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-   -   German shephard strange behaviour (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=82630)

gtblair October 30th, 2012 03:39 AM

German shephard strange behaviour
 
Hi all,
I have 2 dogs, a boxer x choc lab who we have had since a pup, and a german shepard bitch who is 4 , we have had her for 18 months. The boxer is a really happy dog, the shepard is a funny girl. We got her after the christchurch earthquakes in febuary. Her owner got killed in the quake :( and she was left to stroll the streets until the SPCA picked her up, then we adopted her. She has settled in well really.

Problem one: She constantly whines and is anxious alot. She is my best mate and follows me everywhere. But the whining really gets annoying! :wall:

Problem two: She starts out licking her rear paw while laying down then moves onto licking her bed, which can go on for awhile!

I take them for big runs at least twice a week and they get lots of toys and love etc. I think maybe she needs a job to do, a purpose, as she is very clever and loves to please.

What do you think?
Thanks

marko October 30th, 2012 07:22 AM

Hi gtblair and welcome to the forum!

A few questions for problem 1

- are these dogs walked daily?
- Has the GSD been obedience trained?
- You say the GSD follows u everywhere - how often does she follow u everywhere? Do you work from home?
- when the dog whines, what do you do?

Dog Dancer October 30th, 2012 10:13 AM

Bless you for adopting this sweet girl in need. I second Marko's questions, I think daily walking and or strenuous play time for an hour would help her alot. Sounds like she is bored, and probably still anxious that something terrible could happen to her and her family again. Anxiety may be what is making her follow you constantly and lick. It actually may help to tire her out some and make her stay somewhere (like a yard) alone for half an hour(but maybe start with smaller increments like 5 minutes then 10). I also think obedience training would help you to bond with her in a way that may help her stress issues. If the nervous licking and such keeps up it may not hurt to consult a behaviourist, poor girl I'm sure is very very anxious. She's been through a lot in her life, it can't be easy.

Barkingdog October 30th, 2012 10:27 AM

[QUOTE=gtblair;1048473]Hi all,
I have 2 dogs, a boxer x choc lab who we have had since a pup, and a german shepard bitch who is 4 , we have had her for 18 months. The boxer is a really happy dog, the shepard is a funny girl. We got her after the christchurch earthquakes in febuary. Her owner got killed in the quake :( and she was left to stroll the streets until the SPCA picked her up, then we adopted her. She has settled in well really.

Problem one: She constantly whines and is anxious alot. She is my best mate and follows me everywhere. But the whining really gets annoying! :wall:

Problem two: She starts out licking her rear paw while laying down then moves onto licking her bed, which can go on for awhile!

I take them for big runs at least twice a week and they get lots of toys and love etc. I think maybe she needs a job to do, a purpose, as she is very clever and loves to please.

What do you think?
Thanks[/QUOTE]

Maybe your dog has an allergy , has this been ruled out?

cpietra16 October 30th, 2012 02:30 PM

:DHi, I have a shepard as well. First thing you need to realise is that Shepards are working dogs and very intelligent. They quickly get bored. A shepard nees to walk at least 1-2 hours a day and needs stimulating activites. I know when Samantha is bored....we all suffer; she whines, walks back and forth in the house, etc...
Shepards also have allergies. Ours has food and environmental allergies...find out which one and the vet will give you the right meds for them. Samantha is constantly biting her paw pads because of allergies...
For anxiety, especially when I am at work is simply dealt with some Melatonine. It calms her down until we get her outside.
Shepards also have weak tummies...they can easily have problems...
now having said all that...they are the most amazing dogs ever!!!!

gtblair November 1st, 2012 02:11 AM

Thanks everyone,

- are these dogs walked daily?
- Has the GSD been obedience trained?
- You say the GSD follows u everywhere - how often does she follow u everywhere? Do you work from home?
- when the dog whines, what do you do?

-Not every day but I do take them to dog parks and rivers where they can go nuts at least a couple of times a week.
-Dont know about obediece training on previous owners part, we havent, she is very obedient for me.
-When Im home she follows me around, I take her if I go somewhere in the car.
-I talk to her or sometimes yell at her to be quiet as it gets really annoying.

gtblair November 1st, 2012 02:17 AM

Allergies,

she seems to be in really good health, they are going to the vets this saturday so Ill ask the vet. Good point, thanks.

marko November 1st, 2012 08:55 AM

[QUOTE=gtblair;1048623]Thanks everyone,

- are these dogs walked daily?
- Has the GSD been obedience trained?
- You say the GSD follows u everywhere - how often does she follow u everywhere? Do you work from home?
- when the dog whines, what do you do?

1-Not every day but I do take them to dog parks and rivers where they can go nuts at least a couple of times a week.
2-Dont know about obediece training on previous owners part, we havent, she is very obedient for me.
3-When Im home she follows me around, I take her if I go somewhere in the car.
4-I talk to her or sometimes yell at her to be quiet as it gets really annoying.[/QUOTE]

Okay then - here's an opinion on how u might try to make things better

1 - I know we all try to do as much as we can, but these dogs need daily exercise. Going nuts a couple of times a week is great and certainly better than nothing, but imo, this is not enough physical or mental stimulation. The dog may well be whining to get more interaction from you. The dog sounds bored to me and many bad behaviours occur when dogs are bored. Not sure what type of budget or time restrictions you have but hiring someone or actually doing an hour's worth (or more) of daily strenuous exercise can only help in this case....

2 - With respect, to me it sounds like , no this dog doesn't have the basics.
If she were obedient she would stop whining when you ask her to. I would HIGHLY recommend some group obedience training for this dog. That too will only help in this case....and a good trainer can provide LOADS of tips for your particular case.

3 - This question wasn't fully answered. I'm basically asking how many hours each day is the dog alone.....because this will lead to problems if the dog feels bored and anxious. To me this dog sounds like it is too clingy, very bored and likely suffering from separation anxiety. (I have a podcast coming out in 48 hours that has some tips on how to address this).

4 - For me this is likely behavioural and it sound like you are rewarding the bad behaviour. Often any type of interaction is a reward. (eye contact, talking, yelling is engagement and is rewarding to many dogs) I'd say tips from an obedience trainer will be gold here as well.


If you do get her some training please make sure the recommendation comes from someone you trust. Glad you are also going to see a vet. Please ask the vet these same questions for an additional opinion.

Hope that may help and thanks for adopting!

Barkingdog November 1st, 2012 09:28 AM

[QUOTE=gtblair;1048623]Thanks everyone,

- are these dogs walked daily?
- Has the GSD been obedience trained?
- You say the GSD follows u everywhere - how often does she follow u everywhere? Do you work from home?
- when the dog whines, what do you do?

-Not every day but I do take them to dog parks and rivers where they can go nuts at least a couple of times a week.
-Dont know about obediece training on previous owners part, we havent, she is very obedient for me.
-When Im home she follows me around, I take her if I go somewhere in the car.
-I talk to her or sometimes yell at her to be quiet as it gets really annoying.[/QUOTE]
It does not help to yell at any pet and it not the right way to get a dog to stop barking . She could be hearing something outside and trying to protect you too, GSD are very protected of their famliy .

Goldfields November 1st, 2012 08:11 PM

A dog's hearing is a lot better than ours, gtblair, so you could whisper to your dog and get the same result, in fact if you whisper they have to be quiet in order to hear you. Why not try rewarding her whenever she is with you and is quiet? I have a very noisy exciteable sheltie so I started doing that. Taught him to sit, then would quietly say 'Shhh!' when he was QUIET and reward him. At the start you don't set them up for failure by asking them to 'Shhh!' when they are vocalising, and yelling gets you nowhere, they love to yell back at you. LOL. You wait for them to be quiet, then do it. My other 5 shelties can be barking, super excited at the thought that they are about to be fed, but this guy sits silently now , staring at me intently. I use titbits out of his own dinner to get his attention and quieten him. You most likely have a super dog there if you just take the time to train her.

Dog Dancer November 1st, 2012 09:24 PM

Great advice GF.

Goldfields November 2nd, 2012 10:47 AM

Thanks.I actually could barely believe it when it worked with my noisy boy, DD, but he's a very smart little fellow. His birth defects may make him look a little strange but there is nothing wrong with his brain.

Stewart November 3rd, 2012 04:47 AM

Hi gtblair, We have two shepherds 1 female (13yrs in Dec) and 1 male (5yrs). Shepherds are very loyal and will look for you at all times and follow you around. As people say they are also very intelligent and really like to be given things to do and enjoy tasks or training and games. They do naturally pace when getting bored and you can often see this. Our older dog the female does the same as your dog is doing in licking that starts out as licking paw then proceeding onto her bedding but this we believe to be due to the fact that she is now in old age and has arthritis which means she spends a lot of time laid on her bed. We make sure our dogs are walked at least twice a day for roughly 2hrs total and the younger one will get more at times on his own as the elder one can't make it these days. From Mon to Thurs both dogs are left for 6hrs a day so the walks hopefully make up for the time they spend on their own in house. We have two great companions who are both happy and get on well together with no destructive behaviour through boredom. Never yell at a dog all that is needed is quiet calm instructions in simple words. Good luck with your GSD enjoy her and you will find her to be a true friend.

gtblair November 6th, 2012 03:31 AM

Thanks everyone for all of your good advice. Ill look into some obedience training and some more exercise and time spent with them. They deserve it

marko November 6th, 2012 08:25 AM

Glad you found the advice useful :goodvibes:
In case you hadn't seen it - we just published an audio podcast last week on [URL="http://www.pets.ca/blog/pet-podcast/60-separation-anxiety-in-dogs-interview-with-tenderfoot-training/"]separation anxiety in dogs[/URL] . It's an interview with Doug Simpson who with his wife Elizabeth runs [url]www.tenderfoottraining.com[/url]. They have been helping members on this site for years... and go by the username tenderfoot .

Given what you have written in these posts I think you will find it very useful and I encourage you to take a listen. Good luck!


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