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My dog just turned 15 months and has turned into a little monster! He goes to training 2 times a week with a very excellent trainer. About 2 weeks ago he got back from a 10 day board and train program at my trainer's and I have really started to see him in a whole new light. I feel like he doesn't respect me (constantly testing me) and it's frustrating. I train him 4-5 times a day (mentally & physically) but he constantly looks off to the side, to the grass, constantly giving me the finger. I still handfeed him and go by nothing is for free. He also is starting to lunge and pull and bark at other dogs when they look at him. He also is turning hyperactive inside, he has a tougher time calming down and jut yesterday he chewed something up (he never does that). I have tried adding more training short training sessions but he goes off to sniff some trees and has very selective hearing. Also he had a fit today and he hasn't had one since he has 6 months (starts biting and jumping everywhere (hyperactively)). I am getting stressed and I know I still have months of this. What more can I do? Thanks ahead of time guys!
 

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You need to be trained yourself on how to work with your dog.If you aren't a confident leader it will only get worse instead of better.Find a new trainer that will help you develop the skills and attitude you need.
 

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You need to be trained yourself on how to work with your dog.If you aren't a confident leader it will only get worse instead of better.Find a new trainer that will help you develop the skills and attitude you need.
I can't agree more. My GSD Simon is now almost 2.5 years old. I did not have good leadership skills. When I show strong leadership, he is very well behaved. I needed German Shepherd people to teach me that. I went to a Schutzhund club and they showed me how to handle him. He was lunging at dogs, etc., and none of that is happening now. It's been more than a year since he reacted to another dog.
 

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I can't agree more. My GSD Simon is now almost 2.5 years old. I did not have good leadership skills. When I show strong leadership, he is very well behaved. I needed German Shepherd people to teach me that. I went to a Schutzhund club and they showed me how to handle him. He was lunging at dogs, etc., and none of that is happening now. It's been more than a year since he reacted to another dog.
I see posts like these all the time but rarely ever see specifics. Can you please give me some tips as to what specifically I should do? I have a 5 month old. Looking at her overall, she is a very good girl. But, she does lunge at people and other dogs, but always in a playful manner. Never any aggression. I use a harness, and when I snap the harness to correct her she does seem to get the point for 5 seconds or so, then goes right back to doing what she was doing. You said the SchH club showed you how to handle the dog, can you give me some pointers?
 

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First of all, someone else who knows what they are doing will have to watch YOU with your dog. They can tell you specifically how to improve by watching you in person.

I can tell you--get off a harness, you do not have control of your dog with it. You need to find a good trainer that will show you how to READ your dog's body language and how to PROPERLY correct your dog with a prong collar. People say wait 6 months for a prong. I had an experienced trainer put my guy on a light Hermes-Sprenger prong at 5.5 months. My GSD is on the biggest HS Prong collar now--and properly fitted. It makes a difference to use a prong collar and not a harness.
 

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I see posts like these all the time but rarely ever see specifics. Can you please give me some tips as to what specifically I should do? I have a 5 month old. Looking at her overall, she is a very good girl. But, she does lunge at people and other dogs, but always in a playful manner. Never any aggression. I use a harness, and when I snap the harness to correct her she does seem to get the point for 5 seconds or so, then goes right back to doing what she was doing. You said the SchH club showed you how to handle the dog, can you give me some pointers?
The problem is it's SO difficult to describe the nuances over the internet!It's mostly a state of mind with this breed.Feeling calm and confident,having a picture in your mind of the behavior you want.They can pick up instantly if you're feeling hesitant or angry and react to it.

If you can catch her in the instant BEFORE she begins to react,give a strong correction,then change direction if possible and give her something else to do.A tug or toy is helpful as a reward for giving you the focus and changing her state of mind.You can create a new habit of her focusing on you whenever she is "triggered".

A collar is generally more effective than a harness IMO but do what works best for you.Hope this helps:)
 

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My dog just turned 15 months and has turned into a little monster! He goes to training 2 times a week with a very excellent trainer. About 2 weeks ago he got back from a 10 day board and train program at my trainer's and I have really started to see him in a whole new light. I feel like he doesn't respect me (constantly testing me) and it's frustrating. I train him 4-5 times a day (mentally & physically) but he constantly looks off to the side, to the grass, constantly giving me the finger. I still handfeed him and go by nothing is for free. He also is starting to lunge and pull and bark at other dogs when they look at him. He also is turning hyperactive inside, he has a tougher time calming down and jut yesterday he chewed something up (he never does that). I have tried adding more training short training sessions but he goes off to sniff some trees and has very selective hearing. Also he had a fit today and he hasn't had one since he has 6 months (starts biting and jumping everywhere (hyperactively)). I am getting stressed and I know I still have months of this. What more can I do? Thanks ahead of time guys!
I'd say your on the right track as far as what you said about respect, but maybe you're still asking him to behave instead of telling him to. Still hand feeding him is kinda hoping he'll listen, adding more training sessions sounds good, but if it isn't producing what you want, its just reinforcing what he's already doing. What do you do when he lunges?
 

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First of all, someone else who knows what they are doing will have to watch YOU with your dog. They can tell you specifically how to improve by watching you in person.

I can tell you--get off a harness, you do not have control of your dog with it. You need to find a good trainer that will show you how to READ your dog's body language and how to PROPERLY correct your dog with a prong collar. People say wait 6 months for a prong. I had an experienced trainer put my guy on a light Hermes-Sprenger prong at 5.5 months. My GSD is on the biggest HS Prong collar now--and properly fitted. It makes a difference to use a prong collar and not a harness.
The problem is it's SO difficult to describe the nuances over the internet!It's mostly a state of mind with this breed.Feeling calm and confident,having a picture in your mind of the behavior you want.They can pick up instantly if you're feeling hesitant or angry and react to it.

If you can catch her in the instant BEFORE she begins to react,give a strong correction,then change direction if possible and give her something else to do.A tug or toy is helpful as a reward for giving you the focus and changing her state of mind.You can create a new habit of her focusing on you whenever she is "triggered".

A collar is generally more effective than a harness IMO but do what works best for you.Hope this helps:)
Well I just had a very pleasant walk with her. She still jumps on me though, she wants to play and I kind of wasnt in the mood for playing. I had a short tug session, but overall I noticed was that if I am at all amped up she gets hyper as well. Even by me moving quickly and its ON for her. I kept everything calm, slow, I still had the harness on her but gave a few light pops and went back to walking calm with good posture, head straight. She does want to go after other dogs but its all play, I'll see how it goes for the next month or so. I do see improvement as time goes by but I know it's mostly my fault. Sometimes I just want her to pee and poop and go home. I think if I ever do get a prong collar, it won be for long. I think she almost gets it. Now if I can only get her to calm down at home. Jumping on couches and taking food from the table is my biggest problem as of now.
 

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NYC sounds like you know what to do.Making things clear to your girl will go a long way.Firm corrections,praise that she responds well to.Try to make things black and white for her.Best of luck to you and looking forward to brags about your progress:)
 

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When he lunges I get his attention and reward him for it. If the dog is neutral he won't care about it but as soon as the other dog goes off, he starts barking. He's my 2nd working line gsd, but is definitely more intense than my previous one.I have tried all my types of tricks to get his attention but when he goes off, it's hard and he's very strong. I am very hesitant about using the prong collar because I had a bad experience with it and a previous trainer. Are there better ways to get attention? I have been using time outs a lot more often when he's hyperactive but is that a good idea?
 

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When he lunges I get his attention and reward him for it. If the dog is neutral he won't care about it but as soon as the other dog goes off, he starts barking. He's my 2nd working line gsd, but is definitely more intense than my previous one.I have tried all my types of tricks to get his attention but when he goes off, it's hard and he's very strong. I am very hesitant about using the prong collar because I had a bad experience with it and a previous trainer. Are there better ways to get attention? I have been using time outs a lot more often when he's hyperactive but is that a good idea?
When my dog broke my shoulder going after another dog, I got tough and I got serious about getting him under control. I had been messing around with all-positive trainers and he got used to misbehaving.

I went to people who knew working dogs and watched them handle my dog. I learned from them what to do and how to handle him. As the training director said--This dog is not a pussycat. I needed to up my skills and my leadership. He is a completely different dog now because I am a different handler. Leadership, I found, is key. A lot of leadership is mental.
 

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Totally agree with @Moriah ^^^ I am a petite person and soft spoken, I had to get a GOOD balanced trainer to train ME to be a strong leader. I had to work really hard at making my expectations clear and consistent. I also joined an IPO club and the trainer there has taught me how to build engagement with my dog while using his natural drives and energy and not squishing any enthusiasm.
 

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Are there better ways to get attention?
Yeah, first he has to know he can't do these things. Period. Then you'll have his attention. At 15mos you're trying to bribe him keeping your fingers crossed it works and thats conditioning him to do what he wants, first, then maybe a little bit of what you want. I'd agree with Moriah too, wrong trainer for this dog with you.
 

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Thanks to everyone who posted. I took him to the vet, it turns out he has some blood problems, was dehydrated and cannot digest food properly. Since changing food, adding more supplements and incorporating more digestable water into his diet, he is like a new dog! Thanks everyone for their thoughts!
 

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When my dog broke my shoulder going after another dog, I got tough and I got serious about getting him under control. I had been messing around with all-positive trainers and he got used to misbehaving.

I went to people who knew working dogs and watched them handle my dog. I learned from them what to do and how to handle him. As the training director said--This dog is not a pussycat. I needed to up my skills and my leadership. He is a completely different dog now because I am a different handler. Leadership, I found, is key. A lot of leadership is mental.
How did you 'up your game'? Would you mind explaining? I find this really intriguing how a change of your mental state can totally change your dog. My GSD is at the teenage stage also, I've been trying positive training but it doesn't seem to be creating any huge progress.
 

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How did you 'up your game'? Would you mind explaining? I find this really intriguing how a change of your mental state can totally change your dog. My GSD is at the teenage stage also, I've been trying positive training but it doesn't seem to be creating any huge progress.


If I am "indecisive," then it is easier for Simon to blow me off. So I stand up straighter, and I follow through, and I mean what I command (I make him do what I say).

I am now working with a fabulous trainer and an e-collar. Simon has been "coming" and "downing" since he was 5 weeks old at the breeder. Now, business happens.

I started a private class (no treats) a month ago with a different trainer. Each time we showed up, Simon was ignoring me more and more. I brought this up to the instructor and she said, "German Shepherds like to know their environment so that's why he looking around." I brought up that he should be corrected sooner for not heeling correctly. She said she thought he was doing fine, that we should let him make decisions without correcting so much. Wrong!!! This dog making his own decisions??!!

From that trainer's parking lot, I called an expert who is an hour drive each way (or more). This is a very experienced GSD trainer who uses e-collars. Cleaned up heeling and downing and dog reactivity in one session this week.

Leadership? The dog HAS to pay attention to me at all times while actively heeling. The dog HAS to down immediately w/o sniffing or moving. The dog is NOT allowed to react to dogs. If I let my particular dog get away with something small, he goes for worse behavior the next time. I would not use an e-collar without excellent professional help from a good trainer. My trainer says, "You have to interrupt his thinking and you have to have his attention." (And that e-collar is cranked up.)

So, first I went to Schutzhund last summer and got help from the working dog people there. And then, this week I went to a trainer with a stellar track record who uses e-collars.

Simon is happier when he is made to obey. The burden of making decisions is off of him. He is wagging his tail and happy while heeling and looks up at me with a relaxed face on downs. It's better for both of us.

I am a teacher. You had better know what you want as far as behavior, expectations, etc., or you won't get it. I am a confident teacher. I have to know what I want from the dog, and expect that I can get it.
 
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