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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Background info:

My wonderful GSD friend Leela (pictured as my icon) passed away two weeks ago (she was a rescue, so I was not aware of her past). She was suffering from cancer and passed shortly after diagnosis at 6 1/2 months of age; I only had her for only 2 1/2 months. I was mortified. I would constantly look for her. My family had to pack up all her things to save me the grief. :(

Problem:
However, at an attempt to help, they got me a black 3 month old female GSD female puppy. I currently call her Texas, and I don't feel the same connection I had with Leela. Also, problems have arisen that I am having difficulty mastering. :confused:

For one thing, she is constantly crying, whining, and howling. Whether she is in the crate, balcony (she scratches the glass at a constant), car, or even next to me in the living room. Its driving me CRAZY!!! I have not had any sleep for 4 days (4 to 3 hours each day). Also, I live in an apartment complex. I am fearful my neighbors are going to be very upset with me and my landlord will tell me to find another apartment complex (I already have one complaint from a neighbor for the noise). Will this stop?

Another thing that worries me is that she might be dominant. Training wise, in 3 days I have already taught her to come, sit, lay, and watch me; however, she only listens to me when I have food, otherwise, she ignores me. Also, when I try to discipline her by saying "No" and redirect her, she turns back and pushes me. If I say leave it, she continues to touch it. She is also always jumping on me and scratching my legs. Texas is constantly challenging me. Today, I was trying to get her to "watch me" and she leaped at my face and almost bit me. Is it only going to get tougher when she gets older? How can I decrease these behaviors?

On walks, she pulls on the lead a lot. I am working on it. Though, when she sees a stranger or another dog, she starts to bark, growl, and lunge herself on lead. Is this normal? Is this aggressive behavior? I never had a puppy that would do this. I tried correcting it by snapping the lead a few times, but she would not budge.

I have very mixed feelings about the puppy. I am scared, I might be in over my head (a dominant or aggressive dog). Granted, my last dog was sickly so she did not have the full energy as a healthy puppy, but I got used to my dog's calm behavior, and Texas is just hyper and energetic. I called the breeder and she is trying to help me by giving me suggestions, and I am trying to use them, but so far they are not working. I also asked her if it did not work out with Texas, if I could return her, she seemed reluctant but agreed she would take her back.

I want to make this work, but I also don't think it shouldn't be this hard. Does anyone have any suggestions? I feel lost and helpless. Please help.:confused:

All suggestions and opinions are appreciated. Thank you.
 

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it sounds like you have a typical land shark. One thing i would suggest is to stop offering treats for tricks. Positive attention getting excited when she does what you ask. Her behavior toward other dogs sounds like she may have some fear issues and may be of the mentality that she's going to get them first before they get her. Enroll in puppy training classes. That should help. On walks, when she' starts pulling ahead and not walking nicely, change direction. You'll feel stupid for it because you'll probably have to do it often but it should help. Any time her attention is NOT on you, change direction. When you stop, say at a corner, she should sit before she can go again and ONLY start walking again when you allow it saying "Texas Heel!". I know others will have different advice for you so you'll have a wealth of information. HEAVILY practice NILIF!

I'm sorry you lost your Leela. I agree it may have been premature for your family to get you another pup but they had the best intensions. Connections take time. I think you'll get a bond with Texas but it will take time. Texas can probably sense your anxiety and frustration with her and how her presence came about in your life and she's only copying, letting you know she knows how you feel about her. I think when you're able to take a breath and fully accept her, she'll calm down.
 

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one suggestion that works for me when i'm upset.... i write a letter about what i'm upset with or someone i've lost. You write the letter, WITHOUT reading through it as you write (means more). When you are finished with the letter, read through it ONCE and then burn it. Write a letter to Leela. Let her know you love her very much and are sorry you werent able to do more for her but you know she is grateful for having you in her short life. Ask for her blessing in raising Texas. Leela wouldnt want you to feel guilty or sad over her loss. She's better now and not hurting or tired. She gets to be a puppy where she is. Write the letter and see if its freeing for you. And keep aware of your dreams. You never know when your pup will show up to let you know everything is okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
KZoppa,

Thank you, I really appreciate it. I even cried when I read the suggestion for the letter. I miss her even more after getting Texas. I can't stop comparing, but I know I shouldn't. I will keep trying to create a bond with Texas.

I think Texas can feel that I miss Leela. But as I said before, I am just nervous that I might be in over my head. I just want to make sure that it can be fixed and if these behaviors are indicators of something potentially arising in the future. I only hope things go more smoothly.
 

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KZoppa,

Thank you, I really appreciate it. I even cried when I read the suggestion for the letter. I miss her even more after getting Texas. I can't stop comparing, but I know I shouldn't. I will keep trying to create a bond with Texas.

I think Texas can feel that I miss Leela. But as I said before, I am just nervous that I might be in over my head. I just want to make sure that it can be fixed and if these behaviors are indicators of something potentially arising in the future. I only hope things go more smoothly.

I was 14 when i had to have my cat Princess put to sleep. She had been with me since i was 5. Letting her go was extremely difficult. She had a severe bacterial infection we couldnt get a handle on and instead of getting better she was getting worse. I understand how hard it is to watch them suffer and in pain. Someone suggested i write the letter to her and burn it. It helped a great deal. When i lost my cat Sugar, i did the same thing. Some things just help more than others. Everyone compares. Its human nature. We try not to and over time we get better about not comparing. Dont feel bad about it. Everyone does it whether they admit it or not. You'll get there. You'll find that Texas does some things that will just tickle you pink and when its her time to go and you bring another pup home, you be right back to comparing. The point is, you already know they're going to be different so thats the first step to recognizing them for the individuals they are.

I sincerely hope things look up soon between you and Texas. If you put on a positive front, you'll eventually feel it as well and it wont be fake. When you get frustrated, step back, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Then, try again. It really does get easier but with all things, it takes times. You'll figure out how to work with Texas as she's figure out how to work with you. You can do it. Everything will work out. You'll see. We're all here for you!
 

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You don't have a dominant or aggressive dog. She's untrained and doesn't have self control yet. Once she learns the rules and has proper motivation to follow them, her behavior will improve.

Finding out what motivates your dog is the key to training. I wouldn't be too upset that she will only do commands when you have a treat, at this point. I just read a great book by Jean Donaldson that describes dogs as "innocently selfish". Also, it is a complete Disney myth that dogs want to please their owners. Dogs do what is in their own best interest. If that means that you have to have a treat to get your dog to sit, so be it. When you have things better under control in a few weeks, you can start looking for other ways to motivate your dog (play, snuggles, praise).

I do think that your family made a mistake to replace your lost dog so soon. It is not an easy thing to raise a puppy when you are in a good place in life, let alone when you are grieving. If you feel it would be in the best interest of the puppy to return it to the breeder, then you should consider it.

I hope others reply with suggestions for the crying and whining. The only thing I can guess is that somehow she is getting rewarded for that behavior (attention from you), which is why it persists.

The behaviors you describe are typical of a GSD puppy. Keep your cool, don't get angry at the pup. Withdraw your attention when unwanted behaviors crop up. I believe in time-outs (even if they only last a minute or two). Tethering the dog to you during your time at home works for some people to keep them out of trouble.

Good luck.
 

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it may be that you just weren't ready for another puppy quite yet, and you haven't had time to grieve your loss:(

If she's to much for you, the breeder should understand and shouldn't be reluctant to take her back! Don't be afraid to return her if you don't think your ready for this wild child.

I am so sorry for your loss, 6months is way to young to be sick with cancer:((
Hang in there
 

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I so sorry about your loss. I also lost a dog to cancer, but I had a year between diagnosis and his passing. I think about him every day and I have a photo of him in my office at work so I can say hello to him every day. It's been 2 years and I know I'll never get over it.

Okay, there are some problems with the new puppy, but nothing that time and training won't cure. At three months, I don't expect much. As far as food, keep some treats in your pockets at all times. I have older dogs and a puppy and I still treat the older dogs randomly for obeying. You should treat the puppy all the time for now.

The reason she's lunging at dogs and people is because she is afraid. It's time to start socializing. Have you enrolled in a puppy class? That's the primary purpose of them. Also, go to parks and walk her far enough away from other people so she doesn't get upset and treat her when she looks at another dog and/or person without getting upset and give her a lot of praise. Make it a big party!!

Have one friend come over and give your dog treats. Good treats, like chicken.

After puppy kindergarten, go to obedience classes and don't stop going until... well, you'll know when to stop. Sometimes the handler is doing something to make the situation worse and a good trainer will see this and help.

The crying at night could be because she misses her home and hasn't bonded with you yet. I can't say for sure, but the best way of bonding is going to school together. And make sure she has exercise before bedtime to tire her out.

Don't worry, in 2 years you'll look back at this all and laugh and give others advice. Many of us have been where you are now.

ETA: Make sure you find a class with a trainer that uses all positive methods. It's especially important with the fear issues your puppy has.
 

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So sorry for your loss. It's always difficult when one of these wonderful companions cross over. Keep the faith friend, soon your affections will turn to your new bundle of fur, patience is of the essence at this point.
I had the same issue with my guy DJ. Long story that I won't get into, but my last GSD had passed of cancer just a few weeks before DJ came into my life suddenly and unexpectedly. It's said that your friend that crosses over will some how send you and new friend. I'm now a firm believer and my affections have finally turned to my new furry friend. He's my best bud ! :D
 

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Background info:

My wonderful GSD friend Leela (pictured as my icon) passed away two weeks ago (she was a rescue, so I was not aware of her past). She was suffering from cancer and passed shortly after diagnosis at 6 1/2 months of age; I only had her for only 2 1/2 months. I was mortified. I would constantly look for her. My family had to pack up all her things to save me the grief. :(
I am so sorry for your loss. I agree with KZoppa about writing your feelings down. It will help to get it out of you, if you understand my meaning. You could also attach the letter to a balloon and release it somewhere and watch it "rise to heaven". It would almost be as if Leela was being delivered the letter. Whatever works to help you move through this grief. If you believe in the afterlife as I do, please believe that Leela is waiting for you, but she is running happy, pain free and in peace.

Problem:
However, at an attempt to help, they got me a black 3 month old female GSD female puppy. I currently call her Texas, and I don't feel the same connection I had with Leela. Also, problems have arisen that I am having difficulty mastering. :confused:
It is too soon in your grief to get a new puppy; however, since they meant well and you do have Texas, I would advise that you give your new buddy a chance.

For one thing, she is constantly crying, whining, and howling. Whether she is in the crate, balcony (she scratches the glass at a constant), car, or even next to me in the living room. Its driving me CRAZY!!! I have not had any sleep for 4 days (4 to 3 hours each day). Also, I live in an apartment complex. I am fearful my neighbors are going to be very upset with me and my landlord will tell me to find another apartment complex (I already have one complaint from a neighbor for the noise). Will this stop?
Yes this will stop, but something you can do to help this is to put a wind up clock or a stop watch inside of one of your shirts (preferably one you haven't washed but have worn) and place it inside of the crate. She's missing her mom and litter-mates, and is missing you. She may also be experiencing the puppy version of separation anxiety. Once you put the stopwatch or clock in her crate, if she starts the crying, go in, assure her in a firm but loving voice that everything is ok and it's time for bed. She needs to be reassured, but not coddled. If you coddle her, she will only get worse with the behavior. You might even try laying a blanket across the front where she can't see out when it's bedtime.

On walks, she pulls on the lead a lot. I am working on it. Though, when she sees a stranger or another dog, she starts to bark, growl, and lunge herself on lead. Is this normal? Is this aggressive behavior? I never had a puppy that would do this. I tried correcting it by snapping the lead a few times, but she would not budge.
Simply put, your girl hasn't been socialized. My girl does the same thing and we are working on it. My best advice to you is to take her everywhere! Hang out near schools, near grocery markets, the park, and even hanging out in the lobby of a vet's office. When you see another dog or stranger approaching (before she notices), give a leash snap and in a firm voice, tell her "No!" or whatever command that you use. You can also try making her lay down. Anything that will make her focus on you.

I have very mixed feelings about the puppy. I am scared, I might be in over my head (a dominant or aggressive dog). Granted, my last dog was sickly so she did not have the full energy as a healthy puppy, but I got used to my dog's calm behavior, and Texas is just hyper and energetic. I called the breeder and she is trying to help me by giving me suggestions, and I am trying to use them, but so far they are not working. I also asked her if it did not work out with Texas, if I could return her, she seemed reluctant but agreed she would take her back.
Texas is a typical puppy and a happy puppy is a tired puppy. Take her for 30 minute walks at least once, but preferably two or three times per day. Stimulate her training time to make it fun. Make a flirt pole for her. Some dogs have more energy than others so it requires more exercise. You'll know when she's tired. If she starts to lay down or try to during a walk, she's tired. I promise you that this phase will pass. It will all be okay.

You do have to do what you think is best. It might help if you look at Texas as a challenge right now, instead of an annoying puppy. Look at her as something to occupy your mind. Challenge yourself to train her. Don't look at her as a replacement, because she is not. And if you are subconsciously worried that Leela would be unhappy with you, please stop worrying. Leela would want you to be happy. She would want you to smile until such time as you can be reunited.

Think about it and weigh your options. Only you can decide what is best. Either way, we're all here for you and will support you in whatever you decide is best.

Good luck to you!!
 

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one suggestion that works for me when i'm upset.... i write a letter about what i'm upset with or someone i've lost. You write the letter, WITHOUT reading through it as you write (means more). When you are finished with the letter, read through it ONCE and then burn it. Write a letter to Leela. Let her know you love her very much and are sorry you werent able to do more for her but you know she is grateful for having you in her short life. Ask for her blessing in raising Texas. Leela wouldnt want you to feel guilty or sad over her loss. She's better now and not hurting or tired. She gets to be a puppy where she is. Write the letter and see if its freeing for you. And keep aware of your dreams. You never know when your pup will show up to let you know everything is okay.
that was just awesome! touched my heart for some reason, will go and give Mia a big kiss and a hug!even though she hates hugs!
 

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It sounds like you have a typical GSD puppy to me. I know you are having a hard time not comparing Texas to Leela, but I would try my best. Because it isn't fair to Texas, or you.

I have a few questions for you.

1. How much exercise does she get a day? (I know it is hard when you don't sleep, I feel your pain)
2. What is her crate setup like?
3. Have you considered inrolling her in a positive based puppy socialization class?


And on a side note about socailization: You wnat her to experience something new everyday, She down't have to actually interact with it, but be able to see it, hear it, smell it, and sometimes touch. Think about things that we see all the time that will be new to her. (a tractor, a cat, a balloon, a lawn mower, a person bicyling, a skateboarder, a person wearing a hat, a person in high heels, a stroller, a wheel chair.

Many of the things can intimidate a young pup, but by going out there and letting her experience them and have positive interactions, she will learnt eh world is not a bad place. That is why with a puppy I would avoid giving any corrections when socializing. When you go on walks with Texas and see another dog, find out how close you can get without going over her threshold. The LAT game is a great idea. LAT= "look at that." Since you said she is food motivated, use that to help her embrace new things. You can either use a clicker or a verbal marker like "yes". Have her look at something and then the second she looks at the object (dog, person, bike, duck) use your marker and treat. (make sure you load the marker before hand, you can find instructions in many of the posts on the site). Avoid giving corrections and no coddling either, as both send out the wrong signal.
 

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Believe me, I know the situation you're in and that horrible feeling of even thinking of finding another home. It feels so selfish and terrible, like you're giving up on a dog that you wanted to love. I was in that same position and for about 2 mos felt I needed to find a better home one of mine. She and I never ever bonded, I blamed myself, tried everything, puppy class where she earned a STAR puppy rating, obedience, in-home trainer. I work from home so was with her all the time, it wasn't for lack of trying or time together, she was just as unhappy with me and I was with her. I've never had that happen before where we just couldn't connect. So I did find her another home- fabulous couple with a male gsd her age and high energy level. She couldn't be happier! It was just a perfect match. I took a lot of grief from many people, even my mom wouldn't speak to me, the trainer was disappointed that I 'gave up', the vet was shocked. She was a cool, beautiful dog but just not the one for me- she also was the first puppy I had after our last gsd died at 12. I say all of this so you know that if you feel in your gut that this just isn't working out for both of you, she can have a better life in another home. Even though I felt guilty and sad and missed her, I knew I was doing what was best for her and believe that she would never have been as happy as she is today if I had kept her.
 

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Believe me, I know the situation you're in and that horrible feeling of even thinking of finding another home. It feels so selfish and terrible, like you're giving up on a dog that you wanted to love. I was in that same position and for about 2 mos felt I needed to find a better home one of mine. She and I never ever bonded, I blamed myself, tried everything, puppy class where she earned a STAR puppy rating, obedience, in-home trainer. I work from home so was with her all the time, it wasn't for lack of trying or time together, she was just as unhappy with me and I was with her. I've never had that happen before where we just couldn't connect. So I did find her another home- fabulous couple with a male gsd her age and high energy level. She couldn't be happier! It was just a perfect match. I took a lot of grief from many people, even my mom wouldn't speak to me, the trainer was disappointed that I 'gave up', the vet was shocked. She was a cool, beautiful dog but just not the one for me- she also was the first puppy I had after our last gsd died at 12. I say all of this so you know that if you feel in your gut that this just isn't working out for both of you, she can have a better life in another home. Even though I felt guilty and sad and missed her, I knew I was doing what was best for her and believe that she would never have been as happy as she is today if I had kept her.


I have to agree with you. If you feel in your gut that it isn't right then you have to do what you feel is right.

With Minna is has taken some time to bond with her for me. I've been home since she was 12 weeks old (I was out of town prior to that time) and now she is 21 weeks. I do finally feel bonded to her, but it took a lot of time!! -- and there were days I wanted to give-up because I didn't feel good about her and I bonding.
But now I do feel a lot better about my bond with her!! I've done a ton of training and I make sure I have TONS of fun with her -- there are days she has absolutely cracked me up. So for me, the connection took some time but did finally happen. :)

I am sorry for your loss with Leela, and I hope you and Texas get a connection.
 

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I am sorry about your beautiful pup. I have a couple of six month olds, and I would be devastated.

I do not know if I can help or not. Others have good ideas about how to make the new puppy do what you want.

Many of us are not ready to have another dog when we lose one we are attached to. And comparing the new one to the old one usually is disappointing. We have been so well programmed to never say anything ill of the dead. And I think it is also true that dogs that are not well, often worm their ways deep in our hearts and are the perfect canine citizens.

I think it will take a little time to grieve over the lost pup, and to accept that this youngster is not going to be the same. I think that if you provide good training and leadership, the puppy can become everything and more than what your other one was, because hopefully you will have her for many, many years.

I think if you are going to keep her, you have to force yourself to love who this one is, and not try to turn her into the other one.

I am so sorry this happened.
 

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I am very sorry for your loss. I lost my pup at 18 months to kidney failure. It was soon after that we got another pup Max. I try not to compare but sometimes you do, it is normal. Max came here at 11 weeks and he is now 9 months. I just now feel a strong bond to him.

Everyone here has great suggestions and I agree. Training will be a big help for her fear issues and for your bonding. Give it some time I think you will grow to love her for her. I do think your lost one has sent her to you for a reason.

I would from time to time go in the bathroom and have a cry, then pick myself up and come out with a smile and go play ball with Max, give him a hug and tell him I loved him. I like the idea of the letter, I may have to try that myself. Best of luck, and remember you have people here who understand.
 

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So sorry for your loss. It's always difficult when one of these wonderful companions cross over. Keep the faith friend, soon your affections will turn to your new bundle of fur, patience is of the essence at this point.
I had the same issue with my guy DJ. Long story that I won't get into, but my last GSD had passed of cancer just a few weeks before DJ came into my life suddenly and unexpectedly. It's said that your friend that crosses over will some how send you and new friend. I'm now a firm believer and my affections have finally turned to my new furry friend. He's my best bud ! :D

I'm a firm believer in this myself. Its very possible that Leela sent you Texas through your family's love for you.
 

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Hi,
I know how you feel I had my black lab that was my heart and she passed away from cancer three years ago. I could not get over it and missed her terribly and still do it felt like my heart would never heal. I just was completely devasted. We got a male german shepherd earlier this year and he attached himself to me and watches over me. I love him but I still mourned my lab until my new puppy which ironically is a black 3 month old german shepherd too like yours came into my life. She healed the wound that no other dog healed in the three years of the lab's passing. Your puppy may have just came sooner than mine. Please just give her time. The first week I had her I thought I made a big mistake and then I just stopped trying to give her commands and just let her bond to me. Once she bonded she has been so easy to teach. She had to get familiar with us. She has healed a wound in my heart that I thought could never be fixed. Just stick with it and she will be worth it in the long run before you realize it.
 

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I'm very sorry for your loss. I lost my beloved best friend this year, too. We rescued Rocky, our GSD in July. He is the complete opposite of my last dog, and I do compare, but I think it is natural to do so. I don't have any tips or tricks about your new puppy, just to say don't beat yourself up if it is too soon for you, if you don't feel you can give her a good home. You try your best, and if it works out, wonderful. If not, there is someone else out there who will give her the relationship that isn't quite the right time for you now. Hang in there. The memories of your other best friend will sweeten with time.
 

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I recently lost my dog, Moose, to cancer. It really sucks.

As far as Texas goes... I am of the opinion that life gives us what we need even if we don't understand at the time. Texas sounds like a happy healthy little GSD girl. Maybe it is a good thing that she is so different from Leela.

Here are some things that I would suggest.
- Lots of exercise. Leela probably didn't need much because she was sick. Getting Texas tired out will make her much more manageable.
- She is probably not listening to commands because she doesn't know them. Have you thought about doing a puppy class with her. Even if you are experienced with training, it is a great way for her to learn house manners and work on the bonding.
- She is going to need a lot of repetition before a behavior is actually learned. Even if she performed it once or twice, that doesn't mean she "got it". Certainly too soon to expect her to perform with out food IMO. Just be patient.
- Jumping up to get in your face while training just sounds like she is not "getting" what you are asking her to do, so she is trying her own little fun. Again, just be patient with her.

I wish you the best of luck with her.
 
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