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Discussion Starter #1
I'm almost a hundred percent sure this is part of a bigger problem that will (hopefully) be partly helped during obedience class and completely solved when I get a private trainer at home. But obedience is once a week and the private trainer will come next month. So I wanted to know what I could do in the meantime to at least not make the situation worse.

My pup (7 months) is very reactive. Outside he lunges to dogs, cats, funny moving humans, children, and sometimes even jumps towards people out of nowhere (some seem really scared).
He reacts quite extreme if I leave through the backdoor ('extreme' is a word that can me interpreted in many ways, I mean by it that he barks really loud and fast and (if not crated) runs against the door/window/wall etc), but doesn't react that way at all if I go through the front door (still barks). If he sees me coming home, he'll sometimes jump against the front window (broke a vase today doing just that). Now when I come home (even if I leave for literally less than 5 minutes), he'll react agitated. Jumping, biting uncontrollably, and walking circles around me.

I tried the "ignore method", but that's dangerous because sometimes he jumps and lands with his head on the table. Or, because of our slippery floor, ends up doing some weird backflip and landing flat on the hard floor. I've tried to tell him (repeatedly) to sit, which he then does, but the moment I move a bit he just goes back to what he was doing.
What I did today was let him bite me while grabbing a toy and stuffing that in his mouth. He kept biting that really fast, bit my hand again, I put the toy in his mouth, etc, until he calmed down a bit and returned to his raw hide bone.

Is there anything else I could do? Or is this all to vague of an issue (considering it is probably a symptom of a bigger issue) to give advice to without being there to see it?
 

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Until he is trained, I would put a mat in front of the door and move the lamp so he doesn't hurt himself. If I recall your previous posts correctly, you have had a recent change in work schedule and also your pup was a rescue pup who had not been socialized. Adding that to the excitability of a 7 month pup and the reaction is extreme. For what to do until the trainer comes, I would work on the sit command. He must sit in front of the door and remain sitting when it is opened until you give the release command. A good start is to practice that when you are taking him for a walk and coming back from the walk. I would also work on the sitting on the dog exercise. The pup is on the down/stay by your chair while you read. Put him on his leash. I found it easier at first to sit on the leash as the pup must keep his down/stay. Let him have his toy. Start with 3 minutes - not releasing him until he is on the down/stay and quiet - work up to 30 minutes. When you come home from work, I would have leather gloves on and a tug or toy and a leash. Be sure he has his collar on. Say "sit" of course, he will ignore that, but then enforce it - make him sit - when he sits - give him the toy - put the leash on and walk him around the room - prevent him from jumping up. You can also this same technique when you are walking him so he doesn't lunge at people. For that, it helps to position yourself in front of him with your back to the people so he must concentrate on you. If he will take a treat - use that or his toy to get his attention on that instead of the people.
 

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Is he crate trained? That seems like a place to start? If the dog is in the crate, you have more control when you come home. I like to train that my coming home is not a big deal. I don't let the pup out right away or if the pup is not quiet and calm. It does sound like there are bigger issues but this couldn't hurt!
 

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Oh, the joys of adolescent GSDs :). I could not leave Kane alone for 5 minutes at that age. Seriously....I had to crate him to take the garbage out if there were no other humans home to watch him. Safety first!

Teaching him to be calm and respect door boundaries was a process. From 8 weeks old, we taught him to sit and calm down before we left the house for walks. This worked great when he had his leash on and we were getting ready to take him outside, but he never seemed to transfer that knowledge to any other time the door opened & would get crazily excited whenever any of the family entered or exited....running from door to window, crashing at the door, barking, etc. It was stressful for all.

I had to work very slowly to teach him to be calm and respect the door boundary under all circumstances. I'm sure your trainer will help you with this, but it basically came down to teaching him a 'Place' command. At first, it was literally 3 seconds he would stay, then I'd have to take him back to his Place...do this over and over (and over) for about a 5-10 minute session twice a day until he could stay there for 30 seconds....and so on, working our way up to a minute, then 2 minutes, etc... until he would stay indefinitely until given a release command.

Once I thought he had a decent grasp on the Place command, I started working the door...just unlocking and locking from the inside at first because that sound was enough to get him excited. I had to keep eye contact in the beginning to make sure he stayed...I never repeated a 'Place' command, but if I caught him flinching I could give him 'the look' and he'd stay put. Then, I started opening and closing the door, then opening the door and stepping outside...and so on. This whole process probably took a month of work & I'm sure could have been quicker, but I refused to give him treats for simply having manners. I did notice that working on this with him made him more responsive to me in other ways as well...so there were lots of extra benefits.

Managing the door issue while he was still learning was more a matter of making sure we had him under control...one person leading him to 'Place' and keeping him there on leash when people were entering or exiting, and keeping him crated when everyone left. I just didn't want to give him any opportunity to reinforce bad habits.

Honestly, between 6 months and a year, I think Kane's brains were located in his <ahem>...sorry. It isn't easy, does take effort, and sometimes feels like you take 2 steps forward and 3 steps back...then all of a sudden he reached 18 months or so and his brain relocated back to his skull area... he just 'switched on' almost overnight, and I realized he actually was learning something the whole time, even if he had almost no impulse control as an adolescent.

So....Safety first, train the 'Place' when you're not actually entering/exiting, manage the situation/behaviour while he's learning....and most importantly, Hang in There!!!
 

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@Mary Beth
Either you confused me with someone else, or my command of the English language is far worse than I want to believe, haha. :)
I live with my family at the moment until I find my own place, which means there is always someone home (doesn't help trying to train him to be alone). Also, my family members have treated him more like a human baby, than a puppy. For example, my sister told me that when I'm gone, my mother gives him kibble just because she thinks he is looking sad...
Anyway, I don't have a rescue pup, I picked him up when he was 8 weeks from a reputable breeder. I'd like to think that I've socialized him well, but again, I'm probably more qualified to become an astronaut than a dog trainer :D

Thanks for the tips. It is indeed difficult for him to stay next to me. I can put him on a sit, he'll wait for about ten seconds before he wanders off smelling through the living room. So that's definitely something I need to work on.
The same with walking; he will for a split second focus on me, but loses it immediately. My obedience instructor told me that I must become more interesting to my pup, she gave me a bit of homework.

Long way to go.. :)
@Dunkirk
I have read some articles there, but never considered buying a dvd. The description looks promising though, I will read some more about it. Thanks.
@Themusicmanswife
He goes to his crate when I give him the "crate" command and doesn't bother too much to stay there. Most of the times he won't not sleep (even after exercise), but he'll just lie down and look at us, sometimes with heavy sighs. Also, lot of work in that department for me.
@Kane's World
Haha, I have to do the same, even if there are humans around (unless they willing to hold him close on a leash indoors). He doesn't mind the garbage bins when they are on their place in the garden, but as soon as I move them he barks and bites the wheels.
Really great tips, thanks a bunch. He doesn't have one fixed "place", but has multiple ones. So I'll definitely start with that.
And the door.. that's really something I need to work on. Mine is very similar to yours in that respect, super exited if he hears keys at the front door. That will go to crazy excitement if it's me. I'm going to take some notes and begin training him the same you did. :)

It literally feels that way, but I will add that with me it sometimes just feels as if I'm taking steps back and none forward. Or I super happy I have made progress, just to be reminded a minute later that it was false hope.
I hope it gets better before he is 18 months...

Thanks, I started meditating and will start with some mindfulness soon to counter the increase in stress hormones..
 

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@Mary Beth
Either you confused me with someone else, or my command of the English language is far worse than I want to believe, haha. :)

My apologizes Henricus, I did confuse you with another member who has similar issues. It's not your excellent English :) Thanks for the clarification. It is a relief to learn that your pup is just a typical gsd pup with a high drive. From my experience, and Sting was my first puppy, as my previous dogs were adopted as adults, I found that each month got better.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No need to apologize :) And thank you.
I really hope so, I'm almost hesitating to make a calendar (not much fun using a digital one) and mark each day until we achieve "enlightenment", lol.
 

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My 5 month old girl also sometimes lunges at people. I think this stems from her being a little puppy and everyone wanting to come and pet her. She thinks everyone is there just to pet her. If someone makes eye contact with her she bolts towards them. It's becoming an issue for me. ANY dog in the street gets her reaction. Again, this is totally not aggression at all. She wants to play with every dog and every human. When I do let her come to another dog she always plays with them, one time a big lab tried to hump her and she snapped at him which is understandable. Any time a human comes up to her she jumps up on her hind legs and kisses and licks them (sometimes snaps at their face, again play biting). Its weird because she never does it to kids, only adults. With kids she sits like a good dog. I use a harness but maybe at 6 months old I might switch to a choke chain or a prong. I cant have bums trying to sue me because she jumps up at them. There was a drug addict bum begging for money and she lunged at him. He got scared. It was a good deterrent from him bothering me but still, I cant have that.
 

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@NYCgsd
I can, as you have read, totally relate to your comment.

This just happened, I came home from walking my pup thirty minutes ago. I encountered some neighbors from across the street. I have spoken with frequency with the man, but never met the other half of the couple (I suspect in their sixties). At the moment I started talking to them (and my pup was super enthusiastic with the man) there appeared a cat... goodbye peaceful conversation. So the woman is standing watching my pup with quite the disapproving face and she said the following, "You know, German Shepherds are never to be trusted. I know this, because my father always had GSD's and he had to put some away because they were bad dogs. You can't know when they turn on you." I smiled and said that that was not the case with these dogs. She continued, "They bite, really hard. I don't like them." I, looking back quite stupidly, said mine did bite me but that I didn't bother about it. They're love bites. Her husband laughed it off and said my pup was very sweet.
Anyway, lovely woman. :)
 

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@NYCgsd
I can, as you have read, totally relate to your comment.

This just happened, I came home from walking my pup thirty minutes ago. I encountered some neighbors from across the street. I have spoken with frequency with the man, but never met the other half of the couple (I suspect in their sixties). At the moment I started talking to them (and my pup was super enthusiastic with the man) there appeared a cat... goodbye peaceful conversation. So the woman is standing watching my pup with quite the disapproving face and she said the following, "You know, German Shepherds are never to be trusted. I know this, because my father always had GSD's and he had to put some away because they were bad dogs. You can't know when they turn on you." I smiled and said that that was not the case with these dogs. She continued, "They bite, really hard. I don't like them." I, looking back quite stupidly, said mine did bite me but that I didn't bother about it. They're love bites. Her husband laughed it off and said my pup was very sweet.
Anyway, lovely woman. :)
When I think of a REAL bite I think of a chomp down and a shake. My pup mouths me a lot. But I taught her bite inhibition. I can stick my whole hand in her mouth and she would never chomp down on me. At least I trust her not to.
 
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