Please reassure me it'll get better - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Please reassure me it'll get better

We have an 11 week old male. We've had him for 3 weeks. Our first GSD. Although I've read a lot about GSD behavior, and know that puppies bite, I was really not prepared for the "landshark" stage. I constantly, constantly redirect, and while he has seemed to improve around me, as SOON as my kids (ages 6,9,12) wake up in the morning, come home from school, etc., he is chasing them, and almost seems to be attacking them. I'm always telling them to redirect him, although nothing seems to work until I physically go and get him. He'll bark at them, but not growl. He has shown some improvement, but there are still those times that his behavior scares me, because it makes me wonder what he's going to be like as he gets older. I do find myself getting angry with him, but do not ever punish with aggression, or put him in his crate (he likes his crate, and I want to keep him liking his crate!) I do sometimes put him on a leash while the kids are getting ready for school. Note: there are times when he's very calm, and the kids can pet him, even the 6 year old has him "sitting" and "staying". Also, he starts puppy school on Friday, and the entire family is going to make sure we're all on the same page.

I'm looking for reassurance that this is completely normal. I'm wondering if anybody else can share their story of being "afraid" of some of their puppy's behavior. I really think he just gets super excited to see them, and cannot control himself. Please tell me this will pass.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 09:59 AM
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He is thinking the kids are littermates so he is playing with them as if they are just that. With training and time he will improve. I have a 8 week old and she is very fiesty and mouthy but I know with time and training it goes away.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 10:03 AM
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It's very normal behavior. It will pass. They tend to out grow the landshark stage around the time they finish teething. Around 5-6 months. I know that sounds like forever away but it really does go by quickly. Stay strong, consistent and patient. You are doing everything right. Don't be afraid to give him a little timeout in his crate if you need. You won't make him dislike his crate if you don't make a big deal of crate time. Just have him go in with a calm attitude.
It's fantastic that you are having the whole family involved with puppy class.
Hang in there!

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Last edited by Springbrz; 05-01-2018 at 10:05 AM.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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He is thinking the kids are littermates so he is playing with them as if they are just that. With training and time he will improve. I have a 8 week old and she is very fiesty and mouthy but I know with time and training it goes away.
This makes sense. Thank you!
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 10:05 AM
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I have a 10 week old female pup who is a ball of fire. My 3 (will be 4 in a couple months) year old grandchild also lives in my home with her father. Genali is a great puppy, even if she is a handful, but when Genali and grandchild are in the same room, its like someone has unleased a force of nature!

I do tend to be a little harsher on corrections (to both the pup and to grandchild) when they interact. Here is what works for me.

I do not let pup around grandchild without supervision. E.V.E.R. this is for Genalis's safety as well as grandchild's safety. I usually will have Genali dragging a lead so that I can step in easier if I need too. I encourage grandchild to stand up for herself to Genali.........she is learning to give appropriate commands "DOWN" and "NO". If Genali starts getting too rough, she goes to the crate for some calm down. Calm down time in the crate will not cause your pup to dislike the crate, so long as you don't put him in and forget. Just enough time to calm down. Genali usually needs 2-3 minutes.

Training the children is just as important as training the pup. Watch carefully....are the children doing anything (probably unintentionally) that would cause your puppy to become over excited? too much running, squealing? too many people saying his name at once? Competing for his attention? Be sure that you are watching that the children don't accidentally set your pup up for failure here. I have a rule with grandchild.......if she does something that causes Genali to get over excited and act inappropriately, she is required to sit in her time out spot until Genali is calm. It is working well. Grandchild is learning respect and self control, Genali is learning that play time ends when she acts like a brat puppy and I get a chance to breath. Your children are older, so you may not need this.

It was worth it!
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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It's very normal behavior. It will pass. They tend to out grow the landshark stage around the time they finish teething. Around 5-6 months. I know that sounds like forever away but it really does go by quickly. Stay strong, consistent and patient[IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/Germanshepherds_2016/smilies/tango_face_smile.png[/IMG]. You are doing everything right. Don't be afraid to give him a little timeout in his crate if you need. You won't make him dislike his crate if you don't make a big deal of crate time. Just have him go in with a calm attitude.
It's fantastic that you are having the whole family involved with puppy class.
Hang in there!
5-6 months does seem like an eternity right now. But, your reassurance helps! Thank you, thank you!!
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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I have a 10 week old female pup who is a ball of fire. My 3 (will be 4 in a couple months) year old grandchild also lives in my home with her father....
This is great advice! My 9 year old does tend to get him excited - she can't help herself because he's so darn adorable. But it usually ends in her crying, because he's nipped her. Yes, there's running away - which the puppy probably thinks is playing. I am going to continue to work with the children on that part, and might even try quiet time in the crate. It gives me hope when he listens to the kids commands (for treats).

Thank you for your response!
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 10:32 AM
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Yup very normal! There was like a 2-3 week period where I did not pet/touch my pup cause he would do nothing but bite. I was conviced it would never end & I was conviced that my guy was more mouthy than everyone else's puppy and they just didn't understand my situation. Just keep pushing. My puppy is 5 months and NEVER mouths anymore and he got a lot lot lot lot better around 4 months! GOOD LUCK
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 10:32 AM
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This is great advice! My 9 year old does tend to get him excited - she can't help herself because he's so darn adorable. But it usually ends in her crying, because he's nipped her. Yes, there's running away - which the puppy probably thinks is playing. I am going to continue to work with the children on that part, and might even try quiet time in the crate. It gives me hope when he listens to the kids commands (for treats).

Thank you for your response!
Running away is a big problem here too! Grandchild gets upset and tried to run, and soooo Genali is like "OOOOOHHHHH SHE WANTS TO PLAY CHASE!!!!!!". I have had to create a "stand your ground" rule. Children that work puppy up and then cower or cry and complain about the situation that they caused don't get much sympathy from mean ole gammy. Teach your 9 year old to give a correction and re-direction when puppy nips. I think that the thing that has helped my grandchild the most is learning (through education and discipline) to have confidence when interacting with the puppy.

Yesterday, Genali was too rough with grandchild. Grandchild hadn't really done anything to start it. When grandchild complained, I asked her what she thought needed to be done. This grandchild of mine grabbed the leash, lead Genali to the crate and said "CRATE".......Genali walked right in and sat down. Grandchild shut the door and walked away. I was so proud of BOTH of them!

Genali is my first GSD.......she is a lot different than the Dobermans that I am used to, but she will be worth the time and the frustration. Your pup will be too!

It was worth it!
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 10:55 AM
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It will get better. Your children don’t understand what it means to redirect the dog. They may get it intellectually, but they need to feel and experience how to get the dog to stop chasing them. Show them exactly what you mean and make them practice. If the dog is chasing it means they are running. That will always excite a puppy. Genali explained it very well. They can’t run and expect the puppy to stand and watch them. The exercise is good for him, though. It is always easier to keep a dog tired when you have small children. You need to do it safely.

We get cute, fluffy puppies thinking they are going to be warm and cuddly and it doesn’t work that way with landsharks. Mine was all teeth at that age. My older dog was exceptionally patient and taught him bite inhibitions, which helped a lot. I got a firehouse type wedge tug and let him mouth that a lot.
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