Non-physical way to train

Posted by mamalisa
Oct 18, 2007
I was reading the dog whispering section and at the end it says that some people (ME!) cannot use physical force to train their dog. I have a neck injury that prevents me from being tugged and pulled around. We rescued a beautiful 2 year old German Shepherd. We've had her for 2 1/2 weeks and she is exhibiting some very bad behaviors. I do not know what to do with her that doesn't require me to get physical with her, as I cannot. Her bad behaviors run the gamut - pretty much she doesn't listen at all right now. Her former foster mom told us she just needs to trust us as she has been moved around to different homes. What method should we use to train that would not be detrimental to my health? I'm sure it's in the ebook somewhere but there is a lot to plow through and any suggestion so that we don't have to go through everything and not find something satisfactory would be so very helpful. Thank you!

Shiloh's mom
Posted by ncolby
Oct 25, 2007
Hi There,

I am not sure what "bad behaviors" your dog is displaying, but start by reading the bonus "Alpha" techniques. By establishing yourself as the pack leader you will gain your dog's trust and respect, which is necessary if you hope to instill good behavior in your dog!

German Shepard's are super energetic and need tons of exercise, and they are also hard wired to guard and protect. I am imagining the behaviors to be incessant barking and jumping, growling, chewing up the house, digging in the yard etc., all of which are addressed in the SSF program. Yes, it does take a while to get through all of the info in the program, but you can read it in sections and focus on one thing at a time....not necessarily in the order it's written, but based on what your specific issues are. If you have specific behavior issues or questions, don't hesitate to post them here in the future!

Good luck and stay calm!
Posted by Tarnador
May 16, 2008
The physical strength of the person doesn't matter, it's the energy projected which is most important. I am a fan of dog whispering as you can use it with a variety of training methods -

I have a rott x pitbull and a german shepherd x rott - so these are two powerful dogs which I am no match for physically - but even my 12 year old daughter can handle them no problem as she has learnt to project strong energy and be alpha dog. In fact I am never physical with the rott x pitbull as I worry that she could respond in the same way and I would stand no chance.

One of my favorite tools for stopping unwanted behavior is the water spray - now they only have to see the spray now and they stop what they are doing!

You can be assertive without being physical - dogs respond to energy and body language - so you have to really mean what you say and use your whole body to say it. This can take a while to learn - but it's just like taking an acting class - and if you pretend that you are the all powerful leader pretty soon you will become it.

So my advice is study becoming alpha dog and whatever other methods you use for basic commands will work much better.

Good luck
Posted by nan
May 22, 2008
The Loved Dog by Geller is shows how to work with dogs without choke chains ...........gentle ways. It's worked for me as I can't tug on my two golden retrievers because of shoulder problems.