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Hi all could really use some help , several questions

My boyfriend has a male 16 myth old big Boy.
Issue 1) Switched him to adult food and now he won’t eat .
I am with them several times a week walk the dog have taught him frisbee and watch him when my boyfriend goes out of town.
Issue 2
This week my guys granddaughter stayed for the week and left today now the dog is cowering when boyfriend talks to the dog, the dog even went pee when he tried to feed him and cowered at the sight of the dish.
What is going on with this awesome German Shepherd??? Any ideas.
My boyfriend is Alpha for sure! Is the dog having issues with where he is in the pack?? Please help worried about him not eating
 

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Hi all could really use some help , several questions

My boyfriend has a male 16 myth old big Boy.
Issue 1) Switched him to adult food and now he won’t eat .
I am with them several times a week walk the dog have taught him frisbee and watch him when my boyfriend goes out of town.
Issue 2
This week my guys granddaughter stayed for the week and left today now the dog is cowering when boyfriend talks to the dog, the dog even went pee when he tried to feed him and cowered at the sight of the dish.
What is going on with this awesome German Shepherd??? Any ideas.
My boyfriend is Alpha for sure! Is the dog having issues with where he is in the pack?? Please help worried about him not eating

Issue number 1- we need to know what food he is on and how much/how often he eats. And how long has he been not eating. It is not uncommon for dogs to skip meals, so unless it's been days it probably isn't a concern.
Issue number 2- again any number of things could be going on and without seeing the behavior it's tough to say. I wouldn't worry about packs and alpha's. Such thought processes lead to damaged relationships and often dogs that lash out in frustration or fear.

A few more details about training and daily life might help us point you in the right direction.
 

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Young dogs are funny sometimes, I usually try to read as little as possible into these episodes, and don"t ever even acknowledge the fear behaviors you mentioned. Just let the dog figure it out. So essentially, treat him the same as you have been, ignore the cowering and other odd behaviors (as long as they're not damaging or threatening) and act as though it never happened. GSDs are very cerebral, they process and think DEEPLY about everything. It's a good thing to keep in mind for a new owner! Give them time and opportunity to figure it out!

Where most people err, IMHO, is that anything less than immediate compliance to commands, or constant behavior is a bad thing. Where the truth is if your dog can "work these issues out for himelf" you'll never have to deal with this particular problem ever again! Just don't put him in situations that are likely to overwhelm him...be steady and consistent, and give him time. How was he with the granddaughter BTW? Could just be his way of missing her?!

I've always established a dialog with any dog I work with, such that a gentle "no" is enough for them to understand my displeasure without feeling threatened! But then you have to immediately give them something they can do, and know very well, to help them deal with that tension! Just be patient, your puppy is likely to change again quickly at his age. Your job is to be confidant and consistent and let the puppy/young dog work through his insecurities and figure things out!

On the food thing, more info would be helpful. But I have one dog who just will not eat anything fish-based, while the other will eat just about anything. Try a different food! Get a small sample bag, which retailers will often offer for free, and find a mix your boy likes!
 

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I've always established a dialog with any dog I work with, such that a gentle "no" is enough for them to understand my displeasure without feeling threatened! But then you have to immediately give them something they can do, and know very well, to help them deal with that tension! Just be patient, your puppy is likely to change again quickly at his age. Your job is to be confidant and consistent and let the puppy/young dog work through his insecurities and figure things out!



Our dogs can get superstitious, too. They can combine events with things that have nothing to do with it. For instance, a dog can walk up a set of stairs when a sudden clap of thunder surprises them. They may think stepping onto the stairs caused the boom and for a long time may not trust the stairs.

Could something like that have happened?

As for food, summer heat and humidity puts dogs off for a day. Or perhaps they are sleepy and just aren't hungry at the moment. For a day it is not a big deal.
 

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They read us like a book, so if you want RinTinTin like proud moments, project that to the dog rather than fearing the dog will misbehave.
Positive begets positive and worry is like praying for what you don't want. Expect compliance, and praise the pup when it occurrs, marking the good behaviors with the command words, for example, Good SIT! when things don't go as hoped, backup to a known command, and heap more praise. Keep training sessions a little shorter than the attention span, always end on a positive. Over a rather short period of time, you'll find progress happens, and as your bonds grow, it gets easy. Now the cowering submissive urination thing...don't get upset, never angry, just ignore and move onto the next, happier moment. They'll work their butt off to hear positive feedback from you. Last thing they hear before I fall asleep is that they are good dogs, even if they were pistols and drove me crazy all day. Be happy, it's contagious.
 
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