German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First post here and I'm looking for some advice... here's the long story.

My wife and I got our GSD, Hunter, when he was "8 weeks old" (vet guessed 5 weeks) from a local couple. Hunters mom was papered, dad was a mix of GSD and "mexican wolf" (so says the couple). Hunter looks like GSD, and nothing else.

When we took him home, I started obedience and house training right away. I used a mix of treats and other positive reenforcement when he did good and a stern yelling "nose-in-accident" approach for correction. After a few months (when his bladder could go through the night) we had no more problems in the house training department. I should note that crate training was not successful. He would cry and cry, and never stop.

During the course of the following months, Hunter learned to sit, lay down and shake with positive reenforcement. He obeyed those commands "regularly" with me just saying it while using hand signals. The times he wouldn't listen I chaulked up to "being a puppy."

Now Hunter is a little over a year old and we are starting to have some issues with him. there are 4 dogs next door, 2 to the left, 2 to the right. Hunter gets very aggressive/defensive when he sees 2 of the (very small) dogs on the left, fine with the other 2 (small) dogs. Today, Hunter is barking and growling at these dogs and my wife interveens by commanding him to stop (and focus attention to her). He ignores the command 3 times so my wife takes him by the collar (what we usually do at this point) and leads him about 5 feet away and Hunter whips around and "got" my wife on the back of the leg. I say "got" because my wife doesn't know if it was intentional or him just barking and got nipped on accident. This was Hunters latest issue. I should mention that Hunter has "selective listening" when my wife issues commands. He is better with me, but does ignore me rarely.

Over the last 2 weeks, Hunter has been getting worse when it comes to obeying commands (with both of us). Nothing in our (or his) routine has changed. With my wife 7 months pregnant, our concern is that Hunter will continue to be unruly, and with the snip today, that he will either bite my wife or our baby. We love him, but I cannot live with that possibility.

What are your thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,132 Posts
Has your wife ever taken Hunter to a formal obedience class with a trainer? That's the first thing I would suggest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,725 Posts
You need a lot of help here. First off, I think you've made some mistakes, but it's never too late to get on the right track.

Others with more experience can help you with the neighbor dog issue and the wife nipping issue, but for the obedience problem I would advise starting up strict NILIF (Nothing in life is free). You can do a google search and find lots of links to explain it.

Glad you are seeking help. There are tons of experienced people on this board who can give you great advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
906 Posts
I don't agree to rubbing a dogs nose in the pee or poo when he has an accident. Next time, you try and catch the dog in the middle of it and bring it outside so it can finish and then praise it. If you don't catch him in the middle of it, you can't do anything about it, just hope you catch him the next time. I would seriously consider taking your dog to a professional trainer so they can work with him. It sounds like he has no respect for your wife. Also with the crate training, they will cry. You can't go and rescue him if he cries because he will never learn that the crate is an ok place to be. I would try not to be too heavy handed on grabbing him by his collar, I know some dogs see that as a threat. The K9 dogs at my husbands work react by biting when grabbed by the neck/collar. Maybe not all dogs are like that, but that could be an issue with him. I would def go to a professional trainer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Has your wife ever taken Hunter to a formal obedience class with a trainer? That's the first thing I would suggest.
Yes, a "puppy" training class. Taught basic commands and how to use a lead (which is sometimes an issue for Hunter).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
You need a lot of help here. First off, I think you've made some mistakes, but it's never too late to get on the right track.

Others with more experience can help you with the neighbor dog issue and the wife nipping issue, but for the obedience problem I would advise starting up strict NILIF (Nothing in life is free). You can do a google search and find lots of links to explain it.

Glad you are seeking help. There are tons of experienced people on this board who can give you great advice.
I know we've made mistakes, and that's all on us. I'm hoping that someone will recognize our mistakes and give us advice. I will check out NILIF, thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
Your dog should never be allowed to ignore commands as long as he knows them. He gets one command and that's it. After that, you go get him and correct him for it. He also gets praised for doing what you asked him to do.

What he did was misplaced aggression and part of why fence fighting is so dangerous. He couldn't get at the two dogs he wanted to eat and your wife was getting in his way, so he turned and bit her. You either need to keep this dog on a line so you don't become the focus of his misplaced aggression again or don't let him out when those two dogs are outside.

You need to get this dog into a good obedience class right away and learn how to handle him correctly. You need to learn consistency in your training and better ways of correcting him - the nose in the accident approach is a totally unacceptable method.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I don't agree to rubbing a dogs nose in the pee or poo when he has an accident. Next time, you try and catch the dog in the middle of it and bring it outside so it can finish and then praise it. If you don't catch him in the middle of it, you can't do anything about it, just hope you catch him the next time. I would seriously consider taking your dog to a professional trainer so they can work with him. It sounds like he has no respect for your wife. Also with the crate training, they will cry. You can't go and rescue him if he cries because he will never learn that the crate is an ok place to be. I would try not to be too heavy handed on grabbing him by his collar, I know some dogs see that as a threat. The K9 dogs at my husbands work react by biting when grabbed by the neck/collar. Maybe not all dogs are like that, but that could be an issue with him. I would def go to a professional trainer.
House training hasn't been an issue for over 6 months. I was just trying to give background on the three of us. We didn't "rescue" Hunter from the crate everytime he cried. Sometimes we left him there for over an hour, he just kept crying. Eventually, as he got older, he would lay in it when we put it outside while we out (den?). I never said we were rough with the collar, we just lead him with it to get his attention back to us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
Crate training involves putting your puppy in it and letting him cry all night with frequent potty breaks. You keep letting him cry for days if necessary and he will get over it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,933 Posts
I'm sorry I couldn't get past this statement:

' good and a stern yelling "nose-in-accident" approach for correction'

That is NO WAY to potty train, what that does is tell the dog it is bad to potty!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
I know your dog has been housebroken for some time now. The problem is that the unacceptable method you used for that may be a sign of the type of training you have been using for everything else. That is why we keep harping about it.

Hopefully, with a good obedience class, you will learn better ways and your dog will turn around in his behavior.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,368 Posts
I agree with the displaced aggression, he probably didn't even realize he was going to 'connect' with your wife's leg, or it may have been the thing closest to him to react to.

I had a dog who did this, he was a wicked fence barker , and he'd get so worked up, it would turn into frustration so he'd turn around and nail the closest thing to him, usually my other dog ! They kind of zone out.

Does he get along with the two small dogs on the one side?? As in, has he interacted with them at all? Is he good with other dogs?? If yes, you might want to get together with your neighbor, (the ones he doesn't like), and try to get them together, of course you'll have to use your own judgement as to whether they would possibly get along or not..

I do agree with continuing obedience classes, alot of dogs need on going training, not just the basic puppy class, it's good for both owner and dog,,..He's also still pretty immature at just over one, so he's also most likely going to be in that butthead stage.

Alot of physical exercise, mental exercise, working on 'bonding' with him, will definately help tone down some of the frustration of maybe looking for something to do on his own.. The first thing I'd do, is sign up for a basic or beginner obedience class, even if he "knows" the commands, it's a good environment to get him into and continue working on his obedience
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,544 Posts
I know your dog has been housebroken for some time now. The problem is that the unacceptable method you used for that may be a sign of the type of training you have been using for everything else. That is why we keep harping about it.

Hopefully, with a good obedience class, you will learn better ways and your dog will turn around in his behavior.
Agreed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I don't agree to rubbing a dogs nose in the pee or poo when he has an accident. Next time, you try and catch the dog in the middle of it and bring it outside so it can finish and then praise it. If you don't catch him in the middle of it, you can't do anything about it, just hope you catch him the next time. I would seriously consider taking your dog to a professional trainer so they can work with him. It sounds like he has no respect for your wife. Also with the crate training, they will cry. You can't go and rescue him if he cries because he will never learn that the crate is an ok place to be. I would try not to be too heavy handed on grabbing him by his collar, I know some dogs see that as a threat. The K9 dogs at my husbands work react by biting when grabbed by the neck/collar. Maybe not all dogs are like that, but that could be an issue with him. I would def go to a professional trainer.
I agree, positive reinforcement is the only way to go with potty training them, as well as everything else. It is the only thing that will work. That other stuff, with rubbing the nose in his pee/poop is the wrong way to go completely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Your dog should never be allowed to ignore commands as long as he knows them. He gets one command and that's it. After that, you go get him and correct him for it. He also gets praised for doing what you asked him to do.

What he did was misplaced aggression and part of why fence fighting is so dangerous. He couldn't get at the two dogs he wanted to eat and your wife was getting in his way, so he turned and bit her. You either need to keep this dog on a line so you don't become the focus of his misplaced aggression again or don't let him out when those two dogs are outside.

You need to get this dog into a good obedience class right away and learn how to handle him correctly. You need to learn consistency in your training and better ways of correcting him - the nose in the accident approach is a totally unacceptable method.
I agree completely with you. He shouldn't be doing that at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,742 Posts
I wouldn't try introducing Hunter to the dogs he is fence fighting with since the OP says they are "very small". And likely, even if he was ok with them outside of the yard he will continue to be barrier aggressive. Do the dogs he barks at, bark back at him? That could be why they are more upsetting to him than the other dogs.

You have a couple options here. My first suggestion I'd have is to use a bark collar on him outside. For many dogs, bark collars greatly reduce territorial and barrier aggression. If the dog can't bark, the aggression doesn't escalate. Introduce the collar to him away from the barrier situation at first, so that he understands how it works (no barking when the collar is on). Bark collars are very effective punishment for this sort of thing because they correct the dog instantly.

Another idea is to put up a privacy fence on that side of your house, so the dogs can't see each other. I'd suggest surrounding the inside of the privacy fence with another, smaller fence (can use rolled livestock fencing) about 2' from the privacy to keep the dogs from fence fighting through it. Often if the dogs can't see each other and can't get close, they won't fence fight or at least is will be drastically reduced.

The third suggestion would be to have Hunter on a long line and go outside with him each and every time. Work on rewarding him for appropriate behavior when the dogs are out and taking him inside immediately as soon as the first sign of barrier aggression starts. After many months, this sort of management/training can help develop a new habit by preventing him from practicing the behavior you don't like.

As others have said, Hunter almost surely bit your wife due to redirected aggression. Redirected aggression is normal in dogs when they get that worked up. That is why you will need to prevent the situation from escalating to that point in the future. I also agree with the suggestion of implementing a training program such as NILIF (and sticking with it). Here is two such programs:

LTD

Mind Games (version 1.0) by M. Shirley Chong
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top