Puppy only listens to my boyfriend... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2018, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy only listens to my boyfriend...

Hi everyone,

Our puppy Thunder is 15 weeks old and he's doing very well with training and learning new commands.

However, he's way more attentive and obedient towards my bf while with me he has difficulties staying focused and he always ends up playing rough with me (biting hair, hands, clothes...) and ignoring any sound coming from me.

I've been trying hard but it doesn't seem to work, I know he loves me but I want him to listen to me the way he does with my bf.

Does any of you have tips or suggestions that I can try to improve my relationship with Thunder? That would be well appreciated! Happy Sunday
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2018, 12:10 PM
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Wife had the same issue with Athena. You need to show you are the leader, have a firmer voice helps. Also does your BF spend a ton of time with the puppy if so you need to try to spend more time as well. GSD tend to bond with one owner very well and they listen to others but are not as bonded with others.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2018, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Yes he does spend more time with him, I'm out the whole day at work, my BF works from home so the pup is very used to his presence, he trains him daily and he is very patient wit him. I want to be patient too, but our bonding time always ends quickly. He gets so excited when I come back home, it starts fine but it escalates so quickly, he begins biting me everywhere, my hair, my shoulder, my side... ignoring all my whimpering sounds, it's so painful. He never bites my bf hard, I really don't know how to approach the situation anymore, because I'm scared of his bites.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2018, 12:33 PM
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We are having the same issue here with Genali. She listens to me very well, but not my husband. He is firm, but when he tells her to do something, she will turn and run to me (Playful not scared).

Here is what is working for us. When hubby tells Genali to do something, I ignore her until she does it and he has had time to praise her. Then I will say good dog. When she comes running to me, I will turn my back and walk away.

We've had this situation before. Several of my dobes were very one person, and I was that person. When I said "SIT" they would snap-to, when hubby said "SIT" they were much slower to respond. Keep working with the pup, be firm, be fair, and be consistent.

Have you tried NILF? Nothing in life is free! Have puppy obey a simple command before anything. Have her sit for a toy, sit for her dinner, perhaps down before being petted. I have noticed that if I make Genali work for something, she wants it more. Have her work a little for your attention, she will respect you for it.

Genali quickly learned that I don't tolerate biting. The "OUCH" routine did nothing for her. I have to push her off of me, get up, walk away and ignore her for about 5 minutes. She HATES it when I do that. She has it figured out now, biting mom means mom goes away. She has responded very well to it.

It was worth it!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2018, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Karinette View Post
I want to be patient too, but our bonding time always ends quickly. He gets so excited when I come back home, it starts fine but it escalates so quickly, he begins biting me everywhere, my hair, my shoulder, my side... ignoring all my whimpering sounds, it's so painful. He never bites my bf hard, I really don't know how to approach the situation anymore, because I'm scared of his bites.
Interacting with young, bitey puppies can be trying! But bonding at this age is on your puppy's terms, not yours. Your puppy won't want a lot of quiet, calm petting and snuggling for some time yet, it's all about play, and play involves biting stuff, so give him something else to bite and make it fun!

In my experience, the key is to lead them to do what you want...you can't force them to do anything LOL! But you have to sort of preempt the biting by giving the puppy something good to bite and help him get rid of some of that excitement by engaging him in play...that is bonding! Rolled up t-shirts or other old clothing, with a few knots tied in them make great tug toys for puppies, just be gentle and let the puppy dictate the puppy pressure he's comfortable with and let him win. Your old juice or soda bottles make great toys as well (just strip off the little rings on that stay on them before giving them to the puppy). When my puppy was growing up we kept the floor literally littered with plastic containers like that for the puppy to play with.

When the puppy does get bitey, say "no", or I like "stop", to indicate it's not okay, then walk away. Don't whimper, it just excites them more! It won't happen overnight, but he will get the point if you're absolutely consistent. Good Luck, enjoy your puppy he'll grow up all too fast!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-28-2018, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your answers! It was very helpful.

I've been trying more lately, my bf is very supportive and patient with me and Thunder. Now I ask him to sit every time I need him to listen or whenever he wants something from me (food, toys...).

He's still biting hard, almost made me cry last night but walking away is working, my bf would do the same to show him that we're on the same page, it's a start, I'm glad. We decided that I should be the one accompanying him to the puppy classes, he already trains daily with my bf and he seems to be learning very fast. He's a hyper dog especially outside but he learns so fast once you manage to get his attention. I want him to trust me the way he does with my bf, whenever we're outside I'd notice that he keeps an eye on me but without losing track of my bf. I'm learning from both of them everyday, no matter how much my bf is strict with him (but also very loving), Thunder trusts him and is always looking to satisfy him. We both don't want him to be attached to one single person.

PS: Does anyone have cats? If yes, how do you make all of the pets get along? lol. Thunder is very playful, he always goes to one of the cats to try and play but she keeps rejecting him (she's the sweetest cat, the other one is a lost cause, she's a territorial cat and she wouldn't even come out from under the sofa when the puppy is around).

Last edited by Karinette; 04-28-2018 at 02:28 AM.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-28-2018, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tim_s_adams View Post
Interacting with young, bitey puppies can be trying! But bonding at this age is on your puppy's terms, not yours. Your puppy won't want a lot of quiet, calm petting and snuggling for some time yet, it's all about play, and play involves biting stuff, so give him something else to bite and make it fun!

In my experience, the key is to lead them to do what you want...you can't force them to do anything LOL! But you have to sort of preempt the biting by giving the puppy something good to bite and help him get rid of some of that excitement by engaging him in play...that is bonding! Rolled up t-shirts or other old clothing, with a few knots tied in them make great tug toys for puppies, just be gentle and let the puppy dictate the puppy pressure he's comfortable with and let him win. Your old juice or soda bottles make great toys as well (just strip off the little rings on that stay on them before giving them to the puppy). When my puppy was growing up we kept the floor literally littered with plastic containers like that for the puppy to play with.

When the puppy does get bitey, say "no", or I like "stop", to indicate it's not okay, then walk away. Don't whimper, it just excites them more! It won't happen overnight, but he will get the point if you're absolutely consistent. Good Luck, enjoy your puppy he'll grow up all too fast!
Now that he met and smelled most of the dogs in the neighborhood, we started taking him to the dog park. He spends most of his daily energy playing fetch and going crazy...
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-28-2018, 02:58 AM
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You'll hear from lots of people on this forum that dog parks are bad, but I go nearly everyday with my dog, now 16 months old, and have never had a bad experience. She's gotten in a few disagreements there at times, but has always recovered well and has not held any grudges. My dog plays well with large and small dogs, and does not bully anyone, except for dogs that act overly timid. And from what I've seen repeatedly, the dogs that get that unwanted attention quickly stop acting that way and the other dogs then quit picking on them LOL! Though it's sort of counter intuitive, it does seem to be a universal sort of dog thing. Anyway, glad to hear you've found a way to get your puppy some outlet for his energy!

And on the cat question, I don't have cats now, but when I did I let the dogs and cats figure out for themselves what worked and what didn't...within reason LOL! We had one kitten and a puppy one time that when watching them I thought the puppy was killing the cat. But when I intervened, because the puppy literally had the cat's whole head in it's mouth and was dragging it around, I was shocked to find that the cat was purring! They were inseparable their entire lives...not saying you should ignore bullying, but animals have their own ways that we often just don't get. Be watchful and stop any prey-like behavior you see, but beyond that, IME dogs and cats speak pretty well with each other, and they all have a way of working things out pretty well!
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It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-28-2018, 03:11 AM
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Tbh as a newbie GSD owner the dog park can work against you. It can also work for you. It very much depends on the dog and your level of experience. My dog is very friendly but getting that focus with a competiting motivator as fun as other dogs worked against me. I am just not that cool tho I try. He is great at 14 months off leash with other dogs but the obedience under voice control is a struggle. On leash as he matures (maturity plays a role) he is reactive and does not like loose dogs approaching him on leash I learned that recently. We are working thru it. My dog sees me as fun will play with me anywhere except the dog park. I worked getting him to engage in play with me everywhere. Which is a great thing but at some point you want to just walk with your dog chilling at your side. So now I am trying to get that focused calm behavior.
15 weeks is really young if your new to dogs and new to gsd. Being fun expecting very little focusing on just some manners, boundaries, shaping behaviors like sit and down with lures, capturing behaviors and rewarding them/naming them like down sit speak, with you and around the house establishing play will work in your favor. If your dog is confident around other dogs at the dog park that's great. Leave him with that positive association. I would suggest moving on and getting that level of focus and enjoyment running on a long line with you and a toy and or food anywhere it is safe to even outside the dog park. I hope that makes sense....if I could turn back time I see the things I could have done differently to fit my dog. It's not that he is trouble honestly I adore him and he has been patient with my stumbles I could have just saved us some work....we are learning together. Getting to know your dog and building the communication is a fine work of art
Enjoy and ask questions it still amazes me what i learn from the good people here
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-28-2018, 03:17 AM
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I have 4 cats....it's a work in progress dog has good prey drive great for play and fetch no so great with a cats fast moves. When a dog is in drive for the chase most best are off. Limit any chasing with a leash outside and inside. No cat harrassing. Use a place command taught. One thing I didn't do that I'll do now is use place Leashed with another person playing with the cat at a distance dog maintains place and reduce that distance once the dogs desire to chase decreases by the evidence that he can hold place. The desire to chase overtime should diminish.
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