Really struggling with pup who won't respond to scolding - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Really struggling with pup who won't respond to scolding

I don't know if I'm doing this right, but I feel like I MUST be doing something wrong.

My darling little boy, will absolutely not listen to me when I scold him. There are a couple of things in particular he is doing - rough playing with the cat, nipping hands/feet/clothes/hair/, jumping up on people and furniture, attempting to eat tissues, power cords, furniture, you name it. All normal puppy behavior, and I'm not concerned about that. I am concerned though that he will flat out ignore me when I yell "No" or "Ow".

He is particularly rough with the cat, but the cat is just as bad in return. They play fight and pin each other to the ground, but they are usually making all kind of crazy noises when doing so. I have been trying like **** to get them to stop, but whenever I yell "No" the dog just goes right on like I don't even exist. I've tried stomping, clapping, giving him treats when he sort-of obeys (which is almost never). He just will not respond unless I am going absolutely crazy screaming "no" and making a big scene about it. And even then he hardly stops for 15 seconds and continues one. I have tried redirecting his attention, giving him toys to chew on, etc. But when he gets his mind set on something that he shouldn't be doing, he's 100% dedicated to doing it.

I am concerned for two reasons. The first being that, it can't be healthy for me to yell at him like that? I don't want to have to scream at him, it feels like I am being a bad owner. The second reason I am concerned is that my neighbors must think I am absolutely out of mind and a terrible owner by now . It is causing me quite a bit of stress.

I don't know what to do. Can anyone please shed some light on this? I don't want to give up trying to scold him, obviously, because I want him to be well behaved. But I just don't know what to do to make him listen. He is absolutely fearless and doesn't seem very preoccupied with pleasing me.

In other news, he is doing a wonderful job training! Catching on super fast and is willing to please AS LONG as there is a treat involved. He is also 100% crate trained and I often catch him sleeping in there on his own. He really is a good dog overall, but when he is bad he is BAD and doesn't care what anyone has to say about it.

Last edited by intothevoiddd; 05-13-2014 at 10:55 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 11:02 PM
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Crate. Learn to LOVE it! LOL

Get the dvd Crate Games and teach him that. When he won't redirect to a toy, simply pick him up and put him in his crate with a chew bone or filled kong to give everyone a break.

Here is an excellent blog

and a good article on "scolding"
The Nonsense of No |

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 12:22 AM
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leash the puppy so you have control over him
feed him by hand
teach him sit
bond with him
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 12:31 AM
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The word no generally carries more weight when it is swiftly followed by a consequence the pup finds unpleasant.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 01:51 AM
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"Scold"??? Why not just try redirecting? I suspect that dogs just think we are a little unhinged when we go off on a scolding rant.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 02:39 AM
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Really struggling with pup who won't respond to scolding

Tether the puppy.

If you don't want to do that, then you need to actually give a consequence to "no", standing there yelling it is meaningless. Maybe a squirt gun with water? A can filled coins to shake?but honestly, the cat thing would probably get a scruff shake from me. Not the other stuff, that's redirectable, but the cat, that's a big deal.

"Redirecting" a puppy that's rolling around on the floor making weird noises with the cat is NOT going to work. There is probably nothing better than that.

That kind of behavior is going to get your cat killed. Seriously.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the advice! This morning he of course went after the cat immediately, and I tried giving him a scruff shake and boy did that work fantastically. I did it maybe 3 times and he was definitely NOT enjoying that. After about the third time I noticed that when he got near the cat he would stop himself and sit and look at me. When he sat by the cat quietly or was acting acceptably around the cat I praised him. I can't believe how quickly he caught on to that!! I think it is exceptionally hard for him because the cat antagonizes him.

Last edited by intothevoiddd; 05-14-2014 at 08:14 AM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 08:47 AM
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 09:02 AM
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Dogs will naturally fall to behaviours that are rewarded rather then punished (self rewarding behaviours like having fun chasing the cat count), shaping harnesses that drive and allows you to show him behaviours that will be rewarded. So you have a fantastic oppertunity now, he realizes now that chasing the cat gets him scolded and he's looking to you to see what to do. Be ready to praise heavily whenever he looks at you rather then the cat, soon you should see him realize that looking at you gets him praises and treats and he'll offer it often just to see if you'll praise him once more. You can use a leash as others have said in the meantime to keep the dog and cat seperated until they learn to play appropriately

I always had treats and a toy on me, all my dogs learned that I was the best thing in his life and pleasing me meant mega rewards every time. It took time but the rewards of building that bond exceed words.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 09:08 AM
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Right. Now that you closed the door of chasing cats you should open another door for him in the form of chasing a ball or a bait pole or whatever.
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