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Help .... 14 Month old nightmare

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by sophie_230, Jan 31, 2019.


  1. sophie_230

    sophie_230 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone, myself and my partner own Atlas a 7+ stone German shepherd and he's terrible. He's rude to other dogs especially on the lead and barks in their faces and lunges, he's so hyperactive its untrue, to the point he has to be crated to calm down (despite regular exercise and training daily). He refuses to walk to heel without treats even though its been drummed into him since he was 8 weeks old (clearly I'm doing something wrong).
    Now he's not my first dog nor my first shepherd so I knew what I was getting into but wow he's exhausting. Take yesterday for instance two hour hike in the afternoon in the snow off lead and when we got home he still wouldn't settle, he finally settled for an hour and I took him out again for a long run before training. when we got there he was awful. lunging, barking, pulling, to the point I took him out for 10 minutes to calm down again we got home at 9pm and he didn't settle until 11 by which point we've got sick of him and put him to bed and gone to bed ourselves.
    Today I asked him to get out of the lounge, course not, he ran around the lounge like a loonatic and then hid and cowered behind the couch resulting in my curtain rail falling down, all I had done is opened the lounge door and asked for "out" he just looks at you initially and doesn't move then runs when you go near him.
    He is the most loving kind dog there is but I cant carry on living like this. He is so stressful to live with, he's caused arguments and tension and you cant just relax in your home because as soon as you sit down the whining starts.
    The most frustrating thing for me is the lunging and the walking, I don't know whether its aggression or play or what. He's never bitten another dog and if told off wont retaliate so I personally think its excitement but how do you stop it?
    Has anyone else had a similar experience, I'm at my witts end with him.
     
  2. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    How old is he?
    Are you still in touch with his breeder? Are they any help to you?

    Sounds like you could really benefit from some one on one training.
    Where are you located, someone might be able to recommend a good trainer in your area. @Cleo38 ? @Twiggy ? @StormyThai ?
     
  3. sophie_230

    sophie_230 PetForums Newbie

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    Hes 14 months old. We have group training in the week and one on one training once a month plus daily training with us. We speak to his breeder but they aren't much help if that makes sense.
     
  4. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    Can you detail a normal day for him?
    How much exercise, how much training (and what kind of training) and anything else that makes up a usual day for him.
    How long have you had your 1-1 trainer and what are you working on? Whats their thoughts on his behaviour?
     
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  5. sophie_230

    sophie_230 PetForums Newbie

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    @StormyThai Normal day is around two to three walks a day, morning controlled lead walk, then good play in the afternoon fetch etc then an hour of walking in the evening mixed with training, heelwork, impulse control (throw a ball, wait, retrieve), wait, stay, circles incorporating back so I can turn left and right, watch me, heelwork with random downs and sits just to mix things a little. finish to middle to front to heal just trying to keep his brain moving. his thoughts on his behaviour are that he's just a rough housing male but is highly intelligent. He's raw fed due to allergies which he thinks could be a cause of his high energy because of the high protein but he cant have kibble because he almost itched his skin to blistering the last time we tried and that was an everything free brand.
     
  6. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    Wow that is a lot.
    Have you taught him to settle on a mat?
    To me it sounds like your boy may just need to be taught to relax. He is doing more than enough physical exercise and it sounds like you have mental stimulation sorted to, so instead of doing more I would teach a settle.

    Has your trainer given you a plan for helping his leash behaviour?
     
  7. sophie_230

    sophie_230 PetForums Newbie

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    @StormyThai He's exhausting ! so intelligent but zero relax. I don't know how to teach relax? any suggestions? Well our good citizen training have suggested a halti which can help to calm him and also will give us a bit more control. I'm not so bad but my partner is only slight and I think he can pull her around a bit. Our one on one trainer uses a slip lead which is all well and good but he still pulls at times and without treats. so think the halti initially may be a goer. He has been taught to "place" so in the evening he goes on his place ... not allowed on the couch etc, but then were constantly saying place because he's up and down haha ! I suppose its a long slog initially. Same with going out. I've started to place him at the door and wait for relaxed calm before leaving the house. not always feesable when your rushing for work in the morning but I don't know what else to do. maybe we overstimulate? is that a thing? and then the dog barking ... well i'm not sure what that even is or why he does it, frustration maybe?
     
  8. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Agreed. Sounds like you need to install an 'off' switch :)
     
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  9. sophie_230

    sophie_230 PetForums Newbie

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    @O2.0 where do I find one haha ...
     
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  10. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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  11. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like you do a lot with him but as you've said physical exercise isn't tiring him out, maybe he needs more mental stimulation as well. My WL GSD is full of himself & would be on the go all day if I let him. He is an amazing dog, so keen & eager to learn which I can't fault but at times I don't want that so had to work really hard to teach him to switch off. I have verbal & visual cues which I use at the start & end of every play/training session so he knows the 'rules'.

    Maybe you need to really break down each 'problem' & pin point what you want, how you can achieve it, how you can prevent errors, etc. then you will have more of a plan instead of it being overwhelming. But you do need to be consistent, if you are in a rush then think of something else he can do or how you could maybe get a calmer behaviour. Maybe getting him to sit & be 'calm' near the door is just too much for him & he's not able to do this yet, maybe give him something to hold at this point as some dogs find it helps with over arousal having something they can bite down on.

    If he's up & down in the evening then maybe crate him &/or give him a chew/lick mat, etc so he will be more inclined to stay where he should.

    Not sure if you're interested in theory based courses but this one is really good, I attended one Sian ran a couple of years ago & it was really interesting. https://www.dog-and-bone.co.uk/seminars/self-control-with-sian-ryan

    Where about's are you OP?
     
  12. CheddarS

    CheddarS PetForums VIP

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    Agree what has been said. You need to train an off switch. I cut back exercise, upped mental stimulation and set boundaries.
     
  13. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    Once you've taught a good down on a mat, then Karen Overall's Protocol for Relaxation is a good method for teaching a settle. Keeps the dog settled even if other things are happening around them vs your situation of him always popping back up again. I haven't personally had the time/ motivation to work through it yet, but I know a lot of people who've had excellent results with the method :)
     
  14. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    These are the official notes form a seminar I attended a couple of years ago regarding over arousal in dogs. It was very interesting & there was so much to consider that can be of influence. No specific training exercises as such but you might find the sections regarding routine & environment useful as well as maybe researching tracking a bit more.

    Tracking is a fantastic way for dogs to learn to concentrate & is also mentally stimulating for them. There are many types of tracking but it's some thing that can be done anywhere once you have an idea of what you are doing & a bit of imagination!

    https://www.apbc.org.uk/press-relea...ake-home-messages-from-our-annual-conference/
     
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