First timer, and need reassurances - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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First timer, and need reassurances

Hi. I'm a first time dog owner. My gsd pup, Willow is nearing 5 months. I got her at 6 weeks(I know, too young). I work from home, so I'm able to give her a lot of attention. She knows a lot of basic commands, sit, stay, come, wait, down, rollover, speak, out, etc.

We walk to the park twice a day, usually spending 45 min or so each time, playing fetch and meeting people. She jumps on people and barks at dogs, all playfully, but still NEED to get her out of it. She's still pretty mouthy, but rarely bites hard.

We've only left her home alone once, for about 2 1/2 hours. She slept the whole time. This is another big one I'm concerned about. Did I mess up by not leaving her home alone regularly? She sleeps alone just fine, so I think she might be OK. But I'm worried about her being totally alert and awake when we leave.

Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated. Cheers
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 11:51 AM
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She should have a crate or kennel to keep her safe and out of trouble when you're away.If she's loose in the house at her young age she will likely find something to destroy or get hurt with to amuse herself.
To prevent jumping up insist she sit to receive pets and attention.Create a new habit instead of allowing her to practice one you don't want.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if I'm replying correctly. Thank you for the response. Hopefully you see this. I do have her sit when people come to pet her, but she jumps as soon as they get near. People don't cooperate when I tell them to back off if she jumps. They say, I don't mind. Also, our vet sits on the ground and let's her jump all over her. It's like the people need training before the dog can learn.

As far as being crated when we're gone, I completely agree. My concern was more that I want to avoid her getting stressed. Since she's hardly been alone, I want to do it the right way.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 02:34 PM
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Best way is too crate her....leave for very short periods 10-15 minutes then return and let her out---praise and play....the idea is to gradually increase the time you're gone....each time you leave a little longer time frame......until you're gone 2-3 hours....the important thing is for the pup or dog to learn that you always....ALWAYS are coming back to them---I've never had an issue this way with any of my young pups as they grow.



Many dogs who suffer from separation anxiety are shelter dogs or rescues who've had a crappy start in life... sometimes multiple owners--- even then an easy fix... once they learn you...always...always come back.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayna View Post
People don't cooperate ... It's like the people need training before the dog can learn.

Correct.


Don't be afraid to tell them "no, it's not alright" and if they still are doing whatever they want, take your puppy and walk away. Sit means Sit. And it's the best command to get them to stop jumping. It might not cause any harm to jump on me but it's NOT ok to knock down a child or 90 yr old lady.



Another thing - watch what people are doing. I don't know why a person would grab the jaw of an 80# male German Shepherd to get him to sit or why they would smack him in the back of the head (because their dog who won't recall apparently likes that) but they do dumb things like that. I'm at the point where I don't allow adults to interact with my dog. Kids - Yes. They will listen. Adults - Not so much.



Just be your puppy's advocate You'll do just fine.



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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 04:40 PM
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I don't let people tell my dog what to do unless they are the trainer or someone who needs them to respond, for example a vet. For some reason people who train for a living almost can't help themselves but to test the dog...especially in pet stores. They make a fist and say "sit" and my dog stares at them. They may or may not sit, but not too quickly as if saying, "who are you to tell me to sit?"

I am a stay at home spouse so my dogs are seldom alone at home, but when we go out we leave as if it is no big deal. We may leave the t.v. or music playing for them. I don't know if they like it but it makes me feel better. Both dogs stayed in their crates at least the first whole year when left home alone, especially when we got our 2nd dog.

As far as meeting other people and dogs, I chose to keep my distance. If your dog gets used to the idea she is going to go get to meet people you may find her dragging you over to another dog or kid. That doesn't mean that you can never stop and chat with a neighbor. It just means it shouldn't turn into a party. If it is another dog, don't pull straight back on the leash. That just tends to make your dog want to counter pull even harder. Keep on moving past the other dog and if you pass calmly, stop a little ways away and praise and play!

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 05:32 PM
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One thing that you can do if you would like him not to jump on family and friends that you want him to interact with is just to keep your foot on the leash so she can't jump when she's sitting.Instruct them not to touch her until she's calm.
All are excellent tips above!

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 06:17 PM
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I am more relaxed at the vet because I want my dogs to love going. Otherwise, they learned to sit and wait. I taught them “Go say hi” which is the only command to greet someone. They also know, Wait, which means sit and don’t move for a short time until a release command, rather than Stay which means don’t move at all.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 06:57 PM
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Good for you, new dog owner, you're doing things right!!


Jumping from excitement is tough to control especially in young, bouncy pups. As you work on your obedience it will improve, and asking people to wait until pup is calm(er) helps a lot.

Regarding training your pup to accept time on it's own, you've got great tips. One thing I'd like to add is, Don't say good-bye to your dog. Good-byes have no meaning to a dog. What your dog hears and thinks instead is, "My master is talking to me, he said my name. He must want me to go with him, we're going to do something together!...What the heck!... Hey! You forgot me!!! "

We can set our dogs up to be anxious or frustrated when we do this. The best way to act is to casually and without fanfare put him in his crate (if you're crating him) and leave. I also tone down the return greetings too. I know my dogs love me, I don't encourage over the top greetings. Calm and steady is the best approach, IMO.

Will you be participating in a group Obedience class? Six mos. of age is the perfect time to start. You sound like you have a great beginning; investing a little more time in training will pay off in spades. Good luck!

Last edited by PRoberts; 06-28-2018 at 06:58 PM. Reason: I edit because I can.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by car2ner View Post
For some reason people who train for a living almost can't help themselves but to test the dog...especially in pet stores. They make a fist and say "sit" and my dog stares at them. They may or may not sit, but not too quickly as if saying, "who are you to tell me to sit?"
YES!!! The AKC fist!!!



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