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Hi I have a 6 month old GSd called Levi he has been with us for 6 weeks I also live with 3 of my children who are 16 18 and 22 my eldest 25 pops round often ,I didn’t plan to get a gsd I already have a dog who is a cross between a staff and jack Russell she is 10 .
Sadly my sister passed away 5 weeks ago and one of her friends asked me if I want a gsd puppy 🐶 I was visiting my sister regularly at this time and was away from home a lot ,My 16 year old son has always wanted a gsd and I would always tell him when he gets older I will think about it .I am a single parent and as a family we have faced a lot of challenges and struggles so I said yes to my sisters friend to be honest I don’t think I was thinking straight I love Levi even though at times I get mad at him cause he nips at me mostly when he is playing with Gucci my other dog .I didn’t realise how much work goes into raising a gsd puppy I have come close to giving up I take him for a walk to the forest everyday and I am trying to teach him to heal he barks at cyclists so I try to warn them not sure how to stop him .My 16 year old son gets up at 1pm by that time I need time out I do put Levi in his crate for a couple of hours after our walk but don’t like to leave him too long my son isn’t doing enough to help I keep telling him and nagging Levi loves him they are forming a great bond he walks him every evening takes him for long runs I feel bad like I’m not doing enough to stimulate Levi’s mind I don’t know if I can do this for the long haul but I don’t want to give up on him ,This forum seems like a nice friendly place to get some advice and support
Thanks for reading
 

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I’m sorry for your loss. This isn’t a good time for a class but you should start him on obedience and house manners. Talk to your 16 year old about putting time in with the dog. Watch Stonnie videos. Ask us how to teach obedience and house commands yourself. You can do this!

Watch one or two of these a day. Even though some are for different breeds, the training advice works for German Shepherds. I like the ones on puppy training in parts. They are short. I also like his videos on the differences between types of labradors because while he talks, he shows how he trains dogs. His methods are very good. He uses patterning where he walks a dog through a short training course many times. The course is made up of ramps, barrels and other obstacles. He explains why he does that in one of his videos. His Malinois videos are also good.

Not to pry but is there a good reason why your teenager needs to sleep until 1 pm?

 

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As for the cyclists, I would develop a solid "leave it" command. You should use this command for him to leave stuff alone you don't want him going up to. I would search Robert Cabral on YouTube. He was my savior for raising my first GSD, which is now 18 months. I wanted to give him up a lot of times. He whines soooo much when he can't do what he wants (i.e., going up to other dogs, running around outside, seeing other people and not being able to go check on them, etc.). We just moved back in with my parents and we keep their dogs behind a gate in a separate room. He used to whine at the gate like a mad man. I taught him a solid "leave it" growing up. To get rid of his whining at the gate, I put a leash on him and let him go up and whine at the gate. I would grab the leash and walk the other way while saying leave it. He would try his hardest to stay at the gate and look, but I would just not pay attention and walk the other way with leash in hand. Once he actually stop paying attention to the other dogs and looked at me I would act excited and throw him a treat. We repeated this probably 100 times.

I am new to GSDs so I feel your pain. Getting him into an obedience class is life saving. Just train, train, train, and train some more. Like I said, I almost gave up on my dog, but now, I wouldn't trade him for anything. He's turning out to be an exceptional dog. Just be patient and keep training; your dog will start to understand.
 

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As for the cyclists, I would develop a solid "leave it" command. You should use this command for him to leave stuff alone you don't want him going up to. I would search Robert Cabral on YouTube. He was my savior for raising my first GSD, which is now 18 months. I wanted to give him up a lot of times. He whines soooo much when he can't do what he wants (i.e., going up to other dogs, running around outside, seeing other people and not being able to go check on them, etc.). We just moved back in with my parents and we keep their dogs behind a gate in a separate room. He used to whine at the gate like a mad man. I taught him a solid "leave it" growing up. To get rid of his whining at the gate, I put a leash on him and let him go up and whine at the gate. I would grab the leash and walk the other way while saying leave it. He would try his hardest to stay at the gate and look, but I would just not pay attention and walk the other way with leash in hand. Once he actually stop paying attention to the other dogs and looked at me I would act excited and throw him a treat. We repeated this probably 100 times.

I am new to GSDs so I feel your pain. Getting him into an obedience class is life saving. Just train, train, train, and train some more. Like I said, I almost gave up on my dog, but now, I wouldn't trade him for anything. He's turning out to be an exceptional dog. Just be patient and keep training; your dog will start to understand.
So, whenever you encounter a cyclist and your dog starts barking, say "leave it" and turn the other way and start walking. Don't say anything besides leave it. Just walk as if he has no choice but to follow you. He will get it and start walking. Once he focuses back to you treat him and praise him.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As for the cyclists, I would develop a solid "leave it" command. You should use this command for him to leave stuff alone you don't want him going up to. I would search Robert Cabral on YouTube. He was my savior for raising my first GSD, which is now 18 months. I wanted to give him up a lot of times. He whines soooo much when he can't do what he wants (i.e., going up to other dogs, running around outside, seeing other people and not being able to go check on them, etc.). We just moved back in with my parents and we keep their dogs behind a gate in a separate room. He used to whine at the gate like a mad man. I taught him a solid "leave it" growing up. To get rid of his whining at the gate, I put a leash on him and let him go up and whine at the gate. I would grab the leash and walk the other way while saying leave it. He would try his hardest to stay at the gate and look, but I would just not pay attention and walk the other way with leash in hand. Once he actually stop paying attention to the other dogs and looked at me I would act excited and throw him a treat. We repeated this probably 100 times.

I am new to GSDs so I feel your pain. Getting him into an obedience class is life saving. Just train, train, train, and train some more. Like I said, I almost gave up on my dog, but now, I wouldn't trade him for anything. He's turning out to be an exceptional dog. Just be patient and keep training; your dog will start to understand.
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Don’t use crate for timeout. It’s your dogs safe space and it should feel comfortable there. As for your son, make him get out of bed!! He wanted the dog he should take care of it.

not to brag but I’m 14 and I wake up at 5 a.m. to take our puppy Mia out.
Don’t use crate for timeout. It’s your dogs safe space and it should feel comfortable there. As for your son, make him get out of bed!! He wanted the dog he should take care of it.

not to brag but I’m 14 and I wake up at 5 a.m. to take our puppy Mia out.
Thanks for your replies today has been a challenge I don’t know what’s more challenging Levi or my son ,being on lockdown doesn’t help .My walk with Levi wasn’t so good today he was pulling a lot I am teaching him to heel some days he listens some he don’t good thing was when a cyclist passed and I told him to leave it he didn’t bark , so that’s good I also spread a little bit of peanut butter inside his bone which kept him occupied for a bit I woke my son up today he got up at 12 he stays up late watching Netflix so struggles to get up early I had a chat with him today and told him he has to interact more with Levi we have had this conversation before and he is great for about 2 days after then gets lazy I hate arguing and just want a peaceful life so I don’t go on at him all the time and I try to reason with him .My older son is a healthcare assistant in the hospital and has been looking after Covid patients so I am feeling worried and quite down at the moment like so many other families I’m sure .I was looking forward to taking Levi to a training class now I don’t know when we can go ,I hope tomorrow is a better day 🐶
 

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That's great he listened to the leave it command! It shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I like my dog to heel on walks too. But he should not be in a heel the whole time. Daily walks should be semi structured. I tell my dog to heel for a bit the I say "okay!" which he knows is a cue to leave my side and sniff around and mark. More important than heeling is teaching your dog leash pressure. He needs to know that pulling is not tolerated. Whenever he pulls, walk the opposite direction. Never walk towards something that he is pulling towards. Just do a 180 and your dog will follow. My dog still pulls from time to time. When he does I give him a gentle reminder and say "no pulling" with a very light leash pop.

I don't think heeling is very important for walks. GSDs want to check everything out. So, its very hard for them to stay by your side on a daily lackadaisical walk. Start with a heel for a few feet and then release him for a minute or two and then repeat. Also, try to get him to focus on you during the walk. Bring some treats with you and pepper in obedience commands. When my dog was young, like yours, I also gave him praise and treats when he made eye contact with me. Don't expect too much from him at 6 months but really work on leash pressure. Never reinforce his pulling and reward him like crazy when he does behavior you want. GSDs are very smart and he will start to understand.
 

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Hi thanks for your advice yesterday morning our walk went really well and turning 180degrees helped what do you mean by pepper obedience?
This morning the walk was the worst yet for me we went usual place a quiet part of the forest and lots of grass to throw the ball a cyclist came trough the forest Levi ran up to him barking so I called him no response so went over and got him by the collar the man was very angry he told me to get the dog the f...k away from him ! Inow I think I should have just put him on the leash I panicked to be honest not very good with confrontational situations so then Levi chased him when he cycled of I just kept calling him the man stopped and Levi came back to me I felt so bad then he was barking at all the joggers on the way home ☹
 

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Hi thanks for your advice yesterday morning our walk went really well and turning 180degrees helped what do you mean by pepper obedience?
This morning the walk was the worst yet for me we went usual place a quiet part of the forest and lots of grass to throw the ball a cyclist came trough the forest Levi ran up to him barking so I called him no response so went over and got him by the collar the man was very angry he told me to get the dog the f...k away from him ! Inow I think I should have just put him on the leash I panicked to be honest not very good with confrontational situations so then Levi chased him when he cycled of I just kept calling him the man stopped and Levi came back to me I felt so bad then he was barking at all the joggers on the way home ☹
If your dog doesn’t have solid recall, then put a long leash on him while playing. When he gets distracted and tries to wander off step on the long leash so he can’t run up to anyone. I use a 30’ leash at parks.

By pepper in obedience, I mean bring a pocket full of treats on walks and do commands throughout the walk. You can do sit, heel, down, focus, etc.
 

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I know people don't like comparing dogs to humans but sometimes it's the only correlation that works in the human brain of the trainer. At 6 months think of your pup as a 2 year old human toddler. They can learn and listen but they fail at it often. They are will full and lack the ability to focus for any period of time. At 6 months you pup should not be off leash anywhere that isn't fully controlled or contained by you. A 100 % reliable recall is not going to happen at this age. I don't care how good training is. Yes, get a 20-30 ft long line for field romping. Something comfortable for your hand. Usually something a 1/2 to 1 inch in width. Cotton web works for me. For regular leash walks my go to is a quality 1/2 width leather leash.
I have found a good way to teach recall is to let your dog wonder out away from you on the line. Call your dog by name "Levi come (or here... what ever you choose to use) " if Levi comes to you fantastic. Treat and have a party of excitement. If Levi doesn't come then give a little pressure on the lead. Not a pull or hard tug just a little forward toward you pressure. Once Levi starts coming toward you turn an walk away from levi so he is following after you. Don't go far...just a few steps. Turn quick and wait for him to reach you. Treat and praise. Rinse and repeat two or three times and move on to something fun like sniffing. Randomly throw in a recall on walks on the line. Before you know it Levi will get it.
Same goes for cyclists or joggers or anything. When you see someone coming get Levi's attention before they get close. Teach him to focus on you. You can use treats or a favorite toy. Balls and small tugs are good. Keep with you on walks. Levi focuses on you and cyclist/jogger passes without reaction from Levi he gets a treat/toy and praise. Walk continues.
It all takes time, patience and most importantly consistency. Just remember he is a toddler still trying to learn what you want and what he needs to do to be a good dog. Hang in there!
 

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One way to get around this thing with cyclist and joggers ---- go out when there are few of them about. Use the treats people suggested. When there is someone coming, move you and the dog to the side, get the dog focused on you and reward the dog with a treat (or treats) until the "trigger" (aka cyclist/jogger/other) has gone past. This is what I used when I lived in a city. Within a few months my once unruly around moving vehicles dog was solid with fire engines driving past with the sirens on. BUT it did take a couple of months of walking late at night when traffic was light to non-existent.
 

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And an edit to my above post --- you can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results... Stop going there - go at a different time - go somewhere else...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I know people don't like comparing dogs to humans but sometimes it's the only correlation that works in the human brain of the trainer. At 6 months think of your pup as a 2 year old human toddler. They can learn and listen but they fail at it often. They are will full and lack the ability to focus for any period of time. At 6 months you pup should not be off leash anywhere that isn't fully controlled or contained by you. A 100 % reliable recall is not going to happen at this age. I don't care how good training is. Yes, get a 20-30 ft long line for field romping. Something comfortable for your hand. Usually something a 1/2 to 1 inch in width. Cotton web works for me. For regular leash walks my go to is a quality 1/2 width leather leash.
I have found a good way to teach recall is to let your dog wonder out away from you on the line. Call your dog by name "Levi come (or here... what ever you choose to use) " if Levi comes to you fantastic. Treat and have a party of excitement. If Levi doesn't come then give a little pressure on the lead. Not a pull or hard tug just a little forward toward you pressure. Once Levi starts coming toward you turn an walk away from levi so he is following after you. Don't go far...just a few steps. Turn quick and wait for him to reach you. Treat and praise. Rinse and repeat two or three times and move on to something fun like sniffing. Randomly throw in a recall on walks on the line. Before you know it Levi will get it.
Same goes for cyclists or joggers or anything. When you see someone coming get Levi's attention before they get close. Teach him to focus on you. You can use treats or a favorite toy. Balls and small tugs are good. Keep with you on walks. Levi focuses on you and cyclist/jogger passes without reaction from Levi he gets a treat/toy and praise. Walk continues.
It all takes time, patience and most importantly consistency. Just remember he is a toddler still trying to learn what you want and what he needs to do to be a good dog. Hang in there!
Hi thanks for your reply it makes sense to treat him like a toddler managed to bring up 4 human toddlers ! I’m waiting for our training lead to arrive can’t wait to try it out todays walk went well I kept him focused on me most of the walk hard work but worth it I guess at what age will he learn to walk nicely ? I wish I could take him to obedience classes it would give me more confidence and a chance to meet other dog owners ☹
 

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Doesn’t it feel amazing when training pays off!? If you’re searching online and taking time to educate yourself, then I have a feeling you’re way ahead of other owners. Your dogs young and if you keep educating yourself and keep training, then you’re dog will grow into a spectacular dog! Like you said your dog is young. At maturity, I’m positive you will have raised a great dog.
 

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Doesn’t it feel amazing when training pays off!? If you’re searching online and taking time to educate yourself, then I have a feeling you’re way ahead of other owners. Your dogs young and if you keep educating yourself and keep training, then you’re dog will grow into a spectacular dog! Like you said your dog is young. At maturity, I’m positive you will have raised a great dog
Doesn’t it feel amazing when training pays off!? If you’re searching online and taking time to educate yourself, then I have a feeling you’re way ahead of other owners. Your dogs young and if you keep educating yourself and keep training, then you’re dog will grow into a spectacular dog! Like you said your dog is young. At maturity, I’m positive you will have raised a great dog.
Doesn’t it feel amazing when training pays off!? If you’re searching online and taking time to educate yourself, then I have a feeling you’re way ahead of other owners. Your dogs young and if you keep educating yourself and keep training, then you’re dog will grow into a spectacular dog! Like you said your dog is young. At maturity, I’m positive you will have raised a great dog.
Thanks well today had to be the worst for me so far my son decided he wanted to walk Levi this morning and so I would take him in the evening ,we went out around 6-30 he was pulling from the starthe had so much more energy than what he has in the morning we went to the forest we’re there Is a safe place to throw the ball there were too many dogs there already so we just walked well he literally pulled me the whole way home he wasn’t even that interested in treats , I just snapped at both my boys when I got in and told them I’m never gonna walk him again at that time ,and not getting enough support from the kids I feel like I’m doing everything at the moment I know being in lock down don’t help 😔
 

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Hi guys what’s the best lead for Levi at the moment I have a metal chain my son got it I want a lead so when he pulls I can stop him without him pulling me And hurting my wrist
Thanks
 

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A leather lead. When he starts pulling change directions often it helps him he will now then need to focus on you. So many YouTube videos out there. Stoney Dennis is great. “Leave it” a great think to teach starting as pups there are many leave it videos. Max was a little pup and liked to chase cars the leave it command is what stopped it. First learned with minimal distractions a great thing to teach. This is a great for your son it may help him muster up some motivation taking caring of a living animal. Hind and seek games are fun. First hiding treats in the house and tell your pup to find and then toys, and people and doing this outdoors. Keeps everyone busy important to keep their minds busy. A lot of trick videos out there to learn and so for fun your son can make his own videos post them on tic toc. Set up some agility course in the backyard. A little baby pool to splash around in when it gets hot.
 
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