Author Topic: Dog adolescence? Help  (Read 664 times)

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Offline ember

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Dog adolescence? Help
« on: February 23, 2017, 02:54:03 PM »
Max just turned a year on the 19th. The past two days he's been really, really testing the limits - disobeying basic house rules, like no jumping on the kids, no jumping on the leather couch, no bothering the old yellow lab. He knows better than this! Even simple things like keeping a down, he'll get up after less than a minute, even with me right there.

Does this has to do with his age? I'm going to discuss it with my trainer Tuesday, but will take any advice I can get. These are what I'm doing - tethering to me, burning off excess energy with play -- He's never ever been like this. I swear it's like he's testing the limits like my teens have done (are doing).

Offline Kirsten

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Re: Dog adolescence? Help
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2017, 03:19:46 PM »
There's actually a good chance he doesn't know all these things.  They'll go through learning plateaus where they forget everything and are airheaded.

Is he still intact?  Testosterone will peak at about 10 months of age at 7 times the normal level for an adult male.  It will slowly drop down to adult normal levels at about 18 months or so.  In adolescence he'll be largely hormonally driven and airheaded. 

You'll need to take extra pains to exercise him to burn off excess energy and be extra patient about training.  Whatever condition his brain is at that moment, that's the dog you train.  If he can't remember any more than an 8 week old pup, then you train him as if he were an 8 week old pup, even if that means repeating lessons he knew perfectly yesterday or six months ago.

I saw another thread suggesting you were having some difficulty with play winding him up too much (haven't read it yet, just saw the subject line).  It's possible you are putting him into drive with play and then not directing that drive.  Exercise might need to be long walks or jogging, preferably on dirt or turf rather than concrete or asphalt.

Parent's registered names (so I can look at his bloodlines)?
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline ember

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Re: Dog adolescence? Help
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2017, 05:20:31 PM »
Thanks Kristen. I always value your input a great deal. I think you're right about putting him in prey drive. I've found a wonderful path near us that we can walk - part asphalt and part dirt. We might just need to do that for the time being. I've wanted to start jogging again. More like a fast walk at least for now.

He also had a strange reaction to someone this afternoon. It was a girl who walked and looked and spoke a bit different, and he was fearful until I had him on leash with me. He's always been calm and happy around people. All things I need to talk with my trainer about.

He's still intact. Still working on peeing like a big boy (mostly on himself still).

His parents' registered names:
Daunte Vom Golden Haus
Georgia Vom Golden Haus

I actually just registered him on the 18th :smile:

My 6:00 client cancelled, so he's calmly chewing on a frozen bone at my feet. I thought about walking him more at the field across the street, but decided to just chill and enjoy him instead. The last thing I need is for him to go puppy nuts with my next client, lol. He's never actually been crazy at work.

Offline Kirsten

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Re: Dog adolescence? Help
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2017, 06:14:48 PM »
I found both parents on the pedigree database and got a look at their pedigrees.  It's about 3/4 European working lines and 1/4-ish American backyard lines.  I would expect pups from this breeding to have higher than average drive when compared to a typical American bred GSD.  So you're going to need to find ways to exercise without putting the dog into drive.  You also need some instruction in handling a drivey dog and for that you need to find a local Schutzhund club but the catch is you cannot afford to do ANY bite work with this dog if you intend for him to become a service dog as it will limit your access in some areas.  Just tell them you want to do a BH (obedience and temperament certificate) only.

You might do well to get some prelims on his hips as it looks like neither sire or dam is OFAed and there's a grandparent with fast normal (in the US fair or boarderline) hips.  Dam is certified for DM, but no entry on hips or elbows and this is concerning.  It might mean they didn't test her, but the fact that they did test her for DM makes it less likely they didn't also test her hips (sometimes results do not show up in the public database if a dog fails, depending on what the person submitting the films requested, so elbow certs without hip certs are highly suspicious and DM without hips are somewhat suspicious).  Dam has a half sister with moderate hip dysplasia, but it is unilateral which might possibly be caused by injury rather than genetics (genetic hip dysplasia us usually bilateral, but not always).  Moderate hip dysplasia is bad (of the seven hip grades, it is the second lowest).

Sire wasn't listed on pedigree database with hip rating, but I did find him in the OFA database, which is good news.  Sire is OFA good on hips, no other results available.  Sire has no DM rating, but it doesn't matter for your pup's sake because like Tardis's dam, your pup's dam is incapable of producing a pup who will experience DM (though she could produce a carrier depending on the male she is bred to).  Sire also has a half sibling with unilateral moderate dysplasia and another half sibling and an offspring with degenerative joint disease.  Maybe these are injury induced, but it is concerning.

Conclusions:
You need to be a little extra careful about working him on hard surfaces to avoid injury induced DJD or HD.  No jumping the gun with road work or biking, which is unfortunate because I think that saved Tardis's life when I started biking him at 22 months.  I was so ready to strangle him before finally finding exercise that drained extra energy without revving him up.  I jumped the gun by two months because I just couldn't take it and his prelims at 14 months were very good.

Is swimming an option for you guys?  That would be low impact but tiring.

Nose work or tracking might be another option.  Again, a schutzhund club or trainer could help you with teaching and practicing tracking and I'd bet your boy would be good at it given 3/4 of his ancestors have titles in tracking (from their SchH titles) and some of them worked as border patrol or police dogs so they were probably really into it.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline ember

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Re: Dog adolescence? Help
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 07:14:12 PM »
Wow, Kristen. Thank you so much! I have their written pedigree, which I think shows more info about their hips. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your taking the time for this. The breeder did tell me that his dogs have significant drive. At least one has been used as a service dog (I can't recall in what capacity).

I will look into the Schultzhund work - I'm in a decent size city and I know we have this. I'm so excited to try! There is also training and competitions for nose work. I've considered teaching him this, and this is a great reason to go forward with it.


Yes, we do have a place for dogs to go swimming - it's close to my work, a bit farther from my home but we used to take our lab there all the time. She'd swim forever if we let her. There's a great gravel trail along the lake/pond as well.

I'm so glad you told me about the running and biking. Are long walks ok? If so, on unpaved only?

Now that Max has basic obedience down, more or less, he is so much more fun to work with.



Offline Kirsten

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Re: Dog adolescence? Help
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2017, 12:34:55 AM »
I double checked the OFA database because the pedigree database is entered by the dog's owner and can therefore sometimes be missing some bits if the owner doesn't keep it up.  For example, Tardis's page has a photo of him as an adolescent instead of a photo of his adult physique.

The OFA database can be missing some bad results because you can submit your films as either open or closed registry.  If submitted as closed, if the results are not passing (borderline or lower) they will not be published to the database.  If you submit them as open, any result, good or bad, will be published.  But it won't be missing passing results.  It is possible for a dog to be tested by PennHIP instead of OFA, but not very practical to breeders because they operate a closed database that no one can access, regardless of the results.  It seems to me unlikely that a female who has been bred a few times would be PennHIPed instead of OFAed.

By all means check your papers or with your breeder to see if you can get a copy of her hip cert.  You can determine a good amount of information just from the certification number, including the rating the animal got, gender, breed, and the age at which he or she was evaluated.

Here is Tardis's OFA page:  http://www.ofa.org/results.html?all=blackthorn%27s+surge+protector
And his hip number is:  GS-90437G24M-VPI

GS tells us he is a German shepherd
90437 tells us he is the 90,437th GSD evaluated
"G" tells us his rating was "Good" (He was robbed, it should have been excellent, but there ya go)
"24" tells us he was 24 months old
"M" tells us he is male
and "VPI" tells us he is microchipped (he's actually both microchipped and tattooed, and both count as "PI" or permanent identification--I think the "V" is for "verified" as in they checked the microchip number at the time of x-ray, but don't quote me on that one).

Here is Tardis's pedigree database page:  http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/german_shepherd_dog/dog.html?id=1349088-blackthorns-surge-protector

Working line GSD people seem to be a bit rabid about the pedigree database so there's a high probability you can see a dog's full pedigree there.  This is the case for Tardis and for your dog's parents.  Your dog is not listed and you might want to do that for him.  I'm never going to breed Tardis, but he's still a testament to his parents' genes and worth being part of the database.  It doesn't cost anything.

=====

At a year old, long walks should be fine, but definitely preferable to do them on dirt, turf, gravel, something joggers would be happy to use (not concrete or asphalt).  With wee puppies, you don't want to exercise them too much with walks but yours is not a wee pup any more, but an adolescent and he should outlast you in the walking department so it should be hard for you to overwork him.  On a bike it's different and you could overwork him and should wait until he is 24 months to start biking.  Tardis loves biking at a modest but utterly steady 6 mph.  I let him set the pace.  Ruby doesn't get it.  She keeps asking, "where are we going?" "are we there yet?" She doesn't get the point of running to nowhere, but Tardis thinks it's the coolest thing ever, more fun even than playing ball.

For anyone reading with a wee pup, they should be exercised primarily with play on gently rolling turf.  For a high drive dog, don't make this play to prey like.  Running away from your pup and having him chase you is good practice for recalls.  Playing hide and seek is good nose work.  If you play ball and the dog is drivey, then you need to make him work for each toss.  For example, to get you to toss the ball he must first do a sit or a down or some other command.  He also needs to practice self control exercises, so you ask for a down and then throw the ball and dude has to hold his stay.  Or you throw the ball and he starts after it and you call a recall or a down and he's got to respond correctly without going to get the ball first.  These are important safety exercises but they are also critical self control exercises.

Note of caution:  a high drive dog will not stop himself when he gets tired or injured.  It's up to you to regulate his play and make him stop before he does too much and makes himself sore, exhausted, or injured.  He also will not use good sense in how hard he plays, so the ball should be rolled or kicked along the ground rather than thrown, and frisbees should either be avoided or thrown with great care to cruise at dog head height so he doesn't do any acrobatics in the air to catch it as this can lead to injury or sports stresses.  They're athletes and they know how powerful and determined they are, but not how sensible they should be.  That's your job.
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest