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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I've had my 13 week old german shepherd puppy for a about two weeks now and I just have some general questions!

Since this breed is known for hip problems I am always worried about her hips! When she sits down she kind of slouches and looks like she's sitting "Indian style" with her thighs spread to the sides. She'll sit up straight, then slouch a couple seconds after. Also, recently when walking her it is hard to get her moving. She'll walk really slow, she won't pull but, just kind of glares at me when I try to get her moving. She can be really active inside so maybe she's just bored of her walks/jogs. Are there any major signs to look for?

I also have a 7 month old cat whom I adore, My puppy loves to play with her and the cat kind of brings it on, but how do I know that the puppy knows her limits? I just worry that as the puppy gets bigger that she will hurt her unintentionally.

She is also very bitey, I know puppies are bitey. But what is a good way to teach her my hand is off limits?

My boyfriend and I have been splitting our jobs with the dog, but he had to go on a trip for about 2 weeks, what are some good things to keep the puppy occupied? I take her for three walks/jogs everyday and do mental exercises and give her bones and toys, but she gets bored lol.

I appreciate any advice, thanks so much!

- Ana
 

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I taught my boy that my hands are off limits. I would buy a few toys and leave one or two different ones out each day.

As far as the cat I would be careful. I would only let them play when you are in the room and I would teach the pup the command 'easy'. I even use it when handing Baron a treat.
 

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Well for now, just keep exercise down to a minimum for her growing joints. Help her if she looks like she's going to "jump" off of something, play in the yard, and avoid really long walks. Make sure she is on a Large Breed puppy food as well and don't let her get overweight. When she is 1 year, you could have the vet do an X-ray to see where she is at hip-wise if you are worried. And at 2 years you can have her hips re X-rayed and evaluated by the OFA. I have a GSD puppy who's 10 1/2 weeks old, an dhe sometimes seems dis-interested as well, he sometimes loves to play and be active, and somtimes wants to be left alone and sleep, or just do his own thing, lol.

I am sure the cat will let the puppy know if it's had enough, so I wouldn't worry about you setting the limits. Im sure the animals will work that out for the most part; however, if there is agressive behavior I would correct it.

There are different ways to teach a puppy about biting. Make sure you let the dog know it hurts to bite, and re-direct her with a toy. I always taught my dogs that it is NEVER ok to put it's mouth on human skin, even during play. Sometimes people think it's ok as long as the dog isn't hurting you, but you never know when she will accidentally nip too hard, and if it happens to someone else you could be in trouble.

And I probably wouldn't take her for as many jogs/walks per day. For her age, that sounds like a little too much stress on her joints. Just my opinion though, I wouldn't do that. Maybe some off leash exercise so the puppy can go at her own pace would be best.

Hope that helps!
 

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And I probably wouldn't take her for as many jogs/walks per day. For her age, that sounds like a little too much stress on her joints. Just my opinion though, I wouldn't do that. Maybe some off leash exercise so the puppy can go at her own pace would be best.
I agree with this completely. I would not jog with her AT ALL, not at her age.
 

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My breeder who has been breeding GSD's for 25 years and also my vet both told me not to feed puppy food. The puppy food stimulates fast growth which can damage joints in GSD's and rapid growth can also cause hip problems. My breeder told me that feeding adult food will give the pup proper nutrition. You will still get your big GSD but she will grow at a slower rate which is better. Also I wouldn't jog just yet. If your pup is slowing down or stopping for walks then you are probably walking too much. When mine was 12 weeks I was walking him twice a day but only for 10 to 15 minutes. A little playing ball or some tag is a good way to exercise too. Don't let the pup play with the cat unsupervised. GSD's play very rough so try and teach "easy".
 

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Yes, good advice on teaching "easy". My lab gets rough with my GSD, and he knows that when I yell "HEY!" he needs to slow down and take it easy. He doesn't realize his size and is still very much a puppy. They can play rough but one will usually let the other know if it hurts, but I do ocassionally need to step in. I would definately supervise though since they both have VERY sharp claws and teeth.

GRR....my vet told me to feed large breed puppy food and that it was a bad idea to feed adult food. ALOT of people feed adult food to their puppies on this board and I see nothing wrong with it. So do your own research and decide what YOU think is best, because alot of vets don't have much knowledge of nutrition. Im still going to stick with adult food for my puppy as well. In the wild, adults and pups eat the same things anyway. Find a food that supports joint health or better yet find a holistic food for her and give her suppliments for her joints.
 

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We had a vet/chiropractor speak at our obedience club meeting and she said the same thing- no jogging at such an early age. One person had a 10 mo old lab and she said no more than 1 mile. Walking on a sidewalk might be too much as well, it was for my pup, try a dirt trail, throwing a ball or frisbee in the grass, really any play off leash. Puppies are pretty lazy about the way they sit. Sounds as though you're very conscientious and I'm sure your vet can keep an eye on her hip development. Congrats on the new pup! What's her name?
 

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Thanks for all of the advice!

My situation is a little difficult exercise wise, we live in a smaller apartment and have no yard so that is why we are taking her on three walks per day. Sometimes we can't do all three but that is the way she gets her exercise. Also we can take her to a large fenced in ball park when no one is there and throw the ball around. My walks are about 20-30 mins usually 4-5 blocks up and back, jogging only the last block. I don't take her on long jogs or anything. When she gets back from a walk sometimes she gets very hyper for 30 mins or so. But you think I just shouldn't jog at all with her?

I am always present when the puppy wants to play with my cat and my cat does growl when shes getting too rough, but my pup just keeps going. What's the best way to teach "easy," just push her gently away when she starts being mouthy with me or the cat?

@Stosh: Yeah since I've noticed her kind of holding back I let her walk on the grass next to the sidewalk and she seems to like that better. Its good to know they are lazy when they sit :p

So all together maybe cut back to 2 walks and 12-15 mins? no jogging? I live only above one other person and when my pup romps around my neighbor can hear it pretty loud. So I try to get her exercised out by the end of the day. Now I just want to make sure I'm doing the right amount for her.

Oh and her name is Rogue, she has HUGE ears :)
 

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Since this breed is known for hip problems I am always worried about her hips! When she sits down she kind of slouches and looks like she's sitting "Indian style" with her thighs spread to the sides. She'll sit up straight, then slouch a couple seconds after.
This is normal for puppies. They just don't have the strength to sit "normal" for an length of time. If she is walking and running fine, then this is not a hip issue. My pup was doing what I call "the lazy puppy sit" until he was about 7 or 8 months old - hasn't since then.

Also, recently when walking her it is hard to get her moving. She'll walk really slow, she won't pull but, just kind of glares at me when I try to get her moving. She can be really active inside so maybe she's just bored of her walks/jogs. Are there any major signs to look for?
As others have said, you may be walking her too much, and she is bored. Long walks for little puppies are boring, boring boring! I would incorporate some play, bring treats, don't worry about how far she is walking, more about how much fun she is having!

Though if you can find some places where your pup can play off-leash, let her run and romp all she wants - she will regulate how much excercise she needs.

I also have a 7 month old cat whom I adore, My puppy loves to play with her and the cat kind of brings it on, but how do I know that the puppy knows her limits? I just worry that as the puppy gets bigger that she will hurt her unintentionally.
I would always supervise these interactions. When kitty has enough, separate them. Expecting a pup this young to stop play on his own is expecting a lot! I am so glad that she likes your cat and they get along, but puppies don't really know when to stop. Give your cat a 'safe zone' that she can retreat to when she has had enough.

She is also very bitey, I know puppies are bitey. But what is a good way to teach her my hand is off limits?
have toys on you, and all around. Redirect biting to a toy. Don't just stuff a tug toy in her mouth and walk away (boring!), play with her and let her win!!! (FUN!!) Make sure you and your boyfriend are consistent with this. There will be a lot of biting for the first few months, then it will die down. Eventually she will learn to bring you toys when she wants to play with you.

My boyfriend and I have been splitting our jobs with the dog, but he had to go on a trip for about 2 weeks, what are some good things to keep the puppy occupied? I take her for three walks/jogs everyday and do mental exercises and give her bones and toys, but she gets bored lol.
Puppies this age have such a short attention span!! Normal for her to get bored, and of course, you can't be engaging her every minute of every day, you have a life too!!! If you are busy and can't watch her, nothing wrong with crating her for a bit.

Also for when she gets hyper after a walk - that could be from being over-tired. Shorter walks for her, and crate her a bit after a walk. Puppies can be like bratty toddlers and act up like that when tired. So if she gets really hyper and REALLY bitey, CRATE!!! Make the crate a good positive place, give her a bone or a treat when she needs to be crated. Both my dogs LOVE their crates, and often like to go and nap in their crates, even during the day.

Your pup sounds wonderful, and you are doing great so far!
 

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Hey Castlemaid thanks so much for taking the time to respond!

I will keep in mind everything you said, it really does make sense that maybe she is just bored from all of the walks. I know the first couple of days when I would take her she was so excited and would trott right next to me. But, now she's just taking her TIME, I will try to make it more exciting!

My cat is pretty funny that way she will egg my dog on then go and run in her carrier crate, so she does kind of have a safe spot. But, I will make sure to always be watching.

Sometimes when I try to scold her for biting she just gets more bitey, I'm don't yell but I'm firm. When I try to put a toy in her mouth she just wants to keep playing with my hands. Hopefully she will catch on..

Also, how many hours a day can a puppy be crated? I know they are supposed to sleep a ton, but most of the time she'll just pass out next to my feet when I'm doing something. But today was the first day that she actually WANTED to go in her crate for bed, I was so excited!!!!


Thanks again!
 

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A good way to teach a puppy to not bite, is every the puppy bites you let out a high pitch "yelp" fold your arms and turn your back to her and walk away from her for a few seconds until she calms down. This teaches her that play stops if she bites, and it also adds the benefit of allowing the energy level to lower. You need to make sure that anyone who is playing with the puppy follows this rule to help her learn. Also make sure no one is playing in a way that encourages her to bite.
 

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how about a puppy class?

the pup and the cat seem to be doing fine
together. i doubt the pup is going to grow
up and hurt the cat. the cat will let him
know his limits.

at 13 weeks old i wouldn't jog with my pup.
when my pup was 13 weeks old i wasn't taking
him on any long walks. i doubt we were walking a mile.
i built him up to long walks. by the time my dog was
1&1/2 years old were reaching 2 miles. when he was
2yrs old maybe 2&1/2 yrs old we were going 5 miles.
 

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@ Chancie: I will try that, thanks. Sometimes she does accidentally bite me when playing and I really have to hold my all not to yell at her, because she can fit my entire hand/arm in her mouth if she's hyper enough, it hurts :(


@doggiedad: We are going to take her for a puppy class when she gets her first rabies shot in a couple of weeks, its a requirement where we're going. Yeah I won't be jogging with her at all anymore from what everyone is saying, and I will lower the amount of time for exercise (10-15 mins), plus it is extremely hot here in SC. It's a little frustrating because she will be very hyper inside, but when I take her out for her walk she will really slow down and not want to go very far. The thing is I live in an apt above one other person and have no yard. So I go for longer walks to get her any exercise. So considering her age and the heat how far do you think she could walk? I don't want to drag her or hurt her neck, but she needs exercise :(

Thanks for any input!
 

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In my town there is park with a pond that has a section for dogs to swim. And another place with an indoor pool for dogs. Is there anything like that in your area? Mac loves swimming and I think its easy on this joints.
 

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With the biting thing.
I know I shouldn't allow it, but: I do allow Sobacca (4 year old mix) to mouth at my arms when I play really rough and wrestle with him. But there are rules to this game: I always instigate the game, and the game never gets too out of hand. He knows the word "ow" means to "let go immediately" and he does just that if you say "ow". He also would never try to play that game with anybody but me (and my younger brother), and as I said it is always instigated by us, and maybe that's why he doesn't try to do that with other people.

But for our puppy (and we trained Sobacca the same way, except for the game we sometimes play), I told my mom to carry a toy around with her and whenever the puppy bites her hand to tell the puppy 'no' in a firm voice and get the puppy to play with the toy instead. And anytime our puppy brings a toy to play, we always praise this behavior so that she will understand that this is what we want!


And I definitely would NOT jog with my puppy at all; especially if it's on a sidewalk, or asphalt -- that is WAY to rough on their growing joints. At least hiking or a park is a softer surface on their legs/joints. Running on concrete is not even recommended for people (can cause stress fractures, etc. in shins and lower legs); that being said, just think of how bad it is on puppies growing joints. :eek:
I've heard a few different things on when puppies joints stop fusing, and one that I read said 18 months (somoene can correct this if it's wrong), so I give my dogs until 2 years before they're allowed to go jogging with me -- as I jog 4-6 times a week for 2-4 miles with the dog. Sobacca started running with me at 2 years old and he absolutely loves it! It's a nice task for them, when they're older.
 

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For the way she sits, I can't help you. Phenix always sits very straight....I never saw him sits the way you describe, however, it is not the first time I heard this...

As for the bitey, yeah you should put limits. We made two errors with Phenix about this: 1) we were playing with him, even when he was bitey. At first, it was kind of fun and cute because he wasn't biting hard....but we rapidely realized that he was bitey at everything, not in a bad way, but to say "Hi", when he was curious etc. 2) error was to ask him to lick instead of biting...well.....he is always LICKING now, and he is licking everything he can, including my 2 y/o nefew's face lol. As soon as he don't know what to do, or the get attention or to say "Hi", he licks :).

As for the play with the cat, for sure, he don't know the limits yet. The cat will tell, but you should always keep an eyes on them to be sure everything will be all right.
 

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I did the two things Trish did. Mac used to mouth us and it was obvious he was showing affection. We stopped the biting so instead he shows affection with his big huge paws! Still can be painful but much better than biting.
 

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Yeah I'm a little perplexed about the biting thing, but I think I'm going to try to advert her attention with toys and praise her when she brings me a toy-that is too cute.

Also, does anyone know if I teach her not to bite at all if she will still be a protective biter (biting someone who breaks in/scary situation)? I hope she will know the difference, because I am alone when the bf isn't home and we live in a city :[

I am going to try walking her to the park down the street awhile then letting her romp around in the grass with a long lead (since we have no yard). No more jogging for puppy, I am kinda sad though about how old they have to be until I can jog with them-its so much fun!
 

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Yeah I'm a little perplexed about the biting thing, but I think I'm going to try to advert her attention with toys and praise her when she brings me a toy-that is too cute.

Also, does anyone know if I teach her not to bite at all if she will still be a protective biter (biting someone who breaks in/scary situation)? I hope she will know the difference, because I am alone when the bf isn't home and we live in a city :[

I am going to try walking her to the park down the street awhile then letting her romp around in the grass with a long lead (since we have no yard). No more jogging for puppy, I am kinda sad though about how old they have to be until I can jog with them-its so much fun!
To me at least: the protective biting thing is different then casual 'play' biting and biting hands as a puppy. A protective instinct, I believe, is different than a dog understanding he/she isn't supposed to bite a person normally. (Although this is just my personal opinion)
Sobacca knows not to ever put his mouth on anybody, actually if someone puts a hand/arm/etc in his mouth he tries to spit it out. Although I'm almost 100% positive that if it came to protecting me that he would bite someone -- just as if a dog were to bite/attack him, I would protect him. I'm pretty sure he would bite somebody because even when I've wrestled with people he gets anxious/upset and growls at the person I'm wrestling with.


And yes, jogging is sooo much fun with dogs!
As I said, I heard it was 18 months when big dogs joints are finally fused. It may be less than this though; I would do some searches online and see what you can find.
For me: I wait because I don't want to risk messing my puppy's joints up while they're young. It worked for Sobacca, even at 4 he has more energy and walks/runs better than some dogs I have seen at the same age; he's not sniff, doesn't appear to ache -- although, it has happened that he's injured a shoulder before; but it was fine in a couple of days, and I gave him two weeks off running to not risk further injury.
 
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