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Well, I had Grimm in an enclosed basketball court the other day as usual, running for 10 minutes after balls because we live in a highrise and he needs excersise. Grimm has on-lead "Let me start a PARTY!!" reactions to other dogs, if anyone is following our story. Anyway, yesterday another dog and owner appear in the doorway behind me, and Grimm streaks over to them before I could open my mouth.


Like always, Grimm barked, sprang in the air, landing with his butt high & slowly wagging , face on the ground between his paws.. barked.. did it again and again-- each jump with a bark and him landing with bum in the air, face on ground, tail&bum wagging slowly, mouth open. The other dog barked, the owner barked. I called Grimm back-- he came, even with the potential playmate right there.
I told Grimm to lay down. He did-- no lead on him, and a fun other dog playmate right there a few yards away.

So basicly, he is a NERD-- running up to other dogs, "HEY!! WANNA PLAY?? HUH, HUH, DO YA?? I'M FRIENDLY AND READY TO PLAY!!!" Not a safe thing should the other dog not be able to read other dogs, get scared, etc.

The owner and dog were fine. I was mortified. Yes, I am technically glad Grimm is not dog-aggressive... but this was scary. We have send-away training coming for him, so he can break the longstanding, compelling habit of trying to initiate such a party when on-lead. I honestly cannot correct him so that it registers when the thrill of another dog is on the horizon. (i have extremely weak hands, am unstable on my feet) I have been doing positive clicker training, pro-active FeistyFido stuff... using a Halti etc.. it has helped these on-lead issues where he tries to initiate a meeting, gets frustrated that he can't go over to the dog cos of the lead... but it has not broken the "just one more time.." habit. Hence, 3 - 4 weeks send-away training for this issue coming up.

I just wanted to vent. Sorry, guys. I again am grateful this is not a fear aggression issue or anything like that, but then again, there seem to be *way* more resources and books and classes for fear aggression than Nerdiness-flip-outs. I want to work more with Grimm to create a bond and habit of focus.. i have done that so far quite a bit though.
Any good excersises for teaching self-control, besides waiting for coming through doorways, waiting for food until release command, waiting to get a toy until release command, etc? We do those daily, incorperated into our daily living. Anything new I should try to help build foundation of self-control?
 

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Originally Posted By: Brightelf
Like always, Grimm barked, sprang in the air, landing with his butt high & slowly wagging , face on the ground between his paws.. barked.. did it again and again-- each jump with a bark and him landing with bum in the air, face on ground, tail&bum wagging slowly, mouth open. The other dog barked, the owner barked. I called Grimm back-- he came, even with the potential playmate right there.
I told Grimm to lay down. He did-- no lead on him, and a fun other dog playmate right there a few yards away.


So basicly, he is a NERD-- running up to other dogs, "HEY!! WANNA PLAY?? HUH, HUH, DO YA?? I'M FRIENDLY AND READY TO PLAY!!!" Not a safe thing should the other dog not be able to read other dogs, get scared, etc.
I wish I had ideas for you Patti, my muttliepei is the same way and to add to it, he will whine real loud after the dog is out of sight and carry on as if he is being brutalized while walking (harness) and I have had such strange looks from people - perhaps they think I am abusive to my mutt
Plus, he walks backwards, so that he can keep an eye on the dog that just went by ...


Hope others are able to give more ideas and maybe after Grimm finishes his training, you will also get some ideas from the trainer. Good Luck
 

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First off, you should be immensely proud of Grimm for coming back to you away from such a tempting attraction. Go give him a hug for that right now.
Seriously. THAT ALONE proves you do have some control over him. I have lost count the number of dogs that have similarly rushed us whose owner's pleas fell on deaf ears. Major kudos to both you and Grimm.

I'd say continue doing what you're doing. Y'know what they say, old habits die hard. But it's obvious you guys have already made great strides. You're bound to have setbacks but I can almost guarantee that the rebound from those setbacks will be less and less each time.

Keep up the good work.
 

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I'm with Jamie, how awesome that he came to you when called!!! You should feel very proud of both of you right now.

Good boy Grimm. With a little more work, in the future this will not even be an issue.

I have watched you make such wonderful strides with Grimm!!
 

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Thanks for the inout, ThreeDogs and Jamie.
I think we have done so many recalls with treats or toys that by now it is almost hardwired into his brain to come when called.. I say almost, cos, well.. he still has a major case of "Puppybrain."

How do dogs learn to CALMLY approach other dogs? He reads dogs well.. but he doesn't have exposure to other dogs right now to learn from. Maybe I should ask at the dog shelter if they will allow Grimm some group time with other dogs? He was boarded there for 4 weeks, they let him run with dogs daily in a group.

Is this something dogs learn as they calm down and mature some? Grimm is enthusiastic and wildly happy at 16 months and everything about him seems like 7 months old.. his lines are super-slow to mature.
 

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Part of it could be his adolescence. The GSD in our Level 2/3 class has the ability to restrain and control himself but sometimes his brain doesn't let him.
Which is why he often gets himself in trouble with Risa. She makes it clear that she doesn't want him in her space or bouncing on her. . .and even after a flashy warning he comes right back for more!! (That's why Ris doesn't participate in playtime with the boys anymore because they don't listen to her when she tells them it's enough.)

As Grimm matures, he will find his self control and be able to access it better. But laying a strong foundation now will help you both out.
 

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Thanks for the classmate story, Jamie. PUH-LEEEEZ God, let the bulk of his overexuberance be just adolesence LOL! I will do the best I can with strengthening his foundation of focusing on me. Teenagerhood really does make that tough.


Poor Risa, she has come so far, and the goofadog in class just can't control himself. Grimm really is like that now. It's like enthusiasm overloading the circuitry of his doofa-brain.

Nerdy is as nerdy does, Grimm!
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I do feel a bit sorry for Ris' classmates. All of them are canine teenagers and she just doesn't tolerate their foolishness. They used to play together so nicely but not anymore.
Ris loves puppies, but not adolescents!

It's just a goofy stage we all go through.
Our trainer equates it to doing the exact opposite of what is considered normal for your species. Seems fitting from what I can tell.

Some dogs never get over their exhuberance but I think that's more the retriever-types than GSDs. One of Ris' agility classmates is a 5-year old Flatcoat who is just bouncy and has no concept of space. He's a wonderful friendly dog, just a bit too over the top for Ris' tastes. When he's calm, however, she is more than willing to check him out.
 

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"Nerds with dogbreath"
That would be a great picture thread, wouldn't it??? with only the dorkiest pictures of our pups???

My dogs act the same way with other dogs... I guess because they like each other so much they think every other dog in the world wants to be their friends, too...
 
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