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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9568
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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My GSD puppy is 11 1/2 weeks old. She is brilliant when out

Customer Question

My GSD puppy is 11 1/2 weeks old. She is brilliant when out on her lead meeting people and at home when visitors call she is so friendly. However, when I sit down with a cup of tea, she starts barking and trying to nip me. She has started at puppy trainingand everyone there loves her. It just seems to be with me. I am finding it very upsetting and really could do with some help please.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
don't need phone call. pressed wrong button.
Expert:  Dr. John replied 2 years ago.
Hello. Thanks for writing in.What is your typical response to her when she starts doing this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I try not to push her away. I also say no in a deep voice. I have tried putting her in the kitchen but it is not easy to catch her. I
must admit that I find it a little intimidating as although she is young she is strong. I have also tried yelping to show it hurts.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
Hello, the expert above has opted out so hopefully I can help you. What you have is a typical GS puppy that is following its instinct to move you. This is what they were bred for. They keep other animals moving. It is also typical puppy behavior.
You are correct she is smart. She is eliciting some type of reaction from you and this is rewarding to her. You are talking to her, (telling hr no) you are yelping, possibly some pushing away or movement that is rewarding to her.
The problem with yelling no or yelping, pushing, is that it only interrupts the behavior, it does not change it nor does it tell her how you would like her to behave.
Try instead to teach her the name of a toy and ask her to fetch that, try telling her to sit, wait and reward that behavior while you fetch a toy that will invigorate her mind. There are many dog puzzles that can use the dog's mind and body and it redirects them to appropriate behavior. You can get a buster cube and fill it with the dogs daily kibble and a few treats. There is also the treat dispensing ball which you can do the same. There are puzzles in which you can hide a treat and the dog has to lift the puzzle piece to get the treat. There are balls that move on batteries or ones that move irregularly which are also entertaining to pups. Kongs stuffed with some dog food, some cream cheese, and frozen, can keep a puppy busy and help ease teething at the same time.
Keep in mind that a dog will always do what works for it and they learn young. Usually when it stops working , they stop doing it.
At this stage given the dogs age it is best to redirect her with a command that she knows and will succeed at following then give her one of the special toys to occupy her mind.
The more good behavior you can have her do and reward her for, the more good behavior you are likely to see.
This is an active breed that does use a lot of its mind, so the more stimulating you can keep the mind on down times as far as physical activity the better off you will be.
You can even get a large Gatorade bottle and fill it with food and a bigger biscuit or two to partly block the food from coming out all at once and use that until you can find the other puzzles you want. IF you go to amazon and type in dog puzzles you will find a host of them.
Also some dogs do annoying behavior to get what they want and if you put a command to that act , praise and reward them for doing it on command then eventually that's the only time they will do it.
She is still very young and will make mistakes , patience and consistency with puppies is key. Put a plan in place and don't deviate from it. Train in short sessions like 10 minutes but do it several times a day as this too will wear out a pup as much as physical exercise.
You don't mention what method you are using in training class, sometimes that also makes a difference.
Please feel free to come back and ask about anything you are not sure of. If you are satisfied with my service please rate before you leave so the company recognizes my time with you.
Also once you have tried some of the above suggestions feel free to come back in a few weeks and let me know how things are going. Just keep this question in your email. Sometimes I am able to do follow ups with customers but since there was more than one expert involved that wont be possible this time.

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