VERY Mouthy 5 MO GSD with an attitude, Suggestions, Please!
Hello everyone, I am not new to the boards, but have not posted for several years. I am hoping to get some advice from more experienced owners.
We brought home a GSD pup one month ago today. He just turned 5 months, is growing very quickly, and becoming more of a handful every day!!!
This is our 5th GSD, but the only dog in our home at this time. In the past, we have successfully rehabilitated GSD rescues and settled adult dogs into our home. We have not had a GSD puppy for several years and may not accurately recall typical puppy behavior, but this GSD puppy is VERY active and very smart and seems a bit stubborn. Thankfully, this pup starts obedience class next week. We have always used positive training techniques, awarding desired behavior and redirecting. He learned basic commands quickly but is still working to transfer training to everyday life.
The puppy bonded tightly with me right away and in his first weeks at home, he wouldn't eat or move away from the door when I was at work. He is finally bonding with my husband and adult son and has recently started responding to them positively and is no longer displaying separation anxiety when I am not home. Because of our daily schedules, he is rarely alone during the day and receives lots of playtime and attention. My husband and son tell me that he is low-key while I am not home.We have a few concerns:
1. I am experiencing the "Puppy Frenzies" before and after my workdays. The pup seems absolutely overjoyed to see me and jumps and nips at me repeatedly in an over-excited state for sometimes hours at a time. I have tried ignoring him and only responding to desired behavior, but he is 57lbs of craziness and that's getting difficult. His behavior continues through the evening, with charging jumps directed at me, followed by a nipping frenzy. He nips at my heels and legs if I try to move away. (Again, he is not alone during the day) We train and play in the evening, but he does not settle down until bedtime. When I am home on the weekends he is much calmer.
2. He has developed an attitude and even during a calm and focused time, he will frequently respond to command with a nip or bark to complain. I am worried that one of his nips will connect soon and cause real harm to someone.
3. He does not enjoy walks and will drag us home or refuse to walk at all. We are trying to socialize him to the walks by keeping it as low-key and positive as possible.
I am beginning to sense the puppy's confusion as well. Sometimes, he shows me that he doesn't understand what I want to see and will sit, lie down, or offer a paw, instead of following my original command.
I know that much of his behavior is common puppy behavior. I wonder if we are experiencing the behavior later than a typical pup because he was an older pup when we brought him home. The typical puppy training (bite inhibition, for example) has not worked well for us because he is so big and his puppy bites HURT! He understands OFF and LEAVE IT during training, but does not apply them to every day.
Sorry for the lengthy post. Any advice on how to manage this big bundle of overexcited dog will be greatly appreciated! We want him to be happy and well-adjusted, like our other GSD's