puppy not responding well with me - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2018, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy puppy not responding well with me

So I thought things were going better for me and this puppy. She is 12 weeks old come this weekend. Husband went to work tonight and so it's just me and the pup and the 3 house cats. The pup has always gone after me more (biting) but over the past weeks things seemed to have gotten better or so I thought. but my husband has been home all week and he's been taking over with her because she had been stressing me out with puppy stuff.
Well, I guess things have not improved one bit. He's not here and she bites and bites and I can't get her onto toys or chew bones, nothing. the cats are totally miserable as she goes after them when it's just me here. When my husband is here, he tells her no and she will listen and leaves them alone. The cats have not come out much tho even with him here. After a good bite on my leg tonight, and one cat vomiting from the stress - that was IT!!!! I had HAD IT! I put puppy in crate and after about 30 minutes, the cats came out and one started to play again. All acting normal. I don't know if I can continue this way. My husband is totally in love with this puppy and she's not going anywhere. I think I'm the cat person and he's the puppy person but will this all normal out in time??? He keeps telling me it will.
I'm afraid the puppy can feel my anxiety and how it's effecting me. my life has been turned upside down and I don't want to be left alone with her like this. I let her out of her crate after about an hour or so and put her outside since it has stopped raining. She goofed around out there for another hour. Which gave the cats and me more time to have some normalcy. So now she's back in and the cats are back in the back bedroom. I have a puppy gate up so she cannot get back there. Otherwise I'm having to follow her constantly to watch her. I don't know.... any suggestions??? In my heart I know she will grow up and HOPEFULLY get along with the cats. She doesn't "chase" them unless they run from her but she wants to see them and tries to play with them. The one male cat swats at her and she runs off and then comes back for more so it's more of a game to her and we have been trying to stop that behavior as it's probably not a good idea. I do play with the puppy (he plays more with her). He knows she is stressing me out so he's been taking over with her but she's so much different with him. We've had a lot of dogs in our past and I don't remember it being like this at all!! They've all been german shepherds. With a few other breeds in there as well.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2018, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by desertsage01 View Post
So I thought things were going better for me and this puppy. She is 12 weeks old come this weekend. Husband went to work tonight and so it's just me and the pup and the 3 house cats. The pup has always gone after me more (biting) but over the past weeks things seemed to have gotten better or so I thought. but my husband has been home all week and he's been taking over with her because she had been stressing me out with puppy stuff.
Well, I guess things have not improved one bit. He's not here and she bites and bites and I can't get her onto toys or chew bones, nothing. the cats are totally miserable as she goes after them when it's just me here. When my husband is here, he tells her no and she will listen and leaves them alone. The cats have not come out much tho even with him here. After a good bite on my leg tonight, and one cat vomiting from the stress - that was IT!!!! I had HAD IT! I put puppy in crate and after about 30 minutes, the cats came out and one started to play again. All acting normal. I don't know if I can continue this way. My husband is totally in love with this puppy and she's not going anywhere. I think I'm the cat person and he's the puppy person but will this all normal out in time??? He keeps telling me it will.
I'm afraid the puppy can feel my anxiety and how it's effecting me. my life has been turned upside down and I don't want to be left alone with her like this. I let her out of her crate after about an hour or so and put her outside since it has stopped raining. She goofed around out there for another hour. Which gave the cats and me more time to have some normalcy. So now she's back in and the cats are back in the back bedroom. I have a puppy gate up so she cannot get back there. Otherwise I'm having to follow her constantly to watch her. I don't know.... any suggestions??? In my heart I know she will grow up and HOPEFULLY get along with the cats. She doesn't "chase" them unless they run from her but she wants to see them and tries to play with them. The one male cat swats at her and she runs off and then comes back for more so it's more of a game to her and we have been trying to stop that behavior as it's probably not a good idea. I do play with the puppy (he plays more with her). He knows she is stressing me out so he's been taking over with her but she's so much different with him. We've had a lot of dogs in our past and I don't remember it being like this at all!! They've all been german shepherds. With a few other breeds in there as well.
I would take her outside and play with her, walk her, and bond with her. Show her you're her leader.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2018, 11:46 PM
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Can you afford to get a private trainer to come in for one session to observe you with the puppy and cats? There are things you can do to make it all easier. She’s still young and you are all getting used to each other. Every puppy is different.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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I can't afford a trainer but I have a trainer friend and she feels that the pup sees me as another pup and for whatever reason, sees my husband as an alpha and doesn't pull this crap with him. I just need to set boundaries just like with the cats. The cats are NOT hers period. So I need to figure out how to show her that I'm not her puppy. I can't pinpoint what my husband is doing differently. I say, "NO LEAVE IT." and she gets vocal and talks back to me. I do play with her and I do take her for walks and we do fine together. My husband actually says, "that dog likes you better than me." Because she gets super excited to see me and doesn't with him. She greets him but it's not that wiggly, lick your face greeting with him. So I really don't think it's a bonding issue. She just sees me as another puppy. I feel like I"m just as firm with her but I suppose her in eyes I'm not.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 01:01 AM
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I'm sorry you are having such a tough time She knows you are not a puppy though. It will pass with maturity and training. Hang in there.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 01:26 AM
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Yes, hang in there. Keep up training, handling her, brushing her, playing, loving her. One day she wil be the amazing dog you have in mind but it comes with a lot of work and we have to earn this, which you are doing right now.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 02:02 AM
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Sounds like boredom. What do you do with her otherwise? What training do you do? What exercise does she get?

For bite inhibition, you can't just shove a toy in her mouth and walk away. YOU need to make that toy interesting. A few times I played with a toy first and being excited I was playing with the toy and "This toy is so fun!" and being a dork. Then give her the toy, or make her fetch it, or make her "stay" and then "get toy!" You can teach "drop" during fetch. When she brings back toy, tell her to drop (I had to put my finger in her mouth to initiate), then dive treat when she drops it. Give the toy a name. I have names for a few so I can say "Go get/ find Wobble!"

The biting/ landsharking is just something puppies do. It got better for me when mine started teething and wanting to chew on harder things

Remember, that play time is just as important as training. Also remember that when very young, a puppy can only get a few repetitions in. My pup would do 3-5 commands before she was bored of it. Do a few sits or stays and then do play time for 5mins. Then a few more commands, and then play time. Wolfy gave some good bonding things too.

Just like little kids, puppies also need structured nap times. So multiple times of the day, she needs to go into her crate for nap time. Give some treats when putting in the crate

I'm sure you know that crate time should never be punishment

Fun tip: get puppy used to her paws being handled. I will say "Paw!" and grab her paw. This worked because it was winter and I was always having to dry her paws off. Then when it came for nail trimming, she didn't mind the paw holding and now was just adding nails being clipped in which she would get a treat after each nail was trimmed (if she was good with no whining or struggling)
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 02:17 AM
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I have good and challenging days. I hesitate to mention my experience. I have never had a dog before. My dog is 14 months and in a few more months I think cat chasing will be solved. I think how lucky I am I have kids, cats a busy house while those things make for a challenge I think of what great exposure it is for my dog. I have 4 cats. My cats have handled it well but it took adjusting. My favorite cat was a maniac as a kitten she gave me ####. So I try to look at things with humor. My cats are fine it's a small sacrifice for long term enjoyment. One of my cats anytime the energy of the dog is low she taunts him she wants to engage with him I know it but he is too much of a spaz still and well I don't know how to teach him what to do. Another of my cats likes him too they just don't appreciate the chasing. The one that will stand his ground is young just prefers to be outside. All the cats can rest anywhere with the dog that has taken time it's the movement that triggers him and the faster they move the faster he moves. I say this because if your dog isn't hating the cats or wanting to complete the prey sequence with time it gets better even for some one like me who has no clue what they are doing. If your husband is taking charge like I do then you could do what my husband does. He just plays with the dog (he does reinforce manners). Grab a towel tie it to a string and get the pup chasing it. See if that doesn't make you laugh. If he does go crazy then get some food lure some downs and sits to calm the dog then put them in the crate and let it sink in. Be consistent build that relationship. Good luck to you.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-12-2018, 10:02 PM
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I feel you. Zeus is 8 months and everyday is a challenge. But it has gotten better. If I remember 12 weeks was hard with Zeus as well. I asked myself when things are going to go back to normal??? Well the answer is this is normal. This is our first GSD and boy has it been an experience. Have fun with your puppy.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-12-2018, 10:30 PM
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12 weeks was almost my breaking point as well.
I remember crying on the phone to my husband saying I thought we'd made a huge mistake.
Things will get better, keep training, keep playing, but most of all have fun and laugh.
The cats will get over it - my two hid in the bedroom for about a year, they are starting to make a reappearance and night now to sit on my lap and watch TV. They still don't like the dog but the tolerate him.... he gets swatted on the nose often.
Make sure when you tell the puppy something you actually expect him to do it and make sure he does do it. Have a leash on him so that if you tell him to "leave it" if he is irritating the cat and he doesn't listen you can make him leave the cat.
If he is biting and barking at you and doesn't listen - put him in his crate for 5 minutes.
You can't keep repeating the same command and then just let him ignore you... thats just teaching him that he can ignore you.
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