My 6 month old will not let my wife tidy up the house - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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My 6 month old will not let my wife tidy up the house

Chip is doing really well. He still barks at some strangers, but always allows them to pet him and be friendly. My problem is this- if my wife starts to sweep hair off the sofa, rearrange the blankets, pick up his toys and put them in his basket, or lay a towel down on his kennel floor, HE GOES BONKERS. He charges her, jumps up on the sofa and mock bites at her. The bark is a high pitched whelping bark and not his normal low pitched bark. At first it was funny, but now it is a PITA. If he is in his kennel he just screams bloody murder until she stops. If he is outside and sees her cleaning up inside he screams bloody murder. It sounds like he is being tortured...........maybe he is in a way. Has anyone seen this behavior before?Is he jealous that the couch is getting the attention and not him? Does he not want his stuff touched? He will do it to me too, but nowhere as aggressively as my wife (he knows I am going to push back more). Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Charles "Chip" Von Stonehill
Metro Detroit Area, Mi
Birthdate 10/08/18
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 11:21 AM
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Perhaps he likes things the way they were/are, perhaps he realizes how futile tidying is. Maybe you could teach him to bark on command by putting a name on the behavior. I was told that teaching them to bark on command would make it easier to get them to quit barking. With the dog I first tried it with, it didn't work that well.

BTW mine act like they're being slaughtered when I pull up the driveway. And I haven't found the off switch on that one.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 11:46 AM
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lol the silly things dogs do. haha
i have never thought about that but i guess my dog, too, has done what you are describing, "in a way".
so my dog's dog bed, whenever i try to move it, he will come lunge at it start humping, LOL
the funny thing is, he doesnt even sleep on it, like EVER.
he sleeps on either on my bed or the counch.
so i dont know where the motivation is coming from but your post made me think about that.
not sure how to curb your dog's crying and mock biting though.
maybe he'll grow out of it.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 12:14 PM
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Your first problem is finding it funny. You let it go on and now it's an issue. You're going to need to work on his training and let him know it's not okay.

You'll have to ignore his screaming, personally I'd completely ignore him when he's like that and continue on. Don't look at him or anything.

Then I'd use a place command or a solid lay down and stay when you have time. If he gets up you put him back in place/lay down and do it again and again as many times as it takes. Be firm and be very consistent. I'd also offer a very sharp ah-ah instead of saying no or something as soon as he does it. I've noticed in my dogs that breaks their concentration but it may not with yours. Don't force him into a lay down but do not budge an inch until he does.

For example, your wife or you starts cleaning he runs up and does his thing. As soon as you notice him doing it you say ah-ah and put him in place/lay down a little ways away from you. If he gets back up you take him back to the spot and make him lay down. It can be frustrating but don't get mad at him understand that you let him think it was okay and now you have to let him know it isn't.

I'd start with small cleaning when he's out of his kennel not big ones so it doesn't take as long to do. Maybe put his kennel in another room so you don't give him a chance to practice the behavior because he doesn't see it happening when you're doing the rest of the cleaning.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 12:43 PM
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In the first weeks we had our dog, my husband moved his dog bed and our dog low-growled at him. Anyway your dog might also feel like the places where lays (sofa, kennel) and his toys are HIS and gets upset when your wife messes with them...

We fixed our issue by having husband walk him, feed him, and play with him. ( I figured it was mostly a trust issue, since I was always allowed to move his bed, change blankets, pick up toys and even thump his Kong out, and he would just look on calmly.)

While you are working on his solid training, one easy workaround would be to do the tidying while he is out for a walk, or out in backyard?

Rumo ~ rescue shepherd/husky mix
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 04:02 PM
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If you don't want to move the crate to another room, you can always put him in his crate and cover it so he can't see what is going on. That way, no one gets stressed out by the cleaning.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 07:26 PM
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Teach him down and no. Absolutely no mock biting and charging at his age - ever. And personally I would keep him off the sofa. It sounds like he has learned no boundaries and at 6 months old a GSD could start getting out of hand pretty quickly. Meanwhile I'd crate him while your wife is cleaning up and cover the crate as someone else mentioned. Maybe leave him with a kong filled with something yummy to keep him happy and make it a good experience.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 07:55 PM
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Go back to before he started doing this. How did your wife react the first time he showed any distress at her cleaning? I’m guessing he got attention for it. Even negative attention is reinforcing. He needs to be removed but to a place like a crate where he can see what is going on and she needs to ignore him completely. Even looking his direction is rewarding. When she is done if he is quiet, he can get a treat. If not, he stays in the crate until he is calm and quiet. He can have a bone or a toy in the crate.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:08 PM
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"At first it was funny, but now it is a PITA."

If I had a nickel for everytime I've heard this statement I'd be rich beyond my wildest dreams!

Since you have allowed this behavior over time, it will take time and effort to extinguish. If it were me, I'd start by using a negative marker, no or eh eh, then put the puppy in another room or his crate. If he hollers ignore it, or if that isn't sufficient cover it or move it to another room. I would also work on impulse control types of things, like waiting to go out a door, holding a sit or down with some distraction, or waiting for release to get a visible treat. As others suggested, as he progresses, before he gets out of hand excited, put him in a down stay or place while you do a single short cleaning task, then incrementally ramp up from there. The behavior didn't develop overnight. It was cute and allowed for some time. Likewise, you can't expect to extinguish it overnight either, but it will end if you consistently dissuade it.

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 #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Improving some.

I don't want to leave you with the impression that I "tolerated" this behavior or even encouraged it by thinking it was funny. It was funny to me at first, however, I reacted to this immediately. We do put him in his crate for cleaning now and close the doors so he cannot directly see us. I tucked the blankets in yesterday and he just sat there and watched me. He could see that I was looking at him while I did it. I was also giving him the Clint Eastwood look, "go ahead make my day". I think this behavior has more to do with my wife than with me. I also think it has to do with him wanting our attention. He will sit and bark at me and little chew my hand it I don't throw the ball for him. Now I tell him to lie down and in a moment or so he will go away and lie down somewhere. When he does not calm down I put the leash on him and step on the leash to force him down, usually all I have to do is put the leash on and he will chill out immediately. Before I get criticism for using the leash, our AKC training class said this was the way to handle these moments. It worked. Thank you to everyone who offered their ideas and comments. I appreciate all of the help I have received here on the
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Charles "Chip" Von Stonehill
Metro Detroit Area, Mi
Birthdate 10/08/18
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