Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

German shepherd bitch not following me

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by pencilportraits, Jul 11, 2009.


  1. pencilportraits

    pencilportraits PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum and am really after some advice for myself and my 7 month old german shepherd bitch. She has passed puppy training and looks to be well on her way to passing her bronze award, she is a lovely natured dog and on the whole a very obedient dog. My issue is at work, I work outdoors all day in a team of 3, 2 men and myself (I am female) and we work as a gang, one of the men is team leader and my dog follows him rather than me. As we cover the ground she flits between myself and the other two and I find it hard to keep an eye on her, we have wild boar, deer and sheep in the area but they are not directly near us so I am always looking out to keep her from straying, as I say she is not disobedient and returns to a dog whistle but I find it quite stressful to keep looking out for her and continually whistling when if she just followed me I would not need to worry. I've had advice to hide behind trees and change direction and she does indeed come scurrying back pretty quickly, but this is when we are out with my other two dogs and no men so there is no issue, she waits patiently for me to catch up at corners and comes back to check on me but at work it is a different story, plus the men think it's hilarious and actively encourage her to them by playing with her. Correct me if I'm wrong as I'm sure there are many who know so much more than I, is it because she thinks they are the alpha dogs over me? Can someone offer advice as I love taking her to work and she thoroughly enjoys it so want to continue.
     
  2. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    Messages:
    19,821
    Likes Received:
    388
    Can't you ask the men to stop encouraging her?
    Tell them you will have to stop bringing her if they won't stop?

    x
     
  3. cassie01

    cassie01 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,385
    Likes Received:
    52
    sounds like she is just being encouraged by the men. it is unlikely that she sees them as dominant as most dogs will stay with the more vulnerable ones anyway. when i take mine out if the kids go a different way, lag behind, go through the trees or run off ahead the dogs will go with them and just occasionally come back to check on me. if anything she sees them as being vulnerable. Well they are men so they must be. lol:001_tt2:
     
  4. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,576
    Likes Received:
    663
    I've found out of my two bitches, Indie is a bloke's dog, she's much more likely to want to walk behind a man, I'll do if no-one else is around :rolleyes: Tau on the other hand, is completely my girl, she isn't as outgoing as Indie, and doesn't always take to strangers initially, and prefers to be left to approach someone rather than someone (particularly new) forcing the issue.

    What do you do and how long are you out with your dog? At 7 months of age I wouldn't expect a long attention span, and would aim only to do a few minutes training each day. The other thing is, if you're spending all day, as well as the evenings, with your pup, she has access to you all the time, whereas the other people you work with are obviously different and exciting. I think you're possibly expecting an awful lot of a 7 month old pup, it's very easy to overdo things, even if they appear to be enthusiastic and energetic.
     
  5. pencilportraits

    pencilportraits PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have tried to persuade my work team to leave her be but they are men and quite happy to be very annoying, as for the attention span, we work for an hour at a time with breaks and paperwork in between but we amble along as we have to inspect each tree, measuring and marking it as we go along so it probably is a little boring for my dog, do you think she is trying to keep herself entertained? It isn't hard walking and she is always keen to go. Also you may well be right about her being a man's dog then, so should I just accept she'd rather follow someone else or is there something I can do? She is a lovely natured dog and otherwise very obedient, we take her to tractor shows and auctions and the amount of people who want to fuss her is just incredible, she is jet black and looks quite fierce but they all seem to see how good natured she is and can't wait to give her a stroke, which of course she loves. She's good with other dogs and apart from this I have no complaints at all, am I just being silly then? I would really appreciate your comments as you all know so much more than I do.
     
  6. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    12,690
    Likes Received:
    321
    Ime no expert in this sort of thing but ime wondering if she sees you and the men as her pack and by walking with them then coming back to you and repeating this all the time she is trying to keep her pack altogether.
     
  7. pencilportraits

    pencilportraits PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    It could be that she's rounding us up, believe me I'm not being childish by not wanting her to follow them and just me instead, really I want my dog to have a wonderful time with us out in the woods but my concern is the men won't keep such a close eye on her when she is nearer them as she isn't their dog and I don't blame them, we can be about 90 foot apart and with bramble, fern and possibly boar and deer so I do wish I could just keep her closer to me so I can make sure she doesn't get into trouble, so far touch wood she has always come back for the whistle but this may not be the case when she smells something really nice! Sorry to harp on, perhaps I'm being to overbearing, perhaps I'm expecting too much of my dog!
     
  8. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    12,690
    Likes Received:
    321
    I think she is just wanting to keep you all together, i dont think you are being silly/overbearing at all i would be the same you are just wanting to keep her safe and an eye on her, and bless her maybe she is wanting to do the same for all of you. She sounds lovely.
     
  9. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,576
    Likes Received:
    663
    My two sleep for a greater part of the day, and are always ready to go then when I take them out. It's a lovely idea to to have a dog with you all day every day, but imho it is far too long a day, particularly for a pup. I know you're not doing a lot of exercise, and you have breaks every hour, but I'd still suggest its too long and possibly doing a bit too much for her. With mine as pups, I wanted them to learn to be able to be on their own, and not dependent on my presence, or each others. I'm not sure of the particular health problems with GSD's, other than that they are prone to hip dysplasia, but I would be worried about her not being able to have the opportunity to rest for long periods, particularly with a developing skeletal structure. On a long day out and about, mine are quite happy to sleep in an appropriately fitted out vehicle, I just wonder if there's any way you can set something similar up? Obviously that will depend on whether you return to the vehicle periodically, or if you can change the way you work round to fit that sort of set up in??
     
  10. Smarty Pants

    Smarty Pants Guest

    One of my bruvs has a shepherd it won't follow anyone but him I asked him why and he said you have to get the dog to focus on you and that it is important to teech eyes / look early on dont know if this is right but his dog is good.
    it wont go to anyone but him neither.
     
  11. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,791
    Likes Received:
    176
    What do you do to make yourself more fun to be with than the others?

    You say the other bloke encourages her by playing with her - how much playing do you do?

    Do you carry treats with you? Becoming a mobile treat dispenser, maybe dropping a nugget of her normal food (if she's on dry food - if not, tiny bits of cheese or whatever treats she likes best) on the ground for her to eat whenever she comes back to you may cause her to stick with you and "check in" more often.

    I agree that you may be over exercising her. I'd check with a vet that she's not overdoing it if I were you.
     
  12. pencilportraits

    pencilportraits PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well just incase anyone thinks I'm making my dog work too hard, she has only just started coming out so often, she used to sleep in the van for long periods but as the weather is too hot to leave her I really am unable to lock her in now, plus it's a work vehicle so they probably wouldn't take too kindly to me cutting holes in it!!! When we return to the van for breaks I put her in the back with a bowl of water and a biscuit and she has a nap so please believe me I don't work her too much. I'm beginning to think she's man's dog and that's it, if anyone does have any suggestions I can use to make her focus on me that would be great. I carry little scraps of food to encourage her back and it does work, but constantly having to watch out for her is just making me so stressed! We have a spaniel and terrier as well but they are too old to work now (see I'm no task master) but they just follow me around the garden and local woods relentlessly! Ooh the problems with dogs hey!
     
  13. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    18,207
    Likes Received:
    14,307
    I think it is great you have a dog that come to work with you and get exercised at the same time. It is fairly unusual for a GSD to latch on to someone else when their owner is present but no bad thing to have one that can go with other people. I think you are stuck with calling her back to you and generally keeping an eye on her and if you are wanting to concentrate on your work for a bit put her in the van if it isnt too hot or on the lead. Could you tie her up to the van so she can get in the shade under it or lie in the sun as she likes. It is obviously better if she is with you though, what a wonderful life for her.
     
  14. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,576
    Likes Received:
    663
    Pencilportraits, I'm sorry I don't know your name, but I'd ask the advice of those with GSD's on the forum. Personally, I wouldn't do as much as you're doing with your pup with a Lab, as they too can be prone to hip problems on the whole as a breed.

    The advice for Labs, or medium/large dogs, is five minutes of formal excercise per month of age, per day. So for your bitch, that equates to 35 mins max per day. You have her out all day, and although not on lead, she has to follow you. Over several hours that may well add up to more than she should be doing at that age, so I would seriously speak either with her breeders or with other GSD people to see whether taking her out for such a long time is a good idea.

    I have no suggestions for 'making' a dog focus on you, there isn't any method of compulsion that works. You learn how to be a dog handler slowly but surely and can't force it. You've obviously got a lovely GSD pup, my advice would be to learn as much as you can about the breed, ascertain what it is you want from her as regards training, and try and build up a training plan from there.
     
  15. pencilportraits

    pencilportraits PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply, perhaps I am taking her for too long a time for each period, I measured them out today, our first one was 45 mins then we had an hour for paperwork etc, the second was an hour with a two hour break and the last for 20 mins, all the time in between she's either asleep under our van or in the back when it's cool enough to close the boot, I don't like to leave it open incase a deer wanders by but I don't want to tie her in either incase she strangles herself. Do you think this is too long? If so I will have to leave her at home as tying her to the van would not work incase some steals her, we have to work away from the van and the main tracks so I would never know until I return to the vehicle. The other thing is the pace is really slow and she sits down quite a bit or even lies down as we work around her and I'm not sure she wouldn't do the same amount of exercise if I left her at home in the garden as she wanders about our orchard quite a bit sniffing, does this mean I need to prevent her doing this even if she does so of her own free will? Also I did watch her today and perhaps this may help someone explain what is happening, she does indeed wander a perimeter around us, and returns to check in with me every so often, she even nudges the back of my leg to let me know she is there and she gets a little treat to encourage her to come back. Then she also moves up to a view point and watches us work below her, she sat for about 10 minutes at a time just doing this so I guess she is checking her pack maybe?
    All of the above is coincidental though as she is now developing a sniffer nose and was quite interested in deer smells today, I watched her sneak off into very thick undergrowth and called her back, which she did do, like I said though I caught her at this so perhaps she wouldn't just choose to come back of her own accord. Apologies if this is boring anyone now, I just couldn't bear to lose my beautiful dog as she really is the light of my life (bet everyone says that!!!)
     
  16. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,576
    Likes Received:
    663
    When you let a pup exercise, you have to give them the opportunity to rest, which is really difficult to weigh up in your case. I wouldn't be doing much at all with a young pup, a few minutes a day training, and just letting them have a couple of run arounds for exercise. The problem with your day is, that although there is the opportunity for a lot of rest along the way, she still has to keep up with you to a certain extent, even at a slow pace. So it is difficult to judge if you are over doing it, which is why I'd ask those with GSD's, you will get breed specific advice then.

    What sort of training/competition/work are you wanting to do with her? GSD's make fabulous tracking dogs ;)
     
  17. pencilportraits

    pencilportraits PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've just completed puppy training and we are working towards the kennel club bronze (test next week) and the trainer is pretty sure she will pass as she is quite obedient. I was at one point thinking of agility but will not be doing that as she goes to work so am leaning towrds obedience which will be more sedate but also uses her brain which she seems to like, she has learnt a variety of names for each toy and will fetch or find what I ask for as well as carry out simple tasks like fetch the paper, find your football, bring the paintbrush, where are the other dogs and so on so perhaps she would prefer it as well. I've been thinking about the exercise and it's all been ended rather abruptly now as she has just come into season and will be staying home now to save any unwanted puppies! I'll be back I'm sure to ask questions about spaying soon!
     
  18. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,576
    Likes Received:
    663
    If you have the opportunity to let her mature properly before spaying that's the best option. A lot of vets recommend as early as possible now, but it really isn't necessary; my preference is to let a bitch mature properly, usually after the second season is when I'd suggest thinking about spaying, also by then you may have more of an idea whether her seasons are regular or not. Although not everyone has the space, or inclination, to keep an bitch entire for this long, knowing they're going to have her spayed.

    This article is worth a read:

    http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

    Working Trials training is fun, GSD's certainly have the attributes to do well at it; that was how Indie's training started out, she still enjoys a bit of tracking. I'm sure there are a few people on here that do Working Trials, even if you don't aim to compete it is fun to do, and interesting for the dogs, with a variety of exercises, including some obedience.
     
  19. pencilportraits

    pencilportraits PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the info, I've read through and am taking it in at the moment, I was told spaying takes place about 3 months after the first season but now I think I'm going to hold out a bit although we have a male springer which can be awkward but it could be worth the effort after eading the side effects when spayed before a year old, so cheers for passing it on
     
  20. Matrix/Logan

    Matrix/Logan PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,520
    Likes Received:
    38
    what about a longline around your waist tethered to her and reward her with something really tasty every time she comes near to you so you are far more interesting than 2 men??!! :D

    Or tell the men to get their own dogs!! ;)
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice