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My rescue has behavioral issues

914 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Aryg2461
So in another thread i posted asking about things to do with a pb gsd as I would like to get a puppy from a breeder in the future. I would like to do more things with my dog Ary but she does have some issues that make it difficult. I have worked with her alot and alot of her issues from when i first got her are gone or else alot more manageable. If anyone has anyone advice on how to help her please let me know.
The biggest issue I have is not being able to touch her feet at all. She has to be sedated to get her nails clipped. I have tried everything i can think of from bribing with food to only clipping one nail at a time while she is resting or not expecting it. I have also tried having other people do it while i'm not in the room. While you try to cut them she screams and twists and turns never tries to bite or anything but she is so big she is just hard to hold and gets severely stressed out. She sheds and releases her anal glands and her pupils get dialated. Nothings seems to work.
She also "sings" alot when she thinks she is in trouble or sometimes
just when you look at her she whines and sort of talks i dont know how else to explain it. She also does this in public when she gets nervous and when i come back after leaving her.
She also will act submissevely when i try to put on her harness, collar or leash and will sing and whine. This has gotten alot better and I think if i keep doing what i'm doing she will get better with this.
My last problem is that when she sees another dog up close she will bark and sing and act crazy unless she can go up to it. The weird thing is that i used to work at a doggy daycare so she was exposed to lots of dogs and my sister has a dog and she never acts like this when at the daycare. I just would like to know how to get her to calm down and not freak out in so many situations and also about the nail thing any advice will help. I havent found any trainer in the area that i like most of them seem to be just strictly for obedience and don't seem to know what they are doing.
Sorry it's so long.
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My 3 yr old lab hates her nails to be cut. I have had her since she was 14 weeks or so and has never had a bad experience. In the past I have had to tie her up to a fence,muzzle her and when its time to do her back I have to hold up her back end and fight the whole time. PEANUT BUTTER. A couple of months ago I opened up a jar of it and let her go to town on it. Not one issue. LOL
First thing - not telling you not to get a puppy from a breeder but just to clarify - there are a huge variety of dogs in rescue and many many many of them have no behavioral problems whatsoever. So if you're open to adopting again, you can certainly find a GSD of pretty much any age without these problems.

Okay, second thing - the vocalizations you're describing sound like anxiety. And yes, if you keep exposing her to things, being careful, and keeping her anxiety level down to where she can handle it, this will improve. There is A LOT of information on this board about dealing with reactive dogs. Check out Patti's threads about Grimm for a wealth of info. She had many similar issues when approaching other dogs and has done a great job overcoming them.

If your dog has much higher stress levels around you than at daycare or other places, then you may be sending your own anxiety right down the leash to her and that's an area to work on. There's good info on the board on that as well. Calming yourself, projecting confidence etc.

As far as the nail trimming, there's a video of a dog learning to tolerate trimming using clicker training that is excellent. It may be a little beyond you as a "how to" if you've never done clicker training but it should at least give you hope that these problems can be overcome. If anyone has that link, perhaps they can post it again?

We had similar nail trimming issues with one of our dogs. We'd get anal glands sprayed at us, she'd go completely ballistic. My husband always said it was like one of those civil war movies where they have to amputate someone's leg with no anesthesia - she could go that bonkers, just about her nails. We used a very slow process of desensitizing to us handling her feet and started using a dremel to do her nails instead. It was like a miracle. I can't believe it's the same dog. Now she lies on her back, totally unrestrained, while her dad rubs her belly and I do her nails.

Here's a link to how to do that:

doberdawn nail trimming
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I definetly plan on rescueing again i know brightstar is only a few miles away i just want to have the experience of having a cute little puppy and raising it to be a great dog! I have rescued all my past family pets and i know they are just as good as any puppy you can get from a breeder. Like i said i just want to have that experience of researching breeders picking out the puppy i want and working with it.
Where did you get Ary from?

So you are in Western NY? Closer to the Rochester area for trainers? Have you gone to any classes with her? If so, where?

I think I am in that area (I know where I am-ha!), so can try to think of some trainers you might want to see.
I got her from the Boulder Humane Society in CO but I am now back home in a little town about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester NY. I took her to training in CO but none since i've been home i would be open to any suggestions of trainers in the area Ary is so so smart i know even though she is a bit older she can learn to do anything i want her to with lots of time.
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