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sashas_mommy 01-15-2014 09:30 AM

Bitting Issue....Please help
Sasha will be 1 year next month. For awhile now she has tried biting my hands, ankles, clothing. We started more advance training with a really good trainer last month and she stopped for a couple of weeks. Then started again. Now its basically every day. When I come home from work, she is happy to see me, tail wagging and then instead of licking, she tries to bite. It’s not a soft bite, now that she has her adult teeth….it hurts.

I will say that she does not try this with my husband. He has established with her that he is the boss. It’s like she is a different pup when he is around. If he is around and she starts biting me, he says NO and stops that second. But if he doesn’t say anything, she continues. I have tried, “OW”, “YELP” basically anything and everything to get her attention that this not acceptable behaviour in our house. I have tried redirecting her to play with her ball (which she loves) or basic training. I have tried holding her by the scruf and saying no. If I do this, she lies down and then as soon as I walk away, she comes right back at me. Or she tries and then runs away and comes right back. If my husband leaves the house and its just me and her home, she goes full out. I have tried “time-outs” in her crate, don’t like using her crate as punishment because she sleeps in there and I don’t want her to think of her crate as a bad place.

Looking for help…..she will be 1 year old next month and this cannot continue. I love her and always look forward to going home and seeing my puppy but getting very frustrated.

Any suggestions?

RubyTuesday 01-15-2014 12:21 PM

You're tolerating it, however unwillingly, while your spouse isn't. Sasha obviously can do the right thing as she so readily does it for your husband. You need to acquire that respect & can do so.

Until she's under your control I think your interactions with her s/b 'serious' rather than 'playful', ie train & train & TRAIN rather than unstructured romping. With training (which she'll enjoy) she'll be focused & thinking rather than simply reacting. Mix it up & keep it interesting.

Look into NILIF & consistently apply it. There are multiple threads on NILIF & it's invaluable in asserting *your* control of the situation vs Sasha's. (Currently she is clearly in the driver's seat in her interactions with you).

Note that she's either learning one thing or another. Every time she successfully nips you it's reinforced that it's acceptable behavior & further delays getting the behaviour from her that you need & deserve.

Your attitude needs work as much as Sasha's. Don't *ask* for her respect & good behaviour. Expect it. Consistently. It's not optional. Period & NO compromises. She's at an age that can be silly & willful but she's no longer an itty bitty baby. Nor is she a toddler or grade schooler. She's verging on sexual maturity & probably has many of the attitudes of a teenager, albeit a very nice teenager. I will redirect puppy biting but with a 1 yr old biting STOPS or it's the end of the world...(figuratively speaking).

sashas_mommy 01-15-2014 12:34 PM

Thanks ruby. I will look into NILIF.

Waldi 01-15-2014 01:20 PM


Originally Posted by sashas_mommy (Post 4838257)
Thanks ruby. I will look into NILIF.

I have also 12 months old GS and she does exacly the same now. She is excited when I come home nad grabs my hand into her mouth (typical mouthing behaviour) so I stop ne tell her to "stop biting" and that usualy stops but if she continues I use gently my finger and press on the bottom of her mouth under the tongue and I repeat words "no biting". This usually stops her and she knows meaning of "no biting". It is improving and noticed that she only uses this if she needs to go out to bathroom urgently. At first I did not recognized this as a sign and assumed it is mouthing but once I took her out (as it was close to her ususal walking time) she had to go close to front yard, which she never does. It happened few time on exception basis but noticed patterns and if she does that persistently after I telll her to "stop biting" I take this as indicator of need to go out to bathroom.
Overall, it is getting much better with this.

Sp00ks 01-15-2014 01:25 PM


If he is around and she starts biting me, he says NO and stops that second. But if he doesn’t say anything, she continues. I have tried, “OW”, “YELP” basically anything and everything to get her attention that this not acceptable behaviour in our house.
I am just curious, have you tried lowering your voice as low as you can and using the same terms your husband does?

When I met my wife, my shepherd at the time would not listen to her for anything. We finally noticed if she used a low deep voice it got her attention right away. I guess my voice gets deep when I'm pissed off :)

sashas_mommy 01-15-2014 02:55 PM

Thanks everyone for the great advice.

Yes I have tried lowering my voice and raising my voice. Saying "No Bite" "No Bitting" and "NO". Nothing seems to work.

Just very frustrating. i see how she is with my husband and i want that with her.

Blanketback 01-15-2014 04:03 PM

What about having a basket with stuffed toys nearby? This is how my DH dealt with my puppy's chewing. We did things a little differently in my home, because I was encouraging my puppy to mouth me. I like to teach a soft bite, not actually discourage the bite, so there was misunderstanding on his part - he thought I was teaching my puppy to bite us, lol. But he redirected with a toy every time that little mouth came at him, and that worked.

Scruff grabbing can send mixed messages, because you could be instigating play with her. If she's lying down then she's submitting to you, but she's still coming back for more of the playtime so she needs to understand this isn't your idea of fun.

sashas_mommy 01-16-2014 08:39 AM

Hi everyone.

I talked to our trainer last night about this issue. Explained to him that I have tried everything to correct this. he suggested using her crate as a time-out when she bites me. Simply put her in her crate for 15-20 mins she calms down and then let her come out. if she continues back in. He said that she should learn quickly that if she bites me she looses her freedom. My only concern is that i don't want her to think of her crate as a bad place as when both my husband and I are out of the house she goes in her crate.

Would she get the wrong idea if I use her crate for the biting issue? Any other ideas as to stop the biting?

Thanks again everyone.

gsdsar 01-16-2014 08:52 AM

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I think the crate is a fine idea. But to use it correctly it can't be as punishment. So if you are going to use it, put a leash in her, when she nips,say nothing at all. No interaction from you, pick up the leash, walk her to her crate and put her in. All the while saying nothing. If you are hollering at her, telling her no, grabbing her collar, it would be wrong.

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Sp00ks 01-16-2014 08:56 AM

Mine was a monster one Saturday a couple weeks ago, biting, defiant, etc. That evening I got down on the floor with him. (he loves this). He started biting, "No Biting", he continued to bite so I got up, sat in my high backed office chair and turned my back to him. He melted down, the world was ending. I used this to my advantage and repeated the process about 4 times.

Dramatic difference! The effect has lasted. He still gets mouthy, "No Biting" and you can tell he is trying. If he gets out of control, he doesn't get my attention. So far this is working. I would presume the crate time may have the same effect. I would just be careful with it. I think 15-20 mins might be a little long. Maybe not, your trainer would likely know better as he knows the dog.

Just my $0.02

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