I don't understand...what is my GSD trying to tell me?
So recently, I have been having some difficulty getting my Shepherd in sync with training, as well as getting him motivated/focused for anything. There has been a lot of change going on in my household, and I fear that the stress of it all is effecting the both of us. I left my ex, decided to move out, got a new job, and on my way to my own independence. However, the sudden change of power is causing my GSD and I to butt heads over who's the boss.
He's 1 year and 9 months old, unaltered, 73.3lbs, and eats Wellness Core Ocean Formula. He has a backpack, gentle leader, leash, toys of all textures, treats, the works. So basically a very lucky, well cared for, spoiled rotten dog. What's the sad part is I think he actually knows how much I spoil him and cater to him, and with all the change going in my life at this moment, I've been extra attentive to him in fear that the stress of my situations would fall upon him.
So a dog that has been a fairly well mannered and basically obedient dog a few months ago, has turned into a confusing nightmare. He won't go to the bathroom when I tell him to, except he's being picky on where he goes, won't go poop on the first trip so I have to make 4-6 bathroom trips before leaving the house. If he doesn't go, he'll just stop in mid-walking (goes with me to work) and go in the center of the sidewalk or wherever we are. If he doesn't get to go where he wants, he'll hold it, and as soon as I get back inside the house he'll whine to go back out or just go in the house if I refuse to make trips.
Next is his feeding, he won't eat when I tell him to, even if he's ridiculously hungry. I'll put the food down, walk away, he'll follow and try and play, then throughout the day will try and nibble on his food instead of eating it all at once like he used to. At first I thought he was sick, but I took him to the Vet down the street and got a full bill of health. Afterwards, I noticed that my Shepherd won't eat his food and will go on a hunger strike if I don't feed him any table food. How would you handle that?
I constantly have to repeat the commands I give him, and he's not listening the first time like he used to. Just a few days ago I had company over, and when I gave him a command, he just ran into the room with my guests and tried using them as "base" like he doesn't have to listen to me anymore. And it's quite frustrating when I tell my guests to respect my wishes when working with him...but it's either A.) they don't listen or B.) they guilt trip me on not letting my dog 'be a dog.'
So what do I do? What would you do? How would you handle this?