german shepherd not paying attention

Posted by baxterboy
Jan 26, 2008
My 7 month old shepherd stopped paying attention to me or anyone else, within the last 3 weeks has gotten worse. He can't be coerced with treats or foods or anything.. he just does what he wants when he wants it. when he wants something his memory suddenly comes back and he knows how to obey basic commands, and even some advanced stuff learned during his obedience level 1.
I guess my question is: Not being neutered could have anything to do with this new behaviour?
thanks for all your help
Posted by Annie
Jan 26, 2008
my dog was also a horrible teenager....she didnĀ“t really settle till she was 1...
I hope somebody can help more than me...
Posted by Todd
Jan 27, 2008
Hi there and thank you for your question.

Firstly i don't think neutering him would help. Neutering is very important to stop roaming and some forms of aggression so i would still be keen to have him neutered.

AS for him not paying attention this is part of a puppy growing up but there are some things you can do to help him.

Remember not to reward your dog for being overexcited. This means ignoring him, not looking or talking to him and not petting him.
If he is getting too out of control you can reprimand him with a loud GRRRR or AHHAHHHH. If he still carries on reprimand him again and then ignore him.

I would encourage you, and any other family members, to read the bonus book "Secrets to becoming the Alpha Dog". This book will give you a good understanding of the hierarchical nature and behavior of your dog. Follow the tips in this book as much as possible and you should get good results within a couple of weeks.

If you treat your dog as an equal it may well see it as an opportunity to challenge your position. For example, be aware that allowing your dog onto the couch, bed, etc will give it the leeway that it needs to be able to challenge your position as the alpha dog in the relationship. This behavior change may occur quite gradually, without you even noticing it, until your dog starts showing aggressive tendencies when you try to move it!

Here are some ways to reinforce your position-
1) If you come across your dog while he is sleeping or lying on the floor then you can reinforce your position as alpha dog by making him move so that you can pass by.

2) Make sure that you always go through doorways first. A good method to reinforce your position as alpha dog is to walk your dog around the house on the leash, making your dog wait while you walk through doorways first.

3) At mealtimes make sure that your dog or dogs eat after all of the humans have.

4) Do not feed your dog tidbits or let it pester you at the table. Save the morsels and tidbits for training sessions instead.

5) Do not greet your dog straightaway when you arrive home. Make it wait until you are ready and then call it to you.

6) Whenever your dogs want attention or anything wait till they are sitting and being well behaved.

7) When you give a command make sure that you are in a position to enforce the action that you require from your dog, especially in the initial stages of Alpha Dog training. Also, use the Alarm-No-Command technique as described in the Alpha Dog bonus book to reprimand your dog if it does not obey your command.

Generally I do not recommend people give their dogs bones as this encourages the aggression, because in the wild the alpha dog would be the only one to have the privilege of chewing the bones.

I think it is also important that his obedience is up to standard. Work with him for 10 minutes twice a day on sit,stay and come.

His over excitement will resolve but you need to work on either reprimanding it and rewarding quiet relaxed behaviour. Eg ask him to sit. If he does sit then reward him with praise and attention.If not reprimand him.

The other method is to ignore him but can be more frustrating.
Good luck and please let me know how things go.

Kind regards

Todd Field
Posted by baxterboy
Jan 28, 2008
Thanks a lot Todd!
True enough, today I managed to get him to be more attentive by actually ignoring him!!!
Excellent advice, thanks again.
Posted by Steph-ampWyatt
Feb 16, 2008
Hi baxterboy,
I was just wondering how the training was going with your GS? Alot of work aren't they?