GSD Nipping

Posted by hurricane-jett
May 2, 2008
Wednesday was a new low in the adventure of going for a quick "take care of business" walk. We went out for a potty break before going to a TTouch session. Since we were about to get in the car, He didn't have his Gentle Leader on, just the martingale collar. A youngster suddenly appeared jogging from behind. She had on an Ipod headset and even though we were on the sidewalk- she didn't even move over a little. We didn't have a chance to get in the grass (which we ALWAYS do, with a watch me + treat). He was startled and turned his head and her shorts and maybe ? grazed her thigh. She looked startled, grabbed her thigh and kept on running. I ssaid wait, but she kept on going. Now I'm waiting for someone to show up at my door!
I guess he'll never be going out of the house without his Gentle Leader, so I can control where his mouth is. He really reacts when people are walking toward us, coming up behind, on bicycles or anything with small wheels-skate boards and roller blades. And yet he meets new people with a low head and wagging tail. Of course I keep that short and sweet cause he may decide then to bark at the new person and freak them out. He's 16 months and I work with him on part of every walk with obedience. He picks up some things REALLY fast but, he's hard headed when it's something he wants to do.I don't know if we will ever have a relaxing walk.
Posted by Todd
May 8, 2008
HI there and thanks for the question

He sounds like a brilliant dog and i am sure with some training and time we can help things and make walks a little less stressful.

I think we need to take things slow. Pick a neighbourhood that is quiet and where you can start things without too much stress. YOu can start with the gentle leader or the collar whichever you prefer to train him.

As someone approaches get him into the sitting position. If he is relaxed and quiet then make sure to praise him with attention and a few treats. As they approach continue to praise him for good behaviour. If he starts to get nervous then you need to ignore him.....wait until he is showing confidence then praise him. When i say ignore i mean don't look touch or comfort him.

Continue to work on good relaxed behaviour. Start things nice and slow. As he gets better and better behaved you can work towards situations where more of the things that make him nervous are eg parks etc

Take things slow and don't be forced to rush things.

I think it may be a good idea to get a bike at home or a skateboard. We can then use these to help desensitise him to these. Leave them out in the yard where he an sniff and suss them out. This will let him get relaxed and calm around them.

From here you need to start using them. If he gets aggressive you need to tell him off so he knows aggression towards these things is not okay. When he is calm praise him with heaps of attention and encouragement.

Keep up with the good work, and i have to say keeping him on a gentle leader will hav some good benefits

Let me know how things go and if i can help anymore

Posted by hurricane-jett
May 14, 2008
Thanks Todd,
I had been doing what you suggested. I have him sit and I say "watch me" and hold a treat near my face so he really has to look at my face. He's verry good at this. I just started to have him sit a little closer to the side walk to work more on the calming when people are walking. This AM we were walking home and a group of kids and 2 adults rode around a blind curve from behind us. we were working on sit stays and a little girl was first in the line of riders. She almost ran over his tail and she scared the hell out of me. :eek: I said If you'd say excuse me, I'd get out of the way. I really hoped the adults heard. Anyway...he barely noticed them. I was thrilled at how he did, but I think that was a fluke!
Hurricane Jett
Now look for another question from me about Heeling.
Posted by Liz-amp-Koa
May 14, 2008

I am having the same problem with my GSD. He is 1 1/2 years old and he is great at everything else. I thought it was just a puppy thing that he was still getting over. He was rescued from a puppy mill at 8 months with no training, so we have been working very hard. When people leave the house or strangers walk up to us he seems fine, then all of a sudden when they walk away he nips. The other day he did this to my neighbor, but it was more than a nip. She said she was fine, but I too am waiting for the knock at the door. I am taking him to a behaviorist next week, but in the mean time I am going to try Todd's suggestions.

Does anyone know why they nip as people are leaving instead of approaching?

Liz & Koa