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Puppy Trouble

Squirrel
October 24th, 2005, 07:25 PM
Hello All...

I'm new here as of today and was wondering if anyone had some simple tips for my family. We got our (now )14 week old puppy at the age of 8 weeks old. He is a german shepherd / lab mix. My husband and I have had little trouble training him with certain things, and our children have all gotten the hang of keeping the control of our puppy . All except our middle 9 year old boy. I fear that he may be afraid of him, and Ace(our puppy) must sense it. He continually bites on our son, on his feet, arms, etc..he does this to no one else in the house and listens when someone other than my son says to stop. My son is afraid to walk around the house or have his feet dangle off the couch, unless we are in the room. This is our first family pet and I hate the fact that my son feels that the puppy doesn't like him. Can anyone offer any tips on how to help with this!! Also..my husband is determined that our puppy will have standing ears, I don't think so cause he is a mix, he wants to do them himself if they do not stand..(he read the way to do it on the net)..is this safe??? Thanks a bunch!!

maddoxies
October 24th, 2005, 07:31 PM
The puppy does not recognize your son as an alpha "dog". Your son will have to work on establishing his authority over Ace. Things like using a firm voice and looking the puppy in the eye.

As for the ears, if Ace is a mix the ears may never stand up. DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY TREATMENTS ON YOUR OWN. See a vet. IF Ace's ears do stand up, it will be awhile before that happens, he is too young for now.

Good luck

Squirrel
October 24th, 2005, 07:47 PM
Thanks Golden.....my son has tried to have a deep voice and show him that he can be serious. But I will again try to show him how to respond to the biting. It's almost like our puppy thinks he is a chew toy. As for the ears..thank you!! thank you !!..my husband will need to read your response, he is so determined, and I really want him to just leave him alone.

kayla
October 24th, 2005, 07:50 PM
Try this site in becoming alpha: http://www.sonic.net/~cdlcruz/GPCC/library/alpha.htm

It's long but basically says feed your dog at set meal times, don't play tug-of-war games, don't let him sleep on people's beds, make him sit before petting, and do obedience training.

Maybe you could start some obedience training classes and have your son be the main handler in these to give him more confidence and reinforce his dominance over the dog. Maybe have your son give the dog his meals as well, and do some training at home with him.

As for the ears some mixes do have ears that stand up, it would be too early to tell at this point though.

kayla
October 24th, 2005, 07:58 PM
Oh I just saw that pic, sooo cute! Gotta say though I'm no expert but I don't think her ears will be standing up, they look pretty floppy. They wouldn't be standing up by now but I would think they would be doing funny things. Here is a pic of my pup at 14 weeks and you can see her ears are looking like they may stand up soon. She is 1.5 years now and has one ear that stands up when she is excited, but other than that floppy. She is part (maybe a quarter) german shepherd. Again I am no expert on the ears though and sometimes it takes up to 6 months.

Are you sure she is shepherd/lab? Looks like something else in there too, maybe collie?

yoda900_ca
October 24th, 2005, 08:14 PM
I had the same problem w/my now 18wk old alaskan malamute and 10yr old son. We put him in basic obdience training at 13wks i started the training but switched to letting my son take the class and me watch and my son practice with him as often as possible outside the class. This has made a world of difference in the pup's behavior. My pup still has "bad Days" when he willl test his boundries, but has learned that my son is also above him on the social scale. At one point this puppy was full out attacking(drawing blood and bad bite marks not just puppy nips) my son if he for example went to get him off the nieghbors yard. I still don't allow my son to be alone w/ the dog at this point but i don't worry that he will hurt him like before. good luck

Squirrel
October 24th, 2005, 08:16 PM
Thanks! Yes I will check out that site, and see what my son feels he is comfortable with. I was just watching him a few minutes ago...and it was pathetic..he was practically hugging the wall as he made his way upstairs...trying to become one with the wall to make himself less noticeable I think!! LOL... but I think some of your advice will make him a bit more calm around Ace if he has a bit more solid responsibilites with him. as for your pup...wow what a sweetie!! What does she look like now?? Any pics?? As for my pup..we were able to see both parents..both purebred...mom was a black lab and dad was a german shepherd. ..it was her first litter. His ears do raise fully at times..and when he is curious they do the half lift!!

happycats
October 24th, 2005, 08:21 PM
OMG He is beautiful :love: He looks like a Newfoundland shepherd cross!! His face and fur on his head look just like a newf!

Sorry I can't answer your question :o just wanted to tell you how cute he is!!

Squirrel
October 24th, 2005, 08:22 PM
Thanks Yoda.... wow that must have been difficult for your son. thank goodness our pup has not gone that far. But I can see how it can escalate to that. His biting is still just the tugs of his shirts and pants, and puppy bites on the bare arms and toes. But for sure i will have my son particapate in the training....Thanks again!!

kayla
October 24th, 2005, 08:32 PM
As for my pup..we were able to see both parents..both purebred...mom was a black lab and dad was a german shepherd. ..it was her first litter. His ears do raise fully at times..and when he is curious they do the half lift!!

Well if they are going up and down there is a chance still that they will stand up. If memory serves I think they can take until about 6 months to fully stand.


as for your pup...wow what a sweetie!! What does she look like now?? Any pics??

Thanks! Here is a pic I took of her in BC this summer with her one standing ear :p

http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/739/kaylaheadonwithline12gw.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

StaceyB
October 24th, 2005, 09:51 PM
Tell your husband to give up the thought of standing ears, they are never going to get past floppy. Not that I would ever suggest doing anything to try and make them stand but even if he tried unfortunately it just wouldn't work.

I would enroll your puppy into classes for the whole family, especially for your son. The fear he has will not go away until he changes the relationship he has with the dog.

Prin
October 24th, 2005, 10:28 PM
Looks like a dobie or rottie mix to me, so count on floppy ears. ;)

CyberKitten
October 25th, 2005, 02:21 AM
I concur with Prin and others on the breed - a Heinz 57, a very cute one but I think there is some lab and rotti and dobie so the ears will be floppy - in all liklihood. What's wrong with floppy ears. I much prefer them personally - think it is one of the better traits of labs, not that I can think of any not good characteristics except the fact they take so long to grow up, lol

As for the dog and your son, I would never leave the dog and your son alone together unsupervised. No matter how kind or loving the dog, a dog that thinks he is alpha over a child - and even one that thinks the child is alpha - is a recipe for accients and ER visits. (and vet visits). And start obedience classes so the puppy learns he is at the bottom of the food chain, Have your son feed him and make him wait for his food. Make sure he is fed after you have eaten and that he has to get it from the humans, including your son. If Tenderfoot were here, she'd have even better suggestions than I - and the other suggestions were also good.

Good luck and congrats on the new addition.

kayla
October 25th, 2005, 09:44 AM
Prin and Cyberkitten, I was guessing not a pure lab/shepherd mix too but:


As for my pup..we were able to see both parents..both purebred...mom was a black lab and dad was a german shepherd. ..it was her first litter.

Amazing how she ending up with dobie/rottie colouring though!

doggy lover
October 25th, 2005, 10:10 AM
Don't let your son run or scream when the dog comes after him, let him stand tall and say in a firm voice enough or some other command like leave it so on. Then get him to tell the dog to sit and when he sits get your son to give him a treat. It doesn't look like your dog has the ears to stand up, he is sweet just the way he is. My border collies ears didn't stand up until he was older, and even now he can lay them back when he is in different moods. I had a shepperd cross bernese and his ears never stood up.

rivers
October 25th, 2005, 11:14 AM
This post has made ME concerned now. Our puppy is only 9 weeks old. She loves to chew our toes, pull at our socks on our feet, and try to grab the bottom of our pants while we walk. This all seemed like puppy play to me, and I do tell her 'No, leave it' in most cases, but is this also a alpha thing, or just puppy behaviour that will stop if we say 'No' enough? :confused:

Roxy's_MA
October 25th, 2005, 11:20 AM
I agree with Stacy B, a obeidence class that the whole family can attend would really help you son and pup through some of the issues.

doggy lover
October 25th, 2005, 11:21 AM
I've never let my dogs get started on this game, its like tugging on leashes, I believe its a domanance thing. Especially with my bc as they are bad for nipping and he is a dog that thinks he is an alpha, but is being trained not to be, its a constant struggle.

rivers
October 25th, 2005, 11:55 AM
Is playing tug with their chewy rope a bad thing? How am I supposed to do it?

doggy lover
October 25th, 2005, 12:38 PM
I've heard yes and no with this all depends on the trainer your talking to.

jessi76
October 25th, 2005, 01:37 PM
Is playing tug with their chewy rope a bad thing? How am I supposed to do it?

Our trainer told us playing tug is fine, as long as you start and stop the game, not the dog. He encouraged us to play tug with our pup, since he was particularly interested in tugging - but we initiate the game, we end it, and there are NO accidental nips. Any nips and the game ends immediately, and the rope disappears for a while.

toymom
October 26th, 2005, 11:51 PM
A trainer told me to gently, but firmly turn the puppy onto her back and hold her that way. My puppy is just 9 wks old or so, and weighed 5 lbs two weeks ago and is probably almost 10 lbs now, so it is easy to do with her. I turn her onto her back on my lap usually, belly up, and say "who's the boss?, I am the boss." Anyway, I do that if she growls when she is eating or when playing with toys or biting at my feet or the children's feet and I also say "no" in a firm voice. She seems to be catching on. The trainer told me that putting them on their back and holding them that way is what dogs do to each other to show dominance, so when we do that to a puppy, they understand that we are showing that we are dominant. Has anyone else heard that before or tried it?
Your puppy looks very cute in the photo.
My younger two children - 3 and 6 are also having to learn how to behave with the puppy and not to let her chew on their shoes and not to run from her because then she thinks it is a fun game. I am also working with them to say "no" firmly and to hold her little mouth closed gently, but firmly if she won't stop the chewing. Mostly, I tell them to give her a chew toy if she is trying to chew on them to re-direct the puppy's chewing.

mona_b
October 27th, 2005, 12:17 AM
I definately see GSD.Especially the tan colouring.Rotties and Dobes have more of a rust colour.And my dogs were pretty fluffy when pups.As for the ears,there's a 50-50 chance that they will stand.My pet supply store has a GSD/Lab mix,Tosha's ears do stand.

As for the biting,definately re-direct him.When he starts to bite(remember he is still teething)give him the firm Ace "NO",then give him one of his toys.When he starts biting that,praise him.You may need to do this a few times for him understand what he can and can't chew.

I suggest a kong filled with treats for his teething.

Prin
October 27th, 2005, 12:31 AM
This all seemed like puppy play to me, and I do tell her 'No, leave it' in most cases, but is this also a alpha thing, or just puppy behaviour that will stop if we say 'No' enough? :confused:
I believe that doggies are very goal oriented. If they are not trying to move up in the pack, they are preparing to move up later. Playing always has benefits. It teaches hunting skills, agility and how to capitalize on strengths and weaknesses of the opponent. There is always some underlying benefit to play and it's not always just entertainment. ;)

jawert1
October 27th, 2005, 11:19 AM
Growing up we had a Springer Spaniel that literally would drag my little brother around by his pant leg, especially in the winter when she could grab him and drag him easily across the snow. While my bro wasn't afraid of her, she still felt dominant over him and we had to work on obedience training for a LONG time so that she knew he wasn't beneath her. All of the points made by everyone else on this thread are valid, have your son take a stronger role in obedience training with Ace. By your son changing his behaviour, regardless of whether Ace is directly in contact with him, he's still making himself submissive and that's always going to show through. Good luck and keep us posted, I'd hate to have your son's experience with your first family pet be a nasty one.

:pawprint:

Oh and I have a Shepherd/Chow mix who's ears only stand up when the breeze catches them right :) Let his ears go, if they were meant to stand, they would :)

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y233/persephonesdoll/Peaches.jpg

jessi76
October 27th, 2005, 11:39 AM
A trainer told me to gently, but firmly turn the puppy onto her back and hold her that way. My puppy is just 9 wks old or so, and weighed 5 lbs two weeks ago and is probably almost 10 lbs now, so it is easy to do with her. I turn her onto her back on my lap usually, belly up, and say "who's the boss?, I am the boss." Anyway, I do that if she growls when she is eating or when playing with toys or biting at my feet or the children's feet and I also say "no" in a firm voice. She seems to be catching on. The trainer told me that putting them on their back and holding them that way is what dogs do to each other to show dominance, so when we do that to a puppy, they understand that we are showing that we are dominant. Has anyone else heard that before or tried it?
Your puppy looks very cute in the photo.
My younger two children - 3 and 6 are also having to learn how to behave with the puppy and not to let her chew on their shoes and not to run from her because then she thinks it is a fun game. I am also working with them to say "no" firmly and to hold her little mouth closed gently, but firmly if she won't stop the chewing. Mostly, I tell them to give her a chew toy if she is trying to chew on them to re-direct the puppy's chewing.


You may want to learn some other methods, primarily for your children's safety. Your children learn from you the ways to settle down the dog, if they see you rolling the pup on it's back they may attempt it on their own. Sure, the pup is small now, but it won't be forever. Personally (and this is IF I had children), I wouldn't want them trying that.

Also, teaching them to gently but firmly hold the mouth may not be the best idea - sure, it's a small mouth now, but it will get bigger, and the teeth will get bigger, and little hands around a dog mouth just isn't a great combo. They could inadvertantly get bitten.

Just food for thought, obviously do what works for you, your family, and your pup.

toymom
October 27th, 2005, 11:15 PM
You may want to learn some other methods, primarily for your children's safety. Your children learn from you the ways to settle down the dog, if they see you rolling the pup on it's back they may attempt it on their own. Sure, the pup is small now, but it won't be forever. Personally (and this is IF I had children), I wouldn't want them trying that.

Also, teaching them to gently but firmly hold the mouth may not be the best idea - sure, it's a small mouth now, but it will get bigger, and the teeth will get bigger, and little hands around a dog mouth just isn't a great combo. They could inadvertantly get bitten.

Just food for thought, obviously do what works for you, your family, and your pup.
Thank you - I realize that I need to do some other things. The rolling on the back is something I do and I have my 12 yo dd do with her. I am going to see a trainer with my 2 yo golden retriever next week for a private lesson - we had her there for board and train last summer (2004) when we went out of town, but we have let her slip into bad habbits, so I will get a refresher course with her and then I will take the puppy to their puppy class one weekend and find out some more methods to use with her.