Looking for guidance for a 4 month old female - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for guidance for a 4 month old female

I have my 4 month old puppy her name is ooma. She's good when she's tired or when she's busy but when she wants attention she goes in to Landshark phase especially on my grandma whos now scared of her. She will bite socks or any limb within her reach and won't respnd to commands or clear signals of dissapointment. Another problem is that she won't sleep in her crate she goes in to her crate herself but will cry me a River if I lock her in. She has a good reputation with her crate because I would treat her and give her the good girl words when she's calm, but as soon as I walk away... You guessed it back at it with the puppy eyes and the sobs. I'd like to mention that I live in an apartment with my bed beside her crate, I'm scared that if I keep her in overnight she won't stop crying, meaning the neighbours won't be happy. I will take all advice from everyone because I'm looking to raise a solid girl.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 04:43 AM
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We have the same puppy. Hahah. Mine is 5.5 months now and I had all the same issues.

With the crate, we use a wire crate and we cover it completely with a thin sheet. It calms her down immediately and she slept through the night when she was younger. This was a game changer for us so I really recommend trying it! She will probably have to cry it out a bit either way in the crate (but the sheet will help shorten the duration of crying) so your neighbors (mine had to deal the first two nights as well) will have to deal with a little crying!

With the land shark, just constantly redirect with a bone or a toy. There’s old advice online that says to make a yelping noise but this would just excite a German Shepherd puppy and make it 1000x worse. I know that a friend of a friend got some bite sleeves just for their arms when playing with their dog so they wouldn’t have as many puncture wounds. But for us, we’d hand her a toy and say no bites. It takes awhile but it sinks in! Our puppy at four months was teething like CRAZY as well so CONSTANTLY have bones for her to chew on and teething toys. She’s most likely just very very uncomfortable. Our puppy has almost all her adult teeth in now and the second that happens with your puppy, you’ll notice a huge change in how much she bites.

Also try setting up play dates for her. What really helped us was to set up doggy play dates for her and other dogs taught her what was acceptable in terms of how hard she bites, and even now when she forgets herself and bites us, it’s insanely gentle.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 06:15 AM
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I understand how frustrating it can be when you want your pup to stop crying so that your neighbors don't get upset. Watch your emotions while dealing with the crate issue. Take deep breaths and try to be as calm and matter of fact as you can about it. Your pup will be reading your emotions. And try the cover. It might help.

The biting games should slow down in a couple of months when teething is over. Keep pup on a leash around grandma for awhile, even when indoors. We did that with my mom who was on blood thinners. My mom was used to our old little mixed breed and when she called our pup to her, wow, a wild little crazy boy plowed right into her. I had to train my pup and my mom (grin). When my boy reached adulthood they had found a good balance, with loving and petting and their own little routines. It was charming.

In the meantime, use that urge to bite and nibble to play little tug games with your pup. Don't just give them the toy, but use the toy to interact with your dog. She'll love it and later you can use those tug games to reward good behavior and teach new things.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 09:43 AM
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The biting isn't an instant fix. Mine's a year old and on occasion still has the desire to bite. It's a lot better now but back when he was your pup's age, I was...let's put it this way I went through 2.5 tubes of Neosporin and about 3 boxes of bandages. You just have to do all the things that everyone says...the redirections, the yelping (if that works for your pup and despite what other say it does work for some pups), the walking away...it's just a matter of time. For me the biting got significantly better after he finished teething. So hang in ther

As far as crate training is concerned, I don't know if my way works or I've just been fortunate with the 2 dogs. Make it fun for the pup to be in its crate. I have 2 wire crates of different sizes and I can crawl into both. I lock myself in, "have a party" in there. Make it sound like I'm having a grand ol' time in there. He would bark at me and try to get in. When I finally came out, he'd go inside and stay in there for a while. That's when I throw all sorts of treats in there. I always leave the crate door open, so he can come and go as he pleases. When you put him in there, treats. When you close the door, treats. 5 minutes, open the door, treats. Increase the time each time he's in there and doesn't make any noise. Eventually leave the room. You have to do this a lot so she understands that she will be let out.

I know not everyone can do this and I'm probably an "extreme" case...but for the first few months, every night I slept on the kitchen floor with him right next to the crate. In the beginning, I had the door closed and he was too tired to care. (btw, you need to wear her out during the evening so she's too tired and just wants to sleep.) Eventually, I left the crate door open and he would happily sleep in his crate.

Oh, the blanket/sheet idea works especially if you have a wire crate. I've done that with both dogs. They need to feel a bit of "privacy." Actually I think it's a calming thing. There's no distractions that they can see. I don't think they like you standing over the crate. It can be intimidating for them.

Some people will tell you to feed your pup its meals in its crate. I'm not saying don't do that or it doesn't work. I've just never done that. For me, I see his crate as his sleep/relax place, not his feeding area. I keep the 2 things separate.

As far as your pup vocalizing its displeasure of being in the crate, there's no way around it while you're crate training. You can warn your neighbors, maybe buy them a gift certificate to a nice restaurant. Again, I've been very fortunate with my 2 dogs. It's either they've been easy/tolerant of the crates or my ways work. Whichever it is, I'll keep doing it the same way with the next dogs until it doesn't work.

I know I'm all over the place and my comments aren't organized. Sorry about that. And it might look like I'm contradicting myself when I say that the crate should be a relaxing/sleeping area and at the same time I said make it fun and make it a party in the crate. Making it fun in the crate (is at the beginning of crate training) is to create a desire for the pup to want to go in the crate by itself and not by us shoving the dog in there. If the pup goes in there on its own as opposed to you shoving it in there, the chances of it wanting to stay in the crate increases. I'll take those odds anytime. Anyway, good luck and hang in there....it gets better.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 12:12 PM
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I assume at 4 months that you've already had her for a month or two? In which case, she's had enough time to settle in, and needs to get used to the routine in your house.

I would say the best thing to do for the crying in the crate is just bite the bullet and accept a few nights of crying in exchange for a lifetime of relative peace. If you reward the crying by letting her out of the crate, or giving attention, then she will learn to cry so she can get what she wants. With my girl she cried during the night the first week or two of coming home and sleeping in the crate, but she soon got it. My girl is now 11 months and has been consistently quiet all night for a long time, as she knows it's unacceptable and doesn't get her anywhere. However, she will still occasionally cry in the mornings to be let out, but if I'm not ready to wake up I will tell her "lay down" and she will lay down and go back to sleep. That's the rules and it makes life a lot easier
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tc68 View Post
The biting isn't an instant fix. Mine's a year old and on occasion still has the desire to bite. It's a lot better now but back when he was your pup's age, I was...let's put it this way I went through 2.5 tubes of Neosporin and about 3 boxes of bandages. You just have to do all the things that everyone says...the redirections, the yelping (if that works for your pup and despite what other say it does work for some pups), the walking away...it's just a matter of time. For me the biting got significantly better after he finished teething. So hang in ther

As far as crate training is concerned, I don't know if my way works or I've just been fortunate with the 2 dogs. Make it fun for the pup to be in its crate. I have 2 wire crates of different sizes and I can crawl into both. I lock myself in, "have a party" in there. Make it sound like I'm having a grand ol' time in there. He would bark at me and try to get in. When I finally came out, he'd go inside and stay in there for a while. That's when I throw all sorts of treats in there. I always leave the crate door open, so he can come and go as he pleases. When you put him in there, treats. When you close the door, treats. 5 minutes, open the door, treats. Increase the time each time he's in there and doesn't make any noise. Eventually leave the room. You have to do this a lot so she understands that she will be let out.

I know not everyone can do this and I'm probably an "extreme" case...but for the first few months, every night I slept on the kitchen floor with him right next to the crate. In the beginning, I had the door closed and he was too tired to care. (btw, you need to wear her out during the evening so she's too tired and just wants to sleep.) Eventually, I left the crate door open and he would happily sleep in his crate.

Oh, the blanket/sheet idea works especially if you have a wire crate. I've done that with both dogs. They need to feel a bit of "privacy." Actually I think it's a calming thing. There's no distractions that they can see. I don't think they like you standing over the crate. It can be intimidating for them.

Some people will tell you to feed your pup its meals in its crate. I'm not saying don't do that or it doesn't work. I've just never done that. For me, I see his crate as his sleep/relax place, not his feeding area. I keep the 2 things separate.

As far as your pup vocalizing its displeasure of being in the crate, there's no way around it while you're crate training. You can warn your neighbors, maybe buy them a gift certificate to a nice restaurant. Again, I've been very fortunate with my 2 dogs. It's either they've been easy/tolerant of the crates or my ways work. Whichever it is, I'll keep doing it the same way with the next dogs until it doesn't work.

I know I'm all over the place and my comments aren't organized. Sorry about that. And it might look like I'm contradicting myself when I say that the crate should be a relaxing/sleeping area and at the same time I said make it fun and make it a party in the crate. Making it fun in the crate (is at the beginning of crate training) is to create a desire for the pup to want to go in the crate by itself and not by us shoving the dog in there. If the pup goes in there on its own as opposed to you shoving it in there, the chances of it wanting to stay in the crate increases. I'll take those odds anytime. Anyway, good luck and hang in there....it gets better.
I actually had a crate party too! 😂 I was also told to put treats in there all the time and lock the door so they couldn’t get them. And it would be reverse psychology.

My parents dog also thought I got my puppy for him as his puppy, and whenever she would go into her crate and we would lock her in for a nap, he would desperately want to get in.. And he HATED crates before that.. They couldn’t have made him go in for any amount of treats in the world and now he goes in on his own all the time. So it definitely works to make the crate something exciting they can’t get into!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by germanshepowner View Post
I actually had a crate party too! 😂 I was also told to put treats in there all the time and lock the door so they couldn’t get them. And it would be reverse psychology.

My parents dog also thought I got my puppy for him as his puppy, and whenever she would go into her crate and we would lock her in for a nap, he would desperately want to get in.. And he HATED crates before that.. They couldn’t have made him go in for any amount of treats in the world and now he goes in on his own all the time. So it definitely works to make the crate something exciting they can’t get into!
Yeah. I actually thought of it by accident. When I first got those crates, they were so large that I wondered if I could fit into them. So I crawled into the bigger one. Then I thought why not lock myself in with the latches. I then noticed my pup getting really excited and barking and pawing at it. When I got out, he actually went in on his own. So I thought I'd do it a few more times over the next few days. I even laid down and pretended I was sleeping for about 10 mins. Like you said....a kind of reverse psychology.
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