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Old 12-05-2012, 03:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Defiant little boy!

Hello, I have a 7 week old German Shepherd puppy named Maksim.
I got him when he was 5 weeks old, far too early I know but that is a different story entirely. At first he was a calm sweet little boy who cuddled with me and needed me with him just to go to sleep, which I assume was because he was so young and missed his mother. He would even let me cradle him like an infant, I didn't think he had a dominant bone in his body BOY WAS I WRONG. About two weeks ago everything started to change at first he was just a little more rambunctious and rowdy which I associated with him stepping into the "toddler" stage. Now he bites me all the time, not just mouthing, but actual biting, when I try to play, when I walk, when i try to teach him something, all the time! If i try to put him on his back he fights and acts like I'm trying to kill him. He defies me. He thinks he is the alpha and nothing I do seems to help. When he bites, I get up and ignore him, I always make sure to walk through doors and into rooms first, I never loss a stare down with him, I am doing everything I know to assert my dominance without being to aggressive. I feel like he hates me and that upsets me. This isn't my first rodeo training puppies, it is though my first time training a German Shepherd. I feel like his behavior is MY fault and that I am not doing something right for him.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your puppy is neither defiant nor dominant. He is simply a puppy. Check out the puppy section on this board. There is lots of excellent information and also lots of threads just like yours with strategies for teaching bite inhibition (very important for a pup who has left his litter so young) and dealing with an energetic young pup!
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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He's still just a baby and figuring out this strange world. There are a lot of happy positive ways to deal with the landshark phase. I strongly suggest reading the puppy sections of this forum especially Puppy BITING!!! Teaching Bite Inhibition

I know when I first brought my puppy home I was miserable and thought I was doing something wrong, nope it's a GSD thing. I wouldn't worry about the whole "dominance, pack leader" business, first concentrate on establishing a solid bond and the respect will follow.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The problem is one that he missed that critical time with mom and litter to begin bite inhibition. The second is he's a GSD pup, and they are just like that. You have to adjust your thinking and way of dealing to what he is. I don't think he's being dominant, just typical. An alpha will assert himself in a different way than this. When a vet tells you that you have the alpha, then you can worry about that. He sounds typical to me.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You have a baby dog who should still be with his mother.
What you are saying is equivalent to calling a human infant defiant for crying and pooping in his diaper.
What you are doing by rolling him is scaring him to death. To dogs, this is really frightening because being rolled on the back is what happens before another dog delivers a death bite to the throat. So yes, he does think you are trying to kill him.
Please do yourself and your dog a big favor and study puppy behavior, so you can understand what your dog is doing and act accordingly.
You need to build a bond and trust now.
Ditch the alpha thing and do some reading in the puppy section of this forum. He doesn't hate you. Dogs have no idea what hate is.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
I feel like his behavior is MY fault and that I am not doing something right for him.
With good reason.

As others said, toss away the "alpha" notion. Don't "stare him down", he's a 7 week old baby.
It is not his fault he was taken too soon from his mama, and you've now got to make the best of it.

It's NORMAL for puppies to bite. What would he be doing with his siblings right now, puppies do not play "go fish", they bite to play.

Please build a relationship of trust with this puppy and stop thinking he hates you.

He needs to bite to learn about the world. Give him play opportunities to do so.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm with everyone else and recommending you do a complete mind shift to loving your normal tiny puppy instead of obsessing over the mistaken belief you are seeing defiance and 'alpha' behavior.

I'd take some time to really look through Welcome to the GSD/FAQ's for the first time owner - German Shepherd Dog Forums in general and Engagement - Key to Training in specific. Also tons of great stickies in The Puppy Place - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-06-2012, 05:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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between the ages of 7 and 12 weeks is when the puppy does the most amount of BONDING with you, please dont waste this period by being focused on the negatives.

You said that you know that 5 weeks was too young, but that is a different story, Im sorry to be the one to break it too you, but its the same story, the entire reason your puppy is so bitey, is because it missed 30% of its life, that it should have spent with its litter mates, to learn bite inhibition. This means that your 7 weeks old puppy, is 30% less developed than an 8 week old who is only just leaving his litter mates. I got my puppy at 7 weeks and worried about her biting a lot.

you now have to teach your puppy that bitting is not ok, or if you dont mind him bitting, that he must be gentle on soft human skin. I did the latter, because my dog likes it when I put my hand in her mouth, when she would bite gentle, I would tell her good girl and give her strokes, when she bite too hard, I would remove my hand and say "AHH AHH!", if she got rouwdy, I would tell her no and leave the room. i believe soft biting is the easiest and least frustrating way of teaching your puppy, because they dont have hands like we do, they do everything with their mouths, imagine how frustrating it would be for you to spend the whole day with your arms by your side, and then everytime you tried to use your hands, someone told you off?

if your puppy is an alpha, he will challenge you between the age of 14 and 18 weeks, there is no way of knowing right now if he is or is not an alpha. But pinning your puppy to the ground is not a good way of ascerting your dominance right now, its a good way to break the bond between you and your puppy.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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your pup is doing what pups do. stop putting him
on his back. you don't have to establish dominance
over your pup. dominance and alpha are overrated.
with proper training, socializing, feeding and spending
quality time with your pup everything will fall in order.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc View Post
between the ages of 7 and 12 weeks is when the puppy does the most amount of BONDING with you, please dont waste this period by being focused on the negatives.

You said that you know that 5 weeks was too young, but that is a different story, Im sorry to be the one to break it too you, but its the same story, the entire reason your puppy is so bitey, is because it missed 30% of its life, that it should have spent with its litter mates, to learn bite inhibition. This means that your 7 weeks old puppy, is 30% less developed than an 8 week old who is only just leaving his litter mates. I got my puppy at 7 weeks and worried about her biting a lot.

you now have to teach your puppy that bitting is not ok, or if you dont mind him bitting, that he must be gentle on soft human skin. I did the latter, because my dog likes it when I put my hand in her mouth, when she would bite gentle, I would tell her good girl and give her strokes, when she bite too hard, I would remove my hand and say "AHH AHH!", if she got rouwdy, I would tell her no and leave the room. i believe soft biting is the easiest and least frustrating way of teaching your puppy, because they dont have hands like we do, they do everything with their mouths, imagine how frustrating it would be for you to spend the whole day with your arms by your side, and then everytime you tried to use your hands, someone told you off?

if your puppy is an alpha, he will challenge you between the age of 14 and 18 weeks, there is no way of knowing right now if he is or is not an alpha. But pinning your puppy to the ground is not a good way of ascerting your dominance right now, its a good way to break the bond between you and your puppy.
I'm just curious, but how will a pup assert dominance at that age? Like, what does it look like at that age compared to a regular crazy puppy? I've had people tell me my 12 week old pup might be trying to assert dominance, but I know he's quite submissive. People just don't understand gsds can be a little sharky, esp compared to toy breeds...

I don't really have concerns about my dog, just would like the info, esp so I can explain it to others when they say how aggressive my pup is.
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