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-   -   Help! Defiant 6mo male! (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/puppy-behavior/380369-help-defiant-6mo-male.html)

amcarell 12-12-2013 11:13 AM

Help! Defiant 6mo male!
 
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I'm new to the board and need some help/tips. Ivan is the first GSD I've owned. We have a Siberian Husky who was so easy to train (contradictory to what people say, he's eager to please and listens/behaves better than any other dog I've ever owned).

Ivan on the other hand has been testing me and I think trying to claim pack leader status. We are in puppy class and he does great but as soon as we get home he wants to be the boss. He barks a lot and nips at me. He's glued to me...I can't walk anywhere without him being tangled in my feet. He wines and is obnoxious. I do exercise him daily and we go on hikes frequently. He's also started pooping in his crate when we leave the house, and I am getting tired of bathing him multiple times a day.

I want to be able to eventually leave him out of his crate when I leave the house...

Any tips or advice or even just people who have similar experiences? Thanks in advance!

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Sri 12-12-2013 01:19 PM

He looks so sweet and innocent. haha.

I thought typical 6 month old brat but I am surprised to read about the pooping in crate. How much time does he spend in it, if you don't mind me asking? Also, do take him to the vet to check out any health problems/ parasites.

As for the bratty behaviour, it is not so much pack leader status as just being a puppy. We worked through this ( and still are at times) when ours was that age with a lot of positive and relationship centered training. It changed the whole dynamics for us. And people now compliment him on how well he is behaved for his age. I would suggest some books: Suzanne Clothier's Bones would rain from the sky, Patricia McConnell's Puppy Primer, and The Other End of the Leash.

And also to practise NILIF. Basically he gets nothing for free.

Nothing in Life is Free

I've come to realise that it is so very important to train them(especially GSDs) without ego. It is all just behaviour and training issues and weeks of asking for incompatible behaviour. For example. if he is jumping or nipping at you, ask for a sit, down, sit and treat him. Then throw a ball. Ask for a down stay. Sometimes I just had mine on leash in the house and sat on the leash so he would have to stay down near my feet with a toy. Also, I started giving him his meals in kongs and toys.

All of this is advice I got on these forums and I am very happy for it.

amcarell 12-12-2013 02:26 PM

Today he was in his cage for maybe an hour tops...he's not in very often, and i took him out before I left...it's just frustrating.

I'm glad to know his other behaviors are normal 6 month puppy stuff though! I'll have to take a look at those books!


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selzer 12-12-2013 02:55 PM

I would forget all about the alpha pack leader stuff that is spouted on the dog whisperer. He's a puppy. He's a male. Some hump, some do not. Some are easier to train than others. I don't really like the terms stubborn or defiant. Often a stubborn dog has just shut down because he is afraid to do whatever it is wrong, and has no idea what to do. I think defiant gives too many dogs way too much credit.

The pooping in the crate thing. House training goes a whole lot easier when we keep a solid schedule and empty out the dog. If a dog is running around like a nut in the morning instead of going poop, and you leave without the poop coming out, well it will come out. What I find works is to feed once or twice a day, and shortly after he scarfs up his food -- no free feeding, pick it up after 10 minutes, and do not give anything to the dog until the next scheduled feeding, within 3 days the dog should figure it out, that he either its now or never. After he has finished eating take him outside alone so he does not spend his time playing with another dog.

Do not play with him out there, if he comes to you, say, Go Poop. And wait until he has done the deed. Some dogs need to go twice, so you might have to stay longer. But do not engage him in anything. This is a potty moment.

Then crate him. At six months you may find that it is better to wait an hour or so after eating before he needs to eliminate. So long as he has already been out after waking up, that should be ok. If I leave a dog in a crate, then the last thing I do before leaving is a last trip outside.

If you start out with a schedule where the dog is relatively empty, you have the best opportunity of the crate remaining clean and comfortable, given the pup is not ill.

Bequavious 12-12-2013 03:08 PM

How big is his crate?


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Blitzkrieg1 12-12-2013 03:30 PM

You feed once or twice a day the poop starts coming regular as rain. Thus you know if he has to go or not.
If it where one of my dogs it would be crated aside from structured play, walks, and training. I would do some free time at home but any nutty and bratty behavior gets a correction, if that doesnt work then crate.


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