I have a 9 month old German Shepherd/Wolf mix & am having a hard time establishing pack leader with her.

She listens to my husband great and knows her boundaries with him, but only occasionally pays attention when I discipline her. It's like she doesn't even hear me sometimes. Any ideas on how to get her to listen to me better? She's very attached to me, but just doesn't listen to me all the time.

Asked by Member 1038829 on Nov 18th 2011 in Socialization
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Bruno CGC

Okay, to give you my honest opinion, there is little wolf blood in your dog. Her "wolf" mother was probably a Malamute. Saarloos and Czech wolfdogs don't have the "open" white mask your dog does, that's a Malamute trait there. Some low-content wolfdogs will have a white mask, but it's a definite sign of being mostly dog. I think this website is good for learning what a real wolfdog looks like:


And guess what, Malamutes are STUBBORN! There is a reason that there are not a lot of Mals competing in Obedience or being used as service dogs- they are smart, but don't have the instinct to please you at all costs like a Shepherd. So you have to give her reasons to do what you ask- threats are rarely effective, it's better to offer a reward for good behavior. Have you ever looked at clicker training? If it works on killer whales, it should certainly work on a dog.

Please also check out the Behavior and Training forum forum for more specific training advice.

Bruno CGC answered on 11/18/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


There's another side to this, beside stubbornness. Mals, BCollies, most Terriers and several other Breeds are very pack orientated, and have a very acute instinct about who qualifies as a Leader. And, usually will recognize only ONE Leader.

Some people got it, some don't, and since you don't, just go with the flow, and accept that you're a subordinate. Just because you're human, doesn't carry a lot of weight with these extremely focused animals.

Becca answered on 11/18/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Totally agree with Bruno on the no-wolf thing.
Now, on to your problem. She is 9 mos old & is a teenager. It has nothing to do with alpha issues. She is most likely a gsd/mal mix, so an independent breed & a breed who lives to please. Add to that both may not fully mature until 3 years fasten your seatbelt!
Training needs to be done daily & with consistency..but not overpowering. How/why/what do you mean by discipline? Exercise type & how long?
Positive methods work great & if she will not listen, then she needs to be tethered to you inside & leashed outside while you work on recall & obedience...sit, down, stay.
Make sure both you & hubby train the same way. They will test boundaries & see if yesterday's rules still apply today. The other night it took me 27 minutes of weight shifting, body blocking, returning him, until I got a sit-stay out of my 30 month old. No yelling, no physical, just no treat until you do what you I asked.
Come to Behavior Forum for more advice.

Member 904338 answered on 11/18/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer