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:)For anyone that is dealing with a dog that isn't trained, doesn't like the crate, is reactive, or loves to bite, these things get better with time. Its a slow process, but the end result is worth it. I am speaking from experience with my new male rescue that will be one in July. It took a month for his poop to be normal, a month and a half for him to go in the crate by us just telling him to, almost two months for him to go in on his own and lay down. It took about a month for him to be able to ignore the cats. We are still working on the leash reactivity, but I'm positive after some time we can get through that to. They are just big puppies, but they love to be around their people, which helps with everything. Get a bond going with your dog. Make things fun and interesting. Try every training trick or method that is known. One will work, even a combination of methods will work. Don't give up. When they come around, they come around in a big way. I know that I can see a difference in mine every day and it pushes you to go forward, because there is always more to do and learn. You will look back and laugh one day about all the stuff that they do and you might even go get another one because "hey that wasn't so bad" I learn more every day about the breed and I love the breed more because of it. Take what everyone says and make it work for you your way. And take the time to work with the dog...Time is your friend:)
 

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What you posted is second nature to me but a lot of people need to hear this. Thanks for posting it. :)
 

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What you posted is second nature to me but a lot of people need to hear this. Thanks for posting it. :)
Even though its second nature to me... I forgot and needed to remind myself. I hope it helps all those new owners out there.
 

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Most troubles in puppyhood go away with time too! I remember crying every week when my dog was a few months old because I found her such a difficult dog. As slow as those months seemed, she was much better by 1, and now at 2, I can't imagine life without her. In the grand scheme of things, training through and tolerating those 12 months of evil can buy you 10 years of happiness with a great dog.
 

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Thank you for this. It's great to hear the encouragement. Even though I know in my heart what you wrote is true, sometimes in the moment it can be hard to see the bigger picture! I've only had my Kai a week now, but I already can't imagine life without him. I wasn't looking for a dog when he came into my life, and in a lot of ways he couldn't have come at a worse time. On the other hand, he has turned out to be EXACTLY what I needed, and I'd like to think that I am exactly what HE needed! We saved eachother. All the frustrations and tireless work, the messes and bad behaviors are worth working through to have the unconditional love and devotion that he brings me. I've never had a dog that I felt loved me more--and it's only been a WEEK! Thanks again for posting the encouragement and support.
 

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Oh how I caught myself nodding in agreement to your post. Lucas is only the 2nd GSD I've had. He is by far much more difficult than my Astro ever was as a puppy. He is defiant, willful, anxious & some days just plain old bad BUT, I know that after all of this, he'll turn out to be a really great dog. He's 6 months old now & can be a real terror but this last week he has made some great improvements. It was the strangest thing. In some areas, his behavior improved in what seemed just over night. We have a great trainer that we will start with on Friday so I'm anticipating even more improvements over the next few weeks but even if they are slower to come, I plan on enjoying the journey, even when there are major bumps in the road. If you have a difficult puppy, hang in there. It does get better. It does make me sad to think that there are so many GSDs in shelters because their owners didn't have the patience to get through a rough puppyhood or weren't willing to invest the time to train them. They're the most loyal & lovable (when they want to be, lol) dogs ever.
 

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comforting words! our 5 month old pup is highly reactive to other dogs, even small ones & other puppies! our trainers aren't too worried about it & said he will learn to calm down & greet properly or ignore other dogs. I feel like its my fault some days but I know there's a lovely sweet dog underneath all the barking & teeth! he loves people & children & copes well in the car (after vomiting a couple of times!) so things could always be a lot worse & i'm thankful for the things he IS good with!
 

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Agreed. When our dog was around 11 months, we were at the point where we were ready to take her back to the breeder (no money back, but contract allows us to return her there) and have our sanity back. I felt like she was a terrible dog and that I had made a poor decision. I would come here to this site to vent. At around 13 months before we had the chance to take her back she made a turn around and is a much better behaved dog. People that knew her as a puppy can't believe how much she's calmed down. Don't give up on them, and do not be afraid to show them who is the friggin boss of your own house. Personally I think some of these dogs have too much "drive"-whatever that's supposed to be-sometimes that's a term breeders throw out to cover up aggression/dominance flaws, but let me just put it bluntly--that crap, which is what we frustrated owners can rightly call it-crap, can be driven out without making them aggressive, hand shy, or any of those doom and gloom predictions with consistent discipline and training. I mean she was so bad she chewed a whole in a chain link fence to get out. If I had not determined to lay down the dang law, I'm pretty sure we would have had to return ours. Now she's very much a part of the family and we love her. It's like tough love with a stubborn teenager.
 

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I agree and my dogs agree. And because dogs take time to come around to your way of thinking then there is no need to rush a dog or feel things have to be accomplished this week.

If I have an issue I try to deal with it over say 2-3 months and reassess at the end of that time. I usually take some time to realize the mistakes I make and how they affect the dog. So then I figure how my behavior can benefit the dog. ANd then it is up to the dog to do it's part and adapt to the situation.
 
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