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Hey guys, so me and my girlfriend adopted a german shepherd mix puppy from a humane society about a month ago, he was 3 months when we got him and he was a pretty good pup the first couple weeks. He was improving on potty training by the day and was nipping as puppies are known for, but not too bad. He is 4 months now and about a week ago he has gotten worse day by day. We put him in his pen as usual but he will not stop whining and barking until we let him out, and when we let him out all he does is bite all over our body. Arms legs ankles face you name it. We attempt to put a toy in his face (we have multiple toys) and motivate him to play which he will do for a second and sometimes for a couple minutes, but then proceed to bite our body as for some reason he prefers us. I have multiple bandages from him drawing blood and tons of scratches. He growls and barks while doing this also at times. We have tried bitter apple, a firm “no” or “off”, we tried yelling/screeching if he bites to hard, nothing seems to work. If we put him back in the pen he repeats this process and we live in an apartment so its not easy to just let him make a lot of noise. On top of this he has now started pooping and peeing inside the house way more often, Maybe 3-5 times a day. We take him out every hour or so and sometimes he goes outside, but when he comes in he will just go poop or pee inside no hesitation. Last week he was only having an accident maybe once a day. Sometimes none a day. he has a vet apppointment soon so im gonna let them know whats going, but i wanted to see if anyone here has any knowledge or experience with this situation. I know they are known for being “landsharks” but its gotten to the point to where i dont know what to do with him anymore. Inside the pen = nonstop barking/crying. outside the pen/playing = biting us nonstop and drawing blood, and growling. We love animals and dogs especially so we always give him love and affection but its hard now and we are considering possibly getting a new dog. I work 9-5 weekdays on top of this and its just extremely tiring and stressful. Any tips would help. Thanks for reading ?
 

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Time to hire a trainer asap with GSD experience who comes to the house. Do NOT take him out when he cries as he will learn how well that works.
 

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Looks like you got a puppy running your house! It's normal puppy behaviour, he's learnt that he can control people by throwing tantrums so he keeps on doing that. Agreed with Wolfy dog, do NOT let him out when he's crying/whining. He has to reach a point where he sees his crate as his 'safe' space and goes there voluntarily. My pup cried for a whole week when I first brought him home, I ignored it no matter how he cries or whines. He now LOVES his crate, I keep it open so he can come and go whenever he pleases. Even when I'm in the apartment, he likes to go into his crate and just chill there watching me. When the crate is closed I ALWAYS have him sit BEFORE I open the doorway, and even AFTER I open it, he still has to stay sitting until I say 'out.' it sets the rules and it controls his excitement.

Basically, puppies need rules. They WANT rules. They want you to tell them what to do because they don't know what to do! GSDs are NOTORIOUS for their nipping. Ignore, don't say NO more than twice. Turn your back on him. How much exercise are you giving him daily? 2-3 times of short walk and some running around in the yard/park would be sufficient, physically. Mentally, you need to challenge him by engaging in his playing, and learning new tricks. 15mins twice a day would be more than enough, 15 mins of mental exercise equals 1 hour of physical exercise!

When you have these 'mental' sessions and are engaging in his plays, don't just 'play' per se. Teach him rules. Teach him commands. Tricks. Tug rope? Teach him 'let go' AND 'pull.' Fetch? 'drop it' and 'give it' and 'pick it up.' EVERYTHING is regulated by YOU. When you start teaching him commands, he will look at you in the eyes, trying to understand what you want from him. Your job is to HELP him understand.

Lastly, if you feel you're not equipped to handle him, get a trainer asap. Learn from that trainer. And most importantly, don't give up on a pup because he is BEING A PUP.
 

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Just to add, trust me, when you start laying out rules, train him mentally, he will stop biting/barking/jumping on you. When a dog RESPECTS you he will never do any of those. When my pup was still around 3-4 months, he still nipped and jumped on me like crazy. But I started learning how to be a better dog owner/handler and did a lot a research. The LAST time he ever nipped at me was around that time, and it was the only time it drew blood from my finger. I got angry, I'm not gonna lie. I said straight to his face 'I don't like this.' showed him my bloody finger. He NEVER nipped at me since then, ever. Doesn't jump on me either, even after not seeing him the whole day. When you come through the door, his head should be low and his body language should be relaxed, that's when you know you earned his respect.
 

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I agree that you need a good trainer / mentor who understands strong smart dogs. Most importantly try to stay calm. If you get riled up so will your pup. No yelping or screaming when he bites and nips. That will make it even more exciting to nip and bite and play rough. Please get some sort of tug type toy. Your pup desperately wants to play with you and having a nice tug game will go a long way to building a bond, and become a reward for good behavior! You can't just shove the toy in his mouth though. You have to actually play with him. Even though when you come home and just want to unwind and relax, playing for 15 minutes when you come home will help a great deal.

When you come home just be calm, Ignore your pup a bit until he calms down. Then you can greet the pup. Take out the tug toy and go play a bit. When you are done you and the pup will have a much better evening.
 

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It is hard living in an apartment if they are whining and barking in crate. BUT you need to wait until he's quiet to let him out. My younger girl was awful, sounded like we were killing her in there. At first I would let her out at the slightest pause in noise, give her a treat and get her outside. As she picked up on what got her out faster, I would lengthen the time of quiet before releasing her. ( I used a quiet command so eventually it would connect with her). At 4 years old, it's still her favorite place to sleep during the day although we never shut the door, she just chooses to sleep there.
 
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Have you tried crate training the puppy?
https ://youtu.be/GVyfnFziojw
 

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Apartment living with a pup, as someone conceded, can be a challenge. (Living with a pup can be a challenge.)


But here - when distracting with toys, make the toy the most treasured, interesting, engrossing item on earth. Don't just say "here bite this not me" --- afterall, you move! you squeal! you are exciting an animated and engage when bitten!!! whooo hooo! So calm yourself down, steel your nerves and make that toy valued!!!..



Toilet issues -- (ok I thought I had this down pat until the last pup - She was my 5th pup) But things that help.. take puppy out to toilet. Do nothing until he does the work, then praise but if you play then (and it is OK and almost encouraged for the human to play with the dog after success) you may need to wait until another "event" before going back inside. You will get lots of exercise taking the puppy out, you will stay away from food while you are outside waiting for the pup to do his thing -- so think of the health and fitness benefits to you toilet training the puppy! What a bonus! Yeah well your friends are not going to be jealous of this aspect but hey...


On crate training --- I'm not sure if the above link took you to crate games or not. But Crate Games! Get a word you will associate for pup going into the crate. These games work well if your pup is either hungry or very food motivated. Puppy goes in crate, puppy gets treat, puppy gets out of crate. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat and maybe the next time you get to leave the puppy in the crate with a jackpot of treats/food for a bit. Then knock it off and let the puppy be a puppy for a bit.


And at night - that crate goes right next to your bed so you can stick your hand over the side and into the crate for the puppy to bite.... (no not really but it will comfort the pup for you to reach in if he gets whiney.



Puppies can be fun and frustrating and challenging and rewarding -- all in a span of a few minutes. Unlike babies they do not grow up to drive, stay out too late, worry you about their possible drinking or drug use (they grow up to worry you about other things).
 

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Potty training...you might have to start from the beginning again and that means taking him out more often than once an hour, after meals, after naps, after play, etc. Reward and praise him each time he does it outside. If he does it inside, "no" and then take him out. Also, keep the leash on at all times and the other end tied to you if possible and you have to keep an eye on him constantly. Don't let him run loose inside until you're confident he's potty trained. If you live in a cold place, have the jacket, shoes, gloves, scarves, all in the same place and ready. Try to get into a regular schedule everyday. If you can't keep track of when he last pooped or when he peed, keep a log. I did (I still do). I wrote down the time when mine went to pee, eat, poop. It helps to better predict when he may go next, especially if your memory is not great or you have other things on your mind. Mine is now 6 months old and I only keep track of his pooping schedule. I keep track of how much he pooped, if it's diarrhea, etc. I do it just so I can estimate when he needs to go next and that way I can plan my own schedule, like what time I need to be back if I'm out eating lunch or grocery shopping or etc. Sometimes vets will ask you about your dog's poop. I can just pull up my notepad and tell the vet what he needs to know. I know writing it down is extra work, but it's work that helps me a lot.

The biting...I've said this many times before in other threads...there's no instant cure for the biting. You just have to power through it. I went through 2 tubes of Neosporin and 3 boxes of bandaids. The biting should decrease significantly when he's done teething. Mine still bites but he only bites when he needs to go out. When he starts biting my hands, then I know he has to pee or poop. That's his signal.

The crate/cage/pen...You made the mistake of letting him out when he started crying. So now he knows he can get what he wants when he cries. Buy ear plugs or listen to music with headphones on to lighten the sound to your ears. Buy a bottle of wine or pizza or something for your neighbors and explain to them. They may be more tolerant after that. Put him in the pen when you go to the bathroom, or get the mail, or eating dinner, or vacuuming or etc. Anytime you can't watch him...in the pen even if it's for 2 minutes. The more times he's in there and then gets let out, the more he'll understand being in the crate is ok. Give him treats when he's quiet in the crate. When he goes in, treat. If he cries, no treat.


I give you mad props for trying to do all this living in an apartment. I would never raise a pup living in an apartment, but that's just me. Anyway, good luck.
 

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As others mentioned, talk to your neighbors, find out what times or days are best for them to put up with the noise, and then just bull through in teaching the puppy that whining and crying will get him nowhere! There really is no shortcut I'm afraid, but it doesn't take them too long to catch on either. When you decide to do it, don't give in! If you give in once and let him out while he's being a jerk, you'll undo countless other times you haven't. Pick a weekend or whatever days work best for the neighbors. Power through for a couple days, and you'll be done for ever!
 

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I just reread your original post, and I thought I'd respond to some of the other issues you mentioned. As odd as it may sound, they're all connected. When you let him out of his crate when he's being a jerk, he "knows" he's in charge! So the biting, and the pooping, and the other stuff is all connected to you ceding your authority and letting him command you with his actions! It's seriously time for some "Tough Love"! Don't get mad, don't yell, just be insistent. Don't take no for an answer, insist, and do it every time, calmly and in a non-confrontational way! It's not a fight, and it's not a debate. If you consistently insist on compliance, he'll get it! Set rules, and don't waver. Right now it sounds to me like he's in charge, and he knows that!

Lots of people advocate for a "no teeth on me" rule, but I can't because I love to play fight with my pup! But I did teach her to stop when I say stop! Just a matter of demeanor, when you say it and how you say it, as well as your body language when you say it, all play a role! The main thing is, it's not a request, it's a demand, or command, so say it like you mean it, and always insist, no matter how much time it takes, on compliance!

Along with that, don't forget to praise profusely for wanted behavior. 97% or more of your interaction with your puppy should be all about him doing good stuff and being praised and treated for it! Think up games that will get him to do stuff you want and then lavish him with praise and give him treats! If you ever find that you're correcting your puppy more than 5% of the time, take a step back and reconsider your approach. There is no single "right" way to teach anything, but too much negative will not work out well in the future....
 
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