My boyfriend and I adopted a one year old German Sheppard, Toki. He's very submissive to us, initially he wouldn't even make eye contact (which made for difficult training!) but he's gotten much better at that. Some things he has picked up - albeit slowly. For example he knows to sit at the door until we go in, to go to bed on command, to sit and stay for his food etc. But some stuff he just does NOT get, no matter how consistent we are.
He has a habit of putting a paw on the couch while we're sitting on it. I make a noise to correct and push his paw down. He does again, I do the same. This goes on and on until eventually I just stand and walk away, ignoring him. We also pet him when he is sitting by the sofa *not* pawing it, he simply does not get the connection. Any advice would be helpful.
Secondly, he spends quite a bit of time inside but is put outside for meals, vacuuming etc. He is very reluctant to go outside if we're not already out there. Coaxing doesn't work and if I try to go alpha on him by asserting myself and crowding him out (nudging him with my knees, takin up his space) he drops down belly up and urinates a little. I'm obviously not an expert and can't understand how he can be simultaneously submissive and disobedient; he knows we want him to go outside, he knows we're the bosses, but instead of obeying he just shuts down. Any insight is appreciated.
This is the first time (for both of us) trying to train a dog we haven't had since they were infants, and it's a learning curve! Many thanks,