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Post by Maria on Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:16 pm

but is the positive dog training working? I mean whats wrong with the conventional way of smacking them and saying no to the bad stuff and praising the good?

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Post by Scrap Monkey on Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Maria wrote:but is the positive dog training working? I mean whats wrong with the conventional way of smacking them and saying no to the bad stuff and praising the good?

There's nothing wrong with it, but you either do it one way or the other. 'Positive dog training' simply doesn't involve any negatives, at all. Positive dog training mixed in with a bit of telling off is going to confuse the hell out of any puppy, that's all.

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Post by Maria on Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:24 pm

ahh I see, you mean like when kids are naughty not telling them off or something, just ignoring the behaviour.

I will stick to normal dog training I think, I think they need to know whats not allowed, it seems quite a brave decision to go that route, the positive only one I mean.

Anyway, I can see that it would be confusing to change strategies.

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Post by supergran on Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:43 pm

How does the pup know that he/she has done wrong if all they get is a click with the clicker, or what is right if they are not told, I always thought clicker training was for later on when they were old enough to know what is right or wrong, like kids, they don't know they are hurting you when they bite unless you show them what hurt is, so that means punishing them in some way.

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Post by Lorraine on Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:09 pm

Confusing isn't it Billie. Mr Green  Tina's right though and I am doing the positive reinforcement training.  I can't be hitting a dog I'm afraid and most definitely not on their noses.  The nose is too important to them.

I have got him to sit, down, leave (nearly), heel (also nearly) and look with the clicker.  If he bites me, I remove my hand as fast as I can and say 'ouch'. If he bites my legs or clothes, I stand still. Standing still is boring, so he'll stop biting and then I walk away.  If he comes to me and licks or is close to my hand without biting, he gets a click and a treat.  He then learns that he gets nothing if he bites but by not biting he gets 'positive' praise and a treat.  Gradually, the treats are phased out.

Anyway, I've been putting A LOT of thought into this biting business and I have come to the conclusion that it's all my own fault.  I have been getting stressed, wound up and loud.  I raise my voice and shout at him and I've lost my temper too.  It gets you nowhere.  But also, at the 8 - 10 week age, they are going through one of their 'fear' stages.  I don't think that Saxon's biting is aggressive, I think it's fear.  Because of my voice, body language and inconsistency, he hasn't a clue where the hell he is or what he's supposed to be doing, so he does what a dog does best to protect itself.  He bites.

So, last night I decided to make a very concerted effort to be calm and speak to him in a low calming voice.  I have done that all day today so far and the end of yesterday too and today has been a great success.  I've had one or two nips but nothing like normal and I'd have to say that I've got a very calm dog.  He's relaxed and slept more than usual too (could be the horrendous heat though).  He's let me stroke him without turning on me and has even licked me.  It might be a fluke, but I hope not.  In fact, the whole house feels calmer.  We shall see. Very Happy

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Post by Scrap Monkey on Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:23 pm

Brilliant Lorraine, sounds as though you've turned a corner with him!

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Post by Scatty on Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:40 pm

Yep me too, sounds like he was really picking up on your stress level, glad the house feels calmer for your effort. Click and treat for you,  Very Happy 

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Post by Di Masters on Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:24 pm

Sounds good, I expect he was getting confused and worried. This is where you are going to have to be strict with the children over the next few weeks, they will have to be calm around him too or you will be right back to square one.
Keep at it!

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Post by Lorraine on Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:28 pm

Think it might have been a fluke. Crying or Very sad I've got a puncture in my hand and another hole in my trousers. Still, it's only first day so I'll plod on.

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Post by kimb on Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:47 pm

good luck !!!!!
im so glad I said no to tim n cheryl having a gsd puppy now
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Post by Lorraine on Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:40 pm

I bet you are, pmsl.

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Post by thriftycrafter on Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:43 pm

Bash on Lorraine it sounds like it's working even with the blips, I hope you're not to sore, and get a good night tonight.

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Post by supergran on Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:31 am

Well I hope it works and soon.

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Post by gingerjo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:59 pm

Have you tried turning your back on him when he nips feet etc. They hate being ignored, more of a punishment then anything. everything else sounds fine what you are doing. But i also think he may be confused if your trying different methods. He is still so young.
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Post by gingerjo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:09 pm

Lorraine, I have emailed you 2 booklets from my trainer, I presume its same email addy. Hope they help and make sense. let me know if you haven't got them. x
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Post by Lorraine on Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:39 pm

OK. So I was wrong.  He isn't getting better.  I'm in tears here again and bitten to all hell.

If somebody can't help me within the next week or two, he's got to go and that means I can't have another dog because he's almost bankrupted me already.

All I wanted was a puppy to love and I got the devil incarnate. Crying or Very sad

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Post by kt_dragonfly on Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:47 pm

What's he actually doing Lorraine? Also, didn't the dog trainer say you could email her? Send her an email saying that your having trouble remembering everything and can she send you pointers by email

Very tempted to drive over and see you this weekend x

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Post by Maria on Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:52 pm

OMG, I KNEW it was bad cos you have gone so quiet.

Now come on, nothings going to work overnight is it, and if he isnt getting better then fine, its maybe time to try a different method, but that wont work overnight either.

ring Paddy tomorrow and tell her whats you've just told us, that he isnt getting better, you are bitten, in tears and at your wits end thinking hes got to go. Concentrate on just the biting problem, dont cloud the water with anything else. See what she suggests and then do it wholeheartedly and continually. Give it a week of it and see if its any better.

If she cant help or doesnt understand, find another local recommended trainer, and the hell with the cost - its more important than most things.

Is the breeder likely to be any help? is it worth ringing there and explaining and asking what he/she would do in that situation?

Do you have a puppy or dog training class, even if its miles away, where the people could help you or at least advise.

He isnt the devil incarnate, he just isnt Bailey and hes a difficult puppy and you're stressed and in no state to deal with that. Giving him up will break your heart too, so dont even think it.

(((big hugs)))

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Post by Scatty on Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:04 pm

What she said..................
Hug coming your way, wish it could be in person.

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Post by Lorraine on Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:29 pm

Well, he's just bitten my leg so I've crated him AGAIN! I really don't know what to do and I'm still bloody crying. I'm so disappointed that I got a nightmare like him and I don't want to give him up, but I can't live like this.

Mother's terrified of him and screeches if he so much as looks at her, which may be making things worse as well.

I've tried everything from the positive to the negative and nothing seems to get through to him. I'm wondering if he's a schitzo to be honest.

I know he's only 12 weeks old and nothing's going to happen overnight, but no matter what any of the 'experts' say, this kind of biting IS NOT normal!

Anyway, I'm off to cry some more and get some pills for my now massive headache. Crying or Very sad

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Post by Di Masters on Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:36 pm

It does sound nasty and more than just play biting Lorraine, have you spoken to your vet about him?

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Post by Lorraine on Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:09 pm

I have Di, but she's not sure. We may have to have some blood tests done to see if they can find any reason for it, although they were mainly mentioned for the lumps he got round his back end.

Right now, I'm all cried out so have been reading a dog forum. As a last resort, I've just ordered some Skullcap & Valerian tablets to see if they will calm him down. I've already got an Adaptil diffuser and that was a complete waste of money.

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Post by kimb on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:17 am

oh no lorraine ...if you do have to let him go ...surely if thebreeders are reputable breeders then they will take him back and refund you .if not then they are not reputable breeders.
personally ..id not spend another penny on him id just return him and regain a bit of mormality in my life .
now I know that may annoy some folks but maybe im a bit selfish in thinking thst my life and health is worth more to me than a dogs no matter how much you love animals .
ive been so worried about you with this nightmare in your house and  now you have said betty screams that makes me even more worried.
I know kate had trouble with sprocket at first but this is a whole different ball game .this is a dangetous dog ..yes he may be trainable but would you ever completely trust him edpecially with kids around...
I know I wouldn't.
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Post by Di Masters on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:42 am

Got to say I am with Kim on the trust thing, you will never be able to leave the children with him.

I'm afraid it's the old "you never get two the same" thing, the reason my Mum would never have another Sheltie after Shep died.
My Grandparents had a Westie, he was gorgeous and we could do anything with him right from when he was a little white ball of fluff. After he died they decided to get another - totally different. He would bite and couldn't be trusted with youngsters.
Tonys folks had exactly the same experience with two Cairn terriers.

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Post by WeirdCat on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:57 am

Is he heck a dangerous dog, he's a puppy he has not reached dangerous dog status yet, it's owners for the most part who make dangerous dogs. He was taken from his Mum too early by the breeder, that will affect him, he's lost 4 weeks of being taught by his Mum how you don't behave, his training thus far has been fairly inconsistent with advice given from here, there and everywhere. It may well be that he has to be rehomed but not because he's dangerous but because he's better suited to different people.

Sorry Lorraine, he was bought into the house where you have an old woman who can be unpredictable at best, you needed him to be the perfect puppy because the grandkids were returning, so it was instant stress for him. He's not Bailey, he is just a puppy and they come in all shapes and sizes.

When we got Max I couldn't cope, he's a dog who is quite nervous and was always better suited to a less chaotic lifestyle than I could offer at the time. Maybe what Saxon needs is one owner who can concentrate all their time on him, some puppies need that.

I'm not having a go Lorraine, although it does sound like it, but you have to make a choice, you either pick a method of discipline, ignoring, chilli hands, tapping a nose or whatever and stick with it for at least a month, keeping a careful document of how often the disliked behaviour occurs or you get him rehomed now, don't send him back to the breeders, go via a GS rescue place. You can't remember what Paddy said, you paid money for that time with her so get in touch and get your monies worth, if that's the path you choose to take.

You got Bailey when your life was very different, you can't compare the two dogs, you can't compare any two dogs. Sometimes you get a puppy like Jemma but more often you get ones who have their quirks that need sorting. This is an extreme quirk but it can be sorted, maybe not by you but by someone.

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Post by WeirdCat on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:59 am

And, you should never trust a dog with children, likewise you should never trust children with a dog.

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Post by Scrap Monkey on Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:22 am

Lorraine wrote:

I've tried everything from the positive to the negative and nothing seems to get through to him.  I'm wondering if he's a schitzo to be honest.


He is not schitzo Lorraine, he's confused. He is a puppy and needs consistency; trying everything and changing training methods is going to confuse the hell out of him, sorry.

Ruth's right.

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Post by Lorraine on Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:09 am

I have considered everything that you've all said many times but I have never compared him to Bailey. Bailey was 2 when I got him anyway. Saxon is my 4th Gsd and the 3rd puppy. I know he's probably confused as hell but I'm damned if I know which training method to use. I'm confused too. I know myself that I've been inconsistent and no, I don't think any of you are 'having a go'. If I don't think I'm going to like the answer, I don't ask the question.

I will contact Paddy today though.

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Post by kimb on Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:37 am

I think ruth is spot on about the problems being because saxon was taken away from mum too early . hes missed a lot of tutoring that mum would have done naturally .
also maybe dangerous dog was not the right phrase buti still think lorraine should take him back to breeders mainly because she said that buying saxon had bankrupted her and she would notbe able to get another puppy .a rescue centre .....well id think twice about which one ..there are good ones and there are bad ones that might rehome with wrong family and the problem would just be elsewhere . yes someone will be the right person to sort saxons issues it just is not with lorraine right now .
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Post by Scrap Monkey on Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:42 am

I'd be very reluctant to send a dog back to a breeder who was happy to allow a dog to leave it's mother too early;  hardly 'reputable' behaviour , and I don't suppose for a second that Lorraine would get her money back.

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