I admit it, I’ve been pretty lazy with dog training. And Now I regret it but it’s still never too late to get in the groove and start. My sweet Lap Dog of German Shepherd listens well to my husband, when he is around she’s obedient. When I’m alone with her she’s nothing but a rebellious teenager. If she takes off after someone there is absolutely nothing I can do, and even though I know she’s a sweet dog, people walking up the road do not know that and nobody wants a big scary dog rushing at them.
What better way to train a dog than to walk a dog? Taking my dog out back and throwing sticks is great excersize for her but it’s not socializing her and it’s certainly not giving me an advantage. The walk is the best way to show a dog who’s boss. Ceasar Millan, the Dog Whisperer even says this. if you do not walk your dog your dog will walk you. So I got the leash and twice a day we walk.
I intentionally go places where there are lots of people and dogs. The school is a great place. I know that my dog won’t ever harm a kid so I’m confident enough to take her to the school and wait for my daughter out side. Sometimes people will come and pet her, other times I actually get told off for bringing her. She does bark at specific people and the only way I can stop her from barking is to train her in those situations. She’s always gentle with small children too so I don’t need to be nervous about holding her back.
Today I learned something new about my dog. Her bark is a bark of anxiety and not aggression. There probbaly isn’t an aggressive bone in her but not everyone knows this. There are those afraid of dogs, those who associate barking with aggression so I have to respect those people and keep my dog away from them. I have noticed, half the people I encounter would not trust my dog if their life depended on it, to them she’s an aggressive Shepherd. And nothing I say will convince them she’s a sweet heart.
I made a bit of progress today, I managed to get two people who were nervous to pet her. Once they cautiously got their hand near my dog they realized she really does just want attention. Once they started to pet her they were my dog’s best friend. Then Cute mode kicked in, and yes German Shepherds can actualy look adorable. Once my dog rolls over on her back and smiles, nobody can resist. When a dog allows you to pet their belly it is a sign of trust (And my dog will trust pretty much everyone). All she needs is to greet the person for a minute, if I can get someone to brave paying attention to her for a minute she’s fine, even with people who show nervousness around her. I love the smiles on people’s faces when they realize that my dog really isn’t big and scary she’s just a big attention seeker. There is nothing more rewarding than someone feeling like they have accomplished something by petting my dog. Owners generally know the behaviour of thier own dog so I recommed to anyone that you check with the owner before petting ANY dog. I have been bitten or nipped more times by calm quiet dogs than hyper barking dogs.
So my adventure begins. I’m on a mission to follow through with some dog training in hopes my dog will start acting like a lady. I’m in need of some training as well, so me mastering dog training will greatly benifit me as much as it will her. I’m looking forward to the day I can walk my dog proudly and show the neighbourhood that I have a smart, obedient pooch.