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Messages - Ma-Is-Pa

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yes! Wasn't sure how to explain that one..but you put it perfectly.  Essentially the idea is that the dog cannot pull you if he isn't moving If you throw in random about-faces or sharp turns, it will keep him on his toes enough to distract from the need to pull, and allow you a break from the constant pressure on  the lead long enough to attach a command.

So you would walk on, let him pull you a bit, then immediately turn sharply and say heel or loose lead, pulling him off balance a bit as you turn - causing him to turn with you and usually work to catch up.  Then when he begins to pull again, do the same thing.  Eventually you can time it to where the dog is never really given the opportunity to be out of the "heel" position, therefore you set him up for the positive reinforcement and the ability to introduce the command.  Be sure to keep yourself, and him moving though.  It's sort of about staying two steps ahead of your dog. 

That is my method of choice as well.  They also have little prong covers for the squeamish.  It's more of a pressure type of thing anyway I believe..parti cularly for heavy coated breeds.  I've never heard a yipe from a dog in a training collar before.  Just make sure you don't keep it tight all the time..letting him pull you with it.  It's more of a quick snap then release kind of correction. If you hold the leash close to the collar about 3 inches or so from the snap and drop your hand, it makes it easier to give the very slight snap required without it feeling awkward.  It usually just takes one round with corrections.  After that you have them under enough control to begin teaching the loose lead command..or heel.  Be sure to attach a command before you stop using it though, because the second they realize it's a normal collar,  they revert to pulling.

Groans, Gripes, Brags & Boasts / Re: My family is driving me CRAZY!!
« on: March 31, 2007, 01:03:03 am »
When people come to my house who don't like my dogs...those that I can't get rid of anyway, and those that I have no choice but to be polite to, I just go out of my way to keep my dogs away from them.  ;D  Why should Harley have to put up with crazy screaming two-legs any more than you should? lol! Family is another story though.  Maybe you could take him in your room with you at night? Just sort of separate them?  Hmm..sometimes people are no fun to deal with.   :-\

It survived??  That's great! I saw that toy when I was buying some stuff on this entirelypets.c om site, and I was afraid Isa would bite right through the bottle.  I wanted it though because she has this fascination with empty coke bottles...any of them, all sizes.  Especially 2 liters...fits her mouth perfectly.  I think she just likes the sound..or feeling of satisfaction she gets when she bites through it, but then she crunches on it for the next two hours which is deafening..and then the ends get so ragged im afraid they will slice her gums up.  If your Mals havn't torn this toy up yet, hopefully it will stand up to Isa.  She loves Kongs but she loses them all the time bouncing em around.

German Shepherd Discussions / Re: New to owning GSD
« on: March 31, 2007, 12:30:48 am »
My family has owned German Shepherds my whole life, and eventually this love has grown into an adventure in Breeding.  I can say that while I love and have loved dogs of all breeds...I will never allow myself to bring home another big dog of another breed.  Off the so-called aggressive breeds, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Pitbulls,
Chow Chows, and German Shepherds, all have a hard time being put into the critical spotlight.  I feel however, that the german shepherd does a beautiful job of balancing the aggression with passive love for family.  They arn't a pushbutton breed though. A few critical factors determine how easy your training will go:

1. Genetics - luck of the draw vs. selecting a well bred dog
Some of the best German Shepherds I have met were rescue dogs...but if you go to a breeder, make sure you do your homework.  If you choose to rescue, just make sure you are ready to devote plenty of time to acclimation.
2. Socialization - It is PARAMOUNT that these dogs recieve early exposure to every challenge they may have to face later in life, if you can provide it.  Kids...other dogs...cats..o n and on.
3. A Job! - These guys were bred to work.  While they make outstanding family pets, they do get bored.  They have a tendency towards developing emotional/behavioral problems from neglect rather than outward "bad puppy" behaviors such as chewing, barking, etc.  This makes it twice as difficult to "FIX" a problem later on.  They thrive on feeling they have served their purpose.  Throw the ball a few times a day..go on walks...or integrate them into your daily routine around the house. 
4.  Easy on the Compulsion Training.  This is debatable and everyone has their own opinion on this, but I don't touch my dogs in a negative manner either with a leash, training collar, or any commands aside from sit or down for treats until they hit about a year.  I take the first year of the puppies life to allow them to bond to me, and learn by experience.  This isn't to say that you should not set boundaries.  With these dogs it is important to remember that less is more. Never use another method when your voice will work as well.  The same goes for shouting...nev er shout if a normal tone gets the job done.  While German Shepherds are tough dogs, people mistake them as being "hard" when in fact they are really quite soft.  You allow them to become hard by conditioning them and giving them confidence.  If you push them into it you get a fear biter..or a nervous wreck. 
German Shepherds act aloof towards all others outside their family because you are their WORLD, remember this, and adjust your mindset to that understanding.  Once you have owned one, and been around them for a's like it all just clicks.  They really are a whole new ball of wax..but really very simple.  They have an amazing ability to reason out situations...s o while you fret and disect the situation, they do the same thing. Two heads are better than one..!  If they can figure out a way to fix something that isn't right, a German Shepherd will always do it.

FAQs about puppies / Re: And along came RION
« on: March 30, 2007, 11:56:11 pm »
He's a gorgeous boy.  I'm in love.  Congrats on your new addition. 

He's gorgeous!  Who could turn down such a special boy..Congratul ations!  Good Luck with him..I have no doubt you will enjoy every second.

and couldn't help but comment on your feisty Mali-gator picture Kathryn..I notice you have more than one.  My Shepherds love the water hose also.  If I forget to put it up they dart for the back of the house and bring it to me when I let them out at 5 in the morning. lol!

Introduce Yourself to the Forum / Hello Everyone!
« on: March 30, 2007, 11:42:05 pm »
Ton of great stuff to read in here..!  Just happened to stumble across it while trying to get ahold of some reviews of these Capstar tabs.  I have a flea problem. :-[

But that name is Kat, and my kiddos names are

MAX (Long-haired Dashund/Chihuahua) Sorry about the mispelling Doxie fans..not my breed, though I adore this guy.

ISA (German Shepherd)
PAYLA (German Shepherd)

Food Discussion & Information / Re: Question about feeding raw...
« on: March 30, 2007, 11:35:11 pm »
New to all this, but I happened to catch your post.  I have German Shepherds and I feed a completely raw diet. (frozen chicken quarters and 10% organ meat) I wouldn't be too concerned with your dogs agressive reactions to the food they are consuming...un less they have a particular life experience of killing and animal -cringe- to compare it to, or associate it with, more than likely they react like this because it TASTES really good to them. You can equate it to the similar reaction when your buddy, particularly a younger dog, gets ahold of your Big Mac when you forget and leave it someplace convenient.  You can bet it will be swallowed whole before you can dig it out of his mouth.

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