About Yuma And Me...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Sarah.D, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Sarah.D Well-Known Member

    Hey there!
    My name is Sarah and I have a beautiful 8 week old male German Shepherd puppy named Yuma. We live in Oklahoma (where if the heat doesn't get ya, the wind will!) Yuma is a pain in the butt thus far, so I am hoping that I can find some useful tips and tricks to teach him to behave.
    His biggest problems so far are:
    Barking incessantly in his crate at all hours
    Not minding if he is allowed outside off of his leash
    And messing in the floor even though he knows to go outside
    (I understand that he is a puppy and this is natural, but his barking is causing me to lose valued sleep)

    Although he has these complications, he is a very smart boy. In just two nights he has learned sit, down, paw, sit up, and we are working on stay.

    So, if you have any suggestions, feel free to state them!
    k9 crazed likes this.

  2. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Hi and welcome to DTA. Your boy is just beautiful! I don't have much time right now but more later, to be sure. I did want to say - PLEASE be patient with him, he's only a baby!! You said he makes messes on the floor even tho he knows to go outside. No, he doesn't know - not yet. His memory is so very short and his bladder is so very tiny. You're asking and expecting so very much of this tiny baby. It's like asking a 2 month old baby not to mess it's diaper cuz it should know better. I'd love to know how much time he's spending in his crate, also - as his "barking incessantly in his crate at all hours", makes me wonder how many hours he's spending in there - sounds like lots. As for "not minding if he's allowed outside off-leash" - good grief, he's 8 wks old - what do you expect? He's a puppy, the world is his oyster, he's exploring, he's learning, he's trying to figure out what this big place is, how he fits in, what it all is, and to him, it's just all one big game. Pardon me for sounding harsh, but do please take a step back, take a deep breath, and don't be frustrated with your baby, a puppy, because he didn't come pre-programmed to be Rin-Tin Tin. Two months ago he wasn't even born - please allow him his puppyhood. Your job as his pet-parent is to show him how to grow up up alongside humans in this big confusing world. This little "puppy-monster" (and yes, they certainly can be!:p) will grow up with a heart so big and a love so deep for you, that he'll give you his life, if need be.

    Please, tell us how long you've had him, post his schedule, times you do everything - time he gets up to go outside, eats, plays, naps, when/why he barks, what you do about it - and lots of us would love to help you. As you can see, GSDs hold a special place in my heart, and we have a few other GSD owners on here too - and lots of others who will give you loads of great advice with puppies (cuz hey, all dogs are at one point):p.

    Just please be patient with him and try not to get too frustrated - and love him to pieces. He's trying to figure out a frustrating world, he'll catch on.
    MaryK, bekah1001, Lexy88 and 3 others like this.
  3. Sarah.D Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the compliment on him. His sire is one of the most gorgeous dogs I have seen in a long while. (but then again I am partial to the majority of the black markings) Here is a pic of him so you can see: [IMG]
    As for the being patient, I am very patient. I understand that he is just a baby and I take that into consideration. I never yell at him or swat him, just a firm "NO" is all he receives. :)
    He wakes up at 6 am but I do not get up for work until 7. So he is let out as soon as I get up (I don't even pee yet! :p) and he pees then wanders around outside for about 20 min.
    I bring him back in and he eats a little, but is too excited to eat too much. As I get ready, he plays and follows me around.
    At around 8:30 he is put back in his crate after one more trip outside to potty.
    At 11:30 I come home from work and he is allowed out again and plays.
    He is then put back up at 12:30 and stays there until 4:00.
    He has only had one accident in the two in a half weeks that I have had him. (the first night he was at my house, he messed in the crate)
    As for the "good grief he is a puppy" comments, I KNOW. :giggle: Pertaining to the not minding outside, he minds excellently while indoors. He tries to run off while outside and no amount of "Come here, Yuma" brings him back. I have to chase him down just to have him roll over on his belly. I tell him "No. Bad boy" and he follows me back with his head hung low. I hate to have to leash him while he is outside because he needs his exercise, but I fear that he will run out into the street and be squashed. :cry:

    He is let out as soon as I get home and he goes outside again. I play with him until dinner time, which is around 7 pm, and he lays in our hallway until I am done eating. He usually naps at about 6 and then again at 9. He is woken up and taken outside again at 10 and offered his last drink for the night. I put him in his crate and give him a treat, saying, "Good boy. Time to sleep." He lays down and is quiet for like...10 min then he goes to howling and barking something awful. I ignore him and he stops. Then it begins again at 4 am. Then at 6am.
    I have read that you are supposed to ignore them when they bark because if you give in, they think they can get away with it. I hate to ignore him so much though because I don't want him to think he has made me angry and that I no longer care.

    Thank you for your help with this! It is much appreciated! ^_^
  4. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Sarah, I have more time now, so I'll try to add some more info you might find helpful. Thanks for adding a bit of your and Yuma's schedule - it helps to understand what's causing some of the barking, messes, etc.

    Ok - where to begin? There are a couple rules of thumb to follow when housetraining a puppy, but they're pretty close to each other. One says a puppy should be let out every hour on the hour (and yes, that includes in the middle of the night, too). The other says a puppy can hold it one hour for every month of age (2 months = 2 hours). Every dog is a bit different, so there are no hard and fast rules, but puppies do need to be let out often - and that's not just during waking hours, that's round the clock. Their bladders are very small, they can't hold it for long hours, and to expect them to is cruel. Yuma is 8 weeks old, so basically, he needs to go potty at least every 2 hours right now. A puppy his age can't be expected to hold it any longer. You put him to bed at around 10pm, and expecting him to hold it until 7am is pretty much impossible for a puppy his age. When he's barking at 4am, it's probably because his little bladder is about to burst - and he needs out NOW. Then again at 6am, he's really wanting out NOW. I know you said your sleep is valuable to you - but you signed up to get a puppy, and just as with an infant (human), they do potty round the clock, and human moms can't say hey, I need my sleep, check back with me in the morning. Puppies need to potty in the middle of the night, and we, as pet parents, must get up and take them out to potty. No way around it. He should be taken out around 1am, then again around 4am, then at 7am when you get up. I bet that would put an end to his barking. He shouldn't have to lay there in pain and hold it til you get around to getting up. Sorry - that's just the way it is.

    Reading that just makes me sad. You say he minds excellently while indoors. There are no distractions indoors - he's confined by walls, and altho it's fun, I'm sure he has toys, and you to play with, a house is a house. Outside is AMAZING, it's FUN, there are fabulous smells everywhere, stuff to be discovered and enjoyed - he wants to go see all of it NOW. And when you say "Come here, Yuma" and he doesn't, you have to chase him down to have him roll over on his belly? Why? First of all, I'm sure an 8 week old dog doesn't know what "come here" even means. And why must he roll over? What's in it for him when you call him? He knows he has to go back inside - and how boring is that?? How about first, you start working on the "come" command using some really good tasty treats, maybe some plain chicken - for very young puppies, you don't want to use anything that will upset their tummies, but plain chicken should be fine. Start working with him on "come" and when he does, give him a yummy treat. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Do this in the house, with no distractions - over and over and over, every single day. Then start trying it outside - but when he comes, give him a treat, and let him go again. Don't let "come' mean the fun is over - would you come? He's a baby, and he's only learning .. to learn. Give him time. Practice for a few minutes, several times a day - over and over and over. And reward him every single time. If he doesn't come to you, just keep practicing. Only call him when you know he's going to come - set him up for success. He'll catch on.

    As for telling him no, he's a bad boy *once you've caught up to him, and then he rolls over* - please please stop that. First of all, he's being a puppy - he's just trying to discover the world, and he's playing a "catch-me" game. Granted, not one you want to play. When it's time to come in, just go get him - for now, don't call him, you know chances are he's not going to come - don't call him then scold him when you get to him. Puppies go thru many fear periods, and you risk a chance of going to your puppy and scolding him, and him becoming afraid of you. I know you don't want that. I'm not sure if the puppy is automatically turning over once you get to him (in which case he is showing you he's kind of afraid), or you're actually rolling him over (alpha rolling) - in which case, please, I beg of you, don't alpha roll him. There is never a need to alpha roll a dog. Ever. You said he then comes in with his head hung low. It makes me so sad to think of a German Shepherd puppy (well, any puppy!!) to be hanging their head low - this is a puppy who should be learning to be strong, dignified, confidant, and courageous. Puppies' hearts should be happy and full of joy - an 8 wk old puppy should never have reason to have their heads hung low. I'm looking at both of mine, and altho they are both rescues and I'll never know, I almost got teary, and I pray for their sakes that no one ever made them feel that way when they were babies. I surely try never to let them feel that way now - and would never ever allow anyone to tell them they were "bad" now - for any reason.

    I'm assuming you don't have a fence? For now, I'd get a long line and keep him attached - you can get long lines that are 20 or 30 feet long, and just keep him attached at all times. Also, don't leave him unattended, as you don't want him to get caught or tangled, or strangle himself. But outside, on a long line, with you, he can run and play, without the confines of a 6' leash. With a long line, he can not only get some good exercise, you can also eventually work on calling him to you from a distance, reward him, then let him go "free" again.

    Try to remember that with his barking, he's trying to tell you something. Most dogs don't just bark to hear themselves. They bark to communicate. It is our jobs to learn their barks, what it is they're trying to say. I can listen to mine bark, and know if they need something, if they're playing, if someone is approaching, if there's a problem, etc. Don't just tune Yuma out - start listening to those barks. Granted, when you first put him in his crate, if he's pottied, has a toy and/or a chew to occupy his time, and all should be well in his world, then he's barking cuz he doesn't feel like being in there, but sorry Yuma, it's bedtime (or whatever) so that's the way it is. You mentioned above, he finally quiets down, and goes to sleep. But - at 4am he starts barking. I guarantee you it's because he needs to potty. Please, don't ignore him, get up and take him out (but ideally, waaay before 4am). It's not playtime, no need to get all excited, just straight outside - go potty, (give him time) goooood boy!!!!! maybe give him a treat for going outside, then back to the crate. He'll quickly learn the routine - and most likely let you sleep a bit longer, cuz he won't be lying there suffering. After all, why should he be quiet and let you sleep when he's been desperately trying to hold it for hours. Dogs hate soiling where they sleep, so he's been so desperately trying not to for 2 solid weeks - and that's just not fair. He should be able to sleep comfortably also. If you respond to his barking (his waking you) by taking him out to potty, you're also teaching him to let you know when he needs to potty - you're telling him that "I'm listening to you, you tell me what you need, I'll try to take care of you, speak to me". He barks, you wake up, drag yourself out of bed and take him out, put him back in the crate - but he's just learned, hey, I can tell mom when I need to potty, and she'll take me out. You'll find that will start working around the house too - he'll learn to let you know when he needs to go out. It's a win/win - cuz no more messes. You want to start building a trust and a solid bond with this boy - one that will last a lifetime. Start by listening to him, start really looking in those eyes and learning what's going on in that little head. Listen to those barks, and listen to the differences in them. What does he sound like when he's playing? Demanding? Needing to potty? Afraid?

    Don't tell him he's a bad boy - show him what you want, and praise the heck out of him constantly when he does right, no matter what it is. He'll start doing way more right than wrong. Ignore the "bad" stuff, praise and reward the good stuff, and he'll work all the harder to get the rewards and praise (kind of like us humans).
    MaryK, k9 crazed, bekah1001 and 6 others like this.
  5. Sarah.D Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the input.

    1)He rolls over. I don't "alpha roll" him. He knows the command "come", yet wants to play the chase game. ANY time I get close to him, he bolts. Not just when I say "Come here." But I am going to work with him.

    2)He has gotten better at not barking. All this weekend he slept until 7 with no barking. I took him to the vet because he had a horrid case of pin worms and now that he's had his three day regimine of medicine, he is much better at not waking up. I think the worms might have been making him more than just throw-up sick because his stool was watery. It is now normal and he is doing very well.

    3)The hanging his head low thing is because he knows I am not pleased with his "run away" routine he tries to pull. He isn't heartbroken or anything of the sort. As soon as he is inside, he goes back to being rambunctious. So he's fine.

    4)No, I don't have a fence. But I am going to get a long run-line for him to be clipped to so he can explore all his little heart desires and I don't have to worry about him running into the street. (he will have access to all of the yard up until the street curb)

    Now, please don't think that I am a bad parent because I tell him "No" and "Bad boy". It could very well be worse. I know people who put shock collars on the poor pups just to "teach them early". It angers me to no end. So please, no accusations of me being, forgive my usage, s*** out of luck because I "signed up for this when I got a puppy" because I KNOW what I have gotten into. I am just trying to do what I can with the time I have to teach him how he needs to behave. His brother from the liter before him is owned by a good friend of mine and he said that his dog, Jeb, caught on very quickly to the rules after he quit allowing the dog to do as he pleases. Now he is the best behaving dog I've seen. And he is only like 6 months old.
    I know these dogs love to please and are good at obedience. So even being so young, he should catch on to what I do not what him doing. There is a YouTube video of a GS puppy that is only around 6 weeks or so that has uncanny obedience. So I know it is possible to get Yuma this way at some point.

    I bought a book on how to train puppies for commands and such using positive reinforcement. So this should help both he and I.

    I appreciate you helping me along with all of this! :)
  6. Hayley Thompson Well-Known Member

    Oh my, I dont know anything about breeding dogs and never will but 4 1/2 months inbetween two litters seems waaaayyyy tooo soon! I hope they were pups from different mothers. I have read that 6-8 months after the first litter they could have another, but I know if I were a dog I would not want to have another litter that soon either! Hope you are figuring out everything with your pup!
  7. Hayley Thompson Well-Known Member

    Just an additional note: it could "always be worse" but I dont personally like to think of those situations...

    saying no to your dog is not as bad as feeding your dog every second day, which is not as bad as chaining your dog to an outdoor fence 24/7, which is not as bad as physically beating your dog, which is not as bad as...the list can be endless....

    that's great that your trying to give your dog a good life, but "it could be worse" type of thinking to me can lead down a very slippery slope of what you choose to do or not do with your dog, when thought about it long enough, almost anything can be justified with an "it could be worse".

    I know you love your pup, so try to make his life with you "the best"!! This site has alot of really great information about positive training, so I hope you find everything you are looking for. Plus, dont get offended by conflicting views because we are all crazy, insane, passionate, dog lovers and just want you and your dog to have a great, happy, healthy life together!!
  8. Sarah.D Well-Known Member

    :ROFLMAO: Yes, they were different mothers. No worries, Hayley. They didn't over-breed the dogs.
    As for the "it could be worse", I was simply making a point that telling him "no" was not that bad. It's like when you have kids. You tell them, "no-no" and they learn that the particular thing that made you say that was not wanted. Again, if you just let them do as they please and never correct things, you have an unruly child.
    Guess my way of thinking wasn't conveyed clearly. I, by no means, wish to keep doing harsher things just because the punishment or correction "could be worse". Saying "no" firmly is all the punishment he receives. If you can even call it that. :p
    Hayley Thompson likes this.
  9. sara Moderator

    If I were you, I'd read the Book "The Dog Vinci Code" It's a FANTASTIC resource, and will help you (and anyone who wants to read it) immeasurably!
  10. Hayley Thompson Well-Known Member

    I'm intrigued by the name of that book! Must look it up!!
    MaryK likes this.
  11. abby_someone Well-Known Member

    Your puppy is gorgeous! And so is his father. I myself am partial to the lighter shepherds though. BUT, coloring is just that, the beauty of a dog comes from their structure and demeanor. At least I think so. (I am partial to the big dogs, and my mom had a GSD that I was very close to:love:). Come to think of it, I like nearly all dogs!
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  12. Sarah.D Well-Known Member

    Thanks abby! I'm glad so many people think my Yuma is pretty. I really hope he grows up to look like his sire. :p
  13. mewzard Experienced Member

    Just a thought... with the wanting to play chase after you call him. Try using a tug toy as a reward...that way he will stick with you, rather than return for a treat and then go off again. I know what you mean with the rolling onto his back - Oka is a very submissive dog, if i pet her she will lay on the ground and then show her belly in submission...she always has.
    I will just say that we made the mistake of having too many rules when Oka was little and we have since spent months teaching her that we are fun...not that we never played with her or did things with her just that we were too worried about her being a big unruly dog that we 'shot ourselves in the foot' with becoming too boring!
    Yuma is gorgeous!
  14. Sarah.D Well-Known Member

    I might try the tug thing, mewzard. Thanks for the idea!
    And the submissive thing hasn't come to the point of when I pet Yuma that he does it. He still jumps and plays and bites when I pet him. Typical puppy things. But he does lay his ears flat. Not sure if that is a more mild form of submission?
    He has gotten to the point now where when I squat down and say, "Come here" he just sits and stares at me with this look that says, "Whatcha gonna do if I don't, Mom?":sneaky:and then as soon as I move, off he goes. I have even tried walking off and seeing if he follows me if I get too far away, but he doesn't seem to care. :cautious:
    mewzard and abby_someone like this.
  15. sara Moderator

    You have to be more fun than what's going on around you, so Tug games, or any game that invokes the preditory nature of dogs is often a much higher motivator than treats. Police dogs will do anything for their toy, they dont work for treats, but toys. Get him interested in toys and games, play with him, look silly... he'll thank you for it, and likely start seeing you as more fun than what's going on around him.
    MaryK and tigerlily46514 like this.
  16. running_dog Honored Member

    Tug toys, tennis balls and sausages are great motivators for recall!

    Have you tried RUNNING AWAY from the Yuma when you want him to come? It almost always works, and remember puppies love silly-happy voices!

    It is great you've come to this site because you are looking for real answers to your puppy problems. You've taken a lot of advice that has maybe sounded harsh and still come back, I'm really impressed - you really care about your pup.

    I'd just like to add that I've tried almost everything with Zac's recall and the only thing that is working is 100% positive. I really messed up lots of his training by being negative. Now if he doesn't do as I say it is "no comment" not "bad dog." We both lead much happier lives now! And after 4 years of stalemate we're making PROGRESS!!!!!!!
  17. Sarah.D Well-Known Member

    I've tried walking away, but I will try running. :p
    Hopefully he will catch on to it and stop this "chase me" thing he has going.
    Hayley Thompson likes this.
  18. Hayley Thompson Well-Known Member

    I've heard running away works really well. If your dog is ever loose on the road or in a dangerous situation, to run away acting crazy like something soooo exciting is in the direction you are going, and hopefully your pup will be interested and follow you to somewhere safe where you can get them! Although passerby's might think its odd, that you are running away from your dog especially if it is in a dangerous situation lol oh well, I would try anything to protect my girl!
  19. Sarah.D Well-Known Member

    :D I can handle odd looks if it keeps Yuma safe.

    I have been looking into ordering Don Sullivan's "The Perfect Dog" system. I saw an infomercial on it yesterday evening and thought, "Well, that looks like it is worth a try!"
    I have since then been researching on the internet about it. Not many places review it, so I went to his website: www.theperfectdog.com and have been watching the testimonial videos and, I have to say, it has me convinced.(y)
    Have any of you heard about this before or have any feedback for it? I'm really considering getting it.
  20. charmedwolf Moderator

    Definitely would not get it!! It's just the same old yank and crank methods with a great plastic prong collar. There is nothing revolutionary about it or anything like that.

    I'd look up kikopup. She has some great videos about puppies running away and how to catch them.

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