German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!
My name is Angela and I got Vlad when he was 12 weeks old. He has ALWAYS been a hand full. We did take him to puppy class when we first got him but, other than that, he's not had any other training. I work from home so he is with me all day. I do gate the kitchen so he can only stay in the kitchen with me. The door to the back yard stays open so he can roam/play, etc.
He is driving me absolutely insane. He has me crying some days because he is so destructive and hyper.
He does get walked every day and played with in the yard. He also plays with my sister's boxer a few days a week.
What is his bad behavior, you ask? Anything and everything. He's in the trash probably 20 times a day, which sits right behind me and he KNOWS he's not allowed in it but will do it anyway. He barks at anything that moves.... A leaf, a bird, anything. If he can get his mouth on anything that he's not supposed to, he will. He jumps and nips at other family members when they walk into the kitchen. My biggest problem is that I have 3 grand daughters, ages 6,3 and 7 months. He get's so excited when they first walk in that there is NO WAY they can be around him for awhile, until he calms down. When they do come into his space he plays with them inappropriately. Jumping, nipping... We watch them all very closely and stay right with them to make sure he doesn't accidentally hurt them.
The bottom line is that I say no a million times a day. I'm sure he thinks it's his name.... When he get's really bad I crate him. Mostly when he is displaying these behaviors I will tell him no and make him sit, which is a VERY TRYING exercise for him. He will try to walk away many times during this but I will just re-inforce the sit and keep him beside me.
My family just says "He's still a puppy. He'll grow out of it." But, I'm not so sure. He truly drives me up the wall.
Any advice on what I need to do? Is this just "puppy" behavior?
I'm so glad I've found this group. I'm sure I'll have many other questions throughout this GS journey! lol
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
850 Posts
He's a puppy, a GSD puppy. He'll grow out of it. :)
But really, just a few walks during the day is nowhere near enough. You have to tire them out. A flirt pole is a great toy, or just throw a tennis ball ten times and make him retrieve it. Whenever I tire out a dog, they are SO much better behaved. He's a naughty teenager right now. You have to train him every day, he's bored.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,708 Posts
Re the trash....stop fighting his nose, and out think him to get yourself some sanity here: secure the trash.

Put a baby latch on your kitchen sink cabinet, and put the trash under the sink. Done!

The reason this matters is not just your own frustration level (20x a day...) but also his health -- there's stuff in the trash that's bad for him, and if you think you are frustrated now, wait till you get an intestinal obstruction and $1500 surgery to save his life.

I say this as someone who lives with a mischievous blind dog who NEVER grew out of the urge to use his nose to get into stuff. His nose still gets him into trouble, and he's at least 9 years old. He loves the contents of the vacuum more than anything, and if he can get to it in the trash, he'll joyously fling the vacuum dirt all over the place (ever tried to clean a CEILING that the dog got filthy?!). Living with that dog taught us to make stuff inaccessible that we wanted to keep him out of.

Have you started basic OB yet? He's at the age where a good, rigorous group class would be great for him. It would help you start molding desirable behaviors too, and give you a positive outlet for all that mental energy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,496 Posts
One class is not enough. He needs to be in ongoing training until he is 18-24 months. I never stop training a puppy until the dog is at least 3 years old. He is bored and he has discovered if he is naughty, he gets your attention. I have a 10 month old working line male and he never does anything like that. I exercise him in the early morning. I work him daily, both physical and mental stimulation which tires him out. I give him treats frozen into a black Kong toy to keep him occupied. I work him again at lunch time on days when I'm home and again in the late afternoon. We have an older dog and they play and race around at least twice a day. The rest of the time, my dog is quiet and calm because I wear him out. I don't know your dog, he sounds more energetic than mine, but it might help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,695 Posts
another thing I wonder is "what down time does the dog have" quiet time where he is expected to entertain himself or even to simply stay in one spot and be still? There are definite down sides to working with home and your dog spending all of his time with you.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,657 Posts
Aww ...geez, here I go again. With this dog and your problems ... the picture you posted ... points to the sources of your problems. :)

Rules, Structure and Limitations, you most likely "think" your providing that ... but you are not. But ... don't sweat .it .. your not alone. The "good news" however is you've taken the most important first step in getting this solved ie ... "out think your dog." What I'm doing ... is not working ... time to do something different??:)

And thus far ... what you have learned, is first ... you can't "exercise" your way out of this and that the word "NO" without consequences ... means "Nothing" to the dog. He simply does not believe you!

If this dog went away to a "Balanced" Trainer" (a trainer that believes in teaching a Dog "NO" and offering consequences, to the dog for "Poor Choices.") This dog's life would have "Structure, Rules and Limitations!"

He would be Crate Trained, Play Dates would be Structured, he would be obedience trained, and consequences for "Poor Choices" would be delivered and most likely he would be conditioned to a "Prong Collar, pretty much most "effective" Trainers use one. (Prongs are not my thing ... but that's not my point here.)

And he would be "trained" in "Place" or ... "The long Down." I'm not really sure how folks can "expect" a dog to know how to "Chill the Heck out" if they have not been "Trained" to do so ... but whatever. :)

And the "No, No, No thing and zero effect thing ... yeah ... that's not gonna work, without delivering an "Aversive!" A "consequence" for "Poor Choices!" "I" could do it with a "verbal marker" most likely ... dogs don't want to hear me say "NO!"

But failing that ... "I" would use a "SLL" and a leash correction to make the point that "No" means "No" most others would use a "Prong Collar." Still that's great for me and other folks that "Know How To Train a Dog and deliver a proper aversive" but I'm gonna guess that's not much use for you??

Well no problem for people that struggle with a "proper correction" ie "Aversive" you can use the "Air Thingie" ie "Pet Convincer" it takes
the question of a proper correction out of an owner's hand!

Hmm and guess maybe I need to say don't aim it the dogs freaking eyes or ears?? I've never heard of anyone doing that ...but people do all kinds of crap one would not expect???

At anyrate ... a blueprint as it were is here:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/7837361-post12.html

By and large ... that is what getting it right looks like, so this said as always ... ask questions and welcome aboard. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,021 Posts
All dogs, not just GSDs should do several obedience classes. I agree with the earlier post that for the first year to year and a half there should be ongoing training. With that training comes obedience and socialization. The socialization is not contact but being around different things. I can easily train a dog at home but I go to classes with each one so they can experience it. Crate training also helps. Like anything else it's a tool and if done right, most dogs don't need a crate after a while but might still choose to go into an open crate to relax.

They need physical and mental exercise. Some might require more mental exercise then physical, but you have to find the balance. Just like with kids you pick your battles. For instance, you know he gets into the garbage, so while working on other stuff, get a garbage can that locks or put it in another room until you can focus on that--this is for his safety as well. Once you teach him leave it as a command that can go a long way with the garbage issue, but you can't do one without the other.

Keep his mind busy so that he doesn't find ways to keep himself busy. Play tug with him, find it, get puzzles, etc. A tired dog is a happy dog and that leads to a happy owner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I am definitely going to apply some of these excellent recommendations. I mean, duh! Put the trash up! lol... I just guess I wanted him to obey but my "no" isn't working too well. He does get played with all day long. Whether it's throwing a ball or tug of war but I do realize he's not getting a nice long "wear out play".
I'm going to look into training in my area as well.
My last baby was a Lab and he was the model of a perfect dog. He passed a year and a half ago.
I thought I would try my hand at a GSD... So different. :grin2:
Since Vlad is only with me for most of the day, I get the brunt of all the bad behavior. It's like taking care of a 2 year old toddler all day. Thanks for your suggestions and help. Any more words of advice would be welcomed!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
What a gorgeous pup! When My two year old was a pup he was in need of many games, many walks, adventures and training. When on walks if he grabbed the leash it meant he wanted more than just the walk..we did obedience exercises or found branches (yes branches) for him to carry. Now that he is an young adult he has learned to value down time, but still loves adventures and games.

My pup is ten months and now the one always asking to play. We waited until our big boy was trained up the way we liked before bringing a pup home so she is learning many house rules from him. When we go out into the yard, he romps and plays but she runs circles around the yard while he is resting in the shade. Some day she will also value down time and I'll actually miss the crazy full of life joy of puppyhood.

You've gotten good advice here. Keep up the training. Do at least one adventure a week, more are better. Play games. One day you'll wonder what happened to the crazy pup you had and how you ended up with the stunning adult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The picture I posted points to my problems? You seem annoyed. I am a new GSD owner and just needed advice. These things didn't happen with my lab and I want to nip them in the bud before he is an adult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,345 Posts
I don't think he will "outgrow it" until you take up the commitment of owning and handling a dog and up your commitment and investment in training. Contact an IPO/Schutzhund club and find a trainer you can work with. Make a Good Canine Citizen test your goal. This is not the dog's fault. He actually sounds like a fun dog that is incredibly bored and under stimulated. What are you willing to change to help him and your relationship with him reach its full potential. It is now or never. And consider that this is an investment for a long time. Not one 6 week course. Your dog won't mature until around 3.

Good luck but realize that this rests all on you. Hope you will rise to the occasion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I don't think he will "outgrow it" until you take up the commitment of owning and handling a dog and up your commitment and investment in training. Contact an IPO/Schutzhund club and find a trainer you can work with. Make a Good Canine Citizen test your goal. This is not the dog's fault. He actually sounds like a fun dog that is incredibly bored and under stimulated. What are you willing to change to help him and your relationship with him reach its full potential. It is now or never. And consider that this is an investment for a long time. Not one 6 week course. Your dog won't mature until around 3.

Good luck but realize that this rests all on you. Hope you will rise to the occasion.
I've never said that he will outgrow it... I simply wanted advice since I have never owned a GSD. I've never said I wouldn't commit or invest... I just think it's kind of rude to assume I'm a lazy owner and am not willing to "rise to the occasion".
I've already replied that I'm going to look into a trainer and use other suggestions. I'm just looking for a little help, not insults. :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,496 Posts
My last baby was a Lab and he was the model of a perfect dog. He passed a year and a half ago.

I thought I would try my hand at a GSD... So different. :grin2:
Since Vlad is only with me for most of the day, I get the brunt of all the bad behavior. It's like taking care of a 2 year old toddler all day. Thanks for your suggestions and help. Any more words of advice would be welcomed!
My first German Shepherd was perfect, too. Except I forgot all the early manners training we did to get to that point. This puppy can grow into a "perfect" adult with the right training.

The only thing I can add is that our dogs need attention and they need down time. I watch for things my puppy finds soothing and then reinforce good behavior after he is tired by giving him quiet time, too, with the soothing object. He couldn't stand to be alone but he likes chewing. So I keep a few special toys for times when I want him to be alone and he has learned to calm himself. He also likes music, so I use that to reinforce and reward calm behavior.

The other advice is that it takes a long time to reinforce good behaviors. My puppy is 10 months and he know he can't chew on things like throw rugs. But if I don't watch him and he gets bored or anxious, he will drag them around the room. Since any teeth in a rug could lead to destroying it, that isn't allowed. He knows I don't like it but the temptation is too strong. So if he even touched a rug with his mouth, he gets a Leave It command.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,202 Posts
Get a trash can with a lid you step to open.
Find a very good obedience trainer and go once a week.
No can mean many things. Put a pinch collar on him with a 10' lead with no handle and have him wear that. Learn how to use the pinch collar. When people come into the kitchen either step on his lead or grab the lead, tell him off and give him a correction as he starts to jump on someone. Sounds like he needs discipline, training and some thing like nose work to do. I you're not the alpha dog, you're going to have your hands full.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,496 Posts
The picture I posted points to my problems? You seem annoyed. I am a new GSD owner and just needed advice. These things didn't happen with my lab and I want to nip them in the bud before he is an adult.
He didn't explain. The dog is on furniture. One belief is that a dog allowed to rest at the same height as its owner will not respect the owner. Mine aren't allowed on furniture for other reasons so I haven't tested that out. If you get into more obedience and inside training, your dog should be fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,944 Posts
I used to crate my dogs when they were younger and more excitable just before my granddaughter arrived. She's almost 5, and is usually wound up when she arrives, that would get the dogs more excited. I'd let the pup out a little later, and we would throw her ball a few times to let her stretch out and then calm down. She also gives them treats, but they have to sit, down or shake first. She loves that they obey, and they love getting the treats so it's a win/win situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,202 Posts
He didn't explain. The dog is on furniture. One belief is that a dog allowed to rest at the same height as its owner will not respect the owner. Mine aren't allowed on furniture for other reasons so I haven't tested that out. If you get into more obedience and inside training, your dog should be fine.
My pup is allowed on the couch and definitely respects me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,078 Posts
He didn't explain. The dog is on furniture. One belief is that a dog allowed to rest at the same height as its owner will not respect the owner. Mine aren't allowed on furniture for other reasons so I haven't tested that out. If you get into more obedience and inside training, your dog should be fine.
I have always let all my dogs on the furniture. IMO, it is a non issue blown way out of proportion. In fact I find the opposite. I find it can be a good bonding opportunity, some dogs love to come on the bed and cuddle.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AngelaN
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top