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Posted: 2/27/2006 6:18:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 6:20:16 AM EDT by azcopwannabee]
ok, here is the story.

I just adopted a new dog from petsmart via a no kill shelter.

She is a 6month rott'n german shepard. (We think she is older)

She is very chill and calm. She is not hand shy (no sign of being struck).

She is a little too submissive though.

Not a barker, loves everyone, loves all dogs, and even loves cats.

The weird part of this situation is the dog knows nothing! She is like a clean slate.

We had to teach her how to climb the stairs, she doesn't understand what WALKS are for.

She is not stupid. I tought her to sit for treats in about 5 minutes (about level 2 which is MOST of the time).

Now here are the Questions.

She was recently fixed, like 11 days ago.

She has eaten less than a cup of food in 2 days. She has crapped once. She has pissed 3 times. All in two days.


Is this normal?


Now about training. What do you recommend?

She is very good on the leash but needs some pulling discipline.

How do we get her housebroke to a leash/walk system rather than the doggy door the shelter had?


Thanks in advance. Sorry if its disjointed, I'm really tired. It took two hours of walking to get her to piss.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 7:00:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/27/2006 7:01:55 PM EDT by bowhuntr09]
pulling discipline - walk on a 6ft lead with slack held in your hand, when she starts to pull drop the slack and you turn immediately and go in the direct opposite direction issuing the heel command. After getting turned in a 180 a couple of times by the lead she will quickly learn that you are lead dog and she must keep her attention focused on you.

housetraining - walk every 3 to 4 hours especially after she eats or drinks. Give praise when she does her business.

Treats are not needed for any type of training, your praise and attention are reward enough and you always have that available where treats might not always be handy. The key to any successful training is repetition and consistency so she learns what to expect from you for her actions.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 9:27:14 PM EDT
Don't worry too much about the eating as long as she starts in a day or two at the most. It takes a lot of adjusting when a pup moves into a new home.

It sounds like your dog has spent most of her life in a cage somewhere which is why she is behind the curve developmentally.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 9:48:59 PM EDT
Yup, don't get too excited yet. It will take some time before she adjusts to you, and in this time it's important to do 3 things...

1. Establish routine. Make sure she's comfortable knowing about her new pack. How do you do this? Play with her often, for a given period, every day at the same time. If you are going to leave her in the house, or alone, take a very short trip (5 minutes, then 10, then 20) and come back. Little steps at a time, praise her if she's good when you come home. This lets her know you'll always return, and her being calm when you're gone is a good thing. Also, praise her lavishly at first. Let her know that good behavior is the way to please you.

2. Don't let her win. It's VERY important at first with a new dog to establish that challenges, even small ones, never result in her getting away with something you don't want. If she's playing, or tugging on a toy, or on the leash, never let the last action be you giving her the toy, control of the leash, or wandering off of a "stay" command. Let her know that you are the Alpha, always.

3. Work with her, every single day. Make her sit, praise her when she does. Put her on a "stay" command, hold your hand out to her to show her as you give the command, and walk away. If she stays, walk BACK TO HER, don't let her get up, and praise her. Keep doing this, for longer periods and with you moving farther away. Move to the outdoors to advance this. Keep doing it, but don't praise her if she gets up with out you releasing her (I use "ok" as a release). Then, work on "come" commands. You can do this from a "stay" command, and again praise her AS SHE IS COMING, so she understands that by going to you, she is doing the right thing. Work on this every day, for 10-20 minutes for the first few weeks. You'll be amazed how quickly they take to it, and it will really help with bonding.

Be patient, give her time, and have fun. Good luck.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 10:07:39 PM EDT
Here is another wierd thing, she won't play with us. Its like she doesn't understand. She will leave off her toy if we aproach like she is letting us have her KILL. She just doesn't know how to play. She will play when we are not watching her, but stops when we watch. weird. She is very shy.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 1:04:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2006 1:12:11 AM EDT by swingset]

Originally Posted By azcopwannabee:
Here is another wierd thing, she won't play with us. Its like she doesn't understand. She will leave off her toy if we aproach like she is letting us have her KILL. She just doesn't know how to play. She will play when we are not watching her, but stops when we watch. weird. She is very shy.



Sounds like she's really submissive....that will change for the better once you build some trust.

Will she fetch a toy? When we adopted a really shy malamute/husky mix the only way we could get her to engage with us was to toss her a toy. It may take some time for her to bond with you, just be patient.

One thing I've done is to get down on the floor with them at their level when I play with them....let them interact with you so you don't appear so dominate. Height matters to a dog, where you stand, where you sleep, and eat. Height is a status in a pack, the alpha eats, sleeps and shits above the rest. If you get down and play with her on the floor a little she might respond better to you.

Dogs are funny, and you have to be creative sometimes to reach their nature. You also have no idea of her experiences, or her socialization (or lack thereof). Sometimes you're unlearning their entire youth.

Be sure to post pics.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 1:14:19 AM EDT
When Mrs Goon brought home our latest rescue project, he
didn't really eat much for about the first two weeks.

It was like he just didn't really think about it.

We still have to really kinda of remind him to eat.

He didn't bark...At all...I mean, at ALL for about the first month
he was at our house.

Dogs just take a little time to settle in.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 6:19:57 AM EDT
UPDATE!


Ok, after 3 small accidents the first day, she has grasped the concept of IF I MESS ON THE FLOOR I GET PUT IN THE KENNEL FOR A LONG TIME, IF I MESS OUTSIDE DURING A WALK I GET TO WATCH MY OWNER GAG AS HE PICKS IT UP AND I GET A TREAT. (INSERT DOGGY SMILE HERE)

We have introduced her to my MILs dog. They get along great. This dog is so smart guys.
We have gotten her some more toys and some rawhide bones and a bed.

We have been getting on the ground with her alot and laying with her in the bed which seems to be bringing her out of her shell.

Her leash discipline is alot better too.

She is learning the STAY command and can do it for like 5 secs.

This is the perfect dog for us.

Any good links to training websites? Pics coming possibly tonight.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 7:20:52 AM EDT
My family had a german shepard at one point, and my father had them for years before that. Some people are against it but a choker collar, can't place the right word with it now. It's a leash with little spikes that when they pull too ahead it chokes them a little and so they won't pull you because they know thqat they will be choked. Your dog sounds like it has a good temperment though and I think they try to use it on stubborn or rough dogs.

Just establish routine. My dogs respond to words or phrases. When I say "Max wanna go peee peee" he perks up and knows he's going out. If you get to establish some sort of routine with the dog he'll start to understand he's going to be walked instead of walking out himself.

Good luck with the new doggie!!
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 7:21:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 7:24:57 AM EDT by swingset]

Originally Posted By azcopwannabee:
UPDATE!


Ok, after 3 small accidents the first day, she has grasped the concept of IF I MESS ON THE FLOOR I GET PUT IN THE KENNEL FOR A LONG TIME, IF I MESS OUTSIDE DURING A WALK I GET TO WATCH MY OWNER GAG AS HE PICKS IT UP AND I GET A TREAT. (INSERT DOGGY SMILE HERE)

We have introduced her to my MILs dog. They get along great. This dog is so smart guys.
We have gotten her some more toys and some rawhide bones and a bed.

We have been getting on the ground with her alot and laying with her in the bed which seems to be bringing her out of her shell.

Her leash discipline is alot better too.

She is learning the STAY command and can do it for like 5 secs.

This is the perfect dog for us.

Any good links to training websites? Pics coming possibly tonight.



Just google dog training advice, you'll find all you need for advice (tho the quality of the advice varies, there's alot of info out there.)

Glad to hear she's warming up to you...she's got good genetics, breed wise, for a nice temperment and a fast learner.

On leash training something I like to do is to put them on a choker, keep them at one side of you (for consistency), and use "heel" command to get them to move at your pace. Repeat this command when you start walking, either from a stop or from correcting her so she understands that "heel" (or whatever) means "let's walk side by side". When she does this, and the leash is slack, praise her. Then, stop abrubtly. If the dog keeps moving, snap the choker (not hard, just enough to get her attention). She should stop, and sit....99% of dogs do. Praise her if she does.

Now, repeat this walk and get her to "heel". Then, without warning, turn in the opposite direction, let her slack run out and jerk back to you....on the same side she was walking. Do this a few times. It reinforces that when they're on the leash, they need to pay attention to you.

After you walk a bit, and she's comfortable and maintaining pace, stop ever so often to get her to stop too. Don't let her weave or lead you, change sides, etc. If she starts doing that, stop. Give her a "sit" command (for no other reason than to let her know right now you're in charge). Then, resume walking and do this until she "gets it" that she's supposed to shadow you, with some slack on the chain. Obviously, she'll be more wound up when she's first on the leash, so don't start in on the lessons until she's calmer, then keep trying. Make sure she gets praised for every "good" thing, and ignored for the bad. She'll pick it up REAL fast. I don't like to leash train when they first get outside, or after a long time alone. They're too torqued up. Let her relax, play a bit, then go to work.

Let us know how she does, and get some pics up!

BTW, if you can't tell, I train alot! My mom raised and showed Collies, and I handled them and trained them. I just have the black lab now, but I still like to work with him.....it's how you really get to know your dog.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 7:47:51 AM EDT
Awesome advice already in this thread. Just want to add a few things.

Never use the Crate or Kennel for punishment, always make it positive. That should be like her house, where she can go to feel safe and comfortable. Even if you need a time out from her and tell her to go to her kennel, make it positive and give her a treat or a toy when she goes in there.

To get her used to walks, just take her out and have fun with her at first. Make the walks fun, bring a toy, Let her greet other people. Sit down somewhere with her and watch the world go by and give her a few treats.The leash discipline will come later. Any harsh punishment or discipline you do now will only hurt the developing bond you have. After a few fun, sniffin around, tuggin on the leash walks, you can start to train on leash discipline.

IMHO, the most important command to get perfected is the COME command, it could save her life one day. NEVER call her to you and then punish her, as this will make the dog think that when it comes to you it is a bad thing. Always make it positive, even if you are frustated as hell because she is out digging in the yard running around or something and she won't come over to you. Give her a treat everytime she comes to you.

You have to find out what motivates her. Does she chase a ball and have a high prey drive? Is she treat or food motivated? Praise motivated? My Lab pup is very ball and treat motivated but could care less for verbal praise. He thinks with his stomach first, as do most Labs. When training her, use very small, super tasty treats and she will learn faster.

Also, keep her around other dogs and people as much as you can to keep her socialized. Dogs can de-socialize over time, especially as they mature so this is very important. You can avoid dog aggression and people aggression just by keeping her socialized. Take her to the park and enroll her in a basic obedience or puppy class just so she can be around the other dogs. The distractions that such a class provides are also great in terms of training and keeping her focused on you.

It will take her a little while to adjust to her new home, so the food thing isnt that big of a concern, unless it continues for more than a week, then you might want to have her checked out. Some dogs don't bark that much, but she is still pretty young to bark yet and she needs to feel that she is part of the pack before she starts barking to warn you guys of things.

Good luck. There is tons of awesome advice in this tread. Remember, keep it positive and be fair at all times with her. Once you start being negative, the dog shuts down. It is not a Democracy with a dog, but it can be a fair dictatorship.

Remember to post pic!!

Link Posted: 3/2/2006 8:04:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 8:07:05 AM EDT by lefthandblack]
Wanted to add a few more things that I thought of regarding pack order and dominance.

In terms of feeding, never leave a bowl out for the dog to just munch on. Always schedule meal times, usually two a day and prepare the food yourself. This should also regulate her bowel movements. Make her wait by putting her in a stay while you put her bowls down and then you tell her when to eat. Also, always eat before her, as the head wolf in the pack always eats first. To avoid food agression, occasionaly put your hand near her bowl and drop something tasty into it so she associates you approaching her bowl as something positive.

Never allow her to enter or exit a doorway before you. If she is charging ahead through a door, make her sit, enter first and then allow her to enter.

Do not allow her to sleep on the bed with you. Dogs see things differently than us and this makes them think they are equals to us and can lead to dominance issues. Give her a bed to sleep on, in your bedroom if you wish, but I would'nt recommend it. The bedroom is reserved for the Alpha of the house.

Never give a command you can't or are'nt willing to enforce and never repeat a command more than once. If you tell the dog to sit, make her sit if she does'nt and so on.

If she is still light enough, try picking her up and holding her with her belly up and passing her to your wife and back to you. Make it positive by praising her for not wiggling or struggling and for being in a vulnerable position.

Work on long Down Stays, as this is a subordinate position and will help with establishing yourself as pack leader.

Good luck.



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