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Old 09-16-2014, 08:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question What has happened to my puppy?!!

I have a unique situation here. My boy Riley is now 7.5 months old. He was doing GREAT with marker training . He did the standard, sit, come, etc. My mom got very very ill and I was truly just not around from about the 2nd week of April until the second week of June. I was home but minimal and quite tired from running either to the hospital or skilled nursing care facility. She died May 24 and Riley would be 4 months old that same say. We then went through the cremation, memorial service and then took her back to MD for the same and get her buried. I know that may be TMI but I wanted to get the emotional toll explained as well as the absence. My husband was here but no help with training at all.

Riley went to the vets today and weighed in at 80.5 pounds. Big boy. He has had 2 major growth spurts and I am sure he has some growing pains going on. He seems like an old dog at times when he gets up.

Knowing all that has and is going on, I'm having a zero response from him with training. He did will with the training treats bought at pet store. Now he has no interest in either the treats or learning. He does play but it is chase me, chase me or keep away. (I'll bring the ball to you, even lay it down, but you can't have it!) He used to come when called and now refuses to come and will take off if I walk towards him. I thought he was afraid of me but I can't imagine why.

He can't be neutered until he is two per agreement with breeder. I can understand why with the growth rate. He was 50 # at 4 months and then jumped to 70 by 6 months and now at 7 months 80.5 pounds. He is growing like a weed.

He also has car sickness poor guy. I've been told to give him Dramamine an hour before I take him in the car. She gave him a mild and should wear off right away relaxation medication to take x-rays of his hip today. He is still drunk as a sailor 2 hours later. I think he is a bit sensitive in all senses. I won't go into dog food problems with his tummy.

If I walk him he can not be controlled to not drag you without a Gentle Leader on. He hates it but I can at least walk him without being dragged down the street. He did do fine on lease before all this commotion. He is big but still a puppy in brain development so I can't have him with my grandchildren. He wouldn't mean to hurt them but just a quick turn around at a noise can put them on the ground.

I just don't know what to do or where to start. I feel like I am missing the "golden time" for training him. Anybody have any ideas how to get him back to training?
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You've hit the teen years. Put a prong collar on him. Up your training and NILIF.
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Not all dogs will be at their best with treats and positive training. I am in the vet field and have worked with dogs all of my life using positive training and scoffed at people who "resorted" to prongs for obedience.

Then I adopted a working line GSD puppy. I was only using treat training and positive methods from 10 weeks when I took her into my home until August when she was 8 months old. She is also intact and coming into her teens. My puppy went from sweet and obedient to trying to be aggressive to dogs and people, running around my yard like a maniac, etc.

Coming from someone who spent time daily on my puppy with attention and training, I believe your boy might just be growing up and lacking boundaries. After spending weeks trying every single method I could think of that was ethical and humane and watching my puppy get more and more reactive, I finally tried a prong collar on her.

She is 90% better in two days time. I use it on walks to correct her staring people/dogs down and for not paying attention. It is working for me and as much as I'm having a personal issue about prong collars, it was what my puppy needed to be calm and receptive and I need to accept that and work with her how she needs top be worked with.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd start over with how you had trained him in the beginning.

For walking, instead of a gentle leader you might want to try a sporne type harness. If you don't want to do that, you can "suitcase" him to walk - make a loop around his girth with the leash so that it tightens behind his front legs if he pulls. Helps a lot.

I would also do NILIF. He would need to sit for his dinner and be released to eat it; he would need to sit or down and hold eye contact before being released to go to the back yard, etc.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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All this talk of dogs turning into demons at 7 months is freaking me out. Mine just hit 6.5 months and she's a sweet obedient puppy so far. I"m hoping for the best.
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic View Post
All this talk of dogs turning into demons at 7 months is freaking me out. Mine just hit 6.5 months and she's a sweet obedient puppy so far. I"m hoping for the best.
Add me to the panic list
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic View Post
All this talk of dogs turning into demons at 7 months is freaking me out. Mine just hit 6.5 months and she's a sweet obedient puppy so far. I"m hoping for the best.
It's not every puppy, and not so extreme. It really depends on your dog, your routines, and your training. You may see a little sass back, not sitting as quickly or a little reluctance to obey. That's all I had with my three year old. I remember worrying so much about what Tess was going to turn into at that age. Della is just over 6 months now, so I make sure that she has to sit/quiet before I let her out, sit/wait before I feed her, sit wait and let the yorkie in before she comes in,etc. I'm just not cutting her any slack right now. I want her to know rules are a way of life. She'll get slack later when she's earned it.
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Maybe I should be more clear with Riley's behavior. I have a long area in my home, the distance of three large rooms. Riley will come and sit and give me the toy in the house. In the yard I am totally ignored. He won't bring the ball or come when called although he does this in the house just fine. He is not vicious or shows any aggression. He will walk on the gentle leader and responds to tension on the leash. He just tries to get it off during the walk about every 20 steps. By the end of the walk as we turn around to go home he rarely does it. He is a sweet boy. He is way to excited when visitors come but he calms down quickly but still has a hard time not wanting to be "off" and I sometimes have to put him in his exercise pen to just have a visit. He lays down right away and is calm when I let him out. We have two cats that he has never shown aggression. One has no problem with him being around him but as soon as the puppy comes out she heads for the hills but he is a big dog and I would too. The other cat sort of baits him. He gets close and then growls and hisses and Riley doesn't give him any response but look at him, probably wondering why he's acting like that. He does like to chase after them at times but he truly is playing. My only concern is his training. If it is a dominance thing I don't understand why he is fine in the house but in the yard not at all. Today he would come to the edge of our wall and nose the ball over for be to throw again but refuses to come to me or bring the ball to me. He has also started to refuse to come back into the house and I literally have to go out there and sit until he wants some lovies and I can grab his collar. That might take 10 tries as he runs as soon as I reach for him. I know this is all in fun for him but again my concern is his blatant disobedience and now I can't even get him to train with treats. I'm going to go the cooked chicken route as people have told me to give him a better reason to come to me. I don't believe he needs a prong collar. His lack of obedience seems to be a possible dominance issue but I feel more and more that it is age. Maybe the chicken will work for the training. He was very positive with treats when he was younger. He is a sweet heart it seems his brain has in no way caught up to his 80.5 pound body. Oh, he was trained and obeyed perfectly to the commands inside and outside. He didn't leave the house until he got the release to go "outside" and the same with "inside". That is gone completely. He bolts both ways. Oddly when I take him outside to go potty I take him down a flight of stairs to the basement and go out to the lower part of our yard. I tell him to wait and he will will I catch up with him and the same going up the stairs. It just boggles the mind. He definitely is choosing which commands he feels like doing. I just found out from my vet that he probably has hip dysplasia and will require surgery. She is going to put him on an anti-inflammatory until he is checked out by the surgeon. I don't know if that has anything to do with it but it seem not. It's attitude. He comes from a reputable breeder. Very good reputation. Both his parents were certified but the vet told me it happens and it's just the breed. Happily we caught it before he was fully grown so he has a good chance of a full correction. I home this gives a better picture of what is happening with him. He has also stopped eating in the morning and it's sometimes hard to get him to eat in the evening. I usually place his bowl between his feet while he is laying down. That makes sense to me now that I have found out about his hips. I'm sure by the end of the day he is uncomfortable. Now with the update, any ideas to help with this training problem? Could his lack of desire be because his hips hurt at times? Anybody out there that has a dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia this young. My other GSD was over a year and a half before diagnosis. I think that breeder was not as experienced or had the quality of dogs she was breeding. She was so high drive I couldn't keep her around my grandkids. The breeder took her back and put her on a farm with other GSD and is quite happy. That breeder "advertised" that she bread for size and attitude. She just had the wrong attitude.
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Heavens, sorry that response was so long.
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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To you and ChouMaKen: Remember there have been special circumstances with Riley. His training had April to first week in June interruption when my mom got sick, passed away and I had to go from MO to MD to have her buried. I doubt I would be having these problems if this had not occurred. Please don't fear this will happen to your puppy if you have had continual training. Riley was a great dog and he was responding to his training 100% until this long gap. He did get to remain at home during this with a friend that actually moved into my home for this period of time so he was with someone familiar but not someone that was able to train him. I'm sure your puppies will do well. It was just a very bad time for our family. I was sleeping at the hospital a lot of the time, etc.
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