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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My male GSD is somewhat a handful. I use him for security work and on the job he's exceptional, however, at home with the other dogs... Let's just say the threat of neutering is common through our household. I cannot fault his obedience or his nature when on the job but at home it's like I don't exist anymore.

He is the only one of my 3 that I got as an adult. I know he wasn't socialised properly as a pup. I have to admit though, he has improved immensly since I've had him but the improvement has been slow going.

My question is, are there any things I can do to settle him down with the other dogs around? At this stage I have given up trying and I am just keeping him completely separate from the other dogs (he is not aggressive just really playful and over the top).

A few people more knowledgable with the dogs have told me not to bother wasting time with him. To sell him on to a more capable handler and try again with a puppy that has been started correctly, but I do really like him. The problem with the other dogs isn't the only problem I have with him, he also is very unpredictable with people (will trigger at the slightest thing). So far he is improving but I have to be very careful with him.

Is it worth slogging it out for the slow improvement? He is very dominant and independant but is also an adolescent. Will he mellow out as he gets older?
 

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A dog, in particular a young dog, will bond with other dogs easier then it will with you. Although I'm not as adverse to dogs socializing as some working people, it's still a good idea to keep his exposure with the other dogs limited.
You need to establish yourself as leader. If your not able to control him around the other dogs, your not in charge.
As far as mellowing out as he gets older will have a lot to do with you being in control.
Bottom line. Keep him separate. You need to be his whole world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Jeff and Bob,

That's kind of the conclusion I had come to... If his purpose is work and he is doing the work well, what's the problem?

I have no problem with juggling dogs around to keep him from the others. On days off he is allowed to play and "be a dog" and I'm hoping that with a little more patience and work, some of his other issues will be sorted out as well.

I have had offers from quite a few people to buy him from me. I'm still new to this and wary that they are recognising him for what he is (a good dog with alot of potential) and due to my being new to this and not overly confident with handling SUCH a dog, I worry that I'll sell him due to lack of confidence and regret it later. Any dog would turn out better with a more experienced handler. Giving him up to ensure he reaches his full potential with someone else might benefit him more but how will I learn?

He briefly went to a new home on trial but they returned him to me saying he was too much for them as well. This person turned out to have less "hands on" experience than myself (a mistake I will not make again). I think I will bide my time and see how he progresses.
 
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Bree McQuilty said:
That's kind of the conclusion I had come to... If his purpose is work and he is doing the work well, what's the problem?
True, but if that dog will stay with you, then he better learn house rules. To give such reason for not making him reliable and stable anywhere is a lame excuse. But since you're willing to give the patience to work him out rather than sell him, I think half the battle is already won.

Just my opinion...
 

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I would not let him socialize around other dogs but he definitely needs to be worked around other dogs.Look at it as a chance to work on his stabilization.My dogs are worked around, over, under and through other dogs.They must ignore the dogs and concentrate on the work.This applies to agility,obed,tracking and manwork.Around the home he needs to know that you are still the boss.Try keeping a drag leash on him while at home,hell know its there and will be more responsive to you automatically.If not he will be after a correction or two. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
True, but if that dog will stay with you, then he better learn house rules
Very true... and a good point. I am focussing at the moment on getting him to a consistent place. When I get him to a point that I can control him 100% all the time then I will step it up with him with other dogs around.

I like the idea of doing the obedience work around and through other dogs. I have been trying this on the outside of the fence at the dog park (if I take him inside all the dogs jump all over him and it makes it hard). I have attempted to do it around my other dogs however, my bitch is so eager to please me she turns herself inside out to do the things I'm telling the boy to do. I am joining up with the local pet obedience class (God help me!) not so much to learn what they are teaching but to work him around other dogs that are on lead. I tried it with the agility group and they kicked me off the field for being to distractive :oops:
 

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Why not hook up all your dogs at home and work with them all?I have worked up to 9 or 10 by myself.You can effectively work with 5 or 6 alone without too much trouble.Your last statement has got me thinking the problem at home isnt all your dogs fault.It could be that your other dogs need some manners too.You cant make him abide by rules that the other dogs slide by with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I wish I could work them all at once! My skills don't extend that far... How do you mean hook them all up? Back tie them all? I am not physically strong enough to work all 3 of them... The 2 adults I have worked together with no dramas. I'm a little bit worried about putting a wiggly puppy into the mix.
 

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Backtieing will only build frustration.I mean have a collar and leash on all of them.If you can get the others to do things like down stay or sit stay then you can work your dog around them.If you have any dog aggression issues then I wouldnt do it without someone knowledgable helping.If you have to correct one of the dogs just put the dog you have a hold of in a down stay and then go and correct the other one.
 

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Hi Bree,
maybe you can get some hands on help from a pro, let him/her see how you train your dogs etc. Spend the time finding the right trainer, see how they work their dogs and go over their outlook on training, i've found the good ones are always explaining everything and also explaining what the dog is thinking. The internet is a way to get some basic info but nothing comes close to getting good advice in person from a pro, JMO,
Good luck with this beast, lol
 
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