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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone.

I have three dogs living in my house currently. My dog is a neutered male about 5 year old red heeler(something) mix, and is about 80lbs, I got him 2 and a half years ago from my father in law who passed away. He was an outside dog, but is loving being indoors and snuggling with his sister (Persian calico kitty) on the couch.

My mother moved in with us about a year ago, bringing her neutered male 12 year old basset beagle. Her dog and my dog have always been best friends. They always play but after a few minutes, they lay down and go to sleep. They are both very lazy.

When my mom left my dad, he immediately went out and purchased a pure bred akc registered black sable Shepherd from a breeder that was born September 22 2017. My dad cared for him until about March, and realized that he had made a mistake purchasing the dog. He travels the world for work, he couldn’t possibly care for this dog. So, the puppy moved in to my house.

I used to watch the puppy a lot before he moved in. My dog, the 5 year old red heeler, was ALWAYS relentless with putting the puppy in his place. (Still is) Nipping him very roughly. My dog barks A LOT at the puppy, always has and still does. During play, when the puppy runs by or plays, or when we walk in the door and they all come to say hi. The puppy just wants to play and my dog is always making sure everyone knows their place. My dog is the boss of our animal kingdom and he makes sure everyone knows it. My husband is alpha male to everyone (obviously).

The puppy is and always has been rough with the basset beagle. My mom’s dog does not like the puppy and just wants to be left alone. The puppy thinks he’s playing. The puppy has never harmed my mom’s dog.

I started having serious issues in about June, two months ago. Luckily I run my company from my house so I can be home with the dogs all day everyday.

The puppy is not neutered. I have been given strict instruction by my father and my husband that I am not to get him fixed. Of course the puppy chews everything and hates not having my attention 24/7 and that’s to be expected. He is crated at night, whenever I leave the house (usually grocery shopping or post office, short trips. Never more than a few hours) and of course, for time outs.

One morning, two months ago, the puppy attacked my 5 year old red heeler during breakfast (fed in separate bowls about three feet away from eachother). The puppy snapped at my dog as he ran away, ripping out fur. My dog goes nowhere near him now and is fearful to eat (even now when I feed them in separate rooms and out of view from each other).

They play all day long, and usually extremely rough. This afternoon, it got exceptionally loud. I thought they were killing each other. I snapped my fingers, and they stopped (they know mommy means business). Shortly after, I noticed my dog would not let me pet him. I took a closer look and there were teeth marks on his side, accompanied by blood. He has been very stressed all evening. I don’t think this was an attack, I think my dog is so rough with the puppy, maybe the puppy is just learning to be too rough? I noticed he does not understand a lot about play (he “play bites” too hard with everyone).

This puppy went through training with my dad at petco (he sits, stays, etc) but that’s it. He tries like **** to do whatever he wants. I tell him no firmly a million times a day and frustrate him like my dad told me to, but he doesn’t care. I don’t know a lot about German Shepherds other than they are high energy.

This whole situation is very upsetting to me. I don’t have time for this. I did not sign up for this. I don’t blame the dog, I won’t give him away. I just need help. This dog does not see me as the boss. Am I doing things wrong? Do I need to take my dog and the puppy to training? Is the puppy going to really hurt my dog one day trying to establish dominance? Should I ignore this? Does the puppy need to be neutered? (I think yes). Do I just need to wait it out until he grows up and calms down?
 

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Is the puppy going to one day hurt your dog? It already did. It sounded like they were killing each other and one dog was injured. It does not sound like play to me.

I think you need to urgently separate these dogs. Crate and rotate, and the shepherd needs a serious mental and physical outlet so he isn't brimming with all this nonsense.

When they are satisfied (from exercise and working the brain) reintegrate with leash walking at the end of which you may try letting them loose together with the strict expectation thst they chill out and ignore each other.

Something more than neutrally ignoring each other (something positive I mean) may grow in time but nothing positive is taking root right now.
 

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You either Need to get a good trainer and implement a crate and rotate routine. Or make your father return the dog to the breeder so he can have a chance to be in an appropriate home and you can have your life back. Nothing about this is fair to you or the dog or the dogs that were there first.

AND an 11 month old German Shepherd is no longer a puppy. This dog needs some serious rules laid down for him.
 

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I just read it again. Sounds like your adult dog wasn't too great with this shepherd as it grew up, and the shepherd is now a year old?
 

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I'm sure you'll get a lot of good advice to help you with your pack. Immediately I would keep the 12 year old beagle/basset gated away from your German Shepherd. He's too old to put up with the abuse. Crate and rotate the other two so they can't get to each other and both can have individual time. Personally I would get the GSD out of my house and back to your dad, or maybe the breeder. If you keep him, you both will need to find a serious trainer that knows the breed. Someone or some dog is going to get hurt, he knows he can get away with stuff so he'll continue.
 

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Neutering this dog is unlikely to help your situation. But to your questions, "do I need to take him to a training class" and "am I doung things wrong" the answer is yes. And I don't mean to offend you or be harsh, but yes this GSD needs training. And yes, I think you need to step up and set some boundaries. You should never have let this puppy harass your Mom's 12 yr old dog. And letting your dog and this puppy play roughly with each other all day, presumably mostly without any supervision, was also a mistake.

That being said, it's probably not too late to turn this thing around! Sign the GSD up for some training, but make sure when you do it isn't with some big box store like PetCo or some other large franchise. This pup needs some serious work with a GSD experienced, and balanced, trainer that can help you address the issues you're having.

In the meantime, and afterward, you have to realize that this GSD pup, or dog now at 12 months, NEEDS more than what he's been getting in terms of training, exercise, and engagement from you. When you said, "Of course the puppy chews everything and hates not having my attention 24/7 and that’s to be expected.", I cringed! Neither is to be expected, and both show that your young dog NEEDS more! I have a 20 month old right now, and she's never chewed on anything of mine, and is totally chill in the house. What your dog is "telling" you with these behaviors is that he's frustrated and doesn't know what else to do!

Another helpful tip, if you find yourself saying "no" to your dog a million times a day, you really need to rethink how you're managing things! Dog's need structure and boundaries. When those things are clear and consistent, they do much better...But not without adequate exercise and mental stimulation! If your dog is bored and frustrated all the time, the dynamic between you becomes confrontational...and that won't improve unless his environment improves! It's not the pup's fault, he's just being a dog...it falls to you to meet his needs!

So to summarize, sign this boy up for some training with a GSD experienced trainer, play and exercise and train him daily, and monitor his interactions with your other dogs and just guide him as to when enough is enough. Do that, and you'll quickly see a different dog! Good luck!
 

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Not to state the obvious but you've got a lot of work ahead of you. The way I see it, you either do the work OR return the pup to the breeder. Personally I find it upsetting everytime I hear someone purchase a puppy, only to give up on the puppy later as it gets better. And he's a German Shepherd puppy. I mean, what do you expect? That being said, well done on you for taking him in and giving him a home.

Now, being a young male German Shepherd, a lot of time they can be just as you describe them. Exuberant, full of energy, can be destructive, and will try to assert dominance. That is too common it's almost to be expected.

That's where the human(s) come in. Set out STRICT boundaries, crate and ROTATE, because clearly all THREE dogs have different energies and one of them in particular (the GSD) stands out, in a negative way. The 5 year old and 12 year old are definitely not up to par with the GSD, and the GSD needs more mental and physical exercise on a DAILY basis. That's just how it is. 2 walks a day would not cut it for this breed at such a young age. Like you said, you

What I would do in your situation on top of what I've suggested, is to get a trainer who specialises in this breed. You'd need to consult with the trainer about how to manage your pup and get the energy in your house just right again. And when you start working with a trainer, you have to follow through with what you learn and apply it on a daily basis.

Just to share my experience with you, my dog is also a young intact male pup, who is going 14 months. Not a lot of people can handle my boy due to his high energy, but he behaves around me. Because I set rules and boundaries and I'm consistent with him. Without those rules and boundaries, he will jump. He will nip. He will run around like crazy. He will bully other dogs because Lord he is big and strong and he knows it. But I NEVER let him, and if he does I correct him right away with ONE SINGLE 'No,' followed with a timeout or a flick on the leash. He can be inside the apartment all day and he will calmly play with his toys or ask me to pet him from time to time. On top of our daily walks, I rollerblade with him 4-5times a week 1-2 miles. Even after that he is still a ball of energy BUT, he behaves because he knows he HAS to.

So hopefully, you will make the decision; either work with him or take him back to his breeder. From a GSD's owner perspective, I know for sure that if one does the work, it will be COMPLETELY worth it. But if you decide not to, it's totally fine because like you said, you didn't sign up for it. Best of luck.
 

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My 2 cents; don't get sucked in by taking in everybody's unwanted pets. Return the GSD to his breeder if your father gave you the owner's rights. If not, have a good talk with your dad so you and the resident dogs can live your life in peace.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your responses. I walk the puppy in the mornings, about 2 miles, but I am thinking now that’s not enough. I use positive reinforcement when he chews his toys, but he prefers other objects I’ve given him (like balled up socks) to his toys.

Last week I had to work on the job site so I left him out of his crate (I was to be gone all day and hated to leave him locked up). While I was gone he chewed my tv remote. That was my fault for forgetting to putting it away. He used to get mad when I disciplined him, chewing the stringer at the top of the stairs. But that hasn’t happened in a while.

I noticed a HUGE difference in him when I stopped sharing custody with my dad. I’m told GSD need routine and stability. The poor dog had no idea where he lived. With me 5 days a week and one or two days on the weekend with my dad. My dad was just trying to help me and give me a break but it was the wrong thing to do and now since we haven’t done that in months, the puppy is less anxious and listens better. My husband suggested we purchase a promg remote controlled collar for him that vibrates, so I did. I hit it and repeat the command, when he doesn’t listen. However, I just don’t know that this is the correct method.

Just because I work from home doesn’t mean I can give him attention all day. He sleeps or plays with my dog, but he also gets upset and climbs onto my lap while I’m at my desk. The dogs are extremely calm with me around, always. It’s when other people are here that the puppy gets hyper (we call it the zoomies).

How much should I be walking him a day? I used to walk him and play fetch outside later in the day but it never cools off here in the south right now, so he doesn’t want to be outside much. Should I walk the puppy with my dog? (My dog HATES a walk. I have to drag him and when we walk by somewhere with heat or a/c on depending on the time of year, he tries to bolt inside, or sit on any passing bench.) I knew from the first issue I had, that it’s really both dogs that need training for each other. My dog has never been an issue for myself or my husband, but once the puppy came around he acts differently toward him than any other dog he’s met (as mentioned in my original post).

Good trainers are hard to find around here, I’m in Gloucester, VA, if y’all have heard about the Coastal Dogs kennel/trainer issue on the news. How do I know that someone is going to be a good trainer? I think I’ve heard of training at a kennel club around here. Is that the same thing?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Also I forgot to mention: when the puppy does something and my husband tells him no, he stops and listens. When my mother tells the puppy no, he ignores her and continues. Occasionally When I tell him no, the puppy actually yells, throws himself on the ground, and lays there crying (literally like a child going Hmmph! I can’t believe she told me no!) is this normal? I was told at this age that they are more like teenagers.

He’s already 100lbs and still growing. Both his parents were 120lbs so he’s going to be huge. He’s just so big he doesn’t realize it. Should I have the trainer come to the house and see the interactions with everyone?
 

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Walking him is great. it works his muscles, makes him stronger, keeps him lean. But your dog need mental exercise. He needs to be challenged.

Training is not only the best way to exercise his mind but it will strengthen your bond. A trainer will teach you how to use an e-collar, or whatever correction device they may use.

Since there has been one attack with bites, you need to crate and rotate these dogs until you have it under control. Absolutely FEED them in crates with doors closed.

There is NOTHING wrong with crating him while you are gone or even while you are at home working. He does not get to decide when to bother you. Eventually, you will teach him a place command to go to a bed near you. When you are gone, they will just sleep in the crate. It's really no big deal. Your guilt is human. He's a dog :)
@Slamdunc - any rec's for trainers in this area? You are the closest person I can think of.
 

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As someone with a large GSD who is also an adolescent, it will improve. My dog is about half a year older, and a little bigger. He too doesn't know his size and is only obedient with me. He refuses to listen to anyone else. An e-collar is what has been most effective for me. When he does something I don't approve of, he gets a vibration on the highest setting and a firm no.
 

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do you have a pedigree for your German Shepherd?
 

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You really need a skilled trainer. At 11 months and 100 lbs (?!?!?!?) this needs to be properly managed, and quickly. Hopefully the shout out to one of the experienced handlers on this board gets you in the right direction.

He is beautiful. I hope things work out for you. I have had family dump dogs on me before, because they know I won't say no. Well, I may say no but they won't be going anywhere. I would however, have zero problem doing a solid crate and rotate management with these guys until a skilled trainer gets their eyes on it. With The GSD's pending adulthood and the existing history of a real row, you are looking at a ticking time bomb. They can be fine and playing or just next to each other one minute...then like lightning speed you can have a real dog fight. At the very least learn how to separate fighting dogs on Leerburg. Even if you do the right thing and do a solid crate and rotate, accidents happen. Best to have a plan and never need it. Know what I mean?

https://leerburg.com/flix/player.php/893/How_to_Break_up_a_Dog_Fight
 

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German Shepherd Dogs, working dogs in general, need as much mental stimulation as just physical. I am having some issues with my almost 14 month old male GSD. They seem to happen more often when he hasn't been worked. If I just take him outside and throw the ball, he is much more dominant/assertive than if I work his mind in nosework, tracking or just obedience.
 

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He’s already 100lbs and still growing. Both his parents were 120lbs so he’s going to be huge. ?

There is NO WAY a German Shepherd should EVER be 120#. And an 11 month old should not be 100#.

I would like to see a side shot and a top shot of that dog and I bet he's overweight.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The top of my dogs back (red heeler) is right at 2 ft and he is 80lbs (overweight I know but he hates exercise. I’m going to start taking him on our walks) and my dog actually walks underneath the puppy. Yes I have paperwork for him. He is 3rd or 4th generation registered. Not that I care if he is purebred or whatever that was my dad’s thing.

The puppy can almost rest his chin on the countertop to get my food. Countertops are about 35.5”. I will look and see what pics I have but can get more when I get home. I’m out on the job today.
 
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