Is this normal?? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Is this normal??

We are on day 4 with Ruger. He is a great boy, but I wanted to run a few things by you just to see if this sounds normal.

1. He has only had one accident. I watch him like a hawk and if he sniffs the floor for longer than a few seconds, I scoop him up and we go out. I have bells on my door and I take his paw, ring the beels and say "Let's go potty!" He goes out and typically goes each time. I would say he is peeing about 10 to 12 times each day and pooing about 4 times. The accident was on my sons watch and had his back turned. He peed on the living room floor without even trying to get to the front door. Should he be indicating that he has to go out by trying to go to the door or looking for the bells at this point? Is it normal that he seemed oblivious to the fact he was potting in the wrong spot?

2. We introduced the crate on day 1. We have an adult Golden Retriever and they lay in together. He is very content with her and enjoys the crate much more having her with him. When he is in alone, he will cry more, but will settle. Just takes longer. Is it bad that we include our adult dog to be his buddy while we are away from him?

3. Speaking of the crate, he has not had one accident and other than the first morning having to gout at 5 am, he is in a full night and has not had one accident. He whimpers to tell us he has to go potty and then we take him out. Is it normal for him to indicate in the crate that he has to go out but not when he is in the house? Is it normal to,be able to be in the crate 8 hours and not have an accident? He pees a river and struggles in my arms as I carry him out the door to the yard, but he isn't telling us otherwise to go earlier. No accidents, no problem?

I have not started training on other commands other than he has to sit to be given his food bowl. He got it after the second feeding. Now he sits instinctively without me saying anything. He seems super smart. He only seems to be vocal when something is wrong. Cries to chew, cries to eat and cries in the crate to go potty. Sound right?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 02:39 PM
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How old is he?

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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How old is he?
Sorry, he is 8 weeks old.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Gsdmama79 View Post
We are on day 4 with Ruger. He is a great boy, but I wanted to run a few things by you just to see if this sounds normal.

1. He has only had one accident. I watch him like a hawk and if he sniffs the floor for longer than a few seconds, I scoop him up and we go out. I have bells on my door and I take his paw, ring the beels and say "Let's go potty!" He goes out and typically goes each time. I would say he is peeing about 10 to 12 times each day and pooing about 4 times. The accident was on my sons watch and had his back turned. He peed on the living room floor without even trying to get to the front door. Should he be indicating that he has to go out by trying to go to the door or looking for the bells at this point? Is it normal that he seemed oblivious to the fact he was potting in the wrong spot?


Way too early for indicating. That will be many months later. Keep on doing the great job of taking him out often. Very normal that he seems oblivious. He just a baby dog.

2. We introduced the crate on day 1. We have an adult Golden Retriever and they lay in together. He is very content with her and enjoys the crate much more having her with him. When he is in alone, he will cry more, but will settle. Just takes longer. Is it bad that we include our adult dog to be his buddy while we are away from him?

I think it's great.

3. Speaking of the crate, he has not had one accident and other than the first morning having to gout at 5 am, he is in a full night and has not had one accident. He whimpers to tell us he has to go potty and then we take him out. Is it normal for him to indicate in the crate that he has to go out but not when he is in the house? Is it normal to,be able to be in the crate 8 hours and not have an accident? He pees a river and struggles in my arms as I carry him out the door to the yard, but he isn't telling us otherwise to go earlier. No accidents, no problem?

Dogs are very clean animals and absolutely hate to soil where they lie, so yes it is normal for him to cry in the crate if he has to go, and not in the house where he is not confined to a small space.
And it is amazing to be in the crate for eight hours and not need to go, so he is doing great.


I have not started training on other commands other than he has to sit to be given his food bowl. He got it after the second feeding. Now he sits instinctively without me saying anything. He seems super smart. He only seems to be vocal when something is wrong. Cries to chew, cries to eat and cries in the crate to go potty. Sound right?
Sounds Right. Good dog.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to give an update on Ruger. He is 13 weeks and is doing great. He has only ever had 2 accidents in the house. He tried to have a third but my hubby caught him in mid squat and stopped him in time. We still have the bells on the door to ring everything we take him out. He has started indicating when he has to go. We are letting him roam in tethered in the living/dining rooms and have all others closed off. He plays and seems to be enjoying himself. He will go to the door, sniff the bells and then sit and look at us. He hasn't made them jingle yet, but as soon as he approaches them, I immediately take him out so that he can get the association. Seems to be working well.

He sleeps in his crate all night. Last potty is about 11pm and then he goes out at 5am. Sometimes we go to bed earlier and yet he holds it until 5am. This morning, we didn't wake up until 7am and he was fine. Never potties in his crate, ever.

He loves to play tug. That is his favorite. I wanted to ask if that is a concern? Some people seem to feel that it encourages them to be rough and aggressive while others say that it's fine as you can use it to teach release. Any thoughts? How should it be approached? Should we continue to let him just tug and play or should we only use it in training?

I want to teach him to fetch, but don't know how as he will chase the ball, get it and then drop it and walk away or lay down and chew it

His ears are JUST starting to go up. One is raised slightly higher than the other but neither one is UP, per say. Just starting to look a little more lifted where the ear meets his head.

One thing that I am having a hard time with is that when he is playing with his toys or our other dog, he does great. However, when he wants my attention, he will run up and bite my foot or leg. It hurts! I yelp and then give a firm NO. He looks at me and nips again. It's like it's a game to him. Any suggestions??

One last thing.....I have decided to enroll him in beginner dog obedience with our vets office. The trainer has shepherds and all dogs have to be UTD on vaccines before being able to participate. I have heard really good things about the program there, so I thought it might lay a good foundation for training in the future and to head off accidentally training him to do unwanted behaviors. Any concerns on doing this??

Thanks for the feedback and input.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Gsdmama79 View Post

He loves to play tug. That is his favorite. I wanted to ask if that is a concern? Some people seem to feel that it encourages them to be rough and aggressive while others say that it's fine as you can use it to teach release. Any thoughts? How should it be approached? Should we continue to let him just tug and play or should we only use it in training?

I want to teach him to fetch, but don't know how as he will chase the ball, get it and then drop it and walk away or lay down and chew it

His ears are JUST starting to go up. One is raised slightly higher than the other but neither one is UP, per say. Just starting to look a little more lifted where the ear meets his head.

One thing that I am having a hard time with is that when he is playing with his toys or our other dog, he does great. However, when he wants my attention, he will run up and bite my foot or leg. It hurts! I yelp and then give a firm NO. He looks at me and nips again. It's like it's a game to him. Any suggestions??

One last thing.....I have decided to enroll him in beginner dog obedience with our vets office. The trainer has shepherds and all dogs have to be UTD on vaccines before being able to participate. I have heard really good things about the program there, so I thought it might lay a good foundation for training in the future and to head off accidentally training him to do unwanted behaviors. Any concerns on doing this??

Thanks for the feedback and input.


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Play tug with him and let him win and make a big deal out of it. The nipping is puppy stuff and eventually he'll stop nipping your ankles, well when the skin is all gone, Just Kidding UTD as in all the shots he needs up to this point or after he has rabies and all distemper/parvo? The sooner the better with obedience classes.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Play tug with him and let him win and make a big deal out of it. The nipping is puppy stuff and eventually he'll stop nipping your ankles, well when the skin is all gone, Just Kidding UTD as in all the shots he needs up to this point or after he has rabies and all distemper/parvo? The sooner the better with obedience classes.
He gets his third series next week, but is UTD thus far
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 10:32 PM
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Where are you? Orange County? There is a young Ruger at our class. Once he is up to date with shots, take him on several walks a day. You are entering land shark phase. Yes, biting you is a game. So end the game. When Fiona would bite me I would say no. Go in the bathroom and close the door. I would count to 20. She would be on the other side of the door scratching and whining. Took a few days for her to stop. Another idea is to have something that is ok to chew on handy. When he bites you, redirect to the toy.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 11:07 PM
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Where are you? Orange County? There is a young Ruger at our class. Once he is up to date with shots, take him on several walks a day. You are entering land shark phase. Yes, biting you is a game. So end the game. When Fiona would bite me I would say no. Go in the bathroom and close the door. I would count to 20. She would be on the other side of the door scratching and whining. Took a few days for her to stop. Another idea is to have something that is ok to chew on handy. When he bites you, redirect to the toy.


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Don't forget to lock it! At three months my monster figured out how to open the door after I walked away from the biting.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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I am in Polk County (Winter Haven, FL).


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