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New Pup 01-14-2013 02:17 PM

Questions from a 1st time puppy owner/overanalyzer
We I just become a 1st time puppy owner, my girlfriend knew I was thinking about getting a dog, (primarily a companion dog for both of us that I can run with, take hiking and canoing) and we both liked gsd and well she picked one out for me for Christmas. I got her at 7 weeks old on the 6th and using a clicker and a crate she has is pretty well house broken (well as long as we keep a close eye on her when she's free to roam) and can sit and come (usually) on command. However, after getting her and reading everything I can on dog training I got a couple questions that I figured I'd post on here incase anyone cares to offer some advice to a rambling new dog owner.

1st. If I could go back i would probably select a breeder with working lines. Because I really enjoy working with her and training her but I worried that show line dogs might be too laidback. I like the idea of having a high energy that dog that is pumped and happy to learn new athletic tricks and games and play. This puppy likes to play tug but she sleeps alot, maybe she's just young? What type of energy and drive can you expect out of dogs that come from show lines? Any tips for encouraging high energy and drive at a young age to get as much drive as I can out of her? I would say she is more of active dog than reactive, meaning she trys to figure out how to get treats from.

2nd. She really enjoyed learning to sit and come. And she will do them on command in different environments with distractions, like at petsmart etc. However, after reading on it I was afraid I hadn't trained her to have enough focus on me, she normally watched my hands and or pockets to see me click or see the food. So I started working on eye contact and once I sat down and worked with her she picked it up pretty quick. But now when I sit down to have a session with her she looks me in the eyes pretty good for like 5 to 10 reps or roughly a min then she starts seeming confused and disinterested. I don't think she get's it like she did with sitting. And after she gets confused she doesn't even sit as well. Is it normal to experience difficulty getting a 8 wk old to hold eye contact. Should I move on to down, stand, and stay or try to master this first? How long should training sessions be, how many is too many in one day, and how do you know if you're pushing too hard.

3rd. I have a ~6 year old mutt (looks like border collie face and ears on a blue healer body) I took in because she just showed up and wouldn't leave my yard 2 years ago. She's nice gentle, and far from an alpha dog.our lil GSD will even kick out of sleeping areas and things like for fun, but when they play she'll occasionally pin the gsd which I think looks too rough and stop it there, though the pup wants to keep playing. Is it a bad for training to let such a young dog socialize with an older dog that is not that well trained? Like will the pup look to her as pack leader more than me? Plus the older dog has storm anxiety and some other quirks from being homeless that I don't want the pup to pick up on. Should I just try to keep them separated while training and let them socialize everynow and then? Or am I looking too much into this?

Thanks and sorry for the long post, would appreciate any tips or opinions.

Warren.morley 01-14-2013 02:39 PM

I have a GSD pup and a 2 yr old shelter dog (about 70 lbs) and they do the same thing. I think it's just the pup in them as to why their short attn...
The big one plays sometimes and gets too rough and I have to slow them down but the pup bo, just wants to keep rolling with the punches. Lol.
I'm not sure if its a bad thing I just wanted to let you know I'm in the same situation. About the training and all... Bo does what I ask but he's constantly looking for a treat in return

Lemme know if you find out anything

New Pup 01-15-2013 03:39 PM

Thanks for letting me know, Warren. I haven't found much on the training affects of socializing with an older less refined dog yet but I'll keep looking and let you know what I find.

Hopefully someone knowledgable about our situation will read this and let us know their opinion.

JakodaCD OA 01-15-2013 05:40 PM

I'll give this a shot:)

to answer
1. I think no matter what line of gsd, they are all smart as whips, can learn just about anything. She's, by my estimate around 8 weeks old? Sleeping alot is not unnormal, they play, eat, poop, sleep:) As to drives/energy, depends on the dog and the genetics behind them ..It is what it is:)

2.keep your training sessions short, and do a few daily, end on a good note,,at 8 weeks, they have the attention span of a gnat, so again, not unnormal what you are seeing.> To build a better bond, I hand feed my puppies for the first month, THAT creates good focus,,when you have a good bond, everything else falls into place..

3. Some dogs will pick up the 'bad' as well as 'good' from other dogs in the home . As long as you do one on one time with the puppy, you shouldn't have problems with your existing dog or your puppy becoming 'bonded' to it. As for rough play,,well barring blood, I usually let my older dogs reprimand a puppy for being a pain in the butt to them..Key is to supervise:)

I have / had a couple thunder phobic dogs/firework/gun phobics,,but I also have had at the same time, other dogs that weren't and were not 'bothered' by the quirks of the other dogs..

Good luck with your puppy, hope I helped some.

Jag 01-16-2013 12:56 AM

I think you're seeing boredom more than confusion. Keep training sessions to 5 minutes tops. Several throughout the day, though. Sounds like things are going well with this pup. As pointed out, it depends on the pup for energy level. You may be surprised. A good breeder is much more important than what 'type' of GSD you have. GSD pups and dogs are known to play rough. As long as it's not a 'real' fight, I think supervision will be enough.

Fynn&Vandy 01-16-2013 01:15 AM

Your eight week old puppy has the attention span of a fly. Haha she's gonna get real bored of repetitive training really quick. my puppy at that age learned things very quickly and, also enjoyed it. I keep the sessions to five minutes or so then come back to it a while later. She usually learns commands in day and if I use them regularly will never forget them. Your puppy will really start to wake up around four months. At this age they are growing so rapidly that it's pretty exhausting. Don't worry your puppy will soon be more excitable. I wouldn't promote that too much. What you allow her to do when she's little she'll sure do when she's big. When you're playing with her and, training her just try to imagine 6 0+ pounds doing whatever it is.
Just stuff to keep in mind. Sounds like she's smart as a who! Congrats!

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