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My husband and I just bought a white GSD puppy. He's been to the vet and has a clean bill of health.

We are having an issue trying to break him of his need to scream when we walk away from him and he can't get to us. I understand that he is just a puppy, and I understand that he doesn't know our faces yet, and he doesn't realize that we're not abandoning him when we leave him. Someone on another forum for dogs suggested that I am more interested in cleaning than I am in my puppy.

I am not, but I would like for my life not to come to a screeching halt so that I can trip over and chase my puppy down when he takes my shoe. I want to train him, like everyone wants to do with their dog. I want a bond of trust with him. I absolutely adore dogs, and would like to be a canine trainer or behaviourist one day. However, this is my first puppy (my last puppy was 10 years ago, and I was only eleven then and didn't have much to do with training him). I did my research, and I know methods of training. But research can't beat experience.

I'm going to copy/paste what I wrote on another canine forum, and I'll add what I've tried since then.

We recently bought a white German shepherd puppy. I have taken him to the vet, and he's fit as a fiddle. I'm home with him all day, and I play with him, correct him when he chews the rug and other inappropriate things by telling him no and replacing the wrong thing with one of his several toys. I take him out at least once every forty-five minutes; I monitor how much water he drinks and take him out accordingly. Water and food comes up at eight PM (we are usually in bed by nine thirty). We have an appropriately sized crate for him with a comfy bed in it, and two of his toys.

At night, I take him out and make him stay out in the grass for at least five minutes, just in case he needs to move around to get things going in his body. We then put two small training treats in his crate to show him that it's a comfortable place to be, and show him his toys. We crate him, turn the lights off, and go to bed. He likes it totally dark (I had the range light on last night and he kept whining. I turned it off and he settled down much faster). He doesn't whine in the middle of the night at all.

My husband is a Marine and gets up very early. He lets Sora out of his crate and takes him directly outside, to establish the memory routine of going out in the morning. He does his business, gets praise and a treat for doing so, and goes back into his crate. Husband leaves. Whining begins. Whining continues.

Yesterday morning, he whined for half an hour. I stuffed ear plugs in and ignored him. He eventually quieted down, and I then woke up at eight am like I usually do. This morning, my husband left and he kept whining. He sounded a little more strained than yesterday, so after I realized he wasn't quieting down like he did yesterday, I went down and took him outside. At first he wanted to go back inside, so I just kept picking him up and setting him on the grass. Eventually he did poop, and I praised him for it. Pet him, kissed him, and let him know that he was a good boy. Then I crated him and went back upstairs. I know I'm not going to get any more sleep this morning, but I came up here anyway. We are in the process of crate training and he needs to know that unless he has to potty, mommy needs her sleep!

As I said, I'm home all day and play with him whenever he isn't napping, and my husband plays with him when he comes home from work, so there's no lack of attention or proper correction. He is nine weeks old and whines if I'm out of his sight and he can't follow me - I can't even close the bathroom door without him whining. "If I can't potty alone, neither can mom!" Cute in theory, I suppose

He also whines horribly when we pen him in the kitchen. We make sure he's had time outside, as always, and give him a bit of water (he likes to "swim" in his water dish. We'll definitely be taking him to the river when he gets older and has had all of his shots!), his curly pig pizzle, and three or four toys. Oh does he ever cry for us! I'll tell him "no" sternly, but without screaming it at him, and I will curl my hand into a fist and display the back of it to him. I don't shake my fist at him and I don't quickly shove it into his face. The intention isn't to scare him, and he isn't startled when I do this. It's basically a signal for halt, and it is always accompanied with a firm, clear "no". My goal is that I'll be able to show him this signal, when he is older, and he will stop what he is doing without a verbal command.

Anyway, back to whining in the kitchen pen. I tell him no and then turn my back on him, cross my arms, and tilt my head up. It's a bit dramatic to watch, but once I repeat this a few times, he whines less and less and will eventually lay down, and then I can go sit down again. After he lays down and is quiet for about 5-10 minutes, I give him a small training treat and praise him for it. Then I have to repeat the "no" and the dramatic ignoring.

I have to pen him up for a bit during the day so that I can clean my house. It gets surprisingly messy with only two people. He is always underfoot and tripping me up, and he thinks the broom and mop are his own giant, moving chew toys. I need to train him to know that I am not abandoning him, and that just because he can't see his pack, doesn't mean we're leaving him forever.

I know that in time, he will learn to not whine in his crate and in the pen, and in turn will learn that he can remain chewing on his toy while I walk into the next room or go upstairs. Repetition and praising the positive do work, and it will just take some time. We've only had him three days and he's nine weeks old. I'm not looking for miracles.

What I'm looking for are tips to keep him quiet. We live in a military community, in a triplex house unit. We're in the middle of the other two houses. Our neighbour to the right has a husky that they let whine at the back door, and I don't want to be that kind of neighbour. We don't know them (we just moved in and they've shown no inclination to get to know us), but I don't want to be rude and let my dog whine for hours. Do you all have any tips to keep him quiet, or to shorten the length of time it takes for him to settle down?

Sorry for the long post! I just know that for y'all to give me accurate information, you should probably know exactly what I'm doing with my dog. We don't tell at him and we don't use physical correction of his poor behaviour. We positively reinforce good behaviour (constantly praising when he plays with his toys, piddles outside, plays with us gently, gives kisses, etc.) and firmly say "no" to his poorer habits, and then show him what is the right thing to do. I've seen what improper training can do to a dog (my dog at home in PA wasn't properly trained and he's a total brat, for lack of a better word). I want Sora to be the best dog he can be. I want to do it right from day one, for him and for my husband and I.

(I apologize for any grammar and spelling mistakes. I'm on my mobile in my bedroom.)

I was just in the kitchen making myself some tea. The gates are still up, so he couldn't get to me. He could see my clearly, but he couldn't get to me, and he began whining and clawing at the gate. This is a habit of his I'd like to break. I'm assuming that time and proper correction will eventually work? Also, what is the proper correction for whining? Just ignoring him? That's what I've been doing, but if I don't tell him no, firmly, he keeps whining and won't settle down (when I'm there for him to see, but not reach).

Now, the dramatic turning my back and crossing my arms doesn't work. He works himself into such hysterics while I'm standing there looking at him that he climbs over the gate. At which point, he doesn't even come over to us! He just wanders off. This is leading me to thinking that it might not be the fact that he can't get to us, it's the fact that he can't go where he wants to go. And that's not okay - he's a dog, and he is my family, but I am the dominant one. This is my house and I'm alpha, and he needs to realize that.

I have tried sitting outside the gate and petting him and he still goes ballistic. I've tried praising him the one time he did calm down, and he went crazy again right after that. We've tried playing with him in the kitchen while the gates are up, to show him that it's a fun and safe place to be. I even laid down on the floor to show him that even mommy thinks it's fun. No dice. As soon as we put one foot outside the gate, he goes crazy.

It's very hard to use negative reinforcement, I.E. ignoring the whining, when it never stops, not even for a minute. I don't want to agitate our neighbours, but he really does need to learn that whining will not get him any attention, and he will not be allowed to go where he wants to go if he whines for it.

Does anyone have any tips at all for this? The other canine forum has proved very inconclusive and I'm running out of things to try that do not involve water squirting (I won't do that, I'm not going to make him scared of water) and smacking him (won't do that either, ever, and I doubt any of you would suggest it).

He's only had one booster shot so far, but as soon as he's up to date on them, we're taking him to puppy training classes at PetSmart. I'd like to not wait another month or two, though. I'm tired from chasing him from seven in the morning till nine thirty at night, and I'd like to be able to pen him in the kitchen while I can't supervise him.
 

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GSD are velcro dogs, part of their nature is to follow the family around. I would try moving the crate into the bedroom, he'll probably calm down and sleep better because he's with the "pack." Also, it's nice to have a quiet place for them to relax while you move around the house doing chores and other things.

Look up "crate games" to make the crate a fantastic place. What I found worked for me personally was making sure he was super tired, then taking two small treats, throwing one treat into the crate and waiting for the puppy to go in and get it. Give the second treat along with affection, rubbing the belly, etc so they get sleepy again. Once they're tired gently close the door and continue sitting beside the crate for a few minutes, ignoring any whining. He should hopefully fall asleep quickly and you can quietly leave.

It'll probably take a few times but he'll quickly realize the crate is for sleeping and relaxing and will zonk out for a hour or so easily. I think crating him for short periods during the day will probably be more effective then just keeping him in the kitchen. Going into the crate specifically means to relax and sleep

Another trick would be a kong stuffed with some treats and peanut butter, just like giving a baby a bottle it's something for them to enjoy until they get tired and fall asleep

During the day get a 6' leash and have the puppy follow you around the house, it'll keep them out of trouble and works their brains and tires them out. It also helps for housebreaking as you can keep a eye on them for the signs they need to go :)

The first few months are full of ups and downs, hang in there :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
GSD are velcro dogs, part of their nature is to follow the family around. I would try moving the crate into the bedroom, he'll probably calm down and sleep better because he's with the "pack." Also, it's nice to have a quiet place for them to relax while you move around the house doing chores and other things.

Look up "crate games" to make the crate a fantastic place. What I found worked for me personally was making sure he was super tired, then taking two small treats, throwing one treat into the crate and waiting for the puppy to go in and get it. Give the second treat along with affection, rubbing the belly, etc so they get sleepy again. Once they're tired gently close the door and continue sitting beside the crate for a few minutes, ignoring any whining. He should hopefully fall asleep quickly and you can quietly leave.

It'll probably take a few times but he'll quickly realize the crate is for sleeping and relaxing and will zonk out for a hour or so easily. I think crating him for short periods during the day will probably be more effective then just keeping him in the kitchen. Going into the crate specifically means to relax and sleep

Another trick would be a kong stuffed with some treats and peanut butter, just like giving a baby a bottle it's something for them to enjoy until they get tired and fall asleep

During the day get a 6' leash and have the puppy follow you around the house, it'll keep them out of trouble and works their brains and tires them out. It also helps for housebreaking as you can keep a eye on them for the signs they need to go :)

The first few months are full of ups and downs, hang in there :)
We did move his crate into the bedroom with us. My husband gets up very early in the morning (USMC), so I keep him on my side of the bed. We moved him up there two nights ago, for exactly the reason you said: so that he can sleep with his pack and hopefully get to know us better by scent. I even draped the shirt I'd been wearing that day over the top of it. He can't chew it, but hopefully it comforts him some. The first night he was with us, I let him out twice when he whined, and he did his business. Last night we got up only once, and we slept in till a little after eight (I was asleep, but he wasn't; he was a little restless, but he wasn't whining).

When I crate him during the day, he just screams for me. I've got a kong in the freezer now with some peanut butter. We just moved in three and a half weeks ago, so my husband and I are always at Wal Mart getting things for the house (we're very forgetful). We're never gone for more than two hours a night, but we crate him during that time and he screams. I don't know for how long. Fortunately, it's quiet when we come home and his bedding hasn't been torn to shreds. Tonight, I plan on putting the frozen peanut butter kong in his crate with him, and setting up my iPad to record him and see how long it takes him to relax and if he touches the kong and it keeps his interest (the kong is a vet suggestion, so I'm trying that out).

I will try the leash thing, too. He doesn't seem to like it and despite the Bitter Apple we've sprayed on it, he still chews it (the Bitter Apple has worked on everything else so far - the boxes, computer cords, furniture, rug, and my feet!), but I'm sure he'll get used to it.

I will hang in there :) I do love him and I know that once he's properly obedient and trained, that he'll be a wonderful dog. Putting him up for adoption/getting rid of him is NOT an option. We are his furever family, no matter how frustrating his puppy stage is.
 

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We did move his crate into the bedroom with us. My husband gets up very early in the morning (USMC), so I keep him on my side of the bed. We moved him up there two nights ago, for exactly the reason you said: so that he can sleep with his pack and hopefully get to know us better by scent. I even draped the shirt I'd been wearing that day over the top of it. He can't chew it, but hopefully it comforts him some. The first night he was with us, I let him out twice when he whined, and he did his business. Last night we got up only once, and we slept in till a little after eight (I was asleep, but he wasn't; he was a little restless, but he wasn't whining).

When I crate him during the day, he just screams for me. I've got a kong in the freezer now with some peanut butter. We just moved in three and a half weeks ago, so my husband and I are always at Wal Mart getting things for the house (we're very forgetful). We're never gone for more than two hours a night, but we crate him during that time and he screams. I don't know for how long. Fortunately, it's quiet when we come home and his bedding hasn't been torn to shreds. Tonight, I plan on putting the frozen peanut butter kong in his crate with him, and setting up my iPad to record him and see how long it takes him to relax and if he touches the kong and it keeps his interest (the kong is a vet suggestion, so I'm trying that out).

I will try the leash thing, too. He doesn't seem to like it and despite the Bitter Apple we've sprayed on it, he still chews it (the Bitter Apple has worked on everything else so far - the boxes, computer cords, furniture, rug, and my feet!), but I'm sure he'll get used to it.

I will hang in there :) I do love him and I know that once he's properly obedient and trained, that he'll be a wonderful dog. Putting him up for adoption/getting rid of him is NOT an option. We are his furever family, no matter how frustrating his puppy stage is.
I'm like you - I like my sleep. I lucked out with my first dog, who was 8 years old and lazy, and Jazzy who also likes sleeping and slept through the night since 9 weeks old.

Delgado was another story, I picked him up at 9 weeks old and the little bugger refused to sleep. He'd be dead tired and drooping over the toy and I'd bring him up for a nap and he'd konk out for maybe 15 minutes and then he'd be up and ready to play for several hours again! :eek: I called him my energizer bunny with a fast recharge :p lol

I bought a house with my sister and we moved in when Delgado was 6 months old. I leave the house at 6 AM M-F for work while my sister works shift work so her hours vary between 9 AM to 8 PM. I would start my day with bringing the dogs out, feeding them, taking them for a walk, then a play session then they went into my sisters room to sleep until she got up. Within a few weeks even Delgado adjusted to being quiet and waiting until she woke up, and within a few months I could even skip the walk and just do a play session instead. He still would much prefer to get up and start playing by 8 AM but he knows when it's quiet that it's sleep time and he'll wait until 8:30-9:30 before "requesting" that it's time to play ;) Sometimes it's 10 AM and I'm the one waking him up! lol

It sounds like you are doing all the right things, so the only thing you need is time. He'll mature and learn the schedule and within a few months should hopefully be sleeping until a decent hour for you consistently :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I'm like you - I like my sleep. I lucked out with my first dog, who was 8 years old and lazy, and Jazzy who also likes sleeping and slept through the night since 9 weeks old.

Delgado was another story, I picked him up at 9 weeks old and the little bugger refused to sleep. He'd be dead tired and drooping over the toy and I'd bring him up for a nap and he'd konk out for maybe 15 minutes and then he'd be up and ready to play for several hours again! :eek: I called him my energizer bunny with a fast recharge :p lol

I bought a house with my sister and we moved in when Delgado was 6 months old. I leave the house at 6 AM M-F for work while my sister works shift work so her hours vary between 9 AM to 8 PM. I would start my day with bringing the dogs out, feeding them, taking them for a walk, then a play session then they went into my sisters room to sleep until she got up. Within a few weeks even Delgado adjusted to being quiet and waiting until she woke up, and within a few months I could even skip the walk and just do a play session instead. He still would much prefer to get up and start playing by 8 AM but he knows when it's quiet that it's sleep time and he'll wait until 8:30-9:30 before "requesting" that it's time to play ;) Sometimes it's 10 AM and I'm the one waking him up! lol

It sounds like you are doing all the right things, so the only thing you need is time. He'll mature and learn the schedule and within a few months should hopefully be sleeping until a decent hour for you consistently :)
I DO like my sleep. I used to sleep in till 10 AM every day; then I got a house of my own and I'm up at eight in the morning, which is wickedly early for me! My dog a home, Tonks (a Maltese), was good to be out of his cage (kept in my parents room) from the time my parents left for work until I woke up, and he wouldn't make a peep. We had to stop him from coming upstairs, but only because he would flop against my door as he laid down and it would disturb me.

Sora gets fed at noon and at six PM. I leave his food out for a half an hour. Water is out all day (in small amounts, because he likes to "swim" in his bowl and make an unholy mess. We're going to buy him a little kiddie pool for the back yard) until seven PM, at which point I take it up. He goes outside every forty-five minutes or if he's sniffing and circling.

It's reassuring to hear that it'll just take time. I automatically have more patience with animals than I do with people, and I just do not like babies, so I just have to remember to stay calm. I get frustrated, but at that point I give him a toy and come listen to some music at the computer.


Eventually I want to be able to leave the house without him destroying things. I know that any dog, given proper training, is able to achieve this little gold standard. Even my derpy Maltese at my parents' house can manage this. That's my long term goal (and being able to move around the house without him constantly under foot [though it is kinda cute right now]), and I'm guessing that it all starts with him being comfortable in his crate.
 

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I didnt read far into your post but I dont think youre right about the things you "understand" Some things like crate training are like math. Just do the formula, ignore the dog. If you dont follow the formula then it doesnt add up. and it has nothing to do with feeling sorry for the dog. Just ignore the whining.
 

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I think learning to be quiet in the crate is so important because it helps with travel, trips to vet, etc. as it is familiar and not a new stressor.

Also when he IS quiet, start with the good puppy good puppy and run to his crate and reward the quiet. If you are doing clicker training, even better! Click/Treat. It will be a good bit of work when he catches on but you can prolong the periods where he must be quiet.

I had that work with both a crate agressive dog, and a puppy who was not too keen on the restraint of being in a crate.
 

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I'm going through this with mine right now and he is not a puppy and he is much louder then a puppy. We have gotten to the point that he now automatically goes to the crate when my son is leaving(not me yet), but when I say say in the crate he goes. He does throw a tantrum every now and then, I find that a kong in the crate and me out the door immediately works. At night he sleeps well, but he does start getting vocal if he knows I'm up and I haven't gotten to him yet....working on that now. It just takes lots of time and patience.
 

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I didnt read far into your post but I dont think youre right about the things you "understand" Some things like crate training are like math. Just do the formula, ignore the dog. If you dont follow the formula then it doesnt add up. and it has nothing to do with feeling sorry for the dog. Just ignore the whining.
We do ignore him. We don't feel sorry for him, he needs to learn. But he has to come out of his crate some time; I can't leave him in there for four hours, but I don't want to let him out until he calms down. But, there's a lot of times when he doesn't calm down.

He did well for about a day with the kong and peanut butter. Now he just ignores it and screams louder than ever. The puppy biting isn't getting any better, either. I've tried yelping when he bites too hard, saying "game over!" and walking away and ignoring him, tried everything in every article that I've read and still I am seeing not one shred of progress. Making him sit to calm down when he gets wound up doesn't work. We have to take him and put him in his crate. Then he just screams. Rinse and repeat.
 

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He'll get over it.

Please give my best regards to your husband. I'm also a Marine, an ex-Marine.

Oh, for those who said in another thread that I was just trying to be a bada$$ and show off because I said that I wanted my dog to protect my family and wear a T-shirt to make them aware of the dog's protection training so they'd stay away from the dog...

...Marines and ex-Marines don't have to show off. They really are badda$$es. It comes with the territory. I was trying to protect others from sad mistakes.

Want to know for sure if this it true or not? Join up. See the world.

T-shirts arrive on the 25th. I'll post a pic.

Anyway, the puppy will certainly grow out of this whining. I know it's ear-splitting. And, it can drive you crazy. I had a Labrador bitch who was incredibly clingy. But she got over it in time.

She also pissed in my house for two years, we expect because of her clinginess, and we banished her to an outdoor kennel. But she got over that too in time.

LF
 

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Things are just getting worse with Sora. I've read every article and tried every method I can think of. We enrolled him in puppy classes at PetSmart, and they start Tuesday night. I'm going to follow through with Puppy, Beginner, Intermediate, and the Advanced courses. I need to learn how to train him.

He absolutely will not listen to the word no, no matter what my body language or what my tone is. He only listens to sit half the time. I take him outside for ten minutes and he pees a little, then he comes in and pees a river on my floor. I'm not even done cleaning up that mess when he pees again and happily trots through it. He's a complete land shark, biting everything and anything that isn't swimming in Bitter Apple.

I'll let you know how those puppy classes go.
 

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I feel like you are doing everything right.

But what surprises me is how little your puppy sleeps. At that age, ours slept so much I thought something was wrong with him. It was like 45 -60 minutes of wake time which included play, a bit of training, food and break and then back to sleep. He still sleeps quite a bit.

Do you suppose your puppy is hungry? Especially in the morning if your husband takes him out and walks him for a bit(even in the house) then a meal and back in crate might work. Mine was eating 5 meals a day at least. Over the next few weeks it went down to 3.

Also dogs are crepuscular. They are most active at dawn and dusk. Perhaps you could try playing with your puppy at those times(which is what we did), and that will settle it down for the rest of the day because its on its natural rhythm?

Maybe he has colic? or allergies? Do you massage him? maybe he needs that calming ritual .

Just a bunch of suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I feel like you are doing everything right.

But what surprises me is how little your puppy sleeps. At that age, ours slept so much I thought something was wrong with him. It was like 45 -60 minutes of wake time which included play, a bit of training, food and break and then back to sleep. He still sleeps quite a bit.

Do you suppose your puppy is hungry? Especially in the morning if your husband takes him out and walks him for a bit(even in the house) then a meal and back in crate might work. Mine was eating 5 meals a day at least. Over the next few weeks it went down to 3.

Also dogs are crepuscular. They are most active at dawn and dusk. Perhaps you could try playing with your puppy at those times(which is what we did), and that will settle it down for the rest of the day because its on its natural rhythm?

Maybe he has colic? or allergies? Do you massage him? maybe he needs that calming ritual .

Just a bunch of suggestions.
This pooch barely sleeps. Since we've had his crate in our room, I'm up at least once, sometimes twice in the middle of the night to let him out. My husband lets him out at four or six AM, depending on what time he has to get up. Then I'm usually up by eight or eight thirty.

I will try feeding him more. He was getting fed one cup of food at noon and at six, but he never, ever ate the whole bowl. Sometimes not even half. We didn't play with him, and whenever he tried to play with his toys we would direct him back to his food bowl, but it doesn't work. I gave him about half a cup around ten thirty this morning and he ate it all. I'll try another half a cup around one PM.


We can't massage him - we can barely pet him without biting us. We tell him no and give him a toy and he still goes for our hands, arms, legs, pants, shoes, feet. We tell him no, give him a toy, and he literally pushes it away and goes for us. And now, when I tell him no and move my body out of his reach, his lip curls up and he barks at me, and tries to bite anyway. I don't understand why he does this, we don't smack him or beat him or hurt him, ever. When we tell him, "GOOD BOY!" when he chews on his toy, he stops chewing and gets up, comes over to us, and starts biting on us.

I play with him before I even eat, and I'm used to eating as soon as I wake up. I want to play with him all day, but he bites me and I say "game over". Repeat above paragraph for several hours.

I just don't understand why Sora isn't grasping these tried and true methods. I don't let him get away with any unsavoury behaviour. If he's biting non-stop and won't calm down or switch to his toys, I put him in his crate (with a kong, it's the only way to keep him quiet up there. I don't present it as a treat; I put it in there with his toy and I don't draw any special attention to it) to remove him from the situation and calm him down. The "yelping" and stopping play doesn't work to get him to stop biting so hard, either. He just comes right back at you. If I see him trying to pee in the house, I run to catch him and take him right outside, and I tell him "go potty" until and while he's peeing. If I see/hear him chewing furniture/shoes/anything else, I tell him no and give him a toy, which he promptly ignores. I then have to spray the object with bitter apple (we went through the large bottle in less than a week).

I'm hoping that the trainer at the puppy class tomorrow night can give me some insight. We've been sticking with one method for a week now (I.E. when he bites, tell him no and give him a toy. We haven't deviated from this method. We consistently praise for outside piddles. We praise for kisses. Etc.) and he is showing zero signs of comprehending any of it.

I'm exhausted and frazzled, my arms are scratched and bitten to **** and back, and I wish just one thing would work with this pooch. I think the only thing that he's consistently good with is not food/toy guarding. I haven't noticed any issue with that. I even had to remove a foreign object that fell into his food bowl while he was eating. I stuck my hand in and picked it up and he completely ignored my hand and kept munching away at his food (thank goodness, too; one less issue I have to manage!).


PetSmart offers Puppy, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced training classes. I'm going to go through all of them with Sora. If he's going to keep riding this stubborn train that he's on, I'm going to need all the help I can get. I want him to be a kind, obedient dog. I want him to lay at our feet by the table when we're playing a game of Monopoly. I want to be able to leave him out of his crate at night, feel safe with him in the house, and trust him to not tear my entire house to pieces. I know he can be a good dog - he's never been beaten, stuffed in his crate all day, he's never been starved. He is in a house where he is very much loved (despite my battle wounds and deep fried patience) and is safe. He just needs to be trained. But goodness is it frustrating when nothing is working!

He's in his crate right now. This is his first nap today, so I think for the hour or so that he's in there, I'll get some cleaning done (if I don't fall asleep, first).


[EDIT: Random piece of info about him, but his ears have been standing straight up for about three days now. I haven't seen them floppy at all. I know they'll probably flop and stand up a few more times before they stand for good, but I smile when I look at them. He looks so cute - like a little boy in his daddy's business suit!]
 

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Remember a young puppy just lost it's mommy and littermates. You're all the pack it has right now and they know they are vulnerable without someone to protect them. You are your dog's everything - protector, food source - everything that pup needs to survive and it's very stressful for them when they are separated from you.

My pup was awful at first. When I'd have a shower, I'd close her in the bathroom with me and she'd sit on the other side of the shower door on the mat and just cry and cry. I was only about a foot away from her, but it was a foot too far as far as she was concerned, I was getting really stressed out. It got better!!! She can be crated no problem at all now. They do gain independence as they grow, so just keep at it.

I was told by the breeder to completely ignore that unwanted behaviour. If your dog pitches a fit and you come back and coddle him, what do you think he's learning? And I don't reward them for being calm either per se, but quietly come back and let her out when she was being quiet and make it like it's no big deal that you were gone. If she starts ramping up when I'm opening the crate door and tries to charge out I shut it in her face and wait for her to settle, then let her out when she's calmed herself. I'd ignore her for a few minutes too once she was out and excited, then when she calmed down I'd say hello.

If he's getting over the gate, I'd go back to the crating. It will get better, I promise. It feels like an eternity, but really it only took a few weeks until I started to notice her starting to loosen her death grip on me :)
 

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You have more than a handful with Sora. I can see you love him a lot.

And I second Blackshep's advice.


Also, this 'OFF" game and hand feeding helped us a lot with the biting. Ours used to nip and bite too, and it did not feel playful at all.


Since I started hand feeding him even his kibble I noticed he is much gentler with his mouthing.

Maybe you could try that, teaching and using the 'OFF" command like above. Add little pieces of meat and cheese for when he is really gentle taking the food from your hand.

Do you suppose adding a tablespoon of canned food plus a tsp of cottage cheese to his kibble will make him eat a bit more? Ours ate well that way rather than just kibble, and hunger and tiredness did play a big part in how rough and nippy our puppy got with us and the kids. And I hand fed this too.

If you could tire him out, that would help as well. Just throw ball after ball. He is sure to chase them.

Hope things get better soon for you!
 

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One more thing I just remembered: When our pup was bitey , I started rubbing Bengay or Vicks on my hands and forearms and even on legs. Any place you think he goes for, just apply Bengay or Vicks, even on clothes. This helped curb it a lot. I wouldn't do it all the time because you do want him to play with you and bond. But it helps them to think before they bite again.
 

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It sounds like you are doing a good job of being consistent and a good mix of firm but also showing him affection, too. GSD puppies are a real test to one's energy and patience!! :) I have two things I'd like to suggest, in addition to going to puppy classes:

1) It is never too early to start leash training and walking. Take him for short walks at first, and then gradually increase the amount of time. It sounds to me like he has a LOT of energy. Remember: a tired puppy is a good puppy! When my Ava, who just turned 14 months old, was Sora's age, we were taking her for walks twice a day plus playing with her and running with her in the back yard all throughout the day. Once she was about 3 months old, we were probably walking her between 2-4 miles per day, and by 4-5 months old we had increased that to 4-6 miles. If you can muster the energy in yourself to tire him out, you'll soon see that he will be much easier to deal with during the day! :)

2) I'd recommend feeding him at an earlier time in the morning than noon. If you only want to feed him twice a day, I'd give the food at any time between 6-8 am and then in the evening when you typically eat dinner. When Ava was your pup's age, she was actually eating three meals, usually at 6 am, 12 pm, and 6 pm. She ate (and still does eat) all of her meals IN her crate, and then she rested in the crate for a half hour to an hour after eating. If Sora is not yet potty trained, then I'd recommend taking him out on a leash after he eats, and let him walk around calmly for a while--longer than your usual 10 minutes if need be--until he produces something. In my experience, puppies do not necessarily empty their bladders on the first go-around, so it's best to keep them out a bit longer to make sure they are done. :)

Hope this can help! Just keep at it, and remember that this stage will go by much faster than it seems. Ava was a horrible landshark, and my legs and ankles were constantly bloody for nearly two weeks in the beginning. If you have problems with the biting, you should try some Bitter Apple spray, found at PetSmart. It worked right away with Ava, and I wish we had tried it sooner!
 

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Your puppy is barely 10 weeks old. A BABY. Of course he does not want to be separated from you!!!

There is no method of training that works the very first time you do it. Pick a method, stick with it. It takes more than a week. Be consistent for WEEKS and you will see progress.

If you are worried about neighbors, knock on their door, explain about the puppy, give them some ear plugs and hope they are understanding.

Be patient. They do learn. When I brought my puppy home I went to both my neighbors, introduced the puppy and apologized in advance for the next few nights if screaming. It takes time. Consistency and patience. Do NOT. Expect your baby to be perfect at 10 weeks. Do not expect him to learn if you keep changing the method.

You are in the right path, using correct methods, BUT have unrealistic expectations of a puppies capabilities.

One more thing. A tired puppy is a good puppy. If you want to clean, take the puppy on a nice walk first. Get him tired, then crate or gate him. Then you can clean.

Good luck and God Bless you and your husband. I am personally very thankful for your sacrifices.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I tried something new yesterday and I seemed to have some progress with it.

We've begun clicker training. My husband has a half-stack amp in the living room. It's in an area where my desk and computer are, behind the loveseat. I put Sora on his lead and tied him to the handle of the half stack. He definitely cannot move it, at all. Anything he can reach to chew has been sprayed liberally with bitter apple. He can't get to the computer or the cords at all. I made sure he had a few toys around him.

Then I walked away. I stood close, right in front of the loveseat. Because of where he's tied, he couldn't see me over the back of the loveseat. I stood there until he stopped whining and screaming. Click and treat, scratch behind the ears and lots of praise, which included telling him how much I love him. Then I'd walk away again.

I switched up the spots where I moved to, as well. I sat on the couch, where he could see me, and talked aloud - I read a passage from a GSD puppy magazine. Click and treat and praise when he was quiet. I moved into the kitchen and bustled around in there for a minute or two. Click, treat, praise. Then I went into the foyer and stood in the little alcove of our bathroom, where he really can't see me. When he quieted, I clicked back by the alcove, then clicked again when I got to him. I opened and closed the storm door and the main door and hid for a minute or two. Click, treat, praise. It wasn't taking him more than a minute to stop crying.

This morning, I had to tie him up for a few minutes. He cried for maybe thirty seconds? When I came back, I clicked and praised him.

This seems to work. I think with consistent repetition, he'll get what I'm trying to teach him.

He also whines when he can't go where he wants to go. That's just willful puppy behaviour, and I'm confident that it'll stop once he starts recognizing me as an authority figure, recognizing that he can go where he wants only when I allow it.


We took him to our local pet store yesterday night for some more training treats and pig pizzles. He did so well. He didn't piddle anywhere at all. When he saw people, he dropped his ears back, wagged his tail like a maniac, and rolled right over onto his back for belly rubs. He gave plenty of kisses to anyone who bent down. Because he was so well behaved, I bought him another puppy kong and a puppy kong frisbee.

My husband and I, when we got home, put him on his leash once more and took him to the community mailboxes. It's not a long walk by any means, and it was good to get him used to a lead. He did well on it. Didn't bite at it and kept up with us, for the most part. He liked to stop and sniff - it was his first time out in the neighbourhood, so there were a plethora of new smells and textures and sights for him to absorb. He even met a dog there. They didn't interact much - Sora was hyper immediately, wagging his tail and sticking his butt in the air like he wanted to play. She was smaller than he was, so she backed off, but not aggressively.

I'm so happy that he's submissive and sweet around people. Hopefully we can get him around other dog-friendly dogs soon. The dog park rules say no puppies under four months allowed in, so we're going to wait on that. Fortunately, they have a big dog and little dog side, so if he's not quiet forty pounds at four months, he can chill out with the little guys until he gets bigger.



He's in his crate right now - I have to get cleaning, my mother and mother-in-law are coming down to visit for a few days and my house is an absolute wreck, because I've been totally unable to clean it properly. But he's quiet, so it's time to sweep and mop and vacuum. He'll get some hearty praise and some belly rubs in an hour or so!
 

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Excellent! Looks like you are on your way to having that well behaved puppy :). Good you found your way out of this !
 
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