German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 55 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,
my roommate and I got a 10 week old GSD puppy. It's been about 7 days since we got him(so he's 11 weeks now) and I think he may be showing signs of dominance? This isn't my first dog but it IS my first GSD.

He is quite nippy so when he tries to teeth/bite I try to redirect him to a toy. However, at random times he seems to show a tad bit of aggression to my roommate. He snapped his teeth at her and kept barking with a low body stance. I'm scared that he might show aggression when he is full grown and when we have less control over him. He is growing quite quickly.

I keep my commands to 1 time minimum but he sometimes listens and sometimes doesn't. When he doesn't I force the command on him. He definitely understands the command because when I have treats he has no problem following through. He's learning to ignore more frequently though.

My landlord came down while eating some cereal but he kept pouncing on her and when we pushed him away he walked away with his tail curling upwards, which I read to be a sign of confidence/dominance. He also seems to sneak onto our bed when we are sleeping but whenever I feel a vibration I assert him with a firm "NO" and push him off, but he keeps on trying to get on the bed. He's extremely defiant.

I know persistency is the key and rewarding good behavior is the way to train, but it seems like we're making no progress at all. People have recommended alpha rolling but it seems stupid to pin a puppy to the ground.

I bought him from a breeder who SUPPOSEDLY had good feedback but other's say the breeder is really sketchy. Maybe he was spoiled or not raised right during his puppy hood?

I know he might be testing me but can this lead to future aggression?
Please help! Thank you in advance.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,021 Posts
He's a normal puppy:D Welcome to owning a GSD:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
This has become a depressing day for me... T-T
How do I get past his dominance?

These are some tactics I've been working on...
- I never walk over/around him. I make him move.
- I make sure I eat first and leave his food on the counter until we're finished eating. THEN I feed him.
- We never let him out the door before us.
- I never let him walk in front of me when we walk. If he does I quickly change directions.
- I ignore his barking/whining.
- I never lose tug-o-war.

That's so far it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,368 Posts
I agree with the above, he is only 11 weeks old with the attention span of a gnat.

They bite, they bark, they growl, they can be brats:)

My suggestion, get into a good obedience class where YOU can learn as well as the puppy.

If you don't want him in your bed, crate him at nite..I have to tell you, these dogs DO want to be with their humans 24/7 and in bed is one of them :))
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
377 Posts
He's a baby figuring out his place in the world.
Don't over-react or over-analyze him yet.
He is new and you are new to him so be patient but keep up the good work.
With GSDs, patience and persistence are the most important qualities to have.
Remember, you are the boss and you may have to be a bit of a drill
instructor at times.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,368 Posts
you were posting while I was posting:)

Again, HE IS A PUPPY! , who cares who wins at tug of war? Mine win all the time, doesn't mean they are dominant/defiant dogs.

Work on your basics, sit, RECALL, being most important, always carry treats on you and reward for good behaviors whether you've asked for them or he just offers something that is "good"..

You are not going to have a perfectly obedient behaved puppy at 11 weeks of age..

Find a puppy class
 
  • Like
Reactions: zeyad

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I agree with the above, he is only 11 weeks old with the attention span of a gnat.

They bite, they bark, they growl, they can be brats:)

My suggestion, get into a good obedience class where YOU can learn as well as the puppy.

If you don't want him in your bed, crate him at nite..I have to tell you, these dogs DO want to be with their humans 24/7 and in bed is one of them :))
Oh yeah, he's definitely a brat. Crating him at night doesn't seem to work that well. He never stops crying even if we ignore him. I also tried teaching him that being in the crate isn't so bad but he doesn't believe me :(. He seems to be growing quickly so spending $6o bucks on a crate that won't be in use soon seems like a bit of a waste. No offense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,015 Posts
He's still a baby.

Take it slowly and don't overact.

He can't be expected to focus for very long and much of what you describe is just his way of getting attention.

Relax and enjoy a normal pup.

Search the site about crate training.

You may want to up his exercise. A tired puppy is a good puppy.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thank you everyone for your responses. We're just worried because we thought it may lead to having an aggressive dog. My golden retriever was always calm so we're not used to the barking and growling.

We'll continue with our training!

Does anyone know when they calm down a bit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
This is a puppy. Stop worrying about all the alpha stuff. They call gsd puppies land sharks because they bite so much Place toys in his mouth when he does this . His attention span is not long yet. Treat train and yes at this age you might have to say it more than once. You have to do kindergarten before you try to do high school. And its ok to let your dog win tug sometimes. Find a good trainer and do some classes but stop worrying about everything he does as alpha. Enjoy him while he is a puppy . This is all normal.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,021 Posts
This has become a depressing day for me... T-T
How do I get past his dominance?

These are some tactics I've been working on...
- I never walk over/around him. I make him move.
- I make sure I eat first and leave his food on the counter until we're finished eating. THEN I feed him.
- We never let him out the door before us.
- I never let him walk in front of me when we walk. If he does I quickly change directions.
- I ignore his barking/whining.
- I never lose tug-o-war.

That's so far it.
I always walk around and over mine, they eat before I do, they do wait at the door, Him walking in front of you is not a dominance thing. Ignore his barking/whining if its not for something important. As far as tug of war...I always let mine win when she was a puppy, it built up self confidence, now I don't let her win, she just does and she has a attitude that she can do anything, just like I want her to be:)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,021 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,891 Posts
I have some 11 week old puppies. The sounds they make! They are NOT defiant. They are puppies. They play with their littermates, using their teeth and they make noises, growls, barks -- that is normal.

If you approach a puppy with the idea in your head that it is dominant and defiant, you will set yourself up to always have to be on top of the dog. It's a puppy. Go to puppy classes.

I think you should use a crate at night. That pup has teeth that can get him in serious trouble. Not just what he can destroy, but what he might ingest. If the crate is in your room and he still whines and cries after you ignore him for three nights, then you have a pretty extraordinary pup.

Usually I will have a special raw meaty bone that the pup only gets in his crate. So at night, he has something safe to work on while he is in there. I have seen them fall asleep mid chew.

Good luck with your puppy.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,339 Posts
You've gotten some good info already, I just wanted to address this:

How do I get past his dominance?
First, you should get the idea of dominance out of your head. :) As others have said, an 11 week old puppy is a baby. Would you refer to a human baby as "dominant"? Of course not! And don't "alpha roll" him either, he's not trying to be alpha over you.

What puppies tend to be really good at is being, well, puppies! Puppies bite, they bark, they dig, they chew, they poop and pee whenever they need to wherever they are, they have practically no attention span. Training them that it's not appropriate to bite you, to only bark when you want them to, that it's not okay to dig up your yard, teaching them which things belong to them and which are yours and should not be chewed, along with where they're supposed to do their business......all of that takes time. And consistency, and clear communication in a way that he can understand.

All of that is much easier if you ditch the idea that he's somehow doing bad things on purpose to thwart you or gain the upper hand rather than that he just doesn't understand what's expected of him yet.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,368 Posts
and I also see you had a golden retriever? Let me just say they are no where near close to being golden retriever like, atleast they aren't supposed to be:)

My girl is 5 and still a wild indian, tho a nicely behaved one:)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,941 Posts
Hi There! Good answers so far. I'll be repeating some things, just to have it in slightly different wording, sometimes that helps people learn.

First, so glad you are wanting to learn, and are open to suggestions. That is the first step to success for you and your new pup.

Second, take all that alpha, dominance, and aggression nonsense, and get it out of your mind completely!!

Take a look at your puppy with a completely new set of eyes, and no pre-conceived notions. Everything he is doing is NORMAL baby puppy stuff. He is not plotting to dominate the world, one person at a time. He wants to play and get people to interact with him. That's it. Well, okay, the biting hurts, but as far as he is concerned, he is playing, and not understanding why you won't play back.

He is quite nippy so when he tries to teeth/bite I try to redirect him to a toy.
Good!!! Just keep this up, a zillion times a day. Puppies play with their mouth, and explore the world with their mouth. Redirecting is key, not supressing the natural need to play and explore. This is just something puppy owners need to be patient with, pups usually outgrow the nipping phase around six months of age, when teething is complete.

However, at random times he seems to show a tad bit of aggression to my roommate. He snapped his teeth at her and kept barking with a low body stance. I'm scared that he might show aggression when he is full grown and when we have less control over him. He is growing quite quickly.
He is just trying to get a reaction out of your roomate - means he is bored and under-excercised. This is a good time to play tug and get him to chase a ball, take him out and let him run around a bit.

Was the low body stance more of a front squat with the rear up in the air? If so, that is an invitation to play, and shows ZERO aggression. Come to think of it, pups this age have zero aggression, but they are full of vim and vinegar, and full of puppy energy! (are your eyes starting to see that now?)

I keep my commands to 1 time minimum but he sometimes listens and sometimes doesn't. When he doesn't I force the command on him. He definitely understands the command because when I have treats he has no problem following through. He's learning to ignore more frequently though.
You have pretty high expectations for a 10 week old! I think you have an AWESOME pup that he is already listening to you, and already obeying commands with one command. Much, much MUCH too early to phase treats out. At this stage, you are the one quietly coming in and 'brain-washing' your pup to WANT to obey all your commands without really thinking about it, and this brain-washing will take time and consistency and lots and lots of treats! Everytime he obeys, he should know that nothing but good things happen. Be a treat dispenser, and be happy!!! Puppy can do no wrong! Much too young to know any different. Make this pup feel like he is the BEST, smartest, and MOST AMAZING pup in the world. Radiate out that belief, and your pup will live up to your expectations, but be patient, his attention span is equal to the attention span of a goldfish, so it will take time (like weeks and months of work from your part - but it does get better! :) )

My landlord came down while eating some cereal but he kept pouncing on her and when we pushed him away he walked away with his tail curling upwards, which I read to be a sign of confidence/dominance. He also seems to sneak onto our bed when we are sleeping but whenever I feel a vibration I assert him with a firm "NO" and push him off, but he keeps on trying to get on the bed. He's extremely defiant.
He is not defiant. He is a puppy and his life revolves around playing and getting attention. Manage his environment so he naturally makes good choices, and can live up to your expectations of him, instead of leaving the choices wide open and giving him too many opportunities to make the wrong choice. If you don't want him jumping on people, put him on leash when people come over. If you don't want him up on the bed at night, let him sleep in his crate.

I know persistency is the key and rewarding good behavior is the way to train, but it seems like we're making no progress at all. People have recommended alpha rolling but it seems stupid to pin a puppy to the ground.
You are absolutely right about the alpha roll! And you don't make progress with such strongly ingrained behaviours in only two weeks. He seems happy, energetic, playful, WANTS to interact with you and other people, that is an AWESOME pup! Celebrate your success, the fun, the bond, the engagement, manage the rest. Let him be a puppy, and enjoy this time. Adjust your expectations, it will all come together down the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,721 Posts
The best advice I can give you is to read this forum.

Read about German Shepherd puppies. Read about the breed you have chosen and its characteristics.

You can't even compare a GSD to a Golden Retriever. They are both dogs, but that is where the similarities end.
Your job right now is to have *fun* with your puppy. Bond with him.
Make him think you are the source of all things good and wonderful.

Play tug and always let him win. Then have a party when he does. Go out of walks, let him explore on a flexi leash, then have him come to you (reel him in if he does not) and make it seem like the best thing ever. Carry treats. Give him treats when he does the desired behavior.

Play ball. Place some treats around the house, take him on the leash, and have him find the treats. Praise him when he does.

Don't make life a regimented chore.
The key to a non-aggressive dog is not dominating him, but forging a strong bond based on trust and respect.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
everything said above


OP please take the good advice posted in the manner it is given, with respect and the end game of building a productive relationship with you & yr dog, that is most all any of the members care about here.

just saying this as people can tahke info in the wrong way sometimes, not saying you are.

good luck, it is supposed to be fun, enjoy yr puppy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,941 Posts
These are some tactics I've been working on...
- I never walk over/around him. I make him move.
- I make sure I eat first and leave his food on the counter until we're finished eating. THEN I feed him.
- We never let him out the door before us.
- I never let him walk in front of me when we walk. If he does I quickly change directions.
This won't really matter for the time being, as your pup is not being dominant. You can continue with these 'tactics' if you wish, but of course you are not seeing changes in his behaviour, because his behaviour is not dominance, but that of a baby dog needing lots of interaction to develop mentally, physically, and socially.

Instead of worrying about your pup dominating you (honestly, quite ridiculous, but I know that these concepts are strongly ingrained in our culture), you should be thinking in terms of:

"How can I meet this puppy's social, mental, and physical needs"??

(See what I did there? Moved the focus off the pup, onto you!)


I never lose tug-of-war.
More of un-founded dominance theory crap. Again, not faulting you for going by this, I'm sure you have read and heard this a zillion times from a zillion sources.

Go ahead, let your pup win! Won't make him dominant or aggressive in any way. Quite the opposite: will make him more playful and more willing to bring you toys to play and engage with him. Let him win. Make a big deal out of it! Let him know that he is a great and smart and strong pup! It is a great outlet for his energy, a great outlet for his drives, a great game to build your bond with him, and a great way to help him develop confidence. The same way you allow kids to grow in self-esteem, by letting them feel good about themselves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Hello! I have read all your comments.
I agree to phasing out this "alpha" business in my head and enjoy my little puppy. Thank you for all your advice on making me a better trainer. I did expect too much. My golden was one smart puppy so I kind of assumed they'd be alike. Pretty silly of me.

I know he's JUST a puppy but these dogs grow fast, big and strong. So, it does make sense to be worried considering it's my first GSD puppy and they react differently than Golden Retrievers. Many people gave me false thoughts about their nature and it had me more worried than I should've been. I know when they are raised right that they can be the best dogs.

I got a few questions though.

1. Do I give treats for EVERY time he does something good? I read few of your fellow's comments and I read "don't phase out treats yet". When is a good time to start phasing them out?
2. Is it ok if they walk in front of you or should I fix that right away?
 
1 - 20 of 55 Posts
Top