OMG! Adolescence! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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OMG! Adolescence!

Up until this week, we've had the odd day or so here or there when we've had a rough day (pulling a little on a walk; being a little slow to respond to commands) and thought, "Maybe Juno is hitting adolescence." Then she'd go back to being her normal puppy self and we'd forget about it.

Turns out, we were naive.

Turns out, adolescence looks much more like the behavior we've seen in the last two days: terrible walks; not responding to our command to sit when we see another dog or person approaching; not doing the "watch me" AT ALL; opting out of "downs"; biting the leash; barking at dogs in other backyards; trying to jump up on the coach; etc....

We know what we're "supposed" to do -- stay calm, reinforce our leadership, continue to socialize her to dogs and humans; reinforce "nilif." I'm a pretty patient person -- but honestly, keeping my cool and remaining calm is getting really hard! I get SO frustrated when I tell her "watch me" and (the same puppy who just a week ago would gaze lovingly and attentively up at me) she just blows me off regardless of whether I use a fun, cheerful tone, a serious tone, a neutral tone, etc...

Anyway.... really I just needed to vent so that we can back to the training tasks at hand.... thanks for reading!

--Rhena, owner of
Juno, White German Shepherd, female b 10-15-2008, adopted 01-05-2009

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 11:37 AM
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Re: OMG! Adolescence!

Rhena... I just posted something similar under the puppy training area... more as a vent too. Hang in there... this too shall pass and she will grow into the excellent girl you know she can be!

Lysa

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: OMG! Adolescence!

Thanks for the encouragement! (I know -- it's like "Keep your eye on the prize!") Off to check out your thread....

--Rhena, owner of
Juno, White German Shepherd, female b 10-15-2008, adopted 01-05-2009

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 02:04 PM
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Re: OMG! Adolescence!

Hang in there. Ditka is also having a little bit of this right now and the biggest thing I changed about it all was me. I found myself getting so frustrated and angry that it was coming out in how I was working with the boy. So now as we work on these issues before I start each walk or training session I take a deep breath and make sure to go over in my head to stay positive and not let the frustration come out. The amazing thing is once I did this he seemed to get a little better right away.

A lot of it right now is testing limits, being more curious, and wanting to spread their wings so to speak...be consistent and it will pass.

I also now with this change in perception on my end find a little bit of humor in this stage of his life and instead of being angry I find a smirk coming across my face
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-03-2009, 08:08 PM
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Re: OMG! Adolescence!

I need a knock on wood smiley as I have had none of this with Dakota. But knowing my luck it will kick in next saturday when we go for beginners graduation.... and he will totally forget how to do everything!

I have found that wherever I go, the stupidest drivers in the world have followed me there!

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Dakota 10/26/08 - CGC, RN
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-03-2009, 08:15 PM
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Re: OMG! Adolescence!

It sounds to me like the pups are bored... Any chance of upping the routine significantly?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-03-2009, 08:52 PM
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Re: OMG! Adolescence!

Shelby's in his adolescence too, but for him this is actually better than the puppy stage............I have found though, when I ask him to do something and he just kind of tilts his head and looks at me like he's considering his options, seeing the humor in it has helped sooooo much. Then I can stay calm and reinforce the command and we are all happy. Of course there are days when this humor finding doesn't come so easy.......and they say "that which does not kill us makes us stronger".........
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-03-2009, 08:57 PM
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OMG! Adolescence!

DOG CLASSES!

And way up the exercises. I'm not kidding about this. If I don't take my pups on MILES of off leash walks/swims by 16 weeks, my life is a living h***. And it's not my puppies fault, but my own.

Cause when they DO get the proper amount of exercise, the little angels come back!

By 16 weeks old my pups can walk over 2 miles, off leash (so this means running too) with other dogs. Swimming after sticks for a long time in the river. Then the 2 miles back to the car.

Bretta is the sable GSD..



This is AFTER the first two miles...


Tired yet?


Mom, why are you way over there????????????





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"Nothing new can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have. ~ "--- Michael Bernhard, gratitude
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2009, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: OMG! Adolescence!

Thanks for all the tips and encouragement!

J has been in dog classes since shortly after we got her at 12 weeks. She's usually pretty great in class (except for with recall with distractions). Our instructor warned us that this sometimes happens with level II -- the pups are awesome in class and then at home things fall apart.

Between walks, play sessions, the occasional day at doggie daycare, and trips to the dog park, she gets about as much exercise as she can handle everyday (well, and honestly as we have time for). And mostly when she's not playing or hanging out with us, she's sleeping or "working on a quiet project" (kong, bone, dissection, bully stick, etc...).

The problems mostly arise on the walks when she'll sometimes just opt to ignore us. This morning, I took her out to go for a walk (sadly, we don't have too many off leash walk options in the city here), we started as we start every walk with her in a sit at my side. I told her "watch me" a few times, but her responses were so inconsistent (up until now she's been very solid on that command in all sorts of settings) that I knew that she wasn't listening very well. I wanted to avoid a situation where I would just end up frustrated and unproductive, so I turned her around and took her back in the house -- thinking I'd play with her there, do some obedience in a lower distraction environment, get both of us in a better frame of mind. She passed out on the floor as soon as we got inside the house! I think she's getting enough exercise given that she passed out without even having a walk this morning (of course, it's Monday, and she tends to be exhausted after an action-packed weekend).

I think a lot of this is her really just trying to assert her independence, check out and interact with the wider world, and spread her wings. I'm gonna have to take some of the advice offered here and look for the humor -- and also try to appreciate that she's got her own, sometimes goofy, personality and be grateful that she's not an automaton -- even if it means we have to suffer through this stage!

MaggieRoseLee --- do you do that routine of two miles out, playing in water, two miles back everyday?

--Rhena, owner of
Juno, White German Shepherd, female b 10-15-2008, adopted 01-05-2009

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