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I need help with my puppy!

  1. #1
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    I need help with my puppy!

    Hi forums,
    I recently adopted a female German Shepard puppy a few months ago and lately it's been a struggle trying to train her and keep her calm. So far, she know the basic commands but it's a struggle teaching her to stay when I open the door.

    She also acts out a lot, she goes crazy running up and down the house and chews on everything! We have lots of toys for her but she doesn't play with them unless we are with her. Her outbursts are really frustrating especially when I try to keep her away from areas (garbage, storage boxes, wires, etc.). She will literally pounce on me and bite me continuously.

    I know she wants to play, but how do I show her I don't want to, instead being relaxed. How do I tell her that somethings not okay without her trying to bite me. Every time when she's in her "hyper mood" and I want to pet her she lunges out and bites me in the arm.

    It's also been hard with potty training her. She pees on the pads but I prefer her to do her business outside since she gets in the habit of peeing in the same spot even if the pads aren't their. I love my puppy to death but it's hard teaching her self control and getting used to peeing outside.



    I need advice on how to help my puppy control her behavior without having to spend the majority of her day outside because she can't control of her behavior indoors. Anything is honored. I really want me and my puppy an amazing relationship.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum, your pup in your avatar is very cute, congratulations!

    You have to teach her to stay first, before you can really expect her to stay by an open door. You can set some time alone with her, short lessons several times a day. Get tiny bits of a good treat for a reward, like small pieces of beef frankfurter, tiny pieces of American cheese, something small and tasty, but doesn't take long to chew or anything. Never give a reward if she doesn't obey a command.

    Get her in a room or in the yard. Tell her to sit, then calmly praise, saying 'good girl', then give tiny treat. While she's still sitting, put your palm toward her face and firmly, but gently, tell her to 'stay'. Walk away from her across the room, watching her. If she gets up and moves, put her in the 'sit' again, no treat, and tell her to 'stay'. Correct as soon as she breaks the stay. Once she starts to do it well, you can walk away with your back to her.

    If you get several feet away from here, it doesn't have to be far at first, and she stays in a sitting position, walk back to her and tell her 'good stay', then give treat and calm praise. Once she does that for a couple of days, then call her by name and command her to 'come' after she's in a sit-stay .

    When she comes to you, give reward treat immediately and tell her 'good girl', pet and praise. Repeat successfully two or three times, then stop the lesson. Give another lesson a couple of hours later when she seems to be in a receptive mood. Once she reliably stays like this with no distractions, then you can attempt to make her stay with distractions or by the open door.

    Remember that they can sense how we feel. If you feel nervous or frustrated or angry, she definitely will sense your mood and react accordingly. Always be calm, confident and firm, but always positive...never scold, yell or strike at the dog...always positive training.

    She's a young puppy and has a lot of energy. You must help her release the energy in a positive way so she won't act out in the house. This means taking her on several walks per day, and giving her playful attention. Do you have a yard? You can play fetch or something fun with her there. You have to give her physical and mental stimulation and bond with her in order to have a well-balanced happy dog.

    When she tries to bite you, you should have something in your pocket to give her immediately, like a small bone or chew toy...and tell her 'no', you chew on this. When she gets bored with it, put it back in your pocket for next time. Everyone in the household should be doing the same thing, and on the same page. One person guiding her on how to behave is not enough if another person in the house lets her do as she pleases.

    Anticipate a lunge before it actually happens. If you think she's about to jump up on you, firmly tell her to 'sit', when she sits, give her a small treat or calm praise. She can't jump up on you if she's sitting. Never be loud with a command, just calm and firm.

    I'm training a new puppy right now, and I'm using newspapers in the kitchen near the back door to the yard. I take him out often, so he doesn't have to use them much, and it's been going well. When they're young they go often and do not have control over their bladders yet. Mine needs to go out after a nap, first thing in the morning, right after he eats, etc. It's up to me to show him that he should go outside whenever he can. When he walks near the back door, I take the sign, and get him outside quickly....so he doesn't walk over to the paper.

    My dog is confined to the kitchen with a small gate across the doorway when he's unsupervised. Now I'm bringing him into the living room also and watching him so he doesn't go on the carpet. If I have to do something else, he goes back in the kitchen or outside. I spend as much time as possible with him, I'm retired so I don't have to go to work everyday.

    Everything comes one small step at a time, and training a puppy takes a lot of effort and patience. But I guarantee, it's well worth it when you have a dog whose bonded with you, listens well and is a pleasure to be around. Lots of info in one post here, just do one thing at a time until you and the dog get it right.

    Shepherds are dominant and will control you and take over the house, but only if you let them. She must know that you are the leader, and she need to follow your guidance. Good luck. Linda here has a beautiful Shepherd, and has a lot of experience, I'm sure she can give you much more advice.

  3. #3
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    Reply to alpha1

    Thank you so much for the reply! I love my puppy to death and she's only growing. I really appreciate the advice.

  4. #4
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    You're welcome! You'll love her so much more when she begins to show some manners, she'll make you proud. Lots of work ahead, but just posting here shows you really care, I know you both will be very close and happy for a long, long time.

  5. #5
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    how old is she? Shepherds are very smart, she wants to please you, you just have to show her what to do to please you. I will say this though, I've had many shepherds, over 40 years of shepherd experience and I do find that females are harder, males what to please you, females want you to please them. But nothing is impossible.

    I would not be housebreaking her to papers or pads, You will just have to retrain her later to go outside. I suggest crate training, usually takes me about three weeks to train mine using the crate, not to the point where I'd trust them alone in the house but enough so they let me know when they have to go out.

    When she tries to bite you redirect her, say NO and offer her something else, I've had good luck with antlers, if you get an antler make sure it has the points on it, the flat ones can slide down her throat and choke her.

    Please don't spay her to early. I know the vets recommend doing it at six months but there is overwhelming evidence of bone issues if done before they are fully mature. I don't do mine until 18 months and have been in heat twice. If you spay her young her nose will grow longer as well as the leg bones putting stress on the knee. 85% of dogs that have the crucia tear in the knee were spayed or neutered before a year old.

    You are not going to teach her everything at once, one thing at a time, when she masters one command then move on to the next. Teaching her NO, Drop it, and to come when she's called is very important, may save her life one day.

    A shepherd is a high energy dog, you need to tire her out, run her until she's ready to drop, a tired puppy is a good puppy. After she runs off some of her energy she will be more receptive to training.

    She should be fed at least twice a day, three times is even better. Do NOT free feed. New food pushes out the old food and if she has access to food all the time she will nibble and it will be much harder to get her on a housebreaking schedule. Put the food down, give her say 15 minutes to eat, if she doesn't finish pick the dish up and don't offer her food again until the next meal time. With the exception of treats used for housebreaking.

    If you have any questions just ask, been there, done that, I can probably guide you
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  6. #6
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    Here is my guide to housebreaking, I say he but it works equally as well for a she

    PuppyTraining
    First off, what are you feeding? I feed raw but any HIGH Quality grainfree dog food will work.
    He needs to be in a crate when you can’t watch him, the crate has to be small, just big enough for him to lay down and turn around in. If the crate is to big he will potty in a corner and be able to get away from it. They are naturally clean and he will hold it if he can’t get away from it, But you must be fair, a young dog can only hold it for one hour for each month he is old. In the crate he will fuss or bark when he has to go out. If he goes in his crate the crate is to big or he’s been left alone for two long and he is unable to hold it.
    Take some of his poop out with you and put it in the place you want him to go. Same for pee, take a rag you have wiped up previous accidents with and use that also. Use a word like “outside” or go potty. Stay with him until he goes then praise, praise praise and give a treat. Let him run around for a bit them praise him again and bring him back inside.
    He is a baby, he will have accidents in the house Do NOT scold him,just pick him up and say “outside:” he will come to associate the word with going out to do his business. If you scold him or punish him he will be afraid to go in front of you and will look for places to go where you can’t see him.
    Schedule is Very important. You must feed him at certain times every day. A young pup should be fed three times a day. Take him out within 15+20 minutes of eating. Again say “go potty” and stay out with him until he goes, then again praise and treats. He will have to go outto piddle after he drinks, plays or wakes from a nap If you see him start to sniff around or circling he’s telling you he needs to go out. Listen to him. Even if he doesn’t go he’s learning.
    Pickup all food and water at least two hours before bed time. Take him out one more time before you go to bed then put him in his crate. If he fusses ignore him. They are like children, if he realizes that fussing gets him out of the crate you are in for problems. You are the boss, he has to learn the rules. Only take him out if he fusses if you think he has to go out.
    I would not train him to puppy pads. You will just have to retrain him later. Bad idea. Do it right, get it done then you don’t have to worry about it. I’ve had pups trained in as little as three weeks. Not to the point where I’d leave them unattended but they are getting the idea and will let you know when they need to go out.
    It is not hard, you just need to be consistent and be fair, he’s just a baby and he needs to be taught what you want him to do.


    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  7. #7
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    by the way, NO exercise after eating for at least an hour. Exercise has been linked to bloat and that is something you do not want to deal with. Walking her around to go potty is ok, just no running, or jumping.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  8. #8
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    Reply to Linda2147

    Thank you so much for your advice. She is around 4-5 months and we are very aware of when our puppy needs specific shots and when she needs to be neutered. We take her to an amazing vet and they love her! We are currently in the process of making a proper schedule for her as well. We had a male German Shepard who passed a few months ago, and we couldn't stand not having a dog in our home. So, that's when the family adopted our new puppy. And yes, we all figured the first day males are easier than females. But we're making great progress, and hopefully as she becomes an adult she'll calm and become more relaxed. But we love her to death and we spoil her rotten.

  9. #9
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    I can give you advice but what you do is up to you. Vets recommend all kinds of shots, I don't. Vets recommend early spay and neuter, again I don't. Over vaccinating can cause many health problems. At five months old you should be giving her a fish oil pill daily, a probiotic and a joint supplement. As you know shepherds are prone to hip problems, you need to keep them on the lean side and a joint supplement will keep the joints lubricated and kind of create a cushion of the joints for protection.

    This is a different dog than the one you lost, depending on the blood line and training she may or may not be as agreeable as your other one. If there is any chez in the blood line you are going to have your hands full. Chez dogs are tough, stubborn and as they age they tend to be more aggressive.

    Just a word of caution, don't take everything the vet tell you as gospel, check things out, do your research and use your own judgement. Its your dog, you have the final say as to what's done to her.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  10. #10
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    Very good advice Linda Especially about not taking what the vet says is NOT the Gospel. Sometimes the vet does more bad than good. ANd we all the learn the hard way at one point in our our lives. heck human Drs aren't any better !

  11. #11
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    Unfortunately, I have a really big issue. I have been using the methods posted here and it's been better with my dog. However, I have other family members in my house. My sister and father are reversing all the methods I have trained her to do. My dad hits and viciously yells at her whenever she play bites. I tell him to have a toy around him but he doesn't listen. I told him if he keeps doing this method she will become nervous and afraid of him, in which she will bite him hard in the order of self defense, in which many dogs are euthanized because of this. My sister on the other hand will allow my dog to control and bite her because instead of her yelping and walking away from her, she will literally move her hand back and fourth, while sitting down. I really appreciate these posts, but nothing will happen unless my sister and father are all committed to training her the right way. My mother understands the situation, and has been using the methods of a dog mother in which my mom doesn't yell loud, but stern, and doesn't hit or hurt her. I really want an amazing relationship with both my dog and my family.

  12. #12
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    Everybody has to be on board with the training. Different people, different training methods is only going to confuse her. Your father should not be hitting or yelling at her, keep it up and he's going to ruin that dog. Tell him if he can't do what you want with your dog to not do anything. Hitting and yelling boarders on abuse, thats no way to train an animal. They respond to gentle training, not yelling and hitting. Shepherds are smart there is no need to abuse her to get her to do what you want.

    Good luck with that.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffydoggie View Post
    Unfortunately, I have a really big issue. I have been using the methods posted here and it's been better with my dog. However, I have other family members in my house. My sister and father are reversing all the methods I have trained her to do. My dad hits and viciously yells at her whenever she play bites. I tell him to have a toy around him but he doesn't listen. I told him if he keeps doing this method she will become nervous and afraid of him, in which she will bite him hard in the order of self defense, in which many dogs are euthanized because of this. My sister on the other hand will allow my dog to control and bite her because instead of her yelping and walking away from her, she will literally move her hand back and fourth, while sitting down. I really appreciate these posts, but nothing will happen unless my sister and father are all committed to training her the right way. My mother understands the situation, and has been using the methods of a dog mother in which my mom doesn't yell loud, but stern, and doesn't hit or hurt her. I really want an amazing relationship with both my dog and my family.
    Oh boy this is a disaster waiting to happen. If you all sit down together and talk this out prayerfully you can all agree. For goodness sake that dog is gonna be so messed up! And he will get mean. Yeah it has to be all of you on the same page. And if this continues the way it is , you may do well to find her a new forever home who had more experience. The dog can't be living that way...... Maybe a calmer breed would be best for you.

  14. #14
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    Thank you all so much for you're kind and honest replies. I spoke with my mom and she first insisted on leaving my dad and sister out of the equation. However, we have spent a lot of time with her today focusing how we can form a better relationship with our puppy.

    I spoke with my mom tonight, and she said that all of us must be committed and need to establish rules on how she will be trained. My father is now in the process of understanding how to handle mistakes made by our puppy, and how to humanely correct her.

    My dad has had dogs for a very long time, he's just that old school kinda person, but he can still change and help find better ways of training. My sister is more aware about her (our puppies) controlling.

    She now shows our dog that she doesn't want to play, in a nice way without even touching her. We know she isn't the easiest dog when it comes to training, but we all love her and though she can be a little pain in the butt we still give her a good belly rub. Other than that the main thing we need to work on is kennel and potty training, especially since it's winter. I appreciate these wonderful and helpful replies. I don't know what I would do without all of your kind and caring help.

    P.S. If you wondering her name, her name is Mina, and her gender is female.

  15. #15
    why don't you go to a proffesional trainer? you won't lose anything

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