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I have been going out with my puppy on-leash in our fenced backyard. I do let her wander and drag the leash but I am always there supervising. Lots of ball and frisbee throwing :smile2:
The question I have is when do I start letting her have more freedom? I suppose it's largely dog-dependent. I did have her out without and, or course, she immediately started digging in the beds! I know digging is common (not my first puppy) but I also don't want her getting into other things- I've had to dig a few small toads out of her mouth! Lastly, I don't want her to be too dependent on me always being with her. In the house I have to watch her unless she's truly tired out!!
 

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I have them (from young pup on) mostly off leash to teach them to pay attention to me. If not, I hide. Instead of on leash al the time in a fenced yard, why not blocking the flower beds or give up on them altogether like many of us have done (very freeing!). Crating when you can't supervise and for the sake of crate training so you won't go insane. Have fun with your pup. Did she learn not to eat toads? Yuck!
 

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Would the toads hurt her? Rather then having her on a leash, PLAY WITH HER!
Hunt toads together, let her explore and find out about butterflies and leaves and dirt. Don't toss her out and leave her there, but encourage her to venture off and investigate. All under your watchful eye.
And yes crate train.
 

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I had mine dragging a leash until I could trust him to not eat random things and when he was finally potty trained.
 

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GSD puppies need to be kept busy. A long leash is not teaching them anything. A six foot leash is all you need to teach leash manners. And if you work with her, she won't need a leash at all as you will be the focus of interest. And, as I said earlier, if you can't work with her she should be crated at this age. This rhythm has worked with all dogs I have had and fostered, no matter their breed or age when they joined us.
If you give them time to get into trouble on a long line, they develop problem behavior that takes more time than teaching them the right stuff. Until they know to respect a leash pups will use them asa toy anyways.
A sound GSD pup only needs a (6ft) leash to protect her from traffic, strangers and other dangers. Teaching my pups leash manners starts without a leash actually; rewarding them with their own food while walking next to me when they are hungry. The leash comes once they know how to stay close.
 

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I don’t use a leash for Seiran either. She has experience with them because it’s not something I want her struggling with if it’s a leashed situation, but at home, no leash.

I take her out front to potty (first because of a broken jaw, now because I’m too lazy to crate and rotate the big guys) and she knows the boundary line. She stays in the grass, and if a person, cat, dog, or child comes around, she puts herself into a sit, and just watches them. Very alert, but not so pin focused that she doesn’t respond to me. It’s honestly a pleasure having Seiran after having done nothing but rescues since I was 19. Not going to the shelter and buying a pup, but dogs in danger of being euthanized, mainly for behavioral problems.

Sure, she’s a pain in the butt, and jumps straight from the pool into my lap (I don’t swim, so I’m nice and dry when she does this) without shaking off. But lord, it’s impressive and sooooo relaxing to not have a dog with issues.

Sorry, got a tad side tracked! Anyway, leashes being left on pups in the yard is a hazard if she is left alone on it. And if she isn’t being left alone, what is the reason for the leash? I just don’t understand that part of it. If Seiran starts trying to get into something she shouldn’t, she gets a firm command, and drops whatever it is. She’s gotten to the point where she picked a gun wrapper up that had blown into the front yard, and ran straight to me and dropped it in my lap. Like “here mom, I know I’m not supposed to have this.”

You have to be proactive with your pup. She shouldn’t be digging or eating toads. She digs, you correct immediately. She picks something up, you correct immediately. It doesn’t take them long to catch on to “this is okay, this is not okay,” as long as you are doing your part.

And sorry, but puppies are puppies, and are going to need to be watched constantly, or crated when you cannot have eyes and ears on them. Any puppy, of any breed. And that goes into adolescence and teen stages as well. Heck, I still have to watch my Husky or he’ll jump into my raised boxes and go on a eating spree.

It’s sounds like a case of “I want the cuteness of a puppy, with the attitude and demeanor of a well trained adult.”
 

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@ Jchrest My crappy old gate bounced open one day and Shadow ran to me to tell on it. lol. Puppies are funny.

OP Let your puppy play and play with her! You will both benefit. Lose the leash and let go a bit.
 

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@ Jchrest My crappy old gate bounced open one day and Shadow ran to me to tell on it. lol. Puppies are funny.

OP Let your puppy play and play with her! You will both benefit. Lose the leash and let go a bit.
Good job Shadow! I love when they self correct like that! My boys always told on themselves growing to too. They were down for a visit 2 weeks ago, and I asked them why they did that. They said because it made them sick to their stomachs to wait for punishment, and I was a lot more understanding if they came and where upfront with me about it.

Kids and puppies are way smarter than I ever gave them credit for! Lol
 

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Living on 10 acres with 3 fenced for the horse and the rest open, I used a long line on the pup for quite a while - a 15 foot cotton one. As they get drug around and over rocks and sage brush and juniper they wear out. I think it took 1.5 to 2 long lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don’t use a leash for Seiran either. She has experience with them because it’s not something I want her struggling with if it’s a leashed situation, but at home, no leash.

I take her out front to potty (first because of a broken jaw, now because I’m too lazy to crate and rotate the big guys) and she knows the boundary line. She stays in the grass, and if a person, cat, dog, or child comes around, she puts herself into a sit, and just watches them. Very alert, but not so pin focused that she doesn’t respond to me. It’s honestly a pleasure having Seiran after having done nothing but rescues since I was 19. Not going to the shelter and buying a pup, but dogs in danger of being euthanized, mainly for behavioral problems.

Sure, she’s a pain in the butt, and jumps straight from the pool into my lap (I don’t swim, so I’m nice and dry when she does this) without shaking off. But lord, it’s impressive and sooooo relaxing to not have a dog with issues.

Sorry, got a tad side tracked! Anyway, leashes being left on pups in the yard is a hazard if she is left alone on it. And if she isn’t being left alone, what is the reason for the leash? I just don’t understand that part of it. If Seiran starts trying to get into something she shouldn’t, she gets a firm command, and drops whatever it is. She’s gotten to the point where she picked a gun wrapper up that had blown into the front yard, and ran straight to me and dropped it in my lap. Like “here mom, I know I’m not supposed to have this.”

You have to be proactive with your pup. She shouldn’t be digging or eating toads. She digs, you correct immediately. She picks something up, you correct immediately. It doesn’t take them long to catch on to “this is okay, this is not okay,” as long as you are doing your part.

And sorry, but puppies are puppies, and are going to need to be watched constantly, or crated when you cannot have eyes and ears on them. Any puppy, of any breed. And that goes into adolescence and teen stages as well. Heck, I still have to watch my Husky or he’ll jump into my raised boxes and go on a eating spree.

It’s sounds like a case of “I want the cuteness of a puppy, with the attitude and demeanor of a well trained adult.”




Just wondering what you do to correct? I give a command and she's just too worked up. Also, I don't care about the cuteness of a puppy and I realize it takes time. I suppose I'm still getting over the loss of a beloved pet in the spring and need to have more patience.
 

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First, it was a gum wrapper, not a gun wrapper ?.

I’m going to say upfront that I’m pretty positive I just lucked into the cream of the crop with Seiran. Her breeder was spot on about our needs, and if she was a child, she would probably be in all advanced studies. Not trying to toot her horn, just giving you the a truthful disclaimer. Like I said, I’m used to older rescue dogs with behavioral issues, I haven’t had a puppy for over 20 years, with the exception of Crios, but he came to me at 9 months, and has been a challenge energy wise.

With Seiran, I generally just need to vocalize. A no, ack, short whistle, she responds to sound cues easily. When we first got her, I would sit out with her and at any sign of something I didn’t like, I’d make a noise and go and physically remove her from whatever area she was in doing whatever naughty thing she was doing. By physical, I mean I just picked her up. She was still small enough to do that. So noise, walk to her and tell her no, and physically move her. Some days it seemed like all I did was move her from one spot to another, and she does test boundaries occasionally, but a firm no is all that is needed now. Or leave it. Depends on what she’s doing.

For the physical boundary training, if she started to try to walk past the grass line, I make a noise, tell her far enough, and then get up and move her back to the grass. A few times of that, and now she just needs to hear “far enough” if she’s trying to follow my girls out when they go to ride bikes, or skate, or check the mail, and she comes trotting back into the grass. We are in a cul-de-sac, and the end house, so foot traffic and car traffic isn’t as busy as it is for some people.

I’ve worked with her on commands, and she soaks it up. She places herself in a sit when something interesting is going on outside our yard, and inside, if she hears an “ack, no, leave it,” she instantly goes to a sitting position. Wasn’t my intention, but while training, I’d usually put her in a sit first, and then go to the next command, so it’s just habit for her now.

Inside, if she gets something she shouldn’t have (which is frequent, we have little girls who like to leave their toys littered about like I’m a personal maid), I tell her “bring it to me,” and she’ll bring the item over and drop it in my lap.

I not a master trainer by far, and my methods may not work for others, or even another puppy if I choose to get one later down the road, it’s honestly more Seiran’s eagerness to please, and she is super trainable. I know a lot of pups aren’t.

Crios still has issues to this day, and I frequently have to correct him still. He loses focus easily, has crazy amounts of energy, and if it looks like work instead of play, he’d rather not, and he lets you know by literally rolling his eyes and walking away. Which at times becomes a struggle between us, because I refuse to let him get away with it. If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a bit (a lot) of a control freak, and expect what I ask for to happen, no ifs, ands, or buts. But I approach and train each dog I get it different ways that are suited to that particular dog, so I’m a flexible control freak. I’ll change up the way I train, but I still expect what I want to happen, to happen, and follow through to make sure it does.

I worked one on one with a trainer for Lyka, she was all aggression. Fear aggression for the most part. Leash reactive, dog reactive, wanted to chew apart any human male she would see. I realize when I’ve met the end of my limits and have no shame in asking for help to get the “perfect” behaviors I want. Lyka will never be perfect, and that’s perfectly okay, because she’s managed with issues that just won’t train out. Plus she’s 9, so she’s at an age where I just want her to relax and enjoy life. She’s used to the house rules, and does more napping than anything right now.

Sorry for the novel, I’m a very wordy person!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Don't apologize- very insightful and appreciated. Still figuring out what works best for my pup. I do believe she is smart and has picked up several commands easily. She just as a case of puppy ADHD with a good dose of stubbornness. We will work through and have some fun along the way!! :)
 

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Just wondering what you do to correct? I give a command and she's just too worked up. Also, I don't care about the cuteness of a puppy and I realize it takes time. I suppose I'm still getting over the loss of a beloved pet in the spring and need to have more patience.
In general, don't give a command unless you can enforce it or reward for obeying. I'm just careful to have they're attention and work on a behavior repetitiously in short sessions, then end it. One thing I work on right away is leave it. I'd walk her past the flower beds 5 or 6 times, a couple times a day, and the second she even thought about turning her head towards them, I say leave it followed by an immediate little pop on the leash. Later on I add a little recall to the leave it, and I reward for coming towards me. I use that basic sequence through out their life. At the park they see something, I say leave it before I'll call them to me. Leave it is because they have to, recall is because they want to. Focus on the behavior, not the line or collar. If the behavior is solid, the tools don't matter.
 

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Just wondering what you do to correct? I give a command and she's just too worked up. Also, I don't care about the cuteness of a puppy and I realize it takes time. I suppose I'm still getting over the loss of a beloved pet in the spring and need to have more patience.

I was just here not to long ago. It's hard when you lose one. When I lost Jax two years ago, I literally resented every other animal in the house because they were breathing and my girl wasn't. And it's also hard when you have a fully trained one and you forget how much work it was to train them to begin with so you expect to much for the baby.

So...take a breathe. Take a step back. Ask yourself - am I expecting to much? Have I taught her how I want her to behave? Is she old enough and mature enough to give me what I want? Has she had enough reps in and in different places so she understands Sit means Sit no matter where she is?

At 4 months, I don't give a correction. I teach. I redirect. I lure. I reward. I'll put them in the crate when I've had enough of the nonsense. At this age, there is absolutely no way you can give a command and expect 100% compliance. So don't put her in a position where she will ignore you. Help her. Correcting at this age is really unfair unless it's something that will be dangerous to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was just here not to long ago. It's hard when you lose one. When I lost Jax two years ago, I literally resented every other animal in the house because they were breathing and my girl wasn't. And it's also hard when you have a fully trained one and you forget how much work it was to train them to begin with so you expect to much for the baby.

Thank you-you're spot on.
 

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Yes with a long line, the pup can tie herself up. And then you go find her. Out with them/her most of the time when one was a puppy and always when leashed as an adult. Even with access to 7 acres for the most part they stick close to the house unless I am out moving about. The grassy part of my property is close to an acre. This is where they stay except for an occasional excursion.



A long line is very useful for training. Dragging a long line is very useful for training. Helps with recall, helps with retrieve.
 

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This forum has come to mean a lot to me. Thanks, all. I see lots of different GSDs for one thing. Lots of you have more than one and that really highlights the difference in personalities. I feel so blessed that I took a chance on Tuff. He was wild and the breeder was overwhelmed due to the loss of his wife. This led to him selling out and lastly it led to me getting Tuff for an amazing price compared to what his siblings brought. And from lots of reading I believe bad breeding has led to many nervous unhealthy GSDs out there. Tuff is very low drive, very calm. At my age and for what I want Tuff is great.
 

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I think I’ll cut Tuff’s long line to about 6’. He’s doing very well so I’ll see if I can lose the leash altogether soon
 

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I have removed the leash from Tuff. He’s doing very well and I think we can do even better without the leash.
Here's a fun exercise to try. Off leash in a safe area of course, you start walking, ignoring the dog completely. Not even looking at him (leader cue) but keeping an eye on him from the corner of your eye. If he doesn't look at you, you switch direction, don't say anything. If he follows, you can still change direction to challenge him. If he continues paying attention, stop in your tracks and when he stops: big celebration. If he doesn't follow, run away and if he catches up, slow down. I don't work with food during this exercise; being with you and party is good enough.
In the past, in group classes I started the sessions like this but then they were on leash of course. It teaches them to pay attention to us instead the other way around.
 
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