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New To The Forum. Dodger constantly challenges my authority and listens for certain times of the day. He has a lot of energy. He likes to nip, but he has slowed down unless he feels threatened (when my friends dog gets him cornered or when we walk and i try to pull stuff out of his mouth. He likes to go for sticks, bugs, leaves, etc. He likes to bite the 6 inch leash and my pant leg.

I rescued my puppy Dodger from animal control on june 2nd. His history is unknown besides the fact that Dodger was found being used as a soccer ball by kids (maybe the previous owner's) and his whiskers were chopped off. When I took him to the vet he was diagnosed with ringworm, heartworms, and coccidia. He is on medications for the sicknesses. I got to the vet on the 14th to get a follow up. He is on a sulfur med so he needs plenty of water.

He was weighed in at 9.78 lbs and he is approximately 3 months old (or so I'm told). In the last week he has gained a full pound. Finally today I got him to eat a full cup of Blue Buffalo (The best I Could buy) dry food after almost a week of having to find ways to get him to eat Naturals dry food (Tried mixing it with wet food.)

There are several things that need remedy that I need tips on dealing with.

When we go for walks Dodger tries to challenge my authority by biting the leash and trying to nip at me.

To remedy this I step on the leash and he sits down when realizing this isnt a game and I am now dead weight. I also have to roll him onto his belly sometimes. He used to fight this furiously but he has relaxed. I slowly release my grip until his heart rate is normalized.

Dodger also likes to eat stuff on the ground: Leaves, Sticks, Fire Ants (Yes, last night, he ate a fire ant and swallowed it before I could get it out of his mouth). Any tips to stop it? I pull it out of his mouth and say no.

Dodger will sometimes bite bark and growl at me when I go to grab him on our walks and he gets super frustrated that I am not being his butler.

As we grow together all of these issues (in the last 5 days) are beginning to subside, but last night dodger was really testing my wits and at one point I put the leash down and gave him a little push and said leave. but he came right to my leg and rubbed his head against it looking for my affection. This was right after he tried to bite my hand because I was not going the way he wanted. So i waited till he sat down and then laid down before I pet him. Was this right?

anyway, does anyone have any tips? I dont want to hit my dog. I'd prefer not to use a muzzle.

Some of his commands are in German and English.

He sits well. He has trouble laying down. Sometimes he'll do it right away but sometimes he'll have no clue what I'm saying (which is normal for puppies, I hear).

He's learning to stay. He is pretty much house broken. He never **** in the house and pee was just the problem.

He's got plenty of toys: bones, antlers, balls, tug toys, dental toys, etc etc. He also gets treats when he's been good on walks (pooed outside, peed outside, not been a monster outside)

He also has seperation anxiety and sleeps in his crate at night. He doesnt cry and bark at night (took two nights to get him to like sleeping their alone). I want him to sleep in bed with me but I dont think he's quite ready. I dont feel like he shows me enough respect to earn sleeping in my bed.

regards,
pg
 

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Whoa!!!!! This is a puppy!!! He is not challenging you; he is being a puppy. You have got to back off or you will permanently damage him. Puppies at this age are supposed to bite and chew on everything in sight and their attention span is about that of a knat. By no means is he ready to sleep in your bed - unless you don't mind waking up to a puddle of piddle and a brand new hole in it - and you can not expect him to listen and follow commands like an adult trained dog. Housebreaking should still be a lot iffy at this age and you can expect accidents if you aren't watching him directly and getting him out often. There is no way you can expect him to be asking to go outside.

Puppies explore their world with their mouth, just likes babies, and if you don't like what's going in there, you either need to make sure he doesn't have access to it or just take it away from him as needed.

Never, never, never, alpha roll your puppy. This is detrimental to his development and he may bite you in the face at some point. This is very old school training and it went out in the trash where it belongs at least 30 years ago.

Your anger and extremely unrealistic expectations toward your puppy is a disaster waiting to happen. Find a good puppy class where you can learn how to live with him in a better and happier fashion.
 

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Elaine's right, this is how puppies are. They think the world is fun and games and, not having hands and thumbs like we do, have to explore their environment through their teeth. He is not old enough to be "challenging" you or doing these things to you out of spite, anger or annoyance. He's just trying to play in the only way that he knows how. Biting the leash, nipping at your hands and pant legs, eating EVERYTHING in sight, these are all normal puppy behaviors that he will eventually grow out of with a little help from you. Check out this thread about teaching bite inhibition:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/puppy-behavior/85888-teaching-bite-inhibition.html

I think it describes your situation pretty well. It will also help to find a puppy class for him to join, or maybe a trainer. Nothing is better for puppy-person bonding than training, IMO. Oh - and the alpha rolling (putting him on his back when he misbehaves so you can show him "who's the boss") should stop. It's an archaic method, and it doesn't teach your pup what he's doing wrong at all. It just teaches him to be afraid of you and hurts your relationship.

And last of all...welcome to the forum! There's a lot of good info here, and lots of good experience and knowledge. Sometimes you gotta have tough skin to take some of the comments, but it's worth it in the end, to do right by your dog. Everyone here is a lover of the GSD breed, and we just want you and your puppy to do well and flourish together. I hope you stick around.

Thanks for taking in Dodger too! Sounds like he caught a lucky break when you came into his life.
 

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10lbs at 3 months old? You saved his life for sure. Unfortunately he was so badly abused, patience and you'll get thru it, but he is still a baby so don't expect miracles right away.
 

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From your description of his puppy antics, it sounds like the former abuse is a distant memory. Enjoy your puppy moments, they don't last. I guess that's a good thing. LOL! Just remember to make training fun and happy.

(I have a 5 month old and he is so goofy, he makes me smile.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the help everyone. Dodger started to understand that peeing in the house is not as fun as going outside and the next day after I posted this he stopped urinating in my house. Pooping was never a problem. so he is house broken :-D
Alpha Rolling is not something I like to do at all and in fact I stopped doing it with him. I actually use a whistle to get his attention and speak to him in german to show him which behaviors are over the top and which behaviors are in order.

As of this week he can sit on command, lay down on command, stay on command, eat/drink on command, jump on command, get up on command, ring the bell to go outside, bark on command, he also under stands his release word and knows what all his toys are.

My biggest issues right now are getting him to understand "Go in your crate" and "Come Here"

Also he nips at my pant legs.

ANY IDEAS?

I weighed him on the wii fit yesterday and he is now 13.7 LBs!!!! He is a healthy little boy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
dodger loves me and I love him and his respect for me has completely changed for the upside once we established a rapport that I hope continues to grow.
 

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So what if he's biting your pants; it's a stage that doesn't last more than a couple more months at the most. That's what puppies do and it's a good thing for building his confidence. I think my current dog put holes in every pair of pants I had, but they do grow out of it as you gradually discourage it.

It sounds like you are still expecting too much from a puppy of this age.
 

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Whoa!!!!! This is a puppy!!! He is not challenging you; he is being a puppy. You have got to back off or you will permanently damage him. Puppies at this age are supposed to bite and chew on everything in sight and their attention span is about that of a knat. By no means is he ready to sleep in your bed - unless you don't mind waking up to a puddle of piddle and a brand new hole in it - and you can not expect him to listen and follow commands like an adult trained dog. Housebreaking should still be a lot iffy at this age and you can expect accidents if you aren't watching him directly and getting him out often. There is no way you can expect him to be asking to go outside.

Puppies explore their world with their mouth, just likes babies, and if you don't like what's going in there, you either need to make sure he doesn't have access to it or just take it away from him as needed.

Never, never, never, alpha roll your puppy. This is detrimental to his development and he may bite you in the face at some point. This is very old school training and it went out in the trash where it belongs at least 30 years ago.

Your anger and extremely unrealistic expectations toward your puppy is a disaster waiting to happen. Find a good puppy class where you can learn how to live with him in a better and happier fashion.
You are 100% correct.

As for you, im sorry to say but you first of all should not have taken that dog from animal control..... You should have gone to a reputable breeder who strives for good temperments/looks etc... I know you were trying to do a good thing by rescuing it... but from what i have read you are not qualified to do so.....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thank you for your support white german shepherd, but my dog is actually doing incredibly well. He listens and biting my pant legs is one thing, but the fact that I feel I can teach my dog to track pretty soon means i'm doing something right.
The fact that I do not know much about dogs is because I've never owned one before. So i'm sorry to say you should keep your negative opinions to yourself.
 

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You are 100% correct.

As for you, im sorry to say but you first of all should not have taken that dog from animal control..... You should have gone to a reputable breeder who strives for good temperments/looks etc... I know you were trying to do a good thing by rescuing it... but from what i have read you are not qualified to do so.....

I know many people who adopt dogs as their first dog, i think its a good route to go. The dog is somewhat already trained. Not everyone can afford to go to a reptuable breeder. You can get a great dog(puppy or adult with good temperament/looks. My black GSD, is from a shelter, he is gorgeous and has a great temperament.
 

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I agree Jessiewessie. There's nothing wrong with getting a rescue as your first dog. Even if the OP had gone to a reputable breeder, an 8 week old puppy is an 8 week old puppy. They are all land sharks with sharp little teeth, and they all love gnawing on your hands, feet, and pant legs. You just have to hang in there, the pup will outgrow this phase soon enough! Not everyone has $1000+ to shell out for a dog.
 
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