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Apollo (almost 6 months) is doing pretty well with day to day life and training... but the one thing I’m having an issue with...

If I try to sit with him or really pet him, he thinks it’s time to rough house. He starts mouthing and writhing and thrashing. Obviously once he starts I remove myself from the situation and we do something else. But this has been going on since we got him at 3 months... so I had hoped it’d gradually get better but it isn’t at all! It’s like any kind of contact with people gets him overly excited.

Is this normal?
 

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He may mellow with maturity or you can actually train a dog to calm himself.When you're enjoying some quiet time watching tv or something put him on a leash and have him lay next to you.Try rubbing his chest or kneading his neck very slowly and soothingly.If you speak to him use a low soothing tone.Sometimes any touch or talking will overstimulate a playful youngster,so at first just getting him to lay still close to you will be a step in the right direction.And yes it is normal:)
 

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My big-boy took almost a year and a half to sit still and enjoy being petted. He though every touch was an invitation to rough house (which made brushing his long coat interesting) I still remember the first day I actually patted his head and he didn't reach up to grab me. "Look! I'm patting my dog" :)

Now he loves to be petted and scratched and rubbed. If we stop scratching his chest before he feels we should we get the "big paw of more please" on our arm.
 

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How much exercise is he getting? My 2 year old can be intense if he hasn’t had enough exercise. When he is tired, he’s mellow.
 

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I'm still working on this. I only pet him when he's tired now, and if he starts up, I stop, then try again when he calms down. He's figuring it out. He actually used to scream and wail when we pet him (like he does now when I come home and let him out of the crate because FREEEEEDOMMMM!). I think he had no bloody idea what we were trying to do early on...lol.
 

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How much exercise is he getting? My 2 year old can be intense if he hasn’t had enough exercise. When he is tired, he’s mellow.
I think he gets a fair amount of exercise. Whenever I get home from work, we play outside for an hour or so, then work on training and my kids play with him some more. Sometimes we throw a training type of walk in there too. If I put him in his crate, he’ll immediately settle down and fall asleep. I’ve tried to teach him the “place” command but he gets SO excited and I’m finding it challenging! Anyways, I don’t think he’s got energy to expel since he crashes in the crate right away... but if I try to sit with him he’s going nuts! It’s nice to know that I’m not alone though!
 

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A lot of how you work with a puppy depends on the puppy in front of you. Some settle well, some don't, but universally young GSD puppies don't seem to be up for much cuddling or lots of petting...that comes later, but it makes lots of people confused. Only pet or massage your puppy when he's tired out, and keep it very calm and soothing.

Something like a place command has to be taught in age-appropriate increments. You know what you want, but the puppy didn't get the memo LOL! Place, like stay, should be taught slowly with you right there next to him. Give the command and reward him after a few seconds if he doesn't move...then very very gradually lengthen the time span, all while staying right there with him, and always end it with your release command (very important!). Reward and praise profusely every time he stays. It's a long process, but like any training you need to build on success and gradually increase difficulty. So, once the puppy understand that stay means don't move, and is able to hold that for a minute or two, gradually increase the distance you are away from him. Again, slowly, if he fails move back in closer. It takes baby steps at first, but you'll find that the more he learns one thing, the faster he learns others! Puppies are so much fun, don't forget to just enjoy your goofball for the puppy he is...he'll grow up all too soon!
 

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Finally at 14 months Apex loves to petted. Now I have to teach him enough is enough already lol. He never cared to be petted it was an invitation to play then it came to be if you sat next to him he would get up and move away! What a punk he was lol
 

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My big-boy took almost a year and a half to sit still and enjoy being petted. He though every touch was an invitation to rough house (which made brushing his long coat interesting) I still remember the first day I actually patted his head and he didn't reach up to grab me. "Look! I'm patting my dog" :)

Now he loves to be petted and scratched and rubbed. If we stop scratching his chest before he feels we should we get the "big paw of more please" on our arm.
Lol!I get "the big paw" also.And sometimes the "tail thump of we weren't done yet."
 

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I just reread your initial post, and noticed this. Do you mean "we" as in you and Apollo? Might he be seeing this something else as more rewarding?

...I remove myself from the situation and "we" do something else.
 

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I just reread your initial post, and noticed this. Do you mean "we" as in you and Apollo? Might he be seeing this something else as more rewarding?

...I remove myself from the situation and "we" do something else.
Yes that is what I meant and you may be right! I try to use redirection and if he’s being all wild while I’m petting him or sitting with him, we do something else. Maybe he is feeling rewarded! What would be a better option when he starts mouthing, etc when I try to sit with him or pet him?
 

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I've had the same problem with my pup. He is A L W A Y S submissive to me, I can pet him anytime I want in any kind of situation. But with other people... Whole other story. Everytime someone approaches when we walk, he just wants to jump and rough play. Thankfully, by the advice of good people her, I got him a trainer, and he's getting better each day! One thing I might add, you have to encourage him staying and sitting whilst being pet by YOU first before getting petted by anyone else. Once you've accomplished that, means that he fully respects you and feels secure and safe. Then take it from there.
 
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