Czech Working German Shepherds Losing Emotional Maturity (3.5 YO)? - Page 1

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by wisnoskij on 17 July 2021 - 13:07


I have a 3 and a half year old Czech German Shepherd from working lines. One thing I have noticed lately, is she seemed to have lost a significant amount of emotional control over the last year.

You used to be able to bounce ping pong balls off of her without her caring, now if you go to play ping pong she runs around the room screaming. I have heard that working line dogs mature slower, and people often notice their dogs acting worse around 1-2 as they reach adulthood, but this seems different. She does not appear less submissive, she does not appear stupider, she does not appear less loving. She is just less able to control herself when put under stress.

Can anyone offer any advice on what is going on? Is this just a late "entering adulthood" phase?
Is their such a thing as emotional maturity training?

Can anyone offer appropriate disciplinary measures? Is it appropriate to apply discipline when an adult dog is unable to control themselves? I would never do so when a puppy could not control themselves, but this is a completely adult dog who should be able to control herself in these situations as she has done it in the past. After this last incident I tied her to a tree for 10 minutes, but since I had to call her to come to the tree I did not maintain my angry facade. This is the first time I ever punished her for her actions.

She is un-fixed and has had puppies. Her last heat was probably about 1-2 months ago and she should not be pregnant.

by astrovan2487 on 17 July 2021 - 20:07

My Czech female had a few strange episodes around that age, about 3 and all were close to or during her heat cycle. I had a suspicion it was related to that so I got her spayed and never saw those kinds of behaviors again. It was like she was more worried about things and would overreact or become over stimulated easily.  I'm not saying that spaying will fix the issue but it seemed to for my dog.  

by GSCat on 18 July 2021 - 04:07

This past year has been stressful/"different" for a lot of people. Your dog may be picking up on this even if you're not aware of it. Changes in schedules, including sleep and home/away patterns for various members of the household, a death or extended illness/hospitalization, etc., etc., etc. If there are close-by neighbors or changes in traffic patterns, she could even pick up on that. Pandemic shortage-necessitated changes in food, treats, and heart worm and flea/tick preventatives can have various and sundry side effects. Masks, hand sanitizers, soaps, disinfectants, etc.

Or the usual suspects . . . death of a human or animal member(s) of the family, chemicals in the (indoor and/or outdoor environment, moving to a new home, a noise that's annoying her (maybe a close-by alarm, cicadas, a child using a dog whistle, etc.). Or maybe there's something going on with her skin or nervous system (see the vet). Food, shampoo, flea/tick, heartworm, etc. can cause these kinds of things.

FWIW, I haven't noticed my Czech female regressing, although she mourned the cat after I had to have him put down for quite some time. She's done better with it than me.


by Koots on 19 July 2021 - 18:07

I wouldn't punish her for doing something that she doesn't know is bad. If she does something that she KNOWS she's not supposed to do then that's different, but this doesn't seem like that. If she's being over-reactive, then just put her in her crate or kennel until she settles down, or use that as an opportunity to practice a long down.   Also, don't react negatively to that display yourself, pretend there's nothing wrong and just act natural.

by GSCat on 19 July 2021 - 20:07

Your dog may need more to do. If the pandemic meant less activities and training, she might be bored. Boredom + high drive dog = mischief.

Discipline should be the same because consistency is important. If she's doing "new bad stuff" then she needs to be trained to not do whatever she's started doing. The discipline needs to be the same as what you use for other things she's not supposed to do. Get her out to run around more and burn off some energy.

by Griffin1030 on 26 July 2021 - 15:07

Were you seriously bouncing ping pong balls off of her?
Maybe deep down, she really did care and has had enough of that sh*t..even if it was the odd errantly directed ball...get rid of the ping pong table and balls..engage in an activity that will build her trust in you.

Tied her to a tree to discipline her?

You need help, get professional help.

She has to have trust in you and her home environment.

by duke1965 on 04 August 2021 - 02:08

please define czech german shepherd ?

by GSCat on 04 August 2021 - 04:08

I *assumed* OP meant a Czech working line German Shepherd Dog.

Of course, I could be wrong.

by duke1965 on 04 August 2021 - 07:08

what is referred to often as czech working line today are dogs with full pedigree of west german working lines, so how to put any validation to that or seek for certain caracter or health traits in so called Czech dog

by GSCat on 05 August 2021 - 20:08


My dog is a descendant of Czech Border Patrol dogs. Closer to DDR than WGWL. General temperament and appearance differences between US/Canadian SL, WGSL, WGWL, DDR, and Czech W, although all GSD are descendants of Von Stephanitz' dog :-) Differences between West and Soviet Bloc dogs can be traced back to the Cold War.




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