17 week german sheppard puppy

(36 Posts)
absentmindeddooooodles Fri 21-Jun-13 10:33:57

Just wondering if any of you wise mnetters have any advice on how to train a 17 week old GS.
She's lovely, but am struggling a bit. My partner has experience with GS but even he's losing the will to live a tiny bit.
I'm a sahm with a 2.3 yo ds, so put a lot of time into trying to train her but its just not working.
There is constantly soooo much mess all over the floor ( I never knew a dog could produce so much poo and pee!!) She makes no attempt whatsoever to go outside. The back door is constantly open and even after weeks and weeks of consistent training she just goes all over the floor. She also pees uncontrollably whenever she's excited or told off or.....anytime!!
She also nips....I know a lot of this is normal puppy behaviour, but its getting a bit too much with ds. She jumps up to his fave and tries to nip...not hard but I guess this is playing and asserting dominance. Every time she does it we push her down, say no bites and get D's to nicely but firmly say no to her.
Nothing is working though. On the odd occasion she is left alone there is utter devestation. We have a stair gate on the kitchen door and she stays in there with access to an enclosed yard so plenty of room.. She's caused hundreds of pounds of damage already and I just want it to start improving.
Any tips would be so greatly appreciated. We have had dogs before, but never this bad and always managed to train them. Its really the messing that is getting me down...there's only so many hours in a day that I can spend disinfecting!

absentmindeddooooodles Sat 22-Jun-13 11:07:39

Thank you for the replies every one.....it sounds like I need to wind the walks down....we have a small house so this is why we are out a lot. My son is very eenergetc and currently undergoing diagnosis for ADHD and as so I take him out a lot. I thought it preferable to have her come with us a lot of the time than leaving her at home. She's not full out running while we are on the beach. We walk right across it and then go and settle down by the little stream, so she's only walking for about 20 mins. She likes our company so I thought this would be good. The park is literally across the road so its not a big walk there. She gets let off the lead for a bit, and then we put her back on and go and sit in the park while ds plays. So not as much as it sounds, but obviously maybe still need to think about reducing. I did ask the vet about the recommended amount of excersise, and they said as she was bred on a farm she will be entirely used to a lot of it. Lots of mixed messages!

Fragile....glad to know I'm not alone!! Haha. The bike thing sounds like a fab idea....although she's so bloody strong I fear is probably end up in a hedge. :-D thanks for the tips with the bed too. She has the run of the little kitchen and the back yard ( which it sounds like I need to close the door to) and sh comes into the front room with us in the evenings and in the day when ds isn't having lunch or drawing etc. ( bad mistake letting her in the same room as crayons)

Daisy.... With regard to the jumping up I do not allow it. Every time she does she is pushed down and told no. This may not be the right thing to do but that's what I've always done and its worked every time before. She is constantly being trained as in every pee poo jump etc, but we do ten mins twice a day just focused on her. She is at home enough to learn. We are up at the crack of dawn and don't go to bed until after midnight. Even if we were out 5 hours a day which we are not, I think sh has and is having suitable time to be taught and at least start picking up on the fact she should go outside. I can't be attached to her 24/7as I don't imagine any dog owner can be, but we are being vigilant and will carry on doing this until the problem is solved. Like fragile said, it can be pretty tough going having to clean up such a multitude of mess and destruction on top of that caused by my ds. The only. Reason she is being walked more than she should probably be is because she literally destroys the house without a lot of exercise. She has toys and bones to keep her occupied and nice down time with us where we encourage her just to muck in and be part of the family. Sit with us while ds plays etc and also all evening while it is family time.

Boo. Just bought a clicker yesterday so going to start giving it a go today. We do a lot of the fun bits like paw etc, and she seems to enjoy it so hopefully this will encourage that learning :-)

Karbea...like I've said the house is pretty small with one access point to the yard from the kitchen. Where she stays when we need to eat go out just relax for a bit etc. Again as I mentioned she is not walking for all that time. Just out with us, as by the level of destruction left if we go out for any amount of time is horrendous. The most she gets at once is about 30 mins, we walk across the beach or round the woods, and then settle at the dog friendly cafe or beach bar for lunch or just a chill out. This is why we are out for so long. Definatley no flat out walking or running for that long. I thought it would be good to socialise her a bit swell, as she tends to bark at other dogs even though she is gentle as anything with them and just wants tro play.

Again thanks everyone for the advice. I'm aware that the walks need to be cut down for a little while whilst she is developing, and to get the crate training back on track. Fingers crossed it works!

Lilcamper Sat 22-Jun-13 09:25:03

Saying ouch like a puppy can make an over excited puppy worse. You should NEVER scruff a puppy, the only time a mother dog would do this is to pick a pup up and move it, not as a punishment.

Your puppy is running on adrenaline.

She is getting way too much exercise and stimulation. She is only 4 and a half months old; her exercise must be limited to suit her age. No more than half an hour a day walking at the moment - there is a much written about 5 minute rule for puppy exercise - allow 5 minutes exercise for each month of age. The guidance is there for two reasons. One is to protect the growing dog and the other is to ensure the dog's activity level is appropriate for its physical capability.

The asking for walk thing is nonsense - GSDs are v smart dogs. She has learned that jumping up at a lead is a way of getting attention. She does not need any more exercise.

Wind her life right down. As a poster has said upthread, spend some time training her. A five minute training session a few times a day will use her incredible brain and tire her out mentally. Walk her at most twice a day. Teach her to play by herself, give her things to chew and work at.

Puppies will run on adrenaline forever. They have no off switch - at least not one they can activate themselves. A pup will keep on and on and on, with their behaviour getting worse and worse and worse; they will become even less able to produce the 'right' behaviour. You have to manage your puppy in the same way as you do a child - they need enforced calm and rest at times to prevent a meltdown.

GSD have well documented hip problems. I certainly wouldn't be asking for future problems by allowing her to jump up in the first place, nor by over exercising at this very vulnerable age.

With regard to house training, a permanently open door to the garden often makes training take longer. She hasn't yet understood that outside is where you want her to go. Keep on going with ignoring inside accidents and taking her out every hour, after every meal, after every game and every sleep. If she has been out and about as much as you have said, she can't possibly have been learning where to pee and where not to when at home - she's not been at home long enough to work it out.

Karbea Sat 22-Jun-13 08:13:35

Re the nipping, you should ouch like another dog as her real mum would have done and you can pull her back with the tuff of skin on her neck again like her mum.
"No" is very overused so she might not know what "no" she shouldn't be doing iyswim.

Karbea Sat 22-Jun-13 08:06:34

Definitely feed her in her crate, and give her any treats in the crate, all toys stored in the crate.
Sometimes you just have to ignore the crying, you are training her and she is training you. For a dog it's all about hierarchy.

Booboostoo Sat 22-Jun-13 08:05:10

Ditto the above. You should be very careful with early exercise with any breed but particularly with large breeds.

On the plus side mental stimulation can work as well as physical exercise. Get a clicker and practice training multiple times a day. You can teach her things to improve her behaviour, like not jumping up, but also just fun stuff to keep her occupied, like shaking a paw.

Karbea Sat 22-Jun-13 08:02:17

I'd also say you definitely need a crate, having lots of space is going to be very stressful for her. When you leave her put her in her crate, when she gets too excited, crate. It's a very useful,tool.

Karbea Sat 22-Jun-13 07:58:56

Regardless of the toilet thing you really shouldn't be taking a puppy gsd for 2hr walks. Her hips aren't properly grown yet and you'll end up doing long term damage.
You need to get her brain working so lots of training in the garden would wear her out more and be more productive. The excitement weeing is definitely due to pent up excitement so the training would help with that.

Do you have a large house? Because mine is quite big with lots of accesses to the garden. I think my puppy found it very confusing, the only way I managed to crack it was keeping him in the kitchen (or his crate) most of the time and only using one back door. And continually reminding him that he might need to go. Mine is an American cocker and it took him a lot longer than my previous gsds, but he got it eventually, one day it just clicks for them.
I wouldn't use puppy pads as again think ths is just another confusion.

FragileTitanium Sat 22-Jun-13 07:49:59

Although I'm an inexperienced dog owner, I'll throw my hat in the ring. First of all, you sound as though you are a brilliantly patient and lovely dog owner. I would have given up long ago (sorry all doggy people). Second, it sounds absolutely horrendous. I know everyone says your doggy is a baby, but it doesn't mean it is not utterly unbearable!
It sounds as though you are doing all the right things - so here are a few things that I discovered for myself that are not in my puppy bible, The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey.

My 4 month old teeny bichon/shih tzu loves running more than any normal puppy should. It got to the point that if I didn't take her for off lead runs in the country for at least 2 hours a day, she wouldn't settle down at home (charging around, making (cute) irritable noises, destroying things etc). I was so exhausted that I could barely move. So I started training her to run next to my bike. In addition to an 45 min walk a day, she also runs at least 1 km next to my bike (on safe bike path, away from road). This has calmed her down SOOOO much - it's wonderful - and saves my energy for less important things, like looking after the family smile. Various people in the know say that a tired puppy is a well behaved puppy - perhaps if your puppy is like mine and needs exercise way beyond what all the gurus recommend?

The other things that helped me toilet train is teaching my puppy that the whole house is her bed. So I crate trained her from day one with some extremely cosy sheep skins in her crate (left over from baby days). After she got used to that, I took some of the sheep skins and laid them around the house and she started snoozing on them all round the house. She didn't pee or poo near any of them and it finally clicked that all pees and poos should be done outside. Although it sounds as though your dog would probably eat the sheepskins, I thought I'd let you know - just in case you wanted to try it too. Cleaning up doggy wees and poos on top of all normal cleaning with children is completely soul destroying!

Best of luck.

lougle Fri 21-Jun-13 23:58:34

The more you walk her the more she'll want it. A training session (do you do clicker training?) will tire her out as much, if not more, than a long walk.

littlewhitebag Fri 21-Jun-13 23:00:07

I wonder if she is over stimulated. Out for a few hours on the beach at her age seems like a lot to me. She is just around four months and so should get around 20 mins walk at a time (or is it different for GSD?)

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 21-Jun-13 22:51:34

Have had her checked for a uti. All clear. We go to the beach and spend a few hours, but take her lead on it ( excuse the pun) if she gets tired we will start to head home. The park is only across the road, so go over there for a good hour with ds. She gets two big lead walks a day, again, we take her lead. Don't want to exhaust her but want to help her get all that energy out as it seems to be endless.
If we are going out for a half day etc, she will come with us. We will never leave her in the car or at home for long periods of time....only when unavoidable.
If she's I'm she's constantly asking to go on walks....jumping up to nlead etc.
But we make sure she has a good amount of down time at home too, and try to let her relax with us. I'd say she's out and about as much as my ds. Almost. I think we have a good balance with it.
We are feeding her pedigree on the vets recommendation

How long are you out and about with her? How long are the walks and trips to the park and so on? You say constantly out and about?

What is she fed on and have you had her checked out for a UTI?

SignoraStronza Fri 21-Jun-13 17:44:41

I'll come back to this later but for feed have you tried Fish4Dogs puppy food? This is what my 22 week old gsd pup is on, which is what the breeder sent her back with. Is 70% fish and the rest is potato and as well as being good for her coat, is also believed to be good for the temperament. Only available online though but free delivery and cheaper than the fancypants shop/vet stuff.

Booboostoo Fri 21-Jun-13 17:22:48

For the toilet issues:
- I would get the vet to check there is no medical issue
- I would consider a change of feed
- I would get her an Adaptil collar and difuser, it makes a huge difference to many stressed dogs

To really crack this one though you need to thoroughly clean all the areas she has soiled so there is no residue smell, take her out every half hour and at all other times have her on a lead and attached to you so that you can monitor her constantly. The moment she gives signs of wanting to go, take her out, if she goes then give her the bestest treat ever (liver, cheese, sausage) and loads of praise.

For the jumping up teach her a good sit and down (by rewarding these behaviours) and ignore all jumping by folding your arms and turning your back to her. This is something she has to learn in her interaction with adults first before you apply it to her interactions with your toddler.

Keep trying with the crate without closing the door. All nice things should happen in the crate, don't force the issue, wait for her to chose the crate.

Ideally she needs puppy socialisation classes and beginners training classes, so if you can take her asap.

KittyLane1 Fri 21-Jun-13 17:14:57

Agree with standing like a lemon. It's worst at night all the neighbours must see me in my jammies standing saying pee pee, go on good girl, do a pee pee!
I found getting rid of puppy pads really helpful but you have already done that so....sounds as if you are doing everything right, he is just taking his time. X

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 21-Jun-13 16:32:52

Have'nt tried covering the crate and feeding her from beside it, sounds like a good suggestion so will definatley try that!
Good strategy with the kids too, although think mynds is a bit too young to be consistent with that. Will definatley give it a go though!
She goes out every half hour or so in the day, and up until about midnight. The last time she is let out is generally around then, and we make sure she has a little time outside with us to give her an extra chance to go before she goes to bed. Puppy pads were only used for the first few days, but like I said she was never encouraged to go on them, so hopefully there was no confusion for her!
Thank you for the advice shall put it all into action!

Lougle, she loves being outside, and will go if we are out there for long enough. She loves other dogs people the beach and woods so don't think its through her being nervous. She is a total wuss in the rain though! Haha.
She's never left alone for very long. I'm a sahm so a few hours here and there for playgroup is the extent of it. She's huge and strong, and managed to rip three cupboard off in the time it took us to go to the shop. About 30 mimns!!
The only time she's ever been left alone for long was when I had to go to the hospital unexpectedly for about 6 hours.....and only the general rippping stuff up when we got back!
I think she may be a little anxious, but we have never hit ( apart from tiny tap on the nose when way too rough with ds) or shouted horribly, so I'm thinking it may be in her nature a little?

lougle Fri 21-Jun-13 16:07:38

Sometimes a dog can be very anxious which stops them from weeing and pooing. They then wee and poo when they relax.

My dog actually finds walks very stressful. He's scared of...most things and particularly other dogs. So he doesn't wee and poo on a walk, he waits until he is home. If he's outside he'll do it there, but he's still known on occasion to wee and poo in the house if it's raining because he hates the rain. He spends his 30 seconds outside, cries, then when we let him back in he takes himself into the hallway, so we have to be vigilant.

Crate training takes a while in some dogs. I found that having him in the crate with the door shut, but sitting beside him and feeding him kibble or treats through the bars worked. I gradually decreased the frequency of feeding, so at first it was hand over hand, then eeking out the time.

She sounds like she's left alone for quite a while? If she's managing to destroy so much she may be bored. Destruction tends to come with anxiety also.

hap77 Fri 21-Jun-13 15:01:08

Have you tried covering the crate and making the room it's in dark when pup is in there? Our first night with pup was horrendous and he made a huge amount of noise but we made sure we ignored him as our breeder said and he has been more than happy in the crate ever since. I started off leaving the radio on for him in the day if he has to go in it but turn it off at night. We also warned both neighbours that there would be a few noisy nights and apologised in advance.
Ours also jumps up at my children and tries to nip their face/clothes but they are slightly older (youngest is 5) I make them stop, stand up and turn away from him. He then stops and they can resume playing with him and they stop again when he starts the nipping again. If he is getting too much he goes in the kitchen with his toys to have a bit of a calm down as his crazy moments tend to only last half hour at a time and sometimes it really is too much.

We have been lucky with accidents and have had none, I take him out after every nap, meal and playing but have also learnt to watch the signs for when he is ready to go. I also take him out at midnight and then again at 5am and then 7am. Have not put any puppy pads down at all as I don't want him to associate the house with where he goes to the toilet and so far it's worked. He is only 9 weeks though so younger than yours.
It's definitely hard work and I have masses to work on with him but keep persevering, will get there in the end.

Are you doing training classes?

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 21-Jun-13 12:58:06

And your right about them being like q baby. My ds is 2.3 and going through a diagnosis for ADHD and as......the dog is much more hard work!! X

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 21-Jun-13 12:56:56

Haha bless her.
We are constantly out and about at parks beaches woods dog walking areas etc. And when we are at home I take jher into the courtyard at the back every half our or so and stand there like a lemon for ages while I wait for her to go, which she rarely does. Lol though like you've said really really praise her if she does.
The heated pad and spray sounds great. Off to pets at home to get some. She's claimed pretty much every single one of ds's Teddy's so safe on that front. Lol

KittyLane1 Fri 21-Jun-13 12:18:55

Like not Luke, not Lukes hete

KittyLane1 Fri 21-Jun-13 12:17:27

My DD sometimes gets upset but usually tells her to go away, I wanted a cat not you!! (She is 3!) In general my pup is very good its the peeing that's driving me mad.

My dog isn't bothered for treats either, she does love a tough chew tho.
The puppy pads were torn to shreds here as well.

Do you take him out a lot to parks etc? Kinda keep him out and about so he pees, poos and you praise?

I got mine a doggy teddy bear and heated pad from pets at home and they keep hee happy in her crate.

It really is Luke having a baby, my dh doesn't help much and it can get me down. Seriously recommend beaphar pet spray x

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 21-Jun-13 11:44:56

Thanks frettchen. I'll go and have a look now. Sounds fab. We,be had her since she was almost 8 weeks. I know I need to persevere with it all. Just hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when no progress whatsoever is being made!
Have looked up training classes and just need to try and find some childcare as there's only one around here. As soon as I work out the logistics we will be straight down there.
She is such a lovely dog, and I know its all about how you train them and its down to the owner, but good god she's hard work bless her. Would never give up on her, just want to make life a little easier all round.
I thought buying the dog was the expensive bit.....turns out replacing 3 cupboard doors, a freezer, half the kitchen floor and repairing a hole in the door is the pricey bit! Haha

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 21-Jun-13 11:37:43

Wow, thanks lilcamper. I'll have a read into it. Just shows I shouldn't automatically assume!

Like I said, I have since day one taken her out very regularly for the toilet. Puppy pads were used at night and she was never encouraged to go on them in any way, it was just to save my floor a little bit from the inevitable accidents.

That's exactly how I tried it with the crate. Put a nice big cushony bed in there, did meals in there and put toys and bones in all with the door open. Gradually began to shut the door but literally there is nothing that I can do to stop her being so noisy in there!

I realise a lot of the time it is me like you say not being vigilant enough, but surely going out every half hour and being praised when she does go should be getting us somewhere after so long? I've never had such issues with a dog before.
Of course oi understand that she is a baby, and I know as well as any other parent that teaching takes time and consistency.
Thanks for the advice

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now