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Old 12-15-2013, 10:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First German Shepherd Puppy

I've always owned labs, but I've always wanted a German Shepherd puppy. When it came time for a new dog, I decided to finally change things ups and get a german shepherd puppy. Unfortunately, I got him way too early for his socializations need (4 weeks old), but after seeing the deplorable conditions he was in, I had to bring him home.

He is now 3 months old and seems to be doing great! He hasn't had an accident in the house in weeks, knows how to sit, lay down, and stay. He plays really well with other dogs as well. I did have a few questions though.

He is extremely dominate towards other dogs and people except myself and a few of the other people he is constantly around. Sometimes he can also appear to be really aggressive.

He sometimes has what I like total meltdowns where he is practically scream barking when he cant get right by my side.

He can be really bad about biting my legs and feet sometimes. He
has even ripped a pair of my jeans and seems really aggressive at times.


Is all of this normal for a german shepherd? If not, what can I do to correct the problem? I just want to ensure he turns out to be a good dog.

Thanks!
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Completely not normal. Sounds like there is some separation anxiety (stemmed from the young age) and some bite inhibition that needs to be learned. Confidence building will do a lot for this. Check out Leerburg videos...they talk about using games to build confidence. Additionally- in a dog like this- IMO positive reinforcement training only. Example- when he's attacking your jeans, place a tug toy in his mouth and engage in that play, when he engages, tell him "Good boy!" and stay with it.

I"m sure others that know better will come along and offer more help.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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have you taken obedience classes yet?
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntergreen View Post
have you taken obedience classes yet?
^^ This. Get him some training. It will help with socialization and a good trainer can help with the couple of behavioral issues. Vet the trainer, they are not all created equal.

You don't want a 100lb dog acting this way. Get it corrected now.

I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination. However, at least some of this seems like it stems from him being separated from his littermates at such a young age.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I doubt he is being "dominant" at that age (or any age, really) but since you got him at 4 weeks he has bad doggy manners and never learned bite inhibition from his littermates and mother. He also probably has separation anxiety from being separated from the litter too early. Speaking from experience (from getting a 5 week old GSD from a backyard breeder without knowing any better) they really aren't kidding when they talk about how important those last few weeks with the litter are. My too-young-to-go-home puppy had many of the same problems you are experiencing. It will require extra effort on your part and the involvement of a trainer to fix the problem.
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