New To This Site...just Introducing Myself

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Khya, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Khya Active Member

    Thankyou jackienmutts, I am hoping that she will be well mannered with all the training that I am doing. I can see a difference in her in the short time that I have had her, although we still have a way to go. I try to train a couple of times each day. I am also spending a few minutes touching her feet, ears and tail. She isn't liking it too much but each and every day I do it and she gets lot's of praise and treats for letting me have a paw in my hand for a second or two. I guess it's just a matter of time and she will realise that I will never hurt her. Your two look lovely too. How long have you had them and what ages are they? I was really surprised to find that people get shepherds without looking into the breed and end up giving them up as they don't know what to do with them once they are no longer puppies. There should be a government restriction or a test to pass before getting animals and then there wouldn't be so many in the shelters needing to be re-homed.
    MaryK likes this.

  2. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Oh, if only people had to learn a bit about dogs before taking them home - that would be wonderful!! People do get shepherds and have no clue what they're getting into (clearly not everyone - only speaking of those who get them then turn them into shelters by 2 yrs old - sadly, very common). I think they think they're taking home Rin Tin Tin, but have no idea that it takes loads of work. They have no idea that these dogs are incredibly intelligent and active, and if they don't put the time in with them, these dogs will make their own jobs and find things to do (as in, tear their homes apart and get into all kinds of trouble), as they've been bred to make decisions and act on them. They also get into trouble when they don't give them any leadership, as these dogs have been bred to guard - and when they aren't given boundaries, training, etc, they will indeed guard - but may take it too far. So many fabulous dogs in shelters - sad.

    My girl (the lighter one) is 8-1/2 yrs old, and my boy (the darker one) is 7 yrs old, both from Germ Shep Rescue. I got her when she was about 2, and him when he was about a year - I fostered him for a couple months before I adopted him. I've been so lucky because they are SO very close, just get along beautifully, the best of friends.

    Just keep doing what you're doing with your girl and let that trust and bond develop. Once she totally trusts you, she'll most likely let you do whatever you want to, and that's such a great feeling. Be patient, and only go as fast as she can. No reason to rush anything, just take your time. It sounds like you're doing a great job so far!
    MaryK likes this.
  3. Khya Active Member

    Yes I do agree with you, I think once the shepherds are out of puppy stage the owners just don't know how to cope with them. They are dominant dogs that need good leadership. A good leader is kind and fair too. Both your rescue dogs are lovely and you sound like you have done a wonderful job. I might call on you for your expertise from time to time if I am struggling with anything...that's if you don't mind. I have had my shepherd about 8 weeks now so it's still early days with lot's of training to do still. Hopefully her trust in me will grow. I am taking things slowly especially when I can see that she's not confident with anything.......her paws are sooo out of bounds at the moment but I keep touching each day as her nails are going to need to be cut at some stage. She has never had them touched before as I did ask her previous owner about her nails and his response was that she had never needed them cut. She was just an outside dog with them so she must have kept them down with all the walking on the brickpaving. She isn't an overly confident girl and ran behind the lounge last night when we heard fireworks in the neighbourhood. My old boy just looked up enough to say 'setttle'. Maybe she can take a leaf out of his book and be calm in time. But I am loving having her around and seeing her grow. It's all positive. Thanks for your time.
    MaryK likes this.
  4. MaryK Honored Member

    I agree totally with everything Jackie has said. All my dogs, prior to now, have been rescue Shepherds. They do need a special kind of person, they're not a 'for everyone' type of dog. Sadly, like Jackie says, too many end up in Shelters purely because their owners just don't understand the needs of a Shep.

    For those who do, they have a wonderful companion for life!

    Fantastic dogs, I just adore them, my younger boy is an English Shepherd X, so LOL haven't strayed too far from the fold:LOL: He was a rescue boy of course and is very "Shepherd" in all ways!
  5. Khya Active Member

    Thanks MaryK, yes I do agree Shepherds are not for everyone. I am not sure what an English Shepherd is though I will have to do a bit of research. I take it they are English and not German? It's nice to meet up with fellow dog rescuers who give them a second chance. We are like minded.
    Oh how lovely I just had a quick look at your facebook page. You can see the Shepherd in Ra-Kismet. Zeus looks great too. Are you in Aussie?
    MaryK likes this.
  6. MaryK Honored Member

    Not too much difference between English/German Sheps just a little in the actual confirmation, more around the head than anywhere else. Both are gorgeous:D

    Thank you:D

    Zeus is a grand dog, he's my bomb proof, Mr. Cool Dude dog!

    At present yes, we're in Adelaide, but def. not staying here!
  7. Khya Active Member

    I did check the English Sheps out and they sound more like a collie....especially for how quick they pick things up. They are both beautiful though. Yes I thought that you must be in Australia.....a long way from me though in Perth. Where about's are you thinking of moving to?
    MaryK likes this.
  8. sara Moderator

    I don't know if you got all the advice you wanted for the treat taking thing, but I tailored some training to a pom who took treats like a shark LOL. His mom is a dog behaviourist who used the "ouch", but that doesn't work, as the dog still got the treat! So what I did was clicker sessions specific to teaching him to be gentle taking food. She had never even thought of clicker training him to learn to take food gently :)

    I would have two pieces of treats in the same hand, one between my thumb and forefinger, and one in closed in my palm and the other 3 fingers. clicker in my other hand. I would hold the treat out that was pinched in my thumb and forefinger, and wait until he tried taking it gently. if he grabbed, I would pull it back, wait a couple of seconds, then try again (I did wear leather gloves the first session, btw lol) when he finally took the treat gently, he go a click then I opened the hand for the other treat, feeding like a horse, so he didn't bite when he grabbed that one. The first treat is NOT the reward for the click, the second one is, so he learned that taking food gently got him a second reward.

    I told my friend not to hand him treats for awhile, when working on anything else, but to toss them on the floor, so he couldn't revert to his old behaviour until he was solid on the "gentle"

    He now is a perfect gentleman after 5 years of grabbing fingers along with food :)
    Dogster, Mutt, MaryK and 1 other person like this.
  9. Khya Active Member

    Gosh thank you so much that sounds like a really good way to go. I was trying to reward her for loose leach walking as we walked but as I handed her the treat she lunged for it whilst walking and just about took all my fingers off at the same time lol. So I have now stopped doing that and we stop occasionally whilst out walking on the lead and I sit her then give her the treat with an open hand, at least I still have my fingers that way. Her pulling on the lead is now subsiding as each time she pulls I stop, and once loose again we set off again. I have had to basically change what I was doing as it was getting to painful. I have also started 'watch me' and give her the treat with an open hand. I do clicker training too so I will give your suggestion a go and concentrate on that as a lesson all by itself for a few weeks and see if she grasps that. Do you verbally say 'gentle' each time she takes the treat? Thanks again for your advice.
    MaryK likes this.
  10. MaryK Honored Member

    Yes the English Sheps are very quick learners, LOL too quick sometimes when it's something you don't always want them to learn! All Sheps are beautiful though.

    Either back home (U.K. but with Zeus sick maybe too long a journey) or back to Melbourne, great place.
    Khya likes this.
  11. sara Moderator

    I add the cue, the same way you add a cue to any other behaviour. Once the dog is consistently taking the treat gently, I add in the cue just before they take the treat. I did use the cue once we began handing him treats for other behaviours.
    MaryK likes this.
  12. Jean Cote Administrator

    Hi Pauline - it is nice to welcome you to the Dog Trick Academy! :)
    MaryK and Khya like this.
  13. Khya Active Member

    Hi Sara......I tried your advice yesterday and found that I couldn't get any gentle treat takes to give a click. Each time I offer her a treat she lunges for it and in so doing bangs her teeth against my fingers. I tried pulling it away and waiting a couple of seconds and then tried again but she seems to get worse when I offer the treat again. I do keep thinking that the previous owners children could have tormented her a bit with food and every chance she gets she will grab it. She doesn't understand the word 'gentle' and if she is never 'gentle' I am at a loss as to how to teach it to her. I will keep going though in the hope that I might get a 'gentle' take one day.
    MaryK likes this.
  14. MaryK Honored Member

    Khya definitely sounds like she's been 'tormented' with food by the children. In light of that possibility I wouldn't pull away, even though I FULLY appreciate she can hurt you big time, as it will make her worse - she thinks 'oh here we go again now this person is also pulling away and teasing me'.

    I would use the open palm method of giving her a treat, at the same time using the word 'gentle', that way she shouldn't nip/bang at YOUR hand. Just lay the treat on your open hand/palm as if feeding a horse.

    Once she realizes that you're not going to pull away/tease her she will, with time and patience, learn to accept treats gently. But it does take time, as she has to learn a whole new way of taking treats AND that she's not going to be teased.
  15. Dlilly Honored Member

    Welcome to the forums!!
    MaryK likes this.
  16. Khya Active Member

    Thanks Maryk, yes pulling the treat away has actually made her worse. After trying for two days I realised why she was doing it and I really do think that this bad habit is caused through the children feeding her. I am back to open hand treating her and maybe I have to stick with that. She is very excited and hungry for breakfast on our early morning walk so takes the treat really fast and hard even from an open hand. I feed her breakfast as treats whilst I am out so that I can train her too. I took her out last night onto our front lawn for some practise stays away from my other dog and after lying for a 7 minute stay I noticed that she took the treat a little slower from my open hand. Calmness is the way to go but not all situations can be calm in training as sometimes you want your dog to be more alert to train easier. But nonetheless my journey with her is a positive one and we are bonding really well. She let's me touch her paws now and doesn't pull away so she's definitely on the right path.
    MaryK and Mr-Remington like this.
  17. jeanniecogan Well-Known Member

    I am sort of new here , a few months. This is a great group of people. I had a problem and everyone gave such good ideas and took so much time to help me. i love it here.

    Just wanted to say WELCOME and you have gorgeous dogs.
    MaryK likes this.
  18. Khya Active Member

    Thank you jeaniecogan.....welcome to you too. Yes it is a great site and such warm welcoming people. You don't feel alone if you have any problems.
    MaryK likes this.
  19. MaryK Honored Member

    Khya, so glad the open hand is working for you both. Yes, you do need calmness but even when you want more energy in training, taking treats still needs to be calm - in an 'energized' way if that makes sense;):) Ra Kismet will still 'snatch' a little even with the open palm, when he's aroused by other dogs, but even though it's 'heavy' nothing as bad as getting fingers mistaken for treats!!!!!!!! Other than when aroused he takes treats very gently, I can actually put on between my lips and he take it without nipping me - but it takes time and patience as you know to get them to be this gentle. It will happen though!:)

    Thrilled you can now touch her paws, that's a biggie, cuz of vet visits and well paws can get burrs in them, wet and muddy etc.!

    You're making progress, that's awesome!!!!!!!!!
    Khya likes this.
  20. Dogster Honored Member

    Welcome to DTA!!!:) Grogeous dogs:love:
    MaryK likes this.

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