Behavioral Issues - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Behavioral Issues

I was hoping someone could help my wife and I out with our GS Dillon. Dillon is currently 9 mos. old and is beginning to develop some behavioral issues. We walk him every day, take him to dog parks for socialization, doggie daycare and he's even been through the 1st level of obedience training.

Despite that he still jumps on furniture, chews furniture and clothing, rips up the rugs, sprints throughout the house banging into walls and other objects. Additionally during walks he goes absolutely insane when passing by other dogs and it takes all my strength to keep hold of him. Not only is it pretty embarrassing but could potentially be dangerous

I've seen the sit on your dog video and tried that but he would not calm down at all and even started biting me. I had to finally give that up after 40 minutes of trying.

Bottom line is we're at our wits end with him and need some advice on how to best proceed with training etc. Any input is welcome.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 09:33 PM
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Have you gone to a trainer? He sounds bored. He needs to learn and understand that there are rules and failure to follow rules results in discipline. But it needs to be clear to him.

He should be crated when unsupervised. That way he can't eat furniture.

You are hitting the "teenage" stage. This can be a tough age. Stick with it, get with a good trainer, create rules and stick to them.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 09:37 PM
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I agree with gsdsar; it sounds like he sounds like he needs a way to burn off a lot more energy. A tuckered-out dog is a content dog with a content human family. Is he crate trained? Have you tried bitter apple spray on the furniture? It's a band-aid solution, but it might buy you some sanity while you get to the root of the problem. Some dogs love the taste, though.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. This is a tough time for sure. What type of activities would you recommend to keep him engaged? Also when you say discipline, what would be an appropriate way to properly discipline?
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 09:45 PM
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Dexter the border collie was one heck of a pup, especially when he was nearing the dreaded teenage stage. We exercised him a heck of alot more and even so he still chewed the wall and carpet, so we crated him everytime he did it, does Dillon like balls? maybe if he does you can distract him with his ball when you pass other dogs. Dillon like all dogs will start pushing limits, most times a great trainer can be the golden ticket.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 09:51 PM
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Every time he chews something he's not supposed to, "no" and give him an appropriate chew toy. Avoid wooden and rope-like toys because they feel too much like carpets, furniture and walls. Hard rubber toys like KONG products are best. Don't punish - redirect. If he's food-motivated, try a treat-dispensing puzzle toy. Give him raw bones (not cooked, and not the bones you can get from the pet store - these all splinter and break off in chunks that he can't digest, and they may cause a blockage). A KONG stuffed with peanut butter, especially frozen, is a great way to keep them occupied as well.

As far as exercise goes, take him swimming at lakes and beaches as much as possible and play lots of ball. Better yet, throw the ball into the water to wear him out physically and mentally. Play groups with other dogs his age will help as well. Give him a "job" like volunteering in an animal-assisted therapy class (he won't be the only hyper puppy!) or earning his Canine Good Citizen certificate. Avoid taking him on controlled runs. A pup his age, especially a large breed prone to joint issues, shouldn't be going on long runs. Try to keep him off had surfaces like pavement for now, too; grass is much easier on their joints. It's recommended to hold off on letting a GSD go on long runs until they're 18 months old.

This is just my advice. All my experience has been with GSD mixes (including a GSD/wolf mix, which was tough)... so you should take what I say with a grain of salt. I'm an experienced dog "guardian," but I haven't had a purebred GSD before, just rescues.

Last edited by Declan; 07-06-2014 at 09:58 PM.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 09:53 PM
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When you walk him is there any running, chasing balls, or jumping jumps along the way. By jumps I mean fallen logs etc. He needs some excitement to wear him out I think. At that young age lots of energy is needed to match his. You might consider setting up some short jumps - 16 inches at the most. It uses up a lot of energy to do the jumps right. I also set up cones for weaving and other interesting things like a tunnel to run through. I also run laps around the back yard stopping and turning suddenly with Raina heeling at my side. She loves that part, especially the part where I turn suddenly and switch directions. We both get a work out so I get my cardio and she gets her excitement.


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 09:55 PM
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My golden was like this when he was younger and up to about a month ago(he just turned a year at the end of May). I did obedience training with him continually for 9 months. He was just very high energy. As of last week he is no longer in his crate and he got his CGC today. He is a completely different dog and people can't believe he is just over a year and so calm and well behaved. He was more work then both GSD's put together. If you aren't in training classes I suggest you start and keep going, eventually it clicks.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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He's been through one training class (6 weeks) and is slated for another on later this month. I was thinking about getting him some one on one training in the meantime to help out. I guess I need to up his exercise as well as the walks might not be enough from I'm reading.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 10:00 PM
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Everyone has givin you some awesome advice, yes you can up his exercise level, buy him a game, get him a flirt pole..fill a kong with PB and let Dillon go nuts with it. They little minds and bodies need to be engaged alot lol, he sounds like a little trouble maker
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