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Hi everyone!

Just picked up my 11 week old male GSD mix yesterday! His mom is half lab, half GSD and his dad is a GSD. His name is Rocky and he's been following me around everywhere and listens very well to commands. I've already taught him to sit before meals and before going outside. He also has great recall and is great with other pets since he was raised around cats and other dogs.

But I've just noticed a few things and am wondering if this is normal GSD behaviour or not.

I have 2 concerns. I'm a 24 year old female and I've noticed that Rocky is a little weary around my dad. He doesn't approach him and if my dad goes to pet him, his tail wags but he does back up a little. At first, I thought he was just nervous to meet him cause he's in a new environment but he actually growled and barked when my brother and dad came into the room. They approached him and he started to wag his tail but his first instinct was to growl and bark. He's great with me and my mom though.

Another thing I've noticed is that he drinks A LOT of water and pees all the time. I'll bring him outside, he'll pee, and then he'll come into the house and pee on the carpets right away.

I dont know if these are dominance issues or if he's just being a pup. I've never raised a GSD mix puppy and have only had labs and goldens so I'm hoping to find some advice. I've signed him up for puppy classes and plan to follow with obedience training after but I'm wondering if theres anything else I could do.

Thanks!
 

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Congratulations on the new puppy, and welcome to the forum!

I'm no expert, but I'd say what you're seeing with your puppy is absolutely normal and nothing to be worried about! House training a puppy takes time, and it can be greatly effected by the environment your puppy was raised in. Many breeders spend time working with their puppies on this before you get them, but not all. Just be patient and scoop him up and take him outside when he starts to pee indoors, then praise him when he goes outside, he'll catch on.

The barking and growling is not a dominance issue, it's defensive. He's just being a normal puppy, but he's showing them that he's a little frightened. Men tend to be larger and louder and can be intimidating to a young puppy. This is especially so if they walk right up, looming over the puppy, while reaching for it. Have your dad and brother take a knee a few feet in front of the puppy, then coax him over, chances are he'll warm up to them quickly. I hope this helps, and again Congratulations on the new puppy!
 

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Lab and Gsd. Can’t get any better than that.
I call Finn my Lab in German Shepherd Clothes. : )

Tim already gave you great advice.

The one thing I think you could do for now is,
ask your dad and brother to completely ignore your pup.
After some time the pup will get interested in the people in your home. He’ll accept them as part of his pack.

But for right now because the pup shows fear, they should be very careful not to startle him or engage him in any way. You wouldn’t want him to develop a distrust for them that could transfer to all men.

Good luck.
 

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I agree that your dad and brother have to relax and ignore the pup. They can try sitting on the floor and the pup in time may come over for a visit. When he does, they have to resist the urge to put their big hands on him right away. 11 weeks on earth and away from litter mates can be a scary time.

As far as peeing indoors, it takes time for our pups to learn these things. Some of us used a schedule. Take the pup out every half hour or so unless he is napping. When he wakes take him right out. This way he goes out and pees before he has an "accident". Use a crate or tether him to yourself so that you always know where he is and you can scoop him up as soon as you see him squatting. This has worked for a number of us.
 

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What car2ner said ^^^.Your puppy has no idea why he is in a new place with total strangers.He's disorientated.Easing him into your family and new routine will help him feel safe.Carrying him outside for the first week or so helps to prevent accidents.Young pups have zero bladder control:)
 
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A huge help would be if your dad and brother would always have a ziplock baggie of kibble mixed with treats on them (make sure you adjust and give WAY less meals if this is happening) so if your pup does go close to them, TREAT.

Or if they call him and he comes TREAT. Or if he gets near them TREAT! Other advantage of using a treat is it makes the men come in with their hands low, under the pups face. Normal petting with a hand coming in high for the top of the head, and we big humans hoovering above can be more threatening and intimidating.

If you can get them to feed his meal (no free feeding, have definite meal times) then he will be super excited to be near them and even just starting to associate the men with GOOD things is a big positive step.

Food, fun and toys work wonders.

How is the crate training going? Real help to calm and give our pups a safe happy place to depressurize and then come back for more!

https://www.amazon.com/Susan-Garretts-Crate-Self-Control-Motivation/dp/B0013GJJG6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1540565406&sr=8-1&keywords=crate+games+by+susan+garrett
 
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Hi everyone! Thanks so much for the replies! He's been with us for about 1.5 weeks and it has been so much fun!! :) He took a few days to adjust to the new environment but he's doing great! He has warmed up to my brother and my dad and get very excited whenever they come home now. I've also been having my male friends come over so that we can show Rocky that he's safe and that there's nothing to be worried about.

His housebreaking has been going well too! He rarely has accidents in the house and sleeps in his crate perfectly through the night.
I've been teaching him tricks like sit, down, leave it, off, and stay! I've also been slowly training him to heel. We've joined puppy classes and I've noticed that he doesnt really listen to me when he's distracted so impulse control will be our next goal!

Thanks again for all your help :)
 
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