Well I am brand new to this site! Anyway I joined because I recently acquired a very skinny, very nervous 6 month old white GSD. I had been planning on getting a GSD pup in the spring, and I had been in contact with virtually every reputable breeder in michigan in preparation for my new addition. I had my heart set on a future litter of German working lines from a wonderful breeder. She had explained to me that although I was looking for a family companion and not a shcutzhund dog, every litter usually has a couple of pups with lower drives that would suit family life perfectly. And then she said if I wasn't interested in working lines, she could reccomend some really good german show line breeders. I was impressed with her honesty, and so I planned on getting a pup from her in the future. All that came to a screeching stop when a friend of mine told me about a dog for sale that she had seen in grand rapids. She told me he was a very sweet dog but WAY too skinny and fearful, so she had passed on him. I thought about it, and decided to take a dog out of a bad situation, rather than purchasing a dog from a wonderful breeder that I knew would wisely find homes for all her pups. So that's how I ended up with Apache. I have no idea what happened in his past, his previous owners couldn't have been more vague about his circumstances. I know he's 6 months old, and I know they claim to have gotten him from someone in their area. When I first got him home, I had to carry him up the stairs because he was so frightened of them he laid down shaking and refused to move. Needless to say, it hasn't been easy. He wasn't potty trained, and the simplest tasks like bathing him were terrifying to him. He had NO clue how to properly walk on a leash. Well, I've only had him two weeks, and he's put on about 10 lbs, and walks at my side on the leash with no tension, and is completely house trained. He runs up and down the stairs like its nothing, and I've bonded with him very strongly. He's my little shadow, loyally following me from room to room. He barks when he first sees people, but when I tell him it's ok, he promptly ignores the person. He doesn't show affection towards anyone but me; my children and my fiancÚ, he tolerates and ignores. He's NEVER shown any signs of aggression towards them, he just acts like they dont exist. If one of them tries to tell him anything he doesn't even look at them. With me he acts like a puppy. He's ears and head go down and his tail starts wagging like crazy when he sees me, even of I've just walked into the bathroom and out again. When I sit with him on the floor he comes straight to me and buries his head in my lap. He's do sweet and affectionate towards me, completely different than what he acts towards others. He has one thing that really bothers me. He bites me constantly. He doesn't do it to anyone but me, which leads me to believe its an affection thing for him. He never bites super hard, he just mind of clamps down on my arm slightly, and likes to hold it there.
He seems to do this when he's happiest, like when I get down to his level to pet him. I love him dearly, but I wake up with sore arms every morning! Why does he do this? And how can I stop it? He has no aggression. Like I said, he barks at strangers but he never tries to approach them. He will just stand by my side and bark till I tell him it's ok, then is instantly quiet. He will surrender his rawhides with no problem, and I have pet him while he was eating simply to gauge if he has food aggression, and it doesn't phase him at all. This biting thing is annoying though, I have to admit. I am glad he only does it to me, but still, although he's six months old, he's as big as a full grown female GSD, and he has a firm grip. He doesn't seem to have a prey drive either, we have a cat that he ignores just as thoroughly as he does everything else, so I don't think he views me in that way either. But since I've ruled out aggression and prey drive, that leaves me with no understanding on how to deal with this biting. Does anyone else have a dog that acts this Way? I am also worried about frightening him as he's just gotten his confidence back, and I'm not wanting to shatter that. I know this site is full of very experienced people who love the breed so any advice you guys have is very welcome!