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Old 01-28-2014, 07:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
njk
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Default am I doing something wrong?

Hi, I've posted here once before primarily in regards to my puppy biting our cat, and of course her biting of us. I know it's typical of pups, and we're trying to be persistent but I wanted to make sure we weren't sending the wrong message to her. My pup will typically bite me - I spend the most time with her - and my legs are covered in bruises and cuts. A couple are so deep I'm going to the doctor as I think they're infected, but I digress, I try redirecting but she dodges the toys I put in her face and goes straight for my hands or legs. I then try and ignore her or walk away, but while I'm doing this she is biting even harder than before. In fact, my worst cuts come from me trying to walk away or ignore her. She bites the hardest when I'm trying to ignore her and it's so hard to stay calm because it hurts. Sometimes I've shut myself in the bedroom and cried, while she's been outside the door crying (chucking a tantrum?). My partner actually gets really angry when he sees her doing this to me and we have so many fights as I try to defend her and explain she's just a puppy. He thinks she needs a smack but I'm against physically hitting, even if she does have a major attitude problem. He says we will have to rehome her if she does any major damage to me or doesn't stop biting when she's grown, so I'm determined to get on top of this.

I want to make sure I'm not doing something wrong as the last thing I want to do is confuse her as I know that will make it worse. I guess I just need reassurance, as she is getting bigger so her bites are a lot more painful than they were when she was smaller but sometimes I worry that what I'm doing isn't giving her the right message. I don't believe she's an aggressive pup. She doesn't growl (just barks when in a biting/playing mood) or display possessiveness, and even when she bites our cat her tail is wagging and we think she just wants to play. She is learning commands as I practice with her a few times a day, though when she's in one of her manic playful moods, she likes to ignore commands. Our Vet suggested briefly grabbing her snout (not painfully, just enough to make her back off in surprise) then ignoring her, and I tried this a couple of times but again she thought it was a game and kept coming at me (least I hope she thought it was a game and didn't just decide to 'get back' at me because she didn't like it). I don't want to continue trying something new like that if it's likely to have the opposite effect but then everything I try seems to have the opposite effect. Is it a case of something getting worse before it gets better?

I'm not new to puppies but I am new to German Shepherds (kind of, we had a beautiful GSD when I was a kid growing up) but we all have to start somewhere so I'm trying to learn as much as I can.
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