dog doesn't listen in certain situations

Posted by TurnDogg5417
Jan 28, 2008
Hello there,

I have a 2 year old German Shepherd/Alaskan Malamute and really only have one concern... The sit, stay, fetch series worked wonders when we first got her and she is an amazing dog. She is alway good and everyone usually makes comments on that. I have one major issue that I am stuck with...

Occasionally, when we go to the park and pther dogs are around, her listening and obeyin of commands stops. I figured she might have an issue with alpha dog syndrome when being around other dogs, so I would remove her from them as the books say, showing that I am the Alpha. I really don't think that is an issue though. She is typically very submissive. She was a rescue dog and when we first got her, she was a little scared of human males. I think she came from an abusive home initially--just an idea. She wa initially really timid with males. When we are at the park alone she listens well, the problem is only when other dogs are around.

Typically if I start to walk away and call, she comes running, but yesterday she would could not have cared that I was leaving. She steals another dogs toy and runs around with it. Seemingly hoping that they will chase and stops paying any attention to me or when I call her.

Any tips, pointers, advice would be greatly appreciated because I starting to lose my mind and not want to allow her off leash to play with other dogs at all.

Thanks again.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 28, 2008
Hi there.

I am glad that your dog got over the problem of being scared of men. One of my rescued dogs had the same problem but she got over it too. It takes time but it is possible to let them outgrow the problem.

Now your recall problem. Your dog's behavior is very natural and typical. I think dogs behaviors are usually based on very simple and straightforward reasons. Your dog does not come to you because there are more fun and interesting things going on in the park - other dogs, plays, toys, smells, squirrels, etc. You would have to compete with all those distractions to win your recalls.

Things that work with my dogs are:

1) invite them saying "Lets go for walk" and take them for walk around the park
2) "Shall we go home and have dinner?" or "Dinner time!"
3) I give some treats to my dogs every time they get in the car so they follow me to the car

Well, every dog is different and every dog has different motivators so think what would work with your dog the best.

Good luck:
Posted by Todd
Jan 28, 2008
Hi there and thank you for your question

In this situation i think alpha and general obedience training is essential and it sounds like you have this under control.

Now here is the method i like to use in these situations.
Use a long rope tied to your dogs collar. Start with her in your yard.
Give her a metre of rope and practice her commands, basic sit, stay and come.
As she gets better and better give her more and more rope. If she responds give her praise and attention.

But if she does not respond give her a brief tug on the rope and a loud GRRRRRRR or AHHHHHHH and then follow with a sit command. If she responds praise her.

Once she is out to about 15 metres you can try the same thing in a dog park or other area. Slowly give her more and more rope.
Once she is good with this practice with dogs close to her and give her slightly less rope so she cant get to them.
Keep trying this and she will improve with her commands. it will take time but it seems she is already doing great.

Good luck.

Kind regards

Todd Field
Posted by TurnDogg5417
Jan 29, 2008
Thanks for all the input, I'll mix and match I gthink between the two with the rope and treats. She always loves treats. I should maybe be more liberal with them at the park. I try to be conservative with them because I do not want her to expect a treat everytime she does what I want. I'll give it a shot though. Thanks again.