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Hello Everyone,

I am hoping to get some advice on training or socialization issue I am having. Bahston is 6 months old and a very very smart puppy. He learned hit sits, down, and stay really quick. He mastered the heel in under 48 hours and can hold a 15 Minuit stay without a flinch. He knows the name to 16 different toys and every day I try to tech him something new. At home he does a good job listening to commands, though sometimes he wants to be a puppy kicks into selective hearing. When we go for walks, we usually see about three people running, a few cars drive by and lots of background noise (traffic, trucks, motorcycle etc). Between 3-4 months old I didn't take him to dog parks or pet stores because I heard their immune system are still weak. We basically walked him on different pavements, took him to parks, and let him meet as many people as he wanted.

My problem is. Now, when we take him out in public (pet store, around shopping centers, parks, and downtown) he loses his mind!! He starts whining non stop, pulling like a mad man, he jumps and nips at people's faces when they ask to pet him. completely ignores me, acts like he has no idea how to sit, chases other dogs and just a complete nightmare. Did I not socialize him well enough when he was younger? Is this a training issue, or normal for his age? Any suggestions on how to fix this behavior before he is fully grown and pulls my arm off its socket? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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Your puppy is turning into a teenager!Totally normal.Insist that he obey you.Best that he ignores others and gives you his focus.Make it clear to him no more greeting any people or dogs until he remembers his manners and self control.
 

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Don't worry yourself, this is completely normal behavior for a pup this age. He just needs to learn some self-control (a very hard concept for an energetic and eager GSD pup).

What you want to do is to keep him from practicing any of this behavior. Jumping up, whining, lunging... these are all self-rewarding behaviors. You need to learn to recognize the signs that any of these things are about to happen, so that you can intervene BEFORE the dog does them.

Find the threshold at which your dog can pay attention to you amidst these distractions. If you can't keep the dog's attention, and ask for a sit/down/heel/etc, then you are too close to the other person/dog. Back up further from the distraction and try again. This might mean that you are out in the middle of the shopping center parking lot, and that's ok! It is a slow process, and eventually, you can start moving closer and closer to the distractions and expect the dog to keep his manners.

I would not let any strangers pet your dog right now. My girl went through this phase of always jumping up at people (we are still in the tail end of the jumping phase, tbh). When she was six months, she was liable to jump up on anyone who even looked her way. She just wanted to be friendly and greet everyone, but she also liked to snap her teeth together in front of people's faces... she actually did manage to nip a friend on the lip- NOT GOOD. I can't imagine if this had been a stranger, and not someone who was a bit more understanding... I would avoid this situation altogether by not allowing anyone to pet your dog. The dog needs to learn to ignore strangers, anyway.

One thing you can do to deter people from coming up to your dog is to get a harness or leash with "in training" or "do not pet" labels.

What do you mean when you say he "chases" other dogs? Are you referring to him lunging towards the end of the leash or is he chasing them off-leash?

I would highly recommend joining an obedience class with your puppy. This will give you the opportunity to expose him to working around other dogs in a controlled environment. Even if you feel he already has all of the "basics" down, he clearly could use the exposure to other dogs. The advantage to doing it in a class setting is that all of the dogs are being closely supervised and under the control of their owners at all times. At six months, I joined a basic obedience class with my pup, who at the time had the nastily annoying habit of screaming her lungs off whenever she saw another dog. She quickly figured out that not all dogs existed purely for her enjoyment, and proved to have excellent concentration by the time we finished.
 

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Don't worry yourself, this is completely normal behavior for a pup this age. He just needs to learn some self-control (a very hard concept for an energetic and eager GSD pup).

What you want to do is to keep him from practicing any of this behavior. Jumping up, whining, lunging... these are all self-rewarding behaviors. You need to learn to recognize the signs that any of these things are about to happen, so that you can intervene BEFORE the dog does them.

Find the threshold at which your dog can pay attention to you amidst these distractions. If you can't keep the dog's attention, and ask for a sit/down/heel/etc, then you are too close to the other person/dog. Back up further from the distraction and try again. This might mean that you are out in the middle of the shopping center parking lot, and that's ok! It is a slow process, and eventually, you can start moving closer and closer to the distractions and expect the dog to keep his manners.

I would not let any strangers pet your dog right now. My girl went through this phase of always jumping up at people (we are still in the tail end of the jumping phase, tbh). When she was six months, she was liable to jump up on anyone who even looked her way. She just wanted to be friendly and greet everyone, but she also liked to snap her teeth together in front of people's faces... she actually did manage to nip a friend on the lip- NOT GOOD. I can't imagine if this had been a stranger, and not someone who was a bit more understanding... I would avoid this situation altogether by not allowing anyone to pet your dog. The dog needs to learn to ignore strangers, anyway.

One thing you can do to deter people from coming up to your dog is to get a harness or leash with "in training" or "do not pet" labels.

What do you mean when you say he "chases" other dogs? Are you referring to him lunging towards the end of the leash or is he chasing them off-leash?

I would highly recommend joining an obedience class with your puppy. This will give you the opportunity to expose him to working around other dogs in a controlled environment. Even if you feel he already has all of the "basics" down, he clearly could use the exposure to other dogs. The advantage to doing it in a class setting is that all of the dogs are being closely supervised and under the control of their owners at all times. At six months, I joined a basic obedience class with my pup, who at the time had the nastily annoying habit of screaming her lungs off whenever she saw another dog. She quickly figured out that not all dogs existed purely for her enjoyment, and proved to have excellent concentration by the time we finished.
Thank you very much for all this information, I will defiantly look into buying that harness and exposing him slowly to all the distractions. By chasing other dogs, I meant that most of the times he is walking perfectly beside me and the second he see's a person or or dog he starts venturing slowly in their direction until they are about ten feet away, then he goes into crazy mode: jumping, pulling, wiggling his head trying to get off his collar, even if I pull his collar up to get him to sit, it does nothing) I usually have to pull him back and walk the other way and even then his focus is on the dog or person. Once they are about 15 feet behind us he finally turns away from them and walks perfectly normal again is if nothing ever happened.

He attended a basic obedience class at 4 months. It was kind of strange and I am not sure if it's normal, but the teacher didn't allow the dogs to even touch noses (prevent from fighting etc). We basically walked around a square and he learned stay and heel. All he wanted to do in this class was interact with other dogs. Week six he saved his worst day for last. He whined the entire class, didn't want to sit, heel, or listen to any command. I was so upset that I didn't even want to accept the certificate. We then enrolled him in a second obedience class (private) and he did a lot better without the distractions from other dogs. The frustrating part is that he knows the commands, sometimes he just chooses to ignore them and usually its in the worst of times.

Thanks for all the advice!
 

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As soon as he spots the other dog and before he reacts is the time to get his focus on you.Treats,a squeaky toy,your excited happy voice,whatever it takes.If he loses focus,a firm leash pop then regain his attention.
 
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Don't worry yourself, this is completely normal behavior for a pup this age. He just needs to learn some self-control (a very hard concept for an energetic and eager GSD pup).

What you want to do is to keep him from practicing any of this behavior. Jumping up, whining, lunging... these are all self-rewarding behaviors. You need to learn to recognize the signs that any of these things are about to happen, so that you can intervene BEFORE the dog does them.

Find the threshold at which your dog can pay attention to you amidst these distractions. If you can't keep the dog's attention, and ask for a sit/down/heel/etc, then you are too close to the other person/dog. Back up further from the distraction and try again. This might mean that you are out in the middle of the shopping center parking lot, and that's ok! It is a slow process, and eventually, you can start moving closer and closer to the distractions and expect the dog to keep his manners.

I would not let any strangers pet your dog right now. My girl went through this phase of always jumping up at people (we are still in the tail end of the jumping phase, tbh). When she was six months, she was liable to jump up on anyone who even looked her way. She just wanted to be friendly and greet everyone, but she also liked to snap her teeth together in front of people's faces... she actually did manage to nip a friend on the lip- NOT GOOD. I can't imagine if this had been a stranger, and not someone who was a bit more understanding... I would avoid this situation altogether by not allowing anyone to pet your dog. The dog needs to learn to ignore strangers, anyway.

One thing you can do to deter people from coming up to your dog is to get a harness or leash with "in training" or "do not pet" labels.

What do you mean when you say he "chases" other dogs? Are you referring to him lunging towards the end of the leash or is he chasing them off-leash?

I would highly recommend joining an obedience class with your puppy. This will give you the opportunity to expose him to working around other dogs in a controlled environment. Even if you feel he already has all of the "basics" down, he clearly could use the exposure to other dogs. The advantage to doing it in a class setting is that all of the dogs are being closely supervised and under the control of their owners at all times. At six months, I joined a basic obedience class with my pup, who at the time had the nastily annoying habit of screaming her lungs off whenever she saw another dog. She quickly figured out that not all dogs existed purely for her enjoyment, and proved to have excellent concentration by the time we finished.
My puppy Sadie also does the snap her teeth together when excited , she's 14 weeks old. Did you correct/ train her to stop or did she just stop.
 

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My puppy Sadie also does the snap her teeth together when excited , she's 14 weeks old. Did you correct/ train her to stop or did she just stop.
The snapping behavior extinguished itself. I simply did not allow her to greet people for several months, and now require a sit before someone pets her. I can't remember the last time she snapped, and she is 15 months now. The snapping was not self-rewarding, simply a way to exhibit excess energy/excitement, so now that she can remain a bit calmer, she doesn't feel the need to do it.
 

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Did I not socialize him well enough when he was younger?
I feel you...my dog has the same problem. I think it is because I allowed her to approach everyone to get petting and I was just glad she liked people so now she expects the same and goes crazy at strangers for attention. Maybe trying stepping onto his leash? I tried with my pup but of course she was strong enough to make me fall, but maybe you have better strength.
 

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Crazy dog!

Hello Everyone,

I am hoping to get some advice on training or socialization issue I am having. Bahston is 6 months old and a very very smart puppy. He learned hit sits, down, and stay really quick. He mastered the heel in under 48 hours and can hold a 15 Minuit stay without a flinch. He knows the name to 16 different toys and every day I try to tech him something new. At home he does a good job listening to commands, though sometimes he wants to be a puppy kicks into selective hearing. When we go for walks, we usually see about three people running, a few cars drive by and lots of background noise (traffic, trucks, motorcycle etc). Between 3-4 months old I didn't take him to dog parks or pet stores because I heard their immune system are still weak. We basically walked him on different pavements, took him to parks, and let him meet as many people as he wanted.

My problem is. Now, when we take him out in public (pet store, around shopping centers, parks, and downtown) he loses his mind!! He starts whining non stop, pulling like a mad man, he jumps and nips at people's faces when they ask to pet him. completely ignores me, acts like he has no idea how to sit, chases other dogs and just a complete nightmare. Did I not socialize him well enough when he was younger? Is this a training issue, or normal for his age? Any suggestions on how to fix this behavior before he is fully grown and pulls my arm off its socket? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
I’m so glad I found this post. My boy Rego is 6 months old. I KNOW he knows sit, down, wait, leave it etc... But all of a sudden, in the last couple of weeks, he has completely lost his mind. Suddenly I have little to no control. He will not come when called and is just being completely obstinate! If any of you folks have advice, please, keep it coming. I just want a good dog!
 

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OP, I wonder if you have put too much pressure on this youngster and now he throws in the towel? For instance a 5 minute down-stay seems too long for a dog this age, even when he can do it. Are you allowing him to be just a pup? I would take a break from this intense schedule. Just my 2 cents. I don't think your dog is crazy or you a bad trainer; maybe use balance.
 

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To everyone who said their puppy is acting similarly to the OP, take a collective breath! It's not your failure, nor a shortcoming in your dog...it's an age stage all puppies go through!

That being said, it is s crucial time to teach them what is and is not okay. People have said time and time again, don't issue a command when you're not able to enforce compliance. Don't allow your puppy to blow off a command you've given EVER! If you give a "command" don't ever let your puppy not comply. Sometimes it will make you out to be the badguy/girl, but don't let that deter you, follow through ALWAYS!

My current puppy at 5-6 months was very trying. She'd look right at me and ignore commands she's known forever. The key is, don't get upset, don't act angry, just calmly enforce the command - without further comment. If you're not in a position where you can...don't give the command in the first place!

Training a puppy is all about consistency and patience. Don't let yourself get angry, but likewise, don't ever, and I do mean EVER, let them not comply. Do that and you'll have better results and much less headache!
 

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Don't let yourself get angry, but likewise, don't ever, and I do mean EVER, let them not comply. Do that and you'll have better results and much less headache!
I wish parents would raise their human puppies like that so they could take them to stores and restaurants without bribing the little brats. Veering off the topic: do good dog trainers have well-behaved kids?
Regarding the OP's puppy's age; I think he is too young to blame it on adolescence. I know it is easy that way. I have found that adolescence starts more around 8 - 9 months of age. On the other hand, they are perfectly capable to behave with an older assertive dog so why not with their humans? We tend to make too many excuses.
 
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