Benny- I have a 9 month old GSD as well, who is doing the same thing. I am thinking it's a phase, however, that's not an excuse.
the phrase "doing a correction" is giving him a sharp jerk straight up on his collar. I use a power steering collar, aka a prong collar or pinch collar. I was resistant at first, because, like your boy, my guy had a horrible beginning and is SUPER sensitive (you can check out my photo album on here and see his progression). However, it is like night and day with Jericho. He actually prefers the power steering collar. "reinforcing it" is simply rewarding him when he does what you want him to do. So it looks like this: collar correction.... good behavior...."good boy"...treat reward. You're going to have to do it over and over again and be consistent. It will pay off though.
With the nipping...we're using a product called Bitter Apple. When your dog nips you put it the back of their mouth (I lift his lip on the side and spray it in pointing the bottle to the back). It works with him immediately, but again, you have to be consistent and do it over and over again. Jericho still nips, but is getting better. Part of it is, that GSD's just play rough (so, I've noticed) and they get really excited to have their people play with them. I think, at least with Jericho, he just wants to play all of the time and doesn't want you to stop playing with him. SO...he tries to get your attention by nipping.
Originally Posted by Benny Boo's Mommy
Any advice for a new dog owner whose GSD just started nipping a lot? We've had Ben, our 9 or 10 month old GSD for about five weeks...got him from the local pound. Initially, he had a very subdued personality as he was starved (54 lbs when he should weigh at least 70) and had a variety of bugs (pink eye, ear infection, etc). He loved cuddling and even laying in laps to be petted.
He just got neutered last Friday. Previous to this, he was extremely cuddly, wanting to lay near us and get petted. Now, although he does love us, he is constantly trying to mouth and nip when he is lying down and we go to pet him--sometimes noticeably harder than before (no bruising or anything, but FIRM holding). He also does this in the morning when he's excited that we are awake or if he thinks we are getting ready to leave. He has tried to herd my 10 year old, although my son said "NO" loudly and stand stood his ground our dog stopped.
Any ideas as to what is causing this change in demeanor? I like his other changes--he's gotten more confident as he's put on weight and gotten healthier and we exercise him about an hour a day with a flirt pole and walks (and the dog park). He's really looking good and getting healthy. It's just kind of startling how much he is interested in nipping now.
Any ideas on how to stop this behavior? We say "NO" firmly and ignore him, which works for the moment, but we have to do it EVERY TIME. I hope this is the right track? I see a lot of statements about "do a correction" and "reinforce it" but what does that specifically mean? I'd love any methods.