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Hello!

My name is Matt, I'm 22 and from South Carolina. I am an active duty Army Combat Medic, and have been in for over 4 years active and 1 national guard while in high school.

In April 2012, I was involved in a drunk driver hit and run that was a near fatal accident. At the time, I was in SC on emergency leave, and had just buried my grandmother the day prior! My girlfriend was with me during the accident, and we both some how survived. I was traveling at 65-70 MPH, and the drunk driver T-boned me (ran a red light at the intersection on highway), occording to the troopers who responded he was going at a high rate of speed, probably 70-80 MPH. They also said that he probably passed out at the wheel...and that we should have been dead. I was unable to breathe right after the accident, and as a medic I first made sure my girl was ok. I had my adrenaline pumping, so I didn't feel a thing, just couldn't take a breat for around 1-2 minutes. I saw the drunk driving away very slowly...so I chased him on foot. Luckily, he got away and the police arrested him, because I don't think he would have liked what I had waiting for him! :D After all that initial crap happened and all the police and firefighters kept me from tearing his head off...I was taken to the ER. Once my dad came in and he saw me, my adrenaline rush went away. I looked at him and I could see he was worried. Then the pain set in. When I walked into the ER, that was the last time I walked unassisted for 2 months. I was not paralyzed, luckily. I had compression fractures in my spine, T2 - L5. Herniated and bulging discs, and now of course I will have to deal with Degenerative Disc Disease forever (which we will all someday deal with). 22 years old, and I have arthritis, a messed up back, and PTSD/insomnia issues.

Anyways! I am being medically retired from the military because of that event. I have been spiraling out of control over the past 2-3 years because of deployments, this accident, and my units I've had to deal with. Lot's of pain + mental disorders + no support (500 miles from home) = a very dark and terrible place!

I have been dealing with the pain and suffering from this crap for over a year. I decided a few weeks ago that I have had enough! I decided to buy a German Shepherd puppy.

My reason for wanting a German Shepherd? A friend, someone who I can talk to, run around with, play with, get some exercise and get in better shape. I was 170 pounds before the accident, then I went up 216, I have been around 186 for the past month or 2. I got my puppy from a great breeder in Tennesee. They do a lot of protection training there, and now I am hoping to one day be able to go after a PSA title and agility training with my dog. Please don't be angry if I am not using the right terms, I am very new to all of this dog stuff. I want to find an AFFORDABLE trainer for protection, tracking, and agility. I know I can't expect too much right now from an 8 week old puppy. I have had him for about a week now.

The problems:

Ohhhhh Lord this little furry child is adorable, but he is nasssstyyyy! He is a poop eater, and pees/poops everywhere if left unattended for 3 seconds! He chews on everything as well. Especially when you try to pet him (not angry, just playing). These are all typical for puppies. So I keep my anger to myself, but it is still frustrating. Any advice is welcome!!!! ANY advice: training, food, exercise routine, crate training?, etc....

I apologize this thread has been so long, and to any of you who have stuck with it this far, I thank you for reading.

Here are some pictures! I am still deciding on a name...I'm thinking of him being named: Tirol von Österreich

What was left of my truck...


Day 1 Puppy!!!!








Spoiled rotten.... I hid a lot of these toys though until he is older.



In this picture who looks like he's in pain but he was licking my face, that is my girlfriend.


As of 8 July 2013:
 

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Welcome. I'm from Charleston. Where did the new pup come from? Are you coming back to SC after the discharge?

With the back thing, it gets better with time and you learn what you can do without paying later and what you can't. I had a similar incident... ate it hard on a triple jump on a motocross course on my CR500AF (I'm about 140lbs) and had compression fractures in T11-T12. The first thing I noticed too was that I couldn't breath unless I was bent all the way over at the waist. No pain initially. I actually rode my bike back to our campsite about 5-6 miles away through the trails. Paramedics were onsite fulltime at this place and my mom wanted me checked out, and they gave me the bad news. Afterwards my neurologists told me it was exceedingly rare for someone with an injury like that to walk afterwards. A very rough year followed (torso braces which I bet you had to wear too), but now I'm as normal as I could ask for.

Remember to be positive! A friend was good enough to snap a picture before they carted me away lol
 

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Thanks! I go to Charleston A LOT! My brother, Jay Byars, is a dorchestor county councilman, and helps run a family business, Good Faith Mortgage! I got my pup from Camelot Shepherds Camelot German Shepherds Breeder * German Shepherd Breeders * German Shepherd puppies for sale

I will go back to SC once I am discharged, I'll hopefully be getting into Clemson, and then I need to decide if I want to pursue a medical career (go to MUSC after Clemson) or pursue some sort of engineering degree.

I also ride dirt bikes! I only have a little kawasaki 250 though. Haven't had a chance to ride it in a while. Luckily, I haven't had any injuries from riding it when I did.

I had a TSLO brace (I forgot what that stands for)...but it was a huge brace that held my neck and back straight. I couldn't even turn my head or bend anything! It was miserable. I am taking leave the first 2 weeks of august, and I will actually be going down to Charleston and staying with my brother, if you want I would love to meet up and the doggies can get aquainted too! I have been taking him on post and tractor supply/petsmart almost daily to make sure he is well socialized. Especially since I hope to do protection training in the future and be trusted around family at the same time.

Being positive has been tough but I am lightyears away from where I was mentally and physically after deployment and my accident. I am now running the Pain Management clinic here at the hospital (kind of ironic). I have gone from constant 10/10 pain (right after the accident), and gradually worked down to where I am now at 3-4, mostly 3/10 pain every day. I was initially told I would be in pain for life by my neurologist, but I will prove her wrong. That's the biggest thing I see in people who are injured, they give up...because pain changes you. It can change who you are, how you think, everything! Then they expect a pill to fix their problems. I got to the point where providers wanted me to try a medication; narcotics mostly, and a lot of other minor things...I just refused because I know that wouldn't do anything for me. The best treatment is surrounding yourself with good people, and finding a positive coping mechanism. Physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and any interventional pain management can deal with pain far better than ANY drug.

This puppy, although stressful and sometimes annoying right now is tough to handle, but I can deal with that, because I know in the future he will be a great friend to have around. I know a lot of people might think I'm crazy to think so highly of a pet, but with all that I've been through and still dealing with, even just a tiny positive thing in my life makes a huge difference.

Do you have any suggestions for the protection/agility/tracking training in our area? Or any advice for getting this pup out of all the bad habits?

Thanks for the reply and I wish you the best of luck with what you're dealing with! Let me know if you ever want to meet up! My brother and his wife and I would love to have you over for some Frogmore Stew! (I haven't been able to eat that in over 2 years! So I'm counting down the days haha.)


Welcome. I'm from Charleston. Where did the new pup come from? Are you coming back to SC after the discharge?

With the back thing, it gets better with time and you learn what you can do without paying later and what you can't. I had a similar incident... ate it hard on a triple jump on a motocross course on my CR500AF (I'm about 140lbs) and had compression fractures in T11-T12. The first thing I noticed too was that I couldn't breath unless I was bent all the way over at the waist. No pain initially. I actually rode my bike back to our campsite about 5-6 miles away through the trails. Paramedics were onsite fulltime at this place and my mom wanted me checked out, and they gave me the bad news. Afterwards my neurologists told me it was exceedingly rare for someone with an injury like that to walk afterwards. A very rough year followed (torso braces which I bet you had to wear too), but now I'm as normal as I could ask for.

Remember to be positive! A friend was good enough to snap a picture before they carted me away lol
 

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Welcome, Matt! And thank you for your service. That sounds like a terrible crash. I am sorry you had to suffer that, but you are clearly a survivor in more ways than one!

Your pup is way too cute to talk about, OTOH ;)
 

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Also! I forgot to add, I don't know if I want to breed him a few years from now or not. Like I said I want to get involved and get him a working title, but I am VERY new to all of this. I just want to do it right, without having to spend $100,000 on a dog haha. I have worked with military working dogs when I was deployed to Afghanistan (I didn't handle them, just observed). We were attached to some K9 guys, a Special Forces ODA, and worked with some Rangers very briefly. I have seen what this dogs can do to a real life enemy...and it is truly scary and humbling!
 

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He is cute....until you get to know the TRUE puppy haha. Nah, he means well, and has already had all of his temperment testing, hip scores done and everything by the breeder. Extremely social and loving to everyone, and is not afraid of big dogs..infact, at petsmart a few big dogs were AFRAID of him! Haha. I told my girlfriend not to get jealous when I take him on the beach and he attracts all the girls. Of course...I'm not complaining..haha! Shhhhh don't tell her, I might get in trouble.


Welcome, Matt! And thank you for your service. That sounds like a terrible crash. I am sorry you had to suffer that, but you are clearly a survivor in more ways than one!

Your pup is way too cute to talk about, OTOH ;)
 

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Thanks! I go to Charleston A LOT! My brother, Jay Byars, is a dorchestor county councilman, and helps run a family business, Good Faith Mortgage! I got my pup from Camelot Shepherds Camelot German Shepherds Breeder * German Shepherd Breeders * German Shepherd puppies for sale

I will go back to SC once I am discharged, I'll hopefully be getting into Clemson, and then I need to decide if I want to pursue a medical career (go to MUSC after Clemson) or pursue some sort of engineering degree.

I also ride dirt bikes! I only have a little kawasaki 250 though. Haven't had a chance to ride it in a while. Luckily, I haven't had any injuries from riding it when I did.

I had a TSLO brace (I forgot what that stands for)...but it was a huge brace that held my neck and back straight. I couldn't even turn my head or bend anything! It was miserable. I am taking leave the first 2 weeks of august, and I will actually be going down to Charleston and staying with my brother, if you want I would love to meet up and the doggies can get aquainted too! I have been taking him on post and tractor supply/petsmart almost daily to make sure he is well socialized. Especially since I hope to do protection training in the future and be trusted around family at the same time.

Being positive has been tough but I am lightyears away from where I was mentally and physically after deployment and my accident. I am now running the Pain Management clinic here at the hospital (kind of ironic). I have gone from constant 10/10 pain (right after the accident), and gradually worked down to where I am now at 3-4, mostly 3/10 pain every day. I was initially told I would be in pain for life by my neurologist, but I will prove her wrong. That's the biggest thing I see in people who are injured, they give up...because pain changes you. It can change who you are, how you think, everything! Then they expect a pill to fix their problems. I got to the point where providers wanted me to try a medication; narcotics mostly, and a lot of other minor things...I just refused because I know that wouldn't do anything for me. The best treatment is surrounding yourself with good people, and finding a positive coping mechanism. Physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and any interventional pain management can deal with pain far better than ANY drug.

This puppy, although stressful and sometimes annoying right now is tough to handle, but I can deal with that, because I know in the future he will be a great friend to have around. I know a lot of people might think I'm crazy to think so highly of a pet, but with all that I've been through and still dealing with, even just a tiny positive thing in my life makes a huge difference.

Do you have any suggestions for the protection/agility/tracking training in our area? Or any advice for getting this pup out of all the bad habits?

Thanks for the reply and I wish you the best of luck with what you're dealing with! Let me know if you ever want to meet up! My brother and his wife and I would love to have you over for some Frogmore Stew! (I haven't been able to eat that in over 2 years! So I'm counting down the days haha.)
We have a local Charleston club that meets twice a week. Mostly IPO, but I train mine in both IPO and PSA. You should come out while you're in Charleston. August, as I'm sure you know, is the most brutal month to train in around here lol
 

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We have a local Charleston club that meets twice a week. Mostly IPO, but I train mine in both IPO and PSA. You should come out while you're in Charleston. August, as I'm sure you know, is the most brutal month to train in around here lol

Yeah, summer is brutal in Charleston if you aren't careful. I can't imagine how dogs feel during training!

I am unfamiliar with IPO, and I only know just a tiny smidge about PSA. I will have to do some studying on all the types of training, their names and what they entail. I'll probably start leave late this month until August 11th, so I will make sure to pay a visit! I'm sure the pup would love to meet some trained professionals! Of course, he will go anywhere there is poop or treats...
 

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Welcome! Congrats on the ongoing recovery, that was one heck of an accident. And congrats on getting the little guy.

On his behavioral stuff, (mine is 11.5 weeks so I know a bit of what you're going through right now!) I have my girl crate training - she's in the crate whenever I'm not directly supervising her. They instinctively avoid soiling their beds, so I partition the crate so it just fits her bed. Pups that age can really only go an hour or so between toilet breaks so at 8 weeks I took her out every hour. Now mine lasts 2 but I check on her frequently. There's a bunch of crate training schedules online, find one that suits you and your pup.

It also helped me a ton to stick to a strict schedule for eating and drinking. Pups will drink water like mad and end up having accidents so mine gets to drink her fill every time she comes out of the crate, and then instantly it's outside for bathroom break. I found leaving her water 24-7 led to more accidents.

I feed thrice a day and keeping that on a schedule helps with pooping - they usually void after a meal. If my girl doesn't go, it's back in the crate for 10-15 minutes and then outside to try again. Only once she's fully gone does she get playtime inside or outside.

When I'm in the house and can supervise she is on a long leash tied to my belt loop so she's with me 24-7. It helps with the bond and stops her getting into mischief.
When your pup has an accident indoors, rush him outside and give lots of praise when he goes out there. Never scold or smack him if he pees/poops indoors cause that just teaches him to do it when you're not looking. And if you punish after the fact the pup won't understand what you're punishing him for.
There's a billion things I could add but this is already long. Message me if you want more info I love to talk to and learn from other puppy owners!


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Welcome! Congrats on the ongoing recovery, that was one heck of an accident. And congrats on getting the little guy.

On his behavioral stuff, (mine is 11.5 weeks so I know a bit of what you're going through right now!) I have my girl crate training - she's in the crate whenever I'm not directly supervising her. They instinctively avoid soiling their beds, so I partition the crate so it just fits her bed. Pups that age can really only go an hour or so between toilet breaks so at 8 weeks I took her out every hour. Now mine lasts 2 but I check on her frequently. There's a bunch of crate training schedules online, find one that suits you and your pup.

It also helped me a ton to stick to a strict schedule for eating and drinking. Pups will drink water like mad and end up having accidents so mine gets to drink her fill every time she comes out of the crate, and then instantly it's outside for bathroom break. I found leaving her water 24-7 led to more accidents.

I feed thrice a day and keeping that on a schedule helps with pooping - they usually void after a meal. If my girl doesn't go, it's back in the crate for 10-15 minutes and then outside to try again. Only once she's fully gone does she get playtime inside or outside.

When I'm in the house and can supervise she is on a long leash tied to my belt loop so she's with me 24-7. It helps with the bond and stops her getting into mischief.
When your pup has an accident indoors, rush him outside and give lots of praise when he goes out there. Never scold or smack him if he pees/poops indoors cause that just teaches him to do it when you're not looking. And if you punish after the fact the pup won't understand what you're punishing him for.
There's a billion things I could add but this is already long. Message me if you want more info I love to talk to and learn from other puppy owners!


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I was reading about the crate training early today and I planned on buying one today. I will have to figure out how to train him the right way to ENJOY being in the crate. I am going to just buy a large crate and block off the extra I think. I have started little bits of obedience when I have time, though it sticks when I am training him, the next day he will ignore some things. Like "Off!" when he starts biting me. He has learned sit, and starting to work up, "Watch me". I am just trying to get rid of the poop eating. I was told to buy some stuff to put in his food that apparently keeps him from eating it. I am guilty for a lot of his accidents because I have been leaving food down most of the day and water down all day. I am only able to be there for an hour or 2 in the morning, 30 min-2 hours during lunch, and sometimes after 2pm...but mostly I won't be able to go back home until I'm finished with work. I have recently, been keeping his harness on him so he feels comfortable with it, and I just started taking him outside or anywhere else only with a leash, so I will have to start teaching that and a good heel.

This weekend I need to decide a name for certain, insurance/hospital, and I want to find the best food I could possibly get for him. Puppy and adult. I don't mind expensive, as long as it's the best. Right now he's on Eukanuba large breed puppy food.
 

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I have my girl on Fromm's large breed puppy food from a recommendation through this forum. Also heard blue buffalo is good. My pup likes fromm well enough, although I hardly ever feed it just in a bowl - she gets mixed food kongs, a treat ball she has to roll around to get the kibble out or I use meal time as a fun training time - a sit, down or watch for a handful of food. Keeps her thinking.

Since it sounds like you're able to come home at lunchtime, definitely don't leave food out. Maybe water if you can't offer it that frequently, but take his meal away if he hasn't eaten after 15 mins. It won't hurt him at all to miss a meal and he'll scarf the next one down.

Also make sure he eats/drinks for the last time about 3 hours before bedtime - he'll still need to go out in the night but it will help with most of the accidents.

With the poop eating (which is gross I know) it's quite common - check that there's nothing sinister like digestive problems with the vet, which can cause it, then attack the issue by: never letting him go to the bathroom alone - always have him on a leash, and if he accidents inside clean it up ASAP so he has no chance to eat it. If he is on the leash whenever you have him out that should stop a lot of it - you can distract him away as soon as he's finished going with lots of praise and a tasty treat.

Never punish his eating the stool since its a reaction and he may try to get the attention again even if its negative. Just get him away from it and distract with a toy/game of chase etc, reward him for leaving it alone. There are some digestive enzymes that apparently make the stool taste worse, no idea how effective they are though.





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Welcome, from Charlotte here so not too far from you. I have a 7 year old German Shepherd and we just bought a Briard puppy. I'm hoping to do some agility with the young one and have been looking for training places as well so I found this post helpful even though I won't be doing protection work.

What a beautiful pup! If you're ever in the Charlotte area it would be great to meet other GSD owners!
 

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Welcome aboard !

Remember you have to train your new GSD and it's a good way to spend your time.

Brian from Camelot is a good dude...I've been to his house watching them train.

If your ever on I-75 / RT 27...stop and see me. (64C10 REMF)
 

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Welcome Matt from Ohio. Thank you for serving. Your recovery story is pretty incredible and i can only believe that as the manager of a pain management center you would be an inspiration and agreat support! Your little one is adorable. Look forward to hearing and seeing your adventures w/ him.
 

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Welcome aboard !

Remember you have to train your new GSD and it's a good way to spend your time.

Brian from Camelot is a good dude...I've been to his house watching them train.

If your ever on I-75 / RT 27...stop and see me. (64C10 REMF)

I've been emailing back and forth with Angie during my time waiting for this puppy. She was extremely helpful and they have a great system set up! All the temp. testing, microchip, etc... everything was done! All I needed to do was decide, boy or girl, and show up! The puppy is A LOT more lively than I'm used to, but that's good, it just means I need to get off my arse and get him trained. I couldn't believe how giant this dogs Dad was (Blitz). Huge head, paws, and lovely fur. As you can see, my pup is only 8 weeks, and already has gray chest hair! Ha, my little old man!
 

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Welcome Matt! Thank you for your service. I am former Army myself.

What a horrendous accident and I am so happy both you and your girlfriend survived.

I have never had to deal with the thiings you face in your recovery but I can tell you the pup will help you through a lot of it because that is what GSD's do! He will be your best buddy.

Much of what is going on is just puppy. The house training will go better if you set up a good schedule for him and reme,ber to take him out not too ong after he eats, drinks, naps or plays. That means about every 2 or 3 hours! He should make it through the night by 12 weeks or so but each pup is different.

Have you looked for a puppy class to enroll your darling friend in?
 

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Welcome Matt! Thank you for your service. I am former Army myself.

What a horrendous accident and I am so happy both you and your girlfriend survived.

I have never had to deal with the thiings you face in your recovery but I can tell you the pup will help you through a lot of it because that is what GSD's do! He will be your best buddy.

Much of what is going on is just puppy. The house training will go better if you set up a good schedule for him and reme,ber to take him out not too ong after he eats, drinks, naps or plays. That means about every 2 or 3 hours! He should make it through the night by 12 weeks or so but each pup is different.

Have you looked for a puppy class to enroll your darling friend in?

Thanks! Yes, I have enrolled him in the very basic petsmart puppy class and go there once a week. Really my main reason for doing this is to make sure he is well socialized with ALL animals and people. I am hoping to get him in the Canine Good Citizen program, once I get his obedience solid. Then I will pursue agility and protection...probably PSA...but all of that is wayyyyy down the line! Right now I just need to keep him from forming nasty habits! I am working on getting him relaxed too, he will sometimes lay in my lap and we will sit there and he'll get a free massage all over. It must be nice, I could use one of those. All I get in return is fecal matter.
 

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Welcome, you are a very nice looking family. :greet:
 
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