I'm Worried About My GSD Tess' Behavior - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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I'm Worried About My GSD Tess' Behavior

Tess just turned 15 weeks old yesterday and yet she is still biting, we have tried everything and both my husband and I are worried that this might not be just a puppy thing. Tess usually bites when she can't get her own way. I know she's teething but to me it's totally unacceptable for her to jump up on me and bite me due to her anger. Is this puppy tantrum stuff or could this be more serious?

Last night she bit my husband on the chin while he was playing with her and just this morning she bit me in the back of the leg, drawing blood. I have her in training once a week and I have just enrolled her in day care where I'm hoping she can run and play all day and work off all that energy. On the day that I take her out in the yard and play ball with her and then walk her the best I
can , she's a little angel, which makes me think that she just has way too much energy and needs to burn it off.

I also have a call in to a behaviorist/trainer who has a 110 pound male dominant GSD, so he's familiar with the breed. I am looking for other opinions on whether or not I need to worry about this issue. Anyone who has any thoughts or advice, please let me hear it.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 08:57 AM
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Have you read through the Puppy Biting thread? GSDs are quite commonly biters at that age, and you are right that with more exercise and training (for mind and body!) she will wear herself out faster and act up much less. Her behavior sounds completely normal to me. (When Ava was that age this summer, I had bloody bite marks on my ankles/legs probably once a day!) It will get better as she grows up, but also with lots of mental and physical work. You might also try to get a bottle of Bitter Apple to use as a deterrent when she does decide to bite you.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 09:32 AM
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If you ever watch a room full of 2 and 3 year old kids, you will see similar behaviors! I was watching some nieces and nephews last night and felt like I was watching puppies! Same things - non-verbal, unable to express frustration well (why yes, I am annoyed by you, is just not in their toolbox yet) so hairgrabbing, crying, mouthing, etc. Thankfully no one thinks that they are raising the next Hannibal Lecter and realizes this is typical child behavior.

Same with puppies - except they don't even have hands! So their mouths are it.

You don't want her to just burn off energy, you want her to burn off energy with you, and to start learning and thinking. Hiding things for her to find, playing ball with her every day will help tons. I also use the Premier Busy Buddy dumbbell and squirrels to put part of breakfast, and part of dinner in for my youngest dog so he has that to do during quiet time after eating. Uses a lot of jaw power, as does something like an antler or bully stick.

Articles | Suzanne Clothier

Relationship based Approach to Training | Suzanne Clothier

http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/iss...n_16232-1.html <---- please read!

Good luck, you don't need a trainer who has a dominant giant GSD, just one that will help you to use your brain to engage your puppy in learning!

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 11:28 AM
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At her age, it's normal behavior. You're only about halfway through the "landshark" phase.

Get a stuffed toy or towel and arm yourself with it at all times. Whenever she tries to bite you, stuff the toy in her mouth and play tug-of-war. She is teething right now, so don't pull too hard on your end. Whenever you or your husband play with her, use a toy to absorb the bites and make it FUN for her. Pretty soon she will realize that it's more rewarding to bite the toy than it is to bite YOU.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all, this makes me feel a little better. Of all the puppies I've had or interacted with in my family, I have never seen one quite like Tess, she is terrible with those teeth and they are like razor blades. If I try to take off her color or attach her leash, she tries to bite me, everything is such a battle with her but knowing that it will pass, is a relief. The name land shark suites her very well, my husband calls her little devil dog. It's so hard to get upset with her, even when it hurts so badly, because she's so darn cute and does the cutest things. I will miss her puppy cuteness but cannot wait for her to grow out of the land shark phase.

The more I read on this forum, the more I see that a lot of others are going through the same thing and that too makes me feel better, although I do feel for the arms and legs of those that are going through it.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 11:29 PM
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My sheperd is just over 2years old. I am in no way a dog trainer but Maya has tought me a lot about dog behavior. I'm shore others will agree. GSD's will keep you on your feet all the time. There are a lot of way's to stop or train your dog to not bite. What works depends on your dog. I've heard people trying freezing a stick of butter and putting it on your hands so the dog will lick your hands rather then bite. ( never tried it )

What I did was when she would bite, I would grab her snout with my fingers going all the way around so my thumb and my other four fingers were on her lips, so when she would bite down she would bite her own lip. This was very affective and the biting stopped soon after doing it. And no she never Bit so hard to hurt her self.

Another thing I did was make shore I had soft, rubber toys and hard bones to help with the teething stage.

I believe bitting is a behavior that needs to be fixed fast as possible. The important thing is not to give up.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 11:35 PM
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Yeah, mine does it too, and since mine is much older 6 months +, I feel like she should be out of that. Absolute worst dog on teething (and pretty much everything else) I've ever had. All of the suggestions on this forum are great, but if you get a dog like mine, nothing will work.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Yikes, still biting at 6 months, you have my sincere sympathy. Hopefully, it will not be too much longer for you.

Tess starts day care tomorrow and I can't wait to see how she does interacting with other pups. Hopefully this will help her with her socialization, Tess is very attached to me and my husband and doesn't like it when either one of us leave the house, so we're hoping that 2 days a week playing all day will show some improvement.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 09:25 AM
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she's being a pup. you have to constantly correct the behaviour.
when my pup nipped i use to hold him by some neck fur and
say "no biting". i did this over and over. by the time he was 6 months
old the nipping was finally over. it became less and less with age.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 09:30 AM
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As Freestep said, you are only about halfway through it. My dog started teething at 4 mos and finished around 6 mos. At 7 mos he's much better but still has his mouthy moments. The plus side now is his teeth arent quite as sharp. We have more of a problem with his nails now than we do his teeth. He's like a cat with the way he uses his arms to swat at us when we are playing.
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