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Im not a new dog or puppy parent. I've had many different breeds throughout my life. My 84 lb pitbull recently passed away which prompted me to buy a puppy. I' thought if I could train my pit to be the wonderful dog he was that everyone loved, I can handle a GSD. NOPE! nothing prepared me for my new German Shepard puppy! Oh my gosh he is a handful! He is the most hyper and willful pup I've ever seen. Maybe too much alpha for me? I work from home so there is not shortage of interaction. His last parvo shot is in a few days and I can't wait to take him out of the house for long walks. What concerns me is when I did take him out to the front yard briefly last week twice on the leash, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to handle him for walks. He's already 40lbs and pulls wildly like he's chasing a cat! He will choke himself by pulling which doesn't stop him in the slightest. I have been working with him in my home on a leash for about 4 weeks. He does okay if I have treats and he doesn't spot something he wants to rip up. Then he's pulling like crazy! Training at home goes well as long as I offer constant treats to the point that his BM's are always like soft serve ice cream. If I don't have a treat in my hand he absolutely will not listen to me. He knows sit, drop it, leave it and come, but without a treat he will completely ignore me every time. Is this normal for his age?
A really big issues is that he constantly bites me and my teenage sons when he's not chewing a toy or sleeping... to the degree that my sons really don't want anything to do with the pup anymore. I don't blame them since his bites hurt like ****, especially when he gets you on the back, inner thighs, ankles, calves etc. our hands and arms are all cut from him but at least those body parts aren't as sensitive... I have spent a lot of money on toys but after a couple days he's bored with them. We can't sit down on the couch to watch tv anymore EVER due to him biting at us, trying to jump up on the couch, growling, barking and lunging at us or terrorizing my 2 small female dogs by doing the same behaviors I just mentioned above. He's very happy with his bully stick for about 15 min and that's been a God send! My 2 other dogs have tried to put him in check and they do growl and nip at him when he wont stop pestering them which has zero effect on him. I have to literally separate them, offer him a bully stick or crate him briefly. It's just strange to me that I've had him since he was 8 weeks and now he's 14 weeks and doesn't listen to us whatsoever and the biting hasn't improved at all. The moment he wakes up from a nap it's like he's constantly on the go to chomp, rip up, destroy, pester anything in his path till he goes down for the next nap. I have read this is just a phase but until he calms down, any advice would be greatly appreciated. He will be starting puppy classes in about 3 weeks. 3rd parvo shot in 2 days. Had a trainer out to my home once. I will be enrolling him in agility for sure when he's a little older. Anything else I'm missing?
 

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Welcome!!!

Sounds like you have a fun, outgoing, confident puppy!!! They sure are tough!! Really, they kind of suck. LOL.

Your boy sounds normal. It's frustrating, and exhausting, and mind numbing. But keep with it.

I would start trying to wear out his mind a bit. You are doing basic things like "sit" and "down". But mix it up. Teach "touch". Use the palm of your hand and put it nose level. When he comes to check it out, praise "good touch" and then give a treat with the other hand. Once he gets it, wait until he puts his nose on your palm. Then reward. Then you can start moving your hand around to different levels. It teaches them to target and think. It's a great foundation.

For the walking. The first few tries, it's gonna be slow. But the second he gets to the end of the leash. Stop. Just stand still. Eventually he will look back at you to see what the hold up is, PRAISE, then move forward again. But it takes lots of repetition for them to realize that they get no where fast when then leash is tight. Eventually. He won't be pulling, so then wait for him to be walking and give you eye contact, again praise!!!

At this age, because they are so obnoxious, it's hard to remember that we want to shape the good behaviors, not just extinguish the bad. So often we get caught in a loop. But the puppy learns that he gets attention when he is doing these "bad" things, you want him to learn to push to get attention for doing the "good" things. So REWARD them!! And be as neutral as possible to undesirable behavior.

Get your teenage sons involved as well. Have them play "hide" games. One son holds puppy, the other shows puppy a treat, then hides it sonewhere(in the open at first) then release the Kraken!!! This can graduate into one son hiding himself, behind a tree in the yard, under a bed, behind a door! Make it fun and engaging!!
 

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No problem!!! We have all been in your shoes!!! Half eaten shoes by the velociraptors, but same shoes!
 

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^^agreed and very good post... Puppies are a ball of energy, teeth and abundant learning potential for both good and bad.. Using that energy with mental components will tucker the little tyke out faster then trying to wear him out physically alone... Personally, I wouldn't over treat the dog because, well, I'm on a limited budget so can't afford it, lol. But seriously, also because while it is effective initially, food reward solely may not be strong enough motivation when something else (prey drive) kicks in.. So make the treats when he sits AND indicates or does a nose touch to your hand.. A treat for finding one of his his young masters at first, then add a sit or a down so he doesn't maul them for the treat... A treat after comes, sits (or downs) and gives eye contact for 2 seconds, then 3 seconds, then 5,etc.. Teaching him to wait and delay his natural impulses but gets a reward for emotional containment will start to bring out the maturity that will come along time from now... Hang in there! Pics would be great :)
 

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how much exercise is your pup getting?

I don't mean just walking on a leash, mean running, romping etc?

He doesn't sound out of the norm to me.

Have fun with this pup. I mean it... interact, love play. And relax.
 

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I'm in your shoes as well Shamar is 9 weeks and he is a ball of dynamite. If he is not landsharking me or my kids (8, 9 and 13) he is biting/chewing anything in sight. I haveven 2 other adult dogs that are tired of being stalked by him, my female puts him in check and he will leave her alone for maybe 5 minutes.

My male has more patience and wI'll go along with playing, almost as if to say ok little one let's tire you out. But Shamar tires him out.

I had him since 5 weeks... I am starting to get used to being tired all the time. It's a lot of work. I have just resolved my self to taking it one day at a time. On really hectic days one landshark episode at a time......

Hang in there!!!
 

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I love these "new GSD owner" threads, they all sound the same and the parents are ready to tear out their own hair. Reminds me of my first. I was 3 seconds away from giving him away. I stuck it out and am SO happy I did. The best friend I ever had.
 

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Thank you all for your replies! It's great to know that a lot of what I'm dealing with is normal for this age. He's definitely like having a pet shark on land haha! I think I was giving too many treats and not only is it expensive but also teaching him to listen for food reward. As far as exercise I run around and play with him quite a bit in the house multiple times a day. I throw tennis balls everywhere and we chase them and chase each other. I laid a queen mattress on the floor in my master bedroom at the base of my sectional couch I named "the arena" where I wrestle with him, he runs around my bedroom and jumps on to the mattress where I hide toys under the blankets. He absolutely loves it! His last parvo shot is today so I'll be taking him to the park very soon to run his little tail off with the 30ft leash I just purchased.
 

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I'm in your shoes as well Shamar is 9 weeks and he is a ball of dynamite. If he is not landsharking me or my kids (8, 9 and 13) he is biting/chewing anything in sight. I haveven 2 other adult dogs that are tired of being stalked by him, my female puts him in check and he will leave her alone for maybe 5 minutes.

My male has more patience and wI'll go along with playing, almost as if to say ok little one let's tire you out. But Shamar tires him out.

I had him since 5 weeks... I am starting to get used to being tired all the time. It's a lot of work. I have just resolved my self to taking it one day at a time. On really hectic days one landshark episode at a time......

Hang in there!!!
Thank you!!! Cute pic!
 

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Hang in there Jilly-Bean! Archer as a pup NEVER stopped. I worked from home and interacted with him every hour of the day, but my goodness there were days where I just stared at him as he chewed/dug/barked like a brat, wondering what in the world I had brought down atop my head. Fast forward 4 years and Archer is the kindest, easiest-going, gentle, sweetheart of a dog, who I absolutely adore. He's such a pleasure to own that I have vowed to never own a different breed of dog again- ever. So, trust me, you'll have days when you're thinking 'what on earth?' But they pass and the outcome is phenomenal :)
 
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