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This is something that bothers me on a daily basis. Timber is almost 5 months old and it seems I keep searching for answers but not getting the answer I REALLY need. Wheather I look it up or come here asking ya'll.

Since Timber was a baby, baby I have been perplexed about how to handle/correct when Timber is in an excited mode and he either chases someone (usually my 4 year old) down the hallway, puts his front feet up on the couch to try to bite/play with whoever is sitting there (again, usually the 4 year old) or when he wont stop acting like a hooligan. Sometimes I really feel like he is trying to show ME that he is boss eventhough is kinda in play. Ive known from day one that this behaviour needed to be addressed quickly and with consistance.
So, I would come here for answers, watch Caesar or Victoria, go to youtube and asking our trainer at puppy class what to do. Still, Im not happy with the outcome thus far.
Here is the situations and actions Ive taken so far.
When we stop and ignore the chasing/biting behaviour, Timber will stop as well but as soon as we start walking again or resume what we were doing, then Timber resumes trying to bite/bark/jump/chase. Whichever. Ive tried distracting/re-diverting him with toys but feel like Im rewarding something I dont like. There are a good deal of times, Timber will pick up one of his toys instead of biting/chasing. But a lot of the times I feel a battle getting ready to start. So, in that case most of the time he will go in his crate for about 5 minutes and he settles down. I know we arent supposed to use crates for time outs. But as far as Timber is concerned, I view it as a moment to settle and he does. By the way, I NEVER EVER leave Timber alone with Aidan my 4 year old. They are usually seperated by a baby gate unless Im present so that I can correct a problem as soon as it happens.
Now.....like I said, Ive asked the trainer and watch Caesar and Victoria.
Both the trainer and Caesar suggest someting I KNOW doesnt work, but I feel as though it should because its a good way of speaking doggies language. They suggest grabbing the dog by the scruff or on the neck on each side of the head until they settle down, then you can release them. An example is I was watching Caesar the other night about having wolf hybrids. And the lady who studied and worked with wild wolves used this method as well on the show. She would grab the scruff, stand over the dog and growl until it calmed down and it worked instantly!!!! This does NOT work with Timber. Im sure Its probably something I must be doing wrong. When I do it, Timber fights me. He fights the hold and it almost seems to start a vicious cycle. Once I let him go, as soon as he gets back on his feet, he goes to bite again. I feel it puts him in an excited state. After watching that episode with the wolf hybrids the other night, I tried this method again this morning as my 4 year old and myself were watching t.v. We were sitting on seperate couches and Timber started to put his front feet up there to try to initiate play with Aidan. He instantly got the OFF command. He got off. But then he got back on again and I told him off once more. And he did. But then he was sitting there giving Aidan the stare so I told Timber to leave it. He didnt. So, I tried the scruff hold and it just got ugly from there. I saw it was going nowhere so I took Timber by his collar and put him in his crate for 5 minutes. I brought him back out and put him behind the baby gate in the kitchen/dinning room area. That is Timber's main play place when I cant totally watch him all the time. So now he is chilled out and sleeping.
One of the other things Ive done is put Timber on the lead with the prong collar. All it took was a couple prong corrections when Timber would react or chase when Aidan ran/walked by. So now Timber behaves very well when he's on the lead in the house. But when I take it off, its a question of when Timber will start acting like a butthead. Somedays he doesnt and its wonderful.
I really feel like Im too close to the situation to see it in a different way. What I want is someone who's been there done that to say "yeah, my pup used to do that and was defiant and this is how I corrected it". This behaviour cannot go on any longer. I promised to NEVER give up on this dog. I have so much time, money and emotions wrapped up in the gift of a GSD!!! He really pleases me and makes me soooooo happy sometimes. I feel honored to finally have a GSD in the house. Ive learned soooooo much as far as training him is concerned. But if this behaviour continues, it could be a deal breaker. And that is sad and pitiful because I KNOW its not Timber's fault, but mine!!! I refuse to give up.
Somebody please, please help me. Ive run out of trying to find trainers in my area to help me address behaviour modifications. There is not much available to me now unless I go through Petsmart/Petco. No waaaaay!!!
Ive always heard people say they grew up with GSD's but going on my experience right now, I wish I would have waited till Aidan was older. Most of our doggie offenses happen because of prey drive with Aidan.
My other huge concern is Timbers prey drive with cats and small dogs. But thats another topic for another day.
Please someone help me!!!!
 

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And the lady who studied and worked with wild wolves used this method as well on the show. She would grab the scruff, stand over the dog and growl until it calmed down and it worked instantly!!!! This does NOT work with Timber. Im sure Its probably something I must be doing wrong. When I do it, Timber fights me. He fights the hold and it almost seems to start a vicious cycle.

What a load of baloney. PLEASE do not do this to your dog.

For starters, your dog KNOWS you are not another dog. Acting like one to curb the actions of an ACTUAL dog is ludicrous, especially when those actions are based on completely bogus wolf studies. Your dog reacts so volitally to these actions, because in ACTUAL wolf packs (not these fictional "alpha based" hierarchical systems, which have LONG since proven to not exist in true, wild wolf packs) wolves don't grab each other and pin/hold them down, roll them, or otherwise. If a wolf did this to a member of its pack in the wild, then that means that wolf is about to KILL them, and that's why they submit (or fight back, depending on the wolf). So yes, your puppy is going to fight you, because he feels you are about to do him some serious harm. Please enlighten your "trainer" who has worked with so many wolves, to read the 13 years worth of studies by David Mech that proved all this "alpha dominance" BS to be just that... BS.

Your puppy is NOT trying to "dominant" you. Throw Ceasar out the window for a moment, and lets look at this for what it really is... a rowdy puppy with bad manners.

My opinion? If you have a crate, use it. Rather than simply ignoring the behavior, the SECOND he starts to roughhouse or act in a way that you don't like, put him in the crate. 5 minute "time out", so to speak. Don't acknowledge him, don't speak to him while you're putting him in, nothing. Leave the room while he's in there if at all possible. Do this EVERY time he starts to misbehave, and as immediately as possible.

Eventually he will associate rough play = no more play time with family/isolation = boooooring.
 

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Do you practice NILIF?
As far as leashing him, that may help if you are consistant,but not with a prong collar.
As you can see the scruffing isn't working for you...

I would work on this before he gets so ramped up that he can't think clearly. When he is in a calm state give him praise! Have treats or a high value toy on hand when he starts with the chasing and bring him back to you. Praise him when he comes to you and engage him in some type of fun(tossing the ball or treats, whatever)
Be consistant on your rules, and have the whole family practice NILIF. Talk with your son about running in the house, it is an invitation for Timber to play.
He does get lots of outside exercise, training? A tired puppy is a good puppy. Keep his mind as exercised as his body!

I did see that episode, too. It may work for the wolfcrosses but not for the pet dogs. I think Jennifer McCarthy is a great trainer, and did like her methods with the crosses, not our domestics!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I do practice NILIF except for with the toys. I leave those out around the house so Timber DOES have something to redirect his attention on his own. Which, like I said, he sometimes does.
We also work a lot with impulse control which fits greatly along with NILIF.
Timber also gets about 2-3 mile walks a day. Sometimes we falter when we have things going on. But for the most part...he gets excercise. It does help, but not always. Everyone in my community knows who I am just because they always see us out working/excercising. LOL They say "Oh yeah....your the girl thats always out walking the German Shepherd". Plus we go to the tennis courts to practice off leash work sometimes.
 

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Wolfie does this same exact thing. I feel your frustration. He just wants to play, but sometimes enough is enough. I do the crate thing. I have been doing it for a couple of months now, and I am seeing some results. Not sure if it is working as I had hoped though, because he will do something bad, and then immediately put himself in the crate. My previous GSD did this too, and it is something that he will grow out of as long as he knows it's unacceptable. You must stay on top of him so he knows what's unacceptable behavior.
 

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I just re read your post, and realized that Timber is just 5 months old. He is still very much a baby, and a good time to try the crate option. Wolfie is 10 months and I ignored the roughhousing at 5 months. He was just so stinking cute! Now I have a stinking cute roughhousing 10 month old. Better to nip it in the bud. Good luck.
 

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I just re read your post, and realized that Timber is just 5 months old. He is still very much a baby, and a good time to try the crate option. Wolfie is 10 months and I ignored the roughhousing at 5 months. He was just so stinking cute! Now I have a stinking cute roughhousing 10 month old. Better to nip it in the bud. Good luck.
Agreed!
 

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Timber is almost 5 months old

Since Timber was a baby, baby I have been perplexed about how to handle/correct when Timber is in an excited mode

he either chases someone (usually my 4 year old) down the hallway,

puts his front feet up on the couch to try to bite/play with whoever is sitting there (again, usually the 4 year old)
when he wont stop acting like a hooligan.

Here is the situations and actions Ive taken so far.
When we stop and ignore the chasing/biting behaviour, Timber will stop as well but as soon as we start walking again or resume what we were doing, then Timber resumes trying to bite/bark/jump/chase.

Whichever. Ive tried distracting/re-diverting him with toys but feel like Im rewarding something I dont like.
So, in that case most of the time he will go in his crate for about 5 minutes and he settles down.

Now.....like I said, Ive asked the trainer and watch Caesar and Victoria.
Both the trainer and Caesar suggest someting I KNOW doesnt work, but I feel as though it should because its a good way of speaking doggies language. They suggest grabbing the dog by the scruff or on the neck on each side of the head until they settle down, then you can release them.

One of the other things Ive done is put Timber on the lead with the prong collar. All it took was a couple prong corrections when Timber would react or chase when Aidan ran/walked by. So now Timber behaves very well when he's on the lead in the house. But when I take it off, its a question of when Timber will start acting like a butthead. Somedays he doesnt and its wonderful.


Ive always heard people say they grew up with GSD's but going on my experience right now, I wish I would have waited till Aidan was older. Most of our doggie offenses happen because of prey drive with Aidan.
My other huge concern is Timbers prey drive with cats and small dogs. But thats another topic for another day.
Please someone help me!!!!
I think I broke it down into things....

First, I wouldn't set up a 5 month old puppy with a prong.

What I would do is shape and teach the behavior I wanted. When he is quiet, ready to learn, and with something that is not a four year old child, but still interesting enough...

Wow, there is a lot...I can't sum it all up now.

There is that...there is leave it, and there is the fact that this is normal puppy behavior and normal GSD behavior especially as they are a herding breed with necessary prey drive.

I have to go to work soon, hopefully I will remember to check this and try to detail some of the things that you can do positively and setting the pup up to succeed by preventing issues and teaching the behaviors you want...
 

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Val - I'm having the same problem, except in an 8 week old! Trying to teach "soft mouth", but sometimes she gets very amped up and needs to calm down. I have a small bathroom downstairs where there is NOTHING she can get into. I put her in last night at least 5 times, saying "time out" as I did so. Not sure if it was the long walk we ended up taking about a half hour later or the time out, but she DID seem to get the message.

I'm sure I'll have to do this quite a few times more, but the scruff, growling at her, even a stern "NO!" only seems to excite her into being more determined. Even if the time out is not working for her, it's working for me to take a few breaths and calm down and get over the "OUCH, DAMMIT!" phase!
 

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Just to clarify - puppies are SUPPOSED to do this. Not at the same level in all breeds or the same level within a breed, but puppies are supposed to act like puppies.

Just like little kids throw things that hit us in the head...puppies and babies should be active and interested and want to taste their environment (babies put so much in their mouths!).

You can work on BITE INHIBITION:
I see a lot of posts about puppies nipping, which is what puppies do. I think the goal is not so much to stop them from biting, but to teach them good bite inhibition/having a soft mouth. You can do the stopping biting quickly using negative reinforcement, or teach it slowly and as positively as possible where the dog actually LEARNS bite inhibition. And a result of this will be less and eventually no biting.

That is a huge thing for a dog to learn. I have a pack o' dogs, I get foster puppies and I never have to teach it because they do it for me. Mario will in fact lick my arm in apology if he makes a mistake and mouths me.

Since most people don't have that luck there are some articles on teaching it-that is the goal, really, bite inhibition, not stopping nipping. So yeah, can you scruff or smack a puppy and get them to stop? Yes, but can you create other problems in the process? Yes. And you want them to learn to do this as they grow.

Bite Inhibition Article The first part is the best.

http://www.phsspca.org/training/puppy_biting.htm

http://www.clickersolutions.com/arti...PT_Puppies.htm
The other thing to remember is that you are replacing the playmates and mom that he knows and unless they had people spending a lot of time with the puppies at the breeder, they really don't know much about interacting with people. I think you'll all be fine! And as soon as shots are done, sign up for a positive based obedience class for fun!
 

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one of the methods you could try that i'm not sure if anyone else mentioned but works very well for rowdy dogs (including puppies) is to remove from the situation until they calm and relax and then bring them back on. Victoria does it all the time. Dont use the prong on a 5 month old. Their neck muscles arent developed well enough yet to handle that kind of collar and you could be causing more harm than good. You'll have to be consistent with the removal technique for it to work. When he starts mouthing your 4 year old, remove him. When he is relaxed and calm and not mouthing, praise for being a good boy. Its pretty simple. But you have to be consistent. if you cant correct, the puppy needs to either be crated (perfect for timeouts so everyone can have a break) or behind a gate where he cant have the chance to be a brat towards anyone.
 

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Ok, I am by no means any kind of an expert, and I don't really have anything new to offer, but I thought it might help for you to know that I was once in the exact same position with Lexi that you are with Timber.

I read all kinds of stupid advice on the internet about scruffing her, alpha rolls, and grabbing her muzzle and doing a muzzle correction. NONE of those techniques were really my style, but I was desperate to find something that worked and I tried the alpha roll once when she bit me so hard she drew blood (never tried the scruffing technique) and also did the muzzle corrections. Neither worked and only got her amped up more. She thought it was play time and would come back for more, often drawing blood again.

Even though I was a newb to German Shepherds, even I could tell when something is not working. :) My desperation then led me to find the forums. Ditch the bad internet and tv show advice. The only things that worked with Lexi was consistent time outs in the crate, ignore, ignore, ignore, and teaching her bite inhibition. It's a bummer because it does seem to take forever to teach them these things, but it does work eventually. Everyone also brought up great advice to practice NILIF.

I also had a huge problem in the back yard with her "kid bowling." Nothing was more fun to her than chasing them down and knocking them over. And sometimes, she would even just knock them over when they were only standing there just for the fun of it. The one suggestion that worked for that (I got this suggestion on the other forum) was to get a long 30 foot lead and stay on top of her in order to be able to give her a correction before she reached them.

Take heart, it is completely normal and we've all been there. There's a reason that they call GSD pups landsharks and furgators. :) It does sink in with them eventually, just have patience.
 

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Ditch the bad internet and tv show advice. The only things that worked with Lexi was consistent time outs in the crate, ignore, ignore, ignore, and teaching her bite inhibition. It's a bummer because it does seem to take forever to teach them these things, but it does work eventually. Everyone also brought up great advice to practice NILIF.
:thumbup: I don't think he's defiant and I don't think he's trying to show you that he's the boss. He's a normal 5 month old puppy with no manners and poor impulse control and bite inhibition. You need to set clear rules and enforce them consistently and you need to put him away to chill for awhile if he won't settle down. I've always used a crate for timeouts and it's never been a problem, my dogs still love their crates and go in them readily. In fact, I can say "that's it - timeou!" and they'll run to the crate on their own! Think of it as a break, not punishment. You need to show him what you want him to do instead of just what you don't want him to do, and you need to make sure that he's being consistently reinforced for that better behavior.

Cassidy was almost exactly that age when we got her - 20 weeks old, 1 week shy of 5 months old and she was exactly the same way. There was nothing dominant or aggressive about her, but she was a total PITA because she'd had no training and was already big enough to jump on the furniture. She thought we were playing, and oh boy was she having a terrific time! I, however, wanted to wring her scrawny little neck because she just wouldn't take me seriously. Welcome to NILIF!

Sounds like he has way too much freedom. This is a dog that should be on a leash at all times - limit his ability to practice bad behavior and don't forget to reward him for the correct behavior. What we so often as dog owners do, especially with a young active out of control dog like this is spend a lot of time and energy telling them no, no, bad dog, pushing them off if they jump on us, grabbing them if they try to chase, yelling at them if they bark, etc., and then when they're NOT being bad we tend to ignore them because they're no bother and we're exhausted from dealing with them when they are being a bother. And as you've discovered, physical corrections often get them even more amped up.

It's the exact opposite of what you should be doing! I don't mean that you can or should ignore his biting/barking/chasing, just that you need to manage his environment so he can't do those things freely so that you're not constantly reinforcing it with your attention. Think about what you'd like him to do INSTEAD, and work on training those behaviors. How much time do you spend each day reinforcing good behavior - marking and rewarding eye contact, teaching him to sit to greet people, acknowledging and praising him when he's calmly playing with a toy or chewing a bone, training him to go to a mat and stay there until you release him off?
 

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I also had a huge problem in the back yard with her "kid bowling." Nothing was more fun to her than chasing them down and knocking them over. And sometimes, she would even just knock them over when they were only standing there just for the fun of it.
Can I make a copy of this and hand it out to people who say that an adult GSD wouldn't possibly work for their situation; they need a puppy for their little child so they can "grow up together"?
 

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Lexi, I'm cracking up at your "kid bowling" , never thought of it that way:))

Something I want to add here, I saw posted you walk him 2-3 miles a day when you can,,,Why walk????? I would be wearing him out , he needs more than a walk to tire him out, does he like frisbee? chasing a ball? All you need is to take 10 minutes a few times a day, and run him probably right in your own backyard.

I do agree he's most likely at that butthead stage and ANY attention whether it's good or bad, he's getting attention:)

I also would either, leave a leash on him in the house, or a pull tab, amp up the nilif, if he even looks at the kid, instead of saying leave it,,get up tower over him and tell him to leave it,,(and mean it:) ,

And some dogs LOVE chasing down kids, not recommended of course, I'd start working with your child and keep the running in the house to a bare minimum if not at all...

He is definately still a puppy, and a rambunctious one at that, he most likely needs some heavy duty exercise to burn off that energy..They say a tired puppy is a good puppy:)

Good luck
 

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I guess I'm going to be the minority here but when my GSD jumped on my neighbors two year old I scruffed her, and continued blocking until she gave up the hunt. I can deal with the puppy faze biting and jumping but your kids should not fear their dog- thats unacceptable IMO. My GSD is WONDERFUL with my kids and has grown with them beautifully but they are older than yours and grew up with LBD's. Whenever Zoe tried to nip at them they gave her a firm no, and directed her outside where she was left until she chilled- usually 5-10 minutes. This morphed into when she nipped they would say do you need to go outside? She would sit right down, **** her head to the side, and relent. I wouldn't tolerate allowing the dog to chase, nip at, or jump on your kids. Yes it is normal for a puppy to try this, but really should be stopped at all costs. Up the exercise that was our best friend, buy some yummy marrow or knuckle bones and feed raw outside when the dog is on chill out time, and remove the dog from your childre nthe minute is chases, nips, or jumps:)
 

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Can I make a copy of this and hand it out to people who say that an adult GSD wouldn't possibly work for their situation; they need a puppy for their little child so they can "grow up together"?
Of course, lol! Also, I am in the unique position of being able to vouch for both sides of that. In July, we brought Kato home (he was house raised by their breeder) and he was about 10 months old. Technically, while he was still a "puppy" he is very laid back, easy going and extremely biddable, not to mention very loving in nature. Complete polar opposite of my little she-devil. :wild:

Transitioning him into our pack was literally a breeze compared to the trials of teaching Lexi the proper way to behave. I wouldn't change my girl or our experiences for an instant...she taught me so much. But Kato was out of the bitey bitey phase, no chewing on anything innapropriate, housebroken, and is always infinitely gentle with my little girls. :wub: The kids still love Lexi to pieces, but Kato is definitely their favorite.

Sorry to threadjack! :)
 

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I guess I'm going to be the minority here but when my GSD jumped on my neighbors two year old I scruffed her, and continued blocking until she gave up the hunt. I can deal with the puppy faze biting and jumping but your kids should not fear their dog- thats unacceptable IMO. My GSD is WONDERFUL with my kids and has grown with them beautifully but they are older than yours and grew up with LBD's. Whenever Zoe tried to nip at them they gave her a firm no, and directed her outside where she was left until she chilled- usually 5-10 minutes. This morphed into when she nipped they would say do you need to go outside? She would sit right down, **** her head to the side, and relent. I wouldn't tolerate allowing the dog to chase, nip at, or jump on your kids. Yes it is normal for a puppy to try this, but really should be stopped at all costs. Up the exercise that was our best friend, buy some yummy marrow or knuckle bones and feed raw outside when the dog is on chill out time, and remove the dog from your childre nthe minute is chases, nips, or jumps:)
I don't disagree with your intent, but I think that it can be stopped by a leash correction rather than scruffing. Scruffing wouldn't have really been feasible in my current backyard anyway, even if I did want to use that method, as my yard is a half an acre. Couldn't catch the little snot. :)

The long lead was doable though. And I don't think that there's anything wrong with keeping a shorter lead on the dog inside as well. My leash corrections usually weren't what I would call "nice" either.....I never, ever yanked her off of her feet or choked her, but she always got the message. We eventually weaned her off the lead both inside and out, and all I would have to do is show her the leash and collar and she would settle down...same thing with crating. I would just ask her if she "wanted to go in her kennel" and it would break her thought process and turn her into a good puppy, so I have had similar experiences with you there. I also agree with you about excercise...a tired dog is a good dog.

I think it just boils down to what you are comfortable with doing and what works for you, and most importantly, what works for your dog. The more "alpha dog" mindset of dog "training" methods did not work for us at all, and only made things worse. Thank goodness for good advice I got from the GSD forums, or I don't know where we'd be! :toasting:
 

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I wouldn't tolerate allowing the dog to chase, nip at, or jump on your kids. Yes it is normal for a puppy to try this, but really should be stopped at all costs.
Absolutely, and I don't think anyone was saying that you should allow this to continue. But rather than dealing with it with some kind of correction after it's happened it would be better to find ways to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Removal of attention and the end of fun is a very effective training tool, and one that I used a LOT with Cassidy! It was the single thing that had the greatest impact on her - similar to what you're doing by sending Zoe outside by herself when she wasn't behaving. Play nice and you get to stay with the family and have fun, fail to obey the house rules and you get banished.
 

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Oh I'm all for leash corrections too- not yanking either but a quick pop and a firm no. When I refer to scruffing I also don't mean jerking your dog to the ground like I've seen some do but a firm hold and no. Outside time outs are also great for us because Zoe hates being separated from any us though she hasn't nipped at the kids since she was maybe 4 months old- that one she learned quick. She does however, forget to respect guests so she is put out until she is calm and leaves them alone....she is my favorite devil girl though:)
 
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