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Apollo is almost 7 months old. He's still got a whole lot of puppy craziness and exuberance in him and I expect that to continue for some time!

Now, when he comes across a person on our walks or wherever, he *might* bark or pull but I don't think it's aggressive- I think it's excitement more than anything. He goes to a basic training class once a week and he's full of energy when he sees all the other people and dogs but no one has ever seemed afraid of him or concerned by his behavior.

So, we don't have a whole lot of people who come to our house. Once in awhile a family member will drop by. He's usually totally fine with that. He greets them with all of the energy his little heart can muster LOL. But no growling and usually no prolonged barking.

Well, this past weekend my niece came over to spend the night with my daughter. She arrived while Apollo was outside and then she and my daughter were in another room playing. Then, I put Apollo in his crate for some down time (his crate right now is the only place he truly calms down even when he is exhausted). My daughter and niece came into the living room- where the crate is- and he went absolutely NUTS. He was growling and barking loudly. I've never even heard him growl for more than a second before this. He continued to growl and bark and thrash around.

I was really surprised at his reaction, honestly. My husband thought that maybe because a new person came in the room while he was in his crate it startled him? The growling just surprised me so much! Last week my father in law who has only met Apollo once before when he was a little puppy, came over at around 8 at night while Apollo was settled into his crate, and Apollo barked excitedly and wanted out so he could wiggle around and get petted but he didn't growl. So, the growling at my niece's presence kind of worried me.

What do you guys think?
 

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Apollo is almost 7 months old. He's still got a whole lot of puppy craziness and exuberance in him and I expect that to continue for some time!

Now, when he comes across a person on our walks or wherever, he *might* bark or pull but I don't think it's aggressive- I think it's excitement more than anything. He goes to a basic training class once a week and he's full of energy when he sees all the other people and dogs but no one has ever seemed afraid of him or concerned by his behavior.

So, we don't have a whole lot of people who come to our house. Once in awhile a family member will drop by. He's usually totally fine with that. He greets them with all of the energy his little heart can muster LOL. But no growling and usually no prolonged barking.

Well, this past weekend my niece came over to spend the night with my daughter. She arrived while Apollo was outside and then she and my daughter were in another room playing. Then, I put Apollo in his crate for some down time (his crate right now is the only place he truly calms down even when he is exhausted). My daughter and niece came into the living room- where the crate is- and he went absolutely NUTS. He was growling and barking loudly. I've never even heard him growl for more than a second before this. He continued to growl and bark and thrash around.

I was really surprised at his reaction, honestly.My husband thought that maybe because a new person came in the room while he was in his crate it startled him? The growling just surprised me so much! Last week my father in law who has only met Apollo once before when he was a little puppy, came over at around 8 at night while Apollo was settled into his crate, and Apollo barked excitedly and wanted out so he could wiggle around and get petted but he didn't growl. So, the growling at my niece's presence kind of worried me.

What do you guys think?
I have all your excuses for his out of control behavior highlighted in red. Time to take control over this adolescent guy and up your leadership in training. Find a good dog trainer who is not afraid to move away from the treats and clickers when needed. If you don't change things dramatically, you will run in big problems. These dogs are of a different caliber than the average pet dog.
 

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I guess I didn’t realize how many excuses I was making for him until it was literally highlighted in front of me!

We had a trainer come to our house but she kept saying that his “hyper”ness was just a normal puppy thing. He gets plenty of exercise and I work on training every day multiple times a day. The class he’s at now is big on clickers and treats.

How should I go about finding a better trainer for him? Should I ask the person ahead of time if they have experience with GSDs or something else specifically?
 

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Sounds like a puppy who needs to learn some self control! My puppy is about 6 months and I have worked pretty hard every single day on his impulse control and it has paid off greatly! It’s just something that needs to be worked on in little bits every single day
 

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What are some good ways to teach impulse control?

I always have him wait until he’s calm to have his meals and he waits until I give him the OK to start eating. I also practice leave it with him multiple times a day with treats, food, etc. And I’ve been working on him staying in place when the door is opened so he doesn’t rush the door but that one is proving challenging!

What other things I should be doing as well? I really want him to be well trained and good to live with but I feel like I try so hard with his training (I spend a lot of time every day on it and don’t mind at all- I expected that!) but it seems like it doesn’t get me far. In some ways he learns quickly like with the food and the leave it- but I’ve been trying to teach him a place command for three months now to no avail and the door rushing thing too.
 

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What are some good ways to teach impulse control?

I always have him wait until he’s calm to have his meals and he waits until I give him the OK to start eating. I also practice leave it with him multiple times a day with treats, food, etc. And I’ve been working on him staying in place when the door is opened so he doesn’t rush the door but that one is proving challenging!

What other things I should be doing as well? I really want him to be well trained and good to live with but I feel like I try so hard with his training (I spend a lot of time every day on it and don’t mind at all- I expected that!) but it seems like it doesn’t get me far. In some ways he learns quickly like with the food and the leave it- but I’ve been trying to teach him a place command for three months now to no avail and the door rushing thing too.
Hes still young. Give it time. Consistency is huge.

What are you using for place? I used a box when I started training.
 

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Hes still young. Give it time. Consistency is huge.

What are you using for place? I used a box when I started training.
I've been using a dog bed that's in a quiet corner of the living room that we only use for place. I hadnt thought of using a box!

I tell him "place" and toss a treat on his bed. He gets the treat and usually sits on his bed briefly then gets up. I repeat the process. This is how the trainer told us to do it, but it really isn't working at all.

He does amazing with his crate, but I don't want to use the crate as a crutch for him to HAVE to be in the crate in order to calm down. I just feel kind of defeated, and now I guess after reading a couple replies here, my problem is worse than I thought.

Our trainers kept telling us that it's just a puppy thing how wild he gets sometimes and that it's normal and that he'll grow out of it. So, I'm not trying to make more excuses but I guess being told that by multiple people made me think that maybe it's not as big of a deal as I initially thought his puppy craziness was- but now I see I need to step up and try harder, I just am not sure what else to do.
 

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It certainly can seem hopeless for quite a while but like cloudpump said be consistent and keep at it even when it sucks! Just don’t Overwhelm your puppy by thinking “oh he needs to learn so many things” just work on things one at a time!
 

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What are some good ways to teach impulse control?

I always have him wait until he’s calm to have his meals and he waits until I give him the OK to start eating. I also practice leave it with him multiple times a day with treats, food, etc. And I’ve been working on him staying in place when the door is opened so he doesn’t rush the door but that one is proving challenging!

What other things I should be doing as well? I really want him to be well trained and good to live with but I feel like I try so hard with his training (I spend a lot of time every day on it and don’t mind at all- I expected that!) but it seems like it doesn’t get me far. In some ways he learns quickly like with the food and the leave it- but I’ve been trying to teach him a place command for three months now to no avail and the door rushing thing too.
I would do all the things you are already doing above but I NEW PLACES around approapriate distractions for your dog!
 

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What are some good ways to teach impulse control?

I always have him wait until he’s calm to have his meals and he waits until I give him the OK to start eating. I also practice leave it with him multiple times a day with treats, food, etc. And I’ve been working on him staying in place when the door is opened so he doesn’t rush the door but that one is proving challenging!

What other things I should be doing as well? I really want him to be well trained and good to live with but I feel like I try so hard with his training (I spend a lot of time every day on it and don’t mind at all- I expected that!) but it seems like it doesn’t get me far. In some ways he learns quickly like with the food and the leave it- but I’ve been trying to teach him a place command for three months now to no avail and the door rushing thing too.
A lot of what you’re doing is right.

You asked if you should find a trainer that has experience with GSDs, the answer to that is, yes.
The trainer will likely evaluate your pup and will want to know if you’re having any issues with him. Write everything down beforehand.

If you let forum members know your approx location someone might recommend a reputable trainer. Good luck.
 

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What are some good ways to teach impulse control?

I always have him wait until he’s calm to have his meals and he waits until I give him the OK to start eating. I also practice leave it with him multiple times a day with treats, food, etc. And I’ve been working on him staying in place when the door is opened so he doesn’t rush the door but that one is proving challenging!

What other things I should be doing as well? I really want him to be well trained and good to live with but I feel like I try so hard with his training (I spend a lot of time every day on it and don’t mind at all- I expected that!) but it seems like it doesn’t get me far. In some ways he learns quickly like with the food and the leave it- but I’ve been trying to teach him a place command for three months now to no avail and the door rushing thing too.
One of the things I do, I never play inside. Inside is for calm. Outside is for running and playing. It works for my male. My female is still learning this.
 

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I tell him "place" and toss a treat on his bed. He gets the treat and usually sits on his bed briefly then gets up. I repeat the process. This is how the trainer told us to do it, but it really isn't working at all.

Unless I'm reading it wrong...^The Bolded^ Sounds like he has learned he gets a reward for breaking a command without premission. Tell him place and toss the treat. If he gets up and leaves his "place" take him back and put him there without a treat. When he stays for as long as you want, release him and treat. Obviously you build time spent in place slowly. One minute, then 2, then 3 and so on.
 

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One of the things I do, I never play inside. Inside is for calm. Outside is for running and playing. It works for my male. My female is still learning this.
When I got Valor I had a 9 month old fearful pit mix. He is SUPER sensitive. He shuts down with correction, etc. So I reluctantly, from my vet, took the number of a positive only trainer. She was anti everything and only used no pull harnesses. I specifically told her she wasn't there for the GSD. Had him crated. When I let him out at the end so she could meet him, the two pups started rough housing. In the house. Uh uh, I do not allow it. So I told Valor to go to his place and Ruger to go to his crate (his sanctuary) when they would not settle. She lectured me about how wrong it was to correct fun play between them, I was correcting GOOD behavior and was confusing them. She also lectured me over using a prong on my 6 month old 75 pound Ball Of Brat Valor. Yyyyyeah....that was our last session.

OP definitely go with a breed savvy trainer. See if there is a local IPO club, they would be able to recommend their favorite trainers. My GSD has a bit of suspicion in him, and he does well when I greet company even if he has never met them. He does NOT like when he is in the yard and comes in to find a stranger there with me. I would absolutely correct the behavior,(or avoid the ambush until you can have a trainer observe) but just wanted to let you know I had to train him out of that too, at a similar age. Understand the tendency may always be there, therefore training so that you can get his focus the minute you ask for it will be very beneficial. Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Griff is 5 months old and he is a pretty strong willed "pup". I am working a lot on respect, retrieves, searches and simple commands. I only work on stays and waits for impulse control; at the door, his food, all the good stuff. I am waiting with the longer stays and waits until he is older as it seems to be a lot easier for me and the youngsters. That has been my personal experience with the more intense dogs. He is nicely respectful to me so I can afford to have a lot of plain fun with him like showing him how much I adore him, talking 'grey noise' etc. without him getting out of control.
 
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