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!

Confusedandfedup Fri 21-Jun-13 10:41:59

My sympathy, sounds horrendous. I've not had a puppy only older dogs but maybe you should get a crate.

KittyLane1 Fri 21-Jun-13 10:43:30

Hi, I have a 13wk old German Shepherd and she is the same. She jumps up on DD, nips and scratches. I know she is playing and doesn't mean it but its hard work.

Toilet training: do you use puppy pads? Get special dog pee spray to clean it up, the smell puts them off. Do not use vanish, it contains amonia which encourages the dog to pee! My vet told me not to have the door open all the time as the dog won't notice, open the door when he needs to go.

Do you use a crate? They arent that expensive and are great for night and when you go out.

What puppy food do you use?

topknob Fri 21-Jun-13 10:46:05

Which is she more oriented to? Treats or praise? My gsd is not food oriented at all so when I trained her I used lots and lots of praise. And no puppy pads! Just paper at night until one night I took it away and she was clean from then on.

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 21-Jun-13 10:53:36

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!!

She is not msassivley fussed with treats..only what she can get her paws on from plates/cupboards/fridge. So I'm going with praise and if she's really good a nice bone to keep her occupied.
We did use puppy pads but she ripped them to shreds every time we put one down. I've tried using the spray stuff that puts them off.....she peed all over her bed and poor up the wall at this point :-( shall check the other cleaning products for ammonia tho..never thought of that!!
Have a crate, and had noise complaint ts from the neighbours as apparently she howled for 3 hours. Tried it when we were outside and she really did make a racket, and the broke the door. So I will admit I did just give up at that point.
Will try having the door closed, sounds like it will work a lot better than what I'm doing. Just so hard to watch her 24/7 as she does not let us know when she wants to go.
I'm just using the stuff the vets recommended. The pedigree puppy food. The vets said that this natural one was better but at 53£ a bag just could not afford it so they advised to go with pedigree.
Kitty how does your dad react? Does she get upset when the puppy jumps and nips?

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 21-Jun-13 10:54:34

Dd not dad. Damn auto correct!

idirdog Fri 21-Jun-13 10:55:08

You have to take her outside ever hour at first on lead and stay with her until she wees, praise like mad when she does. If she wees inside it is your fault for not noticing the signs and taking her out enough. She is way too young to go out on her own and also as she has been weeing inside she is clearly confused so you will have to take her out frequently. Clean the house with specialist cleaner to remove any smell of her urine. DO not use puppy pads they will totally confuse her as whether to wee indoors or out.

I would crate train her - this will take time as she is older but will stop all her destructive behaviour. If you want help on this I just let me know.

She will at this age need a lot of training and will need to be mentally stimulated to ensure she does not get bored or destructive.

She does sound anxious to me re weeing on greeting etc so manage this by greeting her outside and just ignore the wee. If you tell her off she will get more worried and then more weeing. If the greetings are calm she will have no need to wee.

She is not asserting dominance just an untrained lively confused puppy.

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 21-Jun-13 11:05:18

Thank you idirdog. From day one we have taken her outside about every half hour on the lead. Puppy pads were used at the beginning as recommended by the vets, but have not been used since she continued to destroy them. Like I said in a post the back door is always left open for her too, so combined with the fact that she is taken out with me or do very regularly I just would have though she may have been at least starting to get the idea by now.
She is highly praised if she does ever go outside, but we have never given her cause for confusion re messing inside or out.
Would appreciate some advice on the crate training, as it was just too noisy. Ds is a bad sleeper anyway, and the few times we tried it at night, he was up all night. I have no idea how to go about making her at ease in there, so I know this is down to me.
She gets regular stimulating walks, goes to the beach and the woods a lot and make sure she always has toys and company so is not bored.
The only reason I thought she may be asserting dominance is because she often pushes ds to the floor and stands on him so he can't get up while she sniffs him. She does not hurt him and I always stop it, but its the same behaviour I've seen her display with the cat and other dogs.

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 21-Jun-13 11:06:49

Sorry about all the spelling and grammar mistakes. On phone so impossible!

Lilcamper Fri 21-Jun-13 11:22:13

Dogs don't dominate people or other dogs, it is a myth that is very slowly dying out. She just needs to be taught what is expected of her.

If you used puppy pads in the beginning she doesn't associate the door being open with going to the toilet. She needs to be taken out by you after meals, after play, after naps and inbetween these times too. Ignore accidents, don't tell her off, this will just serve to make her more anxious and increase the chances of stress weeing.

Clean up any accidents using diluted bio wash liquid, this will get rid of any traces of smell which will attract her back to the same place.

The crate needs to become her happy place. You start by feeding her meals and giving her special treats and toys in it WITH THE DOOR OPEN. If you search on YouTube for kikopup there are some wonderful helpful videos on all aspects of training.

Above all, remember she is a baby, she will make mistakes and most of the time it will be because you haven't been vigilant or experienced enough to recognise the signs.

Good luck.

Frettchen Fri 21-Jun-13 11:36:19

First thing I would suggest is that you find an hour or two and look for Kikopup on youtube. I heard of her from someone on here and I think she's great. She does focus on treat-based rewards, so it might be worth seeing if you can find some high-reward food your pup responds to.

I can't see from your posts how long you've had her other than 'weeks and weeks', so I'm not sure how long you've tried taking her out regularly, but I'd suggest persevering - some dogs pick things up faster than than others. Keep up with the hourly garden visits, praising when she goes outside. Leaving the door open won't really help until she's really picked up what it is you expect of her.

Then, working from the Kikopup videos, you need to work on encouraging calm, acceptable behaviour; things like not jumping up at your DS. Rewarding good behaviour will work a lot better/quicker than reprimanding bad behaviour.

Regarding the crate; you may just need to start crate training again; do what you can to make the crate a nice place. Give her her bones there, encourage her to sleep there. Do all these things before starting to close the door/leave her alone in it. Make sure she's not fussed in the crate; the crate is for calm, quiet time.

Have you taken her to puppy obedience classes? If not - definitely start there; the trainers will be able to offer you much better advice than us as they'll be able to see what it is your puppy needs from you.

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

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

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

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

Like not Luke, not Lukes hete

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

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

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?

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.

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?

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

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.

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.

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?

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

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