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I recently got a female german shepherd that is around 1-2years old from someone who wasn't taking care of her very well. For one thing she is a bit underweight about 60lbs I can see all her ribs and rear hip bones and for another they did very little training apart from putting her in a crate a lot. They never spayed her or clipped her nails either so that is happening next week.

Right now she comes when I call, sits, she does hang around my property very well unless she sees a deer or squirrel which she will chase but she comes back. No socialization whatsoever so she is cautious around different looking people (tall/very fat, big hats, ethnicities) and aloof with other dogs or downright aggressive. She scratches a lot as well (no fleas that I can find + Bravecto) so maybe food allergy? Feeding her Blue Buffalo right now.


She sleeps all night in a crate and doesn't smash it up so that is a plus.



Walking her with the harness they gave me is sled dog so I have been using a choke collar but she still requires a firm hand as any dog who barks at her or any little animal she sees she goes straight for it & she likes to pull all over the place.



I have been doing with her is taking regular walks and working on sit/retrieve the ball as well as taking her public places that don't get a lot of traffic so she can see different people and get used to more situations. I live in a small country town so nobody cares if I take a dog to the ATM or Hardware Store.


My question would be for the people who have been in a similar situation what did you do? Am I doing this correctly or are there other things I should do?


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Looks like you are getting off on the right foot. Go with small chunks of training. As much as you and the dog want to go on nice long hikes it would be good to stick to trips around the block for a few weeks. That way you can work on giving clear directions on how to walk on a leash. I find that I can give the dog clearer directions with a collar than a harness. For my dogs, a harness means they can move out to the end of the leash and give me a little pressure as to which way to go. Collars mean, "this far and no further". If my dogs start to react to an animal or a person then I walk into them with my legs and force them around in a circle. It may take more than one time around for them to look up at me to see what they heck I am doing. I reward the look and then we move on. Best, though, to be diligent about your dog's body language. It is much easier to redirect when the dog is first thinking about acting up than after they've decided on a course of action.

Give her 2 or 3 weeks of just hanging out with family so that she can learn the new rules of life. If she is doing well then you can start having friends come over to meet her.
 
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