that he was afraid of Jupiter because he hadn't been neutered yet.

Meanwhile, a husky is circling around like a madman, nipping multiple dogs and rolling them in the dirt, and no one seems to think it out of the ordinary. A weimeraner that attacked Jupiter unprovoked once and has drawn blood on other dogs gets little criticism. A fluffy white mutt that continually attacks a Dane that had heart surgery and barks and snaps at everyone gets a pass. And the Dane himself had chased and nipped the dog before Jupiter did it, but no one holds it accountable.

Yeah, I'm thinking this is a GSD thing!
Doesn't sound like a good place to take your dog to :wink2:
 

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I'm sure more experienced trainers will answer, but I would say first of all start on a leash.
I know the point of going to a dog park is to let them run free but it will be much easier to correct him for chasing if he's tethered to you. If he starts to chase, hold him back, get him to look at you (that might take practice), and reward him when he is not focused on trying to chase another dog.

That would be for training him out of the chase, not necessarily for good recall.
But for good recall you want to start away from the park. Inside even. I can't think of any good videos off the top of my head but there are tons of great resources for training a good recall! It's all about getting the dog to trust you and enjoy coming back when you call him.

POSITIVE reinforcement! Don't make the dog come back to you out of fear. He's more likely to want to return to you if he knows he'll get something good out of it. Use a Strong, Specific whistle to signify "come back right now!"
I cant make whistle noises with my mouth so I use a blow whistle with my dogs. It's louder and more effective than just calling their name.

1) Dog parks are the worst things on the planet and no one should ever subject their poor innocent fluffies to those cesspools of bad behavior and disease.

2) There are three rules to creating a reliable recall. #1 Never call the dog unless you can enforce it. Leash, long line, e-collar are some ways to enforce it. #2 Never call the dog to punish it. Dogs think in the moment, so you're actually punishing the dog for coming to you. #3 Never call the dog away from fun. If you're always calling away from fun, then your dog starts to think that every time it comes to you, the fun stops.

Start in low distraction areas and build from there. Playing a fun game like two ball is also a great way to teach a recall.
 

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I start recall training pretty basic on older pups. I use a long line and I start from just a few feet away, so lots of slack. I wait for the dog to pause or sniff and they I say Dog, Come! and run backwards a few feet. Reward heavy for compliance and then immediately give a release word so the dog can carry on exploring. I repeat this every few minutes and over a course of days increase the distance and decrease the amount I move.
I use the line so that if need be I can encourage the dog to follow through, and if the dog is clearly very distracted I wait. Don't repeat the command and make sure that you don't start allowing fly-bys. The dog needs to come to you, not just fly past you.
So far the only downside I have found is that some of my dogs come in so fast that they use me to stop.
 

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Why the hate on Dog Parks?? GSD's don't have to be unsocial dogs, they can love there people and love other dogs to. We take our puppies to 1 dog park that we love.... good people, good dogs. We stay close to our dogs though, very involved with who they are interacting with and both our dogs have good recall. Our male loves to run around with the other dogs (big or small) but our female tends to hang with the humans, sits with the ladies like she is a housewife :) lol
 

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I start recall training pretty basic on older pups. I use a long line and I start from just a few feet away, so lots of slack. I wait for the dog to pause or sniff and they I say Dog, Come! and run backwards a few feet. Reward heavy for compliance and then immediately give a release word so the dog can carry on exploring. I repeat this every few minutes and over a course of days increase the distance and decrease the amount I move.
I use the line so that if need be I can encourage the dog to follow through, and if the dog is clearly very distracted I wait. Don't repeat the command and make sure that you don't start allowing fly-bys. The dog needs to come to you, not just fly past you.
So far the only downside I have found is that some of my dogs come in so fast that they use me to stop.
Wait to give the command is what I meant, not wait for the dog to respond.
You want the dog conditioned to believe that Come means right here, right now, as fast as furry feet can move. I start when they are mildly distracted and move up.
By running away you feed the desire to chase, which makes voluntary compliance much more likely. Over time you fade your movement as you would fade treats, but the result is that the dog has learned to immediately "chase " to get to you. Other behaviors you need like an automatic sit or return to front are easily added as you progress.
 

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Why the hate on Dog Parks?? GSD's don't have to be unsocial dogs, they can love there people and love other dogs to. We take our puppies to 1 dog park that we love.... good people, good dogs. We stay close to our dogs though, very involved with who they are interacting with and both our dogs have good recall. Our male loves to run around with the other dogs (big or small) but our female tends to hang with the humans, sits with the ladies like she is a housewife :) lol
No hate from me, I just know that my big pointy eared shepherd is going to be blamed for anything that happens where they are involved. People don't pay attention or can't read dog signals and fights happen. My dogs are able to co-exist with other dogs. They can ignore them in public, which is what I want. They can play in a small get group, which is what I want. Blackthorn just had a party a few weeks ago with some of her puppy buyers. I think there were at least 30 dogs there including my three. Not a single fight.


I know my male can be considered too much for some people and their dogs, so I don't put him in that situation. My shiba and female GSD are much more fluid with their energy and don't come off as intense. I took them to the park in the past, but I can fulfil their desire for fun on my own. It's better for my relationship with them. Different strokes for different folks, I say.
 

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Dog parks are a super no thanks for me.

Lyka actually does great at them, until an annoying dog gets up in her face and won’t leave her alone. I’ve shouted to the owner who was on their phone and not paying attention to their dog at all (looked like a chow mix of some sort). Again, I yelled out for him to come get his dog, it was harassing mine. He got up slowly, started walking towards us, and said “it’s no big deal, I don’t know what you’re so worked up about.” At almost that precise moment, Lyka had had ENOUGH and mouthed the dog. Didn’t apply any pressure, not punctures, just slobbering fur on the other dog. The owner starts freaking out that my dog attacked his. Sigh.

Crios does great, but he isn’t neutered, so it can case problems with larger males instigating fights with him.

Now we go to the dog park but stay on the outside of the perimeter or the park and use it to train with distractions on a long lead line. Awesome place for training outside the fence, horrible place to to let the dogs play inside the fence.

If there is no one there, I’ll let them in and let them run around with each other, but as soon as I see someone coming, on the short leash they go, and out the gate we go.

It’s a liability thing, and we have enough to handle with these breeds without adding to the panic when our GSD’s finally have enough of being pestered and snap or bite another dog. Just my 2 cents.

As for recall, I use a dog whistle. I can’t project my voice enough over a long distance, and they come straight back as soon as they hear that whistle going off. Even if they are mid chase of a rabbit, bird, or squirrel.

If it’s just at home, I say “far enough” and they come right back to me. I wish I could tell you how I did it, but I don’t have any special tricks. It was literally just repetition, and high value treats when they came.

Before the dog whistle, they didn’t have a recall at all if they were far from me, so they always had a long lead. My neighbor (elderly vet with a Shilo Shep, so gorgeous I wanted him all for myself) gave me his whistle when I took over walking his dog for him. He had him for PTSD, but it was an apartment complex, and he was too much dog for my neighbor to walk. He would pull too hard and drag my neighbor down. Inside, he was a perfect fit, outside, he was just too big and too strong. So his shilo was trained to recall on the whistle, because my neighbor had a very slow shuffle and a hard time holding the leash. When Riley took off on him, the only thing that would bring him back was that whistle.
 

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People don't pay attention or can't read dog signals and fights happen.
^This, so much.
One of my dogs has occasional issues with other males. He's neutered but he presumably spent 2 years as a street dog so he's still got that mindset. He looks at another dog, starts posturing dominance, if they take it as a threat, the two fight. If they dont get scared or if they want to challenge him through play instead of teeth, theres no fight.

But my dog will get labeled as aggressive, even tho what really happened could be more likened to.. a gentlemens' agreement to a showdown. You cant really untrain dominance.

Granted, of course, I'm responsible for not letting it turn into a fight. But I've experienced so many people like "aww, they're saying hi :)" and I'm like "do you not see their ears, their tails, their faces??"

Safe to say I stay away from dog parks these days, we built a fence in our backyard so now they dont need it.
 
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