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Old 11-21-2012, 11:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is acceptable puppy biting?

I would like some advice please. We have a four month old pup who is biting way too much for it to be puppy mouthing. He literally lunges to bite, or turns on you to bite. It is not with strangers, with whom he's a little stand offish but friendly and not aggressive. He's not aggressive with other dogs at all - quite the opposite. With me, he's very sweet and loving 80% of the time but then he'll turn on me and he is particularly hostile towards my husband. We're trying all the recommended ways to curb this: deflection, leaving him for a while so he understands he's missing out on our company; we have the bitter apple which he doesn't like; we're reading the book from the NY monks and have tried their recommended ideas. We're taking him to a puppy socialization group where he behaves perfectly. He loves to play, counter surfs all the time, snatches anything and everything he can and is obsessed with tissues and paper towels.

He sounds a holy terror but we actually love him to bits. He adores our son and looks to him as his alpha, but even with him, he's mouthy.

I went with my son to visit the pups and the mom was very sweet, well socialized. There were two litters both sired by the same dog and all three adult dogs are on the premises. We saw the male briefly. He was leashed and appeared rather hyper. We were told he was hit by a car and had suffered brain damage. The pups were well cared for, very alert, all vet reports up to date and no health issues.

I do intend to speak to our vet in case there is something we're overlooking - the pup has been twice to the vet for his shots, etc.

Is it too early to get him some one on one training?

Is what we are experiencing the norm? I grew up with GSDs but only one pup and I do not remember this at all.


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Old 11-21-2012, 11:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My pup is the same way. She's five months next week. Most of the time I can't even pet her without her turning into a crocodile, snap!! snap!! snap!! She bites my arms and pulls, no matter how many times I try and replace it with some thing she's allowed to bite she prefers my flesh. Unless I actually actively engage her in a game of tug, then she goes for the toy. BUT I am very lenient with this because I am doing French ring (bite work) with her. I'm not sure if I would be quite this lenient if she was a pet dog, but then again it seems like it's truly something they just grow out of. Keep a toy on you at all times. Even a rag and when She bites redirect her toward a game of tug with the rag or toy. This too shall pass, we are right in the middle of teething.


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Old 11-21-2012, 11:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You have a little land shark..try this link:

Puppy BITING!!! Teaching Bite Inhibition

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Old 11-21-2012, 11:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is very normal biting for a puppy of this age. Best bet is to keep shoving toys in her mouth so she has something else to bite rather than your skin. It will get better in a couple of months and then you will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Definitely not too early to get her into some training. A good puppy class can really help you through this.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the reassurance. Yes, I have said many times that his teeth are like shark's. I appreciate he is teething and we have lots of toys at hand. He loves bully sticks but the thin ones are way too easy for him. I got him a larger one the other day and it lasted him three days. He also loves chasing empty liter soda bottles and we play soccer. When my husband appears I always have a toy at the ready and he'll scamper after it and then come back to have a go at my husband while he barks. My husband works out of home but downstairs and Shadow is at the moment confined to the kitchen which is large and where he spends his daytime hours with either me or his boy, with walks and outside time. He enjoys his crate and often goes in to be alone with a toy.

It's when my husband comes upstairs and "invades" the kitchen that Shadow gets hostile. I think he's protecting the kitchen. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that my husband is scared of Shadow. He never had a dog when growing up. We had a Golden we rescued when she was four and she was so passive, it was almost sad. Then a gap of a couple of years while our son was away in college. He's now home and has always wanted his own dog. He researched and chose the GSD. On the week-end when my husband is not working and takes Shadow for a long walk, he's much more malleable and loving with him. Shadow is our son's dog and he (the son) is far more sanguine about this than we are but to be honest, he's not being bitten quite so harshly.

We are looking into a puppy class. Any more links would be gratefully studied. Thanks again. Happy Thanksgiving to all and our beautiful dogs.


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Old 11-22-2012, 01:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Regarding being afraid of dogs. Its a personal human problem. Its not hard to hold a dog down with some basic knowledge of how a dog works. Your husband is letting the dog be the pack leader (yes, that sounds very Cesar Melan -ish, but its true). Establish who is in charge, and when something bad happens either you ignore, or correct. Your husband needs to step up and take ownership of the kitchen. The sooner the better. Dogs live in 'the now', but its easier to train a puppy then a full blown massive dog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elaine View Post
This is very normal biting for a puppy of this age. Best bet is to keep shoving toys in her mouth so she has something else to bite rather than your skin. It will get better in a couple of months and then you will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Definitely not too early to get her into some training. A good puppy class can really help you through this.
I wish I had read this before my arm got gnawed up. lol. I keep throwing objects in his mouth. Sacraficed a pair of socks even. He's still my buddy, spite the bite marks. So strong for 4 months old.

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Old 11-22-2012, 11:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I totally agree about the problem really being my husband's. He is very hesitant and when he approaches Shadow he'll put his hand out to pet him, thinks Shadow is going to bite him and jerks his hand away quickly Shadow thinks this is a great game and he's more than game!!! My husband is an innately nervous person and Shadow senses that but he is also perceptive enough to know when he's out of favor. He reads situations very well. Last night after having drawn blood on my arm and I was none too pleased, I ignored him for a good half hour. He later came and lay right at my feet and was so gentle and loving with me when I talked to him softly, that I was the one that felt bad for being upset!!!

We will get there! Thanks again.


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Old 11-22-2012, 11:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just keep up being consistant, using toys (not body parts) when playing.

Get your husband more online with loving the new puppy. Manage the kitchen thing so it no longer happens. Have your husband with a treat. Or dog has to leave the kitchen with a sit/stay (treat) and only allowed in the kitchen when released with the ok by your husband. So he's only allowed in with permission and if he's out of control then he CALMLY needs to be removed.

Exercise is key for so much good behavior. So the more your husband can exercise and bond with your pup in a calmer setting the better the bond and less chance of fear coming up when the puppy gets in a nutty playzone (which can be overwhelming for any of us).
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elaine View Post
This is very normal biting for a puppy of this age. Best bet is to keep shoving toys in her mouth so she has something else to bite rather than your skin.
OMG I LOVE THIS POST!!!!!

Seriously, it's the truth ... they do outgrow it ... with lots of patience, training and consistency. There are a TON of threads under the puppy section that can help you deal with this.

Good luck!
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your helpful comments. We talked to our vet and tomorrow we're calling a trainer who works one on one in the house so she can see the dynamic. We talked to another trainer yesterday who basically said that unless my husband gets over it, he can look forward to being bitten for ever. Not a very helpful comment to make to a potential client so we will not be using her. Shadow has obviously been listening and taking notes as he's been pretty nice this week-end with long walks, lots of interaction and we've resorted to the crate a little more - him, not us although we did consider crawling in!!!


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