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Old 10-06-2007, 10:06 PM   #1
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Cubbie was a Naughty Boy!

As you know our German Shepherd horse is now 9 1/2 months old. I guess I have gotten used to him because he almost seems small to me sometimes. His tail alone is 19 inches long (20 if you count the hair at the end of it), and he uses it to cut a path of destruction throughout the house, as well as slap me in the face now and then!

Anyway, yesterday I took Cubbie outside. Because he has a tendency to pull on his leash we got him a Gentle Leader head collar and it helps a lot. When he is determined, however, even that doesn't stop Cubbie. We were out in the yard when he saw the puppies across the street running around. A couple of them started to come over to see Cubbie but when Cubbie got excited (he LOVES other dogs and cats) it scared them and they ran back across the street. I guess Cubbie decided he was going to go with them. He took off, catching me by surprise. I was holding onto his leash of course. My knees hit the ground and the next thing I knew Cubbie literally dragged me 3 to 5 feet across the grass! (I am at least twice his weight, probably more than twice). It didn't really hurt, but when I got in the house I cried like a baby because it scared me to think what would have happened if I had been on the stairs or out in the gravel road.

I am kind of sore in a few spots today, evidently from my little adventure yesterday. Cubbie is a big baby who doesn't realize what he is doing, but that has to change. Actually he has matured so much that it's almost unbelievable, but he still has a way to go. I have gotten a little lax on his training but have to get back to it. He did really well in his obedience classes, but it is an ongoing process and I need to keep it up.

Barbara

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Old 10-06-2007, 10:39 PM   #2
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Cubbie sounds like a strong one! I'm glad you weren't hurt badly.
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Old 10-06-2007, 10:47 PM   #3
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Obedience classes for German Shephards are not enough. These dogs need constant training. They are born to be trained. I used to have one years ago and he was a European dog, that means he was much taller. European standards for german shephards are different. Dogs are much taller. As an adult he was like 150 lbs. They are eager to please, but they need constant training and constant reminding who the boss is.
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:03 PM   #4
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Thanks Andy! Yes Charlie, you are right. I know it is my fault for letting up. Cubbie is very smart and picks things up quickly, but he is also very headstrong and will take over as leader if I let him. I think this was a fluke, but I certainly don't want that kind of thing to happen again. Cubbie tends to pick and choose when he will listen to me so he definitely needs to learn to listen to me. I don't think my being only 5'2" helps a lot sometimes! I don't know if I am doing more harm than good, but I have noticed lately that if he is barking at the cat (to try to get him to play) and I call his name or tell him to stop, he ignores me, but if I stand up and bark with a really deep bark, he stops and comes to me. Weird dog.

Barbara
P.S. When we can afford it, I will continue with more professional training, but in the meantime it is just Cubbie and me.
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:36 AM   #5
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Are you familiar with the trainer choker? It looks medieval, but itís perfectly safe. In a resting position, itís a normal collar, but when a dog tugs and pulls, it becomes uncomfortable so they stop! Personally, Iím torn about the thing because it just looks wicked in the first place, and Iím also not one to spare the rod with my pets when it comes to a situation that could hurt them, me, or both of us at the same time.

Many people praise this collar, and in the case where the dog has more pull than you, this could level the ground. Itís not a collar you use for a long period of time, only a few months (kind of like crating), but it makes a life long difference that could save you from a very nasty predicament.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:03 AM   #6
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When you have a dog that is stronger than you are, and of a potentially dangerous breed (no matter how sweet you think he is), you must never let him get the best of you. He must always know who's boss, even if you have to punch him in the nose or whomp him with a board.
I know that sounds mean, but stop and think about how dogs live in the wild. They are social animals, living in a pack. The alpha male leads the pack, and others submit to him. If one challenges him, they fight until one is killed or backs down. The loser is then run off from the pack, and not allowed to return.
If your dog thinks he can get the upper hand over you, you will find yourself in a bad situation. Shepherds are notorious for turning on their owners.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:03 AM   #7
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Get a Sporn No Pull Harness.

Works great, no training needed.
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:07 AM   #8
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I have a shepard and he is incredibly obedient but we got him when he was about a year old a rescue.I think he's just incredibly grateful because his life before we got him wasn't the best.I find that your tone of voice is important you need to talk to him in a deep stern voice when he does something you dont want him to.Sometimes I will also stomp my foot at the same time to let them know Im not happy.At his age he's testing you on all levels and needs to develop a healthy respect for you and know who the real boss is.Last but not least a shock collar as a last resort alot people dont belive in them but the trick is they have settings on the degree of shock they get you dont want it set that it hurts them and makes them yelp but just enough to to make them turn their head like Huh?Shock collars are only meant to get their attention not hurt them.Think of it as a hearing aid.They get so focused on something that alot of dogs just dont hear you.
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:53 AM   #9
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Don't warry about profeccional training, do it your self. There are plenty of reading material you can find nowadays, read and follow up. Who has money any way.
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:13 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. We had considered a choke collar but decided on the Gentle Leader head collar. It works great and does the job most of the time. Cubbie just caught me by surprise, and he was so determined that he didn't let it deter him. I was sick for several weeks from kidney stones, and I have had some bouts of depression lately and have let his training slip, but I will get back to it, since he and I both need it. I wish we could get a fence around our property so I didn't have to take him out on a leash every time. He really needs to run off some energy. We let him run loose now and then, but I won't do it when James isn't here. Not really sure why! It's just that he goes a little farther each time, and I don't want him going where I can't see him.

Barbara
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
Don't warry about profeccional training, do it your self. There are plenty of reading material you can find nowadays, read and follow up. Who has money any way.
The reason I liked going to the classes was that she showed us the way to do it properly. I like watching someone give an example. She wasn't training our dogs, she was training us to train our own dogs. I like to read how to do things, but I also like an example.

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Old 10-07-2007, 12:52 PM   #12
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Hi Barbara - we live in a house with 4 pugs, 1 cat (who seldom leaves our bedroom, for his own safety), and a large Staffordshire Bull Terrier (my daughter's dog).

We have all been watching the Dog Whisperer on National Geographic channel - he makes so much sense, and his methods seem to work. We have got to get our 4 little monsters under control (they think they rule our world) so that we can get some kind of peaceful coexistence going on. Right now we have to shuffle dogs and use a baby gate to keep them apart.

Starfish (the Staffy) minds my daughter and I - but we have to be very very firm so that she understands who the "pack leader" is. She ignores Bob - he's her grampa and she just wants to love him.

If you don't have NG channel you can rent his videos and he does have a new book out. It might be worth checking out!
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Old 10-07-2007, 03:09 PM   #13
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Barbara at least you're okay. Like you said he's just a big baby ( I have one of those myself) who just wanted to play. THose puppies ran away and poor Cubbie probably thought that was an ivitation for him to play with them. You know he didn't mean to hurt you and he's sorry. He'll get back on track in no time.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:12 PM   #14
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Thanks Harborwitch, I'll have to check that show out. A lot of my friends like it.

Thanks middie! Yes Cubbie was very apologetic when we got in the house. Then he went and curled up on the floor--looking up at me now and then with concerned eyes and wagging just the tip of his tail.

To change the subject a little, I have noticed that Cubbie is jumpier at night during the week while James is gone. He gets up for every noise at night sometimes and starts barking. Drives me nuts! But when James is home Cubbie sleeps soundly through the whole night. I'm not sure if he is protecting me during the week and knows that "Daddy" can protect me on the weekends, or if he is a big chicken and thinks I'm not doing as good a job protecting him during the week as Daddy does on the weekend! I'm just kidding, he is a big lovable puppy most of the time, but if he is concerned about something he takes the classic German Shepherd stance and makes it clear that he is not going to let anything get him or me. He loves people and animals, and he has never gotten aggressive toward anyone, but I have a feeling if someone tried to attack me it would be a different story. I hope I never have to find out!

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Old 10-07-2007, 06:21 PM   #15
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If you're nuts then so am I. My poodle usually sleeps peacefully through the night but if my dh is out of town she remains on alert and nothing gets past her. I'm hard of hearing so I appreciate the notice - although dh sleeps like a cat (a dead cat) I'm not sure he'd be much help unless I shook him awake!

Good luck w/your baby. I've discovered that games that cause the pup to watch you really help in terms of their attention. You want his attention on you all the time. Surprising them with a treat hidden where they least expect it - give them a simple command like sit - instant reward and you'll find they watch you alot more closely.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:44 PM   #16
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Thanks Linda! Yes, I need to kind of go back to square one with that. I think the trainer was good, but she barely covered getting the dog to look at us and jumped right into "sit." I read the materials she gave us later and we were supposed to spend the whole first session on that, and do it for a week before learning sit or anything else. It is my fault for getting too lax. We have been working but not as much as we both need it.

I want Cubbie to wake me up if something is really going on at night, but sometimes it seems like he hears the ants crawling through the grass! LOL I would hope that he would learn what the neighbors' vehicles sound like and not get so hyper! It is really funny to watch Cubbie when someone on TV knocks on a door or honks a horn! He runs to the door, barking. I will rewind it (love that DVR!) and show him that it was just on TV.

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Old 10-08-2007, 12:10 PM   #17
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He'll learn. My dh finally believes that Gidgett knows the difference between the sound of my garage door and his and the difference in cars. We can't say "Nana's coming" or she pitches a fit at the door until MIL comes through the door. Dogs are wonderfull problem solvers!
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:19 PM   #18
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I think the more you make him sit,stay lay down etc the better he will get when you are outside.Young dogs are just so happy with life its self they just cant contain the excitement of it all as far as being patient fuhget about it.They will learn in good time.
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:38 PM   #19
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Linda, I know what you mean! I made the mistake of saying, "Daddy's coming home today" last Friday. He thought I meant, "Daddy's home!" He got so excited and was a wreck until James got home a couple hours later! My mom's dog knew the sound difference between my dad's car, my uncle's car, and a stranger's car. She had a different bark and demeanor for each one.

JP, You are right! It can look like a boring day outside to a person, but to Cubbie it is a wonderland of fascinating things! Bugs jumping and flying around, a cat walking around the corner of the house, the wind rustling the leaves and grass! Everything is an adventure for Cubbie! I love looking at the world through Cubbie's eyes and through a child's eyes!

Barbara
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:28 PM   #20
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Awww, the joys of raising a well adjusted pup
I just got another one last week, to replace my Rhodesian Ridgeback who died last December.... He's a 9 week old "calming down" terror right now. I still have my other two, a Presa Canario who's almost 8 yrs old and a GSD who just turned 4. Both were raised differently and I'll probably raise the new guy a different way, too, as training methods are constantly evolving and it's good to keep up with new ideas and tools to make the job easier.

What I have found is the toughest thing about raising a well adjusted dog is finding that fine line between letting them be a puppy and teaching them manners. I had intended to send my GSD off to her breeder for formal training, but those plans fell through, so I never taught her formal OB like my other dogs. That doesn't mean she didn't learn manners though, or won't do what I tell her to. The main thing was I never let her get away with a behavior I didn't like. You need to be consistent and train your friends and other contacts to be consistent. If you don't want your dog to jump up on people, they can NEVER jump up on people. Same with the leash training. I've had Petra on a leash maybe 2 dozen times in her four year old life, but I didn't let her pull as a puppy and she knows not to pull as a strong adult. It's much easier to correct them and show them the correct way when they only weigh 20 lbs.

On dogs in general.... I have never heard that GSDs are prone to turn on their owners.... BUT there are a lot of poorly bred dogs out there and GSDs are one of them (read popular). There are definitely alpha aggressive dogs out there who would turn on their owners in a second because they never learned their proper place in "the pack", to quote Cesar Milan. Also, dogs are 80% genetic and 20% environment, so you can only do so much with a pooprly bred dog. On the other side, a well bred dog has a lot more latitiude and isn't quite as hard to ruin, but they can still be ruined. It's the good ones that make good rescues and the poorly bred ones that are put down.

"I'm not sure if he is protecting me during the week and knows that "Daddy" can protect me on the weekends, or if he is a big chicken and thinks I'm not doing as good a job protecting him during the week as Daddy does on the weekend!"

The latter part of your statement. You hit the nail right on the head. Your dog feels more secure when "daddy" is there and trusts him to sound the alert. Especially an unwarranted alert like a simple noise at night that's there every night, like a creaky house. He does not see you as a pack leader and is barking at an unseen/unknown threat trying to tell whatever is out there that he's boss. But really it's like the fat kid playing the part of the bully. Deep inside your dog is insecure and daddy isn't there to ease his mind and tell him it's nothing to get excited about by his inaction. Dogs pick up on cues and if he sees daddy not moving or bothered by a noise, then he will relax and let it pass much more quickly. GSDs seem to go through more fear periods than other dogs, but I like to think it's because their minds are so complex and they are so intelligent.

Bottom line is, even though you don't have time to formally train a dog doesn't mean you don't have time to teach it manners. You do that just by living together.
And, one good correction is worth a thousand nagging ones. Be fair, firm and don't act out of anger.

At least that's my take on things.
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