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Discussion Starter #1
Okay - so I'm not trying to get into a huge debate about dog training, but I need some advice on how to handle our girl right now. Suki has always been a big baby with her family (me, my husband, his parents, friends of ours...even has taking a liking to the vet staff!), but recently she's been having trouble with strangers, especially men. Last night, I had her out back at my in law's condo and a man walked by and said "hello" to me and complimented me on how pretty Suki was. He wanted to pet her, and I obliged. She went NUTS, hackles up barking at him. She wouldn't listen to any commands. Even after I walked away from the gentleman, she kept looking back at him and tried to pull towards him as if to chase him off. I ignored the behavior and took her inside, I didn't know if I should discipline.

This morning, I let her out to pee in the front yard - she knows her boundaries very well - and she saw a van at our neighbor's house, 2 painters were doing work over there and she saw them get out of the van. Same situation, went NUTS, but unfortunately (and this is my fault) this time she was not leashed and she ran across the street in a full sprint and barked her head off at them. I had to run across the street and grab her scruff and drag her home. She wouldn't listen to any commands.

She doesn't understand why I get upset with her when she acts like this. I need some advice on what to do when she acts like this, she does not bare her teeth, just barks and hackles go up, but I'm afraid it might escalate. Why is she doing this? She will be 2 in November and she is spayed.
 

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I will certainly be keeping her leashed from here on out - obviously we're at a point right now where I don't know how she's going to react to everyone, so I have to be more careful, that I do know.

I suppose some trips to the park and other public places is in order. We have been lax on her training since she turned 1 and with the hotter weather down here in FL, I have to admit that she spends a lot more time in the AC then she used to.

I guess I'm just trying to figure out if this behavior is aggression or nerves? She really only does this when she is with me, not as much with my husband.
 

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are you giving her any reasons to feel like she needs to protect you?

I will certainly be keeping her leashed from here on out - obviously we're at a point right now where I don't know how she's going to react to everyone, so I have to be more careful, that I do know.

I suppose some trips to the park and other public places is in order. We have been lax on her training since she turned 1 and with the hotter weather down here in FL, I have to admit that she spends a lot more time in the AC then she used to.

I guess I'm just trying to figure out if this behavior is aggression or nerves?

>>>>> She really only does this when she is with me, not as much with my husband.<<<<< [/QUOTE]
 

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I'm not really sure. I am her 'mommy' and she is very affectionate with me. I do a lot (if not most) of the care giving (i.e.; feeding, grooming, taking her to vet when she needs to go) and she follows me everywhere. Perhaps she sees me as less of an alpha and more of a nurturer which makes her feel responsible for me?

I want her to know that I will protect HER, how do I go about showing her this?
 

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Intact or no? Right around the age of becoming an adult
 

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Cruz has started this. We also had gotten laxed with training. Since we started getting back ino training heavier, I've seen a difference. But he also was getting unruly with us. I have noticed a more outward aggression while on walks and around the perimemter of the house. I think in my mind he's accepting the home and yard as his territory now. He has become alot more confident in himself also.

Start back on the training soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
She isn't like this with everyone - seems like its just men at this point (especially if they are tall). I will work with her one on one, since the problem only really occurs when I'm alone with her. I just don't want this problem to keep repeating itself - I know that she is a sweet girl, but not everyone sees that when they look at her, the last thing I want is for her to "prove them right" by acting this way.

Back to the drawing board, I guess. :eek:
 

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She isn't like this with everyone - seems like its just men at this point (especially if they are tall). I will work with her one on one, since the problem only really occurs when I'm alone with her. I just don't want this problem to keep repeating itself - I know that she is a sweet girl, but not everyone sees that when they look at her, the last thing I want is for her to "prove them right" by acting this way.

Back to the drawing board, I guess. :eek:


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Have you used a watch me command? It's a suttle dominance training technique. I don't know if it would work in this instance and we are still working with Cruz on it. It kind of helped us and his attention and focus on us. We got away from it and it has shown. Now that we have started back up, he seems to be getting back to listening alittle better. But we just got started back training.
 

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I'm not really sure. I am her 'mommy' and she is very affectionate with me. I do a lot (if not most) of the care giving (i.e.; feeding, grooming, taking her to vet when she needs to go) and she follows me everywhere. Perhaps she sees me as less of an alpha and more of a nurturer which makes her feel responsible for me?

I want her to know that I will protect HER, how do I go about showing her this?
Showing Suki that you are her leader has nothing to do with adding dominance to your relationship. 'Watch me'...'NILIF'...and training techniques like that help YOU take over the leadership role.

Even simple things such as waiting for permission before entering the house...getting on the couch...cuddles....makes Suki look to you for direction.

Think of it like this...if you came to me and asked me 'how to' do something I said..."hmmmm, let's see" and I pulled out a manual, you wouldn't have too much faith in the instructions that I provided. But, if you asked me 'how to' and I boldly, clearly and without any doubt in myself, provided instructions, you'd have complete faith in what I had to say.

Suki needs for you to provide clear, bold instructions every day, all day.
 

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We also do a sit and wait at all doors. You have to be the first one through and they have to be the last. It is also a dominance exercise. It takes them a minute to understand if they have been firing through the doot first the whole time. It does help teaching then the sit and wait command before using it at the door. It helps them transition better.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all of your feedback - I've come to the conclusion that it's ME who has to start making some changes. I have become entirely too relaxed when it comes to showing her what I expect of her...and its starting to show. NILF techniques have worked in the past (that is how we got her to finally stop mouthing and "talking back" when given commands as a young puppy). Time to step it up again!

I think I'll also start reading more on reactive dogs and how to work with them. Suki easily and often gets distracted, sometimes even her high value treats don't do it for her. I was looking in to a few books by trainer/authors who specialize in high drive but reactive/distracted pups. I'll let you know how it goes!!
 
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