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Discussion Starter #1
Ryder my gsd does absolutely fantastic going on walks and listening in general, but the other day I took my kids with us and anytime they got too far away from him he started to get really anxious and more focused on them then listening to my commands. I was wondering if anyone else had this issue and how they worked on this problem. He listens when they are around anywhere else we may be training, just on walks.
 

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Yes sir, it's not uncommon at all for a dog to act this way. They are herding dogs, and they can't stand for their flock to be running wild. When you walk the dog with the kids, just have the kids stay close. If that's not possible walk them separately, or walk with them all in an area where your dog can be off leash and keep tabs on his flock LOL! You're fighting deeply encoded genetics here, it's not a battle you'll win!
 

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That's funny, this is something that I discovered about my dog recently. My cousins and their kid, my 4 year old nephew, came to visit me in the US from Holland. They stayed at my 1-bedroom apartment for 5 days. My dog had not been really exposed to children (unless there are children at public places) and I certainly had never had a child at my home before my nephew. I was quite nervous on how he will behave around my nephew, but it went surprisingly well.

I don't know if it was a paternal instinct, or his breed, but whenever the 5 of us are walking (be it at a mall, on the streets, the beach etc.) and my nephew runs and runs away from us (because he's a toddler...), my dog will bark and bark and bark until he comes back. Whenever he sees my nephew fall down, he will bark and bark and bark until one of us helps my nephew or we tell him my nephew is ok. Once, we were at the beach boardwalk and my cousin-in-law was at the beach, my nephew came running to him solo, my dog barked until he saw that my cousin was running after him. I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised by this. My nephew learns to stay with us too and not run away from us because he's been told that 'He (my dog) doesn't like it when you run from us.'

One thing I can tell you is that I trained my dog the 'look' command. Whenever he barks because he thinks my nephew is in distress, I will say, 'Look,' I get an eye contact, he calms down, my nephew comes back. Win-win situation. Based on your post, if it has become an issue for you, you would probably need to step up your game on gaining your dog's attention. Teach him 'look' and 'quiet.' That's what works for me at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice is there any videos or articles you could recommend? I must confess I haven’t had a situation come up where I thought I needed to make eye contact in a “stressful” environment, but it sounds like it would be beneficial for sure. Thanks for your stories and your help.
 

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https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-psychology/pack-leader/Train-your-dog-to-look-at-you

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/basic-training/dogs-attention-look-command/

https://www.thesprucepets.com/train-dog-to-look-at-you-1117297

You're very welcome. Yes, it is highly beneficial to train your dog to 'look.' For example, when we're on a walk and about to cross the street and everything is loud and distracting, I tell him 'look' and then 'sit.' if there is a dog fight breaking out, I tell him to 'look.' When we rollerblade and there's a distraction that might cause him to lose focus, 'look.' It means that he learns by 'looking at me' I will protect him and calm him down, that he doesn't need to be afraid. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mcgloomy thanks for the article links I will definitely start on that ASAP. Sorry I haven’t figured out to copy you post and reply to it directly
 

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No worries at all.

You can reply directly to each of us by adding @ to our username. Or you can tick the box on the post next where it says 'about 22 hours ago,' and then click the " symbol at the top of the page.

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