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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

Our puppy Thunder is 15 weeks old and he's doing very well with training and learning new commands.

However, he's way more attentive and obedient towards my bf while with me he has difficulties staying focused and he always ends up playing rough with me (biting hair, hands, clothes...) and ignoring any sound coming from me.

I've been trying hard but it doesn't seem to work, I know he loves me but I want him to listen to me the way he does with my bf.

Does any of you have tips or suggestions that I can try to improve my relationship with Thunder? That would be well appreciated! Happy Sunday :smile2:
 

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Wife had the same issue with Athena. You need to show you are the leader, have a firmer voice helps. Also does your BF spend a ton of time with the puppy if so you need to try to spend more time as well. GSD tend to bond with one owner very well and they listen to others but are not as bonded with others.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes he does spend more time with him, I'm out the whole day at work, my BF works from home so the pup is very used to his presence, he trains him daily and he is very patient wit him. I want to be patient too, but our bonding time always ends quickly. He gets so excited when I come back home, it starts fine but it escalates so quickly, he begins biting me everywhere, my hair, my shoulder, my side... ignoring all my whimpering sounds, it's so painful. He never bites my bf hard, I really don't know how to approach the situation anymore, because I'm scared of his bites.
 

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We are having the same issue here with Genali. She listens to me very well, but not my husband. He is firm, but when he tells her to do something, she will turn and run to me (Playful not scared).

Here is what is working for us. When hubby tells Genali to do something, I ignore her until she does it and he has had time to praise her. Then I will say good dog. When she comes running to me, I will turn my back and walk away.

We've had this situation before. Several of my dobes were very one person, and I was that person. When I said "SIT" they would snap-to, when hubby said "SIT" they were much slower to respond. Keep working with the pup, be firm, be fair, and be consistent.

Have you tried NILF? Nothing in life is free! Have puppy obey a simple command before anything. Have her sit for a toy, sit for her dinner, perhaps down before being petted. I have noticed that if I make Genali work for something, she wants it more. Have her work a little for your attention, she will respect you for it.

Genali quickly learned that I don't tolerate biting. The "OUCH" routine did nothing for her. I have to push her off of me, get up, walk away and ignore her for about 5 minutes. She HATES it when I do that. She has it figured out now, biting mom means mom goes away. She has responded very well to it.
 

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I want to be patient too, but our bonding time always ends quickly. He gets so excited when I come back home, it starts fine but it escalates so quickly, he begins biting me everywhere, my hair, my shoulder, my side... ignoring all my whimpering sounds, it's so painful. He never bites my bf hard, I really don't know how to approach the situation anymore, because I'm scared of his bites.
Interacting with young, bitey puppies can be trying! But bonding at this age is on your puppy's terms, not yours. Your puppy won't want a lot of quiet, calm petting and snuggling for some time yet, it's all about play, and play involves biting stuff, so give him something else to bite and make it fun!

In my experience, the key is to lead them to do what you want...you can't force them to do anything LOL! But you have to sort of preempt the biting by giving the puppy something good to bite and help him get rid of some of that excitement by engaging him in play...that is bonding! Rolled up t-shirts or other old clothing, with a few knots tied in them make great tug toys for puppies, just be gentle and let the puppy dictate the puppy pressure he's comfortable with and let him win. Your old juice or soda bottles make great toys as well (just strip off the little rings on that stay on them before giving them to the puppy). When my puppy was growing up we kept the floor literally littered with plastic containers like that for the puppy to play with.

When the puppy does get bitey, say "no", or I like "stop", to indicate it's not okay, then walk away. Don't whimper, it just excites them more! It won't happen overnight, but he will get the point if you're absolutely consistent. Good Luck, enjoy your puppy he'll grow up all too fast!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thank you all for your answers! It was very helpful.

I've been trying more lately, my bf is very supportive and patient with me and Thunder. Now I ask him to sit every time I need him to listen or whenever he wants something from me (food, toys...).

He's still biting hard, almost made me cry last night but walking away is working, my bf would do the same to show him that we're on the same page, it's a start, I'm glad. We decided that I should be the one accompanying him to the puppy classes, he already trains daily with my bf and he seems to be learning very fast. He's a hyper dog especially outside but he learns so fast once you manage to get his attention. I want him to trust me the way he does with my bf, whenever we're outside I'd notice that he keeps an eye on me but without losing track of my bf. I'm learning from both of them everyday, no matter how much my bf is strict with him (but also very loving), Thunder trusts him and is always looking to satisfy him. We both don't want him to be attached to one single person.

PS: Does anyone have cats? If yes, how do you make all of the pets get along? lol. Thunder is very playful, he always goes to one of the cats to try and play but she keeps rejecting him (she's the sweetest cat, the other one is a lost cause, she's a territorial cat and she wouldn't even come out from under the sofa when the puppy is around).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Interacting with young, bitey puppies can be trying! But bonding at this age is on your puppy's terms, not yours. Your puppy won't want a lot of quiet, calm petting and snuggling for some time yet, it's all about play, and play involves biting stuff, so give him something else to bite and make it fun!

In my experience, the key is to lead them to do what you want...you can't force them to do anything LOL! But you have to sort of preempt the biting by giving the puppy something good to bite and help him get rid of some of that excitement by engaging him in play...that is bonding! Rolled up t-shirts or other old clothing, with a few knots tied in them make great tug toys for puppies, just be gentle and let the puppy dictate the puppy pressure he's comfortable with and let him win. Your old juice or soda bottles make great toys as well (just strip off the little rings on that stay on them before giving them to the puppy). When my puppy was growing up we kept the floor literally littered with plastic containers like that for the puppy to play with.

When the puppy does get bitey, say "no", or I like "stop", to indicate it's not okay, then walk away. Don't whimper, it just excites them more! It won't happen overnight, but he will get the point if you're absolutely consistent. Good Luck, enjoy your puppy he'll grow up all too fast!
Now that he met and smelled most of the dogs in the neighborhood, we started taking him to the dog park. He spends most of his daily energy playing fetch and going crazy...
 

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You'll hear from lots of people on this forum that dog parks are bad, but I go nearly everyday with my dog, now 16 months old, and have never had a bad experience. She's gotten in a few disagreements there at times, but has always recovered well and has not held any grudges. My dog plays well with large and small dogs, and does not bully anyone, except for dogs that act overly timid. And from what I've seen repeatedly, the dogs that get that unwanted attention quickly stop acting that way and the other dogs then quit picking on them LOL! Though it's sort of counter intuitive, it does seem to be a universal sort of dog thing. Anyway, glad to hear you've found a way to get your puppy some outlet for his energy!

And on the cat question, I don't have cats now, but when I did I let the dogs and cats figure out for themselves what worked and what didn't...within reason LOL! We had one kitten and a puppy one time that when watching them I thought the puppy was killing the cat. But when I intervened, because the puppy literally had the cat's whole head in it's mouth and was dragging it around, I was shocked to find that the cat was purring! They were inseparable their entire lives...not saying you should ignore bullying, but animals have their own ways that we often just don't get. Be watchful and stop any prey-like behavior you see, but beyond that, IME dogs and cats speak pretty well with each other, and they all have a way of working things out pretty well!
 

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Tbh as a newbie GSD owner the dog park can work against you. It can also work for you. It very much depends on the dog and your level of experience. My dog is very friendly but getting that focus with a competiting motivator as fun as other dogs worked against me. I am just not that cool tho I try. He is great at 14 months off leash with other dogs but the obedience under voice control is a struggle. On leash as he matures (maturity plays a role) he is reactive and does not like loose dogs approaching him on leash I learned that recently. We are working thru it. My dog sees me as fun will play with me anywhere except the dog park. I worked getting him to engage in play with me everywhere. Which is a great thing but at some point you want to just walk with your dog chilling at your side. So now I am trying to get that focused calm behavior.
15 weeks is really young if your new to dogs and new to gsd. Being fun expecting very little focusing on just some manners, boundaries, shaping behaviors like sit and down with lures, capturing behaviors and rewarding them/naming them like down sit speak, with you and around the house establishing play will work in your favor. If your dog is confident around other dogs at the dog park that's great. Leave him with that positive association. I would suggest moving on and getting that level of focus and enjoyment running on a long line with you and a toy and or food anywhere it is safe to even outside the dog park. I hope that makes sense....if I could turn back time I see the things I could have done differently to fit my dog. It's not that he is trouble honestly I adore him and he has been patient with my stumbles I could have just saved us some work....we are learning together. Getting to know your dog and building the communication is a fine work of art
Enjoy and ask questions it still amazes me what i learn from the good people here
 

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I have 4 cats....it's a work in progress dog has good prey drive great for play and fetch no so great with a cats fast moves. When a dog is in drive for the chase most best are off. Limit any chasing with a leash outside and inside. No cat harrassing. Use a place command taught. One thing I didn't do that I'll do now is use place Leashed with another person playing with the cat at a distance dog maintains place and reduce that distance once the dogs desire to chase decreases by the evidence that he can hold place. The desire to chase overtime should diminish.
 

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I'm having the same issues. We have 3 house cats also. Most of the time our 14 week old pup is starting to ignore the cats. Unless the cats run and then we are chasing the pup to save the cats!! We have one cat that will play with the pup when the cat is in the mood.
I have learned that I am NOT a puppy person!! I love this pup but I also don't like her. That sounds horrible but it's the truth. She accidently bit my thumb last week when I was playing with her - it was an accident but it was DEEP. Her baby canine got stuck on my thumb and ripped it open. I just took the bandaid off yesterday since it was looking ok.
This morning after husband was done playing with the pup, I let her in and she was excited and kept jumping on me, grabbing my pant leg, biting and I had had it!!!! I just got up and I was trying to get my morning routine going - slowly. Last thing I wanted was a puppy biting me. I say, "no", I walk away, I turn my back, I give her a toy - nothing works. Works for my husband tho about 90% of the time. IF she continues with him, in the crate she goes or outside.
So this morning after I said NO. She nicked my thumb and ripped it wide open again. I as livid!!! I screamed at her and it scared her. I was so done with her. Before ripping my finger open again, she chased one of the cats. so it was set up for disaster for me. I hope you're having better luck than me. I'm at my wits end!!! I just want her to either grow up or be gone at this point. It's been many years since we've had a puppy. Our last dog died of old age about 5 years ago and he was 14 years old. So that's about how long its been since we raised a pup. It seems like time is moving SO SLOW!!! I can relax when she's outside playing or laying on the grass, enjoying HER time but when she's asking to come in, I just cringe. Sorry to hijack your post but I think there are more people out there who have problems with the pups and the SO is doing better with them for some reason. I feel guilty for yelling at her this morning but after chasing the one timid cat and then re-opening my wound, I was DONE!!
 

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I'm having the same issues. We have 3 house cats also. Most of the time our 14 week old pup is starting to ignore the cats. Unless the cats run and then we are chasing the pup to save the cats!! We have one cat that will play with the pup when the cat is in the mood.
I have learned that I am NOT a puppy person!! I love this pup but I also don't like her. That sounds horrible but it's the truth. She accidently bit my thumb last week when I was playing with her - it was an accident but it was DEEP. Her baby canine got stuck on my thumb and ripped it open. I just took the bandaid off yesterday since it was looking ok.
This morning after husband was done playing with the pup, I let her in and she was excited and kept jumping on me, grabbing my pant leg, biting and I had had it!!!! I just got up and I was trying to get my morning routine going - slowly. Last thing I wanted was a puppy biting me. I say, "no", I walk away, I turn my back, I give her a toy - nothing works. Works for my husband tho about 90% of the time. IF she continues with him, in the crate she goes or outside.
So this morning after I said NO. She nicked my thumb and ripped it wide open again. I as livid!!! I screamed at her and it scared her. I was so done with her. Before ripping my finger open again, she chased one of the cats. so it was set up for disaster for me. I hope you're having better luck than me. I'm at my wits end!!! I just want her to either grow up or be gone at this point. It's been many years since we've had a puppy. Our last dog died of old age about 5 years ago and he was 14 years old. So that's about how long its been since we raised a pup. It seems like time is moving SO SLOW!!! I can relax when she's outside playing or laying on the grass, enjoying HER time but when she's asking to come in, I just cringe. Sorry to hijack your post but I think there are more people out there who have problems with the pups and the SO is doing better with them for some reason. I feel guilty for yelling at her this morning but after chasing the one timid cat and then re-opening my wound, I was DONE!!
It's so stressful dealing with puppies, but before you know it it's all over in a blink of an eye... mine is a little over a year old and just in the past few weeks no longer takes his toys out of the basket and plays with them on his own :frown2:. I remember it wasn't too long ago that he was a little crazy puppy and those toys used to ALL be out of the basket and laying everywhere and I was tripping on them constantly. And before you know that 5 years have gone by and hes your best friend in the world and you just hope for another 5 years of this because he understands you now so much (and you understand him), your morning routine, all your habits and quirks and that sometimes you think he can read your mind. Stick the course, you're going to miss this one day.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm having the same issues. We have 3 house cats also. Most of the time our 14 week old pup is starting to ignore the cats. Unless the cats run and then we are chasing the pup to save the cats!! We have one cat that will play with the pup when the cat is in the mood.
I have learned that I am NOT a puppy person!! I love this pup but I also don't like her. That sounds horrible but it's the truth. She accidently bit my thumb last week when I was playing with her - it was an accident but it was DEEP. Her baby canine got stuck on my thumb and ripped it open. I just took the bandaid off yesterday since it was looking ok.
This morning after husband was done playing with the pup, I let her in and she was excited and kept jumping on me, grabbing my pant leg, biting and I had had it!!!! I just got up and I was trying to get my morning routine going - slowly. Last thing I wanted was a puppy biting me. I say, "no", I walk away, I turn my back, I give her a toy - nothing works. Works for my husband tho about 90% of the time. IF she continues with him, in the crate she goes or outside.
So this morning after I said NO. She nicked my thumb and ripped it wide open again. I as livid!!! I screamed at her and it scared her. I was so done with her. Before ripping my finger open again, she chased one of the cats. so it was set up for disaster for me. I hope you're having better luck than me. I'm at my wits end!!! I just want her to either grow up or be gone at this point. It's been many years since we've had a puppy. Our last dog died of old age about 5 years ago and he was 14 years old. So that's about how long its been since we raised a pup. It seems like time is moving SO SLOW!!! I can relax when she's outside playing or laying on the grass, enjoying HER time but when she's asking to come in, I just cringe. Sorry to hijack your post but I think there are more people out there who have problems with the pups and the SO is doing better with them for some reason. I feel guilty for yelling at her this morning but after chasing the one timid cat and then re-opening my wound, I was DONE!!
Hi! Sorry for the late reply and I hope your puppy's behaviour is improving.

In our case, I think that our Thunder is a bit of hyper puppy, hard to train and to get their attention but once you manage to have it, they give you the best results training and behaviour wise.

I think your best method would be the sit command, ask your pup to sit before any kind of interaction, in a friendly and enthusiastic way but stay firm and confident. They must know that if they want something it has to come through you, food, walk, treats, playing, attention...

When it comes to the biting, just say NO to her, look her in the eyes and walk away, give it a rest for a couple of minutes, make her understand that there's no need for rough play. I started teaching Thunder bite inhibition when he was 9 weeks old and I still do, it has been going good, he bites me softly and I let him nip at my hand all he wants, until I feel the unpleasant pressure, that's when I whimper and say no, as soon as I do he lets go (sometimes it takes him a while) and he starts licking my hand.

The last couple of weeks were so hard on everyone, Thunder's hyperactivity has been getting the best of us and in the way of his training. He started to show signs of food guarding (slightly growling when I accidentally touched his food bowl). I was concerned about it but also it gave me ideas of working on his hyperactivity. Now we're hand-feeding him every meal, ask him to sit and wait, to be patient. He's doing great with the "wait" command (turned out to be very helpful when walking him outside on a leash). Also, he learned a new command to make him be gentle when eating from my hand or when he's being awarded, "be calm", it's very effective, he's learning to control his eagerness to eat but above all we're teaching him manners. It's going great. As a matter of fact, today we had our longest walk together so far, 30 minutes, the greatest walk so far. No leash pulling, no ignoring my commands, no avoiding eye contact. He walks on my left side, whenever he accelerates and gets slightly ahead of me I say "wait" and he instantly slows down to stay by my side. If he gets confused or I feel he's about to become distracted, I ask him to heel or sit before resuming the walk. Every time I saw someone coming our way, I would just step away, ask Thunder to "stay" reward him and wait for the person to pass, remind him to stay as the person passes by then reward him again, he was almost perfect.

I'm happy that we're seeing improvement, believe me it's very rewarding. GSD owners must be patient, this breed is special, it's not like any other, it takes a lot of commitment and patience especially when our puppies are still taking their first steps in their new environment.

Good luck with your puppy, I hope our experience with our puppy can help you dealing with yours :smile2:

Karinette's boyfriend
 
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