Unruley Puppy

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Unruley Puppy

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Old 01-15-2011, 04:21 AM
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Unruley Puppy

I've got a 17/18 week old German Shep puppy and she seems to be very unruley ....
When we take her for a walk she barks at people and won't allow anyone to stroke or touch her, but while she is barking at people her tail is wagging and the fur on her neck stands up on end. She also doesn't like anyone coming in the house ... i.e family and friends as she barks all the time at them.

We have tried the stones in the bottle, smacking, the clicker, the newspaper and telling her no ... while in the house.
When walking we are constantly telling her no and pulling her back on the lead, and using the clicker but nothing seems to stop her.

Can anyone give me some advice on how to train her to stop doing this??
Thanks.
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:33 AM
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She is a puppy.

STOP the harsh scary treatments of smacking.

where did you get her? at what age?
Puppies go through a fear stage. I have a puppy at about the same age. He has started to do the same things, I redirect him and keep walking when he starts to get worried on his walks.

A dog at this age knows nothing, except what you have taught them, its a big scary world and they are new to it. And at such a age have gone through many scary life changes already.

The puppy is not unruly, just nervous and not understanding what you want
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:33 AM
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I've got a 17/18 week old German Shep puppy and she seems to be very unruley ....
When we take her for a walk she barks at people and won't allow anyone to stroke or touch her, but while she is barking at people her tail is wagging and the fur on her neck stands up on end. She also doesn't like anyone coming in the house ... i.e family and friends as she barks all the time at them.

We have tried the stones in the bottle, smacking, the clicker, the newspaper and telling her no ... while in the house.
When walking we are constantly telling her no and pulling her back on the lead, and using the clicker but nothing seems to stop her.

Can anyone give me some advice on how to train her to stop doing this??
Thanks.
Oh my! She is a shep with some fears. She needs some counter conditioning and positive reinforcement. All the corrections, stones in the bottle, etc won't help, and in fact will make things worse. This is why its not working, as you have noticed.

The basic thing is she is having conflicting emotions about people and new things. On the one hand she is curious and wants to investigate (tail wagging). On the other hand she is afraid (barking, hackles up, won't let people touch her.) When you do something to "correct" her that is scary or unpleasant, you are teaching her that her fears are justified, and that indeed when she sees new people, unpleasant things happen. My point is she does not realize she is being punished for her behavior. She just associates the punishment with what is scaring her in the first place.

I must go to class now, but will write again later if someone has not chimed in with some links to videos on Positive reinforcement and Counter conditioning. I will say one last thing... I'm not trying to scare you, but if you continue with the corrections, you are well on your way to creating a fear biter in your dog. Time to reverse course and understand why she is doing what she is doing, and help her to realize the world is Not dangerous, then she can grow up confident and trusting.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:56 AM
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OK, I'm back. I know what you are doing in terms of smacking the puppy, yanking on the leash and using a shake can are all "conventional wisdom" for how to train a dog. So I understand why you have been implementing these methods. For many dogs who are not fearful and who are tough emotionally, this won't cause a lot of damage.

But for YOUR dog who is obviously FEARFUL, these violent methods will almost certainly result in her growing up to be a fear-aggressive biting dog who will be unsafe around people and may actually hurt someone. So you really will benefit from learning more modern methods of training.

First thing to understand is that the dog is not being "bad", she is simply reacting to stimuli in her environment. As her owner, you can observe her and learn to interpret what she does as an indicator of how she is feeling. Hackles up and barking means she is feeling threatened, so she is saying "stay away from me! I'm scared!" If you punish her for this, she will be more scared, not less! Your goal is to teach her to trust the world and people, so she does not feel like she has to fight the world.

I would recommend you get involved with a puppy training class that is all positive. (no yanking corrections, just positive reinforcement training). A good class will teach you how to be calm with your puppy and teach her what is expected. She will also get a chance to socialize with other puppies and people and this will help her to get over some of her fears.

There are some really excellent training videos on you tube as well. Clicker training is the most effective and positive way to train. Kikopup is one of the best trainers. Here is a link YouTube - kikopup's Channel
You can browse these videos, watch some and get a sense of what is involved in clicker training. You don't need an actual clicker. A snapple bottle cap will work, or even a word such as "yes!" Watch a few videos and realize how being calm and rewarding a dog for what TO DO is so much more effective than punishment for behavior you don't want. This develops a happy, confident dog, that is always seeking to please you and get a reward, rather than a fearful pup who out of control and is slinking around trying to avoid getting hit.

If you want to learn more about all this, please feel welcome to hang out here and keep asking questions. People here are very helpful and there is a LOT to learn in how to train a puppy such as yours. I cannot stress too much how important it is that you stop the punishments and learn how to train positively. Its going to be a matter of life and death in the long run for your dog because if she becomes a fear biter, odds are she will end up in a shelter or put down. Sorry to be so dramatic. You are certainly a well intentioned owner. The fact you have come here to ask questions indicates you are interested in learning, so please feel welcome here and ask questions and read training threads about puppies. You CAN turn this thing around, but start today!
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:05 PM
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Thanks for the advice Tess ... i have relayed this to my bf and my mother and will stop with the punishments.
She will be going to a puppy training school when she has been neutred as we dont want to start her then have a break from it cause of her op.

Will be taking postitive action from now on to try n stop her behaviour.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:58 PM
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Thanks for the advice Tess ... i have relayed this to my bf and my mother and will stop with the punishments.
She will be going to a puppy training school when she has been neutred as we dont want to start her then have a break from it cause of her op.

Will be taking postitive action from now on to try n stop her behaviour.
That's awesome. I just have to say that my first puppy I did all the wrong stuff with. I listened to the wrong training methods and even went to a trainer who did not know how to help us. She ended up with all sorts of fear and aggression issues. This was 20 years ago. Now I know I could do such a better job with her and I wish someone had told me the harm that punitive methods could do. Now there is so much more known about how to handle sensitive puppies like yours and mine from so long ago.

I hope you tap into the resources here at dog forum. There are some nice threads in the puppy section and in the training sections.

Good luck, and if you posted any updates for us, we would be so happy to see them! There are many success stories of people coming here with all sorts of problems and then learning how to deal with them in an effective way. Then they go and spread the word on positive training methods to their families and friends.

Best wishes... hope to hear from you again!
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:08 PM
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If you are going to wait until she is about 7 months to take her to a class for training, you do relize she will be a much larger more unruly dog by then? classes are generaly 6 weeks long. Id start now, she wont be getting spayed for another 2 months or so. She should have been started a long time ago IMO
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:26 PM
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Thanks Tess ..... All the methods i have been to do, every has another one to add so it was confusing me which one to use so i tried all of them, and some people say no you shouldnt use that methid use this one ... all a bit confusing if u ask me.
Yeh will defo be putting up a success story and the training methods i have used.

Tankstar .... she is being done next month and will be starting the classes after this. we didn't know she was going to be this bad we thought she would grow out of the barking at people and that but she hasnt so we decided to take her to puppy training and see what happens, the training class i am taking her to is for 8 weeks.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:48 PM
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Thanks Tess ..... All the methods i have been to do, every has another one to add so it was confusing me which one to use so i tried all of them, and some people say no you shouldnt use that methid use this one ... all a bit confusing if u ask me.
Yeh will defo be putting up a success story and the training methods i have used.
Yes, I totally understand the confusion when you start to get advice from various sources! The thing is to learn to read your dog... what she is telling you. Here is a great book to help with that. Its not expensive and its a quick read with lots of great photos
Amazon.com: On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals (9781929242368): Turid Rugaas: Books Amazon.com: On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals (9781929242368): Turid Rugaas: Books

Raising and training a puppy is a long term process and its not actually intuitive, nor is it easy. There are lots of ways a puppy can be totally frustrating. Its kinda like raising a human kid! The thing to remember is that in so many ways they ARE like a human child, and they will have bursts of energy and get into all sorts of naughty trouble! They will have fears and curiosity too. They need the same thing a human child needs, and that is reliable, gentle, patient and loving "parents" who create fair expectations according to the age of the puppy. An 8 week old puppy is like a 1 or 2 year old child in terms of how much self control they have. So you can't leave an 8 week old puppy in an area where there are dangers like electrical cords to chew, just as you would not leave a 2 year old near a hot stove. You manage the environment.

Your pup is about 4 to 5 months now, so is the equivalent of a child in elementary school. So you would not leave a 10 year old child with the car keys. A 4 to 5 month old puppy still needs a "puppy proof" area where there is not anything they can hurt themselves chewing. Probably is not totally reliable yet with house training either. Just like a kid, puppies can only be a certain amount well behaved. They learn self control slowly over time.

Have you a good puppy book? I can recommend a couple here...
Amazon.com: Puppy Whisperer: A Compassionate, Non Violent Guide to Early Training and Care (9781593375973): Paul Owens, Terence Cranendonk, Norma Eckroate: Books Amazon.com: Puppy Whisperer: A Compassionate, Non Violent Guide to Early Training and Care (9781593375973): Paul Owens, Terence Cranendonk, Norma Eckroate: Books

Amazon.com: Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog (9781577314554): Dr. Ian Dunbar: Books Amazon.com: Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog (9781577314554): Dr. Ian Dunbar: Books


I hope you stick around and stay engaged here. We are happy to help on a daily basis with the smallest of questions!
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:53 PM
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Thanks Again Tess for the advice.
Kami is vey well toilet trained, she been like that since we had her, which is good in a sense.
I totally understand where ypu are coming from, i have an 8yr lad and that was hard enough!
Thanks for the link for the books too, they might come in handy.
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