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Discussion Starter #1
So I believe my new GSD rescue is aprox 1.5 +/-. He still has some puppy behaviors (squats every now and then to pee, a little mouthy, clumsy with his big paws, super white teeth, etc) What are the "teenage" years 1-2? 1-3? What type of behaviors are associated with a GSD teenager? When do they stop and finally "get it" as an adult? Just wondering, one of the reasons, he clearly knows what sit means and if I have a treat in my hand I dont even have to ask, but then other times he seems as though he looks at me like... you sit down... which I assume is part lack of training and part his teenager attitude. Tell me all about it what you did to get through to your dog during this time... :help:
 

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At 1.5 he should be more obedient and less of a teenager. Some dogs mature later than others. Maybe your training isn't consistent enough (?) Males will squat to pee throughout their lives when it is convenient to them.
Looks like you are having a lot of fun with him. My opinion is that fun is more important than anything as long as he behaves well and you haven't lost control.
 

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We have not started official obedience training, still bonding and having a good time with him. We have had to do some things just so we dont have a wild elephant on our hands that stampedes in / out the door and acts like a wild man. Really the only "training" we have done with him is sit and walking on his leash without us skiing behind him. I am trying to keep everything as positive and happy as possible with some little rules. He is getting accustomed to the daily routine where he knows 9:30+/- is bed time and we get up at 6. Breakfast at 7 Lunch at 12 Dinner at 6 and his potty schedule is starting to get on track (not getting up in the middle of the night, and knows when the last potty break of day is before bed)

I still think he is a wild man and it cracks me up most of the time it gets frustrating which is natural but he always makes me smile. Being that I dont "know" his age its a guess at best, one vet said 13-16 mos. Another said 2.5 yrs another said 1.5 years, I am guessing 1.5ish. Just really want to know what behaviors are that are "teenage" type behaviors to help me really nail down how old he is. What I think is "teenage" behavior based on my last 2 dogs could just be a wild man that doesnt know better :rolleyes:
 

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The dog is not being challenged. To keep it guessing teach it Sit, Down, Stand not moving and in motion. Front, left heel, right heel position keeps them on there toes too. Obedience done well gives a dog more drive to get what he wants. And so you develop more fun things to do and you are both rewarded. Ball drive is key really.(play/chasing/biting). Teach your dog to wait for you to release him before he chases. This also gets you more results.

Get him searching for objects, climbing things etc etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The dog is not being challenged. To keep it guessing teach it Sit, Down, Stand not moving and in motion. Front, left heel, right heel position keeps them on there toes too. Obedience done well gives a dog more drive to get what he wants. And so you develop more fun things to do and you are both rewarded. Ball drive is key really.(play/chasing/biting). Teach your dog to wait for you to release him before he chases. This also gets you more results.

Get him searching for objects, climbing things etc etc.
We will be teaching all these things we only got him on 5/4 and are still kind of in the adjustment period. We start working with a trainer on Friday. He has ZERO ball drive. Now the flirt pole will drive him mad, and a towel is his next favorite thing (found that out in an attempt to dry him off after coming in from the rain haha) We just started on the searching for things last night. We bought hot dogs (what our trainer wants as a high value reward / treat for training) and cut them up into little bits and hid them all around the yard, took him a good 1/2 hour to find them all. I am discouraging any climbing at all, he already tries to jump our fence and go after ground hogs / other dogs / birds / deer. I cannot wait to start training and have more things to work with him on but kind of taking it slow and giving the dog some time to realize we are his new family and that we are not going to abandon him (He spent over a month between kill shelter, vets office, bouncing around trying to get a good foster, pet resort, transporters)
 

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Good to go slow and do what you understand. Me too I'm trying to see a logical reason for directing the dogs drives, not just this is the way everybody trains a dog approach. Check out bart bellon for snazzy obedience. I want to do that minus the e collar(not that I'm biased and will use one some day I'm sure)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No offense to prior posters (thank you for tips and responses) but I still dont really have the answer I was looking for. What are the characteristics of a "teenage" GSD? Since we know so little about Diesel I am trying to really narrow down his age, if not for informational purposes but also for his future life stages and the trainer wants to know as well. So lay it on me... what are the "teenage" behaviors of a GSD?
 

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there is no such thing as a "teenage" phase. that phase is just when the dog is no longer a puppy and actually begins to think for itself and realizes that if i dont really want the treat then im not gonna sit. its more of a "testing my owner" phase. your dog is way past the point where its thinking for itself. your dog is in the "teenage phase" the rest of his life. he'll continue to test you to see how far he can push it. if you tell him sit and he doesnt sit then dont blame it on a "teenage attitude". its lack of training. sit means sit no matter where it is or what is in your hand
 

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You judge by his movement. I have read your words again and I'd say he is 8-9 months. All clumsiness dissapeares after one year, the joints become more rigid and stable, dog's movements are more precise and purposeful, they stop to chew because their theeth completed developing, they sleep longer, they cannot be tired chasing the ball one hour continuously. But all of it is comparative, optional in time, very relative, I don't see him, if could you send a video ...In your shoes I'd take him to the doggy park and see whom he chooses to play with. Puppies know that they are the puppies and they club together, 1 year olds already prefer games for adults.
 

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You judge by his movement. I have read your words again and I'd say he is 8-9 months. All clumsiness dissapeares after one year, the joints become more rigid and stable, dog's movements are more precise and purposeful, they stop to chew because their theeth completed developing, they sleep longer, they cannot be tired chasing the ball one hour continuously. But all of it is comparative, optional in time, very relative, I don't see him, if could you send a video ...In your shoes I'd take him to the doggy park and see whom he chooses to play with. Puppies know that they are the puppies and they club together, 1 year olds already prefer games for adults.
I really don't want to single you out, David Taggart, but this is incorrect. I have read a few of your responses on various threads now and I really have to question where you get your information. It is just incorrect.

To the OP, the "teenage" period is kind of what you would expect if you connect the teenaged phase with dogs to the teenaged phase of humans. They kind of question authority, seeming to consider their options when given a command before responding. Or maybe they decide to blow you off altogether.

The phase can start as early as 6-7 months, or as late as 18 months. There is a reason why so many dogs are surrendered to shelters and rescues when they hit adolescence. Like human teenagers, dogs this age are very adept at trying even the most patient owner. Some dogs never go through it. Some dogs never leave it. You will see it referred to as the "butt head stage" here. Which is pretty accurate, really. Do a forum search for "butt head stage" and see what you get.

Just be consistent and be patient and you'll survive it. Some dogs have two or three distinct butt head phases (although I have been told that the later ones are usually not as bad as the first). Your new boy sounds like he might already be in his!
Sheilah
 

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I wanted to add that it is impossible to tell if your guy is in a teenaged, butt head phase or if he really has never had any training or control put on his behavior before. The way these two look is pretty similar.

I would not get too hung up on his age. Treat him like he has never had any training at all, and take it from there. Figure he is between 12-18 months old and he needs to start at square one. If you really want him to have an exact age, say that the day you picked him up is his birthday and he is now one year and how ever many days old. I have fostered a lot of young, adolescent dogs and that is what I do. I just assume that they don't know anything, so I treat them like I would an 8 week old puppy. That is how much structure they require.
Sheilah
 

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where you get your information
Kim Campbell Thornton & Debra Eldredge.
Gangly stage (you call it "butt head phase") counts from six months up, what I know, in GSD between 6 months and two years of age. Very seldom, but still you can meet 3 years old "pups", especially males. Really, it is difficult to say without examining him, watching him and seeing his reactions.
 

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Kim Campbell Thornton & Debra Eldredge.
Not to derail this thread, but NOTHING in what you wrote in your post above is attributable to either of the people you mention. If that is what you take away from their writings, you need to go back and closely reread.

What does a dog's movement have to do with the OP's question? Or not chewing after a year in age because "their teeth completed developing"? Uh? I guess I should tell my ancient Pug that he isn't really 12+ years old, since he still chews on anything he can get his mouth on. And fitness and drive have more to do with how long a dog can play fetch than age.

And to advise someone to take a reactive, new dog to the dog park to use who they decide to play with as a means to ascertain age is ridiculous. Really? Puppies will play with puppies and dogs one year and older prefer adult games?
Sheilah
 

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The teenage years are usually considered to start at around 6 months and only lasts until they are about a year old. My dogs teenage years were from about 6 months to 10 months. Most dogs go through it, some tougher than others. If you keep up with training, this time period will be much easier.


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My new GSD is one, turned one in April in the shelter and I'd have to say I can't tell if he's in his teenage phase or just never had any training or taught any manners. Its probably a mixture of all of it. He is kinda clumsy, plays rough, can be focused, loves to play, and he still has a puppy look IMO. Thank you to whoever mentioned the flirt pole, that is next on my list to do with him.
 

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If that is what you take away from their writings
There is a lot about the skeleton dynamics in a developing dog, change in movement from puppy to the adulthood, etc, thank you, I don't have to reread it. Besides, such guides are far too many and they don't provide you with a real knowledge though interesting to read. All in all, that is really a talk about nothing, none of us saw this "teen". If the local vets who examined him cannot identify his age, by sitting at my computer I do not have a chance. Which doggy park, what dog pack - all depends, I hope the master isn't a baby, will take him to other dogs outside any classes one day, no training is needed unless the "teen"'s truly big and really crazy.
 

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Which doggy park, what dog pack - all depends, I hope the master isn't a baby, will take him to other dogs outside any classes one day, no training is needed unless the "teen"'s truly big and really crazy.
I don't think its a good idea for someone to recommend anyone takes there dog to a dog park, especially without knowing that dog. I'm not a baby and I would NEVER take either of my GSD's to a dog park and I also pick and choose which dogs that I think they should play with if any. My female favors small dogs and my male seems to favor big dogs...I would never put them in a situation where they were uncomfortable. I have had many dogs in my day and the GSD by far plays the roughest, are the most vocal, and most dogs won't put up with the way they play. I have gone to the dog park in the past and I did have a dog that was not a GSD attacked viciously, so I really have seen it both ways.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
There is a lot about the skeleton dynamics in a developing dog, change in movement from puppy to the adulthood, etc, thank you, I don't have to reread it. Besides, such guides are far too many and they don't provide you with a real knowledge though interesting to read. All in all, that is really a talk about nothing, none of us saw this "teen". If the local vets who examined him cannot identify his age, by sitting at my computer I do not have a chance. Which doggy park, what dog pack - all depends, I hope the master isn't a baby, will take him to other dogs outside any classes one day, no training is needed unless the "teen"'s truly big and really crazy.
He is big and crazy. I have called him a wild elephant in prior posts. He clearly had NO training previously and is picking up what little I have offered ok, sometimes he does it like a champ sometimes he could care less that I am speaking or have a steak around my neck. I have a video of him playing with the flirt pole on my DH phone. I want to get another, it was very ungraceful for both :rolleyes:

Kim Campbell Thornton & Debra Eldredge.
Gangly stage (you call it "butt head phase") counts from six months up, what I know, in GSD between 6 months and two years of age. Very seldom, but still you can meet 3 years old "pups", especially males. Really, it is difficult to say without examining him, watching him and seeing his reactions.
He looks gangly at this point because he is so skinny. I mean count every rib / vertebra, and see his hips. His energy wears down quickly due to this also. He can only go 2-3 rounds with the flirt pole at a time and he is pretty tired.

I wanted to add that it is impossible to tell if your guy is in a teenaged, butt head phase or if he really has never had any training or control put on his behavior before. The way these two look is pretty similar.

I would not get too hung up on his age. Treat him like he has never had any training at all, and take it from there. Figure he is between 12-18 months old and he needs to start at square one. If you really want him to have an exact age, say that the day you picked him up is his birthday and he is now one year and how ever many days old. I have fostered a lot of young, adolescent dogs and that is what I do. I just assume that they don't know anything, so I treat them like I would an 8 week old puppy. That is how much structure they require.
Sheilah
I am not super hung up on his age the reasons are for his later life stages and because the trainer(s) we talked with all agree'd if he is over 2 the aggression is going to be extremely hard to fix but if under 2 they are pretty confident that we can ALMOST make it go away.

To the OP, the "teenage" period is kind of what you would expect if you connect the teenaged phase with dogs to the teenaged phase of humans. They kind of question authority, seeming to consider their options when given a command before responding. Or maybe they decide to blow you off altogether.

The phase can start as early as 6-7 months, or as late as 18 months. There is a reason why so many dogs are surrendered to shelters and rescues when they hit adolescence. Like human teenagers, dogs this age are very adept at trying even the most patient owner. Some dogs never go through it. Some dogs never leave it. You will see it referred to as the "butt head stage" here. Which is pretty accurate, really. Do a forum search for "butt head stage" and see what you get.

Just be consistent and be patient and you'll survive it. Some dogs have two or three distinct butt head phases (although I have been told that the later ones are usually not as bad as the first). Your new boy sounds like he might already be in his!
Sheilah
We are being very very patient, more often than not when he is doing something that is not correct and makes me mad, I end up laughing at him uncontrollably he is a joy good / bad / indifferent just a great guy to be around.
 

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I moved this to the rescue section because this is a dog from unknown genetics, training, environment that the OP has had less than 1 month so all bets are off on age, behavior, etc. until patterns can be observed. With all new, old dogs, treating them like a larger, more dangerous (just in a realistic way) puppy, being kind and consistent, doing the shut down and NILIF, and using a clicker for engaging them goes a long way, as does throwing out the concept of by __________ (Date) dog should be _________________ (expectations) as they don't do calendars. :)
 
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