Reasonable Expectations - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Reasonable Expectations

So, I'm wishing someone would tell me when I can expect our puppy to:

1. "Stay" until given a release command if asked to stay when I'm out of eyesight (For example, when we practice, she'll stay as long as she can see me and the hand signal. As soon as I step behind a tree or around a corner she wonders where I went.)

2. "Come" when distracted (which she does a lot of the time but not all the time)

3. "Leave It" when it comes to non-food items. (Socks, shoes, small children, etc.)

4. Stop mouthing us like we're a Christmas ham

Our puppy seems to be doing really well "for her age" according to our trainer. I'm just wondering how old do they need to be when "for her age" doesn't give them an excuse anymore.

FWIW, I don't want her to grow up too fast. We're really enjoying a lot of her antics and her ability to entertain and keep up with our kids. I just don't want to expect too much or too little in terms of her behavior.

Thanks!

Kate
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Lucky our 17 month old GSD pup
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 11:08 AM
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Re: Reasonable Expectations

Keep in mind that a lot will depend on how much time and energy you are putting into training your dog. She is still a baby but sounds like she is doing well.

The "stay" is just about consistency, just start of slow, 10 -15 seconds and work up from there. I had a stubborn one, so I had my son hold the leash while I went out of sight for a few times. Eventually she got it...I did do some peaking around the corner as well while I had her in a stay.

As for the recall, this again is about consistency, you must teach her to come, start with a short leash and work you way up to a 30' lunge line. Call her to you, using a happy voice and plenty of yummy treats and gradually lengthen the line she is on. If she does not come when asked you can gently reel her in with the leash using the "come" command.

Leaving socks and shoes alone does come with age, (I still hide socks from one of mine) Try trading her and treat for the items she has picked up, tell her to leave it while waving the treat in front of her, when she drops it, tell her "good girl leave it"

As for the child, you'll need to be more specific...

Christmas ham make sure to have plenty of chew toys around and swap out your arm or leg for an appropriate toy...

I find it is easier for them to learn the desired behavior if you make sure they understand what it is you want, I always repeat the commands over and over again.

Good luck hope this helps

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Stella 5 year old GSD/Collie
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 11:09 AM
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Re: Reasonable Expectations

Your pup is only 5 months old. Seems like she is doing fine for that age and puppies are puppies until I think 12 months (might be 18 months)

It is going to take a while for her master all of these things.

Danielle


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 11:21 AM
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Re: Reasonable Expectations

Well, every sounds pretty normal so far. Age appropriate behavior. A lot will depend upon how much time you spending a training mode. Remember that you should be training in short spurts; babies have a short attention span. They make tremendous strides in six month intervals. You will see a huge difference at one year of age and you will be astounded by her as a two year old. Personally, I expect to see a certain amount of immaturity until they reach two years.
Just keep making it fun!

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 11:38 AM
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Re: Reasonable Expectations

My puppy Shiloh is now 8 months old and will sit, down and stay for 2+ minutes. She is also very good at Recalls and the "Leave It" command. However, she has her moments (She is a puppy) where she completely looses her mind and decides do what she wants.

She has been in puppy kindergarden as well as Obediance since she was 4 months old and I work with her almost constantly.

All of that to say, that it can be done but you dog is right on track for a 5 month old pup. When Shiloh was that age she had more of the "I'll do what I want" moments

The key is making obediance a game. Shepherds love to play games and think through what you are asking them to do. It is amazing to see them thinking things through. You'll have to change the training up a bit or the'll start to anticipate what you want.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 12:16 PM
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Re: Reasonable Expectations

This is mostly based on my experience with our puppies...

1. Stay- at a little over a year old we're still working on this one. Same thing, he'll stay as long as he knows I'm watching but then he gets bored and decides to move to either see where I am or chase the bug that went by. I need to train it more.

2. Come when distracted. Once again, it's time put into the command and the level of distraction. If we're off leash outside and there's a cat, I'd better get my running shoes, cause I will have to chase him down. (Not really an issue cause he's rarely off leash) If there's just a really good smell he's following, people around, cars, etc. We have no problems. I fine his formal "here" is much more reliable than the casual "come", but if I ask him to "here" I had better have something tangible and high value to reward with. I always take his tennis ball out with us if he's going to be offleash. It keeps his focused on me.

3. and 4. I found that the picking up of things and the mouthing kind of stopped for the most part after teething around 6 or 7 months. I was always "eh-eh"ing and replacing the sock or my arm with something appropriate to have, but it really seemed to click after he got through that phase of puppyhood.


I think it sounds like she's doing really well and I know it can be really hard not to expect too much from these giant puppies! They look older than they really are, especially when they are 7 or 8 months. Just keep training fun and positive and I'll bet by the time she's a year all her basic manners will be good!

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2008, 01:22 PM
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Re: Reasonable Expectations

When Mandi jumps on or tries to chew on my daughter I tell her "leave it" and she is pretty good about doing it. I have been using the same command with the cats, but she is not as good about that one. It is hard to leave the cats alone.

I could leave a piece of steak in front of my Doberman and tell her to leave it and when i came back she'd be drooling and whining, but she'd be leaving it alone. Maybe Mandi will get to that one day.

The other day she jumped on my daughter and since my daughter has heard me saying "leave it" to her she was saying "leave me, leave me" to the puppy. I thought that was funny.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 11:57 AM
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Re: Reasonable Expectations

At puppy class on Saturday, we worked on the "leave it" and "drop it" commands. We got home and Mandalay was doing so well with both of them. Then one of teh cats walked in. I have mentioned that she is not as good at leaving the cats as she is leaving a sock or a shoe.

So I sat there as our small, petite Russian Blue, Chloe, walked slowly across the kitchen, wondering why the canine intruder was not jumping on her.

I kept saying calmly to Mandi "Leave It", "Leave It", "Good Leave It", "Leave It"...which then in a second turned to "DROP IT!", "DROP IT!", "DROP CHLOE!!". LoL!!! She was smothering the cat with dog kisses and puppy drool and since I am 7.5 months pregnant, it took me a few seconds to be able to get up and get across the kitchen.

I thought it was too funny. Chloe does not agree.

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