This video shows how I interact with 4 German Shepherd Puppies of 11 from my current litter.
There is a lot more to training and tips that I haven’t shown here as the video would be forever long so this is a basic summary to help with unwanted biting and spotting behavior to correct along with crate tips at the end that will hopefully help families in dealing with manners/biting and their pups.
Also shows how a litter should interact, respecting each other and me correcting the pack when there is unwanted behavior.
Malley was brought back here after being homed from week 8 to week 13. He has been in the kennel with myself and the other puppies for 4 full days on the day of this video. He was sent back with complaints of biting, being bossy, barking, showing dominance with their other small dog, messing in the house along with obsessive behavior.
As of day 4, he is testing me and the other litter mates to a small degree now that he is more settled, but I am not seeing any obsessive behavior and he is learning the boundaries very quickly. He is also showing submission to me and hasn’t bit me in a mean way at all since arriving.
Malley is an extremely smart, logical puppy and if the owner is not consistent with him, they will fail and Malley will take over and the behavior might not be correct as they are self-teaching to what they think is appropriate.
The biggest part of correcting a puppy is to make sure that you “win” the battle as they will continue to push and consider themselves “the boss” over you if you are not firm and have “the last word!”.
They are puppies, they will try to nip and mouth as they are teething and that is also their way of interacting but let’s face it, it hurts and I find that puppies that respect me, do not nip me as I am very firm from birth onward. They will mouth my hands, but that is also corrected.
Do not touch the face of an excited puppy. Do this handling when the puppy is calm.
Correct attention from the handler, especially positive, is imperative for rearing puppies and attention given at the wrong time, encourages bad behavior.
I would rather give a puppy my full attention for a good hour of positive interaction and then crate him for 2 hours, then let puppy wander the house and I am unable to give him 100% of my time which allows him to create bad habits along with unwanted behavior. Notice that the puppies were all on the mats with their bones and not one puppy went for the shoes or boots! If I were to leave them unsupervised, eventually the boots would become their chew toys too!
If puppy becomes unreasonable, put him for a rest in his crate, chances are he is overtired and needs a rest. This is not mean, it is merely another teaching tool and allows them to reflect on what has happened in the day. Along with the fact that most puppies sleep up to 18 hours a day.
Also, do not give puppy full run of the house. It can be overwhelming for some puppies as they feel they need to protect the property and they become insecure dominant.
Baby gates are ideal or even an x-pen if you have room for one. Let puppy feel secure in a small area and if good behavior is shown, then they earn a great area in which to play. This does not mean to lock up the puppy and not take him out. There must be balance. i.e. If he gets the run of the kitchen only and can go into the other rooms on a leash, and then outside the back yard is all his, this is a very large area for a puppy to play and interact with the family!
People have often asked me why their dog will bond with one member of the house more than the other….my answer, they will bond stronger to the one that shows the most leadership and lets the dog know exactly what is expected of him. Very simple. You can show love, love, love to the dog but without discipline, they will not respect you.
This breed is not for everyone and as much as you might love a certain breed of dog, their personalities may not be suitable for you. Calm, assertive handling is imperative for a power breed like the GSD and you always have to be on top of training the first year to end up with a calm stable dog.
Exercise is also extremely important as this breed is not couch potato material! The energy they show towards a bad behavior is the energy that you use to correct it.
This breed loves to work, so the best way to bond is to work them and challenge them!