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Diggity
Just Whelped
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:01 am
Tell us about yourself: 8wk old ds puppy

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Post by Diggity »

Hi, just introducing myself :)
We’ve had our DS puppy Diggity for 3 weeks now (he is 11wks now) and what a character he is!
We’ve done our research before but he is even smarter than expected. He’s doing really well with the adjustment to us and our surroundings, training, socialising etc.

Just one thing I could do with a little advice on..
When we go outside he sometimes just flips, goes totally crazy out of nowhere. Starts biting my ankles, growling, pulling on my trousers and nothing will stop him.
He only does it outside, never inside and not when there’s other people or dogs about and I just cant find a pattern/trigger at all. Sometimes he does it straight away, sometimes after a while, but generally when we’re just calmly walking (so not playing or training.) I’ve tried everything (distracting with food, toys, commands, pulling lead, grabbing collar etc) but he just won’t settle when he does it. When I tell him to sit he’ll sometimes do it but as soon as we move again he’ll go for it again.
It’s different from when he just wants to play, in that case he’ll just bounce around me only pretending to bite and just poking me with his nose and it’s a very different behaviour.
The only way I can get him to stop is to go straight back to the house (him just growling and biting) and as soon as I put him in his crate he’ll calm down. Which makes me think he might be just over stimulated but that just doesn’t make sense since he does it when we’re just out walking in a familiar environment with nothing new/exciting. He does it on and off lead.. like I said, just can’t find what triggers it.
Crating him for a minute is fine if we’re close to the house but impossible when we’re out for a walk somewhere else and is making it hard to exercise him properly.

Sorry for the long post, just trying to explain it as well as I can. He’s a beautiful boy and really well behaved in the house and before he flips...
Any tips appreciated!
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Diggity (DS puppy)

Tim91118
Training Dog
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:34 am
Tell us about yourself: Enjoying my Dutch Shepherd and my Malinois

Re: New member

Post by Tim91118 »

I’d try changing this routine. Don’t go out and wait for this behavior to start. Go out and engage in purposeful play such as chasing and bringing the ball. Make the sessions short. How do you do when you take him out to just relieve himself ?
Tim

Diggity
Just Whelped
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:01 am
Tell us about yourself: 8wk old ds puppy

Re: New member

Post by Diggity »

Thank you I’ll give that a try.
When we first got him we took him out a lot but noticed his behaviour was getting worse. So now we just take him out of the front door to go to the toilet and straight back in so he’s fine during those breaks. We have a lot of outdoor space and not a lot of indoor space so I feel like we struggle getting him the exercise he needs without going on some short walks outside. But I’ll try to take him out for some more frequent but short play sessions instead. 👍
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Diggity (DS puppy)

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bigbear123
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Tell us about yourself: Dapper-April 2016
Stryker- June 2017
Big Bear-August 2018

Re: New member

Post by bigbear123 »

Part of that sounds like pure puppy stuff that he'll grow out of, especially if you consistently do not reward the unwanted behavior. If he is fond of being outside and enjoys toys and other rewards that he might only get outside and if he does not enjoy being crated/going inside you can manipulate his behavior with those things. If his crate is a positive place for him, then just figure out what those black and white reward/consequence things are for your dog and be consistent in creating positive and negative outcomes for him in response to his behavior. From a training perspective don't ever put up with behavior you don't want--but your pup is REALLY young so don't sweat it too much if he has puppy spaz-outs for a while. You definitely should be teaching that nip/bite redirection at this age and he can and should learn what is OK to play with in the next several weeks.
For my dogs outside in itself has always been a reward. As pups I used this to my advantage and at the first moment of negative behavior that couldn't otherwise be corrected they went straight inside. I have taught them a lot of impulse control this way over time with consistency. Sounds like you got a boy who wants to bite! I find it odd that you can't redirect his nipping/tugging behavior to a toy...maybe try some new toys and find something he really likes. A dog with that drive should be able to be redirected easily. That's potentially good drive you could use for training.. Try cutting a long length of jean or cotton fabric from an old pair of pants, dance it around and and see if he goes for that. I would be surprised if he didn't. You can use this now to redirect his play to an object that is "his" vs yours, and in the future teach commands with it. Just keep it put away and always use the same piece of fabric until its ruined. Always use the same words when redirecting him. I always used "Not for you" and then produced the toy with "this is for you", changing my tone. Worked for all 3 of my dogs. Is he from working lines? My KNVP boy does the nosing thing too even as a grown boy and he lives for the bite sleeve.
The best advice I ever got on training was to be patient and do not give up- stay consistent even when it does not seem like your dog will ever listen all the time. When they're pups they aren't mature enough to exercise impulse control all the time. Set them up for success and avoid situations that you can not control yet so they don't learn they can get one over on you. Make yourself the center of their world, don't put up with any bull from them ever and by a year old, you'll really see your hard work paying off. You're also still creating a bond so he's still learning that you are the reward. That is also something you have to work to create. Don't let him have too much fun when he is in his crate/home alone. Don't let him have all his toys all the time- keep his favorites as something he only gets from you at specific times for creating high reward for training. And if you want to use the crate for teaching unwanted behavior, make sure there's no toys in there at all. I know that crate training is centered around the idea of creating a neutral/natural environment for the dog to "calm down" but I don't think that is a constructive way to understand canine behavior and training. By default dogs do what is most enjoyable, easiest and yields the highest reward for them and they avoid what is difficult and/or yields less reward for the work. For a pup or any dog there's 2 things: What makes them feel good vs what does not make them feel good. We have the power to make ANY situation either positive or negative for them..that's training.
I recommend the book " Schutzhund obedience: training in drive" by Sheila Booth. Great starting place.
I love the pictures of your puppy. He looks like trouble in the cutest, most fun way. Enjoy that crazy puppiness!! You might actually miss it when he calms down :)
AJL
A girl and her dogs

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centrop67
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Tell us about yourself: Accidental DS rescuer. Human companion to Radar and Leela. Owner of the site, looking to make this the top site for information and discussion on Dutch Shepherds.
Location: Cutler Bay, FL, USA

Re: New member

Post by centrop67 »

I was going to post a quick reply about redirecting, but AJL (Bigbear123) offered really solid advice. It's a long read but it's good advice.
Michael
The pack -> Leela (Mal?) and Karen (Human) - Cutler Bay, FL USA
RIP: Radar,Tequila, and Snickers
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

ladyjubilee
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Tell us about yourself: Sharing life with Bramble Dutch Shepherd mix (?) and Casper Whippet/Pit Bull (????) mix

Re: New member

Post by ladyjubilee »

Welcome :)
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC

Diggity
Just Whelped
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:01 am
Tell us about yourself: 8wk old ds puppy

Re: New member

Post by Diggity »

Thank you so much for your reply, very helpful!
When he’s just a bit wild and overexcited he’s easily redirected (with a command, toys, anything) it’s just when he goes like that it’s like his only reason for living is to chew my leg off haha. We’ve been working a lot on impulse control and he’s been great and so eager to learn. I think you’re right and I sometimes forget how young he is. We’ll just keep working on it. He’s just so good with everything else (hardly bites anything he shouldn’t when he’s in the house, sleeves and trousers included, drops things straight away when asked, loves his crate and always calms down when in it..) so I’m sure he’ll be fine. I just needed to hear it from someone else I guess. Thanks for the support!
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Diggity (DS puppy)

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bigbear123
Puppy
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Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:59 am
Tell us about yourself: Dapper-April 2016
Stryker- June 2017
Big Bear-August 2018

Re: New member

Post by bigbear123 »

I get that! I had a lot of puppy anxiety with my first dog worrying she wouldn't shape up. Your dog sounds like he's got all the goods. Enjoy :)
AJL
A girl and her dogs

gijs
Just Whelped
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:47 pm
Tell us about yourself: Hi,
Our family consists of my wife, two children (girl almost 7, boy 4.5), two cats, 4 chickens and me. My wife had dogs most of her life, but for me this is my first dog. Kiki is a female Dutchie that we got from a breeder that breeds DS for families. As in, slightly lower drive and slightly more tolerant around kids. We requested the puppy from the litter that was available with the lowest drive and the friendliest demeanor.

We only let Kiki near the children under strict supervision and have the help of a dog trainer who is specialized in working dogs and has had DS dogs himself for many years and is currently the owner of a DS that he competes with in several disciplines.

I'm sure we'll have many challenges and joining this forum is surely a wealth of helpful information and guidance.

Re: New member

Post by gijs »

welcome to the forum!
Kiki does the same, to an extend. Very frustrating! What works for me, most of the time, is to always have an old towel on hand that she can bite instead of my pant sleeves:)

Diggity
Just Whelped
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:01 am
Tell us about yourself: 8wk old ds puppy

Re: New member

Post by Diggity »

Just a quick update, he’s really improving so thanks for the tips! Trailing toys around in both my arms helps and the recent hot weather means I’m wearing shorts and he knows not to bite my flesh (it’s a miracle!). When I am wearing long trousers he still goed for it (whilst consistently ignoring all toys) but not as frequent and he also stops again after a while (where before he wouldn’t stop until he was back in his crate.) Happy days!
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Diggity (DS puppy)

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