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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'm posting here as a last resort. I'm 21 years old and just graduated college. The past year I've been preparing for a GSD puppy. I bought the crate, an xpen, treats, toys, and countless training books. Literally my idea of fun was watching positive training videos on YouTube. I interviewed breeders, made sure they tested their dogs for OFA and DM and I thought I was fully prepared for a puppy.

I thought WRONG!

I've had my male GSD puppy for three weeks (he's 11 weeks) now and I literally feel like I can't handle it. I work from home, so I'm nearby all the time, but it really interrupts my work having to get up every fifteen minutes or so to take him potty. He constantly whines and barks if I ignore him. When I try to play or pick him up he bites me SO HARD!! I've had puppies before, but this guy bites until he draws blood!! My last puppy was a GSD, but I had him when I was ten so my parents did most of the work, I think I underestimated how much work it would be.

The problem is I feel depressed. I literally cannot keep up with the amount of energy he has. I just feel so overwhelmed that I'm having a hard time even getting up from bed. I thought I was so ready for a puppy, but I feel like I can't handle this little guy. My anxiety is through the roof, and I've seriously been considering asking the breeder to rehome him...

I feel so terrible about this. I really wanted a loving companion, a dog that I could go on walks with but also sit on the couch with. I know my puppy would get there, but I just can't imagine surviving a year of this.

I have cuts and bites up and down my arms and legs, I'm crying from exhaustion, and I just don't know what to do.

Please help!
 

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Normally, I'd suggest a person take a deep breath, ask friends and family to come and help for a bit so you can have some time off, and realize it will get better.

However as you are describing cuts and bites up and down your arms and legs, and judging by your level of exhaustion, contacting the breeder may be the best choice.

Also, in my experience, some people who attempt to find a genetically healthy and well structured GSD find that about the only groups who are breeding such dogs are involved in performance, dog sports like French Ring, Schutzhund, and the like, and these dogs can absolutely be super-energetic and land-sharks, and can very easily overwhelm a person who doesn't have experience handling these more demanding sub-type. Is this possibly what happened with you? Can you link your breeder's webpage or information?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,
As you thought, finding a healthy GSD was hard and the woman I bought them from competes with them in Schutzhund. All her dogs are titled in it.
I'm just concerned that this dog will have a higher energy level than I'll be able to handle. I love dogs and I feel so disappointed in myself about this. I have a lovely 6 year old rescued chow chow who I thought was difficult to raise, but she was nothing compared to this puppy.
I know this is my fault and not the puppies fault, but I want to do what's best for him and for me too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I really do want to make it work with this puppy. If he was older the exercise thing wouldn't be a problem. I run frequently and love walking daily, but because he doesn't have all his shots, I'm wary about having him on the sidewalk. I also know that since GSD's have such problematic hips, it's best not to have them run until they're older.

Does anyone have suggestion then for how I can tire my puppy out? Without feeling exhausted myself?

Also, what to do about the biting? I've tried saying "ipe" but that only excites him more. I've also tried the whole time out thing, but even when I act like a tree he is still bitey.
 

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Keep his mind occupied

Have you tried those toys where you can hide treats in them. like Kong?

Don't feed him out of a bowl. Put his meal in the toys, ranging from easy to difficult, and let him figure himself out. You will be surprised how long it takes them to find all the food and after they burn out all the brain and physical energy they are much more obedient. Keep trying.....
 

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My suggestion would be to find some great positive trainers/behaviorists in your area and set up contact with them. They probably offer puppy classes - go to those. They'll have a wealth of ideas for you in terms of providing the exercise and mental stimulation your dog needs and will be a good contact if you ever have questions or feel overwhelmed.

I get where you're at. I have anxiety and brought home a puppy a year ago with, as my mother who teaches special education would say, "some unique behavior challenges". Check out my second post here - I was in way over my head. It does get easier once you get over that anxiety hump. I think if you push though it and establish come good contacts, you'll be in a better place.

My dog is a year old and I finally connected with some people who could help me with his behaviors - they are great and I wish I'd met with them sooner!!

My advice: test out a puppy class, meet some dog savvy people, give it a couple of weeks and then see how you feel. You may wake up one day and wonder how you ever felt so stressed :)
 

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I would suggest reaching out to the breeder anyways. they should be able to help you train away from the biting issue.

As far as exercising your pup, going for a run on grass is fine as a pup when done in moderation, the big risk for taking a pup on a run at young age is when you run on cement, asphalt or hard packed dirt trails, they have no give.

Drain the pup's energy through mental stimulation, i.e. train him to shake, play dead, dance, whatever....the key is to stimulate his mind.

Find out if their is a local schutzhund group. Go to one of the gatherings and ask for advice on how to deal with the biting issue. They will have experienced the same thing and will be more than willing to help. Like I said, Schutz GSDs are notorious for being little land-sharks when they are pups.
 
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