German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, Maggie is my 2nd GSD and 9 months old. She spent 2 months with an excellent trainer and I am continuing her training with good results. About a month ago she occasionally started whining then barking at me usually in the evening after her dinner and walk. It has now become an every day several times a day occurance and she seems agitated more and more. I work at home and take her out several times a day for play/training. We have 5 fenced acres to to roam. She is good with people and other dogs. This really has me baffled as tonight it scared me enough that I crated her 2 hours before bed time because she wouldn’t stop and seemed to be getting angrier by the minute. I’ve learmed so much from these forums over the years I’d appreciate any input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
906 Posts
Have you asked the trainer what might be causing the behavior and how to go about correcting it?

My best guess would be to use the place command to send her to a rug or dog bed where she stays till you release her.

If she wears a prong collar for training I’d keep the prong and leash on her in the house and when she starts her barking routine I’d give her a leash correction with a stern, No and tell her down and if she gets back up correct her and return her to her place.

She’s still so young. Probably flexing her muscles, wanting to be boss : )
That’s Just my 2 cents...

Your trainer will know best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Have you asked the trainer what might be causing the behavior and
how to go about correcting it?

My best guess would be to use the place command to send her to a rug or dog bed where she stays till you release her.

If she wears a prong collar for training I’d keep the prong and leash on her in the house and when she starts her barking routine I’d give her a leash correction with a stern, No and tell her down and if she gets back up correct her and return her to her place.

She’s still so young. Probably flexing her muscles, wanting to be boss : )
That’s Just my 2 cents...

Your trainer will know best.

I plan to call my trainer tomorrow but yours sounds like good advice as well. Yes have her on prong collar
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Time that you become the trainer as she is training you.
Not really sure what you mean. She seems to understand that I’m the trainer in every other way. I’ve been ignoring the behavior and not taking her out to play or giving her treats. It’s just getting hard to ignore. Can you give me a suggestion?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,762 Posts
Teach the Enough command (quiet or whatever) then reinforce when she rudely barks at you like Findlay says :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Angelgirl

·
Registered
Joined
·
992 Posts
I like the advice you've gotten so far and would just like to suggest a different way to understand what might be happening. She may not be getting enough physical/mental exercise and wants to engage you in more activity. If that's what's going on, the increased barking may be her frustration in getting you to understand what she wants. I agree that it's important that dogs have an "off" switch and equally important that you teach her what it means (crating helps), but I also think it's important for us to understand that whining/barking are communication attempts and that not all of those attempts are bad/aggressive etc. Maybe integrate some nosework games for 15 minutes or so in the evenings to work her mind?

Aly
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I like the advice you've gotten so far and would just like to suggest a different way to understand what ight be happening. She may not be getting enough physical/mental exercise and wants to engage you in more activity. If that's what's going on, the increased barking may be her frustration in getting you to understand what she wants. I agree that it's important that dogs have an "off" switch and equally important that you teach her what it means (crating helps), but I also think it's important for us to understand that whining/barking are communication attempts and that not all of those attempts are bad/aggressive etc. Maybe integrate some nosework games for 15 minutes or so in the evenings to work her mind?

Aly
Thank you, I’m thinking you are right but I’ve been hesitant to take her out to play as I’m afraid that message let’s her know her whining/barking worked. So are you saying try and head off the behavior before it starts? There are times in the afternoon when I’m working and just can’t stop and play because she wants to. I’ll try and give her longer play times and more throughout the day so she doesn’t feel the need to demand attention. Not sure what nosework games are but will do a search.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,773 Posts
Yeah, you don't correct that behavior you listen to your puppy and understand what she's telling you! She's obviously telling you that she needs more engagement or exercise or something! Please don't just take the attitude that you need to train her out of this...dogs are not machines, they are sentient beings with feelings and thoughts. She's trying to communicate that something isn't right! Find out what that is through careful observation and change it for her!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,831 Posts
Not really sure what you mean. She seems to understand that I’m the trainer in every other way. I’ve been ignoring the behavior and not taking her out to play or giving her treats. It’s just getting hard to ignore. Can you give me a suggestion?
Dogs do what ever works so there is a payoff for her. So if she wants you attention, you give her the opposite payoff,; completely ignore her (not looking, talking or touching to her; these are rewards). But you have to be 100% consistent or else you get the 'slot machine effect'. Another option would be to take her by the collar as a matter of fact way and out her behind the first closed door.
Another one: she barks and you trim a few nails. Not all of them as you may have to repeat yourself.
Hope this gives you some help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
992 Posts
Thank you, I’m thinking you are right but I’ve been hesitant to take her out to play as I’m afraid that message let’s her know her whining/barking worked.
Yes, it would, but is that such a bad thing? What if all she's trying to do is engage you? Or, tell you she needs to go out? Personally, I'd welcome those communications. Doesn't mean I'm necessarily going to drop everything that I'm doing (or get out of bed) to play fetch, go potty, whatever. It's a balancing act. On the one hand you want to have a communication exchange with your pup, on the other hand, you also want to reach a point where you can say "I got the message, but we're not playing fetch right now." I speak to my adults in full sentences like that, but I didn't start there. :wink2: What you might say is "Nope, bed/place" and point to the crate/pad that's reserved for that purpose. And, make sure that she goes there, followed by a "Good girl!"

So are you saying try and head off the behavior before it starts? There are times in the afternoon when I’m working and just can’t stop and play because she wants to. I’ll try and give her longer play times and more throughout the day so she doesn’t feel the need to demand attention. .
Yes, I am (sorry if that wasn't clear), but as your schedule permits. Five to 10 minutes, every other evening, say, is doable. Here's what works for me. First, I mark what I'm going to do with a question. I'll initiate play/training sessions [which are often the same thing] by saying, "Rachel! Wanna play fetch/tug/nose?" Always use your Happy Voice. Dogs are very good at learning to alert on 'WH' questions (who, what, where). When she perks up, go do it. Only engage in the play/training for 5 or 10 minutes as frequent, short sessions are more effective than longer, fewer ones IME. Then, mark the ending (e.g., "That's it, all done. Place") and make sure that she goes to her crate or pad. Correct any fussing (No!) and repeat the place/crate command. Escort her to the crate/pad if you have to, but make sure she does it.

Just had a thought. This all presupposes that you've already taught the place/crate command. If you haven't, just roll those commands into your training schedule. They're critical, I think, in teaching her an 'off' switch.

If she needs to go potty, it's a similar approach. First, ask if she wants to go out for pees/poops (or whatever words you use). If she perks up or gets excited, say, "okay" or "I got the message" and go get her leash. Once leashed, take her out and give her 5 minutes or so to eliminate --- on the leash. When she does, praise her and go back inside where you send her to her crate or pad.

Not sure what nosework games are but will do a search.
Here's a couple of links, start small and simply at first. Rachel loves the Shell Game and you can play it fairly easily without a lot of equipment, space or time.

https://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/8-fun-scent-games-your-dog-will-love/80052

https://homewardboundgoldens.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Nose-Games.pdf

There are lots of options for mental games, including puzzles. Nose work is just a fun place to start.

Good luck.

Aly

ETA. Just wanted to add that I live with an extraordinarily vocal girl, so you have my sympathies. ;). She had a LOT to tell me when I first got her (still does), but we've negotiated things so that we're communicating rather than hollering.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,941 Posts
It's not what she wants, it's what YOU want.

If she is getting enough exercise, training and mental stimulation, then she needs to learn to chill in the house.

Teach her a different behaviour: "Go lie down and be quiet".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
She's trying to communicate that something isn't right! Find out what that is through careful observation and change it for her!
I dunno...I am no experienced trainer or expert, but I tend to side with this ...I would first give your dog the benefit of the doubt and examine:"Why?" Could it be something as simple as the mailtruck or UPS passing through neighborhood at that time, or somebody walking by outside and she wants to tell you? She wants you to go check it out?

Then if it's determined that there is no real rational cause to this, that she is being bored & bratty, then I'd do the calm, stern training for it. Never rewarding the fact that she is pestering you. Show her the stern calm game face. :-| And when she is calm & quiet, act pleased and give her a few pets when you go by...

PS- My dog used to come into my office and whine in the afternoons, and I was annoyed - I thought he was getting a habit of pestering me when he felt bored. Then I realized that he only comes in and whines quietly at me if his water bowl is empty!! He tends to drink a lot in the warm afternoons, and empty the bowl! I felt bad for the times I turned him away. So, give your dog the benefit of the doubt...?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,482 Posts
Hello, Maggie is my 2nd GSD and 9 months old. She spent 2 months with an excellent trainer and I am continuing her training with good results. About a month ago she occasionally started whining then barking at me usually in the evening after her dinner and walk. It has now become an every day several times a day occurance and she seems agitated more and more. I work at home and take her out several times a day for play/training. We have 5 fenced acres to to roam. She is good with people and other dogs. This really has me baffled as tonight it scared me enough that I crated her 2 hours before bed time because she wouldn’t stop and seemed to be getting angrier by the minute. I’ve learmed so much from these forums over the years I’d appreciate any input.
I side with Tim on this. When my dogs become agitated it's either something they need, or something they need you to know. Put your mind on it and figure out what the problem is. If I put my dogs outside, other then chasing squirrels, they all just laid there. So is she getting enough exercise? Is she getting enough food? Are we talking like 9 at night, because dogs seem to view that as the witching hour? Is her water dish empty? Is something going on outside?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Hello, Maggie is my 2nd GSD and 9 months old. She spent 2 months with an excellent trainer and I am continuing her training with good results. About a month ago she occasionally started whining then barking at me usually in the evening after her dinner and walk. It has now become an every day several times a day occurance and she seems agitated more and more. I work at home and take her out several times a day for play/training. We have 5 fenced acres to to roam. She is good with people and other dogs. This really has me baffled as tonight it scared me enough that I crated her 2 hours before bed time because she wouldn’t stop and seemed to be getting angrier by the minute. I’ve learmed so much from these forums over the years I’d appreciate any input.
UPDATE:

Thank you all for the great advice. Spoke to my trainer this morning and we figured out that she is bored as she hangs out in my office after our morning feed/play/train time and basically follows me around all day with no separation. Although I do take breaks to play with her she sees me doing a lot of what she considers nothing (on phone and computer all day) so to her I’m not spending enough of my day focused on her. Today I broke up our time together an crated her for a couple hours twice. That way the time I am with her she feels like she is getting my attention. I also amped up my play time and took her on an outing to the feed store so she was getting more stimulation. She was worn out by 8:00 and not a whine or bark the whole day!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,773 Posts
It's a careful balance, don't let your puppy dictate when to play, or exactly when you should pay attention to her...just be mindful of the fact that dogs have very few ways of getting your attention. So they use those sometimes for non issues, and other times for emergencies! It's important to read and understand their body language, because it's pretty easy to do! Thank you for taking the time to consider your dog's perspective! It'll pay off later on....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
Thank you, I’m thinking you are right but I’ve been hesitant to take her out to play as I’m afraid that message let’s her know her whining/barking worked. So are you saying try and head off the behavior before it starts? There are times in the afternoon when I’m working and just can’t stop and play because she wants to. I’ll try and give her longer play times and more throughout the day so she doesn’t feel the need to demand attention. Not sure what nosework games are but will do a search.
Nosework is like dragging a smelly thing along the ground somewhere, hiding it, and asking her to go find it. Or hiding treats around the house and telling her to find them all. She'll then spend quite some time sniffing them all out, which is very mentally stimulating and engaging for a dog. You'll have to teach her how to play the game, but she should get the idea extremely quickly.

This is a nice passive thing to do while you're working. It'll only take you a few minutes to set it up, then you give her the command and let her do her thing.

Another thing to consider is adding training to play time. Meaning, when you play with her, make her do some commands before you start whatever it is you're playing or midway through playing. For example: If you're playing fetch, make her sit, lay down, or do some kind of command/series of commands before you throw the ball. Make it harder where she has to stay perfectly still until the ball is out of your hand.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top