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My bf and I just became owners of a 10-week-old German Shepherd (day3). He is pretty good, but there are a lot of questions I have that I would like answers by other dog owners. Here they are:

1. We have only had him 3 days, but he loves being outside in the garage. He refuses to be indoors, but it is tiring as we go out every 2 hours to take him out to eliminate, so we get no sleep! We had the idea of crating him. He only went in, because there was food and he wailed when he was done and realized the door was closed, but he could see us. When I let him out he bailed back outside. He went to coze up in the garage again. Is this okay? He does not cry in there or ever. He stopped whimpering when I leave. Should we try crating again or just let him be in the garage?

2. With my bf he is good. With me he is good, but he tries to herd me or at least that is how I feel. He nips at my feet or ankles a lot when playing, which he always wants to do. I try to say stop and tap his nose but does not work. I try diverting but it does not work. He just keeps doing it. If he is good or does a good behavior or just rubbing him, he follows my hand to bite. Any ideas?

3. When walking, he runs between my legs and trips me and again nips. If I stop walking he stops, but as soon as I move he starts again. I tried a leash, but he does the usual pulling tugging and wrapping me in his leash. ????

4. I get up at 7 a.m. to lead him out to eliminate and play and eat. It takes about an hour in total. Then I go in. After that, I check him every 2 hours to see if he has to pee. Is that appropriate?

5. How much play time is appropriate? Every time I check him? I don't want him getting used to playing every time I go out.

6. He is generally well behaved. He sits most of the time on his own, so how to I teach him to sit with my own command if he is already sitting???? I want him to know to sit when I want him to and also to come. ????

I know it is a lot but I have read so much material I am so confused lol. HELP!!!

Thank you!
 

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I have a German Shepherd and the first few night all she wanted to do was be outside but he will eventually get used to being inside.I would also say try to give him your spare time to play. try to think of all the behaviors you want he to do and not to do because what you do now greatly influences that. keep on trying with the crate but be careful you cant make it a bad experience. so first just try feeding him and leaving the door open so he can coma and go as he pleases then you can strat closing the door for short periods with you around and gradually increase the time with the door closed and without you around. the crate should be his safe place were nothing can get him which is hard for GSD because they are bred to be brave but they are smart so with some time and hard work you can do it( he will cry some but thats ok). when traing him to sit you can try getting him to stand up then quickly saying sit or just saying sit when he is in the position he should catch on. puppies do bite but if nothing works you can tryr wimmpering in a high pitched voice because that is what other puppies would do if play got to rough. I hope this helps. and post some pics of the little guy :)
 

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Bonding is going to be really hard if he stays out in the garage all the time. I would try to get him to come inside when you're home. . .if the garage is safe (most garages have stuff like oil and antifreeze and mowers and other dangerous things) it's OK if he stays out there when nobody is home or at night, instead of being crated, but you do want him to bond to you, not the garage. He may have been raised outside and be reluctant to come in, but bribe him if you have to :).

All puppies bite. Their mouths are like their hands, and all little kids are grabby :). It's normal, but you do want to teach him that people have delicate skin and don't like to be bitten. Check out "the bite stops here" (in the stickied threads at the top of this sub-forum).

Going out every 2 hours is probably enough at his age. Is he having any accidents? If so, then he needs to go out more often. If not, then it's working.

Of course he doesn't know how to walk on leash if he's never done it! The more often you take him for walks, the faster he'll learn what it's all about.
 

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My bf and I just became owners of a 10-week-old German Shepherd (day3). He is pretty good, but there are a lot of questions I have that I would like answers by other dog owners. Here they are:

1. We have only had him 3 days, but he loves being outside in the garage. He refuses to be indoors, but it is tiring as we go out every 2 hours to take him out to eliminate, so we get no sleep! We had the idea of crating him. He only went in, because there was food and he wailed when he was done and realized the door was closed, but he could see us. When I let him out he bailed back outside. He went to coze up in the garage again. Is this okay? He does not cry in there or ever. He stopped whimpering when I leave. Should we try crating again or just let him be in the garage?

Three days is not much, and 10 weeks is such a baby, really, like an infant. So, he's afraid, he's in a new home, with new people, sights, sounds, and smells. He may be more comfortable in the garage because he's afraid and unsure, and not totally trusting of you yet. BUT, as Willowy says, I would bring him inside.

Crating is personal preference. It is mostly about keeping a puppy contained so that they are safe (don't get into anything harmful or dangerous or toxic) and not destructive to your home. If you can keep watch of him without a crate, that's fine. We barely used our crates, except at night and when ours were super young and we had to do something that took our attention away from them. Otherwise we had them right in our sight, even tethered to us with a leash.
Keep in mind, if he hasn't been crated, he may whine a lot. But, you can try putting him in the crate with a kong stuffed with peanut butter, just for short periods of time, and gradually increase, to get him used to it.

2. With my bf he is good. With me he is good, but he tries to herd me or at least that is how I feel. He nips at my feet or ankles a lot when playing, which he always wants to do. I try to say stop and tap his nose but does not work. I try diverting but it does not work. He just keeps doing it. If he is good or does a good behavior or just rubbing him, he follows my hand to bite. Any ideas?

Yep, biting is natural. It's how puppies play. Check out the sticky "The Bite Stops Here" which will help with bite inhibition.

3. When walking, he runs between my legs and trips me and again nips. If I stop walking he stops, but as soon as I move he starts again. I tried a leash, but he does the usual pulling tugging and wrapping me in his leash. ????

Puppies (most of them) don't naturally know how to walk on a leash. So, you have to help them. When he pulls, stop, stand still (be a tree) and wait til he looks back at you. Then, proceed. Keep his leash short, so he doesn't have much to wrap around you.

4. I get up at 7 a.m. to lead him out to eliminate and play and eat. It takes about an hour in total. Then I go in. After that, I check him every 2 hours to see if he has to pee. Is that appropriate?

If that's working, fine. Some puppies need to go at least every hour, or every 30 minutes. But, use him as a guide. If he is not having accidents, fine. The problem with him being in the garage is, if he does occasionally need to go before the normal 2 hours is up, you won't be there to see the signs. And, you definitely don't want to allow accidents.


5. How much play time is appropriate? Every time I check him? I don't want him getting used to playing every time I go out.

Lots of play time! And, training, for things like "sit", "down", "stay" and "look" should all be fun, almost like play, too. Very short training sessions, though, 5 minutes, several times a day.
You're right, though. You do want him to understand the difference between potty time and play time. So, when you take him potty, it should be all business. Taking him out to potty on a leash will give you some control, so he isn't just walking around exploring and having fun. He can do that AFTER he goes potty.


6. He is generally well behaved. He sits most of the time on his own, so how to I teach him to sit with my own command if he is already sitting???? I want him to know to sit when I want him to and also to come. ????

I know it is a lot but I have read so much material I am so confused lol. HELP!!!


Thank you!
My responses are in bold. Good luck with your puppy!
 

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Wow, thank you all so much for all the information!

Well, today (day 3) was a bit better. He came into the house for about 2 minutes and then was ready to go back out. He sniffed out the kitchen more while we were out there playing with him. We left the back sliding door open for him to come and go and he did, but mostly when he saw me come in. He just loves the garage. He does not get into anything. He stays in one spot and just lays out there like a rug. When he sees us at the doorway he will sit up and wait for us to signal him to come out or to play or something. When we leave through the big garage door to go somewhere, he will just sit there and watch but will not follow or whimper or run after us. He actually does not whimper at all being in there. He does not get into anything even though there are a few boxes here and there and gym equipment.

We bought him a stuffed dog with squeeky legs. I had him sit before I gave it to him as a reward. He first was not sure of it but then grabbed it and took it to the garage. He also has a spot where he places his bone and ball, which is funny. If he starts getting nippy with me and does not listen to "no", I use the bone to put in his mouth, and he will chew it. I did realize he was better today when I work sneakers with velcro (no laces) and shorts. He did not know what to do with the shoes and just backed off and did not bother to jump on me. I was able to just play with him without the nipping or biting of toes (even hands). He was pretty calm today. Tonight, however, we went to the store and when I came back I accidentally stepped on him as he was running between my feet and it was dark and he yelped loud and was a bit mad at me. He was fine after I gave him his toy though.

The leash, of course, is not successful. I wonder if it is not our fault. He was given to us on a leash and had been tied up with the leash and was fine, but we let him off the leash and never put him back on, so now he does not care for it. He would rather bite it.

As far as eliminating, he did good today. The moment I go outside he know it is time to pee or poop. He had 0 accidents in the garage. He really only had 3 pee accidents in their and that was our fault as we left him a bit too long, but today he only peed when I took him out. He almost peed in the house, but we were quick to notice him sniffing and my bf pulled him out and took him outside and he peed.

How do I know when he is really going on his own though? Do I just keep doing this until he just does it or is there a point where I should let him start doing it on his own and see if he does? We have outdoor cameras, so I am always watching to see if he comes out of the garage, which he does not at all. He only comes out when he sees us at the doorway and knows it is time to play and pee and poop or eat.

I was a bit worried today as he did not eat much. When we got him the first day, our neighbor gave us some dog food that was to big to me, and he did not realy eat it. The next day he still was not eating it really, so I bought a different food with smaller pebbles and chicken flavored, and he could not stop eating it yesterday. This morning at 7 a.m., we fed him and he ate fine with some left over and that was really it. The rest of the day he ate less than a handful and did not want much water either. I'm watching him close to make sure he is okay. I don't know if maybe he just ate more yesterday as he had not eaten to much of the food the neighbor gave us the day before, so yesterday was his day of real food he liked and so today he did not need so much, but I am definitely watching out. I was wondering though, we put his food bowl on the back porch instead of the garage as when we take him out of the garage he pees, poops, plays, exercises and then gets his food while working his way to the back of the house. By then, he wants to eat and drink and the bowl is there and then he will pee again in the back yard, but the garage is in front. Is this okay? We had left a water bowl in the garage yesterday, and he did not even touch it. I noticed too he will stop eating if he sees me leave or not near him. Why would his be? I thought when a dog eats it is good to leave them alone to eat, but he wants me to be right there next to him. Is this okay or should we be leaving the food and water in the garage with him? I worry if we do that then he will eat throughout the night and then poop before we get to him throughout the night. Any ideas?

We also bought a clicker today as I heard it is a great way to train with. Anyone have good results with this?

Thank you!
 

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So are you basically intending on keeping him as a garage dog? Because if you want him in the house, have him in the house with you and he will get used to it. Don't let him dictate the situation. If I had allowed my GSD at 10 weeks to do anything she wanted, I'd have a pretty unruly adult GSD that was poorly socialized and not good in different environnments.
 

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Realisitically you want to be in control of the situation, I know it was really difficult for me to stick to my guns when I got my puppy because I wanted her to be happy. The thing to remember is if you allow your puppy to dictate everything that's how he'll be with you all the time.
Does your garage have a connecting entry way into your house? If so when you are at home try leaving the door open so your puppy has the options of coming inside to explore. Another option is at feeding time because he wants to be near you, show him his bowl of food and slowly back into the house (not too far in at first) and put the bowl at your feet. It might take a while for him to get used to this but when he comes to you and eats no problems each day take a few steps further back until you are in the house and he is eating. When I got my puppy Tori she too wanted to be near me when eating, I think this is because puppies can be very insecure in such a new environment with new people it's reasurring for him for you to be near at food time.
In regards to leaving a water bowl in the garage over night, I can understand your concern with him not drinking but as he is so young this isn't a great idea. Having a water bowl available all night is actually encouraging your puppy to drink and then when he needs to go 'potty' he will most likely create a fuss. I would suggest having a water bowl for outside (especially for warm days) and one in your house which I'd suggest showing to him so he knows where to find it. If you are successful with getting him to eat inside he will hopefully accept taking water from inside too.
I too attempted clicker training unfortunately Tori really, really didn't like the noise so I didn't end up using it she much prefers a quick gentle pat and a 'good girl'. I figured havign a puppy isn't textbook everyones situation is different and every puppy is different so you need to work out what works best for you and your puppy.
Leash training was difficult for Tori too because she had never actually had a collar or lead on. I taught her the sit command (by voice and a hand signal) first and then I would hold a treat in my left hand and slowly attach her collar then give her the treat. I did this until she was comfortable with the collar and then did the usual routine until she had her collar on and then slowly attached her lead and gave her another treat. We actually bought a homeline and when Tori was comfortable having the lead attached to the collar we started the routine again but attached her homeline to her and for 5 minutes we let her walk around on her own getting used to it. We did this everyday until she was completely comfortable.

I hope some of this helps!
 

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Spook82,

Well, I would like him to be okay in and outdoors, but he just cannot stand inside. We bought him a pillow pad type thing for the inside so maybe he would coze up to it and put his favorite bones in it, but he still was not liking it. After about 5 minutes he whimpered to get out. After a while, we let him out when he stopped whimpering. I just feel he is too young to be alone in the garage all the time. I do go out every 2 hours or sometimes less to check on him and take him out, but I feel he is de-bonding from me as sometimes he snaps more like this morning. He is getting super stubborn. He grabbed my sweatshirt this morning and refused to let go. He started biting ankles harder (well as hard as he could for 10 weeks). He still wanted to play but with a little more aggression this time. I did the "no" and tapped his nose and nothing. I did the ignore and nothing. I even put his chew toys in his mouth, but worked for seconds. I then just came inside. I watched him on the camera and he just sat there a bit looking at the door and then grabbed his new stuffed animal and went back to the garage.

The garage is attached by a sidewalk that leads to our front door, so if we open the front door he can come out and see us immediately. The side door stays open for him to come and go, although he does not. We do open the front a lot, but even hearing us come out he will not come out until he sees us at the garage doorway, and he sits and waits for a command. When he is finally out, he will then start playing and running around. He sniffs around when we come in to see if he wants to come in, and sometimes he will but then looks for an exit soon after.

I kept the water and food bowl on the back porch still. We saw him on the camera last night going to get some water on his own, usually we work our way back there during his exercise and training and play. He also had no accidents last night, but I think he ate and so he pooped twice this morning, which again worried me as it was somewhat loose both times, but maybe he had too much water.

I feel we are doing this all wrong or something. I had tons of labs growing up, but of course, I was young and just played with them while dad trained them. My bf had the GSD growing up, but they never trained them. They had them leashed in an area and they were there to guard and protect and attack pretty much, so he is having a hard time understanding the need to really train and exercise and show affection. I did read a lot of information about GSD and dogs in general and training before Bosco (that is his name) came home, but putting it into effect is a challenge, especially if I am by the book and bf is more of "let him be a dog". I just do not want our dog emotionally or mentally unstable because of us.
 

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Alright, you need to bring him in, I cannot stress enough how important it is for a pup so young to be around people! You're letting him dictate the situation, which will deffinetly not help in training. Plus, if you ever want him to be an indoor dog, he won't know how to behave properly in your house if he's outdoors. You can't just let him out when he whines at the door because you're keeping him inside, this will show him that he can get whatever he wants by whining. It might be a little stressful for him at first, but he needs to get used to it if you ever want to keep him inside, you know? :)

Sorry if that seemed rough at all, wasnt meant to be :) Oh and with the hitting and stuff, make sure you check out the sticky http://www.dogforums.com/first-time-dog-owner/8377-bite-stops-here.html

Best of luck!

~IJMB
 

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You want to introduce your pup to lots of different people. Invite 2 -3 over for 'puppy parties' every other day.
After he has all 3 sets of his shots, introduce him to lots of puppies, also.

Bring him into the house and let him whine. He has to get used to it, and you have to learn his signals for when he needs to go potty.
For the crate: Get a small Kong and stuff it with peanut butter and his kibble. Rather than breakfast, let him lick the Kong to entice him, but don't give it to him. Instead put it in the crate, and let him go in. He can sit and chew or bring it out. Gently remove it, and put it back into the crate, and let him go in again. Gently remove it it again and put it into the crate, shutting the door with the pup on the outside! He will try to get into the crate... let him get frustrated. When he stops chewing and barking... and he looks to you for help, let him into the crate, and close the door behind him...

Here are two free downloads that may help: http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads

For The Bite Stops Here, recall the Yelp when you stepped on him. Every time he nips, reproduce that Yelp - high pitch and loud... see Step #1 below.

For Bite Inhibition:
Read this and note the 3 days and the apology....

Some Tweaks to Bite Inhibition (to get him to stop biting when he wants to play):
1. When the pup bites, then yelp. It should sound about like what the pup does when you step on its paw... don't step on his paw for a sample :). When you yelp, the pup should startle briefly and stop nipping. Praise and pet. He'll bite.
2. When he bites the second time, Yelp. When he stops, praise and pet. He'll nip again, although it may be a little gentler. ...
3. When he bites a third time, Yelp (see a pattern?). But this time, turn your back for 15 - 30 secs. If he comes around and play bows or barks, then that is an apology. This is important. Accept it, praise and pet... and cringe in expectation of the next nip...
4. When he bites the 4th time, Yelp, then leave the area, placing him in a 2 min. time-out. It is better if you can leave, rather than moving him. Then, return and interact. (He's still hungry...)
5. When he nips the fifth time, yelp, and leave the area, stopping interaction for now.

Pups need to sleep over night in order to learn their lessons. So, keep doing this for 3 days. By the third day, you should notice signficant Bite Inhibition. He may still nip, but it will be softer and he won't draw blood. Keep up the training and make sure that everyone yelps.... Very powerful method.

If you learn the technique, then you can apply the "yelp" to other circumstances, also. I believe that "yelp" is "Please don't do that, I don't like it." in dog communication. I currently use the yelp when my dog plays tug, then runs with the toy, when he fetches and keeps it out of reach or when he takes a treat too quickly....
 

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Thank you so much! I feel a little better knowing it is okay for him to bite but there are limits. I notice mornings or when he has not seen me in all night, he is overly jumpy and nippy. This evening, we spent about 2 hours (aside from the other times off and on we spend with him throughout the day) outside with him playing and training and feeding, and he was a bit more calm. Still wanted to bite but during play. I give him his new toy for biting and chewing, and he goes wild and forgets about me.

I did notice some things I was wondering though. When I am training him to sit, he does it well. I am using the clicker, which he seems to respond wonderfully to. However, when I give him his treat he wants to jump and bite and paw for it. I started putting his treat on the floor instead to save a bit of skin on my hands. Is this okay or should I not give him the treat if he paws at me? I feel he should get it since he did sit, but what about the jumping and biting for it?

Also, I noticed he can poop a few times in a row. It is almost as if he does not finish and holds it and roams a bit and then does it again. Today, he did this and pooped 3 times in a row, the last was only a tiny bit though. Is this normal?

I also noticed his front legs shiver and shake a bit when he is standing or sitting. I just noticed it today. Should I take him to the vet? He does not cry or whimper and still runs and does his mighty dog leap every chance he gets, and there is no limp, but I am worried now. Any ideas?

Thanks!
 

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If he naturally paws at you, maybe teach him paw so he can still paw and have fun with his paws, but he also learns when you don't ask for a paw, he's not supposed to paw. If you do teach paw, be warned that he will probably try and paw you all the time because in his mind, he gets a treat every time he paws at you, so just don't reward him if you didn't ask for it. He should learn it fairly quickly. My one Shih Tzu has the same problem, but just wait for him to calm down before you treat. Giving him the treat when he paws will only teaching him "Hey, sit means to sit down and paw at her!" or maybe even "The click means paw her and I'll get a treat!" :p And just move quickly on giving over the treat, do he doesn't have time to try and paw you :p

Hopefully someone who knows more about the medical side of dogs will come and answer your poop and leg shaking questions :)

~IJMB
 

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He does not get into anything even though there are a few boxes here and there and gym equipment
THIS will most definitely change! You can not trust a baby puppy. They WILL get into anything and everything eventually. Don't give him the benefit of the doubt. EXPECT him to get into and destroy things (most likely things that are dangerous for him to get into). You need to puppy proof any and all areas that he is ever allowed into. Just because he hasn't done it yet, doesn't mean he won't. Once he get's bored, anxious, scared, etc... anything and everything is fair game to soothe himself. And by soothe, I mean destroy. It's a puppy thing and you need to expect it and prepare for it.

As for the garage thing, this may sound mean, but bring him into the house (close off the garage access) and let him whine! At 10 weeks he NEEDS human companionship. Being in the garage all day by himself is not good for him. Bring him inside and I promise (after probably a lot of whining) he WILL get used to it. Do not give in!

For the leash problem, attach his leash and let him walk around with it trailing behind him. For obvious reason, do this only when you are able to keep an eye on him. But having it always attached to him and having to drag it around will get him used to it faster.

Start crate training him. The crate will be a safe place for him that he feels comfortable (in the house!!). This way, he will instinctively head to the crate instead of the garage.

Also, have you taken him to the vet at all? I havn't seen that mentioned. If not, you need to do it now! He needs a checkup and needs to start his vaccinations. And more than likely, needs to be de-wormed.
 

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He is starting to explore more, so I did move out the few things in the garage. He was not getting into them, but I did not want to take the chance. We are home all day, so he has us to himself all the time. He is starting to want to spend more time inside though, as I think he realizes that is where we are. We monitor him on the camera, and after we come inside, he sits at the door with his stuffed dog to see if we come back out, which he knows we do a lot.

He was calmer this morning when training him. He did not jump at me so much if at all. I think because I scared him unintentionally last night. He started getting a bit aggressive and locked into my finger unexpectedly causing me to really yelp. He freaked out a bit, and I stopped play. This morning he still wanted to bite and jump but not as much.

He has had shots while with his first owner, but we plan on taking him in as I read it is every 2 weeks until 14 weeks, and I was told the original owner (who gave it to our neighbor who then sold it to us) gave some kind of all in one shot, so I am not about to take chances.

I read that with puppies instead of feeding in their regular bowl you can feed them throughout the day through their treats and kong. Is this so? Would this be enough for them to eat? The food i bought says for his size he should have 1-1/2 cups a day,and if I let him he could eat that in one sitting. I do not see him getting that amount in snacks and treats in his kong or during training.

Thank!
 

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1. For the biting and nipping, use the suggestions from post#10. Teeth should not touch skin, and that suggestion is a gentle method.
2. Next, teach him to take a treat without nipping: Offer the treat (for free) and if he paws or nips, then say "Oops" and close your fist. He will nip and paw, but quickly lose patience. When he sits and looks at you, say "Good Dog!" and give him the treat. Keep practicing this for about 10 min., then stop. You can repeat the 10 min. later in the day, as well as next day. Keep doing this until he takes the treat nicely... You have to incrementally require quieter behavior.
3. ON the other hand, what itsjustmebre said is important. You want to capture different behaviors that you like. Teach him to shake with his right paw, and when he's good with that, refuse to treat and he'll get frustrated and use the left - say "Left" and treat.
4. GSDs are very intelligent and curious... watch him for inappropriate exploring, and encourage non-destructive exploring.
5. IN addition, you'd like to get all 3 sets of shots, and to socialize him with people, other dogs, and many other experiences. A GSD that is not socialized at a young age can be skittish, but a well-socialized GSD is confident, friendly, and playful.
6. When you exercise and train him (exercise his mind) more, he'll be 'aggressive' less.
7. Ian Dunbar recommends stuffing and freezing (if needed) a few Kongs with puppy chow, a little water and peanut butter, letting the pup chew on the Kong and then go to sleep... a few times during the day. It's OK to re-fill a fresh Kong or get a larger Kong, if the pup doesn't get happily tired out. I did Not do this with my Lab, but I did use the Kongs (and still do 11 years later) as a chewtoy pacifier.
8. IN addition to KOngs, there are many other food toys, like BUster Cubes and so on, that require a little thought and a little work.
 

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So, just to clarify, are you still letting him spend his days in the garage? Maybe I'm misreading your post. Not to be snippy, but it's a little exasperating since so many people have advised you to bring him in.

It's like with little kids. You can't just let them eat candy all the time because they prefer it, you have to reinforce what's best for them. Even if they whine a bit. And he's not going to get used to being inside until... he spends time inside. By keeping all his toys inside and playing with him there, and using food games and stuffed toys, you can ease the transition. But the bottom line is that you have to bring him in and shut the door.
 

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The longer you wait to bring him into the house, the harder it will be. You need to bring him in. Period. If you let him do whatever he wants, he is going to become an unruly adult GSD.

You said in your post that you are home all day, then the dog should be inside the house with you! Don't allow your dog to dictate the situation, it will quickly become a nightmare.
 
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