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Jordan has this thing where she wants to play with everyone! I think its great and I am happy she is so interested in meeting ppl and animals however it seems like when she sees other dogs and We (the owners) dont allow her to go up and sniff and "play" she gets over excited and barks, occasionally she will lunge toward them. The manager at petsmart said it was play aggression and we needed to nip it in the butt and not let it get worse.... she starts formal obedience training on the 25th but I am trying to start directing her toward approriate behavior now vs waiting.

We are clicker training... I have been saying "leave it" in terms of our cats and other ppls dogs, and "gentle" when mouthing ppl/pets (which she normally looks at me with the big puppy dog eyes and licks whatever she had her mouth on lol which equals lots of praise and sometimes a treat!) Should I continue this? Or do you guys have any other suggestions?

Thanks (I know ive been posting a lot, geez I thought I was prepared for a puppy... 6 months of research and Im still completley lost!)


-Jess
 

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Research is one thing, reality is another. How old is Jordan? Appears she has a strong play drive. As long as it remains play and doesn't turn into aggression or dominance it should be harmless. As for the barking and lunging, she is young and exuberant and you will have to get that under control over time. She can't always get what she wants and she will learn that... with your help and patience.
I see so many owners whose dogs want to play play play and they are inconsiderate of other dogs/owners who have limits. Just because they are playing doesn't mean EVERYONE wants to play.
 

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I think this is probably due to frustration at not being able to get to the dog. Mine did this as pups. It can get pretty intense and look "aggressive". I tried to redirect the pup's attention to me and get more distance from the other dog. I work on a behavior with lots of clicks and treats to occupy them. This can result in a situation where when your dog sees another dog they begin to look to you for interaction and reward! It takes time and reinforcement.

If you get over zealous in correction or have any emotional reaction, it can worsen the problem and create possible real issues though. The pup might think the other dog is upsetting you and begin to get reactive to them.
 

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Interesting thought on "leave it" I was using "leave it" when other dogs came by and Wolfie wanted to play with them, in the same way you are using it. I did it in front of his obedience trainer and she said don't use that command for that purpose. She said "leave it" means to leave it for now but they can have it later. The dog will stop for the time being, but will keep doing that behavior because you use the command leave it. She said use No if you don't want that behavior at all.
 

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I am going through the same thing with my male GSD. He loves to bark his head off when he is on the leash and sees another dog. We go to a very good trainer now and she is showing us how to redirect his attention using treats when another dog comes. Also, we stopped taking him to the dog park until we have the behavior under control. The trainer said that the dog park is probably reinforcing the barking behavior. It makes sense to me. He walks by dogs and barks his head off. It's too much for me to stop it. It has been two weeks and he is improving.

I also read that you talked to the manager at Petsmart. I had a bit of a bad experience at Petsmart with my GSD. He got thrown out of their lame class on the first day because he barked too much. The trainer said that I don't know how to handle my dog and I am not in charge. So, I gave a little demo for her at the store--sit, stay, come, down---all OFF leash. Her response was, "Well, you still cannot join the class, but we have a private class for 75 DOLLARS AN HOUR!!!" Her plan was to walk my dog around the store and yank on his collar until he submits. I told her, "I don't think so, and I wouldn't recommend with other, older GSDs. They will eat you for your trouble." I got my money back and went to a real trainer. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jordan is 14 weeks old.

We actually have an awesome trainer who is a CGC tester and we spoke to him again yesterday -- I was very up front about how she acts around other dogs... he asked another customer to walk by us and observed Jordan's reaction (this is after he had seen her sit, down, wait, sit up, here, and heel). He said she was doing great considering she wasnt being allowed to play. The manager, I think, didnt know what she was talking about.


Thanks for the comments and advice - I look forward to monday evening when, hopefully, I will be taught how to teach her what to do instead of bark. Ive been doing the "Oh its a puppy!" I let her look for a second then lure her away with treats and praise a lot.... she actually doesnt bark everytime now... I think it was more she had no idea what to do instead of bark -- I dont think she understood barking is rude in the middle of the store! : )

-Jess
 

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I am so glad to read that you have a good trainer. I think about what could have happened had I taken the advice of the Petsmart lady, and it is not good. Yank and jerking that chain would have made one scared, reactive and agressive dog out what is becoming a confident and balanced GSD. Good luck!!
 

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I can't say id put up with a trainer doing that to my pup... I dont know a whole lot but I know that I want to train positively as much as possible.

Our trainer is through Petsmart but he has more experience than the small amount of training that petsmart provides which is a big plus to us. : ) And he recognized Jordan and I just from our paperwork ...meaning he reads up on his clients and pups. : )


-Jess
 

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Do they allow play time at PetSmart classes? The interaction at this age is crucial. You might want to look up an obedience training club in your area, the classes are a lot cheaper, there's a variety of experienced trainers, something to think about for the future if you're interested in agility, rally, obedience etc. Good luck!
 
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