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cjreyreyrey 03-01-2014 01:01 AM

Very Independent 10 wk old female
Hi all! My last shepherd was a male I adopted at about 10 months old. He was a fantastic dog and a true mommas boy. He had a bit of independence about himself but also made sure he knew where I was at all times. He passed away last year and I miss him greatly.

I got Maggie at 7.5 wks old. She was the runt and kind of "chose me" at the breeders (or so I thought). She came home and settled in with our Australian shepherd instantly. She growled and barked at him all the while with her tail curled up. At first I thought she was scared and separated them - but further experience seems to shows that she is just playing and demonstrating an alpha role in my opinion based on what I've read.

We have mastered "come", "lay", & "sit". She is highly intelligent and will do a lot for a treat. My issue is that she is SO independent. Now don't get me wrong, I think that can be a great trait but I have never seen such a young pup with her attitude. She prefers to play with toys by herself and could care a less where we are. She never wags her tail at us nor kisses nor acts like we are anything more than a treat and food machine. When she hears the dog treat bowl clank or dog food bag rustle - she's there. Otherwise she is trying to run off on her own. I am a little disheartened bc i have always had pretty good relationships with all my pets. My father actually purchased one of her sisters who is the sweetest baby so I dont think it is a learned behavior from the breeder not being hands on or something. I try to play and give treats and of course train but she just seems to care a less. I am not sure how I can bond with her and try to train her to be more of a family oriented girl. Any suggestions are GREATLY appreciated! I want a long happy life with her like Maverick and I had.

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BoTaBe 03-01-2014 07:22 AM

I'd definitely hand feed her for the next couple of weeks and wouldn't let toys lying around so that she doesn't have the chance to play with herself. Instead you decide when to play, get toys and play with her. After that you end the game and take away the toys again.

So she learns that it's fun doing something with you (toys & playing) and that she's dependent on you (hand feeding).
At least that's what I do with my puppies. :)

Good luck!

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