German Shepherds Forum banner

I have a teenager on my hands...

3798 Views 32 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  Helly
I think Shane is going through his rebellious stage. He will listen to a command, but it will lister very SLOWLY. For example, I will tell him to sit (this 101 ...he was doing this at 8 weeks), now he acts like he can't hear me or he will first he walk around in a circle, move to the left, move to the right, then sit.

His "downs" are the same way. He will circle, look around, and eventually go down. I was taught him to roll over, he learned very fast. However, he is not happy with it. When tell him to roll over, he will first bark at me, then give me a paw, then bark again, and then let out a big huff of air and roll over. It's like he is saying "No, I don't want to do that trick, he is my paw. FINE! I will do it but I'm not happy about it!."

It is a constant..."sit, sit, SIT SHANE" or "Down, down, DOWN NOW!"

I am not sure how to correct this. I don't want to praise him when he actually listens, because it took too long, but at the same time, I don't know how to correct it because he is doing the command, but very slowly.

He is very much acting like a teenager. I know he is testing me, little help so I won't lose control or my mind. Thanks.
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Tasty flatmeat works wonders for a stubborn young dog. No goodies for a while unless he works for them...
Ohhh, I feeeeel yo' painnn! LOL! I have one of those.
Grimm is trying the exact same thing.

(he begins to pause.........)
*leash correction*
He sits.

Next time:
(same thing happens..)

Third time:
He sits.
Loving, calm, brief praise.. such a nice boy!

Just keep it up. Eventually, the learn they don't get the command repeated. No begging. No asking again. No pleading. No frustration. Momma's way or the highway.

Very calm-- do the command. He does it. Soft praise. End of story. This is a time for lots of love as they go through these changes-- but no negotiations after commands.

Please God, let this stage end sometime soon LOL!! They say it ends, anyway...
See less See more
LOl so glad I am not the only one with a wayward child!

Sue, I don't want to use treats all the time. He was pretty good listening to commands and not excepting a treat in the end. I like that because I don't always have anything on me when I give a command. I just don't want him to think, he only has to listen when I am holding a treat. He should listen treat or not.

Patti, how do you ignore it? The moment he starts to sway away from the command, instead of waiting, give him the correction, then ask again? Eventually, he should know I won't ask twice, and hopefully just drop when I say down.

Yes, I hope this ends soon. Can I fast forward through this stage?
Quote:*leash correction*
Don't repeat.

Just wish I'd been able to do that with my human children...
Liljah, I mean ignore this whole bratty stage.
Don't panic. Think of it this way: His hormones INSIST, they DEMAND that he try to sneak in blowing you off.. doing stuff slowwwwwly or not at all. Who needs Mom? Who needs rules? HAH! etc etc.

But if you are consistant, and correct when you see that "Wellllll..... I dunno if I wanna listen to youuuuu...." delay, and calmly enforce the command you gave-- eventually, he will:
1.) Learn that bucking your authority gets him nowhere, and
2.) His hormones will stop forcing him to be a butthead.

One day, after months and months and agonizing months of reinforcing commands that he ignores, PRAISING when he obeys in a timely manner, and doing fun stuff together and loving him...



Your jaw will drop in astonishment that you then will have an young adult, well-behaved, calm dog who doesn't itch to test you every step of the way anymore.

Okay.... at least... that is what I ***hope*** happens.
Grimm is my first teenaged dog!
See less See more
Oh, I was going to start this thread but you beat me to it. She looks at me like- "WHAT? Are you talking to ME?"
I was warned by y'all, and now it's here.
Time is a four letter word.
I'm going thru the same with Yana. I'm learning not to repeat and demand and enforce immediate response to my commands. It's hard because I'm so used to give excuses for her like 'oh, she wants to sniff that leaf, oh she wants to lick the kitty'
and I think I'm repeating the command without realizing it. As always, the problem is with a handler
See less See more
Yep, as others have said, do NOT give a command more than once. When you do that, you are TEACHING him that he doesn't have to listen the first time. Because, heck, nothing is gong to happen if he doesn't do it.
I'm a bit confused about "asking" a dog to do something. Isn't it akin to asking the dog, "Would you like to have a seat?" and the dog says, "No thanks, I'm good, I'll stand." How can one be upset about that?
I think consistency is important to a dog. When you give a command, make it a demand. From their earliest days my dogs have known the meaning of "NO!" I agree with the no repeating, cajoling, begging and pleading. If I get a refusal or lackluster response to a command, I say, "NO!" then repeat the command. It has to be consistent, there can be no extra attention reward for refusing a command. And additionally, the praise following the correction induced response is very limited to perhaps a simple, "good boy." or "that's better." Tone of voice is critical in my opinion. Sit and Down aren't exactly rocket science to a dog, These are things they naturally do. When I'm convinced they know what is expected of them upon the command, and they do it, I don't think you need to lavish them with kisses and hugs. Save the high value praise for the harder stuff. Like the old show biz saying, "Leave 'em wanting more."
See less See more
Good post-- good advice, Chris! Gosh, the teenaged times are HARD.... Grimm is almost 20 months, and his body is really, really changing. His lines are immature longer than most. I sure wonder when the teenaged time for him will be over!
Patti I will let you know when Grimms older brother finally gets it and then you can wait 6 month and Grimm should have the immuturity gone to. I was told by may people that Czech lines seem to muture slower and in Grimm and Jero's case I seem to believe it more
LOL Thanks, Chuck.
Right now, it's like:
Me: "Sitz."
Grimm: "I didn't heeeearrrr youuuu.....La-la-la-la-laaa..."
or, he does it slowwwwwwwwwly. "Yeahhh, I was gonna sit, like, anywayyyy..."

And he will sometimes get a wild hair, and decide that he will do something crazy that he hasn't done in months. Like: "BLLAAAHHH, Hahahahahahaaa!! See what I can still doooo???"

Grrrrrrr!! I am being cinsistant. He is just sometimes being a royal pain in the patootie LOL! Hormones are totally kicking in now, too. He will bark or growl in suspicion at just a person walking by... totally unlike him. (I have heard suspicion levels peak when hormone levels spike during GSD teenagerhood)

Pleeeeeeeeease let this phase... phase out soon!
See less See more
I am just glad I'm not the only one suffering with a teenager! But I have to rein in the correction.

So just tell him once, if not fast enough, correct it. Eventually he will pick up, I only ask once (hopefully)!
Looks like there are several of us in the same boat. Kuno is now just 8 months old and he has selective hearing. I admit that the handler is a big part of the problem (me) because sometimes I'm just "not in the mood" to be diligent. Other little things (besides slow response to 'sit', 'come', etc. such as he now wants to assert himself to be first through doors.

I think it just takes the consistency mentioned above, calm but commanding tone, and patience. There is even the occasional temper tantrum bite attempt... particularly when being told to "leave it" and reaching for his collar. This is absolutely not tolerated and results in me clamping his mouth hard with both hands and a sound scolding. I then give him about 10 seconds or so to "think about it" and behave normally. Hopefully this will teach that he has to obey, bad behavior is not tolerated, but otherwise there is no grudge or hard feelings.

At the end of July we're taking him on vacation with us, starting with an all day (10 - 12 hrs) drive... THAT ought to be fun! :|
See less See more
OMG...Jackson will be 5 months old this week and I swear he is already starting the teen years.

He knows his commands...but he just loves to ignore me or take his own sweet time.

We were walking yesterday and I decided to work with his down stay a bit...he wouldn't do it...WOULD NOT DO IT...just looked at me....I finally got behind him, brought his legs out saying "down" and laid over him...I'm sure this was extremely attractive in the middle of the street at 6:00 in the morning...but by golly he got it.

After about 5 tries.
I am not alone in this! LOL! We will get through this. Somehow. I hope!
Originally Posted By: BrightelfI am not alone in this! LOL! We will get through this. Somehow. I hope!
At least our teenagers don't slam doors in our faces and tell us how much they hate us and how we are ruining their lives!
See less See more
Originally Posted By: Liljah
Originally Posted By: BrightelfI am not alone in this! LOL! We will get through this. Somehow. I hope!
At least our teenagers don't slam doors in our faces and tell us how much they hate us and how we are ruining their lives!
Mine does. He is also sneeking out at night and smoking with his buddies. I think he might have taken the car the other day... I think there are more miles on it, plus the back seat was full of milk bone crumbs.
See less See more
Quote:I think consistency is important to a dog. When you give a command, make it a demand.
Sorry Chris, but

Camper is 2 years, 2 months. Whew. We're almost there. Three intermediate obedience classes; two therapy dog classes; he's on his third advanced obedience class; private lessons. Oh, he's a great dog. My vet and our trainers love him. We take and repeat classes not because he doesn't learn the skills (he knows all of them perfectly) but to keep him on the straight and narrow and because *I* need the moral support.

This is what would happen at home:

The Down command was followed by a squat. I would give him the look that means I will execute him on the spot (I don't repeat commands). So he squats more and slowly steps forward, one foot at a time. I can read his mind: "I AM lying down. What do you call this? It's not a sit? LOOK at me!" He's hunched up, all weird, obeying, but not obeying.

(Did I mention that my trainer calls Camper "perfect"?)

Leash correction. "No." He doesn't move. He's still hunched over, but not close to lying down.

Yeah, that did a lot of good. "Down." I stepped on the leash. He continues the step-forward process that takes what seems like five minutes.

He's now in a perfect Platz. Um. Well, elbows don't need to be touching the ground, do they?

"Camper. Elbows!"

Elbows finally touch down.

"Good Down Camper! Good Boy!"

Adolescence, they say, starts at about 8-10 months old. What they don't tell you is that it lasts until about 30-36 months in European working lines dogs. My dog's neck has grown 2-3 inches in the last three months. He has finally stopped eating 4 pounds of meat (plus extras) a day (he's now leaving his bowl with food in it. It looks like I can feed him a reasonable 2.5 lbs of meat, plus extras, a day.

So I am extremely hopeful that adolescence is about over. For those of you who are just starting, my advice is classes, training, more classes, structure, and sympathetic professionals who will continue to assure you that you're doing great and that as soon as your dog is an adult, he will be the best GSD ever.

My best wishes to you all. I'm almost at the end of the tunnel. And there's no looking back!
See less See more
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.