Sudden Escalation of Puppy Behaviour - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Sudden Escalation of Puppy Behaviour

Hi all,

This is my first post on here but I've been a long time reader both before and after getting my new puppy: Jax.

I've grown up my whole life around dogs and played an active part in training them. I have experience with huskies and bichon ****zus.

The only real "issue" I've ever had with Jax was that he always grabbed at my feet whenever he was in a playful mood. For the longest time we would play for an hour or 2 and then he'd be out (sleeping) for at least double, if not triple that amount of time.

He's about 14 weeks old and within the last week there has been a very sudden escalation of his puppy-like behaviour. He has been going more aggressively for my feet as well as now starting to grab for my arms/hands when I pet him or anything like that. I understand that this is normal GSD puppy behaviour. But lately I just have not been able to tucker him out. I have literally taken him for a 45 minute walk, played for 3 hours, then trained for an hour, and then taken for another 45 minute walk and he still refuses to settle down which seems very odd to me. He has also recently started barking at me while I eat, despite me totally ignoring him (we're talking 1 bark/second for the ENTIRE meal).

Like i said, these behaviours have escalate immensely since the start of this week and that is what has me wondering if maybe there's something going on. He used to bite hard as a puppy, and then he was very gentle for a long time, and now he's biting quite hard all of a sudden.

Anyone have any insight? I'm new to GSD and I know they're little terrorists when they're puppies!

Thanks!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 10:58 PM
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Going after your feet is a herding thing.Toys with ropes attached will help keep your young shark at a distanceSounds like he needs to learn when to relax.Maybe play,train,then a calm walk or some sort of transition period that leads to resting in his crate.He may protest but will likely conk out shortly.Puppies get wound up and hyper when they are getting tired,like young children.It's hard not to want to stroke that fuzzy puppy fur,but don't pet him unless he's calm.If he tries to turn your affection into a game it just becomes a bad habit.Give him something else to do,maybe something to chew.I'm fortunate to have multiple dogs and always had help burning off that puppy energy.When the other dogs or me had enough it was nap time or chew quietly and rest time.Good luck,and hope this helps!

Terri

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-16-2018, 11:49 PM
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Crate him after exercise. Some dogs get adrenalized by certain activities and have a difficult time turning off afterwards. The more you try to wear them down the more amped up and frantic they become, creating a vicious cycle where they become harder and harder to wear out. Crating can help teach a puppy to settle down and sleep. Puzzle toys can also help mentally exercise a puppy. You don't have to run out and buy a bunch of expensive toys. Put a meal in a paper bag, scrunch the top and let him work out how to get the food out, place a meal in a muffin tin, put some kibble in a low container and put some plastic bottles in for the puppy to push around, put kibble into a plastic bottle without a top and let him bash it around, ect...

Be careful about forcing your puppy to exercise. Joints are not fully developed and damage done now will be have life long affects. Puppies need exercise, but too much is not good. My personal choice is low impact at the puppy's pace on a natural surface. I avoid hard surfaces and rarely walk a puppy on a leash. I don't do forced exercise like running, jogging, on leash walks, or a lot fetch. I use fetch for training, but not exercise.

GSD puppies bite. I know some people get very upset by it, but I'm not really bothered by it. They are a herding breed, they bite a lot, but it is a phase that will pass with teething in most cases. Its part of owning a GSD puppy, they are intense and they are bred to bite things. To me biting means my puppy wants to interact with me, it just doesn't know how yet, so I redirect and channel the need to chase and bite into more appropriate activities. I like a pushy puppy, so I'll take biting over a puppy that would rather play by itself.
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