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Old 03-03-2014, 07:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Older puppy won't let me do my chores

Ok, my puppy is getting older, he's 11 months. Not fixed yet, very soon. I'll try to be brief, but I'd like suggestions. I got him too old, he was 4 months, and he's doing well with me and is socialized well with other dogs, but he's very skittish around people. Slowly but surely trying to get this ironed out.

Big concern now is, I'm trying to do things around the house, and he will not let me. I'd rather have him around and spend time with him so he's not cooped up in the crate, but doing this any time other than while relaxing is almost impossible. I give him things to occupy him, and I try to get him as much exercise as possible in the snow and cold, but he's of course energetic. If I try to do laundry, or clean, or work on a project, or put things away, he becomes fixated on what I'm doing, and won't leave it alone.

I have tried sit-stay, and it works for maybe 20 seconds, but beyond this, he goes crazy. If I ignore him or tell him no, he escalates in ways that make it completely impossible to disengage him. He starts going after whatever it is I'm working on, or me. And by going after me, it's playful stuff, the lightest possible nipping, but I can't stop it. Obviously, if I get frustrated and yell or push him away, this just incites him more, and I know this isn't the answer.

This "nipping" thing is EVER PRESENT when he's in the mood. While I don't want him getting used to using his teeth, I've also read a number of other people who have written about this, and the "corn nibbling" thing, and they don't think it's a big deal. I don't either. (my interpretation: dogs don't have hands, they use their mouth to get what they're interested in, this is what he's doing, he's not biting per-se)

The main point here is, when he becomes fixated on messing with something, it is IMPOSSIBLE to dissuade him, and he gets more and more manic until he's going nuts. My main question is, is this completely normal for a somewhat winter-under-exercised pup, or do I need to be concerned with it? And if it's completely normal, any suggestions for how you've dealt with it as the owner of an inquisitive puppy? Just keep them away? Immerse them in it and try to desensitize them to your activities?

Thank you for any replies. I've done a lot of reading, and I'd say I've come a long way, but this is my first dog, and my "reflexes" for how to handle a situation when it's actually happening are less-well-developed.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Do you or have ever played laser light games with him?

I'll be honest I have no experience with this sort of behavior but am interested in the responses you will get. Frustrating for sure...
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This sounds like a pretty normal crazy puppy (except for the skittish part). I think the "place" command may be more helpful. I used a Kurunda bed and the dog would do all kinds of crazy things on it but his feet were not allowed off the bed. It took awhile.

A 2.5 I am finally working on LONG stays and it is 100% concentration on my part. Never had the nipping problem but we started on that very early with a lot of redirection...Into everything. When I get frustrated, we both get a time out (him crate) then start again.

Hang in there and I hope you get some good suggestions. I do believe in teaching place though because it takes less focus and concentration than "stay" and is very useful in real life.

Although I did not tether Beau as a puppy, I do now tether him to my desk when I am working... Hey, I have had several GSDs but not one so pushy and crazy before so I here where you are coming from even if I can't offer a ton of great help.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you for the responses. I have not done the laser light thing, but he's pretty good with fetching a ball in the basement, where we get most of our activity when it's zero degrees out. He'll do this almost non-stop. As for the place command, it sounds like it might be a good idea, I'll have to look more into that. The main concern here I think is, I need to get my stuff done, and I don't want to make him suffer by keeping him cooped up. I'd also like to spend more time together, AND get him used to my doing human things. But if this is normal puppy stuff, and if this is just how it's going to be for a while, he definitely doesn't MIND his crate, I'm afraid he might like it TOO much. He seems to get cranky at times, and at these times, he doesn't really want to lie down where I am and relax, he wants to go to the crate. (he doesn't have free roam of the house, I have a cat that he is too interested in, so we're usually physically separated from the crate)
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm relieved to hear you have not played laser light games. It was a long shot question. I wanted to rule out that his fixation was not a result of playing with laser lights. Again, long shot.

I also like the idea of a "place" command.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It is one of the more useful things I have taught.

This looks pretty good though I will say I could not use a mat with Beau as THAT became a play object. A wooden platform, the Kurunda bed, something that could not become a toy unto itself. It still takes some time.

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Old 03-03-2014, 09:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have the same issue with my puppy. Follows me around. Can't get anything done. I put her in the crate or the play pen with her toy's. It's just that simple - that way I can shower shave & get my chores done. At some point you're going to have to leave the dog home go out to dinner enjoy your life. It's not all about the dog...
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Our dogs did that for a while. Then, like children, as soon as you sat down it was all about play, attention! I mostly would stop for a sec, redirect nipping, toss a toy a couple times, petting, then ignore and continue on. Seemed like part of growing up! Made me think of that old poem about hushing the cobwebs, I'm rocking my baby!
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sehrgutcsg View Post
I have the same issue with my puppy. Follows me around. Can't get anything done. I put her in the crate or the play pen with her toy's. It's just that simple - that way I can shower shave & get my chores done. At some point you're going to have to leave the dog home go out to dinner enjoy your life. It's not all about the dog...
I get what you're saying, but it almost feels like I'm keeping him crated too much. I make my own hours, and I'm never away for more than a few hours at a time, so I do spend quite a bit of time with him. But when I got him, I had envisioned being able to have him around for daily tasks, to sort of share our time together, rather than having him out for a little while here and there, as sort of a novelty. Without wishing the time away (because I want to enjoy his time as a puppy, while keeping an eye on the fact that life will sort of get back to a new normal at some point) I'd imagine that sometime between now and 2016 he should settle down enough to have him around most of the time. What have others noticed about WHEN this might be, and ways to transition them into it? Or does it really just "happen"? As long as I have some general expectation, it will take a lot of the stress off.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My now passed male Banjo was a terror till 2, just an outright maelstrom of go-go-go. Didn't matter the direction or purpose of the zoomies, he just zoomed all the time. Once he hit 3 or so he settled into a manageable dog that had an understanding that all we fun fun fun two-legs do is not an invitation to a game. At age 5 or so he was a placid and amenable companion that had more of an "on" switch than an "off" switch. There is a lot of of dog in a German and they take an appreciable amount of time to mature, once mature tho they are the absolute best. Large, powerful and ferociously intelligent with nothing on their minds other than how to fit into the pack at home, it's worth the aggravation in raising one.
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