What to do with an older puppy tries to intimidate - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 07-26-2014, 11:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What to do with an older puppy tries to intimidate

I'm looking for some encouragement, not so much advice. I have a new trainer that has a ton of experience that I trust, we've had two sessions so far. He comes once a week, wish I could afford more.

My pup has just turned 9 months old yesterday. I'm having an issue with him where he suddenly goes berserk and tries to bite me. His trainer tells me it is an intimidation tactic and he is testing his boundaries with me just like a human teenager would. But it really scares me and makes me feel like a failure at being a GSD owner! I'm a very petite woman and his intimidation works though I try to hide it and stay in "leadership" mode.

Please tell me some of you have had to deal with this crap and with training it got better or I'm gonna cry. I'm so discouraged. Today I had him on a walk, we were doing training with "heel". He was doing great until the end of the walk he started getting grabby with his mouth trying to take the treat out of my hand before I was ready to give it to him. Then suddenly he began jumping on me trying to get the treat. I have him on a prong collar, but his body position was so awkward in mid jump and me trying to not get knocked down in the heat of the moment it was hard for me to do a leash correction, so it took me a minute before I gave him a couple corrections but I admit, the collar is new for me and I'm afraid to yank very hard. And I am still awkward with the whole thing. After he jumped on me a few times, leaving bloody scratches down one of my arms, he grabbed my other hand in his mouth as if he were going to bite me. It didn't hurt or break the skin - I'm sure if he'd been meaning to bite me he would have, I guess this is why the trainer says he is just trying to intimidate me.

Once I was able to do the corrections I got him under control and had him sit and lay down for a moment to get him calm, then brought him in the house where he raced around like a total hyper freakazoid.

Last week, this same thing happened but a family happened to be walking their small well behaved dog across the street and I heard the child say, " Look mom, how come some people can't control their dogs?". I wanted to simultaneously yell something nasty at the kid and cry.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't worry, you'll be fine You have a trainer, and this too shall pass. Another trick you can try is to drop enough length of the leash so that you're standing on it. Then your puppy is physically incapable of jumping on you - yes, 9 months old, large enough to be mistaken for a dog, but still a puppy brain. Don't be discouraged! And don't listen to smart-alecky kids!
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't put the treat in your hand until you are ready to give it to him. If this were my dog and I knew to expect this then my only focus would be on preparing for the needed correction.

I'm not really understand the "goes berserk" part. What exactly is happening other than him trying to get the treat from your hand (that sounds like it's been there for awhile and he's waiting for it?)
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've been there.
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