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Anxiety   Behavior and Training

Started Nov-19 by Jranshaw; 1429 views.
Jranshaw

From: Jranshaw

Nov-19

I have an 11 month old German Shepard. He is a great animal. Calm, minds well 

andjust overall puppy antics until someone comes for a visit. He barks tries to circle them and will not settle. This behavior has escalated to the point when my husband comes home from work he gets so overstimulated he will not settle for at least an hour. I bought him a thunder shirt. Better but he still barks uncontrollably. Our grandson comes and the dog gets so upset he won't go outside or lay down he just barks and whines. I am concerned about this because the dog is bigger than the 3 year old and barks too close to his face. Can anyone help with this? It's hard on the dog. I feel sorry for him.

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-19

That is a typical puppy behavior but it needs to be stopped.  How much exercise does he get?  Run him until he is exhausted before guests come into the house.  Teach him a proofed sit.  He must sit when yountell him and not budge until he gets permission.

My 2 yr old is a jumper.  He must sit or lie down when people come over and stay there until I give a release command.  I have the person walk in and sit down first, then release my dog to go say hi.  I teach it as “go say hi.  If he jumps or acts up, he must lie down again.  I usually give him something for his mouth like a toy or a frisbee to calm him down.  Find out what soothes your puppy.

It can take months to proof them (ie foolproof, so they always follow the command).  They can only greet people when they are calm.

Jranshaw

From: Jranshaw

Nov-19

Thank you. I will try running him more. I do run him daily and we play outside but he might need more. He will sit and lay down on command but getting him to stay when someone comes over is still a problem. I'm working on it daily. I appreciate your response. I was worried about the way he acted all weekend. Until my grandson went home. 

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-19

Mine is 2 and still gets excited at company walking in.  They need constant reminders.  The more it happens, the sooner they learn to behave.

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-19

You don’t want your dog to accidentally knock over or hurt your grandson.  If they aren’t together often, I would separate them until your puppy is older and better trained and your grandson is also older. If they are together a lot, teach your grandson how to be calm around your dog.  The reason I suggest sitting is that our breeder does that when she introduces dogs to people.  The dog is closer to your face and not jumping to get up to it, and can get attention without having a target to jump on.  People also tend to make quick motions around dogs when standing, which can turn on their drive, while sitting is a static position.

tami4gsd

From: tami4gsd

Nov-20

Hi there!

I've had similar situations with my grandkids and my dogs, so I can really relate to your problem. The suggestions that DW makes are very good. Keep in mind that your puppy is still a baby and needs to learn manners. I would put him on a leash around your grandson until his response to commands is more reliable. This will give you more control over him and allow you to start to teach him how to behave around company. Plus, he won't be able to demonstrate the herding behavior he is now showing. He should be corrected for the crying and whining. GSDs are very whiney! You may not be able to get rid of it completely, but you can at least get it under some control. If leash corrections don't work, get a spray bottle with water in it and spray him in the face when he whines. Make sure you tell him what a good boy he is when he stops whining so he is sure what behavior you are looking for. Put your dog in a sit and make him stay. Again, the leash will help with that. And have your grandson come over and give him some attention. If the dog over reacts at any point, have your grandson back up and get the pup under control and try again. Correct him for not behaving properly and praise for behaving well.

Also teach your grandson how to give commands to the dog so he can start building up a relationship with the dog and knows that your grandson is also an alpha.

If there are any neighbors, friends, relatives who you can draft into coming over to see you frequently, that will help too. The more you practice these behaviors, the quicker he will respond.

My grandkids were scared to death of my dogs until they got to be about 5 years old. The dogs never did anything to make them fear them, but GSDs are big dogs and kids are little. That in itself is enough to intimidate some kids. Now, my grands love my dogs! They pet them, play fetch with them, give them hugs and kisses and my dogs return the affection completely. They love each other, but it has been a long frustrating journey and I didn't think we would ever get where we are now. But it happened! My oldest grandkids are 7 now (3 of them! a set of twins and a singleton all born about the same time). It has been a huge turn around for them in the past 2 years.

I hope this helps!

Tami

Jranshaw

From: Jranshaw

Nov-20

This helps a lot. Thank you. These are very good ideas. I do put him on the leash and it seems to give him some comfort. The spray bottle is a great idea. I will try these things and I do have many people who will be willing to help. Today will be his first try at this as I will be having visitors. He does respond to sit and lay commands so I can begin working on the rest. Thank you. I

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-20

Let us know how he does.  Do you know why he is whining?  My 2 year old whined all the time as a puppy.  I mostly ignored it and he stopped, but I can’t tell you why.

When I fostered I had so much trouble with rescued dogs and front doors, I brought in a behaviorist to help me with it.  He said to teach the dogs Back. Calmly open the door, say back and motion the dog to move back, behind you.  I added the Sit on my own.  The dog must stay back and quiet while the people come in.

There is something about door transitions that can put a dog into drive mode.  The front door hyperness is due to people going in and out.  It could be due to strangers and guests or also because you leave through the door.  My two dogs get so excited to go out, they started door fighting.  If we are leaving, I take them out one at a time.  If they are going to the yard, I tell them to get a toy and sit by the door, then let them out one at a time, by name.  Otherwise, they get snippy with each other at the door. 

Excaliburk9

From: Excaliburk9

Nov-20

Great advice Tami and Dw! The only thing I can add is to make sure your timing is good. Such as a good training collar, and leash for control. Your pup acts up, you do a correction with the leash. Using the terms you want, be nice, easy, or what ever. The millisecond he stops the unwanted behavior. Tell him good boy, YES, and give treats or give him a stuffy. That way he is always rewarded for his good behavior. I loved Tami idea of having the child in question to back up if the dog is not minding. Reset up the dog and do over. The more you practice the better he will be. Good luck.

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Nov-20

That is good advice. I forgot about timing.  I also go over door manners every single time they go out.  It takes a lot of repetition, reinforcement and patience to teach calm behavior so it replaces anxious behavior.

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