Promoting responsible German Shepherd Dog ownership
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Our boy is 14 months old and a big boy at that. He is bigger than most German Shepherds being that at his last vet visit at 12 months old, he weighed 87 pounds.
He has been in a training class since he was three months old. He passed his Star Puppy class with flying colors and has passed his Canine Good Citizen class. He is now in CGSA for his training to be my service dog. I have issues with mobility and balance. I tend to fall more than your standard two legged old lady.
The first issue that we are having with him now is to 'sit and stay'. Suddenly he just doesn't want to 'stay'.
His class meets at a large park every Saturday morning, and we are very concerned about letting him on his own, (us having no control of his leash).
The second issue is when he IS off the leash, if we call him to 'come' to us, he runs in the opposite direction. That is our fear that when we are at the park (or away from home), dropping the leash will risk him running off.
These two issues haven't been a problem until just the last few months.
As for him helping me with my mobility, he is doing well. We have been out on walks where I have fallen, and he stays beside me and knows the word 'brace' so that I can lean on him to get up. I am just afraid right now that if I were to fall and drop the leash, he would run off and I wouldn't be able to get up to go after him.
Don't get me wrong, he has other things that we wish he wouldn't do but we figure those things are just the puppy still in him. One thing being, he loves to bite your feet or ankles. Not to hurt us but we're thinking its just how he wants to play.
When will he calm down?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Hi! You will get some good advice here. Are you working with a private trainer for service dog skills? You will need a specialist rather than a class for fine tuning.
He doesn’t know Stay or Come. Do not drop the leash until he’s proofed on it. Once he realizes he can run the other way he will. What is CGSA? He may need a private trainer who specializes in service work.
By his age, he should not be biting you at all. Service dogs can’t play when they are working. Do you use a harness or a vest so he knows when it’s work time vs play? It’s encouraging he knows how to help you get back up again but he can’t slip up at all. Has he been tested to determine if he’s suited to be a service dog? It’s not just training, a dog must have the disposition for it.
Your dogs are proofed off leash. How did you train that?
We changed the title to be more descriptive.
Your dogs are usually off leash when out. How did you train them?
My dogs start out off leash so that they don't learn bad habits. I don't leash them until they are one or two years old. Leashes create excessive excitement, frustration, reactivity and sometimes aggression and other bad behaviors such as poor recalls, running away and unreliability.
Maybe K9 can help
Good post. He should be evaluated.
Yes, we have been training with SAT Service Animal Training in Chino.
Yes he knows stay and come but the last month or so, he seems to like to forget it.
CGCA is Canine Good Citizen Advanced
The class that he is in IS with private trainers that specialize in service and therapy dogs.
The foot biting he has just started doing , and its why we think he is just wanting to play. He is not wearing his vest when he does that.
He wears a vest, a gentle lead and a leash. He is fairly good at knowing that the vest means its time to pay attention.
We have been told by several places that he would make a great service dog. We have been told by one particular place that trains dogs for police officers, that he would be a terrific police dog, because he is so attentive to things around me when we are walking. Even went so far as to ask if we would be interested in him being trained to be a police dog.
This afternoon, I ended up on the kitchen floor while he was eating so I sat with him as he ate. When he finished, he helped me get up. He is what I need for my mobility and balance issues.