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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

As some of you know I have been taking care of my puppy for about two weeks by myself with out the help of my boyfriend. Since this is all very new to me (about having a puppy), it is getting stressful. The first week I was completely alone and she was annoying, but I could handle her. This second week my mother came down to visit me and to also help a little with the dog. My puppy's personality is so unbelievably obnoxious now, I am almost in tears writing this.

I don't know if she changed because my mother came down (she doesn't know exactly what she's doing and I have to babysit the babysitter sort of thing), but someone please let me know if you think this is why she is so annoying now.

Here's what shes acting like: My puppy is 15 weeks old now just fyi

She barks constantly for no reason it seems like, and since I live in an apartment it is EXTREMELY loud and obnoxious to anyone living near by. She barks when shes hungry, when she wants to go for a potty break even if she just pees for 3 seconds, she barks when shes bored, she barks when shes tired, and she barks for no reason and when Ive ruled out all of the above. Its very very frustrating and she hadn't been doing this one week before.

She also is extremely bitey and bites REALLY hard, I'm a small framed girl and she can hurt me pretty bad with out meaning to. I've been trying a number of things to get her to stop biting. If I'm just leaning down to unhook her leash, she will jump on me scratching me and biting everything in her way (my face). Sometimes I hold her by the sides of her scruff and tell her No firmly and this usually works to calm her down. Now, she lunges at my face and tries to bite me and thrashes about scratching and biting my arms. It is extremely painful.

She also is WAY more hyper then normal. Usually she would be totally cool with two normal walks per day and sometimes a trip to the park for fetch. Now, it seems like she need 4 or more walks. After a walk she will nap for about 15 minutes, before she would take an hour or so to nap and relax. She seems like she can't sit still anymore and she used to be able to sit next to me while I was on the computer or whatever. Now, if I put her next to me she wanders around and bites my ankles and barks and won't sit still.

Toys are now boring to her, she'll finish her kong is about 2 minutes and bark her face off.

One week ago, she was enjoyable and lovable and annoying because shes a puppy. Now its like I am constantly angry because I'm covered in scratch and bites marks and have headaches from all the barking. It some what seems like when my mother came, some of this started happening. I know she challenged by pack leader role when she first came and wouldn't listen to me, I set her straight, but now its like a constant battle. I used to be able to yell across the room for her to sit and now she just barks and barks and barks and doesn't stop.

Please someone help me, I am at my wits end. She was a wonderful puppy and now I'm just broken down. I really don't need any negative feedback, so please only advice.

Thank you in advance :(

Ana
 

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I think your pup and you need to go to training classes together. Pups are pups- they bark, nip, chew, jump, and act like puppies- it's normal. You are clearly not her leader from the sounds of things though and need to learn how to parent her so you can actually start enjoying her. Sign up for a classes ASAP, start NILIF training, and up the exercise. GSD's need a lot of stimulation and she is maturing so she's going to require more play time from now on. I have a feeling you probably scream when she nips which is exciting to her- kinda like a game,lol so she keeps doing it and will until you learn how to manage her. Same with the barking and jumping- it's simply fun to test you. Classes will be the best investment you ever made and allow you to gain the upper hand the right way:)
 

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Ana, You're situation sounds very stressful. Sorry. I'm sure you'll get great advice and may find tips in the puppy training section under forums.

I strongly suggest you enroll in puppy training classes. They helped us so much.

Good luck & take care
 

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Another thought...do any of your friends or family have a dog that you can socialize your puppy with? That also helps a lot.
 

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Its never to early to start ob classes!!! Hang in there, it will get better in about 4 months
 

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A lot of what you've mentioned comes with puppyhood. Your pup is still relatively young and this is the period of time you need to teach it to differentiate between playing and being bad. Like those above have said, the easiest option is probably finding a good Puppy Training Class. I'd recommend going on lots of walks and if you know someone with a dog arrange some play time. The quickest way to tire them out is with the help of another pup. In fact many people swear you should buy two pups at a time. Nevertheless, one is a lot of work and money so that may not be a good option. You should get some good dog treats that your pup likes and start rewarding it for good behavior. Be a good leader and try not to get too emotional. Your pup will most likely not understand you if you're not able to stay calm when correcting it and training it. Work on creating a bond between yourself and the puppy so it'll learn to respect you. Long walks are a great way to fix many of the problems your facing.

Good Luck and know that you're in the right place. Lots of experienced people here.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@Zoeys mom:

Ive been doing private lessons with her for about three weeks now, she is doing great with me. I have to wait another week for the puppy kindergarden classes for her to get her rabies shot because it is a requirement. ONE week ago when my mother wasn't here she would listen to everything I was saying, like I said I could say sit from across my entire apartment and she would do it and wait for the next command. I have done a lot of research on how to be a good leader and before this week I was doing well. Also, I am now taking her for more walks, like I said so I have upped the exercise. But, this conflicts with a lot of opinions that I have gotten before about not over exercising her, so i'm confused and annoyed about that. I do not scream at her when she bites me, I might grab her to get her off of me, but I do not scream. I know it excites her, but really since this all started happening, anything "excites" her.

@Mac's Mom:

Like I said, I've been doing great in private lessons with her, and the trainer has puppies that he can bring over or even his adult german shepherds. So she is well socialized.

She listened to me like I was the center of her world before my mother came to visit and now shes completely out of control. To me it seems like, since I am not there 100% of the time with her for the past week, that my mom can be doing some things wrong, which can lead to her acting up and not listen to me.... If anyone thinks this could be part of it please speak up :(

She was great, she would listen, she wasn't so crazy, I had her trained to do all of the basics and more. I don't know if this messed up her structure of the pack, maybe it did.

Also, are there stages to a puppy? if there are significant ones, maybe this is just part of it. But, like I said so many times, one week ago she was very well behaved and didn't act like a complete lunatic.
 

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Get to a puppy class straight away! Everything you've described is normal puppy behavior but it sounds a bit out of control. I know she's adorable but it sounds as though she's got you wrapped around her cute little paw. Read everything you can about puppy training on this site, start using clicker training and get some help from a class and trainer. She'll get a lot of energy worked out with the other pups in the class. Hang in there, it's just a few months of this!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
She's been doing a private lesson with me and is really smart :( I just got her third vaccines so I'm waiting another week for her rabies, and rabies is a req. for the puppy class.

I'm frustrated because she was VERY well trained and I loved her to bits because she was so smart and loved me back.

I'm annoyed because it seems like puppy classes is what everyone is thinking, but I've been doing REALLY well in private lessons with her and she can't go to the kindergarden class yet.
 

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There are definite puppy stages and testing the boundaries is completely normal. When she jumps and bites while leashing her don't leash her- put it away and ignore her until she is calm again. Did your bf just leave? A change in the home can throw them off as well. I have my dogs sit and wait when leashing them and any bad behavior means the leash goes bye bye- they will learn quick what is expected to go for a walk. As far as exercise keep her off hard pavement and stick to grassy areas off leash if safe. You can teach her fetch and let her run just no jumping or long jogging trips yet. My pup is 8 months and gets 2-3 30 minute fetch sessions a day with her big bro henry the lab. We go hiking, swimming, and walk to the store and my kids school twice a day as well. If she's laying down and panting she's had enough, but if she's ready to go let her they really need it. Exercise for every dog I've had has been my answer to any obnoxious behaviors they bore quickly and have tons of energy. Keep up with the training classes, lots of socialization with dogs and people, rewards, and tons of free play time and she'll come around. They do call GSD's baby sharks for a reason:D
 

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Also, are there stages to a puppy? if there are significant ones, maybe this is just part of it. But, like I said so many times, one week ago she was very well behaved and didn't act like a complete lunatic.
I'm not a expert but yes there are definately stages/phases. And, some times when you think they are past a certain stage, they will start acting up again.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My boyfriend had to go on a trip in Europe for two weeks, my mother came for part of the second week to help. Maybe it just messed her up, one leaving and someone completely new coming in. Since my mom doesn't know pack structure, the pup is kind of walking all over her and I can't be there every second the puppy is with my mom. I'm exhausted :(

I taught her to wait until she is leashed when she is in her crate to get out. When I said I am unleashing her, its usually when she is tethered to something and I am taking her off to go for a potty break. But, I will try ignoring her before taking it off, I'll do the same thing as the crate, thank you.

I live in an apartment with no yard, so I try to take her for a couple of walks per day and sometimes we can go to the park down the street to play fetch until she's had enough. Its also been extremely hot outside, high 90's. She gets wiped out from the heat in like 3 minutes if we're walking and then goes back to thrashy and jumpy inside lol.

Ugh. Yeah baby sharks.
 

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Is she tethered for a reason? Most dogs don't like being chained up and will act like psycho's when let off because they are being freed,lol I promise this too shall pass but until their about 2-3 years they have a ton of energy and go through fazes of sweet puppy crazy puppy and my favorite deaf puppy. Get ready for deaf puppy it's coming in afew months,lol
 

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Do you have a crate for your puppy/ if not then get one post haste and train her to go in it. A lifesaver!!!!!!!!!!

Your pup sounds like a normal little GSD puppy - a LANDSHARK!

Above all enjoy your puppy - they are that little and cute only once and believe it or not you will soon look back and say "Wasn't she cute when she was a baby!" Doesn't seem like it but it is true.

But get the crate it will enable you to get a break from her. And they soon learn to like the crate even going in there by themselves when you leave the door open.

There should be some threads on here to show you how to train your puppy to like the crate and it usually only takes a few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've read and listened a lot to leerburg (Ed Frawley) and he talks a lot about tethering if you want to hear if from an expert, and she is tethered because she is not potty trained/ when I can't watch her 100%/ she will constantly zone in on my cat. I am not talking about her chained in a back yard with no interaction and going insane. What I mean by tethered is her leash is attached to something I am near, like a table leg or computer chair, so she can't have free roam and have an accident or chew a wire. This way I can keep an eye on her if I'm not 100% devoted to her. We let her roam around when I can follow her or else it just defeats the purpose of potty training and getting into stuff she shouldnt be.
 

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-.- I mentioned before that I trained her to stay in her crate until I have a leash on her and let her out. She is crate trained, allowed to go in it, and often wants to when she's really tired. She doesn't bark at night anymore and she seems like shes starting to like it.
 

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I taught mine to not chew and potty outside without a tether. Just take her out every hour and elongate this time as she holds it longer. With chewing you just say ah ah and replace the chewed item with an acceptable one. Keeping her tethered makes her bored and boredom equals naughty behavior in a puppy. They don't learn not to chew by being leashed because there's no correlation between the leash and chewing. They learn not to chew on the wrong thing by having it taken and replaced over and over and over..... I could see you tethering her to you while your in the house to forge a bond and keep her out of trouble, but otherwise she will just get bored and more destructive. They need freedom to roam and correction to learn their boundaries:)
 

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Oh and she used to not bark constantly when I put her in her crate during the day if I had to, she would calm down and take a nap or play with her kong.

Noooow.... she won't be quiet at all in her crate, WANTS OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT, I dont even think she takes naps anymore >.<
 

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There is a point when the energy level on pups goes WAY up...at least that's how mine have always been. Tag was a great puppy when he came home, hardly ever crying in his crate and crashing for a couple hours with only 30 minutes or so or hard running or an hour outing to some store. The first month home...they sleep alot...everything is so new that they are mentally tired just from taking it all in. Around 12 weeks though the routine is...well, routine. Then they are usually ready to GO. And it only gets worse. :) At 5 months Tag started screaming if there was something going on in the house that he wasn't part of. It took MUCH longer to tire him. IME, It isn't until about 7/8 months that my dogs started to chill out again and the obedience came more together so they were manageable with their training. 4-7 months is rough...and there's all that teething going on to boot.

I don't necessarily have a problem with the tether, but I would look at enforcing the crate. Crating was a life saver for me, and strict adherence and enforcement of the crate actually helped my dogs learn that being in the crate means that I must chill...because carrying on won't get me out. When my dogs are in their crates they all lay right down and go to sleep.
 

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In all honesty, I know exactly how you feel. I hit my limit today or yesterday. Minna was driving me absolutely up a wall because she didn't want to go outside to use the bathroom and she just seemed out of control wild. My solution, I took her outside on the leash, sat in the drive (away from everyone else) and took a couple of deep breaths and just tried to relax.
Also, when Minna gets "out of control" and in her super play/annoying moods, where she's annoying Sobacca and biting at me as well. I stop the game and start a training session. It knocks her out of the super crazy mode and wears her out a bit because of the mental stimulation.
It's helping wonders that she has Sobacca to play with a lot of times, it wears both of them out. We do go for a walk in the morning and usually will go to the dog park or town center or somewhere new to walk around for 20 minutes or so (and then hang out for about an hour).
She gets a nap in the afternoon upstairs in her crate alone, I've found this is enough of a break for me and after the 1.5-2 hours she sleeps I'm ready to have her out again.
She also will sit and bark at Sobacca and sit an bark at me sometimes (although usually when she's told 'no', which doesn't get tolerated). I think I'm more or less breaking her of this habit because i think my mom didn't know how to handle it while she was taking care of Minna.

I also went through all of this with Sobacca, I remember hitting my breaking point with him and completely breaking down in my bedroom one night when he wouldn't stop biting at my arms. I don't want to hit that point with Minna, because I also remember how much a joy Sobacca was as a puppy and I want to enjoy Minna in her puppy stages too. It does get better, just remember to stay calm. Sometimes when you get upset/frustrated the puppy will "act out" more.
She too will be going to puppy school in a few weeks to get socialization and more training.


Do you have a crate for your puppy/ if not then get one post haste and train her to go in it. A lifesaver!!!!!!!!!!

Your pup sounds like a normal little GSD puppy - a LANDSHARK!

But get the crate it will enable you to get a break from her. And they soon learn to like the crate even going in there by themselves when you leave the door open.

HAHA. I call mine a piranha!!!! Although I think she's more of an alligator -- she'll sit and chomp at Sobacca when they've been playing/wrestling.
 
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