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I have an intact 9 month old male GSD named Soldier. His parents are German imports, one show line, one working line from a reputable breeder who does schutzhund training at her facility. He's a LOT of dog, very confident and pushy, with what I consider a high prey drive (ball CRAZY). I like his confidence, it's what I wanted. I've done a fair amount of training with him from the time I got him at 12 weeks old. He runs with me daily--don't get excited, he's off leash in a wooded park and goes mostly off the paved path at his own pace, since my pace is pretty slow, he has plenty of time to stop and sniff or dart ahead and saunter back. He also gets a shorter afternoon off leash "walk" (he rarely walks!). I also have two female dogs, a 10 year old golden retriever, spayed before her first heat, and a 5 year old Brittany, spayed when I got her at almost 5 years old after 2 litters. We sometimes walk off leash as a pack, sometimes separately since Soldier tries to bully everybody, especially the soft Brittany (she's miserable around him, poor thing... do you think he'll let up on her when he grows up a bit? ). Around the house, Soldier drives me crazy. If I'm at the computer, he'll relax, but the minute I get up to go somewhere in the house, he's two steps ahead of me and (it seems) deliberately in my way. If I'm trying to tidy up, it's maddening to have to shove him out of my way up and down steps and around corners. I sometimes put him in his crate with a raw knuckle bone, if I'm annoyed beyond reason. If I open a cupboard, his nose is there ahead of me. If I'm on the floor trying to dig a toy out from under furniture... well, he's involved and it isn't helpful involvement! I make him wait to go through the door or up the stairs, but he never waits automatically, I have to make him every time. No doubt he could use some extra mental stimulation, but I am at my limit as a busy mom with two young daughters (one of them as bull-headed as he is, help). I don't have the money or time for agility or schutzhund. I'd hoped that plenty of daily off leash walking with some ball play and searching games would satisfy him mentally and physically. My question is, will he outgrow this annoying nosy, pushy behavior, or is this part and parcel with his confidence and drive? Is he herding me around the house, and is that something I should train him out of, or is it typical and I should learn to live with it?
 

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i think you should train him to do
or behave in a manner that you
want him too when he's in the house.

crate him when you're doing house stuff.
don't crate him as a punishment.

how about getting involved in
some training classes?
 

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Jax is the same way. I try to work with his annoying behaviors and make them something productive. For instance, he picks up anything that's not nailed down and carries it with us while we walk... I've trained him to carry them to the clsoest trash can and drop them in. When he's fishing for toys under the furniture I just lift the couch for him and he grabs all of his things :D
It's awesome that he has high drive and confidence, that just makes him super trainable.
Ours neighbors have a Boston that has the most insane drive I've ever seen! She can go through 150 commands if someone is holding a ball in the time it takes my Lab to sigh and sit down after I've repeated myself 50 times :)
 

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You can start with playing the "
" and you can then apply those principles to other areas. Also teaching a "back up" command can be very helpful! If my dogs are invading my personal space I just tell them to back up, and it gets them out of my way.
 

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Zoe walks behind me with her nose practically up my tush the whole time all day- you got a shepherd welcome to the breed,lol We taught Zoe to go lay down when she's in the way which is almost always, but it works well. When she's too close I say go lay down and point where I want her, she goes, and when she tries to slink back I give her an uh uh and she usually chills out:) She's always in the room I'm in though and will always follow me, but it really is the breed.
 

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You can improve pushy demanding behavior by refusing to reinforce it in any way. But as others have already said - you've got a GSD, and you're just going to have to get used to him being up your butt all the time! :rofl:

Keefer's life mission is to keep an eye on me, so whenever I get up and leave a room, he's hot on my heels. He doesn't usually get in front of me though. If your dog is doing that consistently, just start walking into him, pushing him out of the way with your body. Sometimes I say "move" when I do that. I also teach the "back" command to get them to back up when they're facing me, either standing or sitting.

Work on sit-stays or down-stays to keep his nose out of the cupboard or when you're getting his toy out from under the furniture. If he breaks, stop what you're doing and wait for him to return to position before continuing. Tether him nearby if necessary, so he can still see you and be part of the action but he's not pestering you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for all the replies. I certainly do require him to move if he's in my way... and I do it over and over again EVERY day! It just gets very tiring to shove him out of my way or command him to back up whenever I navigate my way through my house! I am not a timid person, I am a natural leader and I'm accustomed to most dogs showing me automatic respect. I know he does respect me, but he doesn't stop trying to direct me. Is he just really hard-headed or what?! *sigh* I will ramp up the down stays.
 

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He may not be trying to direct you if he's like my Zoe- she just wants to share my every waking moment, breath, and action- not direct though:D
GSD's are velcro dogs but down stays are good:)
 

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The back command is great. My African Grey even knows it, and says it to the dogs whenever they go near the door he is caged by.
Maybe you could lay Soldiers meals in a track, so he can use his nose. Karlo loves to track! He also carries a ball where-ever, when-ever! I think the way they are wired is such a blast, I'd rather have a dog like Soldier than a dog with little drive/couch potato...
 

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Gustav is insane about water and always has his face in the hose while Cleve is watering our flower pots. We have taught him to sit and wait. Since he is not food motivated, its a great opportunity for training. If he is good, Cleve will spray and play with him as a reward. But out grow? I don't think so, its their nature. They want to be involved in everything!
 

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The back command is great. My African Grey even knows it, and says it to the dogs whenever they go near the door he is caged by.
Maybe you could lay Soldiers meals in a track, so he can use his nose. Karlo loves to track! He also carries a ball where-ever, when-ever! I think the way they are wired is such a blast, I'd rather have a dog like Soldier than a dog with little drive/couch potato...
This is hilarious!

Sounds to me like "someone" needs a job. Have you thought of doing any sort of specialized training with him? I always felt so guilty that my Morgan's "job" was "protecting" me as I unloaded the car of groceries. She'd walk me back and forth to and from the house, guarding the food!
 

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People keep telling me that, "Give him a job." What does this mean? What sort of "job" can I give a puppy in a house with two other dogs and two young kids and a mom who already uses her only "personal" time exercising dogs? Here is our summer schedule:

Soldier sleeps beside my bed

6AM husband rises, lets Soldier out and puts him in the crate downstairs, theoretically so he won't wake the house pacing and scratching which he begins upon waking.

7:30 mom and kids up, breakfast for everybody

9am kids go with friend to swim team, mom runs with dogs

10am mom returns, showers, kids return

11-1 lunch prep and household chores

afternoon spent out and about with kids, usually to the pool

5:30 return home, begin dinner prep

7:30-8pm after dinner, short dog walk with ball play

Put kids to bed

relax with husband
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I forgot to mention, yes I know most people wouldn't run with a 9 month old puppy, but I run slow, and he's off leash and moving at his own pace, which is the same whether I'm walking or running (he's tearing around chasing squirrels and sniffing stuff). We squeeze in a bit of training, heeling when someone approaches or down stay if they have a nervous/aggressive/unfamiliar dog with them.
 

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Really a job is anything he does to work his brain. So things like making him track his food (using his nose), or carrying things for you. PLaying hide and seek. Having one of the kids or dad hide and having him sniff them out. (this would need to be worked up to of course...)
 
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