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utsavized 01-08-2014 03:11 AM

Someone has switched my dog -- HELP!
My working line GSD was an angel for 7.5 months of his life. He is properly potty trained. He had his landshark stage but the worst he did was scuffed up some shoes. He was always crated when we left him alone in the house, but was allowed to roam free when we were home. He slept in the living room (sometimes bedroom) all night outside the crate without any issues. He is generally friendly with other dogs except some that he does not get along with, but I guess that is normal. He loves all humans! He used to pull before but we started using a no-pull harness and that issue was quickly resolved. He gets about 30 mins of exercise (fetch -- and he vigorously runs to retrieve the balls) every day and additional 1-2 mile walks on weekends. He knows all the basic commands (sit, come, stay, drop, leave it, down, look at me, no pulling). He finished his puppy elementary and will be starting obedience II next week. We were extremely happy and satisfied with Titan.

Last week however, we woke up to a completely different dog. He is now biting (esp. my girlfriend) when he wants something. It is not aggressive, but it hurts. He runs around the apartment like a maniac knocking things over and sometimes even banding into things hurting himself. He will steal things and run away with them. He constantly counter-surfs. He will turn anything he gets his paws on into shreds. He does not follow ANY command unless we have a delicious treat on our hands. He not only puts his paws on people trying to lick their faces but jumps 5-10 inches in the air to try to do so. On a few occasions, he has managed to grab my girlfriend's hair mid-air and almost drag her down to the down when he landed back on the floor. He will bark, run, bite and just get absolutely rowdy when he is hungry or wants to go out. He used to slightly whine at the door before. He gets into a fight (aggressively) with every other dogs he sees (even the ones he used to get along with before). He is guarding his toys and his bones constantly. He barks at the door insanely even if a leaf moves outside.

It seems like we slept one day and woke up the other day having completely lost all control of our dog. Is this normal? Or has our dog been switched??? (JK). I was hoping some experienced owners could give insight on this, and how to go about getting this rambunctious, rowdy and rebellious 8-month-old back on track.

Few things that he has always had issues with:

1. Gets too excited too fast!
2. There is a park east of us. If we walk him in any other direction, he is great. But if he senses that it's towards the park, then he will pull so hard and starts crying/jumping (possibly in excitement), it is impossible to control him. All we can really do is run with him (full speed).
3. He does not want anyone to leave, and goes mental (cries like if he is dying) when anyone leaves. Weirdly it is not just my girlfriend and I. Even if we meet a complete stranger for 5 minutes and all of us go on a walk, and say the person enters a coffee shop while we wait outside, he will go mad crying, jumping, pulling -- it is embarrassing. Even stranger is that he is never been left alone for more than a few hours. He has always been either with me, or my girlfriend since we got him at 8 weeks old, so does not seem like it is separation anxiety (that too, with a stranger?). Also, when he do leave him in his crate, he cries for a few minutes, and then goes off to sleep.

I apologize for the long post. But we are getting slightly frustrated at this point that he has so suddenly gotten out of control. Any help, suggestions and advice would be great!!!

Thank you!

Here is a picture of Titan. :)
**** Image removed by ADMIN, max size allowed 800 X 600 ****

MyHans-someBoy 01-08-2014 05:14 AM

Titan is a very good looking boy! :)

I can't comment on very many puppy behaviors since I adopted mine as an adult and he is my first GSD, but...
increasing the amount of exercise he gets may help with a lot of the problems.

Mine gets at least 3 times the amount of exercise your pup is getting and if I am busy and skip even one walk or tug/ball session, I can tell a difference in his behavior. He isn't aggressive, but goes back to being mouthy (though not hard bites) and can be a real pain to deal with. They just seem to have to get the energy out one way or the other. :D

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Sp00ks 01-08-2014 05:58 AM

Just throwing this out there, could he be reaching his sexual maturity? That is the first thing I thought of when reading about his behavioral change.

MichaelE 01-08-2014 06:32 AM

He's not getting enough exercise.

You are allowing him to do these things. If you don't want him doing them, put a stop to it. NILIF.

It sounds too, like he is fear reactive.

Be calm and don't get excited yourself when trying to correct these behaviors.

Susan_GSD_mom 01-08-2014 08:07 AM

Two things hit me, and others have mentioned both... First, he needs more exercise (including something that will engage his brain as well as his body). Second, he is reaching the age when the hormones are starting to kick in. If you leave him un-neutered, he will be a pain in the behind and often act like his brain rolled out his ear and across the floor until he is 18 mos. to 2 years. Ahh, the fun times!

Shade 01-08-2014 08:15 AM

Up the exercise, up the training, and keep consistent and you should see improvement. He's at the age where they start pushing boundaries but it is a phase and will pass pretty quick if handled correctly :)

Susan_GSD_mom 01-08-2014 08:16 AM

Also, what is your reaction to all of his behavior? Much of our dogs' behavior can relate directly to our own. Are you definitely his alpha? Do you get excited, angry, frustrated with his behavior? How about your consistency and persistence--in correcting or redirecting behavior you must be consistent.

GSDs are one of the most intelligent breeds, and if your dog is from working lines, he will find an outlet for that intelligence one way or another--it's hard-wired into him. If you aren't helping him with these outlets, he will find his own, and you won't like them! I have a friend who is a first-rate dog trainer, but has also become a first-time GSD owner. Her boy is from a strong, hard working line, and she told me she is going to take him to work with an experienced schutzhund trainer because she doesn't know how to deal with him!

DWP 01-08-2014 08:35 AM

Was gonna post
Was gonn add my two cents, but the previous posts pretty much cover it. A tired dog is a happy dog.

MadLab 01-08-2014 08:48 AM

Leash control

Tyler Muto - YouTube


He does not want anyone to leave, and goes mental (cries like if he is dying) when anyone leaves.
Go to a country area and train the dog to accept you splitting up. You go hide behind a tree when your friend holds the leash. Come back after a few minutes and ignore the dog. Do this a load of times and sometimes let the dog find you. Over time he will grow up and accept you splitting.

How is he with greeting you. He prob gets excited jumping on you and you go 'hey good boy' reinforcing the excitement.

If you want a calmer dog you need to nurture calmness.

Walk in ignore as if the dog isn't there. Make a coffee, have a shower and then call the dog to you when you have settled. This tells the dog to be calm, as it's master has entered. Before it was 'here's my pack mates'.

When you get the dog to be calm on entrance it will then be calmer when you leave it.


we are getting slightly frustrated at this point that he has so suddenly gotten out of control.
Never get frustrated as the dog feeds on it. Be cool and observe. Be a source of stability for the dog.

ShenzisMom 01-08-2014 08:49 AM

I would bring him to the vet for a workup if you 'woke up to a new dog'. Its not always behavioural but I tend to err on the side of caution.

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