German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I adopted a GSD named Max and he is a year old and I’m having such a hard time with training him. So I’ll start from today.
This morning I went outside to play with Max before getting ready for work and I was throwing the frisbee. Well in the process of that, Max grabs ahold of the bottom of my sweater and starts pulling on it and ripping it. I’m yelling “no” and “drop it”. I had to just take it off and he ran off with it and played with it.
Yesterday, I was outside and I was talking on the phone and he wanted my attention so grabbed the bottom of my shirt and started pulling. I told him “no” and he let go but then did it again and nipped me in the stomach. Later that evening, I was throwing the frisbee and he was doing really well. Then when I had the frisbee in my hand and told him to “stay” I looked away and then he jumps at me and his tooth struck my arm which was painful.
There is a lot going on. He’s digging holes in the yard and I can’t figure out how to stop that. He won’t let me inside the house, he blocks the door so he can go in first and I have two indoor cats. He doesn’t listen to my commands. He’ll sometimes do well with treats and toys when I’m trying to train him. I just feel so overwhelmed and I’m trying and wanting to do my best to work with him. I know he needs consequences but I don’t know what I could do.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,687 Posts
How long have you had him?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sabis mom

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,941 Posts
You do have your hands full. He is enjoying his new found freedom at your home and hasn't figured out that you are the benevolent dictator of the home yet. He wants to play and doesn't know what is appropriate. I remember you writing that you are going to find a trainer once he is neutered. Looks like you need some face to face advice now. No need to wait.

By the way, try using a No-Po-Po routine for redirecting him. Negative," NO you can't do this", Positive "do this instead" Positive "good boy" Even with humans when you want someone to stop doing something it helps to let them know what they can do instead.

No! Leave it (when he grabs your shirt) Catch, toss frisbee. Good boy, when he catches it. If he runs, don't chase him. If he doesn't bring it back, play with a long leash so you can reel him in..and then it is game over. Keep games short, about 15 minutes tops and always wanting more. Insist on naps, in a crate if you must. Over tired dogs don't make good decisions.

At the door, use your knee to calmly move him over. You will have to be that brick wall that doesn't get ruffled, and yet doesn't give way.

You can do this but get some face to face help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I didn’t even think about redirecting his attention with positives! Thank you car2ner! I really appreciate your advice! Now with Max trying to get inside the house, we only have one back door which has steps that lead up to the door which is to our bedroom. I do use my knee but then he shoves his head between my legs. He is very forceful and strong (but I need to be stronger). I have him outside while I’m at work and he has shelter, food and water. I did read online about getting toys and puzzles that could keep him busy which may be a reason for the digging. Having a trainer now would be amazing but most places I’ve seen are expensive. I am willing to do it, I just need to save up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,853 Posts
There's a marvelous exercise that my trainer teaches that he calls "yielding." Here's a handout written by the guy who invented it (who passed away years ago, and was inducted into the IPCP hall of fame for his lifetime body of work):
http://www.caredogtraining.com/Articles/Yielding%20D%20Russell.pdf
https://nadoi.org/yielding-****-russell-copyright-2009/



It's a silent, calm, gentle "dance." I cross my arms and wear long sleeves if the dog is a jumper. I also vary from the original exercise by adding a desired behavior as we're winding down: sit and look up at me. As soon as they do this, we're done, and they get pet and praised. Importantly, they also learn to get out of the dang way when a human is coming.



Over time, as soon as you start the exercise, they go right into a sit, as they know it results in praise and attention. Perfect! Now we have a dog who sits politely for attention instead of jumping or body-blocking for attention.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,625 Posts
Does your dog get any exercise other than playing with you in the backyard? Hikes, or any on or off leash exploring? I ask because given his history of spending most of his time in a crate, and having an owner who actually let a choke chain grow into his neck, it's really no wonder he's off-the-charts excited when he gets to play!

Anyway, what you're after is to teach him each command in as calm a fashoin as possible. So if he were mine I'd take him for a long walk before feeding, letting him just be a dog and sniff to his hearts content. The neighborhood is okay, but if there's a park or a school or even a church with a lot of open grass (with permission of course!) that would be even better! The point is he'd be focussing on exploring and not you or your sweater, and just walking around sniffing stuff can really tire them out.

When you return home give him a little time to settle, and then use some treats and work on a little bit of training, calmly, now that he's not so wound up from playing. I'd probably start first by just saying his name. When he looks at you, give him a treat and praise him, but calmly you don't want to get him all excited! You want to do that just a few times, then take a break. But do a couple sessions like that until he gets really good at it! Then try saying his name to get attention, and when he looks at you say "sit". Only say the commands once. If he doesn't comply, or doesn't really seem to know the command try luring him to sit. Basically with a treat in you hand you move your hand toward him, but above his head. The technique can be learned readily on YouTube if you're not familiar. But again, do this just a few times, then take a break, and don't forget to praise him like he got an A in algebra! Practice each command with as many sessions as it takes for him to get each one down really well, before moving on to a new command. You'll find that with each command the next gets easier, but start really simple and build a dialog with your dog.

It's also worth mentioning, when training a dog or puppy it's extremely important to not get angry or yell. Whether they get it right or not. It's also important to calmly insist they get it right. And by that I mean as a trainer it's up to you not to give your dog a command that you then can't or don't enforce, er but I like insist on better. Don't "try" to teach him to sit, for example, without ALWAYS having him actually sit. If you're not in a position to do that, don't give the command! Also, don't repeat commands, and don't make requests. They are commands, always say them calmly and insist on compliance, praise profusely, and remember training should always be fun for both you and the dog, so keep it light and calm and engaging for the dog!

Check out Stonnie Dennis on YouTube, he has some great stuff on teaching puppies the basics.

Good Luck, and show us pictures when you can!
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrandiG

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I’ve taken Max on walks throughout the area but I haven’t allowed him to run leash free unless he’s in our fenced in backyard. I don’t trust that he’ll “come” at my command. The second day that I had him, he opened our storm door...we had a plumber at our house at the time and Max absolutely loved him. When Max saw the Plumber was getting into his van, Max pushed open the storm door and took off after the plumber because he wanted to play. I couldn’t get Max to come back to me and Max ran into our neighbors backyard. Then Max ran to the Plumber who luckily stuck around to help me and he got ahold of Max and we got Max inside. I have another family member who will come over and pick up Max and take him for walks too. I haven’t taken Max to the parks yet but I most definitely want to do that. I live in South Carolina and it seems to be raining and storming everyday for the past several months. So with some advice that I recieved today, I went and got some different toys. First thing I did was play with Max for about 15 minutes and I took him inside and I made sure I entered first to “show dominance” he wasn’t as pushy to rush in as he normally is. I made him sit and stay before giving him his dinner. He laid down afterwards and I have him a treat to chew on and he did really well but then he started to get into things that I didn’t want him doing so I redirected his attention to a toy that was laying on the floor. I know I have a lot of work ahead. Not just for Max but for myself too. One things I did do was repeat commands and then I would change commands when he wouldn’t listen to my previous command. So I most definitely have learned a lot of things and I need to work on a lot of things. Everyone has been super helpful and I cannot thank everyone enough! You guys are life savors!
***and a side note, I would love to upload pictures of Max but I’m using my iPhone and I can’t seem to figure out how to do that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,625 Posts
A couple additions...

First, the thing about using a particular command and then changing it because the dog didn't listen is a VERY COMMON MISTAKE people make! So first, don't feel bad for doing it! And second stop doing that immediately LOL! Instead, in a quiet non-distracting environment actually "teach" your dog what you mean when you say a command! And you do that by consistently using the same command, then calmly insisting on compliance!

Imagine learning a foreign language by having people yelling words at you, that have no meaning to you, and somehow expecting you to "get it"...it wouldn't work! And dogs don't use language at all, so even listening to what you say is not a "normal" behavior for them! But they want to please you!

Your job as a trainer is to convey what you want in a calm way and help them understand what you're saying, and the expected response on their part. Once you do this, and you see the light in their eyes when they "get it" you'll understand what I'm saying much better because it's awesome! And the more you learn to recognize that understanding in your dog, and he recognizes the words he's supposed to listen to, it snowballs and becomes easier and easier to teach new things!

I think you've got this! Just remember, training should always be fun for BOTH of you! If you ever find yourself getting frustrated while training a dog, take a break! Count to 3333333000, then try again when you're calm.

Of course, as Car2ner said previously, having a good trainer watch you work with your dog and give you first hand feedback is priceless, and truly truly helpful! But in the meantime, while you're saving up for that, just a slight shift in perspective can work wonders as well...watch, teach, and learn from the dog in front of you. It's one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done, and it pays HUGE dividends down the road with your new pet!

As far as the jumping and biting your clothes goes, if it were me I simply wouldn't tolerate or allow that to happen. It's difficult to explain online like this. But essentially it has more to do with your demeanor than any kind of correction or command. With my dogs I've always just said either "knock it off" or "stop". Use an authoritative tone, not yelling, but your best "I'm very serious" tone. If they don't listen I don't hesitate in getting more insistent, but it's not confrontational, it's just insistent! Again, hard to explain...that's really where a good trainer can help you!


Again, best of luck to you! Keep it light and fun and engaging for the dog, and he will learn!
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrandiG

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,625 Posts
On uploading pictures from your phone, scroll to the bottom of the reply box and select "go advanced" then scroll down until you see "manage attachments" and select that. Then select to upload a file. On your phone, hopefully mine's android, but it should be similar, that allows to to select the source. Select where whatever app helps you find your photos, select the photo, then it should bring you back to the select source window/view. At this point there's still another button on the page that says "upload images" select that and you're done. Hopefully your iPhone is similar!
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrandiG

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
CB01E82F-46A8-43D3-95A9-4BC9037B5B4F.jpg I think I’ve attached a picture of Max....we’ll see lol! So I got a toy and tied it with a bungee cord to an iron swing set which is cemented in the ground. Max already broke the rope so I just put the ball in the cord. I’m hopin Max will play with it when I’m not home but he seemed to really enjoy it. So today, I played with him and he seemed to settle down some, so I got out a kiddie pool for him....this makes kiddie pool number 3 because he tears it up. I got the hose out and was filling the kiddie pool with water and he kept trying to pull the kiddie pool and chew on the plastic. I told him no he can’t do that but he can play with the rope and I would dangle it and it would get his attention and once he let go of the pool and grabbed the rope I said, “good boy” but then turned around and started chewing on the kiddie pool again. I kept repeating this but ultimately I failed. He pulled the pool and tore it up. I just put the hose away and walked away. I dont know if that’ll show him that I didn’t like that. I have been trying to apply the advices that I have been given but I know it’ll take time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,114 Posts
If you can’t afford a private trainer look for a very good obedience class. A good trainer will be able to help some with behavior. Obedience gets your dog focusing on you and more tuned in. Do you know who owned him before and why he was given up? Are you sure of his age? He is a nice looking dog with a lot of pent up frustration and no foundation training.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Yes, my husband and I got Max from our friends who are divorcing and they can no longer keep Max. At first I didn’t know we were adopting Max until I woke up to a dog barking in our backyard and they had dropped him off (my husband was aware but it was a shock for me). Max precious owners lived in an apartment and they both worked all day, so Max was in a kennel majority of the time because he would tear up their apartment. My friend would try take him out and to parks but he was mostly in his kennel and my husband said they would throw a blanket over his kennel! I think it’s a blessing that we got him because now he has the freedom to run and isn’t confined to his kennel. It’s so important to me to be able to give him the best life he could have and have it filled with love and happiness. I’m definitely going to get Max training but I’m having to save up but in the mean time I’m really trying my best to train him. He is a good dog, we just need to work with him.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,941 Posts
View attachment 507079 I think I’ve attached a picture of Max....we’ll see lol! So I got a toy and tied it with a bungee cord to an iron swing set which is cemented in the ground. Max already broke the rope so I just put the ball in the cord. I’m hopin Max will play with it when I’m not home but he seemed to really enjoy it. So today, I played with him and he seemed to settle down some, so I got out a kiddie pool for him....this makes kiddie pool number 3 because he tears it up. I got the hose out and was filling the kiddie pool with water and he kept trying to pull the kiddie pool and chew on the plastic. I told him no he can’t do that but he can play with the rope and I would dangle it and it would get his attention and once he let go of the pool and grabbed the rope I said, “good boy” but then turned around and started chewing on the kiddie pool again. I kept repeating this but ultimately I failed. He pulled the pool and tore it up. I just put the hose away and walked away. I dont know if that’ll show him that I didn’t like that. I have been trying to apply the advices that I have been given but I know it’ll take time.



My dogs tear up kiddie pools, too. I think they enjoy trying to empty them. I taped them up and the dogs make new holes. I didn't try to repair them this summer and my gal dog uses one like a huge tug toy. She enjoys flinging it around. Maybe next year I'll get one of the metal watering troughs. I have shade in the backyard so the metal shouldn't get too hot. I didn't get one this year because they are a little expensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,984 Posts
Do I get that Max is outside in the yard by himself while the humans are gone????? And that somehow kenneling him is regarded as not so good????? Yeah, you are going to have problems. Now perhaps I misunderstood but... I'd kennel the dog and being out would be a treat not the every day every hour thing. It sounds like he's taking the yard time for granted and regarding you as the most interesting chew toy to come out there.



Kennel him. Airline crate or blanketed kennel. Let him out to the yard when you come home and can watch him and interact with him --- and get yourself some "not so fine" finery to wear to work/play/interact with your dog.



Oh yeah, forget the stupid kiddie pool. even a "dog pool" is too light weight. I use a small horse trough. Holds up for years. Costs maybe $50 but mine's still going strong after 5 years. Think too of the benefit to the environment with out having trashed kiddie pool after kiddie pool...




When I shared a traditional cab with a young dog, I recall finding my shirts "re-styled" while I was driving. The boot jack was another thing that got some "enhancement." This was coming home from club, too. Barn shirts at good will may save your wardrobe.


Take heart. You will get this figured out, he'll be a great dog and you may come to look back on this with amusement.
(perspective of a couple of years will help.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,625 Posts
I’ve had him for about a month.
Thats not a real long time with a re homed dog. Its always easy to open up all that energy, its going to be more important for you to calm him down. I'm a broken record on this, but him putting his teeth on you in play is a big deal. I'd never mind all the play and worrying about keeping him occupied all the time. I'd let him learn calmly hanging out with you on a leash is better for right now. Pet him, brush him, put the toys away and dial back all that energy for a while. That'll give you a better chance to reintroduce playing with some rules and respect later. With these dogs, play isn't always what we're picture. Him putting his teeth on you already can create a pattern that's too hard to break without harsh corrections.

I never leave them with anything like a rope to amuse themselves. If they can't safely consume it, they can't have it. Think about using a good, solid kennel to keep him out of things but still have a little freedom of movement. Ideally you want them to be able to settle down and not be dependent on being entertained all the time. I think thats how you never get past noisy and destructive. Lay down, watch the world, sleep, and shut up.

Nevermind dominance and all that stuff. Obedience. If you want him to do things a certain way, teach him to. Don't spend all you're time trying to stop something. That's how you fight with them. If you want him to sit at the door, concentrate on teaching him to sit, not trying to stop him from going through. Just think in terms of how you want him to behave, and work on that consistently. Be calm, but direct. They learn from repetition, good things but also bad. The more they succeed at the good, the less the bad comes up.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,367 Posts
Nevermind dominance and all that stuff. Obedience. If you want him to do things a certain way, teach him to. Don't spend all you're time trying to stop something. That's how you fight with them. If you want him to sit at the door, concentrate on teaching him to sit, not trying to stop him from going through. Just think in terms of how you want him to behave, and work on that consistently. Be calm, but direct. They learn from repetition, good things but also bad. The more they succeed at the good, the less the bad comes up.
:thumbup: Impulse control, impulse control, impulse control. Teaching him to sit and wait at the door is not that difficult. Do it on leash at first, so you can keep him from going through until released. My puppy is already running to the back door and sitting because she knows that's what will work to make it open. Going out front, I practice walking to the door, waiting for a sit, opening the door, and telling her to wait while I go out first, then release her to come out too. On leash, of course. As soon as we get outside, we go back in and do it again, maybe half a dozen times. I do that even if we're not going anywhere, it's just basic training.

When I let her out of the crate in the morning she doesn't get to just bolt out. I don't make her wait long, but I tell her "wait" as I open it, and if she starts to move forward before I say "okay!" I slam the door in her face. She's figured it out. :) Eventually, I won't even need to tell her she'll just wait automatically.

I make her sit while I put her food bowl on the floor until released. Since she was eating in her crate while Halo was still here, we've only been working on this for a short time, but she will now sit automatically, I put down the bowl, she looks up at me, then I release her to eat. If she breaks her sit, I pick the bowl back up and wait for her to sit again.

Teach him that doing what you want is what gets him what he wants. And practice and reinforce calm behavior, as Steve describes. When you do play, he doesn't get to jump on you and grab toys. He needs to sit (or down) politely, make eye contact, and wait for you to release him to play. He needs to learn to give up toys, to trade them for other toys, or for a treat. Introduce rules and manners, apply them to everything you can think of, and reinforce the heck out of them. Eye contact is a great way to start - Cava finished her first obedience class a week ago, and several people, including the instructor, commented on how good her focus is. That's because I constantly reinforce it. If you don't have your dog's attention you can't teach him anything, so make focus and eye contact rewarding for him.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrandiG

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,625 Posts
There's reasons why Debbie and I both mentioned on leash the way we did Brandi. It naturally conveys things, its a physical connection to you. Physical always outweighs verbal. It gives you a subtle amount of control why'll he learns what the commands mean. It can be a real overt control too, but in general why'll you're teaching things it just naturally removes some of the inconsistencies you may run into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Not sure how this community feels about e-collars; I know on reddit they're very anti e-collar, but I've had success with using one with my very large and energetic shepherd. I don't use it often, and only use the vibrate setting but he's very responsive to it. If I know something later in the day will trigger negative behavior, I make sure he has it on. Sometimes just having it on is a deterrent. I recommend looking into them and seeing if that sounds like a viable option for you.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top