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Hi all.

Long story , but really need some guidance.

Let me start by saying I've been told I have a very high drive GSD. The type professionals want for competition (I attend different types of dog training) and apparently we have potential (youngest at his level). I'm his primary handler.

Since 8 mths, (now 9mths) he has become a demon and I'm really worried it will turn into actual aggression one day.

When he doesn't get what he wants, he jumps and bites at us. I thought I nipped this in the butt, he had this as a puppy. But it is worse this time round. I would be sitting down .. he would mouth my shirt.. my arm and when I say NO firmly, he proceeds to jump on me and starts biting and jumping. "No bite" command doesn't work either (he knows this command).

I can't tell if this is adolescent or whether I have lost all his respect and leadership. I need to somewhat manhandle him into the crate when he starts doing this - no choice. He is a big boy (30kg). I know this isn't right, but I don't have other alternatives.

We practice NILIF, everything good comes from me (I know this works because he doesn't jump into areas to get his toys or treats), waits till I release him to eat his dinner, works for 3/4 of his meal.

I feel like there is a sudden communication breakdown between him and I. Like I can't communicate to him this isn't ok. Is there anything else I can try with him to stop this?
 

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Give him a specific task as opposed to just telling him no.Sounds like he needs to expend some energy,so I would choose something to get him running. He might actually just be hungry, having to work all day for bits of food and never feeling content with a full tummy.
 

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It could be something ss simple as needing to go out. He is communicating with you, but you don’t know what he is saying. My dog started pawing at me and whining when I was eating. When he did that, I let him outside and found in every case, he needed to go.

What do you mean by “when he doesn't get what he wants?” What does he want? If it’s a toy or food, you can teach him to wait. Start with short intervals and extend the time. Sometimes they can’t have what they want, sometimes they can have it later. They need to learn to settle and to stay.

If not that, it’s possible he isn’t getting enough mental stimulation. I have a high drive dog and he needs a lot of busy time. I did scent training with him and created some different scent games that we can also do at home. I also gave him jobs in the house, like bringing me things or checking out different rooms. He has commands for those things and when I give him a command, he does what he’s learned. I switch it up so it’s always different.
 

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When he doesn't get what he wants, he jumps and bites at us. I thought I nipped this in the butt, he had this as a puppy. But it is worse this time round. I would be sitting down .. he would mouth my shirt.. my arm and when I say NO firmly, he proceeds to jump on me and starts biting and jumping. "No bite" command doesn't work either (he knows this command).
Thought you may like this :

@9:49 talks about "NO !!"

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited by Moderator)
Thanks guys


Give him a specific task as opposed to just telling him no.Sounds like he needs to expend some energy,so I would choose something to get him running. He might actually just be hungry, having to work all day for bits of food and never feeling content with a full tummy.
I feed him twice a day and he gets all sorts of treats through the day and during walks. He gets lots of treats when we are making dinner too. Once he goes to a spot and lays quietly, that spot is a food dispensing location.

Not sure how much more energy I should push him. I try to mix physical and mental exercises based on how tired I know he is. Like sniff and search doesn't work when he is tired. He can't find anything.

What do you mean by “when he doesn't get what he wants?” What does he want? If it’s a toy or food, you can teach him to wait. Start with short intervals and extend the time.
He has pretty decent impulse control. But wait seems to be (REMOVED BY MODERATOR) now.
I believe he wants play or attention. But I also believe I initiate the play, not him. Especially when I'm busy. Was taught this on multiple occasions.

The other thing about not getting what he wants, like when he digs, I say NO, proceed with removing him.

I try not to use the word No. Like no counter surfing is actually Off vs No.

Maybe I'll try harder to understand him and tell him to wait and slowly extend the wait time.

Swearing removed by moderator. No swearing.

David Winners
MOD team.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
maybe I'll do more scent work with him. Incorporate another floor.

I don't know how you taught him to bring you different things. Mine doesn't appear to learn names that well or I'm doing it wrong. I always say all brawl no brains:LOL: because when he has to learn something physical related, he gets it after a few tries. :rolleyes:
 

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When I was doing research before I brought my baby boy home, I was warned about puppy "teenager" stage, where they start acting otu and seem to forget everything they've been taught. Could it be that?

 

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My apologies. I must have misunderstood when I read 3/4 of his meals he must work for and your current solution for his restless behavior is No and No Bite.
 

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The thread title is the answer to your question imo.

Doing scent work and this and that is all fine and dandy. You can dance around the problem all you want but the bottom line is your dog still doesn't know what "NO" means.

It's a communication problem imo. Watch the video.
 

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It's not sudden - you failed to be the leader right from the beginning. He needs to now who is boss, if you fail to lead - well, the job is open, might as well take it. SOMEONE has to be in charge.
 

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From what I've experienced the dreaded "teenage" stage doesn't apply here. The "teenage" stage is when your dog looks right at you and disobeys a known command like recall.

I know that the OP said that the dog knows the "no bite" command, but IMHO dogs don't do negative commands very well. Using something like "no bite" quickly followed by what he should do will work much better!

Personally I use "leave it", "stop", and "knock it off". For me "stop" means just that, and I primarily used that to interrupt biting. "Leave it" I use when she's pestering the cat, or sniffing the trash, fence fighting with a neighbor dog, or going after another dog's ball. And finally, "knock it off" means pretty much just what it sounds like, don't continue whatever it is you're doing or a correction will follow!

Since 8 mths, (now 9mths) he has become a demon and I'm really worried it will turn into actual aggression one day
Yes, uncorrected this will get worse, not better IMHO! The dog is being pushy. If you don't correct it, he'll continue to push the envelope as he ages.

I would be sitting down .. he would mouth my shirt.. my arm and when I say NO firmly, he proceeds to jump on me and starts biting and jumping. "No bite" command doesn't work either (he knows this command).
As I said above, I prefer other words than "no" because it doesn't tell them what to do. The problem I have with no is that people use it frequently to mean a few different things, and can understand the concept pretty well.

For dogs it's not as clear, so even if you're the exceptional person who can limit your use of no to mean only "stop doing that", and you follow up and can be very consistent it works, it's just hard for most people to limit their use of such a versatile word!

I can't tell if this is adolescent or whether I have lost all his respect and leadership. I need to somewhat manhandle him into the crate when he starts doing this - no choice. He is a big boy (30kg). I know this isn't right, but I don't have other alternatives.
As always, there are other alternatives! Several have been pointed out already by other posters. My comment here would be to think about it from the dog's perspective. Dogs learn by association, both positive and negative, then repetition. But your marker has to be loaded as they say. Positive markers are followed by treats or toys or praise always for them to have meaning.

In this case, your negative marker needs to be reloaded such that your puppy respects that command. My suggestion would be to keep a leash on him for awhile and follow your "no bite" command with a good, firm leash pop! Hard enough to get his attention and stop. Then quickly follow that with a known command like sit or place or whatever...i.e.tell him what to do! And praise or treat him for his compliance; this is very important!

Too often, especially when you're trying to quash an unwanted behavior, it's such a relief when they stop that people forget a "to do" command and praise.

Not sure how much more energy I should push him. I try to mix physical and mental exercises based on how tired I know he is. Like sniff and search doesn't work when he is tired. He can't find anything.
Exercise has a HUGE impact on bad behaviors! My dog still does this boisterous dancing around and trying to play with me or the cat or the other dog, when she's had too little exercise for a couple days. She's 5 almost now, but 3 days is still her upper limit for self control. Then she needs to run and run hard for awhile to become calm again!

I didn't see any vigorous exercise in your outline of your puppy's activities, so it might be part of the issue! A puppy that age can cover miles without tiring too much!

Anyway, I hope you can get this under control!
If not, and soon, I recommend finding a good balanced trainer to help!
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's not sudden - you failed to be the leader right from the beginning. He needs to now who is boss, if you fail to lead - well, the job is open, might as well take it. SOMEONE has to be in charge.
Please grace me with how you show leadership.

From what I've experienced the dreaded "teenage" stage doesn't apply here. The "teenage" stage is when your dog looks right at you and disobeys a known command like recall.
He does a bit of this. Although some commands he half-heartedly does it. I'm just not sure how much of this is 'teenage' phase because he stopped this for a few months, like something clicked. But now he is back at it again. Does he purposely disobeys a known command - not always, although at times, it may take him 15 seconds to do it.

I know that the OP said that the dog knows the "no bite" command, but IMHO dogs don't do negative commands very well. Using something like "no bite" quickly followed by what he should do will work much better!
I know he knows because when he gets belly rubs or a rub on the head, he does want to mouth and put his teeth on my hand. I say 'no bite', and he stops straight away. Maybe it is the way I am doing it when he goes into a frenzy.

Yes, uncorrected this will get worse, not better IMHO! The dog is being pushy. If you don't correct it, he'll continue to push the envelope as he ages.
I know - this is absolutely my biggest fear. We have had 1:1 private training for 5 months and focussed on relationship building to help with his leash frustration. Observations from trainer(s) is that he and I have a good relationship and he trusts me. I'll bring this up when training starts again (back in lockdown here).

Too often, especially when you're trying to quash an unwanted behavior, it's such a relief when they stop that people forget a "to do" command and praise.
Now that you mention it, there are times when he had stopped but I never praised / marked it! The other thing I was worried about is giving him the attention that he wants from doing it. There are so many different ways to teach / theories I've read / heard - I'm trying to work what works best with him. I'm going to try this out.

Exercise has a HUGE impact on bad behaviors! My dog still does this boisterous dancing around and trying to play with me or the cat or the other dog, when she's had too little exercise for a couple days. She's 5 almost now, but 3 days is still her upper limit for self control. Then she needs to run and run hard for awhile to become calm again!
Exercise wise - he gets 40mins (with maybe 10 mins of fetch in the 40) in the morning and then another 15-20mins in the evening - which is just a walk around the block. I avoid dog parks, so there is no pure run anywhere other than the local park at 6am when no one is around off-leash. Do I trust my recall - nope. Probably works 90% of the time. Then there is this 5 mins rule i.e. 9 months = 45 mins of exercise per day - which IMO is not enough. This is where I incorporate mental exercises.

This is not the only time I spend with him - maybe all up 3-4 hours a day of us doing random things together - this is on top of my 60-70 hour work week. So I am exhausted.

Taking some of the advice. Tonight, when he came up and tucked his nose under my arm. I looked at him and asked him 'what's up, im not done yet, just wait' (I converse a lot with him) and when he settled and lied down - I quietly praised him. I could tell he was starting to get annoyed that I was just sitting there watching tv. To prevent him from acting out (I can usually tell from his behaviour), I got up and started moving around but not playing with him. He was all good tonight. So yes - it is a Win today. Just need to work on his wait and calm behaviour more.

Thanks all.
 

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Please grace me with how you show leadership.


He does a bit of this. Although some commands he half-heartedly does it. I'm just not sure how much of this is 'teenage' phase because he stopped this for a few months, like something clicked. But now he is back at it again. Does he purposely disobeys a known command - not always, although at times, it may take him 15 seconds to do it.


I know he knows because when he gets belly rubs or a rub on the head, he does want to mouth and put his teeth on my hand. I say 'no bite', and he stops straight away. Maybe it is the way I am doing it when he goes into a frenzy.


I know - this is absolutely my biggest fear. We have had 1:1 private training for 5 months and focussed on relationship building to help with his leash frustration. Observations from trainer(s) is that he and I have a good relationship and he trusts me. I'll bring this up when training starts again (back in lockdown here).


Now that you mention it, there are times when he had stopped but I never praised / marked it! The other thing I was worried about is giving him the attention that he wants from doing it. There are so many different ways to teach / theories I've read / heard - I'm trying to work what works best with him. I'm going to try this out.


Exercise wise - he gets 40mins (with maybe 10 mins of fetch in the 40) in the morning and then another 15-20mins in the evening - which is just a walk around the block. I avoid dog parks, so there is no pure run anywhere other than the local park at 6am when no one is around off-leash. Do I trust my recall - nope. Probably works 90% of the time. Then there is this 5 mins rule i.e. 9 months = 45 mins of exercise per day - which IMO is not enough. This is where I incorporate mental exercises.

This is not the only time I spend with him - maybe all up 3-4 hours a day of us doing random things together - this is on top of my 60-70 hour work week. So I am exhausted.

Taking some of the advice. Tonight, when he came up and tucked his nose under my arm. I looked at him and asked him 'what's up, im not done yet, just wait' (I converse a lot with him) and when he settled and lied down - I quietly praised him. I could tell he was starting to get annoyed that I was just sitting there watching tv. To prevent him from acting out (I can usually tell from his behaviour), I got up and started moving around but not playing with him. He was all good tonight. So yes - it is a Win today. Just need to work on his wait and calm behaviour more.

Thanks all.
What does your trainer say about 15 second compliance to commands?

Are you using markers/clicker in your training?

What are you using for rewards throughout the day, meaning not during a formal training session?

This sounds like a lack of generalization combined with inconsistent training. You make a comment that he knows "no bite" because he will listen while getting belly rubs but not when playing. These two situations are completely different for the dog.

It is very important to understand that dogs do not generalize well. An example is a puppy performing obedience in the kitchen with the handler in front. This is how many dogs learn positions. If you change just one thing, the puppy will typically fail to respond. Change location, position of the handler, change the lure just a bit, handler sits down or faces away, all these things will challenge understanding in the the pup.

So when anyone says a dog is non compliant because of __, I tend to look at their training methods, reward schedule, timing, taking too big a leap in generalization, adding distance and time consecutively, adding distractions too quickly.

These are all things that a competent trainer will address.

Can you get some video (5 minutes, not a 12 second clip) of a typical training session? That would make it much easier to help.
 

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Simple training/play session. The dog is learning to spin in a new location. He will perform this verbal command 100% outside with him in front of me, to the side or behind me, and with me standing or walking.

Changing location to inside with me sitting down is confusing so I am adding in the hand signals to help him be successful. Because I am adding in a new command, he fails a few known commands as well. He's thinking through things so he is making the occasional mistake.

This is all normal.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What does your trainer say about 15 second compliance to commands?

Are you using markers/clicker in your training?
His 15 second compliance tends to happen when there is no reward in sight or situations I know he probably won't comply - I push boundaries to gauge.

Tendency to use food as he is quite food driven, but really I should start using play as he is also play driven.

Yeap I use markers which IMO I still need a lot of work and improvements on timing. This is my first dog and yes ... I got a GSD :rolleyes:. Group classes - the instructors never notice. I'm hoping when I get into targeted smaller classes, I can get refined better and told where I've gone wrong. There appears to be a finesse to marking.

Let me try to find a video.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This was back in Easter when he was 7 months (2 months ago).

I like what you were doing just relaxing and having some simple fun.
 

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I thought I was the only one who does this causal training from a couch :) OP, why are you just standing and waiting for 15 sec for any response? You are teaching your dog to respond in 15 sec in this case. Why do you issue a command when you know he will not comply, and then wait for him to do something?

Your young dog of any drive wants to feel smart and successful, help him, set him up for success.
 

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Please grace me with how you show leadership.


He does a bit of this. Although some commands he half-heartedly does it. I'm just not sure how much of this is 'teenage' phase because he stopped this for a few months, like something clicked. But now he is back at it again. Does he purposely disobeys a known command - not always, although at times, it may take him 15 seconds to do it.


I know he knows because when he gets belly rubs or a rub on the head, he does want to mouth and put his teeth on my hand. I say 'no bite', and he stops straight away. Maybe it is the way I am doing it when he goes into a frenzy.


I know - this is absolutely my biggest fear. We have had 1:1 private training for 5 months and focussed on relationship building to help with his leash frustration. Observations from trainer(s) is that he and I have a good relationship and he trusts me. I'll bring this up when training starts again (back in lockdown here).


Now that you mention it, there are times when he had stopped but I never praised / marked it! The other thing I was worried about is giving him the attention that he wants from doing it. There are so many different ways to teach / theories I've read / heard - I'm trying to work what works best with him. I'm going to try this out.


Exercise wise - he gets 40mins (with maybe 10 mins of fetch in the 40) in the morning and then another 15-20mins in the evening - which is just a walk around the block. I avoid dog parks, so there is no pure run anywhere other than the local park at 6am when no one is around off-leash. Do I trust my recall - nope. Probably works 90% of the time. Then there is this 5 mins rule i.e. 9 months = 45 mins of exercise per day - which IMO is not enough. This is where I incorporate mental exercises.

This is not the only time I spend with him - maybe all up 3-4 hours a day of us doing random things together - this is on top of my 60-70 hour work week. So I am exhausted.

Taking some of the advice. Tonight, when he came up and tucked his nose under my arm. I looked at him and asked him 'what's up, im not done yet, just wait' (I converse a lot with him) and when he settled and lied down - I quietly praised him. I could tell he was starting to get annoyed that I was just sitting there watching tv. To prevent him from acting out (I can usually tell from his behaviour), I got up and started moving around but not playing with him. He was all good tonight. So yes - it is a Win today. Just need to work on his wait and calm behaviour more.

Thanks all.
Working 60-70 hours per week (I assume mostly from home?) doesn't leave a lot of time for appropriate training and exercise for a 9 months young GSD.

If my dogs only got 40 minutes of exercise in the morning and a short walk at night, they'd probably gnaw my arms off by now.

And you say you have a "high drive" pup? No where close to enough hard exercise imo. I'd bet he needs 1.5 - 2 hours with some mental exercise thrown in there. It's really no wonder he bumps your arm, he's got energy to burn.

You need to find a late afternoon period of fetch/flirt pole/run imo
 

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My puppy used to do this exactly to me. Idk if she was bored or full of energy she didn’t know how to use. It stopped when I added more exercises BEFORE she gets in this mood. I learned from her behavior when I should tire her (made some schedule) so she would not even get to this mood. Once I skipped “session” and she was acting like that again, a little dragon.
 
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