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Old 08-11-2012, 04:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Naughty and Aggressive 3 month old?

Hi I'm new to this forum, so please bear with me.

My 3-month old GSD puppy is an angel when she behaves, but usually she is extremely aggressive. She is constantly biting and when we tell her no, she usually continues. I've tried spraying her with a spray bottle, pressing my fingers at the base of her tongue (both while sternly saying "NO!"), and giving her timeouts... but she won't stop.

When she becomes particularly aggressive, she will snap her jaw, nip, snarl, and she gets this evil possessed look. It's hard to even drag her into time out when she's like this because she bites down HARD. My arms are all scraped up from her biting me.

She is also extremely mischievous overall and doesn't really listen. She doesn't come when called unless she thinks I have some sort of treat. The only time she's fully obedient is when she first wakes up for the day or after a nap.

Unfortunately, I can't afford any classes. What can I do to make her more obedient?
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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She's a puppy and puppies bite. She's biting harder when you frustrate her by not understanding this. Would you correct a toddler for putting everything in it's mouth?

Keep lots of toys at hand so you can redirect her to them. You hold them and make them more attractive than your skin or you can hold them so she will chase them.

Stop with the time outs! She's not a child and doesn't reflect on her behavior.

You have to get her into a class. It's more for you than for her. If you think this is hard at such an EASY early age, you aren't going to be able to handle her as she gets older and discovers you don't know how to handle her. You need to find a way to get in a class no matter what.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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she sounds like a normal puppy...you should at least watch training videos or something because its only going to get worse if you dont train the puppy. The puppy isnt being obedient and isnt listening because it dosent understand and hasnt be taught yet. 3 months is still young but you need to start training now. i really dont think the puppy is aggressive...its just being a teething puppy
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mine just got out this shark stage. During this period he was more on leash inside than outside as outside he had enough distraction by exploring and forgot about biting. Make sure he gets socialized, exercised appropriate for his age. Bored puppies will bite everything that is remotely distracting.
He is now 6 months and taking his third class. He would not be the awesome he is now without all these exposures.
"No money for a class" seems my biggest concern for you. How will you raise a GSDif you cannot afford a class? You are going to pay dearly when you don't take her to a trainer. She sounds like a challenge for you and you have to ask yourself if you can afford and give what she needs. If not consider re-homing her before she is out of control.
I am talking from my experience as a trainer. Sometimes dogs are overwhelming to their owners when they come out of the 8- 10 week cute puppy stage and emerge as four legged jaws.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by maureennc View Post

When she becomes particularly aggressive, she will snap her jaw, nip, snarl, and she gets this evil possessed look. It's hard to even drag her into time out when she's like this because she bites down HARD. My arms are all scraped up from her biting me. This sounds like normal puppy play. Freyja would act like this whenever she went into crazy play mode. Redirect her attention to toys. I found that JollyBalls and Toughie Toys worked nicely. If it wasn't for my father's and DH's advice, I would have thought the same thing. Collie pups are much more gentle when they play.

She is also extremely mischievous overall and doesn't really listen. She doesn't come when called unless she thinks I have some sort of treat. The only time she's fully obedient is when she first wakes up for the day or after a nap. Try doing some training with her after you burn off some puppy energy. At first Freyja could only concentrate for 5 minutes maximum. I would break up training sessions with play, naps, potty, etc. Treats work great at this stage. At times I felt like a Pez dispenser but it paid off. When your girl is older, you can slowly transition treats for praise. Although when I'm working with Freyja to learn a new trick, I use treats first and transition to praise when she has learned the trick.

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Old 08-11-2012, 10:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Exercise, leash, calmness and time

As others have said, when you reprimand your dog constantly it tends to cause an excitement/failure to listen loop. There are a few things to do.

First, walk and exercise your pup as much as possible. It leads to calmer interaction afterwards.

Second, rather than spray the pup or get into an endless series of ignored reprimands when she uses her teeth inappropriately, keep a LOT of different types of toys around and redirect the chewing to the toys. If pup persists, ignore her until he interacts more gently. This may take some time, and if she is really wild you may want to crate her till she calms down. Remember, however, that keeping calm is key.

Third, I would also keep her on a leash a lot while she is inside. Leave it loose, and so long as you are with her and watching to make sure she does not get tangled, this allows you to quickly get control when she is too excited. But remember, this is not to jerk her or punish her, but rather a means for you to calmly intervene and keep her from jumping, biting, etc.

Finally, spend some time on positive training - start by getting a long (20 foot) lead and teach her to come when called by being full of praise and giving a treat, then alternating praises and treats etc. As for training class, I really urge you to at least find a basic level course. This dog is going to be a huge commitment of time and money (dogs, and GSDs in particular cost a lot), and you will soon find that one destroyed item or other more unfortunate event will cost you far more than a class.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My puppy is going through the same stage! She is extremely intelligent and growing so very rapidly! What has helped me is to watch videos. And there is a good one on teaching the "off" command. It's a positive approach.

We also have lot's of other dogs at our ranch between my sisters, parents and our other little dogs. When she gets too rough, they immediately set her straight. I can see that having other dogs really helps. And human skin is an absolute no no. I get very stern with my girl in my tone and say "no bite". Then I redirect her. If she is sassy about it, I have noticed it is when she is over stimulated (busy days, later in the afternoon, or during play) I redirect her attention. And it might be time for a nap in the crate or in her yard.

Mine too is very sweet and affectionate when I wake her up or in public. Although today at lunch she got a little testy. But we worked it out!

I am also taking a GSD Puppy Obedience class, it is a weekly free class put on by the club in San Diego. Have you checked your local club?

This is the day in age where one can learn just about anything online, lot's of reading available and videos, but there is nothing like going to a social setting, especially with those who share the love of the German Shepherd!

I hear over and over that they are land sharks and for that reason it is best to redirect their focus and keep training! A happy puppy is a trained puppy!

Last edited by dbrk9; 08-11-2012 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Good Training Literature and Videos

This message is for people who have just now come across this post and are having similar issues.

Just an aside; I'm a horse trainer, not a professional dog trainer. We have a three month old female German Shepherd who is going through this as well and I have some recommendations for training techniques we've had success with.

I really like Emily Larlham's approach to dog training. All positive reinforcement techniques. She has a youtube channel I really recommend:

youtube.com/user/kikopup/videos


Specifically for this particular topic she has multiple bit inhibition videos to teach dog owners how to train puppies to avoid biting. Here's one:

youtube.com/watch?v=c77--cCHPyU

This page can also be helpful and has some of Emily's training techniques along with other trainers:

doggonsafe.com/teach_puppy_not_to_bite

I've found it useful to seek out multiple methods about how to train dogs for different obedience issues. I really believe in this as a horse trainer I've learned many different techniques from fellow trainers and there's not one right way for so many different horse (and dog) personalities.

Hope this is helpful.

Good luck to all!

Last edited by SarahT; 09-17-2015 at 04:18 PM. Reason: mis-type
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