Was your puppy naughty? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Was your puppy naughty?

Jupiter is six months and very naughty. He has gone through Puppy Obedience and Obedience 1 and has always been a star pupil, and I train him 2-3 times a day, but when we're not training, he does whatever he wants. There are several normal times when he disobeys me:

1. I have a loft bed and he's not allowed up. When I hear him come up the stairs, I say, "No," but he slowly comes up and won't leave when I tell him. So I end up taking him down and putting him in the crate. This has happened several times and it seems clear to me that he's disobeying me.
2. He's not allowed in the living room, and when I catch him heading that way, I say, "No." Sometimes he stops, but sometimes he gets this playful bounce and runs into the living room. Then to get him out, I have to catch him by the leash (I keep the leash on so I don't have to chase him).
3. He's not allowed in my daughter's room, but he has a pattern that when he passes it, he runs in there, even if I say, "No." Again, I have to grab him and pull him out, he ignores me at this point.

I think that in general, he really just does what he thinks is going to maximize his pleasure. Even when training, I get a strong sense that he obeys or not depending on how much food he'll get. Like if there is a treat on the ground, and I call him, I can see him trying to decide which one to do. It's like he's always doing the math. When he obeys, it's because he thinks there's more food in it for him. When he disobeys, it's because he thinks there's more cool stuff in the other room, etc.

So my question is, how or when or will this morph into general obedience, rather than bribing that's always dependent on the value of the food I have?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CactusWren View Post
Jupiter is six months and very naughty. He has gone through Puppy Obedience and Obedience 1 and has always been a star pupil, and I train him 2-3 times a day, but when we're not training, he does whatever he wants. There are several normal times when he disobeys me:

1. I have a loft bed and he's not allowed up. When I hear him come up the stairs, I say, "No," but he slowly comes up and won't leave when I tell him. So I end up taking him down and putting him in the crate. This has happened several times and it seems clear to me that he's disobeying me.
2. He's not allowed in the living room, and when I catch him heading that way, I say, "No." Sometimes he stops, but sometimes he gets this playful bounce and runs into the living room. Then to get him out, I have to catch him by the leash (I keep the leash on so I don't have to chase him).
3. He's not allowed in my daughter's room, but he has a pattern that when he passes it, he runs in there, even if I say, "No." Again, I have to grab him and pull him out, he ignores me at this point.

I think that in general, he really just does what he thinks is going to maximize his pleasure. Even when training, I get a strong sense that he obeys or not depending on how much food he'll get. Like if there is a treat on the ground, and I call him, I can see him trying to decide which one to do. It's like he's always doing the math. When he obeys, it's because he thinks there's more food in it for him. When he disobeys, it's because he thinks there's more cool stuff in the other room, etc.

So my question is, how or when or will this morph into general obedience, rather than bribing that's always dependent on the value of the food I have?
It sounds as if Jupiter may have more freedom than he is yet ready to handle.


My usual solution for dogs who think they can do whatever they want—-train, train, train. Jupiter already has an obed foundation, so you can just expand on that.

Teach him that he needs permission to enter any room that is off limits. I like to teach a “”Wait!” command, which is less formal than a “stay”. But, “stay” is fine, too.

If he will be permanently off limits to the LR—this may or may not be reasonable; do the humans hang out there or do you have a family room in which everyone congregates? No GSD wants to be isolated away from his humans.

Either way, the fix is more obed. But, be sure not to set him up to fail. You no doubt have learned to never, ever issue a command or a correction that you are not in a position to immediately enforce. Doing so just trains your dog to ignore you.

It’s often helpful to keep a leash on indoors during training, giving you a lot more control.

If he’s a leash chewer, I have an easy fix for that, too. An old fashioned chain leash. Walmart still carries them (guess how I know). This one works.

You may detect a theme: take control of Jupiter’s environment. He has too many opportunities to screw up. He has years, once he learns to control himself, to enjoy his freedom.

Another training tool that works like pure magic is the long down. Start with very, very short stays and **gradually** increase the time he remains in the down. This is on leash, inside. Shoot for 30 minutes, eventually.

Once he’s good and solid, have family members try to distract him, to proof it up.

Seriously. Once a dog crosses that 30 minute threshold, it really changes him; all for the better. He will have developed an extraordinary level of self control, confidence, and trust in you. It works.

Also wanted to add that it’s crucial to be sure Jupiter is getting enough exercise. GSDs need lots and he’s a youngster. Remember: a tired dog is a good dog.
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Last edited by raff; 04-28-2019 at 12:14 PM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 02:58 PM
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In addition to what @raff is saying...

To be a good leader means to operate not only with obedience but with a sense of fairness and fair trade.

Why does Jupiter want to be on your bed? Probably because you're on your bed and the bed is the one place that smells the most like you. Okay, let's compromise. If Jupiter doesn't have his OWN bed, then get him one and place it next to yours. If he already has a bed, move it next to yours. Teach him that his bed is where he goes to lay down and be next to you.

The same goes with the living room. Why is he not allowed in the living room? Analyse your reasoning for this and see if there's a way he can be allowed in there without causing the issue you fear. If he tries to get up on the couch all the time, then give him a place for him to lay down NEXT to the couch. Fold up a blanket or something and make him lay down there. Give him lots of attention while he's in that spot while you're on the couch. You're setting him up for success. "If I lay here, I still get attention and cuddles even while my human's on the couch."

Same question goes for your daughter's room. Analyse your reasoning.

Just keep in mind that puppies aren't stupid or naughty on purpose (though they are scam artists). They're just ignorant of the rules. When that puppy gets older, you're going to have to crack down on your obedience even more and make sure your "contract" with your puppy is free of loopholes.
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Last edited by Kyrielle; 04-28-2019 at 03:00 PM.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 03:36 PM
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I'm not going to thrill you with my opinion on this (keep in mind this is my opinion). I understand people that don't want their pets on the furniture. Perfectly reasonable. If you have a formal living room that you want hair free while having a family room or den that is the family gathering place where the dog is allowed I get that as well. If a child has a breathing issue such as asthma and sleeping quarters need to be allergen free I get that, too. But If these don't apply and most of your house is off limits to a breed that thrives with being with it's humans why do you have the dog? That's a question to ask yourself. I don't need an answer.

I understand you are asking a training question. To that I would say that you have set a good foundation. However, you are missing that at six months, your pup is nowhere near adulthood. At six months you are dealing with what would be similar to a human two year old. They don't have the rules down yet. Be consistent with your training and it will come in time. And all of what Raff and Kyrielle said above.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 06:26 PM
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Training is anytime you and your pup are together unless he is sleeping. Not just 2 - 5 times a day in sessions. It is about the relationship and leadership, less about sits and stays. Just my 2 cents. Puppies are wickedly smart in finding and remembering(!!) loopholes. Look beyond the cuteness and so called "innocence".
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 07:23 PM
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One thing that I didn't see mentioned is, it doesn't sound like he is being rewarded for obeying. So, when you say "NO", and he stops what he is doing, there should be a lot of praise and treats. They know they are doing wrong, it's fun! But it would be a lot more fun to obey, and get treats, tug of war, loves and pats.

If you say, "NO!", he stops for a second, and doesn't get rewarded for it, there is no reason to stop next time.

Training is 24/7. Especially with pups. They really try to take advantage! Mine is with me all day every day. I am one of the lucky ones that works at home. I could not imagine going to work for 8 to 10 hours and then come home to GS pup and trying to work with them.

Oh, and I learned really quick not to give chase. That is their favorite game! It can also get dangerous if it is something bad in their mouth. Always have treats or a toy of some sort in your pocket. IF they try to run from you, pull out the treat, and they come right back to you. I stopped taking anything away from Shasta. If she had something that I didn't want her to have, I always traded for something of higher value, (treats).

She had a thing for rocks when she was little. She would pick it up, and I would go after her to get it out of her mouth. She discovered that when she picked up rocks, dad would play chase. That was a difficult one to break!
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. Yeah, Obedience 2 classes start next weekend, and I anticipate we'll probably keep going for... well, a while, at least.

As far as our rules, the living room is misnamed--it's really the piano room and we don't spend much time there. Basically my daughter leaves her toys around and Jupiter wants to run in there and play with them! And I don't want him sneaking over there and chewing on the piano legs and such. I prefer for him to stay with me so he doesn't get into trouble. When he goes in there, it's by himself, he's not spending time with the family.

I can see how the loft bed is no fun because it separates us vertically. Maybe I'll think about letting him hang out on the top step. Otherwise, he has the run of my office/extra bedroom. He's never chewed on any of the furniture in there.

I think he likes my daughter's room because it's full of toys and she leaves plates and such on the floor--yes, disgusting and something we have to work on. I understand why he wants to go in there, but it's just kind of off limits. He knows, but he runs in there anyway! I guess it's too much to ask that a 6-month old is going to obey my every command.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 05:01 AM
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Yeah, a 6 months old won't obey every command but you can still work on them. They will sink in eventually. The thing is that he needs to learn that there is no payoff in doing these things. Tough when there are plates on the floor for investigating. I hate to say it but..but..but, maybe a chewed toy will help your daughter learn to pick up her belongings. I don't want the pup to eat something he shouldn't and I don't want your daughter to loose something precious, but often we learn things the hard way.

When your pup is 3 or 4 years old and a wonderful well behaved dog, because you have put time and work into your relationship with him, you may look back and actually miss your scamp of a pup. Just a little.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 05:04 AM
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Oh, and I learned really quick not to give chase. That is their favorite game! It can also get dangerous if it is something bad in their mouth. Always have treats or a toy of some sort in your pocket. IF they try to run from you, pull out the treat, and they come right back to you. I stopped taking anything away from Shasta. If she had something that I didn't want her to have, I always traded for something of higher value, (treats).

She had a thing for rocks when she was little. She would pick it up, and I would go after her to get it out of her mouth. She discovered that when she picked up rocks, dad would play chase. That was a difficult one to break!
My dogs are 3 and 5 years old and they still try to convince me that chasing them will be fun. I never get the hint. They must think I'm not too bright. I am smart enough to know that chasing them is a game I'll never win. If I don't have a way to safely turn my back on them and reward them when they do come to me, then they have a long line dragging from their collar. That way I can reel one in. Reward when caught.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 01:54 PM
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Your dog is very playful. Heís also not trained and is ignoring you. Dogs donít speak our language, they learn by repetition and reinforcement. My older dog is naughty. She has been trained and knows what to do but if Iím not watching, she will pull things off the counter or jump the fence. So Iím always watching or she is confined somewhere. She can climb, which sounds cute but isnít. She is a rescue and all the obedience did with her still couldnít break early habits. My other dog is playful and will break commands if he really wants to do something, so I had to work harder on teaching him good habits. He is 3 and most of the time does exactly what I want him to do if itís important. He claimed a spot on a couch, though, and I finally gave in. But just that one spot.
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