German Shepherd problems

Gerb

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#1
Greetings,

I am new here, and this is my first post. I have a German Shepherd Dog, which I got in Febuary of this year, and she will be a year old this month. She is fixed, and is mostly a house dog, although she does have a kennel outside. I am currently, and pretty much have always had problems with her listening to me and accepting what I say. A big problem is when I tell her no, she for some reason thinks I'm playing, and will go into playing mode, i.e. butt in the air, tail wagging, and running around. I don't know what to do with this, I've run out of ideas, and I don't understand how she got to this mindset of thinking I'm playing with her. Another problem is her jumping on people that come over. I never let her jump on me when I got her, I always made sure to go down to her. She still wants to jump on me in the mornings when I come home from work and get her out of her box, but I don't allow her and tell her 'down.' This seems to work for me, but not for anyone else that comes over. She is always "in their bussiness" and won't leave my guests alone when I tell her to. Only after about an hour or so will she calm down. I try to exercise her daily, but that sometimes does not occur due to weather or my schedule. The other real big issue is she's starting to bite to get attention. If I have people over and am trying to speak with them, or were just playing a video game or whatever she will start biting to get their attention, and on occasion she will bite me. They aren't hard bites, but still I don't want this behavior. I tell her no, but well that leads into the problem listed above. I really want to get these problems under control before she completly flips on me, and I won't be able to get her back. To give you some more background; I have worked with her quiet a bit this summer, and for just now turning a year old she does pretty good, at least in my opinion. She will sit and stay till called although the time can't be much longer than one minute. I can tell her to stay and walk away from her. She will sit, lay down on command. I also taught her to rollover and pawshake just for the heck of it. She will fetch what I throw, and usally comes right back to me, although she is easily distracted. After typing this I can see a lot of the issues deal with when I have other people around...could this be a factor? Thank you for any replies, and I really look forward to getting some advise from everyone here.

-Gerb

p.s. Her name is Shadow...after my motorcycle.
 

Gerb

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#2
Serena,

Thank you for your response. I agree about the whole getting her involved with a class, but I have nothing like that where I'm from. I work in Law Enforcement, and benifet from having friends who are involved in K9 programs. I do not have Shadow for those reasons, just only as a pet. But having friends who work with GSD is a big benifet. But they are used to dealing with dogs that are already 3 or 4 years of age, and come from handlers who already have trained them in basics. So there is a bit of a barrier there. I will try your NILIF idea, hopefully it will work for me. I've tried everything to establish that I'm the Alpha of the house, but she just seems to want to constantly challenge me...which gets real old real fast. I learned early on though that when they are bored, they become very destructive, lol. But what you're saying is that before I do anything with her, she must first complete a command? Like going outside, eating, being petted, everything? I just want to make sure I understood you. Will this take care of the biting issues also? Thanks again.
 
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#3
Hi Gerb, I think what Serena is telling you is great, you could also try the time out method. Do you own a crate? somewhere she can be put if you have visitors over and she is missbehaving. Don';t put her in ther before the visitors arrive, only if she shows unwanted behaviour. I hope this helps.
And if it makes you feel any better I have a ***** just like Shadow but she is 3 years old, has several obedience titles as well as agility titles (she is very naughty).
 

Debi

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Hi Gerb! My GSD just turned a year old, too. He has done really well, but is still sometimes a goofy puppy. Serena said it all...I've been doing the NILIF (because of help received on this board) and it works so well. BUT, my Hammie will still do the nipping thing when he wants my attention...for play, or if he has to go out, and I did do the 'yelp'.....it worked! He looked at me so surprised, and seemed so sorry. My guy gets more mature every day. They are so intelligent, it is amazing. I have also always used a hand signal every time he starts to nip...and say 'no bite', it's taken awhile but he understands that hand signal so well. (course, he still tries to do the nip first...lol) I'd love to see pictures of your dog.


Sadly...I have no help regarding the jumping issue. I am still working on that. My dog isn't socialized.......such a bad, bad thing.....so I have a huge problem when somebody comes around. In my situation, I have learned to not take him out if I think it is time for the UPS truck or mailperson. I sure hope you have your gal socialized...it is so important. I do know that Hammie responds immediately with the 'down' command when my hubby comes home...and he gets so excited.

All I know is.....no matter how silly it sounds, I have never had such a wonderful, loving dog. I love both my dogs...but that Ham is so dear, I don't think I could be without him! :)

This board is the best. I love the advice I receive, and I always appreciate the help. I just want my pups to have a good life. :)
 
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#5
I've had German Shepherds since I was twelve - and no, I'm not going to 'fess up how long that's been! ;)

They're wonderful, they are amazingly intelligent and clever once they've matured. I don't ever want to NOT have a German Shepherd. They can be frustrating sometimes, though. One of Bimmer's favorite games until he was about a year and a half old was to sneak up behind me and nip me on the butt. He just thought that was a marvelous game! I think it has something to do with herding behaviour as well. If you get a chance to watch GSD herd large animals like cattle, you'll see them nip at the heels if an animal won't move where they want it to go or as fast as they want it to go.

Something that might help you is the training and informational books and videos from the Monks of New Skete. They have a very unique and effective understanding of the human/dog interraction, particularly with GSD. You can read more about them at www.dogsbestfriend.com
 

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