Am I expecting too much from a 9 1/2 week old? Advice?? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Am I expecting too much from a 9 1/2 week old? Advice??

I know he's just a baby.. but i cant lie, sometimes i get a little frustrated.

So far:
-He is, for the most part, house trained. He will ring a bell by the door to let us know he needs to potty.. but i dont think he's quite figured out that outside is the ONLY place to potty. So we keep an eye on him 24/7
-He knows 'sit' and 'down'. He's fairly consistent with that but when hes too excited he wont always do it and if he does he just gets right back up.
-He knows stay but only for about 10 steps then he breaks stay. Non-existent with distractions
-Recall in the house is a hit or miss depending on what his mind is wrapped around
-He knows 'drop it' when we're playing tug with his toys.. but for some reason wont let go of socks or other NON-toy items as easily.
-He also knows 'leave it' but it only works with food or treats. If he wants to get at the floor mat or socks or whatever else.. there is no stopping him.
-He knows to sit and wait when I open his crate or give him his meal or water.
-He's very good on walks. Sticks right next to me and watches me the whole walk (up to 40 minute walks now). Even with barking dogs, cars, animals, objects on the ground, loud noises, etc.. he'll just glance over then keep following me. He'll sit with no command if i come to a halt but he chews his leash if we're stopped for too long or if his leash is on him at home. All the 'drop its' and 'leave its' dont seem to work at all.
-When he's out of his crate.. he is on the go. wont stop, or slow down.. just runs around. Sniffing, chewing, biting anything he can and trying to crawl through every tight space and nook and cranny
-I do bite inhibition when we're playing and leave the room. Do I do bite inhibition when we're playing tug with his toy and he accidentally catches my hand? or if he nips me while I'm giving him a treat for doing something right? How do i do this? Leave the toy with him, say "ow" and walk out of the room? Wouldn't he just play with the toy?
-How do I do bite inhibition for nipping at pants and ankles? It's usually in the hallway so I can't really just say "ow" and walk away
-He's good about getting his teeth brushed (cuz the poultry flavored toothpaste), doesnt squirm too much with brushing (with treats), but when giving him a shower.. he doesnt even go for treats. Just tries to escape. Will he just get used to it? Or will his hatred for showering just grow more and more?

Sorry, I know there are a lot of questions. Spring quarter doesnt start until April so I've been spending a lot of time with him... So I think i tend to get a bit frustrated as the day progresses. But I'm trying to get as much training done before I have to start school again. So.. am I just expecting too much from him right now? Will some of these problems start working themselves out over time? Will there be a clear maturity difference as he gets older? Thanks in advance for any feedback!

Last edited by GRANBYsyztem; 03-07-2014 at 11:41 PM.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 11:47 PM
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what are you expecting ?

he can't possibly know all those commands , and especially not a stay .

40 minute walk for a 9 1/2 week pup is crazy . I had to go back just to make sure I hadn't misread the age , mistaking months instead of weeks. That pup should be sleeping the majority of the day . This way you are taxing his physical ability and his IMMUNE system.

teeth don't need a brushing , and he sure doesn't need a shower or showers .



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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 11:51 PM
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You are absolutely expecting too much from your puppy.

Let him be a puppy. Give him a chance. You're asking for a senior thesis paper from a two year old.

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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 12:10 AM
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Poor pup
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 12:16 AM
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My pup knows and does (85% of the time) come, drop it, sit, down, shake, and stay around 9 1/2 weeks but 40 minute walk for that age is a bit much. Mine's going on 12 weeks and we've only briskly walked him for about 10 minutes, then made him run after a toy in the room until he didn't feel like running for a toy anymore.. then he'd just play on his own and eventually lie down and sleep for a bunch of hours. Also, I wouldn't take a pup out much until he's fully vaccinated..

He chews on everything.. I just tell him no and put something he can chew on in his mouth. Gotta keep an eye on him a lot of the times. He likes to eat fluff and socks. :\ I usually just tell him NO and he stops what he's doing and goes onto the next thing I can tell him no to, lol.

I don't fully rely on treats when he does something I want him to do. Before, I did treats consistently with the clicker.. then slowly faded them out/replaced a treat with vocal praise (yes, good boy, etc.) he can do sit, stay, drop it, etc without treats now. With the stay command, like yours, he doesn't always stay.. or he breaks stay. Again, puppy attention span. I tell him 'no' when I see him break, and he usually goes back into the down position right back into stay mode.. I repeat the word 'stay', then I wait a few/take a few steps, click, reward. It takes a lot of consistency and patience, but they'll understand when they're older.

Puppies have a very small attention span and they get bored of repetition over a long period of time, so don't expect them to drop what they're doing and listen to your every command. I literally only 'train' him for about 5-10 minutes a day, twice a day.

When I take my pup out of the crate, I immediately take him out to potty.. strict potty. He potties, we go back in, and he'll play on his own or try to get me to play with him. Doesn't slow down either, but if you're stuck in the crate for XX hours and you've been doing nothing but sleeping, it's typical you're gonna be full of energy.

For getting accidentally caught by his mouth, I dunno if even what I'm doing is right, but I tell him no and keep the toy out of his sight until he kinda 'calms down'. He'll sit and look at me.. then I initiate toy play again. I'm feeling he'll eventually get the idea that if his teeth touches my hand, I won't play. He's actually been better at not mouthing on me regardless. He can play around my feet and hands and he almost always never catches my hand with his mouth.

I haven't given my pup a bath yet.. he hasn't needed it since he hasn't actually been outside much or gotten into anything gross/dirty.. but he is starting to smell, so we're thinking about giving him his first bath really soon.. just to tone down the stink. We tried the pup wipes and those don't do anything. Vet says it's okay to brush, just don't use the chewable toothbrushy thingies they can eat.

BUT all in all, stick with a few basic commands that aren't too complicated. Sit, stay, down, shake, leave it/drop it, and come are pretty basic to me.. and I feel like it's enough for a pup that age to know or at least start knowing. When he grows, he'll have a better attention span and he'll actually want to please you by doing what you're asking. I plan on sticking mine in obedience training and socialization with people and other dogs once his vaccinations are good to go. I'm no professional, but this is basically what I've learned here on these forums and from watching this dude on YouTube (Training Positive). He has a lot of good obedience training tips and lessons. X:

Last edited by kakarot; 03-08-2014 at 12:21 AM.
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 01:43 AM
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What's that in dog years? 9.5 x 7 = 66.5.

Your pup is the equivalent of a 15 month old human roughly.

I know the 7 year thing is bogus but me thinks you are expecting things a little early.

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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 02:03 AM
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Yeah, that is definitely too much to expect from a 9 week old - if you have all that by 9 months, you'll be lucky!

It sounds as if you've done your homework on a lot of the important things you'll want your DOG to do. And every interaction with your pup is training, so it's great that you're paying attention!

But, a lot of what you're working on is really beyond what a baby is capable of. Until he's more like 16 or 20 weeks, your training can be more like games. Always set your pup up for success - a distance stay or a stay with distractions might not be reliable till he's a year and half old. So tiny steps, and always keep it FUN and positive. You can work on "come" and "sit" about a hundred times a day just in regular interactions.

Have you watched any of the Michael Ellis videos? I also really liked The Puppy Primer by Patricia McConnell, and The Power of Positive Dog Training by Patricia Miller. Carmspack had a link to a video blog of a guy training a puppy for some kind of working, I can't remember the specs, but maybe she'll post the link again. It started with him just working on engagement, and how you absolutely had to start there before working on any kind of obedience.

So good luck, and definitely keep working with your pup, but keep it fun and engaging, and if you're ever getting frustrated, give him a peanut butter kong and pop him in the crate!

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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 07:26 AM
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Don't expect much at this age! He's tiny!! Everything at this age should be fun and games.

Expect to spend a lot of time with him. He's a baby. He's going to get into everything, bite everything, put everything in his mouth, and have tons of energy. Lots of threads here about teaching bite inhibition... A combination of "no bite!" and ignoring the puppy always works for us after awhile, but there are lots of techniques. If he bites us, the fun stops.

Also, just as a heads up, not sure how often you're "showering" him, but unless he gets into something, you really don't need to bathe a dog except a couple times a year. It's not needed and can dry out their skin. My dog hates baths too so on the rare occasion he needs it, I splurge on our clubs groomers! Lol

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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, so a lot of these replies are somewhat reassuring. I see all kinds of articles and good reads on training but not a lot of them actually cover time progression. So I wasn't ever sure how fast we should be progressing. I always just kept going and adding on to training the faster he would learn or longer he would train. We got up to 40 minute walks because when I first took him out I just went on a quick stroll down to the corner and back. But when we'd get back home, he'd have all sorts of energy and still run around for hours. So I tried longer.. and longer.. and longer walks. 40 minutes (only yesterday) was the first time i saw him get a little pooped on the walk, get back home, play for a little bit then go back to his crate and crash. I'll definitely have to cut back on the walks though.

I have watched a lot of the Michael Ellis films on youtube but a lot of them seem so short, doesn't really get into any sort of specifics with the training and seems to just REALLY promote the dvd's. As much as I try to look up good books and dvd's it always seems as though for every training book/dvd out there.. there is another that says something completely different. So I've been having trouble finding "good" material. I have read and watched everything on this forums "FAQs For the First Time Owner" and copious amounts of various reads here and there. But.. still a newbie first time owner. I did help my cousin with her dogs (two Morkies) and boy... these GSD's are no joke. A much higher level of energy.. but the payout so far has been great. The level of intelligence is just on a whole other level.

So far I've had to rinse him off twice (once because he stepped in his poop and once because he sat in it) and hes had two actual showers. But I feel like in regards to showers. it comes down to each individuals interpretation of "clean". I, for example, dont wear my shoes in the house, vacuum and clean my floors once a week, run the roomba daily, dont wear the same socks twice nor do I use the same bath towel twice. Not a germa-phobe.. but thats just my lifestyle. So for my dog to be "clean" that will probably be showers every 2-4 weeks depending on activity. And brushing the teeth, I durno.. just seems right. Might be "unnecessary" as some say.. but I can hardly see it being a negative thing. And with so many vet recommendations, low cost of the toothpaste, and minimal time it takes to accomplish.. just definitely something i'll continue to do. Until someone convinces me thats its actually NEGATIVE. Not just... "unnecessary"

As far as the resting goes.. he pretty much only sleeps when hes left in his crate. He just never seems to tire out when out and about in the house. At least not before I actually have to do something where I can't keep an eye on him. So is this fine to be leaving him in the crate? I didnt want him getting all cooped up in there (hence the longer walks, so as to not have him be getting an exercise DEficiency.

I definitely do play with him as much as I can, and dont get me wrong, I love the little guy to death and want only whats best for him. I'll definitely ease up on him and try to just keep calm and carry on. Thanks for all the great replies and input!

Oh... and the kid doesnt go for peanut butter in the Kong toy. Just a few licks and he'll ignore it.. As a matter of fact... he's not very "treat driven" in general. Any suggestions?
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 09:03 AM
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Please give your pup a break. At 9 1/2 weeks the only expectations I would have would be for it to begin to learn its name.
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