PLEASE tell me this is normal. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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PLEASE tell me this is normal.

My puppy "Dutch" (12 weeks today) came from a very reputable breeder. We brought him home at 8 weeks and started some simple basic training recommended by "The art of raising a puppy" . started with sit then down then some basic leash training . The play biting started at around 9 weeks which ok, I was ready for it and used the "yelp" method followed by the leave the area method. (Disclaimer... I cant say I was consistent though) I did spend a lot of time on the "leave it-Take it" method to teach him to leave it rewarding each successful reaction. That seems to help but now I'm having new problems . Every time I slip his leash over his head he goes for my hands again. I worked on this yesterday by repeatedly having him sit , and holding the loop of the leash in front of his face with my left hand while holding a treat in my right. As he focused on the treat I slipped the loop over his head and said good boy and gave him the treat. I did it again (holding the treat in my right hand ) while I used my left hand to slip the loop off his head.... this is going fairly well but He still wants to grab the leash and play tug once its on .


I have been taking him for walks 3 times a day ( starting a week ago about 3/4 mile) and he will get into it (the walk) and all of a sudden start grabbing the leash , tugging , jumping up, grabbing at my pants , biting my leg, barking and growling and this morning, lunging at me because he was so mad. My response to this was to stop dead in my tracks and be quiet and ignore him until he sat down and stopped but as soon as I said heel he started again . Thank God we were almost home. I wanted so bad for our walk to end on a good note but it didn't. Today I can say I was honestly fearful of his actions.


Other information.... We started puppy classes last week , We also did as much socialization as we could without his second set of shots.... took him to lowes, had people come over to visit him etc.
I have had 2 other GSD's but have never had a GSD puppy.
I am a small person with a dog who will likely be 100 lbs.
I intend to continue with obedience for a long time as its so important to me to have a well trained loving companion.
What are your thoughts on "E" collars? At what age?


So, Please tell me this is all normal, that I have a typical GSD puppy! I welcome helpful advice. I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing here.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 08:54 AM
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yuppers, very normal. Little cute Land Sharks and velociraptors in Fur. Use this desire to practice his biting for the power of good. Games of tug become great rewards (be gentle durning the teething times).

Also remember these babies need naps! A human child will get whiny and cranky. Puppies become mouthy and unreasonable. Slow down on socialization. They don't need to meet lots and lots of people. It is actually better if they get to watch folks from a distance and not have to deal with huge strangers coming to touch them.

I know that there is a place for e-collars but honestly, most dogs will never need one. They are for specialized training at distances, considering they were used on gun dogs where leashes were impracticable. At 6 months you might consider a prong collar but in the meantime a martingale is good. Easy on and they don't slip off quickly.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 09:28 AM
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Yes, he sounds like a typical land-shark GSD puppy to me. Perfectly normal. Keep up your obedience work and the classes. Try to find a trainer who is experienced with working breeds, or better yet, GSDs. There are lots of threads on puppy play-biting and loose leash walking if you do a search on this site. Try to be calm, consistent, and confident when working with your pup (easier said than done, I know!)--Dogs can sense frustration and uncertainty, I think. When I am training and getting frustrated, sometimes I have to walk away for a few minutes until I feel calm and in control again. This may differ for everyone, I'm sure, but I don't get good results from my dogs when I'm agitated. For example, I was trying to clip my puppy's nails a while back, and he was wiggling and not letting me work--even though we've done that many times before and he knows better. I was getting irritated. I had to let him go for a minute, take some deep breaths, and when I tried again, feeling calm and confident, he sat there without an issue and let me clip his nails.

I agree with Car2ner about the martingale collar. I've never used an e-collar, but I think your pup might be a little young for that. You might want to have your trainer teach you how to use a prong collar when your pup is 6-8 months old.

Last edited by sebrench; 02-10-2017 at 09:33 AM.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 10:18 AM
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Haha. Yep, that sounds like our puppy.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 10:26 AM
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E Collar : no. You don't need one and can cause harm with one (and I like and use e collars- but I don't think there is anything in this tm situation that an e collar would be appropriate for)

What made you ask about e collars, what do you think it will help or what do you want to do with it?
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 11:24 AM
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I think very short leash walks and way more off leash wandering,sniffing,natural exercise will facilitate a positive change.He needs to do more doggy things and hopefully you can relax and enjoy his puppy hood as he does them.Enjoy and bond with each other

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I went and bought a padded Martingale collar. I also tried to "enhance my calm" ha ha ... Our walk just now was wonderful... I live in a neighborhood some sidewalks and some side streets that have none .. I also upped the treat quality , using cut up skim mozzarella sticks. He was so good , never freaked out once (well one little time) ... Let me put something else by you ....... This morning it was still dark 630am when we started our walk.... do you think he was a tad afraid of the dark?


One other biggie.... I'm trying to keep him next to me on a loose leash , this afternoon he did start freaking a bit so I let him go on the grass and lo and behold , he had to go!!! jeez forgot all about that, being so focused on the leash training..... My bad! Focus Mommy, he's talking to you to!
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 01:42 PM
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I admit I've never raised a puppy, so I'm no expert, but, if I had this cutie I would definitely bring a tug toy and make some play time on the walks--like at the end of a dead end street, a quiet side street, parkette or where-ever. Leashed walks are boring, tugging is fun and can be played on leash.
Enjoy your puppy.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islanddog View Post
I admit I've never raised a puppy, so I'm no expert, but, if I had this cutie I would definitely bring a tug toy and make some play time on the walks--like at the end of a dead end street, a quiet side street, parkette or where-ever. Leashed walks are boring, tugging is fun and can be played on leash.
Enjoy your puppy.


You are right.... At the moment , I have 2 stopping points (nice grassy empty lots) that we stop so he can lay down and roll around ... He loves the nice thick cool grass and its a great resting point to stop for a belly rub. I'm not sure I want to play with a tug toy though... as I'm trying so hard to break the habit of tugging at his leash as a tug toy, I like when he forgets about it!
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormywx View Post
You are right.... At the moment , I have 2 stopping points (nice grassy empty lots) that we stop so he can lay down and roll around ... He loves the nice thick cool grass and its a great resting point to stop for a belly rub. I'm not sure I want to play with a tug toy though... as I'm trying so hard to break the habit of tugging at his leash as a tug toy, I like when he forgets about it!
Bringing a tug toy can redirect his focus from the leash to the toy. He's getting bored on his walk so he wants to play. He is still just a baby.
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