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Today I drove four hours to Indiana to adopt a 7 month old female German Shepherd from a county humane society. I just got home a few hours ago.



The story with Kali is that she was purchased as a puppy by a family with small children. The mom couldn't handle her, and the father worked all the time. She has obviously had no training at all. She jumps up on people, and I can imagine her knocking kids down. Kali is very happy to meet women, but not so much men. I was putting her outside just now when she didn't want to go, and I think she bared her teeth at me just a little as I pushed her out the door. When I reached to grab her collar, she shrunk back as though I was going to hit her. I suspect that the dad in her family must have hit her for reasons she did not understand, probably discipline delivered hours later after whatever she was supposedly being punished for.

So I am starting not just from scratch, but in the hole quite a bit. She has every bad habit there is. I want Kali to be aggressive, just not against me, so I want to correct her, but just not too much. It is a fine line, and not very easy to accomplish. I am going to start with a pocket full of treats to get her to understand the idea of accepting commands, or at least coming to me when called. No one has done that for her before. She is very smart; she started whining when I picked up a leash and attached it to my male's collar while she was crated. She knew the leash meant leaving; she whined the instant I touched it.

I think I have a great dog here. She is purebred and eligible for AKC registration. I suspect she has a European pedigree. It is a crime against all that is right and holy that a dog this fine could be at a county pound, which is why I drove four hours to get her.

I want to do everything right, and I will be reading a lot on this site in the next few days. But for the love of shepherds, please help me! I feel like I am in over my head. All suggestions are appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Build up her confidence, get her into a class so you can build your bond, but first you should do a two week shutdown and start practicing NILIF to set her up for success.
 

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You do not want her to be aggressive. You might want her to be protective but that is a natural instinct. You don't ever want to correct growling though. Just remember that this is all super new to her and she is trying to protect herself. She has to learn to trust you.

She is scared right now so you need to minimize stress. If you want her to go outside toss a handful of treats or yummy food (cheese or chicken) out there and let her run out there after them. Do the same to get her into the house.

As onyx'girl said, she needs tons of structure right now. Reward her for everything she does that is what you want, even if it's the tiniest thing. Avoid petting her on the head, or grabbing her collar. You may even need to avoid looking at her initially. Treat like a pup, keep things positive, simple and structured. And make sure she gets lots of leashed walks so she can burn off some of that anxiety. IF she is afraid of you, you should be the one walking her.
 

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I wouldn't even let her out without a leash yet. You don't know if she is a runner or jumper or if she would come back in any of these cases.
 

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I wouldn't even let her out without a leash yet. You don't know if she is a runner or jumper or if she would come back in any of these cases.
I agree, and I'd use a martingale collar so she can't slip out of it.
Agree with Ruth too, aggression is something you don't need to tap into. Especially when it is fear based.
 

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Reminds me of my girl! Maybe there is a trainer or behaviorist who can help you one on one :) She is gorgeous.
 

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I'd use a short lead around the house (cheap one from $ store with loop cut so it's just flat & straight) so you will not be "grabbing the collar". I would not "push" the dog anywhere but rather lure/bring/take her out side.
If she's responsive to food, I would call her to me with food to pick up the lead (see cheap short lead note). I'd be using a lot of lures and rewards right now.

So congratulations on your "Challenge" -- Maybe that should be her name?
 

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Petty much just gonna expand on what's been said first this:

No training during this time you want to develop a bond with your dog. A getting to know your dog period his has been proven to develope fewer handler/dog "issues" with K9 teams, I did not do that with my rescue GSD, I had "problems" but it all worked out in the long run. :)
I just got a rescued dog – what do I do? | stickydogblog

I had "people "aggression issues you seem to have "fear" issues. Both take time and patience. Both need the same solution your dog needs to look to you for guidance. Your dog should not pick and chose who's a problem that's your job and you need to show him, he can trust you and what normal interactions look like.

Leerburg | Who Pets Your Puppy or Dog

Very similar to this:
Five Golden Rules for Working with Fearful Dogs by Nicole Wilde | Fearfuldogs' Blog

Finally don't screw up your hard work by having a bad encounter, a dog fight at a Dog Park or bad encounter with "I thought my dog was friendly folks" will show your dog that "you" can't protect him!
Leerburg | Dog Parks: Why They Are A Bad Idea

"My" personal belief is that in addition to the obvious possibility of a fight, if your dog runs around out of control with a pack of dogs he learns you don't matter!

I'm sure once you put a lot of time and training into your dog that is most likely not the case but if you put a lot of time in training into your dog why take the risk?
Are Dog Parks a Good Idea for Service Dogs? | Working Like Dogs
And:
Three Dogs Who Shouldn’t Be at the Dog Park or Daycare | Robin Bennett

To start leash work:


My guys were all taught to ignore other dogs and I never put them in a position to be attacked or struck
by another dog. I never had leash reactive dogs but if you do:

Good luck and have fun with your dog. :)
 

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Patience and structure, she's very young and you can help get her over her past life!

I took in a girl from a very similar situation. She was a lot of work getting her through her fears but she grew up to be wonderful. Although she never did get over her distrust of men...
 

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Just want to add one thing to all the great advice you got here. In relation to the collar grab reaction, use lots of treats so she is conditioned to the collar grab as something positive.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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Just want to add one thing to all the great advice you got here. In relation to the collar grab reaction, use lots of treats so she is conditioned to the collar grab as something positive.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
The short drag leash for in the house control is a much much better alternative to "collar grabbing" in my opinion. Don't know this dog or any previous history but I'd be willing to bet that she has experienced "collar grabbing" by men in her past? Would'nt go there myself. :)
 

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The short drag leash for in the house control is a much much better alternative to "collar grabbing" in my opinion. Don't know this dog or any previous history but I'd be willing to bet that she has experienced "collar grabbing" by men in her past? Would'nt go there myself. :)
The problem with this is that one still has to grab the collar to put the leash on. You can train a dog a command that allows one to put the leash on. It's simple to teach.
 

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The problem with this is that one still has to grab the collar to put the leash on. You can train a dog a command that allows one to put the leash on. It's simple to teach.
The "grabbing" part got me. Don't know if the OP said anything about "grabbing"?

But yes you are correct. :)
 

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Thanks for the links and advice that was posted.

Kali is submissively urinating a lot. I don't think she ever did for the woman who took care of her at the shelter. I understand submissive urinating, so I don't get angry about it. It's nice to not have any carpet in my house, all hardwood floors picked out with pets in mind. It is becoming more obvious to me that the man in her life hit her quite a bit. She seems convinced I will do the same.
 

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Here's a book recommendation:

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0976641402?pc_redir=1395992891&robot_redir=1[/ame]

David Winners
 

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I'm very happy for this girl, now that she's found a forever home with someone who knows the breed and will be able to give her the life she deserves! I'm happy for you too, OP - I think she'll be just fine once she settles into your own routine.

I don't think that it's a good idea to assume she was abused in her past home. Lots of times the newly adopted dogs are pretty apprehensive when their lives are tuned upside down, and they need time to adjust. She needs to get to know you, and the submissive urination and the lifted lip are her ways of showing you she's not comfortable yet. These are normal reactions, especially if she was a handful in her previous home - she may have been isolated quite a bit, since you've got to figure that she'd been there for 5 months and this is a difficult period: if the owner was so overwhelmed that rehoming (abandoning, at the shelter) was their choice, then I can imagine the pup was either crated or banished to the yard or basement to control the (what we all think of as fun, lol) crazy puppy stage. If you allow her the time to find herself before you start asking things from her, then I think you'll be able to form a bond sooner rather than later. Good luck with this lovely girl! :)
 

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Thanks for the links and advice that was posted.

Kali is submissively urinating a lot. I don't think she ever did for the woman who took care of her at the shelter. I understand submissive urinating, so I don't get angry about it. It's nice to not have any carpet in my house, all hardwood floors picked out with pets in mind. It is becoming more obvious to me that the man in her life hit her quite a bit. She seems convinced I will do the same.
When we get rescues we all speculate on why or how it's just human nature. But how we get them past there issues is what's important.

I kept people out of my "people aggressive" dogs face, I kept him out of dog parks and I did not do "I thought my dog was friendly folks" and taught him to ignore other dogs. My dog learned what was expected of him and looked to me for direction. He knew I had his back.
"Who pets my puppy or Dog" was what I did.

It was my "theory" that this same approach would also work for dogs with fear issues.
Fearfuldogs' Blog | Positive help for fearful dogs
Five Golden Rules for Working with Fearful Dogs by Nicole Wilde | Fearfuldogs' Blog

Pretty much looks like I was right.
 
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