Training a German Shepherd

I have a German Shepherd female pup that, as of today, is 3 months old. I have a few questions. She has learned some things pretty fast, but doesn't always listen or do as she is supposed to. She will sit when told and go into crate when told, and responds to, "do you want a treat" and "are you hungry, want to eat?".

I have a dog door at home that she goes in and out of while we are home. She learned to use it from seeing our 4 year old German Shepherd go in and out and showing her myself. If we are home she will usually always go out herself to potty. But there are times I still find pee or poop inside and have to clean it up. She is in a crate while I'm at work for sometimes 5 to seven hours and she does fine and doesn't go in the crate. I still show her how to go out at night, that seems to be the bigger problem, not so much in day time when we are home. It's like she forgets she can go out of the dog door at night. Any suggestions?

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Also, when do they usually begin to start to lose baby teeth? It looks like her baby teeth haven't hardly come in yet. I read they usually lose teeth then ears stand up around 4 to 6 months, but her ears are totally up in the air and stood up like that at about 2 or 2 1/2 months old.

Also, if she is play biting with me or our other dog and she gets a little rough I will pop her nose easy and say, "no", and she does not like to be told no. Sometimes she listens and other times she will bark back at me and chop her teeth loud. Sometimes it seems aggressive when she does it and other times it seems like she is just playing. Does that sound like she may have an aggression problem?

Thank you, I hope I didn't ask too much at one time. :o)

Nicky from NC

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April 4, 20060 found this helpful

Congratulations on having GSD's. They are fantastic dogs. Crate your dog at night until she can be trusted. Take her out to relieve before bed and not again til morning.It sounds like a lot of crating, but she will live. Just make sure she gets lots of exercise during the day.

If you don't have a collar on her, get the best leather or heavy ribbed fabric collar you can afford. It should be 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide and tight enough that you can slip 2 or 3 fingers in. DON"T keep it too loose. The collar will be your "steering wheel" and you should have her wear it 24/7. Check regularly for correct tightness as her neck will grow.

Never bop her on the nose, as that will make her hand shy. But when she is mouthy like you described, you need to INSTANTLY correct the bejabbers out of her by grabbing her collar while you are standing and IMMEDIATELY (timing is crucial) letting her know that is totally unacceptable. Personally, I have lifted my GSD,s off their front feet and told them in no uncertain terms what the deal is and we have three, all house dogs. If you have not corrected in this manner or are not comfortable doing this, have a professional assist you. A dog should never mouth your hand. You are the boss. Shepherds especially need to know who is in charge and it is NEVER the dog. Love her and play, but never relinquish your role as pack leader. Uncorrected mouthing can escalate to real problems.

This is long, I know but many large dogs end up in shelters because of bad manners.

Work with her by setting her up. That is eliciting the mouthy behavior (flip your hands around, talk excitedly) and then giving the correction if she mouths your hand. Just don't use her name in this exercise. Do this as often as you think about it during the day. When she is responding the way you want then play, treat or whatever, with lots of praise when she reacts as you wish. These are smart dogs and they will figure it out if we are consistent in showing what we want and will praise for and what is not acceptable. You have a small pack on your hands and that is fine, just be in charge.

Her teeth should be coming in any time and she may need extra "chewing". Check in her mouth to see if any teeth are loose. Usually teeth come in just fine, but it's good to check the mouth. Ears can be up, down, sideways and usually are up by 4-6 months. We even had a "conehead", her ears both leaned in from about 10 weeks til she was 5 months. What a cutie.

Good luck with your dogs.

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April 5, 20060 found this helpful

This sounds like a pretty well-behaved dog for three months. She just needs a little time. As for the play-biting, I think that comes with teething, but should be discouraged. Sounds like you found a good one.....good luck with her.

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April 5, 20060 found this helpful

I agree. Hitting is never appropriate. I would suggest that playing stops, instantly, as soon as she bites. Get up & walk away. When she comes to you to play again, praise her. Keep doing that & she should catch on quickly, since that's what puppies live for, to play. She sounds very smart to have learned so much in a short time. Remember, training & playing should be fun for both of you.

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April 5, 20060 found this helpful

Thank you all for the information :o)

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April 16, 20070 found this helpful

Hey guys, nice site, very informative. I have had german shepherds all my life and now im 29 and they still dont stop amazing me. Ill try to keep this short but i have about 4 dogs, all shepherds except one rottweiler, a male shepherd is the oldest and definitely the alpha out of them. Now the oldest dog had a grandson that was given away from a puppy about 3 years ago and was returned to me about 6 months ago. Since hes come back, the alpha dog (his grand dad) has not allowed him to join the pack, everytime he gets too close especially if the family is close by, he goes straight for him and fights him until he runs off. I have introduced pups to this pack that are fine with them, but this grandson is quite the outcast here. What should i do? He doesnt ever get beaten badly usually just nips at each other, just enough to sound and look scary.

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November 5, 20070 found this helpful

My baby bites, and I mean hard! He will just come at me, like the dogs that you see in the police training videos, out of the blue. He is 5.5 months old,and I refuse to hit him, what should I do? By the way, his baby teeth are falling out.

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February 21, 20080 found this helpful

I just feel I using too much force to get him off bitting my kids to play and to stop pupping inside. He is only 11 weeks.

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August 19, 20080 found this helpful

I've bought a 3 month old German Shepard. He loves me and my brother and follows us whereever we go. He's too pampered by my dad so he bites him everywhere. He's very stubborn and you can't stop him from doing something. He bites a lot of things. At the same time, he's a quick learner, he can go up and down the stairs. I have a 3 story house. He loves doing dirty things like running into the toilet and licking the drainage area. loves biting the broom and the mop when my maid does cleaning.

All in all he's a cute dog. Just a little stubborn.

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August 29, 20080 found this helpful

Sounds like grand dad needs a lesson on scent, to stop this aggressive behavior bathe all dogs when done take your shirt off (the one you wore to bathe all dogs)and put it on the grandson a combination your smell plus the dogs he allows in his pack this will set things straight its all about scent or the lack of it. Now to my question any ear ache home remedies for German shepherds

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August 29, 20080 found this helpful

Sounds like grand dad needs a lesson on scent, to stop this aggressive behavior. Bathe all dogs. When done take your shirt off (the one you wore to bathe all dogs)and put it on the grandson a combination your smell plus the dogs he allows in his pack this will set things straight. It's all about scent or the lack of it. Now to my question any ear ache home remedies for German shepherds

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January 22, 20090 found this helpful

I had a German Shepherd for 13yrs and lost him only last year, he will always be the best. No matter how much we tell ourselves that they are like people, for their sakes we must remember they are not or we can make them insecure purely through kindness! Your dog does not have an aggressive bone in his body BUT you must hear this; When he is 'play biting'! The true interpretation is, he is showing dominance over you so never allow it,

Here's how; as soon as he becomes over excited simly stand straight do not look at him and totally ignore until he calms down if he tries to go away from your feet bring him back without talking to him he will calm and when he is not nipping and he is in a calm a mind as you are you can then calmly say goodboy and continue the play. Always remember, rough play makes a rough dog. Calm breeds calm, and kind, but firm and consistant breeds a secure, safe feeling in your companion. Hope this helps.

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