German Shepherds Forum banner

21 - 40 of 95 Posts

Registered
Joined
4,899 Posts
When I look at it through this lens, you're completely right that I'm fighting with him 馃槥 he wasn't finished with the ball and here I am CONSTANTLY taking things away from him. Because I live downtown with lots of garbage, I'm often telling him "leave it" and "drop" in addition to training to "drop" toys. He must view me as a tyrant for that... I'll dial back a few days and only have fun with him and cuddles while looking for the right trainer.
You have a trainable dog that is focused on you. He wants to please you. Please find a very good trainer who understands German Shepherds and who can both explain what you need to do as well as show you. If one trainer doesn鈥檛 work for you and your dog, be willing look for another one. I went through five trainers before I found one who understood working line German Shepherds, which is what I have.
 

Registered
Joined
587 Posts
There is a lot going on in that video that needs to be fixed pretty quickly, but specific to your question on will a prong help. Most definitely in my opinion. Sure you have to train him not to bite you, but nothing wrong with an aid. With any correction training, the dog needs to know why he is getting corrected. I think you're pretty safe here on using a prong to get the message across.
 

Registered
Joined
105 Posts
There is a lot going on in that video that needs to be fixed pretty quickly, but specific to your question on will a prong help. Most definitely in my opinion. Sure you have to train him not to bite you, but nothing wrong with an aid. With any correction training, the dog needs to know why he is getting corrected. I think you're pretty safe here on using a prong to get the message across.


I鈥檇 like to play devils advocate for a moment and say maybe. I鈥檝e seen prong collars antagonize some dogs.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Registered
Joined
4,220 Posts
[He's hurting you already, protesting what you're telling him to do and warning you. See the willingness in your first video? He wants to do it. There's a little confusion and frustration there, but when you add in the distractions at the park and you taking the toy like that, all the little conflicts will show. I'd suggest you dial everything back, never mind playing with him at all for a while. Inadvertently you're contesting him for the toy. He's not all that focused on the toy, its more about you taking it.

This is how conflict escalates. He already came out of that down to bite you. You're going to start trying to correct him with a prong or demand an obedience in that moment, he could protest that even more. The grabbing his muzzle, scruffing isn't productive now. You're fighting with him.
When I look at it through this lens, you're completely right that I'm fighting with him 馃槥 he wasn't finished with the ball and here I am CONSTANTLY taking things away from him. Because I live downtown with lots of garbage, I'm often telling him "leave it" and "drop" in addition to training to "drop" toys. He must view me as a tyrant for that... I'll dial back a few days and only have fun with him and cuddles while looking for the right trainer.
I think Steve had really good advice but Adora, I feel like there is a problem with how you are defining yourself here. You call yourself a "tyrant" and plan to give him fun and cuddles.

This dog needs hard boundaries and fast. You are way safer to do that with a trainer. But you can still think about the mind set of being a firm leader who takes no crap even without being yet prepared to follow through.

What Steve said about keeping things calm is smart and safe.
 

Registered
Joined
871 Posts
He seems like a good-natured dog who loves you, but is being a brat about his ball/toy. He doesn't want to give it up once he gets it, and thinks it's fun to tug at the toy, mouth at your hand, instead.

My gut instinct would be to say sharply "NO!", turn my back to him to take my hands/arms out of reach, stuff the toys back in the bag, game over. If he ever ran back towards me with ball in mouth, I will be overjoyed and cheer him on (this worked to teach my dog to come back with the ball...he loves applause).

In obedience class, we learned the "Drop It/Leave It" with food - he can't have the food on floor or on chair, but once he gives up, we give him the tasty treat in our hand. Have you thought about doing a class?

That "yawn" at the end - he's complying, but showing you that he thinks this is a bit boring and he's not really into it. ( My dog gets bored after a few repetitions as well - like, "I know Sit. Why do I have to do Sit again." Apparently I was being boring and getting into a pattern without knowing it, because he started Sitting before I even uttered a word. That's when I realized...boy, I must be really repetitive.)

I admire your daily work and training with Tofu!
 

Registered
Joined
871 Posts
And I agree with cowboysgirl! You are not being a tyrant!
You ask him to drop the food he finds on the ground, because it will make him sick.
You ask him to retrieve the ball so he can have lots of fun chasing it again (and because it's part of standard training).

Believe in yourself - have confidence that you have the right to have him listen to you!
He is the one who's out of line because he doesn't know better (yet). But you will teach him the right way to behave.

OK, I'm a mom...If my kid picks some old goldfish crackers off the ground at the playground and tries to eat them...am I a tyrant for saying "No!" and taking them away - or a good mom? If my kid is playing a game with me and decides to just throw all the pieces in the air...am I a tyrant for insisting that she calms down and picks them up, puts them away? (sorry hard to think of a Biting analogy, but same mindset!) Doesn't my kid turn out better with a bit of "tyranny" in her life?
 

Premium Member
Joined
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
Believe in yourself - have confidence that you have the right to have him listen to you!
He is the one who's out of line because he doesn't know better (yet). But you will teach him the right way to behave.
I can intimidate a pervert twice my weight on the subway to get off at the next stop; but my dog that weighs half my weight has zero reaction to my intimidation tactics. The irony! *sigh*
 

Registered
Joined
3,645 Posts
When I look at it through this lens, you're completely right that I'm fighting with him 馃槥 he wasn't finished with the ball and here I am CONSTANTLY taking things away from him. Because I live downtown with lots of garbage, I'm often telling him "leave it" and "drop" in addition to training to "drop" toys. He must view me as a tyrant for that... I'll dial back a few days and only have fun with him and cuddles while looking for the right trainer.
One thing I can tell you for certain is that it's NEVER good to take ANYTHING from a dog forcefully! As in, reaching and taking things from their mouth. My dog wouldn't tolerate that, she'd be a lot more disrespectful than your dog is being! She'd hurt you, probably seriously!

That whole approach is confrontational. My dog will absolutely not let go of anything in her mouth if I grab it, because (a) its hers, and (b) if I just grab for it it's a game, and she always wins!

Teaching them to drop it, or out, is, on the other hand, structured play. Your ball, your game, your rules. He's finished when you say he's finished!!! That's not being a tyrant!

That being said, although I've never used it myself, I have and do recommend the two-ball approach to people. As others have said, show the dog the second ball to get him to drop the first, when he drops the ball immediately throw the second ball. Keep the game high energy, and enthusiastic! You need to up your animation and enthusiasm while playing, make yourself more fun in your dog's eyes.

The behavior your dog is showing is learned over time. He's a good dog, and he's pretty focused and attentive to you. But he has sort of learned the "rules" on his own. I didn't see you telling him to stop, or knock it off. YOU are in charge, YOU make the rules, YOU have to communicate the rules! That's what boundaries are all about!

I know you're trying, and I know you've gotten some bad advice from some of the so-called trainers you've worked with. So please, don't take my comments the wrong way, I'm trying to be helpful, not critical! But seriously, you need to be black and white with your dog, and WAY more forceful with your commands. Dogs actually appreciate that, it's clearer for them as long as you're consistent! I posted a video awhile back of my dog practicing downs. Check it out, I FINALLY achieved her quick response by being more loud and animated (and don't forget to lavishly praise when they get it!)!

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/braggs/747789-snappy-down.html
 

Registered
Joined
4,220 Posts
Believe in yourself - have confidence that you have the right to have him listen to you!
He is the one who's out of line because he doesn't know better (yet). But you will teach him the right way to behave.
I can intimidate a pervert twice my weight on the subway to get off at the next stop; but my dog that weighs half my weight has zero reaction to my intimidation tactics. The irony! *sigh*
Funny you say that because earlier I was thinking how would you reapond if a man was repeatedly groping and grabbing you on the sidewalk. Would you calmly stand there with his hand on your butt and say "Drop it" quietly? And then wait calmly to see if he stops?

It's close to just as out of line what your dog is doing to you.
 

Registered
Joined
829 Posts
One thing I can tell you for certain is that it's NEVER good to take ANYTHING from a dog forcefully! As in, reaching and taking things from their mouth. My dog wouldn't tolerate that, she'd be a lot more disrespectful than your dog is being! She'd hurt you, probably seriously!

That whole approach is confrontational. My dog will absolutely not let go of anything in her mouth if I grab it, because (a) its hers, and (b) if I just grab for it it's a game, and she always wins!

Disrespectful is the right word. Your dog doesn't respect you. Your dog should have been taught to release/out anything she has in her mouth whether you grab it or not. I train with some people who have very high drive, very possessive dogs and they all out a toy being held by the handler in a second. It simply has to be taught.
 

Registered
Joined
4,220 Posts
Disrespectful is the right word. Your dog doesn't respect you. Your dog should have been taught to release/out anything she has in her mouth whether you grab it or not. I train with some people who have very high drive, very possessive dogs and they all out a toy being held by the handler in a second. It simply has to be taught.
I 100% reserve the right to take anything out of any of my dogs' mouths at any time. But I don't want them to resent me and I don't want to fight with them so I teach it in a positive way and I always reward good responses and make the rewards more valuable than what they relinquished if possible.

They know it is not negotiable but they also know it will be rewarding for them and that tends to get me reliable compliance without resentment. And that is regarding loot or junk outside not outing a toy. I honestly don't use the same commands for don't eat that or spit that out or give that to me as I do for outing a toy in training play, but the principle I think is the same--non negotiable but rewarding
 

Moderator
Joined
4,482 Posts
to be honest, I watched the video up to the arm chewing and then came to this last page, so I might be repeating what someone else posted.

I also have will insist in a release on command, be it food, toy or arm. I started teaching it before I NEEDED to insist on the command and made sure I had a reward or something to exchange. There have been times I've had to take things away from my dogs before it went down their throat! Now my dogs are good at using the "phoeey" which is about not putting something in their mouth or to drop something they have in their mouth. That is different than "aus" which is an Out when using a toy or tool...or sometimes my arm if they want to play and they grab hold a bit too tight. If they don't let go right away I use my other hand to push up on the front teeth to make holding on just a bit uncomfortable. Again,it is a word I work on before we need it.

If a dog were aggressively holding on I'd use the leash to choke it out. The part of the video I watch it looks like some play / frustration, not aggression. Personally I wouldn't use a collar to correct that.
 

Registered
Joined
587 Posts
I鈥檇 like to play devils advocate for a moment and say maybe. I鈥檝e seen prong collars antagonize some dogs.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Fair enough, how would you go about correcting the behavior in this video? How would you stop the dog from jumping up and biting her arm? How would you be a tyrant? I ask with genuine curiosity as an alternative to a correction - be it prong or e-collar? Goes without saying, but hitting or raising a hand to a dog is not an option for me.
 

Registered
Joined
829 Posts
I went back and watched the video full screen. A prong collar would have been a great help and you could have prevented the whole biting behavior if when you got the ball and your dog released it, you started the game by teasing him up with the ball getting him interested in biting it and not you. Throwing the ball was the first mistake. You need to teach him it is something to strike and grip and play tug with like on the Michael Ellis video. A quick pop on the prong would have stopped your dog biting you in a second and you could have gotten him in drive by teasing him up.
 

Registered
Joined
4,421 Posts
When I look at it through this lens, you're completely right that I'm fighting with him 馃槥 he wasn't finished with the ball and here I am CONSTANTLY taking things away from him. Because I live downtown with lots of garbage, I'm often telling him "leave it" and "drop" in addition to training to "drop" toys. He must view me as a tyrant for that... I'll dial back a few days and only have fun with him and cuddles while looking for the right trainer.
The main point I'm trying to make Adora, is don't go from one extreme to the other. No matter what, a 9mo old dog putting his teeth on you is asking for trouble. By dial back, I mean remove the emotion and conflict from things to give you a better chance to teach him whats appropriate and then fairly in his mind, whats not. I give you a lot of credit though, you're clearly not afraid of him. That goes a long way in fixing this.
 

Registered
Joined
4,421 Posts
If a dog were aggressively holding on I'd use the leash to choke it out. The part of the video I watch it looks like some play / frustration, not aggression. Personally I wouldn't use a collar to correct that.
With all due respect car2ner, it always concerns me when people toss out something like that online. Its not as easy as that sounds and the it can go very seriously wrong.
 

Registered
Joined
3,921 Posts
Hi All,

Thanks for giving advice.

Some responses and answers to questions posed:

1) no intention of bite sport. I just want him to have accurate and fast obedience and eventually do competition heeling (to the level that Forrest Micke has his dog trained)
2) no luck yet finding a trainer to teach me to use a prong collar
3) Tofu does settle at home and only does calm things. I still do train basic obedience in the house. The only good useful advice I ever got from my positive-only trainer was "no playing in the house" which helped fixed immediately a lot of the puppy rambunctiousness I had at 5 months (he's now almost 9 months).

I recorded our morning session outside and Tofu delivered with some arm biting (@5s he gets distracted by a helicopter and drops ball, @43s I go to retrieve that ball, @50s I mistakenly try taking a ball that he's not ready to give up yet [yes, my mistake], 3m52s he stops biting). Having the video helps me analyze what went wrong and I'd appreciate your input. I think the initial biting started from him not liking me taking his ball. Then it turned into a game and he eventually stopped because he was bored. Am I right? Is a prong collar all I need to teach him that I'm NOT a chew toy? As he's on a harness, the only thing I can do is hold his mouth shut, then he drops to the ground on his side and I let go and he continues biting... *sigh* My initial plan for the video wasn't to show him biting, I actually wanted to start with 2-ball fetch and then show our tugging. But we didn't make it that far at all. We had a little bit of biting again after i turned off video because he started digging and he wouldn't "leave it" and so I had to pull him away from the digging.

https://youtu.be/AVIL5AUMEc8

I have not read all the responses, so my suggestions may have already been mentioned.

I just watched the video, and that's a big fat NOPE! Do NOT allow this behavior to continue any longer. This is going to become a huge issue.

1) Get rid of the harness and get a collar on that dog immediately. You have no control over him in a harness.

2) Get with good balanced trainer to walk you through the steps of how to correct this.

3) You need to work on your relationship with him. He doesn't see you as a leader. Work Nothing In Life Is Free and add structure to his life.

4) Instead of waiting him out when he's biting you or your clothing, tell him no, get him off immediately and then tell him what you want him to be doing instead. Don't let him decide for himself what the appropriate response is. Dogs are horrible decision makers, so if you leave it up to him to decide what to do, then he will choose what benefits him the most.
 

Registered
Joined
371 Posts
21 - 40 of 95 Posts
Top