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Old 05-26-2012, 10:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Puppy lunging and biting

In the last few weeks my 3.5 month old GSD has starting lunging and biting at me when she gets excited. It happens about once a day, usually in the evening....like a switch. If I take something out her mouth that she shouldn't have she will sometimes lunge at me, often clenching onto my hand or arm. It feels like she is suddenly very frustrated and needs to attack something. I'm hoping this isn't the beginning of aggression...and more of a puppy behaviour. Its like she's testing my authority and patience.

My dog trainer showed me how to pin her on her side and its seems to work most of the time, however the odd time it seems to aggravate her. I really don't want her to become aggressive and it can be really scary at times.

Has this every happened with anyone else? She gets plenty of walks and play so I don't think its a physical frustration.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is puppy behavior. Keep chew toys close by, maybe even carry 1 or 2 around the house. Each time she tries to nip you, offer the toy instead. They do grow out of this phase, just keep redirecting her.

Please don't pin the puppy. She isn't challenging you or becoming aggressive, just being a puppy. What the pinning may do is cause problems with her trust in you.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Pinning is the wrong word for this. Its just laying her gently on her side so that she can get used to me touching her paws/mouth etc. Its not aggressive pinning like it sounds, just puts her in a position where she has no choice but to relax. I've tried giving her chew toys but it is very much directed at me, so she will go around them to get at me. Its not the typical puppy nipping that she was doing a month ago.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My puppy did the same thing. He's 6 months old now and thankfully he stopped! What I had to do was take him out for a quick walk, nothing else would calm him down. I played ball too, but this revved him up. He just had too much energy to deal with. He was quite the brat, in a lovable, possessed kind of way.

Last edited by Blanketback; 05-26-2012 at 11:00 PM. Reason: misunderstanding over 'pinning', deleted comment
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Possessed! That is exactly the word I would use. She can be amazingly well behaved most of the time and then a switch will go off and she can't attack something fast enough! I'm trying not to take it as a personal attack but I am the one she spends most of her time with. Do they change quite a bit by 6 months?
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Try turning from her and ignoring her when she's out of control. Behavior that gets a reaction is sometimes repeated just to get attention.

Give her plenty of exercise and attention for good behaviors.
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It doesn't matter what you call it really, pinning or holding the puppy down will just frustrate it.
If you do want to "pin" or hold her down, do it with a leash and your foot. Attach the leash then stick it under your foot, and give her about a foot of leash.
As SOON as she calms herself, let up. Only do this once a day or so.

For the "hyper" times, it is normal puppy behavior and she probably just wants to play more, if you can, get a tug and work with her, getting her energy out instead of trying to squelch it.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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[quote=Cassie44;2498909]
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Originally Posted by Lakl View Post
I'm gonna be honest here, and this is based just off what you told us here and in your other post, but this may not be the breed for you, and perhaps rehoming her is the right thing for both of you. It kinda bothers me that at 4 months old, she "frightens you" and is "kinda scary". GSD pups are known for this type of behavior, and it's not something you should be ashamed of, but you just may not be equipped to handle it.

It also bugs me that a behaviorist told you that she was a "dog's dog" and not a "people's dog". Has this behaviorist ever worked with GSD's?? I've never owned a more people's dog.QUOTE]

I agree that I may not have the right tools right now to deal with the GSD breed. However, everyone on this forum was a first time GSD owner at some point. I think its something I can work on with her. I just wanted to hear some other opinions...maybe someone who felt this way initially and then ended up with a great relationship with their dog.

And I think a 40 pound dog with razor sharp teeth jumping and biting at you, no matter what age the dog is, would be considered scary by most.

The "dog's dog" comment by the trainer was meant to suggest that at this point in my dogs life she is more interested in playing with another puppy than coming to a person. I think that my dog would be much happier with another dog (we will not be getting one). That's all she meant.
Don't get me wrong, I think if you found your footing and bond with this pup, it would be a wonderful thing. My comments were related to what you yourself posted earlier in the thread about thinking she'd be better off with a family that had other dogs.

And I'm sorry, but I think the trainer is wrong. The puppy does not need another dog, it needs YOU to establish yourself as a leader. If you think you have no bond with the pup now, you would have even less with another dog in the picture. And I am by no means what you would call an experienced GSD person. My female, who was my first, will only be 3 in September. My male is 16 months. ALL of us here have dealt with the 40lb pup with razor sharp teeth, some worse than others. Whether she is 40lbs or 5lbs, she's still only 4 months old and a baby, and needs you to teach her and correct her.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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[quote=Lakl;2498925]
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Originally Posted by Cassie44 View Post

Don't get me wrong, I think if you found your footing and bond with this pup, it would be a wonderful thing. My comments were related to what you yourself posted earlier in the thread about thinking she'd be better off with a family that had other dogs.

And I'm sorry, but I think the trainer is wrong. The puppy does not need another dog, it needs YOU to establish yourself as a leader. If you think you have no bond with the pup now, you would have even less with another dog in the picture. And I am by no means what you would call an experienced GSD person. My female, who was my first, will only be 3 in September. My male is 16 months. ALL of us here have dealt with the 40lb pup with razor sharp teeth, some worse than others. Whether she is 40lbs or 5lbs, she's still only 4 months old and a baby, and needs you to teach her and correct her.

This is what I'm trying to figure out. Any physical correction I've tried usually causes her to lash out at me. The behaviourist has actually given me some decent things to try, and its only been two days but I'm feeling better about it. I thought some of you might understand my concern over ruining a dog and making it distrustful of people.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Don't stress yourself out over this! She will grow out of it. As they get older the mouthing gets softer and softer. I never had to use physical corrections. From personal experience, the word "No" is absolutely useless. I always used a sharp "Aaah!". I use it with my dogs and my kids, stops everyone in there tracks, or at least grabs their attention, and then you can re-direct them. You need to discover a high value treat or toy that she absolutely loves and use that to help correct the behavior. You use it to reward her when she listens and she will pick up quickly on what behavior gets her the favorite toy or treat. When she does good, be REALLY enthusiastic about it. At this age, you want her to associate you with rewards and good things, not corrections. This will help build the bond.

When I said you need to correct her, I meant redirect the behavior. Use more appealing good things to get her to stop the negative things.
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