First GSD - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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First GSD


We are recently proud owners of our new GSD puppy, Penny. She has just turned 10 weeks old and we picked her up from the breeder 3 weeks ago.

As she is our first GSD puppy (or any puppy for that matter) we were wondering if a few things were 'normal'. We have done lots of reading and researching but just wanted your first hand experiences to make sure that Penny is happy and that we are doing the right things.

Here is some info about what we have done:

1. Penny has her own room which has her basket, food, water and her toys - nothing else - she stays in here for about 50% of the day, the other 50% she is either outside in the garden (we are waiting for her 2nd vaccination to take her on walks) or running around the rest of the downstairs of the house. We need to lure her into the room at times when we cannot keep an eye on her in the rest of the house or at nighttime and I'd like her to be able to go in at her own will… will this come in time?

2. When she is around the rest of the house she is constantly running around nipping and jumping - she won't relax/lie down despite our best efforts - is this normal? We'd love to have her room open for her to go in and out of as she pleases, however she just seems to get too over excited and doesn't settle.

3. Over the past few days she won't eat from her bowl that she has previously been happy to do - she will eat the same food of the floor or from our hand but not her bowl - can anyone suggest why this may be?

4. When we first got Penny for the first 2 weeks she only had a couple of accidents (she would almost always go in the garden) however over the past week she has been having about 3-4 accidents a day (pee) + at night (pee & poo). We take her out almost every 1-2 hours in the day and at 11:30pm and then again at 06:15am. Is this right?

5. We have enlisted the help of a trainer to help us with some things; clicker training didn't work - I think we need to be better at this, but Penny has already learnt the sit command and lie down - most of the time, however when she is really excited (i.e. running around the house) she doesn't listen to anything! Normal?

Thank you for reading and for any tips you have! As we said, we're new and learning so sorry if anything seems obvious, our main concern is to make sure Penny is happy!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 04:56 PM
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Pretty Penny is a normal energetic gsd pup. I suggest you read thru the threads on the puppy place forum. I also suggest the book - "The Art of Raising a Puppy" by the Monks of New Skete.

Sting Chance von Gaard AKC GSD 2/8/2006
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 05:52 PM
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Sounds pretty normal to me for that age.

I would like to state that the GSD breed likes to be with their Pack/Family. Ours have always wanted to know where each of us was. When we were all in one room, she would lay in the door way so we couldn't get by without her knowing.

We crate train and she sleeps in our room in the crate. They want to be with you.

I have nothing on the food bowl thing. I have heard of it before though.

A trainer is a good idea, it will help focus YOU and her.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 06:21 PM
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Penny is so cute!
Getting excited and nippy around you is a normal puppy thing that she will grow out of. She is probably only doing that because she is cooped up in her room so when she is taken out she gets excited. My puppy Xena used to do that but she grew out of it when she got used to it after about 1-2 months.

Don't worry about clicker training, it doesn't work for every dog. If she is food motivated train her with yummy treats before her usual feeding time so she is hungry and ready to learn.

As for her accidents, well puppies will generally tend to have them because they have no bladder control which she will soon get. Make sure you enforce rules. If she goes where you want her to reward her. If she has an accident in her room make sure she knows that is bad and that she should not to go inside. Think about puppy training pads or a doggy door to go outside.

Good Luck with your new puppy.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 06:28 PM
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4. No.

You should be taking her out every 20-30 minutes at that age. Also take her out after eating, drinking any amount, playing, getting up from a nap, or when she starts sniffing or walking in circles.

To successfully house train any dog, you have to be on them every second to watch for the signs and get them out fast. They will learn, but they aren't born knowing where to go potty.

A little puppy's bladder cannot hold very much and they cannot control themselves very well at that age.

Pull water no later than 2000 and food around 1900 depending upon your work schedule. Plan on getting up every two or three hours at night until she gets more control. If you control the intake, you can control the output.

Note when she eats and drinks and how long it takes to move through her system. Water is never ending so it might be harder to track that, but you can manage the food and the pooping.

GSD's are so easy to potty train and house train, but they aren't born knowing it. You have to teach them. They are more than willing to learn.

Your puppy is adorable.

Bear, Anna, Molly, Ossie, and The Countess Lisl von Schlaf

An Unhappy German is a Sour Kraut!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 06:30 PM
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She is not doing well with toilet training because she is in a room by herself 50% of the time. I spent 5 months following my dog around like a hawk - I'm honestly not exaggerating, waiting for the sign she was going to pee and getting her outside, and up every hour through the night. She will not learn this by herself. As for the not settling, she won't for a long time, but being by herself again won't help. She will then be even more excited to be with you. Crate training is the easiest way to toilet train if you do it right.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 09:34 PM
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Clicker training should work for every dog, it doesn't work for every owner. You should be able to condition any dog that can hear that when it hears a click it will associate the sound with a reward. To work it requires the dog to have been conditioned to the sound with a reward. Once the dog is expecting a treat when it hears a click you can begin to mark desirable behaviours at the precise moment they occur but you have to charge your clicker first and from time to time.
Pups will naturally keep their environment clean and if the breeder kept them clean and made provisions for them to leave their nesting area they will not soil the place where they eat or sleep. The problem comes when you do not get them out and they have to relieve themselves, every subsequent accident multiplies the likelihood for it happening again. It is also necessary for you to keep an eye on them all the time when they are loose in the house, they will think your house is so big that they can go to a remote spot to relieve themselves while at the same time keeping their primary environment clean. I would not deny them acces to water at any time, I do not believe it is healthy to the animal, you just have to be vigilant. Raising a puppy is a commitment that might seem like an eternity but in fact it passes relatively quickly.
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