AdministratorJune 22, 2013 at 11:58 am990
This is basically normal behavior for a dog that is separated from his pack in an unfamiliar environment (restrained and a puppy nonetheless). There are pros and cons to having a dog with strong “pack drive”. The pro is that they generally like to stick around you more and are easier to train “off-leash”. The con is that they do not do well when they are physically separated from the rest of the pack – especially in a somewhat vulnerable environment (in his mind at least). We can map out a training plan that might work in theory to help with this situation, but in reality it will set both dog and owner up for failure and frustration if you work against mother nature. The closer the dog is to the family the better for this situation. Of course this situation is made much worse when a puppy is used to being on top of the owner at every moment when home. “pack structure”(see level 5 on triangle) exercises done opposite of what they should will make it almost impossible for a dog to do outside the home what they do not do inside the home.
Other than that, short term, you may get some success by keeping the dog closer tied to the family and walking back and forth frequently to the dog enough to give a treat or pat, then slowly spacing out the time until the dog is desensitized to the longer departure. If the area is free from other loose dogs you can also give the pup a chew (although the pup may be too anxious to care).
As the pup gets older, you can continue with more advanced obedience and long “down stays” that do make this much much easier!
But, as a German Shepherd owner myself. I would likely leave my pup home if I was planning on an activity where I would have to leave him tied out a distance from me. It is basically “normal” behavior. Especially for that breed.