German Shepherd Puppy scared of my husband.
My partner and I got our first puppy together this week. He has had dogs all his life but this is my first. She is an 11 week old german shepherd pedigree.
My partner wanted to train her as we want her to become a guard dog for the house. When she is doing something wrong he tells her off and on2 occasions had to give her a slap, the problem is I was too weak on her and now she is using me as her defense and completely staying away from my husband.
She seems to be scared of him due to my weakness for her. We have had her for 6 days now and I hope to do something before it's too late. Please help!
In my opinion, it's your partner that has caused this problem - not you! Your pup is only 11 weeks old and she's been with you for less than a week and he's already slapped her twice. He may have had dogs all his life, but this isn't the way to treat them I'm afraid, and I'll assume that he loves this pup and is trying to do the best thing for her, rather than being a bully, but it's not the right way to go about it. Right now she has reason to be scared of him.
If your pup does something wrong (and of course she will as she's just a baby and hasn't had time to learn what you expect from her yet), a firm verbal correction is usually all that is needed. Physical punishment only serves to make the dog fearful (as you can already see), and doesn't help the situation. In order for this pup to grow up with a sound temperament, which is especially important in big, guardian breeds like the German Shepherd, she needs to learn to trust people and to bond with you and your partner. The potential for her to end up as a 'fear biter' or an indiscriminately aggressive dog is increased if she is treated harshly.
German Shepherds are very intelligent and extremely trainable - very eager to please the people they love and trust. Positive reinforcement and firm, but loving, discipline is what's needed to help your little girl figure out what the rules are.
I'd strongly suggest that you both take a look at the pages on my site that deal with training and socialization (try Puppy Training Tips and Socialize Your Puppy pages to start out with. Positive training methods are the only way to go, and rewarding your pup every time she does something right, and using firm but loving correction when she makes a mistake will yield the best results.
You may also want to invest in a good book about puppy/dog training, they can be very, very helpful when you're just starting out. Take a look at my Dog Training Books page for some of the ones I'd recommend.
Of course, although physical punishment or shouting are no-no's, it's also important not to totally spoil a pup, or let her have her own way. All puppies are adorable, and it can be difficult to say "no" to those puppy-dog eyes, but she needs consistency if she is to understand what is okay and what isn't. Set up some ground rules that both you and your partner agree on, and then you must both stick to them - but without resorting to slapping and so on.
Raising a puppy is like raising a child and it takes a lot of time, love, patience and then some more love, but it's all worth it in the end :o)
I wish you both the best of luck with your pup and hope that you'll take another look at the way you're disciplining her so that she gets a chance to learn properly and to build a close and loving relationship with you both.