Just a little about my boy Brutus. So I have had him for just over a week now (he is 11 weeks). At this point he can sit, stay, lay down, and come just about overtime. He goes to the door and waits when he has to pee and is getting good at the leash. Since I have got him he has progressed socially and physically so much.
He is an incredibly smart pup and is learning great but I have a few questions to concrete these tricks.
1.) He only really comes to me "Here" when he knows I have treats. If I ever try and get him to come and he won't listen and I start to walk his way to guide him with his collar he starts to freak out and sometimes pee. How do I break him of only coming when I have treats?
- A major mistake people make is phasing out treats too soon in the training. At this stage, you are slowly, and methodically brainwashing your puppy to associate certain behaviours with a positive outcome (a treat). This takes time, like months, years! Stick with threats for a good year, and after that, you still want to reward randomly to re-inforce the training. You also want to encourage and reward offered behaviours that you want, but did not ask for. Puppy looks at you, treat! Puppy naturally falls to your side and takes a few steps in heel position without you asking,
treat! Puppy sits waiting for you to throw a ball or put down his food, treat! Many people wear a treat bag or walk around with treats in their pockets for the first year of their pup's life. Another tip is making coming to you fun! Call your puppy and run the other way, pup will delight in the chase game. Always have your puppy chase you, you never want to chase your puppy (not even in play), so as not to inadvertently teach your dog that running away is okay.
2.) He loves to bark. He barks for no reason all the time outside and to people coming up to him. I don't neccicarilly think this is tolerable so how do I teach him the Quiet trick?
- Teach your dog to speak on command. Barking is now a game that you control.
3.) He loves to nip and wrestle but his sharp teeth are turning my arms into shreds. I try to tell him to be "easy" whenever he wrestles or goes to get a treat out of my hand but it does not work. - Ah, the joys of owning a landshark! Teach your puppy that playing with you is only okay with toys. Get a variety of tuggy toys and have them at hand. Play tug! Best game in the world. Stop the wrestling. GSDs have a strong bite,
and it is genetic. Cute to wrestle with 11 week old pup, but how cute will it be when he is full-grown and wants to play with you, or someone else, and he is biting and shredding skin. Play with your human is playing with toys, not with clothing or bare skin - you will still get scratched and bitten in play, because puppies don't have full control yet,
but this usually goes away and a soft mouth comes out after they are done teething,
around six months old or so. But don't encourage biting by wrestling with him.
4.) How should I approach the social scene? I have read different things everywhere and I would like some solidity. I live in a college town, there is always people around meeting the pup, sometimes playing with, and passing by. I want my dog to be social with humans & to cut out any possibility of being aggressive towards them. What is yalls advice?
- There is a lot of discussion threads about socialization. My take on it is that your dog does not need to interact with random people, just get used to having people out and about and have them as part of the background. I would be careful about letting strangers play with a little pup - lots of weird people out there,
people who feel they are glorified dog whisperers who might think it is a good idea to alpha-roll your pup to gain its respect (yeah, people really think this!). Puppy should be looking to you for attention, play, affection, and safety. You control how many people he meets, and what their level of interaction is.
5.) Lastly, and most importantly, how long can a typical puppy - Adult German Shepherd stay outside actively? I am a very very active person so I spend a lot of time outside. I hike, fish, hunt, run, and if its an outdoor activity you can bet I'm doing it. I live in Oklahoma so the weather in the summer can go above 100 degrees and the winter can get below 20. How much activity can he get in the heat and in general? I want to take him to some trails soon but I have no idea how much he can handle. Can anyone help give insight?
- Hikes on soft ground at your puppy's pace are okay. Don't force it,
watch Brutus for signs of fatigue - he'll tell you how much is too much. No running on hard surfaces until his growth plate close, about 18 to 24 months. I've taken my 3 month old pup on 2 - 3 hour outings with my other dog, but it was on sand and soft,
wet ground. Kept to leash walks of about 30 minutes or so on pavement.
I live in Canada, and we do get -20 to -30 degree cold here on a regular basis. Again,
watch your puppy for signs of cold, he will let you know what he can handle. I find that when the temperatures get really cold here, my dogs have usually started the "three-legged" dance coupled with looks of misery to let me know that it was too cold for them.
Here, that is our winter, and I expect to get used to it, and after about three days,
they do get used to it, but I don't push their outside time at first. We stay close to home, and gradually extend their time outside. With a puppy, be very careful, they lose body heat fast due to their smaller body mass.
Thank you In advance!!! I would love to see other pics of pups now and then for color comparison as well!