Biting and aggressive towards my kids - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 04-26-2014, 06:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Biting and aggressive towards my kids

We have a beautiful working line gsd that is 13 weeks old, we have had him for 3 week now. I have 3 girls, 12, 10 and 7. The 12 year old is tall and just as big as my wife. The other 2 are age appropriate sizes. We love the dog and looking for advice on how to curb this behavior that I see as puppy play. We have had other GSD's but american line, this is our first WGWL.

His behavior is really same with everyone but with my stern no, he will back away then begin to bark at if arguing.

With the girls he will come right up on them and start nipping and biting at them. At this point I have to keep on leash at all times when my girls are home. When they are not at home he is care free in our living room that we have gated off from rest of the house. He is fully house trained and uses the doggy door we have built into our wall from out previous GSD that past away last year from old age.

Summer is coming and the thought of having him constantly on a lead or crated throughout the day is not what I had hoped for.... but my girls come first and seeing them scared and crying from his bites is a little more than I can bare.

I am looking for solutions and advice as to how long this will last. He gets his final shots in 3 weeks and we can start taking him out then to wear him out but playing in yard with me is not making dent in calming his need for play.

I understand that due to his lines that he has more prey drive and the breeder did inform that his lines/parents had defense/agression which is why were interested since we are planning on doing IPO once he is old enough to take to local club.

Thanks for any advice..... I honestly was looking at a muzzle today and then put it back in hopes I could get some advise here on the net.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Take him outside and play and tire him out. Are there any safe places other than your yard? We took our dog to a park near my home that is well maintained and up to our breeder's place just to socialize and meet other dogs.
Have toys all over the house within reach to stuff in your pup's mouth. Yes your home will be messy for a while.
Section off part of the house? Can you keep him downstairs so your kids can feel safe upstairs?
Toys for teething pups, like Kongs?
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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your first step is to remove the word aggressive from your vocabulary. He's acting like a perfectly normal playful pup.

keeping the leash on him is a good way to handle it. teach him gentle and check out the many threads on this forum about teaching bite inhibition
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree...sounds like a normal puppy. Nikki was just getting started with her biting at that age.

Have you seen this? Puppy BITING!!! Teaching Bite Inhibition
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It does come to end, but every dog is different, some are a little more determined than others. My 3 kids, (all under 8 at the time) would encourage it, so it took us a little longer than it should have, especially with our male. Keep kids/dog separated unless their interaction can be supervised and keep at the redirection to a toy. Do things to wear him out, OB, flirt pole, tug, fetch, make yourself the one the pup goes to when he wants to play, and its hard, but having kids act as uninteresting as possible around him may help, he'll lose interest.... Or not.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Are you taking any classes with him? Look for a trainer that will let your daughters work with the puppy in the ring, taking turns.

Teach your daughters this: puppy at the drama club. When puppy nips at them, they are to give a high pitched shriek turn back and dramatically walk away. Storm off 'I'm not playing with you any more!' Then the puppy is in time out for 5 minutes.

One child at a time with puppy until he learns manners. Have each one train him every day for 5 minutes. Yummy treats, hotdogs, cheese, pieces of chopped liver if they can stand it. Spread out the training sessions over the course of the day. Puppy brain is only good for 5 minutes at a time.

I have 3 children, they're almost 11 (boy) and 9 (boy/girl twins). My girl is much better with the dogs than the boys. Girls require less redirection. She was 3 1/2 when we got Otto. His nickname growing up was Mighty McBitey Mite but my daughter mastered bite inhibition a long time before the boys did. She has a natural dramatic flair...
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Last edited by SunCzarina; 04-26-2014 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Normal behavior.

Exercise, training and redirecting until the phase ends.

Teach your children not to squeal or dance around.

Pup wants to play and doesn't have hands.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you plan on doing IPO with him start going to club now. If IPO is a goal, you need to be laying down the proper foundation for IPO, it's different than pet obedience.

Last edited by DaniFani; 04-26-2014 at 11:29 PM.
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