Deterioration of trust

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Thu Feb 28, '13 8:00pm PST 
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Thu Feb 28, '13 9:22pm PST 
You have let things get away from you, and that's where you start. I'd be willing to bet, and this would only be human, that little things slid. I mean, Mulder is your boy wonder. At the same time, his world is redefined, maybe he needs you less.

But I think where you start is was this ever acceptable? No one wants a robot, but there are those few golden commands where 100% compliance is a must. That's one of those training adages I never abandon. Ever. I am very patient raising my puppies, am very foundational and lay the framework before I am asking much from them with their puppy brains, but once they come into their own, we do our work and proofing and they are 100%, that's my hardline. They get a command ONCE. And if they don't respond, there is consequence. Failure on a recall means the dog gets collected and tied up or put in the car while his other dog mates have fun, or taken home and ignored for a bit.

So I can understand "poor Mulder" when he is mopey. I can understand "poor Mulder's mom" when you feel some separation to his sense of bond. That's a sad thing and does deserve your heart. But you have posted long enough on him for me to "know" him, and Mulder flipping you off on simple commands is not "poor Mulder." It is BAD Mulder. These are things that have earned him his liberty, are what allow you to let him enjoy his life with good conscience. Remember what your breed is....German Shepherd....and ask what you can expect of them in terms of OB. They are not dogs who struggle with this, but certainly when lacking a respect, i.e., not taking you very seriously, can be very rude. They have all the underpinnings to be one hundred percenters. You should expect no less. Don't forget all that adaptability, resiliency you (fairly)stress when promoting this breed. Yeah, that's in there.

You don't need an ecollar. You need to remind yourself and get back to basics with him. And instill back in him that come means come or the party is over.
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Thu Feb 28, '13 10:32pm PST 
I am very glad to hear you intend to tackle this situation without a 'poor Mulder' mindset. Because this really is bad Mulder now like Tiller says and there needs to be real consequence.

JT did that once. I think it was probably the only time in my life I gave a physical correction. He was leashed when I went to get him and taken straight home. At home he was ignored. No off lead time for a week after that and then a complete retrain of the recall. He blew me off and could have died and that had to be addressed fast and hard. Mulder made a choice there .... and it doesn't matter how mopey he is, that's completely unacceptable.

I'm so sorry for you, I know how scary that is. And I'm so glad he's okay. hug It's the most gut sinking feeling in the world seeing your dog flip you the bird in a dangerous situation.


When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Fri Mar 1, '13 1:42am PST 
I can only share with you what I went through when I first retired Sabi.
She was devastated, she was furious. After a lifetime of living in my pocket she was suddenly all alone. While I went to work, and took ANOTHER dog. My angel decided she didn't need to obey the rules anymore. My sweet natured, easy going darling became surly and rude. She stole food, she even peed on the floor. And then one night she slipped out the door and went for a stroll, alone, in the dark. We lived in a small town next to the highway. I was frantic and crying. I searched for hours, heartbroken, with the sick feeling I would never find her alive. When I finally found her she had crossed the highway and was doing a 'patrol' of the area, marching along checking doors on the small storage place there.
She is too old to work anymore, and I cannot live with her flipping me off like that. So I taught her new things, that she can do. And once a week or so I take her into the industrial area and let her check buildings and vehicles for fun.
What I cannot and will not do is allow her to chuck her obedience out the window. It was never her strong point, nor does she enjoy it but I will not allow her to throw away what time we have left on a tantrum.
Mulder will come around again, but maybe it's time to find a new game.

Barked: Fri Mar 1, '13 4:04am PST 
Any time one of my dogs experiences a change in behavior, I take them to the vet. It's paid dividends. Even though I think there is absolutely nothing wrong, the vet finds something and fixes it.

also you might try trick training, this will give him additional confidence and pride, and individual attention may restore his trust. You can do this inside, and refresh his attitudes.

When a dog goes stale,you need to find something of interest he can do

As a protection dog trainer, i would guess you to be a highly alpha trainer.

Barked: Fri Mar 1, '13 4:32am PST 
just caught up on the thread. can't find a way to delete my last post. Seems you already took him in for a vet exam.

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Fri Mar 1, '13 7:39am PST 
I think saying I've let the little things slip is true. I have, and I've never been shy on admitting it. I don't run an airtight ship because I didn't have to before... shrugging off a blown command here or there didn't matter before, the important OB was always still there when it needed to be. I guess I just hadn't realized how far things have gone, or at least that the dynamic had changed enough that letting the small things go was no longer an option for him.

I will try to go back to the basics, and start again. Maybe to liven things up for him, I can change his ques? I'm thinking perhaps his recall has become tainted to him in some way, that he's blown it off enough that he doesn't think it means anything anymore... I'm wondering if starting with a blank slate wouldn't be beneficial. I still don't like them, but I can still try using something like a whistle.

Also he knows a pretty wide array of tricks, but I guess I can think up some new things to work with him on.

As a protection dog trainer, i would guess you to be a highly alpha trainer.

I am in no way, shape, or form a protection trainer... I work with one to train Mulder, but he's the one collecting the checks, not me!

And I am probably about as far off from alpha-minded in my beliefs on training as anyone could be. I wont say I'm strictly positive, but I try to be as conflict free as possible.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Fri Mar 1, '13 12:42pm PST 
All of this discussion is kind of beyond me since my dogs tend to be stubborn as rocks but perhaps it's better to start back at square one? Apperently you've done alot of fantastic training and you have a very bright pooch. But maybe some downtime being leashed and back to just reviewing basic commands might be good for both of you.
Sophie gave me some heart stopping moments off leash, once chasing down a deer across a road and once confronting a human in a really frightening way. And I realized as excellent as her recall is that a dog is still a dog is still a dog. Try not to take it personally, know it's a horrible feeling...but take things slowly and you can get the trust back, it's okayhug
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