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Hello,

Jackie is now 11 weeks old, and is starting school on Tuesday. Im hoping it will loosten her up a little around strangers. She is very uptight and her instinct is to hide. Is this normal? Also, her idea of playing is to bite at my legs or pants. I try to give her a chew toy and she'll put it away and come right back for me. I can handle her but my wife ends up running away and taking refuge on the bed unitl she calms down. Shes a great dog, and very smart. Already house trained, and shes knows 'sit', and 'come'. But she's not crazy about the leash. How can i get her used to it?

Thanks for any help.

Nick
 

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Jackie has learned a lot in 11 weeks! Don't push too hard, it's normal for a baby to be a baby.

Yep, biting at anything that moves is normal too - expected in fact.

Lease.. just put it on and let her drag it around the house (while you're watching of course) until she gets more comfortable with that thing hanging on her neck. When you do pick up the other end, follow her, don't tug.

It's baby steps for babies you know.

Good job teaching sit and come.
 

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Cooper is just a few weeks ahead of your puppy. He has been to 2 puppy classes and REALLY REALLY come out of himself. He was also on the timid side. I do take him somewhere every day. He wasn't crazy about his puppy shots so we visit the vet just to get a treat and visit. Of course Petsmart and Petco, My sisters house, walks up and down strip malls (car sounds used to bother him).

Once you find out what bothers her then oversaturate her with it. When I go to the petstore I would give strangers treats to give to the pup. I find people in pets stores are animal people and love to help. One mild day we stood outside a bookstore and just watched the comings and goings.

My boxer is SUPER outgoing so she has helped pull Cooper along.

I am not sure this is the same with German shep puppies but when my boxer got over excited and nippy I found she was overtiered. I would put her in her crate and before I left the room she was asleep. The crate isn't supposed to be a punishment but in this case I just saw she needed help calming down. I never scolded. Luckily I have not seen the nippy, hyper side of Cooper yet. He is 13 weeks so I am sure it will come. He is just starting to put everything in his mouth.

Best of luck and congratulations on the new addition.
 

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I also recommend puppy classes if you can find them.

The reason that puppies love to grab bite and play with us is that's the way they come out of the womb knowing how to play with their mom and littermates. So if we want them to learn a new (and less painful) way to play, we have to patiently teach them. I have different toys all over the house to help with this. Some pups like rubber toys, some squeaky toys, some rags, some long ropey toys, some braided fleece, some balls on fleece............

My puppies never liked the leash either. What worked for me was to put my puppy in the car and find areas that I could have them safely off leash. Huge fenced school grounds. Long hiking trails in the woods. So for 'walking' I didn't use the leash much at all.

The leash was more a 'holding' thing. Like for going to the vets. Or to drive to Home Depot and then stand by the front door to have the socialization 'Will you pet my puppy?' with the handing out of treats to them.

Putting a puppy in the car and driving it to my friends houses for a meet/greet. The park for a meet/greet. Main Street USA. Puppy classes, parks, schools, etc. Having my pups go thru a timid phase means I have to be more creative with my socialization, not to AVOID.

So to keep the new meetings/greetings going but in a way my puppy can manage and not get overwhelmed. Treats are a HUGE help. Sometimes using distance initially. Not forcing but letting them explore at their own pace.

But definitely not staying home and avoiding, cause that only ends up stunting my pups mental growth and learning, not protecting her at all!
 
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