Pack of Two - Page 3

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Pack of Two

This is a discussion on Pack of Two within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; At 8 weeks of age you most definitely need a kennel...a portable clock and plenty of dirty shirts.. I had to laugh at the title ...

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Old 12-20-2012, 07:29 AM
  #21
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At 8 weeks of age you most definitely need a kennel...a portable clock and plenty of dirty shirts.. I had to laugh at the title of your thread..A pack of two what? LOL Not much of anything to come in a pack of two.

All kidding aside I have owned many dogs living alone and all did fine. I adopted a GSD from the shelter where I worked who was 1 1/2 and had been abused. She had many issues but with time and being consistent all worked out great.

The key with any breed puppy is to be consistent and do not start a routine you will not be able to continue for many months. Patterns and routines are the best way to teach a puppy how life will be living with you. These patterns and routines also help bond with you because they learn you will do this...then this etc..They will know when to look forward to that walk or that play time. They will learn when it is rest time/quiet time. Of course once older routines can change. As mentioned exercise will be very important. Flirt poles...large yards...teaching fetch..All good ways to burn off energy.

Will you be enough? Yes..Will it take time and energy? Yes
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:24 AM
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Hi, Welcome

The best thing you can do for this dog to prevent behavioral problems is to be proactive.
There are a lot of resources we can recommend (so let us know if you are looking for something specific) but the most important thing for you to do is identify potential problems and work on them from day one - before they become problems.
As subado said, here that is going to be gastro issues, guarding, sharkyness, and (given the slouch on the parents) I'm going to add hip/joint problems.
I noticed the health guarantee is only for one year and is for a replacement dog (unfortunately, red flags - and corroborated by some of the negative reviews) but putting your dog on a joint supplement early and being cognoscente of not over-exercising them on pavement is still going to be important. Pain is a huge factor for reactivity, and one I find that gets often overlooked.
The gastro is something you can do more research on. There are many different ideas about "ideal diet" but regardless of the food itself, I am a big proponent of feeding dogs for working. That means meals are given for training sessions or in puzzle toys. Both stimulate the dog's mind (essential for more driven breeds) but they also prevent the dog from ever gulping down their food and are an excellent way to prevent bloat.
EPI is scary business. My border collie gave us a right scare this year when he developed it and we couldn't diagnose him, so know the signs.
Guarding? Start socializing him as soon as he comes home. One mistake people tend to make though with socialization is quantity over quality. Make sure he gets to meet lots of other dogs and people, but also make sure they are the right kind.
Dogs:
Either other puppies his age and activity level (super great for burning excess energy and bite control), adult dogs that still have a little play in them, but will gently (but firmly) tell him off if he goes too far.
Dog parks are over-rated, there is almost always one dog there who shouldn't be. You're better off setting up play dates with friends or even folks you find on the net until you have a good read on your boy's personality and you feel confident removing him from a less than ideal situation. I don't want to scare you, and most dogs are fairly resilient, but a profoundly negative experience, especially in youth, can take months or even years to rectify. Just be mindful, and I'm sure you'll be ok.
People:
Friends and family willing to help you with training. Lots of practice of people coming over to the house. Reward him for calm behavior when he sees people walking by outside (actually, when you arren't around it's best if he can't window-watch the street, this has a high tendency to cause barrier frustration) the door gets knocked, when people come inside, when they sit down and chat with you. They can reward him with food or loves, or a favorite toy can come out for them to play with (that maybe he only gets when people come over). Whatever he seems to like (it's also important not to "reward" dogs with things they don't like - like vigorous pats on the head-face). Teach him early that people coming to the house = awesome.
When you are out and about, try to keep social interactions when they happen brief and low stakes. Walk by strangers and, if your pup seems to want to greet them, ask if they would like to give your boy a treat. If he's cuddly, and solicits affection, they can pat him, but if it's just a casual interest, don't force him to interact. Just a quick reward and back to your walk.
Avoid walking him on leash directly up to another dog (this is fairly rude in dog social circles) and avoid letting dogs greet on leash. Many dogs become reactive when this happens (other dogs that have learned to find it threatening) and could snap at your boy. That could be fine, or it could make him uncomfortable, so just be mindful.

As for mouthing? Be consistent with how you work on this. Tab289 has a great video. When teeth touch skin, the game is over (for 30 seconds to a minute). If he keeps going after you, you remove yourself from the room until he calms down. When he's cooled off? YAY good boy, let's play some more.
Many people advocate yelping like a puppy, but my experience is that this makes puppies more excited, even if it startles them for a second. I like a calm "whoops" and the game stops - make yourself totally unexciting.
Also, make sure he has lots of awesome things around for him to get his shew on with - so that he can satiate that drive. Here's where those puzzle toys come in handy again.

As a parting note, I highly recommend checking out the calming signals sticky. Having a solid understanding of dog social signals will go a long way in helping you prevent reactive behavior, because you will see the nervousness and can address it at that stage, rather than the escalation (which is what most people notice first).
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:24 AM
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Wow, thank you for your detailed and lengthy response. I really appreciate it.

I know that hip and joint problems run rampant in GSDs, but I've prepared myself fairly well for that with research. This is also a repeat breeding of this particular sire and dame (her second and last as I am told) and I've spoken to people with his...elder siblings, I suppose. So far, so good, so that's a little heartening. But I will definitely get him supplements, thank you for the advice. While I'd heard a little about exercise on concrete, I will definitely be mindful.

As for the routine, my puppy will be home during a time that I won't be away at all. For his first two weeks I won't have class or work, but after that, I will. Is there a good way to deal with this shock in routine?
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:14 AM
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Looks like you got some support to help you with your puppy, after all you can't beat a real live aficionado of the breed to guide you, I doubt a total Noob who cares nothing about the breed,like me, could have anything whatsoever to offer That being said there is something about the way that LynneMarie and Millitantanimist entered the thread that tells me they might actually be worth paying attention to
I'm sure everything will turn out just fine, Good Luck
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:19 PM
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I'm not going to comment on any of the Schutz or the breeder, because it's honestly something I know nothing about! But I'll just tell you my experience being a young first time GSD owner.

When I got my first puppy of my own, all we really knew was that she was a Shepherd mix because that is what her mother was. The mother was a stray on the reserve and to this day, we don't know what she is. She is definitely at least half shepherd and maybe have some lab or hound or rottie or dobie (coyote probably...).

The only dog I had before that (my now 13.5 year old!) was a very biddable rescue border collie x spaniel.

Turns out the man who brought the mother to the SPCA had a PB German Shepherd, so Remy is at least 75% GSD.

I cried the first few days I brought her home. She would attack my feet and snarl at me. I was really really hard! I wasn't as prepared as i should have been to be honest, but she is now 4 and such a good dog! If I succeeded training a GSD, you can. You have done the research and you will be fine! Just make sure your dog gets lots of socialization with people and animals (dogs, cats, small animals...)

PS- Definitely crate train. I came home to 6 sq feet of linoleum ripped up in my kitchen one day, also a hole chewed through my drywall with insulation everywhere... shall I go on? Even though I was exercising her upwards of 3 hours a day she had so much extra energy.

Good luck with your boy!
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:30 PM
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Great post Zoorun, if it's not to personal which Rez ?
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Shawsea View Post
Great post Zoorun, if it's not to personal which Rez ?
Ktunaxa in the Kootenays- ?Aq'am (St. Mary's) in particular.

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Old 12-23-2012, 01:04 AM
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I'm far more familiar with the coastal tribes, but have definitely spent time in the Kootenays, are you a member of the Aq'am band ? Again if that's not to persona of a question
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:14 AM
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I'm far more familiar with the coastal tribes, but have definitely spent time in the Kootenays, are you a member of the Aq'am band ? Again if that's not to persona of a question
No I'm not, I just lived near there. I'm the opposite, I know some of the ones in the Kootenays and Interior. Some of my friends are member of Bands in north as well (PG area). There are some major feral dog problems lately. Dogs forming packs etc. Breeding with coyotes... etc. I think my dog has a splash of coyote in her, she has some of the characteristics and it's very possible!
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:13 AM
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HAHAHA too funny, you have no idea what a can of worms your opening with that comment LOL. People will flame you into the ground for saying dogs form packs LOL. Just so you are forewarned. I laugh every time someone throws kindling on the fire, and think of Masset or even worse Klemtu
Sorry Metric I'll hand the steering wheel to the train back, so you can put this thread back on it's tracks
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