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Categories: Basic Obedience

Q. How can I train my GSD to be more protective of itself?
Dear Sir or Madam:

After reviewing your web site I learned that I should have contacted you guys about getting a German Shepherd dog to train in Schutzhund as my next purchase. I have had my German Shepherd mix that I adopted as a rescue from the local humane society. He is highly intelligent and has been trained by me and behaves perfect when on the leash. However, when off the leash he tends to want to do his own thing but obeys nearly 70% of the time. He's smaller than most German Shepherds which is a problem when it comes to defending himself. There are two neighbor dogs that roam and there have been a few near misses. I didn't know if there was any way yo train him to be more protective of himself because of his size. He is half German Shepherd and I don't doubt he's capable, but I just wanted some input from a kennel like yourself that deals in protective work even though that protective work is for people. Any assistance or direction you can provide is most appreciated.

Ann

A. You have a basic misunderstanding on how things should happen. You need to become a student of pack behavior.

A dog must mind 100% of the time; not 70% of the time or it is not trained. (It's like saying a women is 70% pregnant.) This means you either learn the proper way to train the dog with a prong collar and a long line so that it minds 100% of the time, or your get an electric collar and teach it to mind 100% of the time.

As far as the neighborhood dogs go - I NEVER ALLOW my dogs to be around strange dogs. If strays come around it's my job as pack leader to run them off. It's not the dogs job to be TOUGH !

Read the article I have written titled DEALING WITH THE DOMINANT DOG. I believe you will find the answers you need in that article or in the Q&A section of my web site. There are simple solutions to these problems. The question is if you are willing to do the work necessary to make the changes that will fix the problems.

If you would like to learn more about the principles of obedience training a dog, read the description for my Basic Dog Obedience video. You will probably find that you have not had a clear understanding of the steps of training a dog must go through before it can be considered fully trained. You can also read why I am not a fan of taking an untrained dog to obedience classes. I think if you read the testimonials on that tape you will see that my customers feel the same way.
  
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