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Hi guys

I posted a while back in here as I was having several problems with my puppy. Most of them have been resolved, he's 15 weeks old now and has been well socialised, he is definitely better with other dogs than people, barking at strangers in the street, however it's more a nervous bark and when they come say hi he's fine.

He's incredibly smart, already learnt a bunch of commands, crate and toilet trained and incredibly food orientated. I could teach him a new trick in 5 minutes if it meant he got food.

However, this last bit is posing as a problem. I have never had a GSD before so am obviously inexperienced, however i read up before deciding to bring him home. He's so possessive over items, food, toys etc, and nervous of anything especially when it means he doesn't get his way. I noticed this when I took him to the vets about a month ago and he thrashed around ,snapping and wouldn't let the vet clip his nails. Fair deal. However this has become a bigger issue in the past few weeks..

If he is getting into something he shouldn't be, or if he doesn't want to do as he's told (Example my bf's mum was feeding her dog in the the same room, i told her this was unfair and to take him out but she persisted, when i tried to get him to sit he thrashed around snapping and biting at me. Basically having a tantrum. This was yesterday. Today, another instance happened where he got hold of some plastic from the floor, obviously to prevent choking i had to get it out of his mouth and when i did this he again snapped at me, trying to bite and growling. There are also instances when i pick him up, for example if he goes into a room he shouldn't be or if he refuses to come inside, and he does the same thing.. thrashing about sniping and biting me. I know he doesn't mind being picked up because when he's being picked up on other occasions he's fine, it's just because he's being told off. This is pretty much a daily occurrence, and he acts out this way to me more than my bf, probably because he sees my bf as alpha and me as weak. He's a lovely little guy other than these tantrums, but it's actually getting me pretty down though i realise it's me who's probably to blame. He will also pee indoors when he doesn't get his way, as an act of defiance.

I realise these temper tantrums are a behavioural matter and that it is me who needs to take control of the issue to prevent future aggression. he starts puppy class on tuesday and in the meantime to prevent food and possession aggression i've been feeding him his food slowly, making him work for it. He will eat his food faster than i thought possible, doesn't even taste it, so i'm also working on getting him to stay before food. Surprisingly, he's learnt that if I say no in a stern voice and shake my head, not to jump up or even beg for my food. It's only when food drops on the floor that he gets possessive of it.

I just need help on how to curb this behaviour. I've been doing everything i can think of. my bf's mum is visiting and she insists on using such techniques as alpha rolling until he submits, which obviously i disagree on as i have read about this being a very dangerous technique. Thing is, im reading about all the bad techniques but can't find any suggestions about what techniques to actually use. For example, i accidentally drop bit of plastic/basically anything he sees as edible on floor, he picks up and runs off with it as he knows its wrong, I go after him to prevent choking but the moment i'm near him he snaps. Any sggestions on how to get him out of this? obviously i will talk to the trainer on tuesday but i just need suggestions in the meanwhile.

I also have another issue in that, when we go on a little walk, he's absolutely fine on the way BACK (I swear he knows we're going home) but walking AWAY from the house he either sits down and won't budge, even when i use treats (this isn't so common behaviour now), or more commonly just goes about insane, jumping up attacking the leash, biting my trousers, i'm guessing he just wants attention. I try to keep a calm demeanour and ignore behaviour, stop when he starts acting like this, but straight away i set off walking again he continues said behaviour.

PLEASE HELP :)
 

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"I just need help on how to curb this behaviour. I've been doing everything i can think of. my bf's mum is visiting and she insists on using such techniques as alpha rolling until he submits, which obviously i disagree on as i have read about this being a very dangerous technique. Thing is, im reading about all the bad techniques but can't find any suggestions about what techniques to actually use. For example, i accidentally drop bit of plastic/basically anything he sees as edible on floor, he picks up and runs off with it as he knows its wrong, I go after him to prevent choking but the moment i'm near him he snaps. Any sggestions on how to get him out of this? obviously i will talk to the trainer on tuesday but i just need suggestions in the meanwhile."

I would suggest that you try trading to get things away from him. If he has something, offer him something he wants more.
As far as mum goes, that's simple. Keep you hands off my dog. Period.
 

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the trade up game is a good way to teach dogs to give up objects.

for the feet, handle his feet for a couple minutes a day. Start by picking up a foot. Reward with a treat. Get him used to you handling every part of his body.

It's normal for puppies to struggle and complain when they don't get their way.
He's not running off because he knows that he is "wrong" He is running because he knows that he will lose this cool new THING before he even gets a chance to see what it is. And you chasing after him becomes part of the game for him.
 

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To retrieve an item your pup shouldn't have,trade him for something better.A special toy or treat.Then remove the forbidden item while he's chewing.For food dropped on the floor you can teach a Leave It command.

To get him through a doorway just call him to you,run in the opposite direction enticing him with a squeaky toy or treat and a happy voice.

Make your walks shorter for time being,just a few minutes back and forth in front of your house.Run or walk quickly and talk or sing to him.Be fun and interesting!Slow down when he's really focusing on you and then back home.Quit while you're ahead.

You can get him used to nail clipping by handling his paws and touching them with the clippers during calm times when he's resting.When he's acclimated to that,clip one nail and treat.Quit when you're ahead!Next time two nails,then all on one paw,etc.

Alpha rolling won't help anything.He's not being defiant or aggressive.He's just a bundle of excitable energy.Hopefully puppy class will cover all of these topics too:)The trainer will have different ideas and also the folks here.You can find what works best for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
"I just need help on how to curb this behaviour. I've been doing everything i can think of. my bf's mum is visiting and she insists on using such techniques as alpha rolling until he submits, which obviously i disagree on as i have read about this being a very dangerous technique. Thing is, im reading about all the bad techniques but can't find any suggestions about what techniques to actually use. For example, i accidentally drop bit of plastic/basically anything he sees as edible on floor, he picks up and runs off with it as he knows its wrong, I go after him to prevent choking but the moment i'm near him he snaps. Any sggestions on how to get him out of this? obviously i will talk to the trainer on tuesday but i just need suggestions in the meanwhile."

I would suggest that you try trading to get things away from him. If he has something, offer him something he wants more.
As far as mum goes, that's simple. Keep you hands off my dog. Period.
I taught him the "off" command a while back, basically instead of "leave it" and we're getting there with it, when I play tug with him inconsistently get him to go "off" the object to give him it back.

When he started running away at first it was just a game to him, now hes actually showing dominance. Ive tried the trade in the past, using the "off" command with a treat in my hand, but little guy just swallows whatever he's got quicker than ever instead of leaving it to get the treat. I should add I don't reward him with the treat for this. Any other suggestions?

As for bfs mum, she hasn't laid a hand on him yet, I think she knows better. And she's leaving tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the trade up game is a good way to teach dogs to give up objects.

for the feet, handle his feet for a couple minutes a day. Start by picking up a foot. Reward with a treat. Get him used to you handling every part of his body.

It's normal for puppies to struggle and complain when they don't get their way.
He's not running off because he knows that he is "wrong" He is running because he knows that he will lose this cool new THING before he even gets a chance to see what it is. And you chasing after him becomes part of the game for him.
I mean he loves being handled, at all other times. We've been handling him since we brought him home so he's definitely used to that. It's only when he's stopped doing an unwanted behaviour.

It definitely used to be a game. Now its more a temper tantrum for him. Another example, he got through the door as bfs mum was feeding her dogs yesterday and he instantly got to their bowl and started eating it. I got him back and tried to get him to sit, but he lashed out and got all aggressive.

Last time I tried the trade thing, it didn't work as he just quickly swallowed whatever he had thinking id give him the treat as well.

You say its a normal puppy thing, you think he will outgrow this?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To retrieve an item your pup shouldn't have,trade him for something better.A special toy or treat.Then remove the forbidden item while he's chewing.For food dropped on the floor you can teach a Leave It command.

To get him through a doorway just call him to you,run in the opposite direction enticing him with a squeaky toy or treat and a happy voice.

Make your walks shorter for time being,just a few minutes back and forth in front of your house.Run or walk quickly and talk or sing to him.Be fun and interesting!Slow down when he's really focusing on you and then back home.Quit while you're ahead.

You can get him used to nail clipping by handling his paws and touching them with the clippers during calm times when he's resting.When he's acclimated to that,clip one nail and treat.Quit when you're ahead!Next time two nails,then all on one paw,etc.

Alpha rolling won't help anything.He's not being defiant or aggressive.He's just a bundle of excitable energy.Hopefully puppy class will cover all of these topics too:)The trainer will have different ideas and also the folks here.You can find what works best for you.
I taught him the "off" command, which I basically use instead of leave it, but with food he's too stubborn to leave , however I am teaching him to wait for his food and be patient which will reinforce that behaviour.

I agree with the treat thing with nails, when we first tried grooming him he was the b exact same way until we started using treats, now he sits while we groom. I guess I've been scared to clip his nails in case I hurt him, I may get bf to do that :)

It definitely does seem somewhat aggressive behaviour. It's not the same as his play biting, or excitable behaviour. He actually snaps and growls and bites me, thrashing about. Because he doesnt want to stop whatever hes doing/eating/getting into.

I will try with the shorter walks and the enticing him with a treat. Because although he's learnt a bunch of commands, he won't always "come" when called.

Thanks for the advice :)
 

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I'd be having him tethered to me or at least dragging a leash at all times. Use the leash to remove him from situations and to keep him from running away with things that he shouldn't have.

The point is the trade up game is that you start it when he doesn't have something you need to take away from him. Give him a toy that likes (but isn't possessive of). When he's playing with it, show him super yummy special treat. As soon as he starts to open his mouth "YES! Good drop it!" (out, aus, whatever command you want to use) Give the treat.
Then say his name and command so that he drops the toy. Gradually work up to more valuable items.

Hes a puppy. He won't "know" commands for months yet. He's getting the idea but if you do too much too quickly, you'll simply teach him that he can ignore you. He's still a baby with the attention span of a gnat. He has an idea what come means but still hasn't learned that it means stop what you are doing and get over here EVERY SINGLE TIME.

don't be afraid to clip nails. Just take off a tiny bit at a time. Even if you cut it short, it's not actually a big deal. A dab of flour to stop the bleeding and go on. He may act a drama queen for a bit to milk sympathy but they tend to do that over anything.
 
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