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Discussion Starter #1
So, I got my GSD at 4 months old and now he’s 14 months. I feel he loves me and I think he’s great but he just doesn’t want to be touched. He loves to ride in my truck so when i need to put a leash on him I do it when he jumps in the truck and therefore he’s hemmed up and will allow me to put the leash on. He follows the leash with absolutely no resistance.

I try to use high value treats to get him to eat from my hand. This works but still he doesn’t want to be touched.

I find this frustrating! I just want to love on him.
 

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Do you mean that you can’t handle him period or just that he doesn’t like affection? Some dogs are that way, and shepherds typically aren’t an overly cuddly breed. If he doesn’t like it, you’ll have to accept it. If you mean that you can’t handle him at all (sounds like maybe you can’t even put a leash on?) that’s a completely different problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you mean that you can’t handle him period or just that he doesn’t like affection? Some dogs are that way, and shepherds typically aren’t an overly cuddly breed. If he doesn’t like it, you’ll have to accept it. If you mean that you can’t handle him at all (sounds like maybe you can’t even put a leash on?) that’s a completely different problem.
Yes, I can handle him. I can’t call him to put his leash on but I can put it on when he is cornered. After he is cornered he lets me put it on and he doesn’t object. Beyond that he is obedient and I have no problems.
 

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Some dogs just don't like to be pet. But sometimes they come your way to ask for a pet. Some dogs are just like that...
 

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True, not all dogs are affectionate but from what you’re describing, it seems to be something more going on... relationship wise. A dog that doesn’t enjoy affection should not have to be cornered to be leashed. That’s avoidance.

When did this start? What type of training methods have you used with this dog?
 

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True, not all dogs are affectionate but from what you’re describing, it seems to be something more going on... relationship wise. A dog that doesn’t enjoy affection should not have to be cornered to be leashed. That’s avoidance.

When did this start? What type of training methods have you used with this dog?
I agree with you completely. This is avoidance and it has always been this way with this dog. In background, I believe this dog was near being a feral do. He had perhaps zero socialization. When I went to get him he was one of the last two pups for sale. He was in a pen with his sister. I don’t know what trauma he went through to be in that pen ... but he was probably just caught and put in it. Anyway, the owner helped me catch him and I brought him home very frightened but not offering to bite. He just froze. So, I was able to pick him up and get him in the house where he was content to hide in a corner. For 60 days I read and tried to learn and used high value treats and exactly at 60 days he would eat from my hand. But he never wanted affection. I know it was a particularly stressful day for him when I had to put a collar and leash on him to make a vet visit.He absolutely hates the leash but when it’s on him he learned very quickly it was futile to fight it so he handles perfectly as he doesn’t want to feel the leash. But I had to corner him that day to get the leash on and he remembers it and doesn’t trust me. Beyond this issue he is a wonderful dog. We play fetch and tug and he stays right with me constantly. He goes with me in my truck which he loves and he comes immediately when I call. Beyond that I don’t train any and so that is our relationship.
 

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How about grooming?

Also, what’s his lounge behavior like... will he relax and just lay next to you?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
His coat looks great but of course it’s just natural as he wouldn’t consider letting me brush him.

But yes, he’s happy to constantly lay at my feet and he rests a lot and is very calm.
 

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Can you touch him briefly then offer a treat if he doesn’t cringe? My dog was vet phobic due to bad early handling by an inexperienced vet. He also would not let anyone Restrain him, or come up behind him and touch his back or roll over into his back. I began instead by touching his stomach which he didn’t mind and treating. I gradually got him to roll over for stomach massages. Then I started hugging him and restraining. By then the only reward was praise. It took about a year, but he finally got to the point where he was cuddly for me and family members and allowed a vet he knows to touch and examine him. Also a lot of drop ins for treats at the vet, but that is a different issue,
 

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Well, he’s still young... and where I think the goal of cuddling is a bit lofty and should be discarded at the moment, there is still some progress to be made.

Hindsight is often 20/20 and there are things that would have been much easier to accomplish as a baby puppy - such as grooming, regular body handing, wearing a dragline... that would assist you greatly now, but those moments have passed. You can introduce those things now but results may be limited and/or take longer.

Sidenote: having had a long coat, his coat wasn’t anywhere near the length and fullness at 14 months as it ended up being in adulthood. Your dog WILL need to tolerate grooming. Do not ignore this.

Anyway, I would start out slow and pretty nonchalant in your attempts to get him used to touch... start in an area or situation where he’s most comfortable and keep sessions extremely short. Will he let you pet him outside or in the truck? Can you rest a hand on his side if he’s laying down and just hanging out? I’d put a dragline on him (cheap leash with the handle cut)... to desensitize him to having a leash on, periodically picking it up and walking around the house with it, etc. you can also use this to your advantage of walking him over to his regular leash and exchanging the two before walks. Eliminate the conflict and the pattern of not coming or being cornered... take away the predictability of that routine... anything that may trigger the practiced yet undesirable behavior.

Things like that...

Also, if you google T touch, those exercises are something that you may be able to work towards over time. My dog particularly likes the Ear Touch.
 

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You posted this question approx 9 months ago. So I’m wondering if you tried any suggestions offered in that thread as it was a long thread, 20 pages worth.

Maybe you could start by saying what you tried that didn’t work so members don’t double up on their suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
9C63F07C-5A42-4328-907B-BA2D1D6AD7F4.jpeg

Well, he’s still young... and where I think the goal of cuddling is a bit lofty and should be discarded at the moment, there is still some progress to be made.

Hindsight is often 20/20 and there are things that would have been much easier to accomplish as a baby puppy - such as grooming, regular body handing, wearing a dragline... that would assist you greatly now, but those moments have passed. You can introduce those things now but results may be limited and/or take longer.

Sidenote: having had a long coat, his coat wasn’t anywhere near the length and fullness at 14 months as it ended up being in adulthood. Your dog WILL need to tolerate grooming. Do not ignore this.

Anyway, I would start out slow and pretty nonchalant in your attempts to get him used to touch... start in an area or situation where he’s most comfortable and keep sessions extremely short. Will he let you pet him outside or in the truck? Can you rest a hand on his side if he’s laying down and just hanging out? I’d put a dragline on him (cheap leash with the handle cut)... to desensitize him to having a leash on, periodically picking it up and walking around the house with it, etc. you can also use this to your advantage of walking him over to his regular leash and exchanging the two before walks. Eliminate the conflict and the pattern of not coming or being cornered... take away the predictability of that routine... anything that may trigger the practiced yet undesirable behavior.

Things like that...

Also, if you google T touch, those exercises are something that you may be able to work towards over time. My dog particularly likes the Ear Touch.
Thanks. I believe what
You posted this question approx 9 months ago. So I’m wondering if you tried any suggestions offered in that thread as it was a long thread, 20 pages worth.

Maybe you could start by saying what you tried that didn’t work so members don’t double up on their suggestions.

You’re right, I joined the forum at the time I got my dog to learn. I had him drag a line for some time and this did not really desensitize him to a leash.

in broad terms it should be known that I’m a young 75 and just want this dog as a companion and don’t have an interest in much training. I want him to come when I call which he does. He’s really perfect except he doesn’t want to be touched, caught or restrained in any way. But, when he is, he tolerates it well.

i think as he loves to go in my truck that following him in and giving him some loving much more often than I have been doing may be the best way to desensitize him to my touch.
 

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My 2 cents...

I've never seen a dog that doesn't like to be petted. But, they dictate when and how. If your dog is avoiding your touch, it's because your method of touch is unwanted! Try doing it in a way that's enjoyable for the dog!

Nearly 100% of the time people say their dog is growling at or biting them, the person uses the term "love on them".

Loving on your dog more is not likely to desensitize him, it's more likely to lead to more avoidance and/or growling or biting!

Are you "loving on him" for him or for you? Try doing it for him and you'll find he really does enjoy it!
 

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My 2 cents...

I've never seen a dog that doesn't like to be petted. But, they dictate when and how. If your dog is avoiding your touch, it's because your method of touch is unwanted! Try doing it in a way that's enjoyable for the dog!

Nearly 100% of the time people say their dog is growling at or biting them, the person uses the term "love on them".

Loving on your dog more is not likely to desensitize him, it's more likely to lead to more avoidance and/or growling or biting!

Are you "loving on him" for him or for you? Try doing it for him and you'll find he really does enjoy it!
I don’t know really. I want to ‘love on him’ but that never happens. Recently I’ve started following him into the truck and just trying to scratch his neck a little to show affection and that I wasn’t going to put the leash on every time. I can see he wants to be petted and to my dismay I’ve seen him let a complete stranger pet him. I think he just hates the leash and doesn’t trust me .... fears I’m going to restrain him. And now I kinda believe it could go all the way back to when he was weaned and forcefully caged. Then when I introduced the collar and leash, I became the enemy too. It’s just that I see that he loves me and wants to be with me ... just no touch or restrain, please.
 

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True story that "may" shed some light on this situation.

I recently worked with a beautiful red and white, long haired Siberian Husky that people called the ghost dog. He wouldn't let anyone but his owner touch him. He wouldn't walk by people in a hallway, or anywhere else he felt trapped. He'd accept treats, but quickly dart away before anyone could pet him.

It took a week, and I could pet him, and he'd walk by me in a hallway or to go outside. How?

Respect.

I never tried to grab or reach for him. Basically, just showed him I was safe. No surprises, no unwanted pets, no grabbing at him.

By week 2 we were wrestling buddies.

Show your dog he can trust you by NOT grabbing at or trying to touch him. Respect his wishes.
 

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Sounds a lot like my male. He loves truck rides and loves to be with me but he is not a big fan of loving and likes to keep his distance. I can pet him briefly but then he moves on. He is 9 now and I will say he is getting better about petting. But it has been a very slow process with no pressure. If your dog is not misbehaving, I suggest patience, more truck rides, and just enjoy your time together. He will come around in his own time.
 
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