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Hi guys,

I have a 6 month old GSD puppy called Rane & everything was going well until this last month.
I don't know if it is because Rane is reaching her teenage years but she's becoming very aggressive and isn't listening to me.
When she gets too excited Rane will run at me while I'm on the sofa, and will snap and bark right near my face.
When I try to shout at her back (in a deep voice to sound more intimidating) she thinks I'm playing and gets worse.
I have tried putting her in her crate, using a spray water bottle, locking her outside in the garden, shouting and pinning her down to show dominance etc. but nothing is working.

Has anyone had a similar problem? and did anything specific help?

Thank you :)
 

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It sounds to me like your puppy is bored and trying to get you to play with her! How much exercise does she get during the day? Do you ever let her talk you into playing with her? How much training has she had, or does she get?
 

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Pretty much everything you are doing is not going to help. Try a scheduled exercise program or mental stimulation. Has she gotten her last set of teeth???
 

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It sounds 100% normal. Everyone who's ever owned a puppy and not done foundational work when it was younger has experienced this when they enter adolescence -- puppy exuberance to play with the emerging brattiness and energy of adolescence.

Many first-time owners seem to expect that well-behaved, obedient German Shepherds spring into the world already formed, like Athena from the head of Zeus. It doesn't work like that. Those well-behaved dogs you've likely seen and wished for are the product of great owners who put in the time and have the patience to work with their dog, build a bond, and shape behavior effectively.

Stop doing silly intimidation tactics, shouting, and alpha rolls. That is a long-discredited training method that just leads to further problems -- as you're experiencing. This age and its issues are the why so many German Shepherds end up surrendered in American shelters and finding its way to breed rescue -- most of them are dumped at 6-18 months old!

Please sign up for an excellent obedience training class ASAP with a great trainer -- group or private lessons, depending on your means, just get moving on training. The class isn't for the dog, it's for the human to learn to communicate and work with the dog productively. Once you learn how to do that, you can help the dog learn anything you want without yelling, pinning it, or otherwise getting upset. This situation will only get worse until you build the skills to work with your dog effectively, teach replacement behaviors, and get active building foundational obedience skills (which can be GAMES that you play every day together, from the dog's perspective).
 

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I've definitely had similar issues, my girl is 11 months old and has barked and mouthed at me sure, but the main thing to remember is she is not being aggressive! You hit the nail on the head when you said she thinks you want to play / she wants you to play! She is a 6 month old puppy desperate for your attention :)

If you realize this first and foremost, then it's so much easier to stay calm and consistent and just address the behavior in a way that doesn't exacerbate it. Shouting and pinning her are 'excited type' responses, which can really just make the dog even more excited and playful (and reward her for pestering you) OR if enough force is done that it scares or hurts her, then can make her confused and lose trust in you, which is never a good thing. I would suggest simply saying no firmly and asking her to sit. I have gently held on my girls collar until she relaxes, calm perseverance wins in the end :)

I also found it really helpful to get into a routine, for instance a walk in the morning, play, breakfast, nap and then another walk at lunch, etc. My girl knows what to expect, and what I expect of her. I took her to weekly training up until recently and it was very helpful. It wasn't expensive or specialist training (which would have been better), but it was something to help tire her out and it helped having a third person to focus us on the regular obedience training.

Good luck, and keep posting! Sometimes it can be a process that takes some different attempts :)
 
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