Prepare for a wall of text. My wife and I really need some help with several things with our 13 week old female working line GSD.
We've hired a local trainer who does shutzhund with her GSDs and occasionally breeds to help us but, there are some things I just don't think are getting sorted out for some reason. The trainer does say she is a very smart girl, who picks things up very quickly and I sometimes wonder if she isn't a bit too much dog for the trainer never mind my wife and I.
I'll list the issues in order of importance to me.
1. She bites... A LOT AND HARD. I've got cuts all over my hands as does my wife and today she drew blood from my mom who was doing me a favor and letting the dog out while I was at work and my wife who works from home is out of town.
I understand with any puppy and especially GSDs there will be chewing, playful mouthing and that she is probably teething right now. What I'm talking about is for a few hours a day she wants to do nothing but bite anyone or anything around except for what she is supposed to and I'm not sure how to address it. I've tried the methods detailed here:
Teaching Bite Inhibition
Pulling away and making an "ouch" noise just makes her look at you, mouth more softly for a little bit and then when you start to relax put the chomp on you.
When trying to redirect to a toy/chewy/etc... she drops it and bites your hands. When stopping play and walking away she attacks your feet or pants. We did this for the first two weeks with no real improvements. We started to use higher value chews like Bully sticks and pig snouts and saw some improvements initially but, she seemed to get over them pretty quick as well.
We've since tried several different methods recommended by either the breeder, trainer or the Monks of New Skete book I've read. Everything from fingers down her throat, hand under chin other hand behind head until settles, Lifting by scruff while supporting bottom or ribs until settles, lifting front legs off ground with leash and counting to 3... She seems to look at pretty much all of these as an escalation that she should then answer with more biting.
2. Exercise/Walking on a lead, I'm sure this is where a lot of the problem above comes from. I don't think she is getting enough exercise. That being said it's not from a lack of effort on our part. Her and I will play fetch almost all evening and she is great at it. Loves it, doesn't fight to hold on the toy, brings it right back, everything is good.
She will walk on her lead like a champ if it's my wife and I together. However, if it is just one of us trying to walk her she wants nothing to do with it. She won't go past the driveway without serious encouragement, she just sits and looks back to the house. If I kneel down and call her she will come to me but, that is the extent of her progress. I walk 10' forward and repeat the kneeling/calling. I try to walk her when I get up, my wife tries at least 3 times during the day and the only time we really have much luck is when I get home in the evening and we can all go together.
She wears her collar and leash around the house most of the day so she is is used to the sensation of a collar and leash. What is the deal here?
She will also try to carry her leash in her mouth. I'm not sure how to stop this. I've tried the obvious like gently pulling it out her mouth and saying "drop it" like we do in fetch to putting some bitter apple on it, it doesn't seem to phase her in the least.
3. Jumping on people and furniture. I'll admit we totally set her up for failure on the furniture thing. In the first few days when she wasn't sleeping through the night or used to her crate we would put her on the couch with us so, we could catch a nap without worrying where she was or .
This has now evolved into "I will get on any of the furniture whenever I **** well please". When she is in "seek and destroy" mode she runs laps like a lunatic around the living room then leaps onto the couch or chair, possibly from one to the other and is now trying to scale the back of the couch to get onto the sofa table.
I generally try to get a hold of her lead before the she makes the leap up and say "no" or "off" if she is already up there but, it has made no difference. I'm not sure what to do here as in the long term I don't mind her being on the furniture when invited but, she is too young to get that notion yet.
Thanks in advance.