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Hi there I'd really like some help! I recently adopted my Female GSD (named Willow!), she is around 1 1/2yr to 2yrs old. I adopted her from a person who couldn't care for her. By that I mean he left her on a cable to die. She was cabled to a tree since he first bought her ( as a puppy! D:< ) and didn't have much to eat or fresh water. Willow has had a horrible life with him, and due to her extreme fear of men and shyness around objects (also "hand-shy") I think she was hit or beat before. :teary:

Though now, she trusts me some and is not as scared. I've managed to teach her sit and lie down, and she will listen until she sees a distraction. When she sees an animal (cat/dog/squirrel/etc) she bolts and tries to kill the animal (high prey drive and no socialization) and drags me with her. The second I let go of the leash, she bolts running all over the place and won't come back when I call. I have to run after her and by a miracle grab her leash. It's hard to train her because she's terrified of toys, all kinds, even tennis balls and treat-filled ones. Willow is also VERY hyper and jumps up. She is currently an outdoor dog (but if it's possible to get her friendly to cats she will live inside) and stays in a large kennel at night and when we can't supervise. When I'm outside (which is usually all day) she is with me on a very long leash since I can't let her go completely free yet.

I will be taking her to training classes, but I need to calm her down a bit first.

Thank you for any help, I'm sorry my post is so long. It's hard to explain the situation :(
 

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Thank you for saving this dog, and making her life so much better. I have a rescue who had some, but not all of these problems. Over time, you will be able to get her to trust people, and to overcome her fears.

Are you able to put the cats somewhere safe in the house so that you can do training inside? You should take small steps with her, working on her obedience in an area with little to no distraction. Take it slow. You should also use NILIF It will help her with her fears knowing that you are in charge and she does not have to worry about things or other people. Once she is solid on her obedience with no distractions, slowly increase the distraction level, and keep working on the basics.

There is a desensitization technique I described in another thread for dealing with reactivity -http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/training-theory-methods/256641-barks-other-dogs-walks.html#post3355818 It works for issues with people too.

Good luck. And remember, whatever happens, she is so much better off with you.
 

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so she was tied up outside before you got her, and now she is kenneled outside ? can you get a large crate to keep her inside the house? her training will go alot smoother if you get a crate to keep IN the house where she can stay when you are not home, this way you can work on her training. i gather you have indoor cats? give the cats an escape route so that they have one , and keep her onleash inside the house too. HAND Feed her every meal- this way she will bond with you during the hand feeding and that will make her easier to train (use her meals as training treats) its going to take a long process but if you have the patience and time it should work out. however, if her prey drive is that high she might not accept your indoor cats..
 

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So awesome for you to rescue poor Willow! Kuddos for taking her in and caring for her =) I'm not an expert, but we adopted Pepper when she was 4 months old. She's a year now. She did not have the fear issues, but was very hyper - even for a puppy. Her stools were formed but not the right consistency, if you know what I mean. We found that she could not eat corn or corn meal. An ingredient in most dog foods. Just changing her diet made a world of difference in her. She was just miserable on the other stuff. =( Good luck!
 

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I should add that you may want to read some books on dog behavior. Right now, I am reading Dr. Nicholas Dodman's book The Dog Who Loved Too Much. He is the head of Tuffs University's dog behavior clinic and is one of the leading experts on dog behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your help, I'll be sure to try these techniques! Thanks!
 
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