11.5 week puppy biting me
It's my first time writing, i have read many of the puppy forums and they have been good to read!
I have a wonderful 11.5 week male puppy, purebred german line german shepherd. I have met his mother, father and even grandfather and they all have amazing temperaments, very well behaved. The breeder is top and i know her dogs always become loyal calm gsds.
Obviously he is still a puppy and biting/nipping/chewing are to be expected. He is a good boy most of the time, except after food time when he has high energy levels. I make sure i keep him occupied and use up his energy with the family.
My issue is that although he nips/bites my dad/brother/mum, once they say no and tug him by the neck, he is fine and hardly bites them. However, when it comes to me , boy is he persistent. I yell NO! and tug him and distract with a toy, but with me he starts to bark and pounce around, i thought it may be aggressive but his tail wags like he is a happy boy. But i really don't think he is being aggressive.
I wish he'd stop and listen. He doesn't bite as frequently, but when he does it hurts!
I dont know why he does it to me, as i am the one he is with most of the time. He is usually very placid, obedient and happy and follows me around everywhere. He loves my family, but i am the one he clings to most "the chosen one". Which is why i don't understand his biting behaviour towards me.
As i said he doesn't do it 24/7, he's very calm and gentle. It's just after meal time and when he's full of energy. I love him and i would like this to stop, so it doesn't continue when he is older.
Any advice would be wonderful!
After eating time, when he has lots of energy, sounds like a good time to go for a walk. Get him some exercise. Let him experience different things. Get a pocket full of treats, and start teaching him to walk nicely at your side, to sit, and lie down on command. Teach him some tricks. Move quickly from one thing to another, do each thing no more than three times. And keep it happy and up-beat.
A tired puppy is a good puppy...
Most of the time.
Some puppies can get over-tired, and then they need to go to their safe spot, so they can get some rest.
Teach your dog the GENTLE Command:
Use treats, start with a treat in your open palm, and offer it to the dog and say GENTLE. If the dog takes it gently (he should from and open palm) tell him good GENTLE, and repeat.
This is a command, where you are actually teaching him a word that you will want to associate with other things down the line, so use this word every single time. Every time remind him GENTLE, and offer the treat, and every time he takes it nicely, say, Good Gentle.
Now after a few days of this, make it harder. Put a thumb over the treat and remind him GENTLE, and if he tries to take it gently, give it to him, Good Gentle. If he tries to take some thumb, Eh! Gentle and try again.
After he is good at that, 100%, then make it tougher. Close your fist. [by the way, fingers are fun to bite, fists are not. If your puppy is trying to eat your fingers, close your hands into fists] With the fist closed and the treat in your fist, tell your puppy, GENTLE, if he licks at the fist, open it and give the treat. If he bites, Eh! Gentle, and only open your fist if he starts licking. and remember to say Good Gentle, when he gets his treat.
When he is 100% good at this, make it tougher, and put it between the thumb and fore-finger. Remind him, GENTLE. Do not let him have it if he snatches. If he takes it carefully, Good Gentle.
When he is good at this, then you are ready to use the GENTLE word with other things. GENTLE with my fingers, when he gets rough, GENTLE with Grandma. Gentle with the girls.
Heck, I give cheese to my nieces, and I tell them, remind her to be Gentle. And they do. And they give the cheese to Jenna or Babs or Odie. They do not snatch. They know what GENTLE means. Because I teach it. It is like loading a clicker. You are loading that word to teach the dog to be careful with his teeth. Eventually, you can drop the treats, and you can forget to remind the dog to take treats Gently. But as often as you can remember, tell him good Gentle when he is gentle.
And not in a high pitched happy voice, and not it a deep dark voice, make it a soothing, moderately toned voice.
Our voices can amp our dogs up, and make them excited, and they can drop them down, even shut them down. What we want for the GENTLE command, is a Gentle, calm, easy voice, that isn't going to wind the dog up, but will let the dog know that he has done good.
Good luck with your puppy, he is normal.
Thanks Selzer, i will definitely start using the GENTLE command with treats. He is very obedient and a quick learner, he doesn't snatch when i give him treats or food i'm general, so to associate this with GENTLE will hopefully work for when he "play bites" me.
OR..just scruff him and say no. He does it again you do it again. He does it again crate him. No yelling, flailing, giving treats or toys. The puppy biting thing is not rocket science. To many people make it much harder then it needs to be.
Thanks, i currently do scruff him then he just pounces back so i put him in a confined space till he calms down. He doesn't always do it, as i said its when he has his spills of energy, even though i play and try to drain him. I'm sure it'll get better, he is only 11.5 weeks, its just that hurts and its really frustrating that he does it to me.
What age did your gsd get less rough and phase out of it?
I basically did what selzer suggested....teaching a pup to take a treat "nice" has it's merit.
I started with the treat between my thumb and forefinger so as to better secure the treat if the dog did not earn it by taking it "nice".....I of course had minor nicks and scratches from her trying to take the treat in an overzealous fashion...but I only released the treat when she took it "nice"....didn't take all too long for her to figure out the path of least resistance. And, yes....I applied the command "nice" to numerous other activities where a soft mouth was required.....they get it...whatever the command word is....as long as there is consistency all along the way in all other aspects of the puppy's development.
I might suggest the pup is still testing you for position of rank more than the others you mentioned...as far as working you over more with his jaws.... but I could be completely incorrect. Being the "chosen one" may not correlate to the one he respects the most...currently....but perhaps the one he can test his growing puppy attitude on....it is interesting how the relationship develops...but I have always felt a dog craves a strong leader....and sometimes many owners have a difficult time understanding the constructs of a "strong leader". Being the one which must bring the most shaping to a pup's development has it's moments where it is rather difficult compared to others who have a casual involvement.....tough love is appropriately named as such.
You could be right about the testing his rank with me part, however at the same time i am with him most of the time and do all the training and he is definitely more bonded to me than the rest of my family. Which is why i think he does the rough play biting with me more.
The men in the family can handle his nips at a higher threshold to me, and they are play biten as much. When he tries to bite my ankles it stings and as a female i cant stay still or handle it as well, which may make me seem weaker than the rest/ or more reactive like im participating in his rough play.
When i scuff him he comes back again, until i drag him to a outside/confined area to calm down with a firm NO! He comes back all sad and tries to win my approval.
I have tried practicing the GENTLE with treats training, when he sniffs my hand he licks anyway so ive moved up to the between two fingers. He licks and i say gentle and he keeps repeating. Will he naturally apply that word to everything, like when he bites me?
Does the behaviour slowly settle down with age?
For a young female these nipping scratches etc dont look so good. I realise its a part of having a puppy and it will be worth it in the end:)
This is really no different than what everyone else is saying but I cup Gunther's treats so he can't grab them at all. He would sit there and sniff and lick at my hand and once the excitement of knowing it's there left I would roll my hand over and offer it to him out of my palm. It worked after 2 times and now I have no accidents when I give him steak out of my fingers.
He would sit there and sniff and lick at my hand and once the excitement of knowing it's there left I would roll my hand over and offer it to him out of my palm.
i do this also with my dogs and it always works
He should most definitely associate the word "nice" or whatever word you use regarding the use of his teeth and jaws....when I am playing frisbee with my dog, if I say "take it nice" she most definitely is very gentle when she takes it from me versus when I hold it and say "okay" and she leaps at it with much more excitement and bite pressure. When she was going through the stage which your pup is and she was learning the behavior of taking it nice...if she was playing and biting on me and I would sternly say " NICE"...she most certainly backed down on the bite pressure....and yes..I had a few nicks and scratches as well during the process...those puppy teeth are like needles.
And, yes...this behavior most certainly disappears with time...as it should because one way or another the pup will and should learn...teeth on human flesh is NOT allowed...unless one trains to encourage the behavior.
Hang in there ...it is but a passing phase that you will guide your pup through.
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