German Shepherd Dog Forums - View Single Post - Concerns with 9 week old puppy's behaviors
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
Harry and Lola
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IMO you are doing the right thing with hand feeding her and allowing other family members to give her food as well. Not sure exactly how you are doing it, but try with holding her bowl and hand feed her then place her bowl on the ground, put your hand in the bowl and hand feed her again - get her used to this and persevere as you are totally correct in saying you don't want this puppy behaviour to continue and turn into adult food aggression. Also, I think you should encourage family members to walk past her as she is eating - she has to learn it is ok and they will not take her food and she does not need to fight to get fed. So, get different family members to hold the bowl, hand feed, put hand in bowl and hand feed, walk past, pick up bowl again and hand feed then put bowl back down - desensitize her and with consistency she will eventually learn to trust everyone.

With the fearfulness with strange men, again keep doing what you are doing and aim for building trust here as well. Allow her the opportunity to see strangers, perhaps at a comfortable distance, keep preserving and she will eventually begin to realise that the strange men she sees when with you are OK and that you have everything in control and she can trust you, keep an eye on the distance between her and the stranger, she doesn't have to be close to them immediately, she may need a few minutes of distance before she is comfortable with putting her nose to them.

With little ones that have had a bad start, it just takes a little longer to help them learn to trust. All puppies have to learn this, its really sad that some will have more difficulty through no fault of theirs.

Anyway to me, you sound very confident and know what you are doing - so just keep doing, don't give up.
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if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

http://www.epi4dogs.com/epiinsnapshots.htm
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