Thursday, May 20, 2010

How can I get these dogs to stop being so wild?

My girlfriend has two dogs, Lucille and Brenda. These are the biggest, dumbest dogs in existence. They are spayed females, German Shepherd mix, two years old, and sisters from the same litter. They are too much for my girlfriend to walk, so it is my job to walk these beasts. Every time I get their leashes to take them for a walk they hear the clinking of the leashes and charge me. I'm tall, but thin, and these dogs are so excited that they jump on me and knock me down. Every time. I tell them "No! Bad dogs!" in a stern voice, but they ignore me and tackle. Walking them is no fun, either. They are curious about everything and if they see, say, a flower in a yard that interests them, they just drag me along with them while they check it out. Taking them to the dog park is a nightmare. I have to fight to get them to come home. My girlfriend thinks this is cute. She'll say to them "Oh, did Daddy take you for a nice walk?!" Meanwhile, Daddy is beat and cussing out the dogs.

How can I get these dogs to stop being so wild?
Jack - I can answer this ! I really can ! Well When I was very young we had 4 German shephards . When I was married I had the loveliest female Dobermann -she would lick you to death. i trained her myself and she still make me cry in the home movies.

Down to business - when large dogs jump playfully at you - put your knee out as if you were kneeing some poor bastard in the groin - do not worry it will only catch then in the chest and they will keel back with no harm done! Say 'down' when you do this. Large and even small dogs are strong on the leash and you will never win a tugging match - the secret is a short /sharp pull on the leash with a command 'heel' this will shock the bugger for an instant - get ready to do this every bloody few minutes though. Woof Woof
Reply:Get a large dog crate, crate one of the dogs while you walk the other. Get a choke chain, try to keep the dog beside you, and everytime she tries to wander, give the chain a yank, accompanied by a stern 'no'. You need to get the dogs to walk with you individually before you can walk them together, they are just too big to control. Or, get your girlfriend to walk one while you walk the other.
Reply:You're a great guy and friend to these poor and innocent creatures! It's not their fault that they weren't trained properly. If you were to take over this responsibility, she must help you and also realize that they need proper training by perhaps a professional dog training service that she should be willing to finance for. Good luck, and please keep being their best friend in the world! I have a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, 18 months old, 165 lbs, and I know what you mean, but I love him to death and take him swimming as well.
Reply:Your girl is probably a nice person, but it irritates me to no end when someone gets dogs and then makes absolutely no effort whatsoever to train those dogs to respond on command and how to behave on a leash. When I say " Walk time" my dog gets her leash and sits patiently by the door until I decide it's time to leave. Training dogs is not difficult at all. Dogs want to please you, but they have to be shown how. Your girl really shouldn't be a dog owner.
Reply:Oh my gosh!!!! Tell your girlfriend to stop treating them like babies. German Shepard's are one of the smartest dogs there are. They should be able to be somewhat trained. Check the net there is a lot of good advice out there. Good luck!
Reply:First, you better accept that when you got together with your girlfriend, you took on her dogs. You need to change your attitude big time or find a new girlfriend. The dogs are part of the package. Your girlfriend though, needs to recognize that her dogs need training. Their behavior is not cute and she is not being responsible.

Why are you and your girlfriend not walking these dogs together? One dog each? Just a thought.

They need obedience training. The two of you together - one with a dog each - should enroll them in obedience class. They are not stupid - they are untrained and you need to learn how to teach them. You need lessons on dog handling more than anything. There is nothing wrong with these dogs that good training can't fix.
Reply:Get one of those limited leases. It lets them run so far and then brakes, all you do is hold the lead, this lead will do the rest.

Now, these dogs need to know who is boss, you or them. Does your gf use control words such as sit etc. You're gonna have to start controlling them or simply refuse to take them out, that's your gf responsibility and looks like she is more than happy for you to take over.

As a side note, people with wild dogs are usually, untidy, not very hygienic, have no routine in their life and rarely take responsibility for their actions. Sound like your gf????
Reply:I doubt these two are the dumbest dogs in existence. The problem here is not their is that they have not been trained. What these dogs are doing is perfectly normal and acceptable behavior in dog society. GOOD DOGS AREN'T BORN, THEY ***MUST*** BE TAUGHT. This means that it is the owners responsibility to teach them how to behave appropriately in human society. I have two german shepherds and they are extremely obedient and polite. They don't go through doorways until they've been given permission, they don't pull on the leash, they listen (most of the time) when we tell them to do something, they don't jump on people...the list goes on and on. People are often amazed at how good they are. But guess what, they didn't come to me that way! I had to teach them to be like that. It wasn't hard, but it did take an effort on my part. And if you and your girlfriend want those two dogs to act differently you will have to teach them how you want them to behave.

The first thing these dogs need to learn is basic obedience. The "sit" command at the very least. You need to teach them that not only is charging you when you get the leash not acceptable, but that it doesn't get them what they want. If they knew the sit command, you could ask them to sit before putting the leash on and again before walking out the door (and if there's a gate in the front yard again before walking through the gate). While they are sitting, not only are they being respectful of you but it is also impossible for them to knock you down. If they do knock you down, rather than putting the leashes on and taking them for a walk you should immediately put the leashes up and go sit down in another room.

As for walking, you need to teach them what exactly it is that you want them to do instead of pulling you all over the place. A head halter or a no-pull harness will help give you more control over them while you are teaching them this. And I would strongly suggest NOT walking both of them at the same time until they have learned not to pull. Not only is one dog less able to physically pull you around, but it is easier to teach them what you want them to learn if you are working with them one on one.

Your girlfriend should seriously consider enrolling these dogs in a group class. Since you mentioned that these were the "biggest...dogs in existence," I'm assuming they aren't puppies but rather full grown adult dogs. This means that they've had two or more years to practice these unwanted behaviors. Just like in humans, the longer a dog practices a bad habit the longer it will take to get rid of it. An experienced trainer will be far better able to help work through these problems on an individual basis than a bunch of people on the internet (who can give you suggestions, but no real feedback or demonstrations...and we all know that the meanings of words can get lost "in translation"). Obedience classes are NOT about telling a dog what to do. They are about teaching a dog the skills necessary to live in our world as our companions. You wouldn't expect someone with the social skills of a kindergartener to succeed in the corporate world, would you? No! So why should you expect a member of a totally different species with totally different instincts and natural behaviors to automatically know how to fit in with our society and culture?

If your girlfriend (or you) isn't willing to put in the time and effort to train these dogs, then you're really only left with two options. You could get rid of the dogs, or find a new girlfriend. I suspect neither is a particularly practical choice for you right now.
Reply:You could try buying a couple of 'Gentle Leaders' for them

I kept a brother and sister from the same litter 4 years ago and had exactly the same trouble. Siblings bond with each other unfortunately and what one does the other will follow. I was advised by an Animal Behaviourist to try Gentle Leaders on them and the change in them was amazing. They now walk to heel and never pull me whereas beforehand they used to take me for a walk instead of the other way around.

For your own sanity and peace of mind it's worth a try!

Pat B.
Reply:If you would sign up for a simple obedience class at a local dog club (preferably) or someplace like PetCo, it will change your life!!!! You will have experienced dog handlers teaching you how to control your dogs, and once they have been taught, YOU will actually look forward to going on walks with your dogs!!! DO IT, IT WORKS!!!
Reply:You need to tell her the truth. Honesty is an important ingredient in every relationship. Tell her that her darling "babies" are literally killing you and she must take them to obedience school for training. If she refuses, you should tell her that she has to take them for their torture walks.
Reply:Sisters love to play...Plus it sounds like the are couped up all day except for when walking. German Shephards need exercise... they love to run. I suggest you take them out more often...
Reply:u should get a trainer or train them youself u have to stand up to them if it does not work talk to ur girlfriend if they bite any-1 they could b put to sleep. good luck ps if u give them treats every time that they r doin good that should work i do it with my dogs all the time it works.
Reply:When it's this bad, you might as well go ahead and take them to a behavioral class. I think they give them at Pet Smart or some other big pet store. SHouldn't be hard to find and probably not too terribly expensive. Hope it works!
Reply:Get them to obedience training pronto! Big dogs with that much energy need to be trained properly. Look for a kennel/dog club in your area or a dog training school with certified teachers if possible and get them there right away. That could be a potentially problematic situation as they sound like bigger dogs and could scare or harm a child or adult in their excitement. Definitely get them to obedience class right away.

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