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Old 06-08-2004, 09:52 PM
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caesar caesar is offline
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Unhappy overwhelming puppy problem

I know that I am going to get a lot of responses to this thread that tell me that I need to assert dominance over my dog. I would like you guys to really help me out and tell me exactly how, what games I can play, and whether or not to spank?

My dog named Caesar is a German Shepherd/Husky mix. He is black and white and is an absolutely beautiful dog. My husband and I got him when he was 4 1/2 months old from the pound. I was a little apprehensive because I hear that the time to socialize and train is before 4 months. Anyway, Caesar started out with a nipping problem. Is wasn't a big problem and we thought we were taking care of it...the problem seemed to improve. However, recently (within the last week-in-a-half) things have gone to hell. We got Ceasar neutered almost two weeks ago and it seems like something is going haywire with his emotions right now.

The problem:
Basically, you can be walking Caesar and everything can be fine when he will start sprinting around in figure 8's and running back and forth, back and forth as hard as he can go. I know this is not from lack of exercise and he gets a walk in the morning, midday, and then is outside with us from around 5:00 until 9:00 at night. We let him run around our six acres as long as he stays within the boundaries. Anyway, when he is sprinting around, if you tell him to come, he will start in a dead sprint straight at you. Then he will swerve at the last minute, turn around, and jump up at you and bite you somewhere HARD. Not hard enough to break the skin, but HARD. He will then land and bite, jump and bite until I try to get him under control. Notice the try. I have tried these methods...ignoring him, telling him to sit (I'm in control), walking away, and telling him NO in a loud, firm voice. None of them work. I can't ignore him because he is biting so if I turn my back on him he bites my calf. The sit doesn't work because he will obey but when I reach out my hand for a pat and a good dog he bites me again HARD. Walking away doesn't work because he will try and cut me off (major herding instinct) and keep biting me. Today, I decided that I need to do something as I had to call my husband (whom he respects) to get him away from me. Basically, getting him under control, involves a little bit of choking with the leash/collar and then we take him back to the kennel. Tonight that didn't work because he kept grabbing the leash so I couldn't reign him in. My husband had to resort to whacking him to get him to obey which we don't want to do as we don't want a timid dog.

I am calling around tomorrow to find an obedience school. What should I look for?

What are everyday things that I can do with him to show him that I am boss and that's okay? I am a good leader and will not hurt him. He needs to follow my leadership. etc.

Is there anything I can play with him. He doesn't really like fetch. He gets bored with it after three or four throws. Tag is out as he likes to herd and the running really gets him going (psycho bite/attack/herd mode). I saw someone mention an obstacle course. How does one go about setting that up?

Our dog is an outside dog. We built him an enclosed fenced-in area that is a pretty good size. He also can get in our 24x24 attached garage where his bed resides.

Please help...
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Old 06-08-2004, 09:55 PM
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caesar caesar is offline
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I need to say that after he shows this biting problem we put him in his kennel away from us for at least 20 - 30 minutes and then we try again.
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Old 06-08-2004, 10:17 PM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
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It's not as bad as it seems. I've had German Shepherds and a couple of mixes (one either Akita or Malamute and Bimmer, the sweetheart who lives with me now is part wolf), and they respond well and quickly to the right methods.

The trick is finding what works with your dog.

First, try to think like a dog. Think about how dogs assert dominance and establish leadership. Then think about how a dog shows submission.

This works. It even works with my Fila Brasileiros.

When your dog is acting out, put your hands gently but firmly on his shoulders, telling him "down" while you force him into a lying position. Then roll him over on his back, holding him down gently with your hand on his chest. Make him stay there for a few seconds, until he stops squirming and submits. After that you can pet him and tell him he's your wonderful baby and how much you love him.

Before you feed him, or put his leash on to walk him, or just anything that he enjoys, make him sit down. He needs to understand that you are the person who makes it possible for him to do all those things he enjoys.

Here's a site, too, that might help you find an outlet for his energy and herding instincts: www.workingdogs.com.

I'd post more tonight, but I'm just about asleep! Hope this gets you started, though.
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Old 06-08-2004, 10:49 PM
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caesar caesar is offline
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We just went out to see Caesar and we wouldn't pet him until he sat and stopped biting at us. I then made him go down and roll over. The first time I did it he was way to squirmy and still kind of biting. I then told him sit again and took him "down" onto his belly. This time he let me scratch. What should I do when he gets out of control? What's the quickest way to get him back in control? I know that when I try to touch him when he is like this he bites/grabs and keeps jumping/biting me.
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Old 06-09-2004, 08:37 AM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
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I'm going to recommend that you check out a program for dog training. I haven't used it yet, but I've heard many great reports about it. Have you ever heard about the Monks of New Skete and their work with dog training - particularly German Shepherds? They've got a website and you can order their course, either in book form or video.

Here's the link: http://www.newsketemonks.com/dogs.htm

Keep working with him giving you his belly. It sounds like he's already beginning to catch on. My first GSD was exuberant like yours. I was 13 when I got him - as a 4 month old puppy - and he gradually learned to dial it back a notch as he grew up, but until the day he died at 16, he still had that exuberance, he just knew how to channel it more appropriately. The one method that had the most effect with him (and all my dogs since) was just sitting down with him, snout to nose, eyeball to eyeball, and having a long, heart-to-heart. I know, it sounds incredible, but it worked. It still works, even with Shiva. I've even used it with cats.

You'll have more control with a soft harness than you have with even a choke chain, and you can leave the harness on him in the yard so that you can grab it if you need to. You also might want to try one of the very short (about 24") leads for awhile when you walk him. That, along with a harness, really gives you the upper hand as far as control goes.

It's very probable that the reason he gets so out of control when you approach him is that he's just that excited to see you. It might even help if he spent more time with you, maybe staying in the house with you some while you're doing your daily things. German Shepherds want to be with their people more than anything in the world. They bond with you and truly want to be right by your side, keeping you company, watching you, protecting you . . . that's just their role in life. Keeping him inside with you some of the time also gives you more leverage. When he misbehaves, he goes back outside - alone.
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:34 PM
Alyusha Alyusha is offline
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just to update. i am sorry for before. my english is not great. and i say things on how they sound to me. for alyusha, he seems to be doing pretty good with the fits.right now we are working on more commands.
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Old 06-10-2004, 09:09 PM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
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No problem, Alyusha. Everyone here has the best interests of animals at heart, and although sometimes language can be a barrier, you can always be sure of the caring and good will we will offer you.
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