Setting a foundation for an off switch - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Setting a foundation for an off switch

I probably should start with the caveat that advice here has gotten me nervous. I am simultaneously worried about my new puppy getting too doggy while at the same time not ever getting along with his older housemate.

Codex will be 18 weeks on Friday. He is generally doing really well. That said, I am having one issue that is the root cause of two problems. He does great in his crate and great outside training and/or just being a puppy. Inside but outside of his crate however he is a ball of energy looking for trouble. I never ever leave him unattended, even for a few seconds. He is teething and runs from to the couch to the curtains to a rug to a wall to a kitchen cabinet pull, etc looking for something to chew. I get very jealous reading stories here of a people with puppies "chilling at my feet as I type this". He hasn't chilled outside of his crate for a nanosecond since I got him 9+ weeks ago.

This leads to the second problem. His older housemate (Nikita, an almost 12 year old GSD-Elkhound mix) gets along fine with him outside. In fact they want to play too much and I worry about him becoming too doggy. Inside he tries to initiate play, she corrects him, he tries again, she corrects him, and I stop it before it escalates. I've read here and elsewhere to keep toys out of it because it can lead to fights. Regardless I have tried giving them both a toy but it doesn't work. They both want each other's toy and it gets ugly. Or rather I think it would but I stop it before it gets there. If I don't give him a toy he doesn't know what to do with himself. So after a few minutes of trying (I don't want to tell him no! ten thousand times an hour) it is back into his crate or outside alone so we can play/train.

I feel really guilty because he spends so much time in his crate. I'd love suggestions of games/exercises that we could try to get him to both relax inside and to leave Nikita alone. I know it will take time as he is still quite young. But I fear he isn't learning how to have an off switch as he is either in his crate or outside with me training/playing. So far I'm living the "keep them separated" lifestyle even though there has been no real aggression or fights. I don't want that to be a permanent way of life.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:00 PM
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If you haven't, go to Leerburg.com. Keep the pup thethered to you or in an ex pen when not crated. Wear his mind out as well as his body. Mine worked for their three meals a day. Away from your other dog. Just a few suggestions.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:25 PM
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We brought our guy home when our girl was 11 yo. typical puppy nuisance antics. When our guy was about 5 mo old Dh decided one night to set up a treat search area in the livingroom,where he placed bits of treats in multiple areas and brought our old gal and our pup in to see what they would do. Our old gal caught the treat scent quickly and started hunting, our pup followed our old girl for a while then realized what the game was about. It became a favorite game that they did together, our gal hunting in one direction towards a scent (treat) and our pup in the other towards another scent.

Dh did this a lot and from there, I started including both pup and old girl in fun training sessions giving the name as the first que to who I wanted to do a specific command first. It didn't take very much effort to get both to understand this new game of taking turns. It was a really good way to keep the pup out of the old girls fur, really good mental stimulation for both and a great exercise for the pup in self discipline. Our old girl passed on 4 yrs later but boy this brings a smile to those memories. One caveat, I only did this in the house, the yard would have had too many distractions for the pup at that time.

If you try this, just be patient, keep a sense of humor and keep at it. Both will learn a lot by watching and by doing. Oh, also both dogs need to already know and be able to do the basic commands that have been taught separately. Once they learn the game of your turn/my turn really well with known commands, start teaching new commands together using your turn then my turn or change the game to suite your own likes and needs.

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Last edited by Heartandsoul; 05-08-2019 at 11:43 PM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado View Post
I probably should start with the caveat that advice here has gotten me nervous. I am simultaneously worried about my new puppy getting too doggy while at the same time not ever getting along with his older housemate.

Codex will be 18 weeks on Friday. He is generally doing really well. That said, I am having one issue that is the root cause of two problems. He does great in his crate and great outside training and/or just being a puppy. Inside but outside of his crate however he is a ball of energy looking for trouble. I never ever leave him unattended, even for a few seconds. He is teething and runs from to the couch to the curtains to a rug to a wall to a kitchen cabinet pull, etc looking for something to chew. I get very jealous reading stories here of a people with puppies "chilling at my feet as I type this". He hasn't chilled outside of his crate for a nanosecond since I got him 9+ weeks ago.

This leads to the second problem. His older housemate (Nikita, an almost 12 year old GSD-Elkhound mix) gets along fine with him outside. In fact they want to play too much and I worry about him becoming too doggy. Inside he tries to initiate play, she corrects him, he tries again, she corrects him, and I stop it before it escalates. I've read here and elsewhere to keep toys out of it because it can lead to fights. Regardless I have tried giving them both a toy but it doesn't work. They both want each other's toy and it gets ugly. Or rather I think it would but I stop it before it gets there. If I don't give him a toy he doesn't know what to do with himself. So after a few minutes of trying (I don't want to tell him no! ten thousand times an hour) it is back into his crate or outside alone so we can play/train.

I feel really guilty because he spends so much time in his crate. I'd love suggestions of games/exercises that we could try to get him to both relax inside and to leave Nikita alone. I know it will take time as he is still quite young. But I fear he isn't learning how to have an off switch as he is either in his crate or outside with me training/playing. So far I'm living the "keep them separated" lifestyle even though there has been no real aggression or fights. I don't want that to be a permanent way of life.
First thing....every dog is different. Different personalities. Don't compare and feel jealous about other people's experience. Having said that, it can't be helped. Ha ha. I was wondering for months when my pup would "calm" down too. Almost every day, I thought about giving up and returning the pup to the breeder. The biting, the eating everything he could pick up, the potty training taking longer that I expected, etc. I was so stressed. Those days...I lived for his nap/sleep times. But things calmed down a lot after he finished teething and I'm glad I hung on. He's now 16 months and while he still has his moments, life has "normalized."

So my point is...hang on. Things will get better. It's a gradual process. It'll be worth it to watch your dog mature. Also, think of it this way...it could be worse....you could have a Maligator.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 06:33 AM
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The last thing you want is your pup being corrected by another dog. What are your plans for the pup? My dog didn't really start to settle down until 15 months. It doesn't sound like you are keeping them separated much.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 08:40 AM
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Steel was pretty much crated any time I wasn't training or playing with him up until about 6-7 months. The ex-pen did not work for me (he'd push it around the house LOL). Maybe give him and your older dog something to chew on (RMB or similar - Steel REALLY liked frozen carrots)?


I had an issue with Steel trying to take my older dogs chew at first, but I'd grab him, say no, and offer his chew back to him. Eventually, he got the message. There were times when he didn't and I'd toss him in the crate with his chew so the other two could enjoy theirs in peace. He's 9 months now and still sometimes a pain in my backside, but we're managing. He still does not have free roam of the house due to the cat obsession.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 11:08 AM
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If you are feeding kibble, look at the ingredients for sugars, corn, chemical coloring etc. These can add to hyper behavior. And if you find these, find a better food.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 12:07 PM
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Just a little bit curious as to why your puppy is running all over looking for something to chew. Does he have access to puppy appropriate chews while he is teething?

Do you ever give your adult dog some alone time crated or in the yard to give them a break from the puppy and to give the puppy alone time in the house with you?

If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand you’re hanging on to your dog’s body because you’ve lost his mind!

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 12:30 PM
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A place command can be very helpful and with a puppy I find it helps build the foundation for an off switch later on. Most young puppies won't be able to maintain a place command for very long, but it does improve as they mature. It is something you can practice while watching TV. I like to use a raised cot because it gives very clear boundaries for a puppy vs a bed or blanket.



Collared Scholar is going to be opening up a new online course on the 20th geared toward pet owners and will be covering teaching skills like house manners and place. Worth checking out. Her courses are well run and does live sessions where students can ask questions and she will answer.



https://collared-scholar.mykajabi.com/a/14594/ZGTu8KNZ

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 04:07 PM
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If you are home with them all day it helps to establish a schedule.Potty,train/play,dinner,nap in crate.Over and over,lol.One of the play times can include your other dog.My evenings were spent with my puppies gated off in the kitchen.I would entertain myself on my tablet quietly,offer them toys and chews,encourage them to chill on a blanket.Very low key.

This was my life for the first few weeks,and it's a hassle - but the pups learned what to expect and when,plus learned how to relax.Later on the pups would learn how to do the same in the living room for short periods that became longer as they could handle it.Not trying to change your household routineJust sharing what worked for me.A trainer once told me that puppies are like having a human infant that's mobile with wicked teeth tearing around exploring the big new world.

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