Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings everyone,

I currently have a 6 month old male German Shepherd Dog (about 65 pounds in weight). There are a lot of things that are really great about him and of course I like him a lot. But I have some issues that I have no clue how to correct.

I just found these forums so will be browsing the resources but I thought I would post a thread so people could give ideas or point me in the right direction.

He gets really excited whenever he sees other people or dogs. Whenever he sees a dog or person his ears perk up and he kind of leans forward (without pulling yet) towards them. When they get closer he starts pulling. He is very intent on wanting to go see them. When I don't let him he starts whining a lot. This eventually developes into kind of a bark/whine.

I can make him sit and stay. He will do this as long as they are farther away but he won't once they get close.

It is even worse when it is someone he knows. Then he REALLY wants to go say hi. I just went out with my Dad (who has fallen on hard times so is living with me now). We tried to go on a walk together with my dog but it wasn't working out. Walking next to him he kept trying to jump on my dad.

So we had my dad walk a bit ahead and then stop. I was trying to walk forward and as soon as my dog (Thales) started pulling I'd say his name and walk the other way. I was trying to associate that as soon as he pulled we were going in a different direction. After about 1 hour of this I gave up (I know, probably too long but I kept thinking he was close to catching on. Apparently this wasn't a good technique?). I ended up jogging home while my dad walked hom.

Thus far, he isn't aggressive at all (he barely even barks, and that is mostly only when he gets starled. I have yet to hear him growl). If he does get to say hi to another dog or person he just wants to play but ends up jumping all over people. As he is getting to be big I can't let this happen.

I socialized him a decent amount when he was a puppy but as he is growing bigger I haven't been able to as much because of this problem. I am afraid that I won't be able to at all if he continues as he could hurt someone jumping on them trying to say hello.

The thing is, when I am walking in the park and there is no one around he almost doens't pull at all. He stays by my side and sniffs a bit but doesn't lag or pull barely at all.

I've taught him basic commands such as Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Watch Me, Heel (sort of gets it), Stop, Gentle (for eating treats), and Leave It. He is really good at following all of these when no distractions are around, but as soon as another dog or person comes into the picture it is like I haven't done any training at all.

Sorry for the disjointed post, but I was just trying to provide any information that came to my mind. I appreciate any help.

Respectfully,

Charles
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,851 Posts
So we had my dad walk a bit ahead and then stop. I was trying to walk forward and as soon as my dog (Thales) started pulling I'd say his name and walk the other way. I was trying to associate that as soon as he pulled we were going in a different direction. After about 1 hour of this I gave up (I know, probably too long but I kept thinking he was close to catching on. Apparently this wasn't a good technique?). I ended up jogging home while my dad walked hom.
You're on the right track, but simultaneously doing too much and not enough. One hour is too long for a single session, but a single session (of any length) is not going to fix the problem. Redirection and taking him away from the object of his desire is the correct way to go, but it takes time and a lot of repetition before the message sinks in. Nothing happens in a single day with a 6 month old pup. Except, possibly, the development of bad habits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
Agree. A couple of other things you can do for the pulling is to turn around but, turn into him when you do that. For greeting other dogs/people you need to teach him that YOU get to do the meet and greets first...then he gets to say Hi. Again, getting between him and the distraction.
You're doing a good job. Self-control in the face of distractions is advanced obedience and takes alot of work/practice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
673 Posts
I have this EXACT same problem with my Bernese (11 months old) For the jumping problem my last resort was the shock collar, however, I find I hardly use it and it's really hard to "time" her jumps for that kind of correction. She has been getting better slowly..... by telling her the "OFF" command and then ignoring her til she settles down. Greeting other dogs is a different story, mine whines and barks like yours cause she wants to see them and play. Like the other people posted, i think it takes alot of patience, time, and obedience work, and maturing as they age too should help:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
Here's what I would do:

Desensitizing Dogs to Other Dogs

Most importantly:

He may freeze, he may hold his ears very erect, his gaze steadfast on the approaching dog. Note any kicking of back legs, and any hackles raised. Note at what POINT this begins to happen. Is it 100 feet away? 75? 50?

Find the point, and you will begin your desensitization a few feet BEFORE the dog normally exhibits his stressing behaviors. Why?

You don't want to TRIGGER the behavior: this will force you to be reactive. Instead, you want to PREVENT the trigger from being activated. You become PROactive and catch your dog doing something good instead, and you reinforce this.
In the scenario you describe, your dog tilts his ears forward. That's your cue that the excitement has been triggered and the level is starting to rise.

Read about desensitization. A clicker isn't necessary, but is a great tool if you want to use it.

When I read your title, I suspected a GSD. My male does the SAME THING. Including the barking scream. He sounds like a lady being attacked and he's just excited...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,851 Posts
A thing to keep in mind is that you have a dog that has been purposely bred to operate out in front of, and/or independent of, human direction. You picked him so don't get frustrated when he does exactly what he can be expected to do.

Shepherds, Huskies, Labs, Coonhounds &etc can be trained to greet politely and walk at heel obediently. To some extent, however, doing so creates mental stress in the dog. This is fine (and even good for the dog) but it should be balanced with activities that allow the dog to take the lead and use his problem solving abilities. It makes for a more emotionally balanced dog.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top