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Dog Training/German Shepherd puppy


Hello, l I recently adopted a 4 MO old gcd. When we are in the swimming pool with my 6 y.o. daughter the  puppy circles the pool frantically whining.  Eventually he will jump in and make a beeline directly to my daughter.  He then swims on top of her which pushes her under the water. I'm not sure if he is trying to play or thinks he is trying to save her.he focuses directly on herand even though I try to tell him to calm down he does not pay one bit of attention to me he's focused on her only. so I am wondering if you can tell me what type of behavior the system and if there is something I can do as a pet owner toredirect him from swimming to her and pushing her into the water. I do not mind if you swim in our pool but this is somewhat of a safety hazard I certainly don't want any accidents. Thanks"

Hi Stephanie!

Sounds like your puppy is very worried that your daughter is in trouble when she is in the pool even when she's perfectly safe. Sheps have been bred to "watch the flock" and he's trying to do his job!

I'd certainly say to have the dog on leash for the time being so that he can't get in the pool and scare or unintentionally hurt her. If you have a helper to watch your daughter while you train, you can reinforce your puppy with treats for sitting calmly by the pool and bringing attention back on to you when he gets nervous. It would also be worthwhile to train a solid Leave It cue. If there are any positive reinforcement classes in your area 4 months is a perfect time to get your puppy started with some basic obedience training and socialization, which will help lower anxiety overall and give you some cues to use when you need him to listen to you!  

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Sarah Maki


I'm happy to help with all obedience and training related questions. Although I work as a trainer solving behavioral issues, I do not feel comfortable providing advice or suggestions for aggression, resource guarding, phobias or other behavioral problems without evaluating a dog in person, those are areas where I believe a personal consultation is necessary.


I have been training dogs professionally since 2008. In 2009 I graduated with honors from Animal Behavior College and have also completed their Shelter Dog Program. I teach group classes and conduct in-home training sessions.

I am an ABCD-T (Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer) and am working towards my CPDT.

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