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Hi,

I have a GSD, his name is Zak and he's just around 1.5 years old now. Let me tell you a little backstory;

I've always wanted a GSD. From 'researching' the breed since I was around 9 to finally getting one now at 16 years old.
(7 WEEKS)
My parents finally gave in and we found great breeders in our local area. Going to see the puppy was the most exciting part, every dog there was very friendly bar the mother. The man, (not the breeder, just the owner of the mother) who was minding these pups told us to watch out for the mother. I assumed this was because she was just after giving birth? I found this kind of strange. Nevertheless, the father was beautiful.
We brought little Zak home on this day. Played with him, fed him, introduced him to our home - all the usual puppy stuff. That night he slept in an empty room out the back with some cuddly blankets and a wrapped up ticking clock. He cried a bit but it settled down.
This little bundle of joy just loved to play. He'd turn down treats just to play a game of fetch. I introduced clicker training in the next few weeks and he seemed to love that. It was all going great, he was indoors, gaining obedience and settling down fine.

(AROUND 2 MONTHS)
We had him around a few weeks to a month and he was settling in great. While we'd eat our dinner, he'd go and lie on his blanket in the living room. He was happy to meet every new face that walked in the door, and greeted them with a wagging tail. At this time of his life, he wasn't really allowed outside for anything except doing his business and sniffing around on a leash. The reason why he couldn't go outside was because our house got renovated, and the garden was a mess. It was literally turned upside down, the grass was rooted up and there was diggers in the yard. It was no place for a puppy like Zak. Each night he'd be happy to go asleep in his little back room. I was surprised that my Dad loved this dog a lot. I wasn't expecting it. He'd sometimes even disturb his sleep to take him out and let him chew on this arm, which I didn't exactly agree with, as he was disturbing his sleep AND encouraging this chewing arm behavior. He didn't really listen, though, he's say it's okay!!

(AROUND 6 MONTHS)
A little while over our garden was finally good to go, the earth was back in place and the grass was all grown, Zak could finally discover our garden! And he was excited. I brought him outside supervised and played some ball games with him. He loved it. At times I'd bring him on walks, but when he was younger I'd just attach the leash and he wouldn't move off his bum!! Silly Zak. Then I brought him on more and he'd start pulling so much, we got a head collar, it seemed to do the trick. I brought up getting a crate for him, like I did at the start, but my parents ignored it. We didn't have a crate and still don't have one.

(9 MONTHS-1 YEAR)
At this stage, he was allowed outside more than usual, while I was gone to school, my parents would sometimes just leave him outside. The morning routine became; get up, to to Zak, grab his collar, try to resist his pulling, put him out side, close the front door. I didn't like this one bit. But my mam usually complained 'he's too big/too strong/I can't handle him' Since our backyard is actually quite big, my dad suggested getting an 'invisible fence', where a wire is put into the ground and if the dog tries to cross it, he'd get a shock. I hated watching him get shocked when he'd try to cross the grass. It was painful for me too. I disagreed with it and tried to persuade my Dad to stop this nonsense, but he just wasn't having it. Zak was outside so much to his own free devices, whenever I'd go to visit him, he'd be crazy, barking, jumping. *While typing this part, I'm tearing up a good bit* I could see my dog was changing, for the worst.

(1 YEAR- PRESENT)
My Dad got a run set up for him and in the run, there was a little shed, gravel and a good bit of space. I hated seeing him in the run. All I wanted was for him to be inside. The more he got put into the run, my dad got the idea to leave him sleeping out there. He laid down straw and shut the door for the night. I HAted this so much you have no idea. Now that I'm typing this all out I'm seeing where my dog was slowly slipping away from me. From pure isolation, outdoors, to his own devices, to now. I'm working on getting him back, the last three days I've been training him. And there's already a difference but only when he's around me. Whenever I bring him inside, (I can only bring him in when my parents aren't home as they'll just be like wtf bring him out) I'm teaching him to be calm and relaxed in the house. Sometimes he does get the 'zoomies' but I learned that's from lack of exercise, which I'm making sure he gets plenty of now. I brought up getting a CRATE AGAIN. I even said I'll buy it myself, I've got one chosen and all, but I've come to the conclusion that my mam doesn't even like Zak anymore and my Dad, well, I hate to say this but I think he's getting jealous that I'm training the dog and Zak's improving and he's not improving when my Dad tries to train. Because whenever my Dad tried to train him, it was a mess. He's repeat commands and guess what, he CALLS HIM MULTIPLE NAMES. His name is Zak. Nothing else. My dad thinks it's a good idea to keep him outside because he wants to 'protect the house'. I've just printed out a NINE PAGE Document that states every error to keeping a dog outside. If my dad wants Zak to protect the house, Zak needs to live inside. I'm sick of this. AND SO FRUSTRATED.

I'm so sorry that this is so much to get through, but PLEASE I really need help. I'm so sad, angry, miserable and heartbroken that my poor Zak has turned into this. Yesterday, my mother, 2 sisters and I had to go for an appointment for most of the day, before I left, I fed Zak, played with him, walked him a bit. and put him back in his run because I'm not having him get any more out of control. I put him back in his run to rest. When I got home, Zak was out, shock collar on him and toys scattered EVERYWHERE. I was furious. I told my dad to NOT leave his toys and the dog out un-supervised!!! His reply was 'oh yeah..' (NOt really caring at all).

I'm so angry. Literally just 5 mins ago, I was training Zak outside and playing games with him, then my dad and his friend drive in with the jeep and Zak bolts off and starts barking at the jeep as it's driving towards the trailer. My dad and his friend get out and Zak goes WILD. Jumping, barking, JUMping up on my Dad's friend in an attack like action!!! (Ever see police dogs in training when they run and jump at the guy in the fat suit) It was exactly like that minus the aggressive biting. My dad would go and try grab him, but Zak would dodge and run in the other direction. We finally got him to lie down and I put the leash on him and, had to put him back in the run. It was a mess.

PLEASE PLEASE pLEAsE!!! ANyone please help me!! My dog is out of control and I don't know what to do anymore!!!
 

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It looks like you are younger, living at home with your parents. Their house, their rules.
My suggestion? Read up about the theories of training. Maybe some for your dog, but mostly, for you and your parents.
If you want to train your dog to sit, you would not give him a list of reasons why sitting is a good thing to do, you would give him a treat, maybe a slice of hot dog, every time he sat.

If you want your Dad to let you have Zak inside, giving your Dad a list of stuff is not any kind of real incentive. A German Shepherd especially a youngster, can shed and be quite that handful in a house.
What could you do that might be incentive for your parents?
1) Vacuum every day so that Zak's shedding isn't a problem.
2) Go to your parents and promise an hour of chores for them in return for an hour that Zak gets to be inside with you. For now, when it is time for him to go back outside don't whine, or you will be creating a disincentive.

If they accept this deal, step up your Zak training efforts so that he behaves well in the house.
Next time you have a birthday or Christmas, ask for a crate and that Zak get to stay with you in the crate at night in addition to the hour you have already negotiated. Don't ask for anything else.

See where I'm going with this? Create and negotiate incentive for your parents to allow you to have Zak inside while at the same time training him so that once he gets inside he will be a pleasure to have around. It's a process, not an overnight win. But most things in life are like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It looks like you are younger, living at home with your parents. Their house, their rules.
My suggestion? Read up about the theories of training. Maybe some for your dog, but mostly, for you and your parents.
If you want to train your dog to sit, you would not give him a list of reasons why sitting is a good thing to do, you would give him a treat, maybe a slice of hot dog, every time he sat.

If you want your Dad to let you have Zak inside, giving your Dad a list of stuff is not any kind of real incentive. A German Shepherd especially a youngster, can shed and be quite that handful in a house.
What could you do that might be incentive for your parents?
1) Vacuum every day so that Zak's shedding isn't a problem.
2) Go to your parents and promise an hour of chores for them in return for an hour that Zak gets to be inside with you. For now, when it is time for him to go back outside don't whine, or you will be creating a disincentive.

If they accept this deal, step up your Zak training efforts so that he behaves well in the house.
Next time you have a birthday or Christmas, ask for a crate and that Zak get to stay with you in the crate at night in addition to the hour you have already negotiated. Don't ask for anything else.

See where I'm going with this? Create and negotiate incentive for your parents to allow you to have Zak inside while at the same time training him so that once he gets inside he will be a pleasure to have around. It's a process, not an overnight win. But most things in life are like that.
Thank you so much for replying I really appreciate it, I'll take your advice into account, and see what happens from there.
 

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Well, to start, this is what you always wanted and the GSD breed is a wonderfully spirited and intelligent dog which needs direction, rules and boundaries. You mentioned "left to his own devices" a few times and this observation of yours is astute and most likely a huge contributing factor as to the dog's development and present behaviors which are testing your wits. Being completely blunt and honest, you need to step up to the plate and take a very active role in training the dog. GSDs in my opinion are a 2 year project on average and as you have observed, they will train themselves when left to their "own devices". It's time you have the dog operate in accordance to your "own devices". For instance, " Literally just 5 mins ago, I was training Zak outside and playing games with him, then my dad and his friend drive in with the jeep and Zak bolts off and starts barking at the jeep as it's driving towards the trailer......" Why is the dog not under your control or ability to restrain the dog ? You need to be proactive and at least one step ahead of the dog, if not two steps. I would be training in that environment with a either a drag line or long line, so the dog cannot bolt and satisfy his self-indulgence. Obviously, the dog's recall is weak or nonexistent currently and every time the dog breaks command or ignores your commands, you just take a step backwards. The dog learns this and knows it, so why should he act any differently under your current expectations and training methods?

If it was my dog, I'd start from square one and work this dog hard with obedience training for two reasons. One, your dog needs it and two, your dog is coming into full maturity which on its own can be problematic for many, especially with a GSD. Your dog is searching for a way in which it can satisfy these new found "feelings" as it passes into adulthood because it lacks direction. As mentioned earlier, allowing a dog to its own devices at this stage will cause more problems but is a wonderful time to grab the bull by the horns and give this dog what it craves and that is your leadership which will be won by your expectations, training, confidence and decisive attitude.

Set a goal each and every day. Start with the basics and don't budge an inch and then raise the bar once a simple task is accomplished. Every time success is achieved, make it just as obvious as when he fails. You mentioned your dog likes fetch over food treats, this is great. Use the ball or tug toy as the reward along with your praise. Rewards which involve interaction between human and dog such as a quick fetch or tug is many times better than flipping a dog a piece of food.

Also, make your dog earn everything regardless of the insignificance. Your dog wants something than so should you and make sure you get what you want from the dog first before letting the dog have what it wants.

Forget about everybody else who is making your job as the dog's primary trainer more difficult. Just consider it part of the equation as you train, in the long run your dog will be better trained because of the added difficulties you now experience.

1 1/2 years old by no means is too late to train proper behavior in your dog, you just need to get after it and never look back.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, to start, this is what you always wanted and the GSD breed is a wonderfully spirited and intelligent dog which needs direction, rules and boundaries. You mentioned "left to his own devices" a few times and this observation of yours is astute and most likely a huge contributing factor as to the dog's development and present behaviors which are testing your wits. Being completely blunt and honest, you need to step up to the plate and take a very active role in training the dog. GSDs in my opinion are a 2 year project on average and as you have observed, they will train themselves when left to their "own devices". It's time you have the dog operate in accordance to your "own devices". For instance, " Literally just 5 mins ago, I was training Zak outside and playing games with him, then my dad and his friend drive in with the jeep and Zak bolts off and starts barking at the jeep as it's driving towards the trailer......" Why is the dog not under your control or ability to restrain the dog ? You need to be proactive and at least one step ahead of the dog, if not two steps. I would be training in that environment with a either a drag line or long line, so the dog cannot bolt and satisfy his self-indulgence. Obviously, the dog's recall is weak or nonexistent currently and every time the dog breaks command or ignores your commands, you just take a step backwards. The dog learns this and knows it, so why should he act any differently under your current expectations and training methods?

If it was my dog, I'd start from square one and work this dog hard with obedience training for two reasons. One, your dog needs it and two, your dog is coming into full maturity which on its own can be problematic for many, especially with a GSD. Your dog is searching for a way in which it can satisfy these new found "feelings" as it passes into adulthood because it lacks direction. As mentioned earlier, allowing a dog to its own devices at this stage will cause more problems but is a wonderful time to grab the bull by the horns and give this dog what it craves and that is your leadership which will be won by your expectations, training, confidence and decisive attitude.

Set a goal each and every day. Start with the basics and don't budge an inch and then raise the bar once a simple task is accomplished. Every time success is achieved, make it just as obvious as when he fails. You mentioned your dog likes fetch over food treats, this is great. Use the ball or tug toy as the reward along with your praise. Rewards which involve interaction between human and dog such as a quick fetch or tug is many times better than flipping a dog a piece of food.

Also, make your dog earn everything regardless of the insignificance. Your dog wants something than so should you and make sure you get what you want from the dog first before letting the dog have what it wants.

Forget about everybody else who is making your job as the dog's primary trainer more difficult. Just consider it part of the equation as you train, in the long run your dog will be better trained because of the added difficulties you now experience.

1 1/2 years old by no means is too late to train proper behavior in your dog, you just need to get after it and never look back.
Thank you, this helped a lot and gave me inspiration.
 

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There was something I needed to add after rereading my previous post. Working and training with a spirited dog or most any dog while you are playing with the dog is an incredible win-win. GSDs as you know love the physical activity, use that to your advantage. Impulse control training seems to be so easily accomplished when you have the dog's complete attention during certain play activities. Train the dog while you play because the pending "play" reward can be an incredibly powerful tool to get your dog's focus and execution of your commands.
 
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