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Discussion Starter #1
My friend has a German Shepard that turns 1 later this year. Large dog. The dog whines/whimpers constantly. If a family member is out of site of this dog, the dog whimpers. Every single thing sets off the dog. It is difficult to be around this dog for very long because of those sounds.

Is this normal behavior for a dog like this? Many other people I know have also gotten puppies and they don't make these sounds at this age. If this behavior is not normal at this age, then how can one break it? My friend doesn't do training with a trainer anymore. She is too protective of the dog and is afraid the dog's feelings may get hurt by other dogs in a group setting. Yes, I know what you are thinking about that last line......me, too.

Any advice would be super appreciated.
 

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IMHO that is a sign of an under exercised ... anxiety ridden ... canine. I would suggest physical and mental exercise. GSD's need a job to do.
 

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I 100% agree. The dog spends most of the day in one room of the house with some potty breaks outside. Routine long walks in the morning don't happen either. The walks are short and usually don't happen until the afternoon. I don't know how they can live with the dog like that. Maybe over time one doesn't really hear the whining/whimpering sound....unless you don't live there. I would be crying on a daily basis if I had to listen to that. I feel bad for the dog because it is stressed.
 

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That is a downright dirty shame for that dog! :( I would have a good talk to them about the dogs well being. It is going to have an effect on his health. You could explain to them how stress "kills"
 

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I am in full agreement. I suspect the whining started as a puppy, and they didn't deal with it correctly, so it has continued. Except that it hasn't only continued, it's gotten worse, because the puppy is now a dog who doesn't get exercised enough, or worked enough, or trained enough, AND, keeping it in one room, with not much to do has created more stress and anxiety for the poor thing.
Shameful.
 

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How do I approach this friend without causing her to recoil toward me? She is the sensitive type and I have walked on eggshells around her because her daughter and mine are friends. That being said, any time I suggest something about anything, she always has an excuse. I really feel bad for the dog. Wrong home for a dog like that. The dog definitely is overweight. Her defined shape is gone due to lack of exercise.
 

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How do I approach this friend without causing her to recoil toward me? She is the sensitive type and I have walked on eggshells around her because her daughter and mine are friends. That being said, any time I suggest something about anything, she always has an excuse. I really feel bad for the dog. Wrong home for a dog like that. The dog definitely is overweight. Her defined shape is gone due to lack of exercise.
Oh no!!! I've seen a small glimpse of what happens when a dog is under exercised and it ain't pretty. My dog is only 9 pounds and when I miss ONE walk with her, I pay for it later haha.. so for a GSD, it's no small issue.

I think maybe you can try a sensitive/balanced approach where you are giving her both positive and more critical feedback. If she's sensitive, then try not to say the words "YOU" a lot, as it can seem like finger pointing. Instead, try saying things like, "I think it's a really great thing to take dogs for walks in the morning! I know my dog loves it! Maybe we can try it together sometime?" or, you can try to relate your own stories and maybe she'll catch on that way?

The key is not to get her on the defensive, and be REALLY supportive while doing this sort of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wanted to return to this conversation and provide an update.

:( The GSD will be turning 3 soon and still whines and whimpers. I had the displeasure of running into them on a walk on 2 occasions. The first time, my friend had her dog tied around her waist because she is unable to handle walking the dog by holding the leash in her hand since it causes strain to my friend's upper body. *sigh* The GSD almost yanked my friend down the hill toward me and my dog. Yikes! No control there.

The other time I ran into my friend and her GSD she and I stopped to chat. The only way her GSD would be quiet and sit still was to be fed a constant stream of treats any time the dog made a peep or move. I was stunned! Actually, my heart shattered in a gazillion pieces. The GSD apparently has my friend trained...

Over the last couple of years I have only told my friend what I went through training with my dog....what worked and what did not work. I told her that I did a lot of reading, esp. Cesar Milan. We worked with a dog trainer short term who was very reasonable and a good person -- someone that I referred to my friend -- and assured her that he was not the critical type. She never followed up with him! :(

The only reason why I sat down to type this post other than to provide an update is because another family I know has a gorgeous GSD that is 1.5 years of age....and the teen age boys walk her around the neighborhood effortlessly. She is an amazing and well behave dog that obviously has owners that care a great deal for her!

It saddens me to sit on the sidelines and watch my friend's GSD suffer. In addition, they have another small dog.....and they get along but that dog also needs some help....and they never walk both dogs together in the neighborhood since it would be too difficult. :(

Oh.....me walking my dog with her GSD will never happen. It is too difficult for my friend to handle her GSD....my dog could care less and just wants the exercise and sniffing. The GSD just wants to play with my dog and doesn't understand that walk time is not play time...

I am trying not to blow up.

Thanks for listening to my rant...
 
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