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jpolch 05-06-2014 04:31 PM

Questions about 12 week old puppy
 
We got our puppy Kilo 2 weeks ago and he started off super sweet. From reading a few forums on here it sounds like I was going through the "honeymoon phase" which definitely sounds like that fits. I have a few questions I'd like to ask so please bear with me. Kilo isn't my first puppy but he is our first GSD and working dog so I'm a newbie all over again.

1.My biggest concern is his snapping. If I get on the floor or low enough to the ground he immediately starts snapping at my face. I've tried saying No firmly but not in a loud voice. I've also tried telling him to sit, which he knows how to do but completely ignores. I've tried yelping and standing up or turning my back on him, but that leads to extremely frustrated biting, where he'll find my hair, a wrist or ankle to chew on and he chews quite hard.

2. He gets pretty aggressive when he wants something. Another bad habit is that he'll decide he wants something (to chew on the couch, eat something out of the trashcan, get into the litter box) and no amount of redirection, toy squeaking, calling and pushing him away from what ever it is will stop him. I usually need to drag and/or carry him away from what ever it is and move him to a new location to change his focus.

3. His puppy drive seems to be the complete opposite from any other puppy I've known. Everywhere I read says to play for 15-20 minutes and take the puppy for a short walk and they'll tire out eventually. This morning Kilo went for an hour an a half non stop playing and by the end of it was getting more and more energetic and aggressive. He seems to gain energy instead of losing it. My husband has started taking him on long(ish) walks already, usually around a mile to a mile and a half, and even that doesn't wear him out. I guess I need to find activities that will keep his attention and keep his mind engaged in order to wear him out?

Thanks so much in advance!

LoveDogs 05-06-2014 04:38 PM

Walks never seem to really tire my little one either. Mental stimulation does though. Playing (where you actively are playing too) and playing with other dogs at class does the trick too- mine would sleep through the night at a 9 weeks old on class nights.

LoveEcho 05-06-2014 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpolch (Post 5480778)
We got our puppy Kilo 2 weeks ago and he started off super sweet. From reading a few forums on here it sounds like I was going through the "honeymoon phase" which definitely sounds like that fits. I have a few questions I'd like to ask so please bear with me. Kilo isn't my first puppy but he is our first GSD and working dog so I'm a newbie all over again.

1.My biggest concern is his snapping. If I get on the floor or low enough to the ground he immediately starts snapping at my face. I've tried saying No firmly but not in a loud voice. I've also tried telling him to sit, which he knows how to do but completely ignores. I've tried yelping and standing up or turning my back on him, but that leads to extremely frustrated biting, where he'll find my hair, a wrist or ankle to chew on and he chews quite hard.

2. He gets pretty aggressive when he wants something. Another bad habit is that he'll decide he wants something (to chew on the couch, eat something out of the trashcan, get into the litter box) and no amount of redirection, toy squeaking, calling and pushing him away from what ever it is will stop him. I usually need to drag and/or carry him away from what ever it is and move him to a new location to change his focus.

3. His puppy drive seems to be the complete opposite from any other puppy I've known. Everywhere I read says to play for 15-20 minutes and take the puppy for a short walk and they'll tire out eventually. This morning Kilo went for an hour an a half non stop playing and by the end of it was getting more and more energetic and aggressive. He seems to gain energy instead of losing it. My husband has started taking him on long(ish) walks already, usually around a mile to a mile and a half, and even that doesn't wear him out. I guess I need to find activities that will keep his attention and keep his mind engaged in order to wear him out?

Thanks so much in advance!

When you say working dog, what do you mean? Will he have a specific job, or be a sport prospect? That can determine how you deal with the mouthing. They're affectionately known as "land sharks" and unfortunately it will get worse before it gets better.

If he's really wound up, having him sit isn't going to do much- think of him as a toddler at this age. He has the attention span of a fruit fly- he may know what you're asking, but if he's excited he's going to have a hard time doing it. Unfortunately, because of the lack of impulse control, there's no easy fix for inappropriate chewing. Redirection and consistency and patience are really the key. If he gets REALLY wound up, crate him for a bit to calm down- it's not a punishment, just a reset.

As for the energy level and getting MORE wound up with time- also remember the toddler thing. Think of what happens when a toddler is over-tired... they get cranky and wired. Puppies are very much the same way. Brain games (FUN obedience) is really important, but keep it short and fun! Be the most exciting thing to him- it'll also help with focus. Mental stimulation is typically more important than physical- with a puppy you want to be careful about over-exercising, and you tend to just give them more stamina to be obnoxious :wild: As he gets older it'll be easier to find a better balance between the two. Fun obedience games are also a great way to start teaching rules and boundaries and impulse control- all the things that lay the groundwork for good house manners and focus.

Ellimaybel 05-06-2014 04:43 PM

I used to stick some of Gunther's toys in the freezer, frozen peanut butter in a kong is great. Keeping him tethered to you to correct unauthorized chewing, and mental stimulation as well as physical which you do a lot of. When Gunther was 6 weeks old I bought some plastic cups and put 3 down with a treat under one of them. They also sell puzzles that you hide treats in, as well as working on tracking. I would designate his favorite toy as his reward during games such as hide and seek, finding the treats, and other games. I have heard of some people carrying bitter apple spray and spraying it into the pups mouth when he snaps at you but I don't know if that works or frustrates them further. Snapping isn't something I've had to deal with.

jpolch 05-06-2014 04:47 PM

When he eventually gets old enough my husband would like to do schutzhund training with him. I guess I just need him to know that we're not chew toys!

I'm glad to hear that crating isn't such a bad thing when he's wound up. I don't punish him but I calmly say "ok time for bed!" and I crate him.

We have training time usually once a day where we work on sit, down and stay.

ApselBear 05-06-2014 05:06 PM

Dog Training: Nothing in Life is Free : The Humane Society of the United States
Nilif is a good option to put some real strength in his commands at this age.

You say he's a working dog? I wonder if you mean he's working lines or you actually intend on working him in some respect. Either way, now is a good time to start working his mind. There are several posts on here you can find with different activities that exercise the mind just as much or more than the body(try searching indoors games/training).

Apsel was strong willed at this age(12-16), and I noted he was very adept with his nose, so I because scenting games with his kibble/treats. Small games first, and eventually he was working for a good 15-30 minutes finding his meals bite by bite. It helped a lot to burn his energy and reinforce that nilif approach.

As far as the nipping, there are many things that could be occurring in terms of why the pup is not catching on quickly. One, pups are very fond of putting their mouths on everything, so nipping will be difficult to break, but definitely needed. A few questions may help for further advice though. Are you the only one who issues corrections for nipping? How long and strict are the ignore sessions afterwards? Have you tried completely leaving him in another when he's too excited and nippy?

Apsel was a nippy little **** at one point. I started working the same way you mentioned, but didn't progress. One day he accidentally grabbed my nose and sliced it wide open. I just knew the next mistake would be someone's eye. So from that day on, I had 0% tolerance. First instance of him trying to nip/lunge/etc. play was over, and he was in time out.

jpolch 05-06-2014 05:29 PM

Kilo is from working lines. Scenting games sound very promising. One of the ways I can distract him for at least a bit is to stick some treats in his kong toy and let him play with it until he gets them all out.

No, my husband and I are both trying the "I'm ignoring you" approach and then praising him for good behavior when he settles down. Unfortunately he just ends up nipping harder, biting pants or appendages. When he gets to be too much I calmly grab a little treat and tell him it's "time for bed and crate him. For example a little while ago he honed in on my ponytail and kept pulling and yanking at it, . As soon as I got it free he was lunging at it again, this was because he kept trying to get up on the couch to jump after the cat and I kept telling him no.

My husband and I are trying hard to ignore the nipping but we're worried about family coming over and him hurting someone else who isn't used to it.

Sunflowers 05-06-2014 05:52 PM

What research did you do before getting this dog? Sounds to me like a normal high drive pup. Telling him "no" is useless. Puppies don't speak English. You need to channel his drives and energy and provide him with positive experiences. He is just a baby.

Leash him or thether him to you, house freedom is not that great when you are trying to teach him what you want him not to do.
Also a mile and a half walk is way too much for a puppy.
Are you using a crate? He needs scheduled nap times, as they get crazy when overtired, just like humans little ones.

The best thing to do would be to look for a Shcutzhund club in your area.
You need to learn about what you have and how to handle a working line puppy.

eddie1976E 05-06-2014 05:53 PM

My puppy snaps at the air frequently and sometimes when I'm on the floor getting a toy out from under the couch, he will rush me either lick my head or nip at my head. I think he will grow out of it...Obviously I say "no" and make him sit or push him back till he gives up. Mine is the same age as yours....he is mouthy, but doesn't clamp down or hurt us (again, I'm trying to break him of this...but some of this is just puppies being puppies). Do you think he is just chewing or being aggressive with you?

Sunflowers 05-06-2014 05:58 PM

Your puppies are inviting you to *play*.

There is a ton of info on the puppy behavior forum about this.


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