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Hey everyone,

Long story short-- I'm the primary owner but my friend/basically roommate splits the costs of Jax as we technically own him together and he stops by during the day to let him outside and play with him while I'm at work (he's in school) and he's been doing alot of puppy school with Jax so he responds more to him because he's technically both of our dogs.

He's never owned a dog before whereas I've owned dogs my entire life, of all sizes and types (I had a Husky as a kid so I know all about troublemakers). We had an incident on Wednesday and I'm not 100% sure how to handle it and wondered if I could have some advice.

Basically- my friend let him off leash to work on walking and recalling in a semi controlled area despite me telling him not to because he doesn't have has much control as I do, and even I only do it in a very isolated area outside. Well Jax found a dog bone that was left out by someone and took off with it and laid in a corner with it.

We've never really had any guarding issues before, he's growled at me when he took something from the kitchen but I showed him that wasn't allowed and took it back with no issues. But he's never had anything that he found / earned on his own (in his mind) and that had so much value to him.

My friend walked up to him and crouched in front of him and Jax (apparently) showed zero signed of reactivity. No snarling, growling, whale eye-- nothing. Or so my friend says (I feel like there was definitely signs), but when he started to reach for the bone, Jax snarled and bit him really hard and growled at him the whole time afterwards.

I've tried explaining how to handle situations like that safely and how to be cautious and to try and predict what things can make a dog do that but my friend is now terrified of Jax and wants nothing to do with him and has completely shut down because I told him it's an experience thing, he's never had a dog so he doesn't know how these things work; and so since he doesn't have experience he basically gives up.

He came around and started to understand why Jax would react that way and said he could get it if it was a stranger and Jax did that, but he doesn't understand why Jax would do that to HIM. I tried gently explaining that he isn't bonded enough with him like I am since Jax lives with me, but he just doesn't get it.

I've attached pictures. Do you have any advice on how to handle the situation? Both with my friend and with Jax? I've been working to prevent food aggression since the day I got him. I stick my hand in his food, take away his chew toys etc constantly to make sure he's not guarding. He always just sits there and waits for me to move my hand or give it back.

Sorry, I know this is quite a read.

Also, the reason the wound is longer is because he freaked out and tried to jerk his hand away. I tried telling him ages ago that yanking combined with baby teeth is asking for a tear, if Jax ever clamps too hard on me, I just press his tongue and he let's go.

Thanks,
Shawn
 

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Unfortunatly, I think you unintentionally started the resource guarding problem by 'constantly' sticking your hands in his food and taking away his toys. What you are doing is an old school technique that only works on dogs who would never be resource guarders to begin with. In others, it creates a resource guarder. Always trade. Never take. You have taught him that you will take his things, therefore he needs to protect them. If you don't take them, he learns there is nothing to fear.

It is natural for a dog to protect what he perceives as his - especially something high value, like the bone he found. Your friend put Jax in a position to fail. Jax should never have been allowed off leash. This would not have happened, if Jax had been leashed. I'm sure there were plenty of signs and your friend needs to learn to read them. We were all new to dogs, at one time. It is a learning process. Your friend can do this.

Teach Jax the commands to 'Drop it' and 'Leave it'. Keep him on a leash, until he has a rock solid recall. Learn Jax's thresholds. Watch for signs of discomfort - body stiffness, lip licking, whale eye, etc. I'm sure some of those signs will be there. Start to desensitize him, by only trading up and never taking his things without reason. Respect his threshold and you will see improvement.

My Natty Boh was a pound puppy and a terrible resource guarder. He would bite, if pushed. He is a hound mix. I hand fed him every day for months. I never, ever bothered his food. Once I sat it down, I didn't touch him or his bowl. (He also guarded toys, antlers, his body, his space) He is 5 years old now. He tends to be a very snarky dog, but he doesn't bite any more. I doubt Jax is as bad as my boy. lol! I hope your friend can get over his fear. It is not pleasant to get bitten and I'm sure he takes it personally. Assure him that it isn't personal and is something that can be corrected.

I am confident you can turn this around.
 

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Yeah I already ripped him for letting him off leash. He thought it was okay because he was being a perfect angel; but he didn't even have any high value treats or ANYTHING to hold Jax's attention if a distraction presented itself. He's very hard headed and sensitive so its extremely hard talking with him about it because he gets so defensive and irritated because he thinks that I'm saying its his fault when I start saying how there had to of been signs. Jax knows when he takes something that he shouldn't that his dad is gonna come and he's in trouble and he 99% of the time gives it up without a fight--better than any of my other dogs I've had. So when my friend called me and explained what happened, SOMETHING didn't seem right...

The hardest part is that my friend is completely shut down and basically wants nothing to do with Jax unless I'm present and is noticeable weary of him now, which we all know a smart dog will exploit the heck out of. I have no issues walking him on a leash or getting him to drop things or come when called. But when my friend does any of those things, it's quite a show. He gets walked by Jax.
 

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Stevenzachsmom hit the nail on the head to me as well. I remember reading before I got my girl that to prevent resource guarding, you let the dog be confident that any time you’re near something high value it doesn’t mean it will disappear. Instead it’s either a neutral or positive experience. Neutral in the sense that you aren’t disturbing them, or positive in that you end up trading them for what they have so they never “lose”. Dogs make associations very well. If your presence around a high value item means at some point, the item with disappear, then they tend to guard it. They don’t really make the association beyond that for the most part because the returning part isn’t what matters more, it’s the initial taking that probably settles with them the most.

I would definitely work on a leave it command. I was given great advice that when your pup is young, keep them on a leash inside and walk them by a high value item. If they go for it, tell them “Leave it” and pop their collar until they come. Reward with praise or play. Then continue. It’s also important that when a dog is taught “leave it”, they never received the item they were informed to ignore. If you put a treat down, tell the dog to leave it, but then reward the dog with the same treat that they grab themselves, they learn that the command actually means “Wait” until they can have it. Just something I had picked up myself in puppy classes awhile ago that I didn’t make the association with myself.

And honestly, I think majority of us had a mark like that at least once or twice lol. Though I’m sure to a novice dog owner such as your friend it would be intimidating or scary. My scars from my girl being a pup were much longer than that though! And I was covered from fingernail to shoulder in them.

This photo is faded evidence of such landsharking, and half the time it was accidental haha. That was the smallest amount of scarring I had after my girl was done teething. Majority of those marks are gone now.

 

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I know where you guys are coming from-- I should do some clarification!

First off, I've worked on leave it quite a bit. He's still young so he's learning and has puppy impulses so it's about 50% effective at this point. I typically don't have issues getting him to leave something that isn't food.

As far as taking stuff, I certainly don't make a habit out of it. I maybe just put my hand around his food once a week, sometimes just to have something near him when he's eating. And when I take something, I don't take it and put it away or anything like that, I typically remove it from his mouth, and then give it back. Almost like a little game of tug, if that makes sense?

Thanks for the responses. I'm honestly not concerned about Jax whatsoever because I have yet to see even the slightest sign of any sort of aggression. My biggest issue is my friend who is now, not only terrified of a puppy, but actively wants nothing to do with him any longer. Having a puppy has been overwhelming for him. I tried preparing him by explaining what a puppy is actually like, they're not just all fun and games, and he swore he was prepared. Well, within a week it had basically broken him. Frustrating because he thinks that he can just ditch his commitment to help me raise him. I can handle it on my own, I know that for a fact. But it's obviously harder and something I may not have done at this specific point in time if I knew it would be all on me!
 

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So forgive me for being candid and direct. If you are happy with the progress in your training with your dog, you have a friend problem, not a puppy problem.

There is no advice anyone can give here that will help your friend not be stubborn and weird about what happened with a puppy. It sounds like your friend ignored your wishes to begin with by letting him off lead at such a young age. How old is the pup? I missed it if you said.

Thre is no sugar coated way to say this- you need to not let stubborn novices be in charge of your puppy. Everyone learns on their first dog, but attitude is the difference between a novice that will learn, and one who never will. Your friends sounds like he leans towards the latter. Since this is a young pup with puppy teeth, it sounds like your friend is really overreacting and being a tad immature about holding a grudge against a dog this age. It isn't really a bad bite either. If I were you, my friend being in charge alone of the dog would cease for now until he is willing to listen and get some handling skills under his belt. Inconsistent isn't good for a pup, all handlers in the family should be on same page for best results. Otherwise you get the "why does he listen to my husband (or whoever) but not me?" syndrome.
 

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I wouldn't worry about your friend, he will either get over it or not. If he doesn't it sounds better for you and the puppy. These are your circumstances so take control and responsibility. Not saying that your friend IS this way but watch out for abuse. If your friend doesn't like the puppy or is revengeful I would be worried for the pups sake. It is odd to me that someone would hold a grudge against just a baby...
I've had plenty of people on the streets scream in fear at the sight of an 8 week old german shepherd puppy believe it or not. My in laws were the same way, no dog experience except a husky they bought 30 years ago and couldn't handle because it bit my mother in laws face so they sent it to the pound. When we brought home our 8 week old land shark puppy my in laws were terrified and said he was aggressive and screamed when he walked towards them. Fast forward a year they can't get enough of my "aggressive dog" and cuddle him whenever they come over. He blew my mother in laws mind with how smart he is too. She didn't think dogs were capable of understanding words. I am glad my dog turned out to be a great advocate of his breed and changed their minds completely. My husband never had a dog before either and I had to teach him everything, he was very polite with the puppy and asked him "please" do this , or thank you LOL. I had to teach him about tough love and when to let things go... It is all in the attitude, my husband was willing to learn and open, he didn't get offended. He came with me to puppy classes and never missed a CGC prep class. I am confident in letting my husband who is a first time dog owner take our dog places, our dog respects him just as much as he respects me.
A bratty puppy won't do this however, puppies have a lot to learn and honestly can be a pain the butt. It is your job to teach them what they need to learn to coexist with our society. As far as the pup goes do what others have told you, work on drop it and leave it. I did the put the hand in the bowl too but I always put my hand in with an extra goodie like a bit of bacon, an egg, etc. he learned to associate my hand with giving not taking. I start my pups young on having them wait for their food and not to eat until I say its OK. Anyone can feed my dog now that he is an adult now or take away bones without an issue. But I don't do it just because I can! It is his food and bones that I give him so I leave him in peace to enjoy. I know I sure wouldn't like someone taking my food away constantly... As far as being off leash I've always let my puppys run free from the moment I bring them home. This is the most impressionable age and their natural tendency is to stay near you and follow you. Build off of that natural instinct while you can. I may have missed it, but how old exactly is this puppy? Also you do not have to deal with the landshark phase, I have zero scratches or scars from any of the puppies I've raised. You redirect with toys if he goes in to gnaw on you or crate him if he is getting too out of control. Some puppies when they get tired get cranky and I feel like that is when the landsharking flairs up.
 

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So forgive me for being candid and direct. If you are happy with the progress in your training with your dog, you have a friend problem, not a puppy problem.

There is no advice anyone can give here that will help your friend not be stubborn and weird about what happened with a puppy. It sounds like your friend ignored your wishes to begin with by letting him off lead at such a young age. How old is the pup? I missed it if you said.

Thre is no sugar coated way to say this- you need to not let stubborn novices be in charge of your puppy. Everyone learns on their first dog, but attitude is the difference between a novice that will learn, and one who never will. Your friends sounds like he leans towards the latter. Since this is a young pup with puppy teeth, it sounds like your friend is really overreacting and being a tad immature about holding a grudge against a dog this age. It isn't really a bad bite either. If I were you, my friend being in charge alone of the dog would cease for now until he is willing to listen and get some handling skills under his belt. Inconsistent isn't good for a pup, all handlers in the family should be on same page for best results. Otherwise you get the "why does he listen to my husband (or whoever) but not me?" syndrome.

I couldn't agree more my friend. I've instructed him not to do training with the puppy unless it's in a standardized way (puppy school). He does the training in puppy class and at home while I'm there, and I replicate what's done in puppy class on my own time with him. He is definitely a big wuss and totally over reacted to the bite, despite me trying to teach him the less obvious signs (whale eye, stiffness etc). The trainer wants to meet with us (mostly him) to try and help him but only if he's responsive to it. Which is proving to be a problem currently haha. All he's really supposed to do is come over around lunch time and take him for a walk and play with him.

I know no one knows my friend but I was hoping someone maybe had a similar experience and maybe had some insights on some ways I could work with HIM more so than my puppy.
 

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I wouldn't worry about your friend, he will either get over it or not. If he doesn't it sounds better for you and the puppy. These are your circumstances so take control and responsibility. Not saying that your friend IS this way but watch out for abuse. If your friend doesn't like the puppy or is revengeful I would be worried for the pups sake. It is odd to me that someone would hold a grudge against just a baby...
I've had plenty of people on the streets scream in fear at the sight of an 8 week old german shepherd puppy believe it or not. My in laws were the same way, no dog experience except a husky they bought 30 years ago and couldn't handle because it bit my mother in laws face so they sent it to the pound. When we brought home our 8 week old land shark puppy my in laws were terrified and said he was aggressive and screamed when he walked towards them. Fast forward a year they can't get enough of my "aggressive dog" and cuddle him whenever they come over. He blew my mother in laws mind with how smart he is too. She didn't think dogs were capable of understanding words. I am glad my dog turned out to be a great advocate of his breed and changed their minds completely. My husband never had a dog before either and I had to teach him everything, he was very polite with the puppy and asked him "please" do this , or thank you LOL. I had to teach him about tough love and when to let things go... It is all in the attitude, my husband was willing to learn and open, he didn't get offended. He came with me to puppy classes and never missed a CGC prep class. I am confident in letting my husband who is a first time dog owner take our dog places, our dog respects him just as much as he respects me.
A bratty puppy won't do this however, puppies have a lot to learn and honestly can be a pain the butt. It is your job to teach them what they need to learn to coexist with our society. As far as the pup goes do what others have told you, work on drop it and leave it. I did the put the hand in the bowl too but I always put my hand in with an extra goodie like a bit of bacon, an egg, etc. he learned to associate my hand with giving not taking. I start my pups young on having them wait for their food and not to eat until I say its OK. Anyone can feed my dog now that he is an adult now or take away bones without an issue. But I don't do it just because I can! It is his food and bones that I give him so I leave him in peace to enjoy. I know I sure wouldn't like someone taking my food away constantly... As far as being off leash I've always let my puppys run free from the moment I bring them home. This is the most impressionable age and their natural tendency is to stay near you and follow you. Build off of that natural instinct while you can. I may have missed it, but how old exactly is this puppy? Also you do not have to deal with the landshark phase, I have zero scratches or scars from any of the puppies I've raised. You redirect with toys if he goes in to gnaw on you or crate him if he is getting too out of control. Some puppies when they get tired get cranky and I feel like that is when the landsharking flairs up.
I probably should've mentioned that. He's about 4.5 months, so still very young. And I take advantage of the puppy wanting to be near- like I said, I work off leash stuff with him in an isolated area outside where I don't have to worry about other dogs/people and most importantly, roads and cars. He's quote good off leash with me. But I think he tries to take advantage of my friend when I'm not around to guide them both. I don't have issues with him nipping me really at all. I sliced open my finger really good on one of his canines but that was my fault cause I was moving my hands around too fast and I had a toy that I was grabbing by his mouth and I caught my finger on his tooth and sliced myself open on it. Other than that I've had ZERO issues with his teeth--he goes for my feet when hes riled up but that's easily managed.
 

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Yeah, I agree with the others. You have a friend problem. It sounds like you have things under control with Jax. Perhaps it would be better for both you and Jax, if he is just your dog. Maybe I missed it. I know Jax is a puppy and you said young. How old is he?

I wish I could help you with your friend. I've got nothin'. Most of us, like you, aren't afraid of our dogs. We work to understand what makes them tick. We build that bond and trust. Your friend could very well do that - if he is willing. If he isn't, there is nothing you can do. On the other hand, I expect you to be very successful with Jax.

Oops. Sorry, I see 4.5 months. lol!
 

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I couldn't agree more my friend. I've instructed him not to do training with the puppy unless it's in a standardized way (puppy school). He does the training in puppy class and at home while I'm there, and I replicate what's done in puppy class on my own time with him. He is definitely a big wuss and totally over reacted to the bite, despite me trying to teach him the less obvious signs (whale eye, stiffness etc). The trainer wants to meet with us (mostly him) to try and help him but only if he's responsive to it. Which is proving to be a problem currently haha. All he's really supposed to do is come over around lunch time and take him for a walk and play with him.

I know no one knows my friend but I was hoping someone maybe had a similar experience and maybe had some insights on some ways I could work with HIM more so than my puppy.
Like I said I was in the same boat, my husband never had an animal before not even a fish let alone a puppy! Why aren't you going to classes with him and the puppy? You can help in the classes and work together to teach the puppy, point out things to your friend that are obvious to you like the way you might hold a cookie to naturally get a puppy to sit. While you are there in class point out things you notice the dog doing to your friend that have relevance to dog behavior. Maybe the dog is nervous? Licks its lips or yawns? A person without dog experience might just assume the dog is sleepy... Additional info can help a person understand. Puppy class is a great time to point out dog behaviors. Your friend will be a lot harder to train than the puppy I guarantee it.... These puppy classes are more for the people to learn dog behavior and a little bit of socialization for the pup. Since this is your dog too you need to be there training the puppy as well in my opinion, you need to know how this dog acts in a different environment, around other dogs, around other people and in public and your friend may be doing things very wrong when you aren't there. I wouldn't trust an inexperienced person to train MY puppy... heck I wouldn't trust anyone else to solely train my puppy even the best trainer in the world. Because this is MY dog and I want him to bond with me. German shepherds tend to be very one person dogs naturally. This sounds like a very weird situation considering you aren't married or dating or have future plans of being together forever yet are co owning this dog? What is going to happen when one of you moves away ? Who gets to keep the dog? You or him? A puppy isn't like an xbox controller someone uses one day and barrows to a friend the next.... What does the future hold for when he is all grown up?
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Like I said I was in the same boat, my husband never had an animal before not even a fish let alone a puppy! Why aren't you going to classes with him and the puppy? You can help in the classes and work together to teach the puppy, point out things to your friend that are obvious to you like the way you might hold a cookie to naturally get a puppy to sit. While you are there in class point out things you notice the dog doing to your friend that have relevance to dog behavior. Maybe the dog is nervous? Licks its lips or yawns? A person without dog experience might just assume the dog is sleepy... Additional info can help a person understand. Your friend will be a lot harder to train than the puppy I guarantee it.... These puppy classes are more for the people to learn dog behavior and a little bit of socialization for the pup. Since this is your dog too you need to be there training the puppy as well in my opinion, you need to know how this dog acts in a different environment, around other dogs, around other people and in public and your friend may be doing things very wrong when you aren't there. I wouldn't trust an inexperienced person to train MY puppy... heck I wouldn't trust anyone else to solely train my puppy.
I am at the puppy classes too! However our trainer wants consistency so she doesn't allow 2 people to participate at once. We can swap out for different sessions but she likes to have one person in charge of the session while the other is a spectator. Which is why I have him doing most of the work in the puppy class (it really only just started recently) so that he can learn hands on and the trainer can help him directly. I told him he was going to be doing the puppy classes primarily because it was going to help HIM more than anyone else. Thankfully my puppy is very well socialized and gets along great with all dogs and people, he's a really popular lad!

The reason it's hard is because this is literally my best friend. We've grown up our whole lives together and are together all the time. Honestly if people watched us for a week or whatever, they'd think we were a couple!! So it's difficult because it's almost getting to a point where its friend vs puppy. I want them to be able to get along, even if it's just to coexist at a basic level. But he's just so "over" having a dog despite him always wanting one for so long and loving my 2 little dogs I had when I lived with my parents.

When all is said and done-- he is basically my dog. Co-owning was a way for him to have his first dog and to make the financial burden easier on me as I was moving out and desperately wanted a dog of my own for years. Once he's done school the plan was actually to move in to a place together. If something were to happen, Jax would remain in my care. And I told him that Jax was going to bond heavily to me and that it was important he was around lots to be relevant in Jax's life. As time has gone on, he's gotten busier with school and has been around less and I've warned him that that was risky.
 

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I am at the puppy classes too! However our trainer wants consistency so she doesn't allow 2 people to participate at once. We can swap out for different sessions but she likes to have one person in charge of the session while the other is a spectator. Which is why I have him doing most of the work in the puppy class (it really only just started recently) so that he can learn hands on and the trainer can help him directly. I told him he was going to be doing the puppy classes primarily because it was going to help HIM more than anyone else. Thankfully my puppy is very well socialized and gets along great with all dogs and people, he's a really popular lad!

The reason it's hard is because this is literally my best friend. We've grown up our whole lives together and are together all the time. Honestly if people watched us for a week or whatever, they'd think we were a couple!! So it's difficult because it's almost getting to a point where its friend vs puppy. I want them to be able to get along, even if it's just to coexist at a basic level. But he's just so "over" having a dog despite him always wanting one for so long and loving my 2 little dogs I had when I lived with my parents.
That's a strange trainer you've got there. I've heard plenty of trainers say that and some people would agree but I don't. If it's IPO or showing the dog or something I get it OK. But this is basic OB. If both of you have to live with the dog both of you should be training it. In our classes my husband and I both worked with the dog, we would switch out occasionally. If I had a commitment that day my husband had to take the dog to class, the dog didn't miss a class just because I had to. It was important that our dog listened to BOTH of us because I work weekends and my husband is home alone with the dog. If your friend is over the puppy then that works for you. I know you didn't think you would be taking on this responsibility alone but you should have at least considered it. When we got our 8 week old puppy I knew I would be bearing the brunt of the training and care taking because my husband never cared for a living thing before. When our puppy was very sick 100% of the nights I was the one getting up at 3 am and carrying him down 3 flights of stairs every 5 minutes to let him diarrhea. I took him to the vet appointments and midnight ER trips. I knew it would be this way and I didn't pressure my husband for it because he already told me he didn't have the experience and didn't know what to do. I grew up with dogs, it was my responsibility to care for this little puppy, train him to be a good adult dog AND teach my husband along the way. Being best friends you guys should have worked this out and thought about a worst case scenario. Regardless whats done is done. If your friend won't help with the work load anymore and you are too busy with work or whatever to care for the dog then hire a mid day dog walker or someone to check up on the puppy mid day and take him out potty. Exercise him before you leave to work each day and every night you come home. You won't have much time for yourself, you might not be able to stop at the bar on the way home for a while or go out to dinner but this is the responsibility you have. It's your job to care for this puppy alone now.

2 little dogs are much different from owning a german shepherd. It's good you have prior experience but its a whole different ball game others will tell you. As your dog hits adolescence you may start to run into behavioral problems, although I hope not. This forum is great for learning and asking questions if those things do come up! It sounds like you and Jax will be just fine.
 

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This isn't really surprising, he was biting you hard enough in February that you were worried about it, right? Your friend challenged him and he did something he's been getting away with. If your friend is afraid, that's going to be tough. You'd probably be better off working on this separate of any class settings. Ask the trainer about that.
 

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That's a strange trainer you've got there. I've heard plenty of trainers say that and some people would agree but I don't. If it's IPO or showing the dog or something I get it OK. But this is basic OB. If both of you have to live with the dog both of you should be training it. In our classes my husband and I both worked with the dog, we would switch out occasionally. If I had a commitment that day my husband had to take the dog to class, the dog didn't miss a class just because I had to. It was important that our dog listened to BOTH of us because I work weekends and my husband is home alone with the dog. If your friend is over the puppy then that works for you. I know you didn't think you would be taking on this responsibility alone but you should have at least considered it. When we got our 8 week old puppy I knew I would be bearing the brunt of the training and care taking because my husband never cared for a living thing before. When our puppy was very sick 100% of the nights I was the one getting up at 3 am and carrying him down 3 flights of stairs every 5 minutes to let him diarrhea. I took him to the vet appointments and midnight ER trips. I knew it would be this way and I didn't pressure my husband for it because he already told me he didn't have the experience and didn't know what to do. I grew up with dogs, it was my responsibility to care for this little puppy, train him to be a good adult dog AND teach my husband along the way. Being best friends you guys should have worked this out and thought about a worst case scenario. Regardless whats done is done. If your friend won't help with the work load anymore and you are too busy with work or whatever to care for the dog then hire a mid day dog walker or someone to check up on the puppy mid day and take him out potty. Exercise him before you leave to work each day and every night you come home. You won't have much time for yourself, you might not be able to stop at the bar on the way home for a while or go out to dinner but this is the responsibility you have. It's your job to care for this puppy alone now.

2 little dogs are much different from owning a german shepherd. It's good you have prior experience but its a whole different ball game others will tell you. As your dog hits adolescence you may start to run into behavioral problems, although I hope not. This forum is great for learning and asking questions if those things do come up! It sounds like you and Jax will be just fine.
Oh I have no concerns regarding taking on the work for myself. If anything it'll end up being less work because I wont have to train both my friend AND Jax haha! I already make sure he gets enough of everything so that if something happens and my friend can't help out, Jax doesn't suffer because of it. He just doesn't get his bonus walk and fun time. If that makes sense. My friend was super on board with the puppy idea and I spent weeks trying to prepare and making sure he knew what it was like, but I guess he just didn't grasp the situation.

My worry is that my friend and my puppy basically can't exist together. One has gotta give; and I certainly don't want it to be Jax. Which is why I want so desperately for things to work out between them. I'm not concerned about myself or the well being of Jax because I know I can provide for him. I know there are challenges and there's gonna be a lot of learning for me down the road. But I've prepared myself, I know there's gonna be things that might seem overwhelming or whatever, especially in his teenage years. But i'll meet that challenge with open arms :)
 

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This isn't really surprising, he was biting you hard enough in February that you were worried about it, right? Your friend challenged him and he did something he's been getting away with. If your friend is afraid, that's going to be tough. You'd probably be better off working on this separate of any class settings. Ask the trainer about that.
Surprisingly enough, that was a very strange few days. It was very alarming for that week and then all of a sudden everything was the best it had ever been. I'm not sure if he was just testing the waters or what but it stopped basically as soon as it started. I thought maybe he had more energy those few days and just didn't get to burn it all off but I knew whatever we were doing for the following weeks worked like a charm so I just ran with it! We haven't had any issues with nipping since then aside from our feet when he wants to play. He mouths and puts ZERO pressure.
 

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Oh I have no concerns regarding taking on the work for myself. If anything it'll end up being less work because I wont have to train both my friend AND Jax haha! I already make sure he gets enough of everything so that if something happens and my friend can't help out, Jax doesn't suffer because of it. He just doesn't get his bonus walk and fun time. If that makes sense. My friend was super on board with the puppy idea and I spent weeks trying to prepare and making sure he knew what it was like, but I guess he just didn't grasp the situation.

My worry is that my friend and my puppy basically can't exist together. One has gotta give; and I certainly don't want it to be Jax. Which is why I want so desperately for things to work out between them. I'm not concerned about myself or the well being of Jax because I know I can provide for him. I know there are challenges and there's gonna be a lot of learning for me down the road. But I've prepared myself, I know there's gonna be things that might seem overwhelming or whatever, especially in his teenage years. But i'll meet that challenge with open arms :)
Fun time is the most important thing, if you've got to cut something out make sure it isn't that. Always have fun with your dog and your training will be easier and you'll have a happy dog for it. If you train your dog right you will have no problems with him and friends or any people for that matter when he is an adult. My in laws were scared of Gandalf but I trained him right, he LOVES people and is confident in every situation... they coexist very nicely now and they even allow him inside their "no dogs allowed" house and pool. Don't keep him away from your friend forever and then introduce them again. If you think there could potentially be a problem with your friend then I wouldn't push it. Dogs know things, they pick up on stuff we don't always. If you're still adamant on making things work and hanging out together then why don't you all go for a walk sometimes together? Go to the park together and play ball, monkey in the middle? Teach Jax to play hide and go seek and have your friend hide or supervise. Associate your friend with fun times and good things. If your friend is scared and doesn't want to be with the dog then that is his own decision, his own right, and forcing it could end badly. Maybe when the dog is a little older and trained he might be more comfortable. Socialize your pup by letting him observe many things so he gains confidence and doesn't have to be afraid and feel like he must protect himself. Don't take aggression lightly, like Steve said get with a trainer and have a one on one before this dog gets big and out of control. I get the feeling you are not as confident as you let on, this scenario riled you up a bit?
 

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I want them to be able to get along, even if it's just to coexist at a basic level. But he's just so "over" having a dog despite him always wanting one for so long and loving my 2 little dogs I had when I lived with my parents.

When all is said and done-- he is basically my dog. Co-owning was a way for him to have his first dog and to make the financial burden easier on me as I was moving out and desperately wanted a dog of my own for years. Once he's done school the plan was actually to move in to a place together. If something were to happen, Jax would remain in my care. And I told him that Jax was going to bond heavily to me and that it was important he was around lots to be relevant in Jax's life. As time has gone on, he's gotten busier with school and has been around less and I've warned him that that was risky.
Maybe he came to the realization that dogs aren't his thing. Maybe he likes little dogs better.
I think it's time for you to sit down and discuss this.
Who decided to go the GS route and why?
A GS as a first dog is usually too much to handle.
 

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Maybe he came to the realization that dogs aren't his thing. Maybe he likes little dogs better.
I think it's time for you to sit down and discuss this.
Who decided to go the GS route and why?
A GS as a first dog is usually too much to handle.
GS was my idea because I wanted something bigger than a lap dog. Something intelligent, trainable and loyal and I have always loved the idea of a GSD. He wanted a goldie or a malamute--but after some convincing and research/cute videos, he was okay with a GSD. I didn't want a Goldie that much and I just straight up rejected Malamaute because it wouldn't be suitable and it's too close to a Husky (flashbacks of husky problems). The idea was that I would take the lead and teach both of them and he could get some dog experience alongside me. It was never going to be his responsibility alone. The burden of the challenge was going to be on me. He loves dogs (his words), he doesn't love being responsible for a dog. He wants to come over and visit and get all the fun and none of the work. Which I said he should've told me beforehand..
 
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