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I'm struggling with her. My mom's dog Orla is nine-months old. She's a handful. We're working on socialization and training, but this dog doesn't want to listen. All she gives us is a hard time. We feed her well (high-end food and raw), she goes for walks, she's exercised. Training is an all-day event. We're struggling with the following issues:

1. She's never tired. I swear this dog never sleeps. When she gets tired, she bites, jumps, counter-surfs, but she won't ever take a nap. Even if we give her kennel time, she never naps.

2. She whines all the time when she's in her kennel. We've worked on bark/no bark. She doesn't listen. Then, she gets mad and rips up her bed or chews her cage. We're on kennel #2 and bed #6.

3. She can be fine on a leash outside, then she suddenly gets aggressive. She'll jump, grab, growl... there's no warning! She's normally sweet, but this behavior comes out of the blue and it's scary!

4. She jumps on us all the time. Off and down do not work even though she's trained not to do this behavior.

5. At night, she lies in bed and barks and growls at us if we leave the living room. If my mom goes to go to bed, she's barking meanly at her.

6. Playtime is difficult. All this dog wants to do is play with her frisbee. She's not play-aggressive per say, but she tends to jump and grab.


She's not all bad. She has good points:

1. She's not food aggressive. We can be around when she eats. She's also not aggressive when playing with toys. She's not aggressive if we take bones from her (it's what her breeder said to do to teach her not to be aggressive).

2. She loves hugs and kissies.

3. When we take her out in public or to the vet, she's a very good girl. She's far from a problem in these situations. In fact, at the park, she's well-known and liked.

4. She, overall, listens to commands such as shake, down, sit, rollover, fetch, come, and drop it. She learns well. She just doesn't want to listen.


I'm at my wit's end, honestly. We can't afford formal training since my father, brother, and aunt recently passed away, so we're up-to-our-necks with paying bills. My mom wanted the dog for protection since she's an older widow living alone. We don't know what to do. To her, giving up the dog is out of the question because you "don't give up on family" according to my mom. However, this dog is just bad.

We're her second owners, btw. Her previous family returned her.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your loss and can sympathies with the associated costs.

Your pup is not bad, she is just not trained. She will continue doing whatever she chooses until someone teaches her desired behavior with consistency and fairness. Training should not be an all day affair, a few short sessions throughout the day should be enough. Unfortunately if she has been allowed to practice undesirable behavoirs for so long it may take longer to "undo" much of this. I understand that being the second owner you may have "inherited" some of these challenges and it can be frustrating, but they're yours now.:smile2: however they can be corrected.

Hopefully my post will bump yours and get some traffic from those who are better at explaining possible solutions.
 

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Experienced forum members will be able to help you out more if you provide details of the dog's daily life. What type of obedience training are you doing with her regularly, how much exercise and what type, etc. etc. To me it sounds like a dog that needs a purpose, a job, something to fulfill her existence so to speak.
 

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Josh could be right. She sounds bored or without purpose. Our dog has some of the same attributes as yours. It's **** trying to take him for a walk as all he wants to do is jump at the lead and pull on it and bit it and shake it. What I try to do is keep him interested in things around him. I point out trees and cars and people to keep his mind always thinking. It helps a bit but it's no saving grace for trying to get him to behave on a leash.


As for the kennel, our dog uses his for punishment and sleep. Not really any problems for us in this area. We never give toys to him while in the kennel but we do leave him with a treat. We tell him it's bed time and he races to the kennel for the treat, then we turn the lights out with the tv still going and all is quiet until he wants out the next day. When he is punished there is no treat and he just goes to his kennel. He will fight a bit but there is no whinning or anything from him as he knows he is in trouble.


Our dog Ringo jumps a lot to so no help from me in this area, lol. I'm up for any ideas though if anyone has any. Well...when he does jump...like when I say we are going out side or something. I just stop dead in my tracks and tell him no until he sits down, then we continue. He has not caught on though cause he jumps everytime still, lol.
 

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It also sounds like whatever training methods you are using, or others have used in the past aren't working.

All-positive methods often don't work with large, strong, confident dogs like German shepherds. The DO need to be told 'no', and corrected when they do something wrong. And contrary to what the all-positive crowd will tell you, corrections don't have to be harsh or painful for the dog to learn from them.

It's too bad you can't afford a trainer. 80% of training is teaching the owner HOW to train the dog!
 

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Hi. Welcome. I sent you a PM (private message). Scroll up to the top there and click on private message. You can write back.
 

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Patricia B McConnell, Ph.D. has some books that were recommended to us that might help you. I imagine you can get them at your local library or online. (We were having difficulty with separation anxiety.)

I am by no means an expert but it would seem to me that if the dog isn't sleeping, it isn't being active enough to tire her out. She just may need more physical activity in her life.

I keep an assortment of chew toys around for our dogs and sometimes they are good for distracting them during bad behavior.

After the 3rd dog bed got ruined, I stopped buying them. I put a chew toy in there instead.

I wish you luck and hope that some research, other forum members and training books might help.
 

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YEs - could NOT have dog beds with my one dog when she was a pup - she would EAT them! Since this was very bad for her digestive system, and could have caused an intestinal blockage, she had to sleep in the bare crate.

It definitely sounds like more exercise is needed. How is she on walks? Is your backyard fenced, so you can play ball or maybe use a flirt pole with her?
 

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The only bit of advice I can offer is to cover the crate with a sheet so she can't see you leaving the room, it helps to calm my pup.
 

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Kalia, I am so sorry for your losses and can understand the bills etc. But you have the option of sticking around here. My Griff turned 9 months old today and he started the day with not minding me at all, which never happened before. I could feel the vibe before he was even out of his crate. He also ended up in a fight with my my older dog Deja for the first time ever. So his freedom has been taken away for the next few days. No privileges anymore for this puberty, testosterone-soaked boy. Out of his crate and/or outdoor kennel? He is on leash with a prong and goes wherever I go. if he even looks at her, he gets a reminder to pay attention to me. If I stop, he has to sit. I am writing you this to illustrate what puberty can look like in many GSDs, female or male; it doesn't matter.
What collar do you have for her? Read up on NILIF (Nothing IN Life Is Free) and stick to it. Everything she does, has to be your terms only. Make sure everyone who deals with her is on the same page. This is not being mean to her but to ensure that you are able to keep her and prevent trouble (read: accidents) in the future.
Check out: Leerburg.com They have great training videos on Youtube.
 

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I'm not a trainer, breeder, or an expert in any way, just a dog-owner who has had several GSDs. You sound like a loving and conscientious pet owner who is doing a lot of things right. I admire your mother's and your commitment to keeping Orla. You said that Oral was 9 months old?--It sounds to me like she may be going through a bratty adolescent stage. I know you said that a professional trainer isn't a possibility right now. I totally understand the financial issues (I've been there), and I'm sorry you're going through such a rough time. Have you considered group obedience classes?--since Orla is not aggressive in public or around other dogs, this might be a more economical than private sessions and you would have access to a trainer who could give you advice on helping with her manners: crate training, jumping, leash-walking, ect. A trainer might be able to give you the tools and confidence to communicate to her which behaviors are inappropriate. Others on this site may disagree with me, but since you are struggling so much with Orla, and because she can sometimes intimidate you, I might try to scrimp up money for her training by saving in other areas of her care--like temporarily feeding a quality kibble rather than pricey raw? And putting old blankets or towels in her crate (unless she swallows them) rather than expensive beds that she just destroys anyway? I have a GSD that will tear up beds. For a long time, he just didn't get one. I have finally found out that he will not chew up coolaroo style elevated pet-beds--not sure if they will fit in a crate or not. I really think you need a trainer (even if it's just group classes) to help you gain your dog's respect. I would look for a balanced trainer, someone experienced in working dog breeds. I'd avoid places like petco/petsmart for training.

I also think that NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) would be great for your situation.

6. Playtime is difficult. All this dog wants to do is play with her frisbee. She's not play-aggressive per say, but she tends to jump and grab.


GSDs tend to love to tug. Have you tried tug toys? Kongs? Flirt pole?


4. She, overall, listens to commands such as shake, down, sit, rollover, fetch, come, and drop it. She learns well. She just doesn't want to listen.


She sounds smart. If you're sure that she knows a command (sit, for example), be sure you don't repeat commands. If she doesn't listen, go to her and hold her collar and guide her into position. Repeating commands can actually teach a dog not to listen to you the first time.

I don't know what do suggest about the fact that you feel she is barking and growling at you aggressively. Without seeing the dog in action, it's kind of hard to gauge the seriousness of aggression. But if you're intimidated by her (you mentioned she can be scary), she can probably sense it and that won't help.

Have you reached out to her breeder for advice and help? Please keep us updated!
 

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She jumps on us all the time. Off and down do not work even though she's trained not to do this behavior.

When Hanna was a pup, my daughter and son-in-law used to encourage her to jump up whenever they came to visit my husband and me. I would constantly have to step into the fray and say that they should stop allowing her to do that because as a puppy, it's 'cute' but when the dog is full grown, they're going to find out quickly how 'obnoxious' that behavior can be. Well, needless to say they considered me an ogre and mean because I wouldn't allow Hanna to be a puppy and whenever they would babysit for us because we went out of town, they would let her have her way.

Now, 3 years later - when it's not 'cute' anymore (lol), guess what? They have this large dog jumping on them whenever they come over and they get fussy about it. Is it the dogs fault? Um.. that's a big N.O. -- (and for those wondering, yes I do crack up laughing - I just don't show them :p )

Anyway, I reminded them that *they* taught her since she was a pup that "their visits" equals "Hanna Time" which means in her mind - paying attention to ME and playing with ME and on and on ME ME ME!

Aaand, now, comes the training. Not just of Hanna but of THEM too! So, I told them both that from now on they need to call us before they come here and when they do, they are NOT to pay attention to her. No greeting, no eye contact - nothing. Meanwhile, I will have her on the prong collar and lead where she will sit or heel next to me all through the visit until they leave. (Then she gets rewarded with her favorite pink ball for being a good girl.)

They have had two visits since and at first she was whining at my side, but now she sits quietly and gives me an occasional sideways glance with a few huffs of discontent. I strongly feel that eventually she'll get the message and of course there will be a few slips and falls, but we'll work through that too. But THEY on the other hand MUST keep to the boundaries and limitations I have set for them!

Anyway, all this to say: Yes, you can train the dog, but more often than not, you'll have to train the humans too, and THAT part is the hardest.

Good luck with your pup, and please keep us informed, I'd love to hear updates :)
 

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Kalia,

Quite a few people took time out of their busy lives and read your post, thought about your story carefully, and tried to offer helpful suggestions and advice.

Days have passed, and not a single follow up. Is Orla still part of your family?

I’d agree with suggestions that the dog is extra difficult because she is in the bratty stage. They all go through it.

What she’s like afterwards depends a lot on you and the other humans in your family.

I think you are going to have to plan to take her to obedience classes, and start ASAP. These aren’t very expensive but have big rewards. Good ones will recognize problem areas and help you understand what’s going on and how to correct them. Try to find one where they have experience with her breed, and keep in mind they really teach the humans how to work with their dogs, so have other family members participate too.

Unless you’re already very experienced, not participating in such training with Orla is likely to result in much frustration and complete loss of patience, and maybe either an out of control dog or one that’s put down.

You can probably save her if you decide to.

Best wishes for you all.
Bruce.
 

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I'm struggling with her. My mom's dog Orla is nine-months old. She's a handful. We're working on socialization and training, but this dog doesn't want to listen. All she gives us is a hard time. We feed her well (high-end food and raw), she goes for walks, she's exercised. Training is an all-day event. We're struggling with the following issues:

1. She's never tired. I swear this dog never sleeps. When she gets tired, she bites, jumps, counter-surfs, but she won't ever take a nap. Even if we give her kennel time, she never naps.

2. She whines all the time when she's in her kennel. We've worked on bark/no bark. She doesn't listen. Then, she gets mad and rips up her bed or chews her cage. We're on kennel #2 and bed #6.

3. She can be fine on a leash outside, then she suddenly gets aggressive. She'll jump, grab, growl... there's no warning! She's normally sweet, but this behavior comes out of the blue and it's scary!

4. She jumps on us all the time. Off and down do not work even though she's trained not to do this behavior.

5. At night, she lies in bed and barks and growls at us if we leave the living room. If my mom goes to go to bed, she's barking meanly at her.

6. Playtime is difficult. All this dog wants to do is play with her frisbee. She's not play-aggressive per say, but she tends to jump and grab.


She's not all bad. She has good points:

1. She's not food aggressive. We can be around when she eats. She's also not aggressive when playing with toys. She's not aggressive if we take bones from her (it's what her breeder said to do to teach her not to be aggressive).

2. She loves hugs and kissies.

3. When we take her out in public or to the vet, she's a very good girl. She's far from a problem in these situations. In fact, at the park, she's well-known and liked.

4. She, overall, listens to commands such as shake, down, sit, rollover, fetch, come, and drop it. She learns well. She just doesn't want to listen.


I'm at my wit's end, honestly. We can't afford formal training since my father, brother, and aunt recently passed away, so we're up-to-our-necks with paying bills. My mom wanted the dog for protection since she's an older widow living alone. We don't know what to do. To her, giving up the dog is out of the question because you "don't give up on family" according to my mom. However, this dog is just bad.

We're her second owners, btw. Her previous family returned her.
I came home one day to see my dog eating his bed in his cage. He had consumed quite a bit of the foam mattress. I had to rush him to the emergency so the doctors could induce vomiting. Got it all because we did it within an hour of him eating it. Don't leave toys, beds, towels, sheets, anything in the crate with the dog. Some dogs can't be left with anything. You have a pup just like mine (except mine does have food aggression). He's 8 months old right now. As far as her "bad" behavior, mine is like that too. You're not alone. From what I've read over the years in these forums about what people say about this kind of issue you're having, she's in adolescence. Dogs in adolescence tend to be defiant and they will test you. It was like that with my first GSD, and it is like that with my current one. You just have to be stronger willed than the dog and keep working on her obedience, teach new things to challenge her, maybe join a agility club, or herding class, something that will keep her mentally stimulated as well as physically exercised. My dog jumps up too. It's gotten a lot better lately. I've been working on it constantly. Remember, they're still puppies. Most of these things aren't a "quick fix it." Pups don't "settle" down until they're full grown at around 2 years. Some dogs...5 years. And even some never do. If yours is like most GSDs, you still have a ways to go before they calm down. Stay strong. Other people will have better advice.
 

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Since the OP seems to have vanished, (maybe the dog ate the URL?) , this is just an observation that may help someone having similar issues.


Since the dog is good out and about, it sounds to me like the dog is bored at home and looking to stir up some excitement (aka trouble). I'd say the home folks need to step up their game so far as jobs for the dog.
 

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A woman in Pit rescue once told me that the first thing they do when they get a new dog in, is to put them to work (carting and weight pulling in her case). It cured most of their problem dogs. Goes for every dog.
 

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Having a schedule in the house with restrictions - on leash in home and crate at times will help with a dog misbehaving in the house. You do not want her to practice bad behaviors and do leave her alone when she eats. A trainer can watch you with timing and teach you how to make corrections with a leash pops. There are also YouTube videos. There are a lot YouTube obedience videos that will give you ideas and teach you to teach your dog. Figure out what your interests are and from there. So many dog activities. You can also try scent work games. There is scent work/ nose works finding certain scented oils this will work the mind also. Agility works the mind. When I first got max as a pup it was around Christmas and my daughter wanted agility equipment. There are inexpensive pieces maybe not the best quality but work. So that kept us all busy and max using his noggin -he wanted to run around and go through then jump on the tunnel but he had learn to use his noodle and listen to instructions.

For jumping when greeting guests who would come over - the thing that works best is either crate, and or leash him till the excitement settles down - they pick up on energy and all the excited greetings and hugs can get them excited even if it is not directed at them. If they like balls or a toy -give them there favorite ball or toy it helps redirect their excitement is transferred to the ball.
 
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