fao: puppylover/anyone that can help me with big dog

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boo32
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 6/23/2009 3:32 AM (GMT -7)   
hi,
sorry i have to get your attention this way but i don't know how to get in touch and ye're still in bed as i'm in europe. I think my dog is part of the reason for my recent flare up.
 
You said you have a large dog. I have a large german sheppard that we bought after we were being constantly robbed of our heating oil by tinkers.(they make a living out of it, but, for some reason are terrified of dogs) We've not been robbed since!
 
Anyway, he's too strong for me to handle, or i'm not dominant over him but i've tried treats, stop/start walking and different leads. I can't get his attention once we leave the house and he nearly pulls me under cars on the road.He does respond well if i put a back pack on him and i'm aware he likes having jobs to do.
 
I''ve managed to train him to run with the bike and on uphills he helps pull me along so that's how i exercise him.
 
I was wanting to get another little dog that i can walk when my husband has the big dog on lead. The man i bought him off said to buy a pup and and get him to walk with him and when the pup gets tired put him in the german sheppards back pack!!!!!!!!
 
What do you think, any suggestions.
BikeBoo, biking with my boo since 1999
Of all the things i've lost, i miss my mind the most!
Fibro and spinal arthritis, trying to mange it with diet, exercise and accepting my limits, as i'm allergic to EVERYTHING!
TTC NO1 since Jan08


lost in philly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 6/23/2009 5:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Ive had large dogs too and you really need to be dominate otherwise they will hurt you or someone/ something else--mine broke my wrist from pulling on the lead and attacked other small dogs. You probably need the help of a trainer, even a few home visits will help alot and are worth every cent you pay! What I was told was to show my dog that I was "in charge" and making the choices (not her) so if she was laying on the floor blocking the way with her big body (instead of walking around her like I normally would do) I should ask her to move out of my way--b/c that is what the alpha dog would do. Make her sit and wait until you say ok for her to eat after you put the food down. Little things add up in their minds. Your body posture, how you hold the lead--everything conveys a message to them about whether you are the alpha or not.
My vote is not to get another puppy that could add to the problems until you get a trainer and solve things with the Sheppard--he really has potential to hurt you!
Good luck!
lost in philly

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Bella Scarlett
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/23/2009 5:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I second the training. You need to learn to be alpha and there is a lot of info on the internet about that. You eat first, you walk through the doorways first. Don't treat him unless he works for it, even with a simple 'sit' command. Put his food down and if he doesn't eat it right away, take it up again - you are in control. Don't let him on the furniture or bed. If there is a dog training club close, consider joining and taking him to obedience. GSD's are very intelligent and they need a job to do and lots of exercise to be well adjusted. Also, you might want to get a Gentle Leader Easy Walker harness to walk him. It is constructed in such a way that the dog really cannot pull too hard or he will fall. I have one and it makes a huge difference with my dog.

The bike idea is great! That should wear him out and keep him happy.

Good luck!

boo32
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 6/23/2009 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   

hi,

thanks for the replies.

I went to our local pet store this morning and they also suggested more training before i even consider another dog. so i think that's definately a non starter.

I haven't tried the small things like getting him to move, and taking away the feed if he doesn't eat it right away.

These are all things i can do from now.

Thanks again and i will also try the lead you suggested.


BikeBoo, biking with my boo since 1999
Of all the things i've lost, i miss my mind the most!
Fibro and spinal arthritis, trying to mange it with diet, exercise and accepting my limits, as i'm allergic to EVERYTHING!
TTC NO1 since Jan08


puppylover
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 824
   Posted 6/23/2009 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Boo. 
 
Dogs can really help us to get the exercise we need can't they.  I have a 2 year old Golden Retriever.  Their temperament is different than a German Shepherd's.  I had a lot of trouble with my baby with pulling when we walked for the first year even though she has been through training classes.  I have had 5 other large dogs over the years including 2 German S. mixed.  This dog is much more EXHUBARANT than others I have had. She is 70lbs of joy. I agree with the others that you have to be the one in charge at all times. 
 
How old is your dog.  Now that mine is 2 she has calmed down a lot. I practice everyday with her starting with giving her food.  She has to sit and wait until the food is placed in front of her and I give her the o.k. signal.  I even sometimes pick up the bowl as she is eating and just kind of stir it with my hand , then place it back down.  I did this from the beginning to make sure she didn't become food aggressive.  She has to wait until I go out the door first.  I give just one word commands to her.  Wait, stay etc.
 
Waking was our biggest problem.  She did break one of my fingers by charging ahead suddenly to see another dog.  She wants to play with everyone/thing.  I used both a pinch collar and a also a gentle leader.  I have had the best results with the pinch collar.  I know some people think this is mean but my vet said I should use it because I was the one who was going to get hurt.  She has pulled me over before when excited.  I don't have the strength to hurt her with it.  I work with her everyday.  I use treats to work on the heeling, then sitting next to me. 
 
I would not get another dog until you have your G.S. really trained.  You would just have twice the work with a puppy.  G.S. are very smart dogs.  He should learn quickly I would think, once you are completely in charge.  I think the backpack is a great idea.  It gives him a job.  I want to use my dog as a pet therapy dog, visiting hospitals, nursing homes.  I am taking her to stores right now to get her use to different situations.  She seems to hold herself different when we are in a store with her walking along side of me pushing a cart-like she has a job to do.  I practice the heel and sit there.
 
It is a lot of work but if you are consistent with your dog you should see improvement.  I also do take mine to a dog park so she can run like crazy and also learn to be around lots of other dogs and people. 
 
Maybe you can find a trainer to help you get started in the right direction.  Here we have trainers in Petsmart stores.  I used them in the beginning.   I hope this helps you.  A well trained dog is so much more enjoyable than one that is doing only what he/she wants.  Good luck and let us know how your pup is doing.
 
Puppylover
Fibromyalgia, arthritis in spine and hips, IBS, Raynaud's syndrome, hypertension
 
On the eighth day God created Golden Retrievers.


WhiteChocChip
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 439
   Posted 6/23/2009 7:44 AM (GMT -7)   
hey ... I'm in Europe too!

boo32
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 6/23/2009 9:23 AM (GMT -7)   

hi,

thank you so much for all that advice. I really need to start at the beggining. He's 20 months and i only have him 3 months so i think that maybe he's still settling in a bit. He seems to have a fear of men so i also think he may have been mis treated.

I'm gonna save for a trainer to help me as well as i know the dog has lots to offer.

 


BikeBoo, biking with my boo since 1999
Of all the things i've lost, i miss my mind the most!
Fibro and spinal arthritis, trying to mange it with diet, exercise and accepting my limits, as i'm allergic to EVERYTHING!
TTC NO1 since Jan08


MrsCavbar
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 6/23/2009 2:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Boo,

I have a very large puppy myself, 120lbs at 17 moz. I also used to breed rottwielers and my husband used to breed pit bulls. It is so important that you become the 'alpha', any dog that sees themselves as alpha has the possibility of hurting you or your family. When my dogs had misbehaved, I would scold them in a deep stern voice, while holding the scruff of their neck, just short of causing pain, as their dog mother would have done. There are some tricks you can use while saving for the trainer, such as making him be on your schedule, especially feeding times, put his food out for an hr twice a day, he may choose not to eat, if not, just put the food away until later and if he chooses not to eat again, make him wait until the next day. Always put the food out at the same times everyday, he may decide not to eat that first day, not being hungry when the food is out, but he will eat the second day. While training him, treats should only be used as a reward, but only after he does the desired behavior on his own. Not everyone agrees with that method, but it's worked the best for me. Another is to keep him off the furnature until you allow it, this can take a while, but it works. There are a lot of other little things I do with my dog, but they're hidden in the fog LOL
Good luck! A well trained dog can be a better friend than any human, at least in my experience.
Lola

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
Anton Chekhov

My train of thought derailed long ago, now I take the bus, few more stops, but I eventually get there.

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Statgeek
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 6/23/2009 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, I also had a big dog, an Akita Shepard Mix, for several years.  What everyone says is right on.  you must be alpha dog.  Walk through the door first.  I only limited this to the door to the outside.  At first, I would have to crowd him out and go in first because he was so anxious to get in.  When I let him in, I always made him sit first.  We used a pinch collar, too.  It is the only way he would not pull our arms out of the sockets.  It does not hurt the dog if the dog does not pull.  Make him move if he is in your way.  Use the same word every time when you command him to do something (don't say off one day and down the next day when you want him to not jump on you).  I always said off because down sounded too much like lay down.  The dog whisperer tv show has some really good ideas.  do you get that show?  maybe you can see some shows on the internet.   \

Good luck!

Sue 

 


Littleneck
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 6/23/2009 3:52 PM (GMT -7)   
It's taken me a long time to learn how to become alpha dog in my house. I have one little shih tzu (who really is alpha dog, but I don't let her know that) and one 70lb shepherd-husky-collie mix. He pulls. He was trained to pull a bike, so when I walk him, he tried to pull me. I have learned how to get inside their heads and to see things from their point of view. My big lesson I learned was that to be a good pack leader, I don't have to be aggressive or harsh or loud, to dominate. So, it's been a good learning lesson for me on my own habits and things I can improve on to be a good pack leader.

That said, I have a REALLY hard time walking Big Dog. Even when he is very good and gentle, just that weight on my arms and elbows brings tears. Little Dog is OK, but sometimes even that is too much. I've enlisted my boyfriend to be head dog walker, or to join me when I can handle just Little Dog. It's working out OK. I have another friend who has a big dog that helps out too. Don't be afraid to ask for help!

boo32
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 6/24/2009 3:09 AM (GMT -7)   
hi,
thank you all so much for the replies, i've learnt more in 24hrs on here than i could from any book.
I've been doing what you've said and can see that it's gonna be a long haul but i'm sure it'll be worth it.
I really just working on getting his attention now and will go on from there when that's established.
Thanks again, oh yeah, i get the dog whisperer on digital tv, i would love to fly him over here and train me, coz lord knows..........the dog ain't the problem.
BikeBoo, biking with my boo since 1999
Of all the things i've lost, i miss my mind the most!
Fibro and spinal arthritis, trying to mange it with diet, exercise and accepting my limits, as i'm allergic to EVERYTHING!
TTC NO1 since Jan08


tyno3
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 6/24/2009 4:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Dog Whisperer is on Ntl. Geographic channel. He has it down to a science. When you first encounter your dog, don't make eye contact. Go about your routine like he isn't there. Then when you're ready to walk him. Make eye contact, say "stand". Once he does, put his leash on, and begin the walk. Be consistent. Also remember dogs know about 2 seconds before and 2 seconds after each event, so if there's a problem, correct it quickly, then let it go. The dog will. He will respond to how you're feeling. If you're tense or upset, he/she will be tense and upset. Dogs are much more secure when you are calm and in control, at all times. Like children, they read the alpha's body language for cues of danger, pleasure, play, etc. Enjoy you pet. I find they keep me keep going. Otherwise, I wouldn't get out of bed in the morning. I have tried the various leaders on the market. My dog ate them. I don't think anything is better than Ceasar's length if cord, with a loop on the end through which you feed the other end of the cord, making a lasso. This tightens when the dog pulls, loosens when he walks appropriately. This way there is instantaneous feedback from the leash when he is straining, and reward when he is not. Hang in there. It is very hard at first but it does get better. Also, a full out run, at least once a day, or two, better, whether by bicycle, or in an area where it is ok for the dog to be off leash, is very important. They are bred to work, so you have to work them. A tired dog is a great companion, a frustrated dog is a nightmare.
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