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Hi everyone, my Gsd puppy is 13 weeks today. Hes usually fine other than a bit separation anxiety when I leave him however he has started to bark aggressively at me every so often and try and snap at me. It tends to be when I take something off him that he shouldn't have. Could anyone tell me is this a phase or do I have my work cut out with this one. First time I've had a German shepherd. Any training advice etc I'd be very grateful. Thanks everyone
 

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Without seeing the behaviour, hard to say if it is or isn't aggression. Sounds like a bratty puppy that wants to keep playing with what you took away.

I'd be conscientious about constantly taking things and not following up with what the "right" thing to have is. You might end up creating a dog that doesn't want you near high value rewards and encourage resource guarding.
 

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Thanks for the comment. I do try my best to replace it everytime with one of his toys. He also leaves his food when I tell him to and wont start eating again until prompted by myself. I cant figure out where I'm going wrong.
 

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When you replace it with one of his toys, make sure you play with him too. It will help encourage him to pick the right thing, because that thing now becomes a lot more fun than the inanimate random object before. Lots of people think that GSD pups are aggressive, but in reality they're just little jerks. They love to bite and they play a lot more rough than most other breeds might, so teaching them the right chew toys generally involves a lot of engaged play. I still have visible scars on my arm from my girl's landshark phase, and she's two and the end of the month, lol.
 

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It's best to leave him alone when he's eating.It tends to make them anxious about having things taken from them and creates resource guarding behavior.Teaching a "leave it" command is a good idea but not with the meal he's entitled to.
 

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Hi everyone, my Gsd puppy is 13 weeks today. Hes usually fine other than a bit separation anxiety when I leave him however he has started to bark aggressively at me every so often and try and snap at me. It tends to be when I take something off him that he shouldn't have. Could anyone tell me is this a phase or do I have my work cut out with this one. First time I've had a German shepherd. Any training advice etc I'd be very grateful. Thanks everyone
I don't know if it's the same thing, but my pup has occasionally gotten into a mood where he'll bark at us, jump up, and snap. It has happened once while playing with my daughter, once with my wife, and a couple times it happened with me on walks. He gets really excited if I jump onto a higher surface, or start running (so I learned not to do that). It's very strange, almost an on-off switch.
 

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13 weeks, it's not aggression it's communication! Dogs don't have language, or should I say, they have their own language! He's objecting to you taking his "thing", whatever that may be, so don't confuse that with aggression, learn from him and what he's trying to tell you. At the same time, steer him toward whatever you feel is more appropriate communication. Personally, I don't ever physically take anything from a dog, even a puppy, except in an absolute emergency! Work on your dialog with your puppy. Work on bonding, and on understanding him and his communication style. Some bark more than others, some do air snaps, and some do both...But it's all communication! Show him you understand, set clear boundaries regarding what he can an cannot object to, don't ask for his compliance, demand it (not forcefully, it's all about your demeanor!). Talk to him, don't back down but also don't be confrontational... He's 13 weeks old! If his reactions and communication is freaking you out now, just wait until he's 13 months... LOL! Figure him out now, develop a strong bond and dialog with your little puppy now, it'll serve you HUGE dividends in the future!
 

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It's best to leave him alone when he's eating.It tends to make them anxious about having things taken from them and creates resource guarding behavior.
I totally agree with dogma. While it may be perfectly fine with some dogs, with others you could actually end up creating the problem you think you're trying to prevent by taking away and giving back food. Since you're not necessarily going to know which category your puppy falls into until it's too late and now you've got a problem to fix, it's best to just not do it at all. It sounds like that's already starting to happen.

I like to work on preventing resource guarding by teaching my puppies to give me things, I reward them, and then give the thing back, or something of equal or higher value. Just a few minutes once a day or a couple of times a day is enough. Put it on cue. I use "give", but you can use whatever word you want - "out", "release", "drop it", etc. It works especially well if there's a toy that you can hang onto at the same time, like a tug or stuffed toy. Tug, tug, tug, "give", mark it ("yes!"), reward, tug some more. Rinse/repeat. I do it with chew toys too, like Nylabones, and Benebones, I hold onto one end while they chew, have them stop chewing for a treat then let them chew some more. Because I maintain possession of the item the whole time, I'm not actually taking it away.

I also like to work a little obedience into mealtimes, such as having them sit while I put the bowl down and then release them to eat. If they break the sit, I pick the bowl back up and wait for a sit again. And once I say "okay", the food is theirs! I may drop something special into the bowl while they eat, but I don't mess around in their food or take it away from them and give it back, ever. Enough of this from a young age, and it builds up a bank of trust, so there's no need to guard their valued resources from me.

Another thing I do it teach them to bring me whatever they have - could be their toys, bones, balls. Sometimes it's a pair of eyeglasses puppy stole off the table, or the TV remote, or a potholder. Because I've already built up a strong foundation of bring/praise & reward/give back getting them to bring and give up purloined items isn't usually difficult. I thank them, give a treat if I've got one handy, and the put the item up where they can't get it. This avoids the "keep away" game, where you end up chasing puppy around the house to get it back.

Once in awhile I do still have to grab my dogs, pry open their mouth and grab something out, but because it happens so rarely I've never been growled at or snapped at or anything like that. It's calm and matter of fact, and we move on.
 

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I don't know if it's the same thing, but my pup has occasionally gotten into a mood where he'll bark at us, jump up, and snap. It has happened once while playing with my daughter, once with my wife, and a couple times it happened with me on walks. He gets really excited if I jump onto a higher surface, or start running (so I learned not to do that). It's very strange, almost an on-off switch.
My 8 month puppy can have 1-2 hyperactive episodes a day, where she will jump up, snap and sometimes bark (in a playful manner). It can be rather frustrating. Cassie has come close to knocking me down a few times. Thankfully, she has her permanent teeth, but they can still do a lot of damage.



When possible, we have some rowdy play in the back yard with various toys. Sometimes, she will blaze her own trail and run several laps around the back yard. (sometimes I prompt it, other times it's spontaneous). If it's too early or late for yard play, I throw a succession of various balls from the kitchen to the hall, to help drain the energy.

Others here made a suggestion to put the puppy in their crate for a short period of time to help settle them down, when they get too rowdy. I've found that it works for me. I've mostly used this when Cassie acts like a hyper active kid at bedtime. A few other times we have had to take a crate break from play to get her to settle down a bit. When we start a new play session, she is generally easier to interact with.
 

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What Cassidy's Mom said ^^^.Here's an incident that happened just today:Our snow is melting here (finally!) so there's all kinds of interesting/nasty things being uncovered on our property.Samson scored a deer foreleg from the field out back and settled down to gnaw it. "Oh look what you found!Bring it!" He trotted over happily and dropped it at my feet. "Good boy!Let's go in for treats!"I don't always have treats to offer but my dogs have become 'programmed ' to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that good things happen when they give up a prize.A pat and praise enough to get the tail wagging:)
 
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