TJ my gsd pup, many problems - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Unread 07-12-2019, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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TJ my gsd pup, many problems

I have a 4 month old pup who is more than a handful, and is my 5th GSD. He attacks non stop, although not so much off territory, and I have tried a few trainers who have ;
1. done the positive reinforcement, treats and walk away approach. This he just thought was getting more of the upper hand and showed we were backing off, so renewed attacks
2. firm but kind approach, using 2 leads to control with, and blocking attacks with a racquet, and rewarding with treats when good. He is just as bad and attacks worse now at home, although can be handled outside.

He wants the company of other dogs, but have been advised he over identifies with his species, and not at all with ours, so to keep him away. I've been reading my head off to try and understand what's going on in his, and the best explanation is; taken from mum too soon and put with siblings where he was probably KING RAT, and without his mum to nip him when ruling over the others.

Also he is undergoing extensive tests to see why his back legs, especially the right, are more wobbly than I've ever seen, or the vet. Structural CT shows no orthopaedic problem, so await neurology. And had bloods which don't show anything.

Yes you say, I paid a fortune, why don't i take him back and demand my money back, but I don't want to give up on him, he'd probably have to be put down, and I've had a lot of this breed and want to try and address this challenge.
Any ideas?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Unread 07-12-2019, 06:26 PM
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oh my, for training issues of course it is best to work face to face but you have to find a trainer who can balance rewards with consequences. Treats are great for teaching new behaviors but you will need some sort of fair punishment to stop a behavior. It doesn't have to be mean. It just needs to be consistent and understandable. For instance, each time your pup tries to get rough with you, walk forward and push into his space until he backs up and either sits down or turns his head. Then relax and praise. I can just imagine you using a racket. the pup probably thinks it is a game,..."oh let me see if I can get past this barrier". Use this desire to rough house to your advantage! Get a good tug toy. Watch some Leerburg videos and Collared Scholar videos about the power of playing tug. Then attacking the tug becomes a reward for good behavior! It is a bonding game. I also wear leather gardening gloves. My dogs toys get dirty and slimy and when my dogs see me put on my gloves they understand it is time to play.

yuppers, pups are a handful!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Unread 07-12-2019, 07:20 PM
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My WGSL pup had very wobbly hind legs when he was younger. His hocks would actually shake when he walked. One side was worse than the other, like your pup. He grew out of it and stopped doing that as he got larger, stronger and more muscled. He was probably 7 or 8 months or so before it was completely gone.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Unread 07-13-2019, 08:50 AM
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When you say "attacks," do you mean the "landsharking" behavior? I've only had (and have) 2 GSDs, and they're both very different. The previous one was what I view now as a mild case of the "biting." (It didn't seem like it then.) But the current one took it to a whole new level last year. He was relentless. I also used the word, "attacks" then too. I thought it would never stop. I went through boxes of bandages and tubes of Neosporin. He's now 18 months old and has "calmed" down a lot. He still has his moments but I'm amazed that he's the same dog. Last year, I wanted to return him to the breeder multiple times. However, I just don't like to give up and a let a 15 - 40 lbs animal beat me. I did all the things that people here and other sources recommend I do...the walking away methods, the stick-a-toy-in-his-mouth methods, distracting methods, the yelping methods, etc. None of it seemed to work. Whatever I did seemed to make him "angrier" and want to bite more. But like an idiot, I just continued to do them and hope that it would work and at some point it would click and the biting would decrease. I know it's somewhat controversial...the different methods. People here have gotten into "fights" over which methods work and which don't. I didn't care. I was just doing them all out of...for lack of a better word...desperation. Finally, things started to decrease a lot when he finished his teething. So to this day, I don't know which method worked or if it was just a matter of him growing up and maturing. I've also read that some people here make arm or leg "guards" out of thick cardboard or plastic sheets or use thick leather garden gloves. Maybe that could help? Anyway, the moral of my story will get better. I have yet to read about someone whose dog is still landsharking at 5 years old. It probably has happened, I just haven't read or heard about it. So just hang in there and continue to do all the things that people suggest. It may or may not work but at least you're doing something.

(On a side note...about a month or so ago, there was another thread about the "attacks" or "biting." Someone, I can't remember who, had said he could fix this landsharking behavior INSTANTLY. I'm still waiting for this person to spill the beans about this miraculous method that could help everyone in the dog owning world. I, and I'm sure, everyone would like to know. He's either a genius and he doesn't want to share OR he's full of s.)

As far as the leg shaking problem....Sorry, I don't know anything about that.

Good luck and hang in there!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Unread 07-13-2019, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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TJ GSD pup many problems

Thanks for different answers and yes, I am trying everything. Trying to encroach on his space and expecting him to back down would unfortunately just be like climbing into a hornets nest and expect them to fly away. He is fearless and totally aggressive. The racquet idea is Cesar Milan's and one of my trainer's, it just blocks his attacks to a certain extent. He has to be tethered as would otherwise attack everyone and the cats. Tug of war games just escalate the violence, but i do play football as he doesn't get aggressive with that, and have a number of large soft toys and chews with which to also deflect his teeth.
Also am taking to the beach with a helper and for last 2 days slowly dragging him in, and then with the help of a harness, getting him to swim. Figure this will help the legs, whatever may be wrong with them.
And got a friend with a husky coming over, to see if theory of taken from mum before manners taught, could be true. Husky is 6 and should be able to tell him off if he tries attacking her.
It is relentless attacking, my daughter says;"He should be released into the wild!"
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Unread Yesterday, 06:04 PM
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My friend has a female GSD pup that started displaying some unwanted behavior issues at a very young age. She would bark/growl/lunge at strangers, attack her older smaller dog and just giving her a real run for her money. I referred her to a trainer and she spent a week with him and made tremendous progress! She’s going back again in August for another 2 weeks and hopefully that will be it. So, don’t give up hope! You just need to find a trainer that will take the time to address the issues and has the knowledge/experience to deal with them. Where are you located?

As for the shaking legs, I started my pup on a supplement and it’s been amazing for him! You can get it on Amazon and thankfully Prime!! Its called “Muscle Bully Puppy Naturals”. It’s fantastic!! It’s a white powder I sprinkle over his food once a day and he has no problems licking his bowl clean.

I really hope you find answers and wish you luck with your pup. Getting this under control at an early age is a MUST! It’s only going to get worse and harder.
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Unread Today, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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TJ GSD pup many problems

Some progress; My friend came round for 2 evenings with her 6 year old Husky, and they played quite wildly, with husky holding TJ down when he got too much for her, and my friend putting him down and holding him down each time he attacked her. I have to say, he is much better and I'm following her example, twice this morning he went for my ankles, and each time I put him down in a lying position and held him, singing lullabies, until he gave up. Then we went to the beach and today he went in of his own accord on a long leash, and had 2 long swims, and no attacking enroute.
SO he is already at least a quater better then attacking NON STOP.
I'm also hoping the swims may strengthen his hind legs, we await loads of tests, but if they find nothing wrong, it would be good if we can right the problem with hydro therapy. I think they are already stronger as he could play with Husky, when trainer reported he couldn't when with her dogs.
Well, early days, tests not back, and still attacking but much better than before, my daughter wanted to send him back.
I'm in the UK and have had these dogs all my life, and am very grateful for the tips you have all been giving, he's on raw food with some puppy kibble to cover all corners.
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