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We have been working on leash training Karma. She does fairly well, but the main thing I have noticed with her, is that even at only 7 months, and a 1/4 of my size, how powerful she is!

We have two English Bulldogs (Bubba the male is 65lbs of muscle) and i have expected him to have the power/strength he does also helps his low center of gravity.

Karma on the other hand is still a young pup. Very "stringy" compared to her more compact brother lol. I'm not a small fella myself, and I was able to handle her effectively, but was pretty impressed. Her pulling isn't constant, but when she does, it actually pleases me a little to see.. and here's why..

We went to tractor supply to get her a dog bed, and to do some socializing with other animals (2 and 4 legged kind). We took along our tiny hooman (2 year old little girl we adopted with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). My fiance was pushing the cart with the tiny hooman in it, and i was walking with karma. Karma would only pull, when the girls were ahead of us by 5' or more. Once we caught up to them, the leash went limp. She never lets her tiny hooman out of her sight, and was one of the reasons we wanted a GSD. Our bullies are lovers and eaters. We wanted a dog that would actually bark if someone knocked, not snort or fart.

Now i am not training her to be aggressive, or overly protective. I just want her to use her natural GSD instincts of the protect the flock. Being present and close to the littles, and my fiance. I am gone semi often due to hunting or work training, so i want to know that there is something or someone else in the house when i'm not around, and so far Karma seems to be fitting that perfectly :)

She loves her little pack, and certainly favors me when i'm around (always wanting to be on my lap, or near me at all times). But she did AWESOME at TSC. Got some lovings, and i even watched her be leery of a younger couple (who asked permission to pet her, and i agreed).. She sniffed them, and slowly backed away which is VERY odd for her. Anyways.. Thought i would share our little experience and the little things i have noticed personally as a new GSD owner :)
 

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Congratulations on the new puppy (or, not so new now, but the progress too!). One thing I think you might find helpful, especially at her age now, is that taking her places and allowing no contact whatsoever will be good...for both her obedience, and her expextations/perspective.

My current puppy was pretty outgoing as a youngster, so I let her meet and greet people frequently. As she got bigger though, she got bigger and more strong and strongly demanding/expecting that contact. And consequently was more difficult to handle in public.

The simple solution was to stop allowing any contact with anyone or any dogs while out and about in public places. That change made ALL the difference in her behavior.

I still let her interact with other dogs and people frequently, I just don't do it EVER anymore at TSC or Home Depot. And that simple change really helped her behavior in those venues.

Hope that insight is somewhat helpful. All the best to you, your fiance, and your teeny hooman and pup!

Good on ya for helping that kid out too...the world needs more folks like you!
 

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I agree with Tim, just wanted to offer support for the same approach from a different perspective. I adopted a 3/4 month old from the local shelter. She came with a several challenges, some from a total lack of training and some from nerves/temperament: No leash manners, highly stranger and dog reactive, and more than a little defensive if/when we encountered neighbors during walkies. So, all humans were firmly requested NOT to talk to her, NOT to look at her and NOT to engage her in any way. Her job was to sit quietly while they passed (lots of walkers and runners here) and, later, to sit quietly while the neighbor and I chatted. She could stare, but she couldn't grumble, bark, lunge, sniff or in any way investigate the stranger. It took time and utter consistency, but she got the message.

There's a small community hospital, with ER, a few blocks away which we also used as a training spot. Once she was better (but not perfect!) at passing strangers on the street, we'd include a stroll towards the hospital on our rounds. Over the course of several months, we'd first stop 1/2 block away and sit and watch the activity. Same rules: She could watch the activity, but had to sit quietly (for a few minutes and then increasingly longer periods) while doing so. Once she was pretty good at that (but not proofed), we'd move closer to the entrance. Gradually, we got to the point where we could sit on a bench near the entrance and quietly observe the noise and comings and goings, for 20- 30 minutes. This worked but took time (several months), good equipment (I chose a prong, cause you can't have a 50 pd puppy lunging at people trying to enter a hospital) and an endless supply of treats to reinforce good choices.
 

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Our bullies are lovers and eaters. We wanted a dog that would actually bark if someone knocked, not snort or fart.
Ha ha ha ha!...I didn't know that's what bulldogs are like.

It is so nice of you to adopt a child that isn't "perfect".
Nice to hear that Karma is doing well!
 

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Ha ha ha ha!...I didn't know that's what bulldogs are like.

It is so nice of you to adopt a child that isn't "perfect".
Nice to hear that Karma is doing well!

you have a higher chance of tripping over them and breaking your ankle than you do of actually being bitten by them.. at least ours lol.. When bubba hears someone new in the house he whines like a little baby. People have mistaken his whine for a 10lb fluffy puppy, then they see him and bust out laughing seeing his size..

Tiny hooman is our version of perfect. She's 2, the size of a 12mo old, but is physically small and delayed. Basically we have gotten the 'baby' period longer than anyone else. so it has allowed us to enjoy the baby portion even more. She is now slowly catching up to age appropriate things, and we are loving and hating it at the same time lol.

I will try and keep everyone updated on Karma's development.

attached photos are of karma and Tiny hooman 2 months ago.. Karma has taken a shine to her little big sister and always wants to be around her. When we went camping with Karma in July we had a ton of family friends around with their dogs as well (various mixed breeds, all AMAZING dogs) and figured it would be a perfect time to socialize Karma with other dogs.

Did she awesome.. even while taking a puppy nap under the camper, she saw one of the dogs walk up to me and tiny hooman on the carpet outside the trailer. she sprung up and stood between TH and Rein (the dog).. Didn't growl or anything.. but stood there between them and distracted Rein into playing with her instead of sniffing her TH. There was no fear of Rein doing anything to begin with. hence why i allowed him to approach TH.
 

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Congratulations on the new puppy (or, not so new now, but the progress too!). One thing I think you might find helpful, especially at her age now, is that taking her places and allowing no contact whatsoever will be good...for both her obedience, and her expextations/perspective.

My current puppy was pretty outgoing as a youngster, so I let her meet and greet people frequently. As she got bigger though, she got bigger and more strong and strongly demanding/expecting that contact. And consequently was more difficult to handle in public.

The simple solution was to stop allowing any contact with anyone or any dogs while out and about in public places. That change made ALL the difference in her behavior.

I still let her interact with other dogs and people frequently, I just don't do it EVER anymore at TSC or Home Depot. And that simple change really helped her behavior in those venues.

Hope that insight is somewhat helpful. All the best to you, your fiance, and your teeny hooman and pup!

Good on ya for helping that kid out too...the world needs more folks like you!
I agree with Tim, just wanted to offer support for the same approach from a different perspective. I adopted a 3/4 month old from the local shelter. She came with a several challenges, some from a total lack of training and some from nerves/temperament: No leash manners, highly stranger and dog reactive, and more than a little defensive if/when we encountered neighbors during walkies. So, all humans were firmly requested NOT to talk to her, NOT to look at her and NOT to engage her in any way. Her job was to sit quietly while they passed (lots of walkers and runners here) and, later, to sit quietly while the neighbor and I chatted. She could stare, but she couldn't grumble, bark, lunge, sniff or in any way investigate the stranger. It took time and utter consistency, but she got the message.

There's a small community hospital, with ER, a few blocks away which we also used as a training spot. Once she was better (but not perfect!) at passing strangers on the street, we'd include a stroll towards the hospital on our rounds. Over the course of several months, we'd first stop 1/2 block away and sit and watch the activity. Same rules: She could watch the activity, but had to sit quietly (for a few minutes and then increasingly longer periods) while doing so. Once she was pretty good at that (but not proofed), we'd move closer to the entrance. Gradually, we got to the point where we could sit on a bench near the entrance and quietly observe the noise and comings and goings, for 20- 30 minutes. This worked but took time (several months), good equipment (I chose a prong, cause you can't have a 50 pd puppy lunging at people trying to enter a hospital) and an endless supply of treats to reinforce good choices.
great information! We will use this going forward. I do want her to be people friendly, but at the same time i also liked the fact that she wasn't full on crazy mode with the strangers at TSC. I did hear them talking to an associate at the store about something for their fur baby at home. So i am unsure if they smelled that on them or if she was just being cautious.

We do some camping during the summer with family, and large groups of family friends. Lots of dogs with the family friends, and lots of people. Kids and adults. Everyone is dog friendly (stepdad is jealous of us for having Karma). So she has interacted with various age ranges of dogs and humans, and also breeds (mixed breeds, other GSDs, st. benards, labs, ankle biters, and even pits). She has done well with them all so far, but i have known all of these dogs for several years and knew i could trust them with her.

So i hope introducing her like that at a younger age (she was 4-5 months) and everything being a positive result will help out in the long run.
 

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I see, she is very protective of her tiny human. :)



"I did hear them talking to an associate at the store about something for their fur baby at home. So i am unsure if they smelled that on them or if she was just being cautious"


It's possible...My dog is normally very aloof to strangers and will just stand by my leg silently, never wanting to make friends. But there was one lady...he definitely wanted to go over to her and sniff her! She said it was OK and she met him, and then she said, "What a beautiful dog. I have five cats."
So then I understood his weird intense interest in this lady!
 

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Crazy cat lady!!! lol.. These GSD's amaze me every day. How smart they are and how willing they are to please and learn new things! It's definitely something that takes some getting used to when you come from a stubborn breed like bullies lol.
 

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Crazy cat lady!!! lol.. These GSD's amaze me every day. How smart they are and how willing they are to please and learn new things! It's definitely something that takes some getting used to when you come from a stubborn breed like bullies lol.
I totally agree. I have a bully breed at home. She’s completely loyal, protective and loves my kids. She could care less if I ask her to do something.
My two shepherds are total velcro dogs and want to learn and do everything with me. Our cattle dog mix even gets her nose into doing house maintenance. I swear she’s thinking, “Oh, I see, that’s how you change an electrical outlet.”
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Karma goosed me and licked my face a couple times in the fall when i was working on our ATV. Bubba and Yeti were not too far behind on wanting attention/help out dad.
 
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