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My younger dog has no concept of personal space. Zero. He is driving me nuts. Please remember most of my rambling is a bit tongue in cheek...

It didn't help he grew up with stilts for legs, as he towers above my other GSD. He is almost 30" tall now, almost 2yo. I'm not sure if he has something else mixed in (pound puppy) or if this is a nasty side effect of the shelter neutering him at 8 weeks...but my problem has continued to be his behavior. Everything is just such a struggle with him, but he is now bigger than ever. He has come to realize this very much this past month or so.

1. He jumps up on me now and I cannot get him to stop. I ignore him, he just SLAMS into me. I correct him verbally and he cowers. I ask him to sit (with food, even) and he just blows me off or climbs on me as he goes for the food. I am beyond irritated. I'm pregnant, and he hit me right in the abdomen the other day with his big gangly stilt legs. He tried it again the next day and I grabbed him (he is as tall as me when he jumps up) to keep him off of me, just to protect myself. I told him "No", set him down...and he avoided me the rest of the day as if I beat him. He jumps on me like this when I am just walking around the house or yard...just bulldozes right into me. He is like having a bratty young horse!!!!! I'm about to carry a stick around to protect myself. I hug walls but of course, he picks the inch of space between me and the wall instead of the open space on the other side. It feels very disrespectful.

2. Every doorway is like a starting gate at a racetrack. It would be funny if he didn't knock people over. It is RIDICULOUS. I can't open the back door to my house without him running out like the house is on fire. I have tried a few things...
First, distracting him with food to encourage a sit. Didn't work at all. So his reward for himself is going outside, I presume.
Second, physically blocking the doorway. Not doing that again or I will end up in the hospital. He is a huge dog now and he will just bulldoze me. He does it to everyone. He has hurt me every time I tried this.
Third, opening the door slowly. Nope, he will just slam into the door as it opens and knock it off the hinges.
My fourth idea is correcting him on lead, as if he is actually a bratty horse. He sure acts like one. But correcting him (with a prong) usually just makes him upset and freaks him out. He will probably only get more frantic, same as every other instance I have corrected him with one. A head halti makes him panic and snap his head around btw. Also, a no pull harness makes him jump straight into the air, as he learned this still allows him to pull. Ask me how much fun he is to walk/run with on leash lol.
Should I try blocking him with something, as can be done with horses?

3. Just sitting around, finally safe from the horse in my house? Nope. He'll come stick his big stupid face in my face/hair/crotch/whatever I'm holding. He gets extremely offended when I tell him to go away. If I ignore him, he starts climbing on me.

Corrections send him into a panic. Even a stern NO, will get him slinking around my house and side eying me. I know he can sense how upset I am with him, and that I sound angrier than normal. I am angrier than normal. My patience has just about worn away, coupled with fear of him hurting me/my baby. I do not even want to think about him in the same house as my baby right now.


Please help. He has the threshold and attention span of a goldfish. We play and train and I try to keep his mind occupied, but it is never enough. Exercise helps, but again...I can't have him body slamming me and bulldozing me just whenever. I have never been so utterly sick of interacting with or looking at a dog in my own house :(
 

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You need a trainer! Any dog, pound puppy, rescue, or well bred, needs to be taught manners! Since he's now 2 yrs old, it's unlikely that you will be able to gain control without professional help. Find a good trainer BEFORE you get injured!
 

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You need a trainer! Any dog, pound puppy, rescue, or well bred, needs to be taught manners! Since he's now 2 yrs old, it's unlikely that you will be able to gain control without professional help. Find a good trainer BEFORE you get injured!
And before the baby comes and gets hurt!
 

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Yes. Trainer.

But in the meantime, I would put a prong collar on him, hand a 10' leash to another adult, and when he jumps up on you or anyone else, give him a correction he will remember. Don't say a word. Don't make it personal. Just correct him.

Correcting him with No or yelling at him makes it personal. So he gets upset when you correct him with a prong. It's better than you and the baby getting hurt. You have to be consistent with it.

if you can't do that, then find him a new home before the baby comes.
 

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Along with some of the other recommendations above, he NEEDS a SOLID "Wait" command.

This isn't a formal obedience "Stay", it's a command that means he needs to hold himself together mentally, and hold position physically, and wait for a release word before he can move forward.

"Wait" at every single door. To go outside for bathroom breaks, before you open his crate door, before you let him back inside the house, before you go from the garage to the house, etc. Before he walks through any gate. Every single entry or exit is an opportunity to train and reinforce this. With consistency you will reach the point where he pauses at doors, thresholds and gates and looks to you for the "Okay". This puts an end to door dashing, but you have to be consistent.
 

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He needs basic obedience. He can’t jump on you if he’s sitting and staying. I agree, you need a trainer now. It’s past bad behavior, he doesn’t respect you and he hasn’t learned the most basic training. Not only does early speutering make their legs spindly, he didn’t have the advantage of hormones during his adolescence years. Hormones help calm and stabilize a dog. If you need a trainer recommendation ask. You can fix it.
 

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My younger dog has no concept of personal space. Zero. He is driving me nuts. Please remember most of my rambling is a bit tongue in cheek...

It didn't help he grew up with stilts for legs, as he towers above my other GSD. He is almost 30" tall now, almost 2yo. I'm not sure if he has something else mixed in (pound puppy) or if this is a nasty side effect of the shelter neutering him at 8 weeks...but my problem has continued to be his behavior. Everything is just such a struggle with him, but he is now bigger than ever. He has come to realize this very much this past month or so.

1. He jumps up on me now and I cannot get him to stop. I ignore him, he just SLAMS into me. I correct him verbally and he cowers. I ask him to sit (with food, even) and he just blows me off or climbs on me as he goes for the food. I am beyond irritated. I'm pregnant, and he hit me right in the abdomen the other day with his big gangly stilt legs. He tried it again the next day and I grabbed him (he is as tall as me when he jumps up) to keep him off of me, just to protect myself. I told him "No", set him down...and he avoided me the rest of the day as if I beat him. He jumps on me like this when I am just walking around the house or yard...just bulldozes right into me. He is like having a bratty young horse!!!!! I'm about to carry a stick around to protect myself. I hug walls but of course, he picks the inch of space between me and the wall instead of the open space on the other side. It feels very disrespectful.

2. Every doorway is like a starting gate at a racetrack. It would be funny if he didn't knock people over. It is RIDICULOUS. I can't open the back door to my house without him running out like the house is on fire. I have tried a few things...
First, distracting him with food to encourage a sit. Didn't work at all. So his reward for himself is going outside, I presume.
Second, physically blocking the doorway. Not doing that again or I will end up in the hospital. He is a huge dog now and he will just bulldoze me. He does it to everyone. He has hurt me every time I tried this.
Third, opening the door slowly. Nope, he will just slam into the door as it opens and knock it off the hinges.
My fourth idea is correcting him on lead, as if he is actually a bratty horse. He sure acts like one. But correcting him (with a prong) usually just makes him upset and freaks him out. He will probably only get more frantic, same as every other instance I have corrected him with one. A head halti makes him panic and snap his head around btw. Also, a no pull harness makes him jump straight into the air, as he learned this still allows him to pull. Ask me how much fun he is to walk/run with on leash lol.
Should I try blocking him with something, as can be done with horses?

3. Just sitting around, finally safe from the horse in my house? Nope. He'll come stick his big stupid face in my face/hair/crotch/whatever I'm holding. He gets extremely offended when I tell him to go away. If I ignore him, he starts climbing on me.

Corrections send him into a panic. Even a stern NO, will get him slinking around my house and side eying me. I know he can sense how upset I am with him, and that I sound angrier than normal. I am angrier than normal. My patience has just about worn away, coupled with fear of him hurting me/my baby. I do not even want to think about him in the same house as my baby right now.


Please help. He has the threshold and attention span of a goldfish. We play and train and I try to keep his mind occupied, but it is never enough. Exercise helps, but again...I can't have him body slamming me and bulldozing me just whenever. I have never been so utterly sick of interacting with or looking at a dog in my own house :(
I teach my dogs that you push me and I push you. You step on my feet I step on yours. I don't let it devolve into a shoving match but they pretty quickly learn to mind my space. When they jump at me I step into them, then carry on with what I am doing. Shadow likes to steal my spot on the couch, and she was pretty resistant to moving, so I sat on her a couple of times(Not really but enough). Now when I say Move she moves.
Koehlers method for teaching leash manners is still my favorite for inconsiderate dogs, and he also has a door rushing fix that I like for really rude dogs. The nice thing about his method is that you don't correct, the correction is simply a consequence of the dogs own actions.
But basically I always figured a solid sit will cover a multitude of evils, plus its the easiest of all commands to train.
 

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I bet you live with a husband/bf, your dog respect him and doesn't jump at him?

Because it seems that you are your dogs equal. Not his alpha/leader. Alpha/leader is your husband/bf? Right?

If I'm right, than is pointless addressing every single issue (jump, door etc.). Only solution is teaching him, that you are not his equal.

And then all bad behavior will go all at once.
 

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Too late now, but all of this stuff should have been addressed from the very beginning. Now that he's fully grown and has been allowed to practice bad behavior for awhile (how long, exactly?), it's going to be more difficult to fix, although not impossible. I do agree that some guidance from an experienced trainer would be beneficial. You're going to need to implement serious management techniques in order to prevent him from continuing to do this, while you train a more acceptable way of behaving.

Personally, I would have this dog on a drag line so he can't just run around jumping on everyone. You can step on the leash to prevent him from moving. I body blocked my dogs from dashing through doors, but the first step was to slam the door in their faces if they tried to rush through without being released. They also all had lots of training on the "wait" command and default sits/downs in order to make good things happen, as well as tons of work reinforcing eye contact, so that if I walked up to a closed door and just stood there they would automatically sit and look at me. If I put my hand on the doorknob and they broke the sit, I pulled my hand away and waited for them to sit again. If I started to open the door and they got up and tried to go through it, I closed it immediately, and waited for them to sit again. I did this over and over again at several different doorways. At the front door, they were on leash, for safety. The door to the garage is where they get fed and access the dog run for pottying. They would get excited at mealtimes, and occasionally I'd let one of them go through the door without being released when we were going out there for dinner. And I'd stay inside and let the door close so the dog was out there by him/herself for a few seconds. No food is happening if I'm not out there! And then I'd calmly open the door and let the dog back in and we'd try again. They figured out very quickly that they had to wait until released or they were not going to be fed.

I also taught them to sit and wait to be released to eat as I put their food bowls on the floor by picking it backup if they broke and tried to get it before I said they could. Again, do what I want or you don't get fed. I made a sit or down with eye contact a requirement for pretty much anything I could think of that my dogs valued. You want something? You do something for me first. All of this stuff becomes part of the routine, basic house manners, which I no longer even need to cue. They know the drill because we've been doing it since they were puppies. It's their responsibility to understand what I expect from them, and to do it without needing to constantly nag them.
 

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My approach is a lot like Debbie's.

I hate door dashing, and I think bad manners there (especially bashing into your knees) leak over into other problems with personal space.

I have zero issues slamming the door abruptly in front of a dog's face. No dog goes out the door or through a gate when it's frantic and acting like an idiot.

If you are very consistent, you will see vast improvement in a few days. We have family and friend's dogs stay with us often, and in the span of a weekend they generally will be automatically pausing (sitting, downing, or just hanging back and making eye contact) by the door. They learn quickly.

Body language is also very important. When you verbally tell the dog one thing but your body screams the opposite, dogs tend to follow our gestures. This is something a trainer or experienced dog handler can help you identify. Subtle things like leaning into the dog, hands on your knees, dropping your shoulder(s), speaking in rapid/high tones, all of that speeds a dog up and sucks it in to you.

Squaring your shoulders to the dog, not bending over, not going out of your way to go around the dog (the dog should yield to you), are many examples. It's hard to explain in writing, but once you see and understand it, it will make a world of difference. Your dog is already reading and interpreting your body language.

I wouldn't allow this dog on the furniture. No couch, no bed, no paws on any of it. But I'm more strict about couch access than others, of course this is up to you.

The dog is expected to behave like a domestic family member inside the house. BUT, the other half of the equation is that the dog's physical and mental needs have to be met, outside the house. If your dog is really bored and doesn't have outlets to really exercise body and brain, all of that pent up energy makes all of the above much more difficult.
 

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Body language is also very important. When you verbally tell the dog one thing but your body screams the opposite, dogs tend to follow our gestures. This is something a trainer or experienced dog handler can help you identify. Subtle things like leaning into the dog, hands on your knees, dropping your shoulder(s), speaking in rapid/high tones, all of that speeds a dog up and sucks it in to you.

Squaring your shoulders to the dog, not bending over, not going out of your way to go around the dog (the dog should yield to you), are many examples. It's hard to explain in writing, but once you see and understand it, it will make a world of difference. Your dog is already reading and interpreting your body language.
Yes! Dogs communicate with each other non-verbally, so they are masters at reading body language. We humans talk a lot, and the majority of our verbiage has little to no consequence to dogs, so they quickly learn to filter out most of what we say. But they are always aware of our non-verbal cues. That's where a trainer will come in handy, because they can observe your interactions with your dog and help you make changes to improve your relationship and his behavior towards you.

One simple thing I start doing from a young age is teach my dogs to yield space to me. I don't say anything, I just walk into them, expecting them to move out of my way. Once they're older and rules and manners are firmly established I may start stepping over a dog who is laying down in my path, but in the early stages they yield to me, I don't yield to them.
 

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@Irie, back in Feb in one of your other threads you indicated that you had a trainer for issues going on with your female GSD. Did you mention your boys behaviors and can you have that trainer work with this dog also?
 

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Reading the replies, I'm realizing that me and the entire household are too soft and inconsistent with this dog. I needed to read these. I felt like I was being too harsh because of how he was reacting to me.

Part of the problem is consistency within the house. I live with three other people, so he is probably getting a lot of mixed signals. I am gathering the ideas in this thread so we can sit down and create a clear plan about it. Just really watching how we all interact with him over the past few days has been an eye opener. I need a people trainer as much as a dog trainer lol. We will be trying a session with the older dogs trainer later this week so we will see how that goes.

He is much more spoiled than the other dog. The other people in my house don't baby her nearly as much. He is still looked upon as a puppy. He gets away with blowing people off. No doesn't mean no so much as wiggle around and try to be cute and still get away with it. If he doesn't have to respect anyone, why should he respect me? Especially now that I smell different, I'm sure...and act/walk different.

I am trying very hard to not put emotions in how I react to him. My emotions come from fear and frustration - fear for him not changing, fear I can't change him, fear he will hurt me and my baby. I get frustrated with him because he is just different from my other dogs I have had.

As for correcting him on a lead...he loses his mind with a leash on. Even if I wait for him to be calm for the pinch collar/before I put anything on. Every movement takes ~10 min for him to calm down. He gets very over excited. Do I just correct him until he calms down or wait him out? Should I desensitize him by letting him drag a lead around the house?
 

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I bet you live with a husband/bf, your dog respect him and doesn't jump at him?

Because it seems that you are your dogs equal. Not his alpha/leader. Alpha/leader is your husband/bf? Right?

If I'm right, than is pointless addressing every single issue (jump, door etc.). Only solution is teaching him, that you are not his equal.

And then all bad behavior will go all at once.
No, he pulls this BS with everyone.
 

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Too late now, but all of this stuff should have been addressed from the very beginning. Now that he's fully grown and has been allowed to practice bad behavior for awhile (how long, exactly?), it's going to be more difficult to fix, although not impossible. I do agree that some guidance from an experienced trainer would be beneficial. You're going to need to implement serious management techniques in order to prevent him from continuing to do this, while you train a more acceptable way of behaving.

Personally, I would have this dog on a drag line so he can't just run around jumping on everyone. You can step on the leash to prevent him from moving. I body blocked my dogs from dashing through doors, but the first step was to slam the door in their faces if they tried to rush through without being released. They also all had lots of training on the "wait" command and default sits/downs in order to make good things happen, as well as tons of work reinforcing eye contact, so that if I walked up to a closed door and just stood there they would automatically sit and look at me. If I put my hand on the doorknob and they broke the sit, I pulled my hand away and waited for them to sit again. If I started to open the door and they got up and tried to go through it, I closed it immediately, and waited for them to sit again. I did this over and over again at several different doorways. At the front door, they were on leash, for safety. The door to the garage is where they get fed and access the dog run for pottying. They would get excited at mealtimes, and occasionally I'd let one of them go through the door without being released when we were going out there for dinner. And I'd stay inside and let the door close so the dog was out there by him/herself for a few seconds. No food is happening if I'm not out there! And then I'd calmly open the door and let the dog back in and we'd try again. They figured out very quickly that they had to wait until released or they were not going to be fed.

I also taught them to sit and wait to be released to eat as I put their food bowls on the floor by picking it backup if they broke and tried to get it before I said they could. Again, do what I want or you don't get fed. I made a sit or down with eye contact a requirement for pretty much anything I could think of that my dogs valued. You want something? You do something for me first. All of this stuff becomes part of the routine, basic house manners, which I no longer even need to cue. They know the drill because we've been doing it since they were puppies. It's their responsibility to understand what I expect from them, and to do it without needing to constantly nag them.
He has been really bad the past month or so but he has honestly been a real pill since ~5 mos. Prior to this he was impossible to walk (and he is still very difficult to walk). He needs ~30 min of running/fetch/etc in the yard before you can even attempt to put a leash on him. He otherwise gets the same NILIF treatment as the other dog, but he is "spoiled" more. He gets handed toys more often instead of sitting for them, like the female. He gets bribed to do just about anything with food, where with the female it is "Because I said so. Tough." I was really noticing this just watching how we all interacted with him over the past few days. Very eye opening.

I have tried that with the door and he has caught onto me. He will sit until he knows he cannot be physically blocked (when the door is actually open). He will sit there like a loaded spring just waiting for a good chance. If I turn or falter or even lean away from the doorway too much he GOES FOR IT. He has it pretty figured out. He will also forget about it and spin in circles with a leash on because now he wants to go on a walk. Even if he waits until I release him, he takes off very dramatically and will slam into me or the door frame. If I try to shut it he will just knock it off the hinge (it is a screen). If I try the glass slider, he will wait until it is far enough open for his nose and shove it open. Again, he is big and strong. He has figured out when I can't stop him. But also again...I should really just slam it in his face and let him figure it out...or give him a correction to remember...we are all too soft with him.
So, not as dumb as I think he is in that regard.

I will try the drag line idea. I think desensitizing him to a drag line will help a lot...just a noise following him will probably put the fear of God in him though.
 

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It looks like you've received a lot of good advice, I'm going to start implementing some of the tips and focus on being more consistent as well. I know it's been less than a week but how are you coming along, are you noticing any progress?
 

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Consider practicing YIELDING exercises with this dog while you are waiting for your obedience class to start (you've signed up for one, right???)



Put on long pants, a shirt with long sleeves, and shoes to protect yourself from his nails (keep those nails short too!). Cross your arms so there's no sleeve to pull (you can even keep them over your belly if you want to keep him off it).



Take a deep breath, and get yourself in a calm state of mind -- we're not going to yell at the dog!



1. When he jumps as expected, silently shuffle your feet into the floor space on which your dog is standing. He will instantly move and likely jump at you from another direction. Without looking at him or speaking to him, silently slide into the new space he's standing on. Repeat. He will get tired of giving up space to you and the jumping stops being fun. Most dogs stop after about three jumps.

---shuffling your feet means you DO NOT KICK OR KNEE the dog. This is a silent, pain-free conversation with body language about space claiming.

----to protect your belly or any other injuries, you might be able to turn to your side so that your hip takes the jump (I have low back issues sometimes and don't want the force of a dog landing on my back, so I've learned to anticipate and "catch" the jump in a painless way for me). You might even be able to use a pillow for extra protection in catching the jump. Use good judgment to protect yourself and your pregnancy!



2. Now tell him to SIT. Once he does that, calmly praise and pet him -- he gets the attention he was seeking by jumping, but ONLY if he sits. If he breaks the sit, no more attention (REPEAT the yielding exercise in step one if he starts jumping again, and end in the sit again).


3. Nobody in the household gives attention unless he's in a SIT (or down), but when he sits next to you, reward/praise instantly.


It takes a lot of repetition and patience. It won't fix itself in a day. It does work though because jumping stops being fun, and the thing they want (attention) can be obtained through different behavior. I've transformed a lot of obnoxious foster dogs into polite dogs this way -- I don't like sending them home jumping because they can knock down kids, the elderly, and disabled people causing real harm. My goal is for them to go home knowing sitting is how to ask for attention. Once they make the connection, it's common for them to run at me full speed, catch themselves, and happily slide the final distance on their butts with a big goofy expression that says "Ta da! I remembered!"



We also practice yielding in a different way, walking to where the dog is in the house, telling it "move" and shuffling through the floor space it's occupying (and praise after it gets out of the way). This seemingly minor exercise results in dogs knowing to get out of the walkway, which is SO helpful when you're carrying in groceries (or holding a baby!).



Please check out this article from a now-deceased legendary trainer of pet dogs -- he invented these yielding exercises, but lots and lots of trainers now use them:
https://nadoi.org/yielding-****-russell-copyright-2009/


If food treats rile up your dog, use praise (or a clicker) to mark good behavior. With food treats, keep them very small --tiny, high value morsels.
 
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