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I have a 4.5 month sable named Liam. He's about the most intelligent dog I've owned, my third GSD but first to have raised from a pup. But there are some things I'm curious about, please tell me if these are normal and any ways to adjust his behavior or let him grow out if it.
#1. Submissive peeing. He likes to pounce on our cats and when we say, Liam NO! He piddles. Same when we go let him out of his crate in the A.M. and we have him sit before we let him out, he piddles. Is this normal for his age? We don't beat him or anything but I am very stern in letting him know what's right and wrong, vocally. I hear puppies are prone to submissive peeing until a year, any personal experience is appreciated.
#2. Barking. He gets plenty of exercise but goes nuts when we prepare his food while he sits in his crate, we say Liam no, etc and have even tried the pennies in a can things but nothing is successful, any opinions?
#3. Playing with the other dog. We have a 2yo Chow that he just plays so rough with. Grabbing the fluff of her heck and jerking violently. She responds with the same but we would like to encourage separate play time, if that's possible? Any ways to get to call him off of her? She listens and stops but he continues like a vicious little ankle biter. Also this creates problems on walks. He wants to play with her instead of focusing on the journey ahead although the more walks we take the better he gets.
#4. Pulling on walks. Can someone recommend a good training collar or lead and some techniques?

I know that's a lot but any input is appreciated and maybe he is just too young and has no attention span yet but thought I'd ask. Thanks

Here's my handsome boy 1364541847178.jpg
 

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I always used negative reinforcement and it worked but progress was slow. I was never a fan of ignoring bad and praising good until my boy came home two months ago and I followed the advise of everyone here. It really seems to work and very quickly. We also have a very close bond already. He's confident and very happy. For example he's not allowed on the dog couch yet. It's the safe place for our old lab when she needs a break. Instead of getting mad when he jumps up on it, I praise him when he follows my "off" command and gets down. We do this a few times per day.

At eating time I have his food in plain sight. When he freaks out I ignore him and freeze. I don't move toward the food again until he's calm. Ive also introduced the word gentle as a command. He didn't get it at first but when he's calm I tell him good gentle. He gets it now. I do the whole freezing still and commanding gentle the whole way to his food and back and then he has to sit calmly or I stop opening the kennel door. I hope you have a lot of time on your hands. It took me three days to get the door open time under a half hour. I also use feeding time as training. Had him two months and he sits downs stays comes on hand signals and outs from his food when I tell him although we're still not flawless on that one. I've also taught him a few fun tricks along the way. I love feeding time. We do obedience at other times and he doesn't seem the least bit disappointed when I exchange a food reward with over excited praise and hugs.

My 9 year old lab has taken on a step-mom role. He's pretty rough with her at times but she puts him in his place when needed. She's taught him the house rules and enforces as necessary. Dogs have a way of working these things out amongst themselves if you let them.


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Oddly, that's almost identicle to what we do. When he gets fed while he is out he learned to stay until I use the command "eat" then he dives right in. I have started the calm kennel door like you said. If he gets too excited I back away and repeat until he quits jittering. Have you had any issues with submissive peeing with corrections?

I love training as well, I had him sitting at 3 months old and now lays and stays (when he's calm). Thanks for your feedback, I will try some of these things you have mentioned and see how they work.

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Lily had a submissive peeing problem when we would correct her, she would get upset and leave a stream of pee as she crouched away, but with age and training she seemed to gain the confidence to over come that. She would also do it when we would try training commands so I did allot of that outside until she learned that training was fun and she got rewards for it. I just never made a big deal about it, I just cleaned it up and we went on with our day.
I am also thinking that just ignoring him while you are making food would be better than the pennies in a can thing because if you already have a pup that is submissive peeing that might really make them nervous and scared. I would maybe get the food ready in an area that he cant see you from his crate and then leash and get him to do a calm sit and down before releasing him to eat, I think soon he will connect the dots that if he is going crazy barking then he has to wait longer for food but if he is calm he will get what he wants.
I have never had the problem of my dog trying to play to hard with the older dog but I guess in that situation I would have play time on leash for the pup and if things start to get out of hand I would correct and withdraw her from the situation until she calms down and then repeat after she is calm. As far as walks I did seperate walks with my GSD pup until she was leash trained and knew what was expected of her, it might just be to much for a pup to have the excitement of a walk and all the new things that come with that, learning good leash behavior and be expected to ignore a older dog that already puts her in an excited state.
This is just my opinion and what I would try with Lily. You could also contact a trainer and maybe get into puppy classes and find some fellow class mates who are going through the same things.
 

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#1. Submissive peeing.

It goes away after the puppy becomes more self-assured nearer maturity. Until then, keep some towels around and keep him on tile or concrete instead of the rugs.

#2. Barking.

My GSDs all got excited too when they saw the meal being prepared. Just put him out in the backyard and prepare the meal then feed in backyard or house.

#3. Playing with the other dog.

He just wants to play and, to humans, dogs play rough. He'll outgrow it.

4. Pulling on walks.

I think we all have had our fits over pulling.

My Zeus (5.5 mos.) pulled like crazy before we felt he was old enough to wear and for us to use a choke collar (I like the term training collar better, BTW). Introducing "corrections" has helped a great deal and he never "bulldozes" anymore.

But staying immediately to the left of my thigh on walks is still a problem. And, it's gotten to the point that our walks are just one long correction and Zeus is a real sniffer and is virtually unstoppable when he wants to drop his head to sniff.

I got to the point that I couldn't imagine why he'd ever want to go on a walk anymore as I was constantly snapping the training collar. Yesterday, I had a epiphany.

Zeus is food-driven. So, why not take along some treats (my trainer forbids this so I hope he's not reading this) and put them in the left hand. Every once in a while I stop and make him sit and then I'll reward him with one. But I keep several in my left hand all the time and I know my little "super-sniffer" knows they're there.

Yesterday was the first time I tried this. For almost the entire walk of about 4 blocks and back he walked exactly to the left of my thigh. And, he seemed to really enjoy the walk...until I ran out of treats.

LF
 
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