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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks. Just joined this forum and need a little (a lot) help. I have raised a fair number of dogs in my life and while it can be a lot of work, it has always been manageable. My girlfriend and I adopted a new puppy recently. He's an 11 week old German Shepherd/Australian Herder mix. He's a great dog and we immediately fell in love with him. But he has to be the most needy dog I've ever met. If he doesn't have continuous access to one of us, he freaks out to the point I'm worried he'll hurt himself. We don't even have to be out of sight. We have a small gate blocking off the kitchen and the second we step over it he freaks. I've tried ignoring it and slowly getting him used to being alone. But we can literally be standing 6 inches from him on the other side of the gate and he'll soil himself in a panic. Nights are the worst. We have his crate next to the bed but if he can't see us it doesn't matter. We've had him for 3 weeks and have gotten zero sleep. Any advice anyone has would be great. I'm exhausted and starting to fantasize about a house fire (I'm being sarcastic, but seriously, I need some sleep).
 

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How are you dealing with biting? Yes, I know that isn't what you asked about, but are you punishing him for biting or trying to repress his urge to bite? How much time does he get to just hang outside in nature doing what puppies do, biting on "prey" objects like balls, sticks, tug toys etc?

What I am getting at with these questions is SA comes out when the urge to bite is repressed. Biting is how dogs connect to their social group, ie for a puppy it's littermates.
 

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He has several chew toys that that he plays with. I work from home and make my own hours so I play with him for about half an hour in the morning, and about 15 minutes every hour during the day unless he's sleeping. When I'm not playing with him and he's not sleeping he chews his toys and plays by himself in the same room with me. I know he's a puppy and needs to chew things so I don't really try to stop him. When he starts chewing on the couch I redirect him by giving him a chew toy but never punish him for it. The only time I discourage him is when he bites too hard on me. I don't want him learning it's ok to bite people but that's about it.
 

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Do you ever just hang with him outside while he does his thing? That is not engage him in play, just be there while he busy's himself doing what puppies do: exploring, sniffing, chewing on sticks etc. If he gets too worked up when you do play with him and starts biting, toss a ball for him to chase and bite on. He will learn not to bite people without you having to teach him not to in the same way babies stop putting everything in their mouths it comes with maturity. With puppies, I always like to spend as much time outside as I can, when inside they go in their crate and sleep. No toys, chews etc in the crate, just rest, I am very boring in the house.
 

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I don't take him outside except to do his business. We live in an apartment so we don't have our own back yard. There's a dog park on the property but our pup hasn't completed his shots yet (the last one is scheduled in two weeks) so we aren't letting him run and play free out there until that's done.
 
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