German Shepherd Dog > Opinion on Schutzhund prospect.. (79 replies)
by vomtreuenhaus on 18 January 2012 - 02:49
|LOL Chaz, a shitter meaning.. ?|
by Hired Dog on 18 January 2012 - 03:04
|Hexe, thank you for your reply. You are correct, this has been my experience and that of others who share the same thoughts on puppy rearing, but, if I may be so bold as to inquire, what are the added benefits of pups remaining with the bitch passed 6 weeks?|
Allow me to add in here that when I speak about these dogs, I am not reffering to pet dog owners, I am talking about experienced sport or serious working dog individuals.
by Jenni78 on 18 January 2012 - 03:13
|Hexe and Hired Dog, I agree with both of you. Personally, the best dog I ever had was taken at 4 weeks...I took him and almost all of his litter. He was weaned a little after 3 weeks. They all turned out wonderfully, save one who is very DA, but the owner has cultivated that...purposely, believe it or not. Mine is 5 now and just for a reference point, was tested and passed for dual purpose w/a fairly large department. He was chosen for SWAT because the SWAT handler had tiny kids at home and this dog was the only one they had that could do it all and wasn't a liability. He has great genetics and I didn't screw him up, lol. So, it CAN be done and I do prefer to take them younger, but I can't say as though I recommend the general public do the same. I do allow certain people to take puppies from my home at 7 weeks. JMO, FWIW.|
by hexe on 18 January 2012 - 03:39
|Hired Dog, not so much remaining with the dam past six weeks, but rather with littermates until 8 weeks; most people aren't experienced enough to recognize that treating a 6 or 7 week old puppy like he or she is the second coming of the Sun God Ra is going to impress upon said pup that the universe revolves around him or her if the pup is of strong nature, nor are their lives set up in such a way as to not foster a feeling of isolation and abandonment when a pup that young is left by itself for hours on end while the people go to work or school or both if the pup is somewhat less independent by nature. Leaving the pup with the littermates for an two weeks permits them to learn that life requires cooperation with others, and allows the pup to benefit from the 'strength in numbers' reassurance that having your siblings behind you creates as you venture off to investigate something new for the first time. I do prefer to see littermates spend a good portion of their time apart each day once the pups reach that 10 to 12 week old point.|
by vomtreuenhaus on 18 January 2012 - 03:40
|Good info on puppy rearing. For those who want to know, I've made an appointment with another local trainer for Thursday morning, he's a long time friend who I've worked with with all my dogs, I explained to him what was going on and he wants to evaluate the pup overall. So we will see what he suggests, :) he is a big time sport/real work trainer:) he is one of the few in my area who does work with both show and working lines, so I trust him.|
by Bhaugh on 18 January 2012 - 03:45
|Your asking alot from a puppy to be what YOU want and not what he IS. Your forgetting that at this age they go through all kinds of odd and sometimes dumb behavior. I would be careful to burn him out at this age and maybe just let him be a puppy. I had a super smart male that I did just that burned him out and he actually stopped working for me. Lesson learned there. I also dont believe in kennel only dogs ever. Dogs need bond time and what your describing is not enough time to do that and have confidence. He is so needy now I would think that your not being there is actually making things worse. If you have him inside and he still does what your describing after a month, then I would be concerned that what was previously mentioned is in fact genetics. Id consider doggy daycare maybe or have friends over to hang with you while your dogs are out. Just because you want him to be a champion may not be what he is or even wants to be.|
by hexe on 18 January 2012 - 03:51
|Bhaugh....I love your bunneh. House rabbit?|
by Chaz Reinhold on 18 January 2012 - 04:18
by Hired Dog on 18 January 2012 - 04:34
|Hexe...I have a different opinion then you on puppies. I believe, as I stated earlier, that pups left together past 6 weeks will indeed develop dependency on eachother as well as animal aggression or sub issues because of the different genetic temperaments within the litter.|
Having said that, I try REALLY hard to make any puppy I own believe that its the Center of the Universe and THE Sun God and Zeus all combined. That even carries further when I start training and building more and more confidence and give that puppy/young dog, a feeling of invicibility.
Please understand that while I never negotiate with my dog, I do make deals with it and the way I train, I win these deals, but, it all starts at 6 weeks for me.
I agree with you that most people are not equipped to properly deal with a puppy at any age, but, again, I am speaking of those that are serious sport/working dog people.
I have always purchased my puppies at 6 weeks and hopefully, I will have my next one here soon...we shall see when the litter is born and what it produces. Thank you again for your reply.
by EchoEcho on 18 January 2012 - 04:37
|So first off I want to say that I do think it is great that you are seeking advise from others and you are trying to title your dogs before breeding them. I know this forum can be a rather cold and sometimes negative place so hang in there. That being said the post that you started off with "Echo" really shed some light on some things for me so I am going to try and help you out as best I can.|
The lack of self confidence is probably genetic and due to lack of socialization. Some people think that because they have kids their dog will be good with kids so no need to get them around other kids. Or I have a dog so I don't need to get them around other dogs he will be good with other dogs because I have a dog. This just isn't true and it especially isn't true if your dog has a genetic tendency to be fearfull. I have seen it time and time again where that doesn't work. I am raising a puppy right now and I have two kids and I take that puppy to the elementary school every day to pick the kids up and I let the kids pet him. I also take him to my sons karate lessons and let the kids there pet him. I also sit outside of grocery stores and let those kids pet him. I also take him to skate parks and let the kids with helmets pet him. Get my drift? And that is just for kids. I make sure to get a puppy around as many new people/places/things as humanly possible. These experiences need to be good and confidence building. I take him everywhere people will let me and some places they won't. On trash day when I hear the trash truck coming I get him outside and play ball with him while the trash truck picks up our trash. I take him to home depot and seek out the fork lifts. If he seems scared or unsure I DO NOT tell him "its okay" and pet him. Never pet a puppy or dog when they are showing fear or anxiety. I don't feel sorry for him. I have him on lead and I calmly and confidently keep walking by the object (forklift, barking dog, skateboard, etc.) until he is also calm and confident. This sometimes can take several times and some people probably think "what the hell is she doing to that puppy" but I really don't care. It's what is best for the dog. I am not saying that every dogs needs this type of socialization but it will help with any "genetic" fearful shortcomings they may have which is probably what you are dealing with.
So a couple of other things you said that kind of sent up some red flags for me. One thing was "When I let him out of the kennel alone in the morning, i "love all up on him" and let him spaz out all over me, then I grab my tools and clean the kennel". Then you said "When he's "fighting" the helper and winning, and i'm told to gently pat his side and tell him good, he instantly releases the tug and turns around and spazzes out on me. Now we use verbal praise instead of patting." Okay so a few things here. First off I wouldn't let any dog "spaz out on me" and show the dog any affection. Chances are when you go to let him out of his kennel in the morning (before he sees you or knows you are there) he is calm. He needs to be calm before you let him out of his kennel. Think of being let out of the kennel as a reward. You need to start rewarding the behavior you want which is "calm" behavior. Then you "love all up on him" aka: reward him for "spazing out all over me". Then you wonder why when you touch him during training and he "spazes out on me". Also where you say "He will literally sit outside the kennel, his whole body shaking, will occasionally lay down, with a ridiculous amount of anxiety waiting for me to turn around and let him spaz on me again". Yes, you are right, that is exactly what he is doing. He has probably associated your affection with him being crazy because that is what you do with him first thing in the morning. So what you need to do, since he seems to be so "affection" driven is to give him affection when he is showing clam behavior. Don't let you dogs jump on you unless you invite them to. This is going to be hard at first because you have probably ingrained it in him to behave this way. After all, it is the first thing you do with him everyday. At first you are probably going to have to reward progress. But eventually you will get to the point where you only reward calm. This goes for everything. My dogs only get fed if they are laying down being completely calm. They only come in the house if they are completely calm. They only get affection (outside of training) if they are being completely calm.
Another thing you said is you want him to be like "its okay Ma' i got this" which isn't a good thing for a puppy or an adult for that matter. I instill in all my dogs just the opposite "It's okay puppy, I got this". That is how they are going to learn how to handle themselves. This is probably why he spends so much time with your other dog that is confident. He is seeking that out and so you need to be the one that handles situations with a calm, confidence, and that you aren't going to put him in a situation that he can't handle.
Chances are you have seen his behavior get worse when you have "ignored" him because he is trying that much harder to get your attention. He is doing what has worked in the past. It is your job to teach him the ONLY time he gets rewarded is when he is showing calm behavior.
It sounds to me like he also needs some energy burn off of him. You have to think about the average working dog, they were bred to work all day long. So a 30 minute run or 30 minutes playing with other dogs isn't going to do it. I use to run my "high energy" shepherd at least 1 hour twice a day when she was that age. That was on top of paying fetch, training, frisbee, and whatever other trouble she managed to get herself into. I crated her to give her "downtime". So she would relax. Excess energy can look like anxiety.
At the end of the day you really need to evaluate if this is the temperament of dog you want to breed. If you are an ethical breeder you should disclose to your buyers that the puppies he produces may have a tendency to be anxious, fearful, shy, etc. if not properly socialized and handled.
Also, like you said, he is young and there are few dogs that "own the room" when they are 8 months old. You need to remember he is only 8 months old and all of this may be very overwhelming for him. Most of my dogs don't come into their own until they are about 3 or 4. Sounds like you haven't owned many dogs from puppyhood until 8+ years old so you haven't experienced all the different changes they go though. 4 months - 18 months in a dogs life is a tough time.
If this is your goal is a confident dog that is worthy of breeding I do think it is obtainable however, you are going to have to put some SERIOUS work into this dog. Hope you don't have a day job:) He needs some intense socialization along with exercise and re-evaluating the times at which you give him "reward".
And of coarse this is JMO:)
by vomtreuenhaus on 18 January 2012 - 05:30
|Thank you Echo, I truly do appreciate that post. Its hard to get him 'calm'. As with most showlines, you sometimes have to work hard in getting them super excited about obedience. So maybe I've gone wrong in his obedience, in causing myself to have a HUGE praise/reaction and making his Sitz or Platz or Fuss to be the best thing since sliced bread. I notice now when I tell him to Sit, but I want to continue and our exercise isn't over, I reach down to pet him/acknowledge the good sit, but when I touch him he breaks form/jumps all over me and gets this gator snap/lick on every part of my body. He even has a problem laying in bed with me, god forbid I touch him and he gets all spazzy/licky/jumpy. He seems to not be able to 'just relax' and calm down. Another thing, when he jumps on me, he bites/nibbles any part of me he can. I've tried kneeing him, and because he's so soft it discourages him from coming near me after that (but he bounces back quickly) its not jumping on me that bothers me, its the fact that my whole upper body has bruises all over it from his nipping when he jumps up. IDK how to correct that without completely discouraging jumping up. Would he associate me correcting him for jumping/biting me with work on the training field? Like would he hesitate to jump/bite the helper? How would I even correct that behavior? The first male I had until he was about 2years old, and I don't ever remember going through this with him. I do unfortunately work 50hrs a week, usually 9-6 or 8-5. But I have weekends off so I can spend the days with them. Its a little harder during the week especially now with it getting dark so early, but I do get in at least an hour of either fetch or walk/jog/tug stuff with him. I am more than willing to put the time/effort into him, I just need to figure out how to work him and his desires/drives. Again that's why I came here, and will be seeing another trainer thursday morning to see what he says. This trainer lives close enough that I could do bi-weekly training with plus club, which would be good for the pup. I know I had expected a lot of an 8month old male, I guess I just wasn't prepared for this sudden change in him, but like I said I'm trying!|
by EchoEcho on 18 January 2012 - 14:49
|I doubt telling him not to jump and nip at you is going to make him hesitate to jump/bite the helper. Sounds like he already knows this activity and so he needs to keep that type of jumping/niping on the training field. I wouldn't let him jump on me unless I invited him to. He is also going though "puberty" so you are going to see some changes in his behavior also. I think it would be important to include the trainer in on your daily routine so he/she can get to the bottom of the anxiety and the over excitement when you touch him. Working 50 hours a week is a lot when you have 4 dogs. Especially if they are kenneled all day long.|
by macrowe1 on 18 January 2012 - 14:56
I'm not trying to suggest anything, that's just how it's coming across. You keep stressing that you haven't had to deal with this before, but keep in mind every dog is different, and a LOT of pups go through this stuff. I don't agree that getting the dog at 6 weeks is the problem. is he jealous when you're with the other dogs? Nothing that you've been saying shows a serious obsession, but if it is then ignore him. Like a big "NO" when he gets over-the-top and turn around and ignore him until the behavior stops and then pay attention to him and give a reward, if it gets back out of hands do it again. that's the only thing that I can think of, had to do it with my pup originally to teach her to not jump up (totally against kneeing deep-chested dogs to teach it) when she was a couple months because she would whine and bark and jump on me when she saw me, did that a couple times and she got the picture. I do agree with Echo, you seem to unknowingly reinforce the behavior, and 100% agree with Echo on the "its okay 'ma i got this" situation. as for the nipping, have you tried when he does it a loud "OWWW" and over-dramatic actions like he hurt you? my friend's Golden Retriever pup does it and their trainer told them to do it. he may view you more as a littermate (jumping, nipping, whining, really really wanting to play) and wants to play just like he has with his littermates, and the actions he's doing has worked in the past.
by vomtreuenhaus on 18 January 2012 - 15:50
Only 2 dogs are kenneled during the day, the shepherds. I live with my parents, their dogs are in the house during the day when my sister is home (usually everyday, and weekends etc) becvause they are calm, could care less about the cats, and could care less about moving (their dogs are BEYOND lazy) The shepherds are TOO much for her to handle in the house when I'm not there, she also has no interest in dogs in general so its been hard the times she has had my older female in the house when I'm not there, to teach her how to handle her. My parents do the whole "your dogs, you do the work, you take care of them, etc" Which I completely understand, The only time I ask them for help is if I have to stay late at work, I ask them to feed them. My dad is not a dog person (if it were up to him, we wouldnt have any dogs). So my dogs are my responsibility 100%. I love that they are outside all day enjoying the day. When I get home is usually when I feed them so I dont let them heavily exercise at night. Its usually all in the morning/mid day. Or on my days off, I do things with them all day like I said whether it is going in the field to run, going for traffic walks, etc. And usually do obedience as a bonding thing. And when theyre in the house its more just to relax, or try to!
He literally goes out of his way to put his mouth on me/nip me. At night when i feed him and i leave the kennel door shut to get his food ready, he jumps as high as he can up over the kennel door and grabs my arm or any body part in range. Im honeslty surprised he hasnt gotten my face yet.
I dont think making a huge OUCH/OWE/distress noise when hes got his mouth on me will do good, again maybe im just paranoid...but the last thing I want is to be at training and the helper lets out struggling noises and he releases.
When i try to talk to him and get him to calm down he thinks I'm mad at him and starts acting weird. Like if i hold him to me (the way we craddle when teaching the "out" with young dogs) he eventually thinks hes done something wrong. I guess I really dont know how to get him to be "calm" without thinking im mad at him, if my tone/body language changes slightly he gets "stand off-ish" like, my "normal" to him is super excited and happy and what not, when i "tone it down" he gets weird. So maybe i have unintentionally reinforced the behavior I'm seeing now, how could I go about helping it?
Im excited for tomorrow morning, if anyone wants to know the trainer I'm seeing tomorrow, its Mike Pinksten. Hes a long time friend and I trust what he will say in regards to it.
At this point, I am not leaning toward his insecurities as being "genetic" After talking with you guys and really thinking its putting into perspective that it WAS my unintentional encouragement of the behavior, and hopefully we can correct it and move forward.
I do appreciate everyones advice. :)
by Al Garza on 19 January 2012 - 02:31
|Does this pup show confidence on the training field? How is his bite work? I have learned that with some dogs no matter what you do, you cannot change their tempersment. I truely believe that good temperament is inherited. Some dogs have it; some dont.|
by vomtreuenhaus on 19 January 2012 - 13:49
|Yes he shows great confidence in training, I guess I cannot complain there. Its just he is very sensitive to me, And I want to build his confidence in himself with/around me.|
by Ramage on 19 January 2012 - 23:22
|If he is confident on the field, I wouldn't worry. He's just handler sensitive. To some people, this is not a bad thing. I happen to like a dog that is more handler sensitive rather than handler aggressive or handler "aloof." |
Also, keep in mind that some lines mature at a slower rate, mentally. I have a bitch here that did not reach her confidence peak until she reached 20 months of age.
by JRANSOM on 20 January 2012 - 01:52
|Did you get your eval? Just curious what was brought to light if anything.|
by Rass on 20 January 2012 - 13:34
|Hired Dog Said:|
Ladies and gentlemen...let me interject here and state something that I repeat daily to people I work with and I mentioned in here last night as well in another thread. ALL the love, care, understanding and patience in the world will NOT and CANNOT change genetics. A dog either has it or it does not, end of. If it has it, it can be developed and brought out, if it does not, all you will do is frustrate and question yourself.
While the young lady asking this question is indeed young and may not have much experience, there is nothing wrong with "washing" a dog out of a program. Having said that, I will also add that when choosing a new candidate, either have someone with a lot of experience guide you or deal with a breeder you trust implicitly. Choose a dog for the particular sport/discipline you want to do and realize that show and real working dogs often dont mix.
Pay attention to this. It is true. The circling and looking to you is insecurity.
When I let him out of the kennel alone in the morning, i "love all up on him" and let him spaz out all over me, then I grab my tools and clean the kennel...it frustrates me that he will sit outside the kennel and not go "do his thing" ie poop/pee, or go sniff around at the new smells of the morning..or hell, go play with the chickens! (he likes to herd them and gets great joy in it when tehy do what he wants) He will literally sit outside the kennel, his whole body shaking, will occasionally lay down, with a ridiculous amount of anxiety waiting for me to turn around and let him spaz on me again. Trust me, I LOVE the bond he has with me, I just want to see him having more confidence in himself.
If you want to have him be more independent, the bolded part is NOT what you do when you first meet the dog. IGNORE him for 10 minutes. IGNORE the spazzing all over you. Go to work. Do not even LOOK at him. After you clean his keenel, then you pet him a bit and ruffle the back of his head.. and then give him something to do (like heel or whatever). The fact that he will herd the chickens and not try to prey on them indicates (IMO) some of the dog's lack in prey drive. IOW's combined with what hired dog said, you may have a dog who is great in tracking, great in obedience but who may fade in protection.
When you buy a puppy it is ALWAYS a crap shoot. ALWAYS. This means you need to really LOOK at the genetics. This means NO WEAK genetics. No weak Male Tail, Female tail and so forth in the first 3 generations.
No he really has never done anything in need of serious correction. He responds really well to the "ah ah" noise if he jumps on the counter or something silly that i dont want him doing. Other than that, I've corrected him once for reacting aggresively to another dog (and by that I mean I scruffed him quickly, said no, and released him and he was fine).
More indication of a soft dog. Trust me on this.. Scruffing a dog like this is VERY counterproductive. Fact is any sort of aversive like this before a dog is one year old can really backfire. Especially in a dog this soft.
It is likely his 'aggressive' reaction was more defense than true aggression (prey or combat drive).
Your dog MAY develop as he matures. He may not. I would give him until age 2 and a half.. and if he is not showing confidence by then, he is not going to show it. A GSD needs to have good nerve, good courage, good drives in those areas (NOT defense). If he does not show those things, regardless of the genetics behind him, or the beauty of his conformation, he is not a dog that should be passing on his genes.
Remember.. a puppy is ALWAYS a crap shoot.
by vomtreuenhaus on 20 January 2012 - 15:00
|"Your dog MAY develop as he matures. He may not. I would give him until age 2 and a half.. and if he is not showing confidence by then, he is not going to show it. A GSD needs to have good nerve, good courage, good drives in those areas (NOT defense). If he does not show those things, regardless of the genetics behind him, or the beauty of his conformation, he is not a dog that should be passing on his genes. " This is why I have placed previous dogs that I bought with intentions of breeding. Anywho, He does not try to kill/eat the chickens because they are in "alcatraz" They are in a thick steel outside pen that is covered on all sides so nothing can get to them, he herds them from the outside. Its a thick steel mesh, so he can see them and smell them. There is NO doubt in my mind that he would kill them, and they are my dads pets so I would never take that chance. He gets fixated on them for long periods of time and moves them from the outside pen into the coup, then from the coup to the outside, and he will do that for hours. I should have been more clear in the first post. The thing is, when I let him out and ignore him for the 10-20 it takes to clean the kennels, he sits outside the kennel. He wont wander, he wont do anything. Or if I let him out and stay on the inside of the shed and clean the indoor kennels first, he will circle around the shed and jump on the door etc. In the bite work so far hes been VERY good, alot of prey/play drive and obviously have not done any defense what so ever. Its just when I touch him he loses all focus on what hes doing and has to be all over me. I got called into work earlier than I was scheduled yesterday morning so we recheduled until next week. But yesterday morning and this morning I did some things that were suggested here, Yesterday I didnt let him jump on me unless I invited him, he didnt nip me at all, and i had him out running for a good hour and did some fun tug stuff with him and did some work getting him to relax before I touch him, and when he starts getting crazy i ignore him, when hes calm I pet him (calmly, and keep my voice calm) So he definitely impressed me yesterday. This weekend I'm going to get him out to as many unfamiliar places as I can and do some confidence building stuff until I can see Mike. But i'm seeing my other trainer this Sunday so I will see what he says too. He really just may be slow to mature, part of his insecurities I know are my fault. I know he is a soft dog and until the next year or so or whenever he matures, we will see if he hardens up. But like it was mentioned, as as I truly believe in everything a GSD stands for, IF in the next year or 1.5 years he does not mature in confidence and nerve, then he will be neutered and placed regardless of how hips/elbows/dm comes back and regardless of how he places at shows. I'm not here to breed just to breed, I have ethics and goals and standards and I'm not going to be "that guy" that just breeds for the sake of it. If he cant do the work, I'm not going to make excuses for him. Period. He has strong dogs in his pedigree, especially in the father line. So we will see what comes through. I truly appreciate the advice and suggestions. I know some of the things are my error, but there is the probability that it his his genetics. Time will tell, and I am determined to do what I can to help him along and raise him/train him correctly. I'm in a working dog club (not a WDA/show club) My trainer is very honest with me in what he sees, so if down the road he sees that he is not going to do well going forward, then i will respect it.|