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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 7 month old German Shepherd puppy. He is the typical 7 month old. Extremely active and into everything . I try and take him on a mile and a half walk off leash everyday but I work for myself and am not always able to take him. I do auto paint and body work and let him be outside with me while I work so he can get exercise. I have had him since he was 8 weeks old and have trained him where he knows several commands and was easy to disapline until recently. He is pretty large for a 7 month old. He is 28 inches at his withers.His dad was 150 pounds (not heavy set, just large). He goes at everything 100 mph. He is alway biting my hands and its almost impossible to work around him. He thinks everything is a game and always wants to play. I will tape and paper a car and he will pull the paper off and try to pull the tape off. He has torn up all the wheel cover I have. He tears up tarps I have hanging.up. Anything he see's me with he wants. He tore boards out of my neighbors privacy fence. He tears up my electric and air tools. Last night he ate my motorcyle seat. He is just a handful. I love him to death but he is wearing me out. He can be very affectionate at times. I will be sitting down working and he comes and jumps in my lap and will start licking my face which I dont mind because I know he is showing he loves me also. I have read that I am not supposed to yell at him or try and punish him. I will admit I have yelled at him once in awhile because he is agravating me so. I tell him no a good bit and he seems to understand what no means. Am I in the wrong telling him no? Its just so agravating trying to work and he is doing everything he can think of to keep me from working. I do not want to shut him up while I work because at least he is using up some energy being outside with me. Its hard to stop working to try and turn his attention to something else. I am always overloaded with work and work 7 days a week. I just need to know the best way to disapline him without causing problems that will effect him later in his life. Also I read that from 7 months to 1 year is when German Shepherds are the hardest to deal with. But will it slack up at all in the coming months? I had a female German Shepherd from the time she was 8 weeks until she passed at 13 years. I dont remember her being non stop excitement the way my 7 month old male is. She was a real sweetheart. How do I let him know that what he is doing is not acceptible behavior?
 

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Congratulations on your paitience and how much you care about your pup.


HOWEVER!!!! You are NOT doing him or yourself any favors not setting up structure, parameters and discilpline for him. With no discilpline - and I don't mean physical punishment! - he will only become more and more unruly.

First off - CRATE this pup while you work....do not let him run amok. You can break him every 2-4 hours for potty and a bit of play. But he must learn to be a reliable, tractiable member of your family/pack. He may protest loudly at first, but work out a structured schedule where you can work and he must wait for his time with you. Do not let him destroy your work space and projects. Use a leash, when you break him do 5 or 10 minutes of obedience, then crate again. You need to get this pup into a frame of mind where he wants to work with you, or you will end up with a monster you will not waint to continue living with.

Lee
 

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Many folks put a dog in a crate for 8 or 9 or 10 hours a day when they leave for work until they get home from work. This prevents the puppy from doing anything dangerous, like ingesting that which should not be ingested, while the owner cannot pay attention to the dog. Being aggravated with the dog because of behavior that happens when you are unable to supervise him will, eventually, harm your relationship with your dog. If you do not want to crate him, then buy/construct a kennel. A kennel allows the dog to move freely, in a small area, eat, sleep, potty, and you can ensure that anything he can access will not hurt him, and then when you are done with your work you let him out, you do your walks, your feed, and play with him. Letting him continue to do undesirable things, will only make it harder in the long run. You can make kennel time a good time by not using it for punishment, having a particular bone or a toy that spews treats for him that he only can have when he is in there, and taking him out and interacting with him periodically, maybe feeding him in there,and creating a routine.
 

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remember our dogs like variety and adventure but thrive on routine. You've been given some great advice here. Keep on making clear fair rules for your pup. Remember self control comes with maturity and our dogs take a couple of years to reach adulthood. If you lay the groundwork now you'll have a fabulous 4 year old and might even miss the scamp of a pup you have now.
 

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Just a quick note: Sayng "no" doesn't show a dog the desired behavior.
"No, you can't destroy that, HERE is what you can chew". Celebrate, good times!

And if you work 7 days a week, a large working breed will require a huge amount of your off-time.

At this point, a 7 month old GSD that still chews on you, tears up tarps, chews hub caps and motorcycle seats etc, has been seriously lacking training and discipline/structure. They are the farthest thing available form a breed you can just let hand out and grow up and expect to be good canine citizens.
 

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It would probably help if you worked on training him some foundation behaviors like “place” and “leave it.” To keep him from disturbing your auto work during this teenage phase, you could consider keeping him tethered for short periods with water and a bully stick or something else to keep him occupied. I never use a tether unless I am close by and can monitor them on it. Occasionally I would tether our puppy when I was doing yard work so he wouldn’t try to chase the rake and I would constantly throw treats at him for being calm and quiet and over time he learned to not bother what I was doing. I don’t find yelling “no” to be very effective unless you follow it up with rewarding them for the behaviors you want them to offer.
 

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I'm with wolfsraum. Structure and don't allow the bad behavior use a crate. When it's time to be with the dog really be with the dog. Play hard 5-10 minutes. Give some pets after a good session. Put the dog up. Rinse and repeat. The dog also needs brain work 5 minutes training sessions a few times a day using food rewards. You can expand the time as the relationship and rules are established. Get a raised platform start teaching him place starting will small amounts of time and work your way up. Keep the dog on leash when your together playing so he can't check out. You have to take away some freedom create the rules. When using the crate so much at the start the dog will have alot of energy its your job to figure out what exactly you do in that time to get his energy out in an engaged and structured way. You have to make the time and make it count.
 

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Management, as others have suggested. Crate him with a chew toy, use an exercise pen to contain him nearby with a bone to chew, tether him to something with a bed to lay on and a stuffed Kong to occupy him. He's running amok because he's being allowed to do so. Telling him not to is obviously not working, so make sure he can't do the things you don't want him to rather than trying to figure out how best to punish him after the fact. Teach him new behaviors and reward him for practicing them. As wolfstraum pointed out, he lacks structure. Give him a predictable routine with breaks throughout your workday for play, exercise, training, before putting him away again so he can learn to settle.

He's getting a lot of attention for being naughty, even if it's negative attention. Dogs do what works to get what they want, and misbehaving is working spectacularly well for him. Change that up so he's getting attention and reinforcement for doing what you want him to do instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have found also that when he starts to act up if I turn my back to him and totally ignore him he will stop what he is doing. The past 2 days he has been a different acting dog. I let him out and played with him awhile. I thought I would leave him out awhile longer and I started working again. He was very good. Instead of demanding my attention he stayed near me but would lay down watching me work. He would go to other parts of the yard doing dog things. I just hope it last
 
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