Help with new puppy who is 380 degree different! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Help with new puppy who is 380 degree different!

Bear with me please while I give you a little explanation. My older GSD Loki is American line and has been like a dream dog as far as obedience and ease of training. He is laid back, doesn't get excited, aloof from others (not scared of people or unfriendly, just not interested) and since I brought him home, learns things in about 2 seconds. Had perhaps one accident in the house, gets along with other dogs beautifully.
Enter Ragnar who is now 18 weeks. While searching for a breeder I specifically said I wanted a low drive, calm pup. The breeder told me he was the calmest, easiest puppy of the bunch, lower drive and should be easy.
If he's the easiest of the litter, the rest must be like the tasmanian devil in those old cartoons! He barely sleeps. He doesn't listen. Ever. It takes much much MUCH repeating and a ton of patience to teach him anything. He pees everywhere and on everyone. He's super friendly to people, except he pees on them. He goes insane then he sees other dogs. We have never had a successful walk. He's either choking himself at the end of the leash or walking under my feet and getting stepped on.
I'm exhausted.
Don't get me wrong. I love this puppy. Good personality and he's sweet as sugar, but oh my lord he's the opposite of what I wanted.
I have used positive reinforcement training with every dog I've ever had but I just don't know what to do with this creature. I'm so discouraged. I need some advice.
He also seems younger than Loki at this age, if that makes sense. It's so difficult to get his attention, and he doesn't even seem as smart ( K feel bad for stating that but it's true) as my other dogs.
Please tell me there's hope. Give me some advice, direction on what to do.
We dropped out of puppy training today because he is SO awful, he's just a huge distraction to everyone in class and is far behind the rest. It's embarrassing and humiliating.
Help. 😞
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 08:07 PM
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Don't give up. It's normal for them to be this active. To be honest being a "calm" puppy is not at all typical of GSDs and other working dogs. What puppy class? If it was a positive only type Petco type class, they often are not the best choice for GSDs

Low drive is a very relative term. Low drives for particular lines can still be pretty drivey. Low drive does not always equal easy. In fact sometimes it is quite the opposite. If a "low drive" can translate into not being interested in taking direction, period. A high drive dog with a clear head and high nerve threshold can actually be much easier than a medium drive dog with a low threshold. So it isn't as simple as plotting them on a chart that goes from high to low.

Were I you, I would contact the breeder and ask for training recommendations. Maybe they have a trainer they like or a good group they know of. You need a breed savvy trainer. Is he crate trained? Puppies this age often need to be in down time in order to get the sleep they need. They will go go go and like children become hyper monsters when over tired.

What lines is he? Did he come from breeders of working lines? Show lines?

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 08:14 PM
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Comet Dog has some good advice here. When this dog is an adult you'll think back at what a crazy baby he was. 18 weeks old is not that old yet. Looks like he is going to need firm rules and little freedom. Not punishment yet. You can't correct a dog for something it doesn't know is wrong, but firm consequences for things it is not allowed to do. For meeting people, keep the pup on a leash and no one talks to him, or touches him or even looks at him until he puts his little hiney on the floor and settles down. Walks need to stay short and sweet. And NAPS. Over tired pups are unreasonable just like toddlers. Feed that pup by hand if you can, making his chow a reward for short training sessions and crate games.

Take a deep breath. With help you'll get through this.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 08:18 PM
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Find a private trainer. It's not terribly uncommon for Shepherd puppies to do awful in group classes. Is this a working line? WGSL?

If he's peeing everywhere then don't let him have his freedom.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 08:22 AM
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Just curious when you say he pees on everything and everyone...do you mean pees on their shoes ?....on the person while he's being held?....since he's not your first dog I'm guessing he's on some sort of regular inside to out side housebreaking routine ?...does he pee and poop outside during the routine?...I'll guess you've ran the "peeing" by your vet---just wondering if he has some sort of a urinary issue since he's peeing on people at his age it makes me wonder.


this was asked before so once again......what was the litter bred for....working/show or simply as pets.....did you actually get to meet the parents to see what they were like as adults ?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Hi thanks for the replies and reassurance. Just reading them helped. I really love this puppy. He's so incredibly sweet. I want him to be the best dog he can be, but I do not want to fail him as an owner.
He's from CB Kennels and Ranch in Eugene, Oregon. Show lines, imported. The parents are just lovely dogs. Mama is very calm and one of the things I liked was that she adjusted so quickly to everything. (I didn't meet daddy in person because the breeder took her to outside stud.)
He is crate trained and one of my issues was feeling guilty that he's in there so much. Example: 1-2 hour out, then he gets put back in for an hour or two. We breathe a sigh of relief when he does settle down and that is only in the crate.
He IS sleeping through the night and not needing to go out.
The peeing is when 1. He meets someone, he does an excited/submissive pee. No one can touch him. ( I have started telling people, sorry, he's an excited peeing puppy, please don't touch him.) 2. He gets too excited, he pees. 3. He holds it too long and runs to the door, but pees on the way. Everywhere.
Needless to say, we will be getting new rugs.
Yes training at our Petsmart and that trainer is great, REALLY great, she helped me with some issues with my other dogs, but I don't think the group class is working. I'd happily pay for a private trainer but not sure if we have that in this area. (Very Eastern WA) ....and can't ask the breeder for recommends since we are 5 hours away.
I was reading a lot of threads and trying to get a sense of the best videos / books for training a dog like this. I'd love advice. He goes ballistic when he sees other dogs, cats, bicycles, pedestrians,
Unfamiliar coat on the ground, box on the porch, leaves..... you get the picture. Barking and barking, and hair up all over.

Oh! He has a NOSE. Never had a dog who would stop mid-anything, catch the scent of something, and go off running, nose to the ground, oblivious to anything else.
Thank you again so much, I just need to be pointed in the right direction.
Hope I remembered everything asked!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 11:16 AM
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1. excited peeing. He should grow out of this. Continue what you are doing. If he doesn't start to grow out of it, I would see a vet.

2. He isnt' holding it to long. You aren't taking him out enough. Figure out if you have to take him out once an hour, twice an hour, once every 2 hours so he doesn't even have the option of holding it to long. I swear my 6 month old has the smallest bladder on the planet. We were out soooo often.

3. Don't feel guilty. Puppies sleep a lot. It was the only place my girl would settle for the first couple of months.

4. Training. I don't know any trainers in your area so hopefully someone else can pipe up. Look online for Denise Fenzi and Dave Kroyer. You'll want to look for impulse control and engagement type exercises. You might be interested in Crate Games by Susan Garrett. A lot of the self control exercises I do are based on this exercise. It transfers to a platform, a pole, holding a sit.

5. The hackles and barking at new things. He's a baby. And one with higher suspicion than your previous ones. Any time my puppies do this, I act really excited and take them over to it encouraging them while I touch it. Me touching it seems to be key. It shows them that it's really nothing. don't baby him. Just be excited "Oh! What is that?! Let's go look!" And hve a lot of food to feed when he moves toward it in curiousity, not fear.

6. Reaction to dogs, cats, bikes - probably some prey drive and frustration happening. Engagement and obedience will be important in stopping this. If he's sitting and focusing on you, he won't be barking at everything else. Once he knows sit, you can work on thresholds to items. Sit, look at the bike, No reaction? Reward. If he reacts, put him back in a sit and try again. Still reacting? Move farther away until he can watch without reacting.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 01:03 PM
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In your shoes......and.I get that the breeder's not close to you but......unless you think she wouldn't appreciate you calling at all--I'd for sure see if she had any recommendations ....she may just happen to know of a trainer in your area OR someone a previous client has used for a pup from another litter ....worth a shot IMO....one thing I've learned over the years it's that dog people- know dog people-who know even more dog people....also may help you to identify a local "good trainer" from simply a trainer.

years ago we got a 8-9 month old male whom she (the breeder) claimed had to pick up from someone who bought him and he had bitten someone in the buyers home ( I think that was BS lie)....this breeder trained some of her "promising prospects" for what is today called IPO I believe...she struck me as having a very heavy hand....JMO but the way the pup acted around her- I think she (breeder) was the one who took the bite....she advised me to be very careful around women because he didn't like them....my wife and he quickly became inseparable ....my point is he was also a submissive pee-er around some folks but around a year after we got him-he did in fact outgrow it as I could see his confidence grow/change overtime....I wouldn't be surprised at all if yours also outgrew the peeing

Last edited by Shane'sDad; 02-17-2019 at 01:12 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 01:23 PM
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So he's only 20 degrees from your older dog.... (I think what you wanted to say was "180" since 360 is the full circle.) My current two, both working line dogs, from the same breeder ---- very very different. First dog - put on leash as puppy first time --- it was like she was born on a leash. Show her the bell to ring to go out - "Got that". Second one --- "OK you ring the bell. Thats fine with me but I don't know why you do that" took a year to convince that the dog toilet was outside. and the list goes on and on and on. Very very different dogs. Not what I expected.



But, she's a neat dog in her own way. I'd take a copy of the older dog in a second or less. Hands down. Name your price. But that's not going to happen. Would I give up the younger one? No.


For the OP to search for trainers - go visit the nearby IPO/Schutzhund/whatever they've decided to call us now club and ask around. Visit your other local dog clubs and ask around.

Last edited by middleofnowhere; 02-17-2019 at 01:28 PM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 06:06 AM
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My dog just turned one this month and he still piddles when he gets excited. Like others have said one on one training. I took my pup to obedience classes and he just got worst when with others, hyper and bouncing around (excited)not harming any one/dog just being stupid, but when I volunteer at matches for 4 hours he comes with me and quietly lays in his cage for the whole match. Weird pup.
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