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Hi! I just recently brought home a 5mo female GSD in need of rehoming. She is my first GSD that I've had the lovely opportunity to own. She has mass amounts of energy and is a bit of a tyrant. Constantly chewing on leash when we are training for loose leash walking, biting/nipping, ignoring. I've had her all of 2 weeks and she seemed to have ruled the house she was previously in so breaking that dominance has been a challenge to say the least! I have her on a schedule as I work full time on weekdays and I'm wanting some feedback! I wake up with her at 6am, take her out of crate, walk and feed her then put her in crate for about 7:30am and head to work. (Walking is a battle as it is a lot of stop/go and turn arounds due to leash training) I come back around 11:30/12 for another walk and feed then crate her ag 12:30/1pm until around 4/4:30pm then walk her once more feed her and let her roam the house/playtime. I attempt training but it hasn't gotten very far. She is selective with listening, but improving. I don't let her inside or outside without my ok, have her follow me up/down stairs. On the weekends I do about the same but walk her in AM, crate for about 2-3 hours, walk again, crate about 2 hours and then let her roam/play from about 5pm to 8 or 9 which is her bedtime. Trying to put 5 min training sessions throughout the days, (she knows sit and down but is always a hassle to have her to do without a treat in hand) also working with a trainer once a week. She is still warming up to us so I'm trying to not feel so defeated while there is little progress. Any feedback is greatly appreciated! I just want the best for my Akega and to have a loving strong bond between the two of us.
 

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I'm still a newbie at dog ownership, but my 2 cents is that there's nothing wrong with continuing to use treats for Akega's training. You've only had her 2 weeks and need to form the bond. Always keep a collar and leash on her while in the house (but not in crate) until she has learned the rules. It's great that you're putting the time in for your new puppy. A you might have read here, GSD are Landsharks and bite a lot.
 

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Congratulations on your new puppy, and welcome to the forum!

One thing I think is important to keep in mind is that you're dealing with a live and intelligent animal, who doesn't have your objectives in mind, or understand language, or your goals for behavior. You have to learn to communicate effectively with your animal, but you also have to learn to read what your animal is communicating to you.

You don't truly bond with the animal until you've developed this understanding. For you, that means be calm, consistent, and fair. Manage the environment so that your puppy can be herself and not get overwhelmed or in trouble.

But it also means that you have to pay very close attention to your dog's body language and expressions, as that's how dogs communicate. Learn what they are telling you and respond appropriately. It makes all the difference!

That being said, 5 months is about when a puppy starts pressing its boundaries. It's important to be firm and consistent with these youngsters, but also to give them ample outlets for their energy (both mental and physical).

Walking a dog, and teaching a dog to walk nicely on a leash, is important, but not "exercise". Your dog needs off-leash time, to run and play and just be a dog. They are much happier, and much more bidable when they get ample exercise.

At the end of the day, if you're making progress you're probably doing okay. Training takes time. If you find you're trying things that aren't making progress, look for alternate methods and try those.

Don't do ANYTHING for more than a couple weeks without progress. I constantly hear people say they've been working on 'x' for 3 months, but it isn't getting any better- just don't be that person please!

Look at Stonnie Dennis on YouTube. He has some really good training videos that can help you with technique...

And please, post some pictures!
 

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Thanks very much for the feedback!

As for an outlet, I'm planning on taking her to the dog park when I'm off at 4pm everyday so she can run and socialize. My only concern is she doesn't necessarily come back when she is called. She did okay on the weekend when I took her to the park, introduced herself to the other dogs and ran with them a bit but then was focused on me and we went and did our own thing.

Do you guys have any suggestions on what can keep her preoccupied throughout the day? I have an antler, a buffalo horn, a few chew toys and a small kong I normally fill with PB to keep her preoccupied but I feel like it only does so much. Are there any puzzles that you find really work and entertain your pup while you're away?

Thanks for the time! :)
 

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Hey there and welcome to this place. I love when first time owners join because it's fun to see how awesome they find the breed. There is no dog like a GSD. That's a bit of daily crating for a 4 month old, but you gotta do what you gotta do. We both have work schedules as well, so we each took alternating time off to cover until he was 16 weeks which is when you can do some doggy daycare.

In terms of food rewards for training, that's all they know at this age and it's very appropriate to treat them. Get some high value treats such as the dehydrated meat treats. It really only takes five minutes a day for a little training. Watch some videos on marker training. You don't have to use a clicker. GSD's are super smart and there is nothing I can't teach my guy in 15 minutes. Here are some tips in no order:

- reward for good behavior. For example, if you don't want him jumping up on the counter, when he sits in front of it before he jumps, treat him. They may not know why, but they will say, hey last time I sat here I got a treat, think I will do it again. This example works for everything. Just don't reward when they are doing something wrong just because you said no and they stopped, they aren't that smart:)
- landshark stage is horrible but it will end. Replace your arm with a toy as much as possible. Walk away and ignore.
- I believe socialization and exposure is very important at this age. Exposure to people and dogs outside the home. Such as on walks. Be careful of other dogs though, always ask if they are ok to meet your pup first.
- gate off as much of your home as possible and keep him contained where you do your most living.


Post some pictures!!
 

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As for an outlet, I'm planning on taking her to the dog park when I'm off at 4pm everyday so she can run and socialize. My only concern is she doesn't necessarily come back when she is called. She did okay on the weekend when I took her to the park, introduced herself to the other dogs and ran with them a bit but then was focused on me and we went and did our own thing.
The dog park helped me a lot for my puppy's energy. But be vigilant that Akega doesn't get bullied or play too roughly with others. Don't only recall your dog at the dog park when you're about to leave; otherwise she'll associate the recall with being leashed. Randomly call her back often to you in the park (when she's only a short distance away), praise, treat and release. It helps if you're animated, happy and take a few steps backwards (activates chasing). Eventually repeat with increasing distractions and distances. If she still doesn't come, then you should practice recall during practice sessions with a long line attached and give tiny tugs of encouragement to get her to come back. Never punish when you finally catch up to her or if she finally comes. Coming back to you should always be pleasant and a party.
 
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