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Old 08-19-2012, 10:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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When Shasta used to do this, I always felt like it was a pressure relief valve for the excitement she was feeling. Unfortunately, the people she wanted to greet felt differently.

She seems to have outgrown it, but with you dog being 3 years old, it may be that he needs some instruction about what makes for an acceptable greeting.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Don't get mad, but I laughed when I saw the subject. I laughed because I've had 3 GSD in my life and all 3 of them did this "chopping" thing you're talking about when they were young. I used to call it "popping" their mouths. The fear aggressive 2-year-old I have now does it the most. In my case, it hasn't been aggressive to me, but a form of mouthing when excited or trying to communicate with me in play. I broke Buddy of it when he was a puppy and Bear just spontaneously stopped doing it as he matured, but oh-so-inappropriate Rey still does this sometimes. She does it most when we're running and she leaps in the air joyfully at me or, um, when I'm in the bathroom and she knows she's got me hostage. In all 3 cases for me, it was a kind of game. The word "no" is universal for displeased and once I utter it, it stops because she knows the game is over. Sometimes it takes a firm no more than once. The dog is new to you and the bonding is still in progress, so one step at a time. The fact you have the dog sitting instead of leaping on you is huge progress. If it's not aggressive or making contact, I'd just keep reinforcing "no" until the dog knows what you mean by that word and that you mean business.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:53 AM   #13 (permalink)
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My puppy does this too. I think he started this when I would refuse his kisses (poop eater, say no more, lol) and he only does this when he's very excited. He's excellent about not making contact, but unfortunately that's a moot point. If I could train this as a trick, I would call it "Dolphin Dog" because he jumps up with his front paws tucked under when he air snaps. It's cute, but not something I want to reinforce. I also just say, "No" and he's not doing it nearly as much anymore.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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What KentuckyGSDlover posted, reminds me of ramming. My GSD never "face chopped" but he did ram. Your dog's behavior reminds me a lot of the ramming. The glint in the eye - the excitement - the coming out of nowhere - the crying when disciplined. What I learned to do with Sting when he rammed, might work for you with the face chopping. When he would start to come at me, I would hold out my arm with a treat in my hand - he would go for my outstretched arm - since my hand holding the treat was palm side down and he was trained on that hand signal for sit - he would sit - at first I had to make him sit because he was so wound up- then I would give him the treat. With practice - he learned to direct his energy and come up to my hand and sit. He did outgrow it. You may want to start with working on sit when you come inside (have a treat ready) also work on the hand signal.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Kentucky, it was fine for you to laugh at me. I felt like laughing at myself. I had no idea what to call it. Now of course, I know it is called "air snapping." I added more exercise to his day, it decreased tremendously.

I read the site someone referred to and contacted the trainer I had come to assess Ceasar before I went on vacation.

He feels it is anxiety-excitement-based. I do have to address it, but need to follow up with praise when he becomes relaxed so he can figure out, "She doesn't want me to do THAT, but I'm a good boy when I do THIS."

He's had so much change, he is VERY attached to me. I am a strong personality, he is insecure. He CLINGS to me. My vacation away was WONDERFUL for ME, but not so great for Ceasar. Poor timing. When I got "Ally" it was another impromptu adoption situation and the same thing, I had a vacation planned and was gone for a week. In contrast to Ceasar behaving for my mother, Ally TORTURED my friend that came to live with the dogs, cats & horses, and she turned out ok. We just step over these little momentary obstacles and move forward with a plan.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Update: He never does this anymore. He is extremely comfortable now so I think that it was perhaps anxiety related.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks for the update. I am happy he has calmed down and adjusted to his new home.
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