How do I stop my 9 month old GSD/Husky from... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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How do I stop my 9 month old GSD/Husky from...

Jumping and nipping at my kids when they run?? I am out of ideas, other than to not let her out when they are outside, unless I am with them too. She doesn't do this to me, and she will stop if I'm outside and close. It's only if I'm close now, I don't have to touch her, just a firm "Aah" will stop her, but if I'm not close she wont stop. She left a bruise on my 11 year old daughter's leg today from nipping at her.

I have taught the kids to use the "Aah" and stop running if it looks like she's about to jump. They do like her chasing them, it's just that part I need stopped. Should I have them yell really loud? They do cry and yell sometimes because it hurts them.

She also doesn't seem to know how to play with smaller animals. My mom has a small dog and my dog will grab her by the scruff of the neck and drag her around, and it doesn't matter how the other dog reacts. The strange thing is, at the dog park with smaller dogs, she doesn't play like this.

I am at my wits end with trying to figure out how to break her of these very bad and potentially dangerous behaviors.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 11:29 PM
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Truthfully, I think you have discovered that management is key for now. Either with the kids or your mom's small dog.

Everytime these situations arrive, you should continue to be proactive to PREVENT an issue. If the kids won't stop running, so get your dog cranked up, it's not the dogs fault when someone gets hurt. So if, instead, you don't let your dog outside unless YOU are outside, you are setting up everyone to succeed and prevent a bad habit from continuing and getting worse.

Same with your mom's dog. You just need to step in when the pup get's grabbed. Just firmly separate them. If you have your dog crate trained, I'd take it when I visit and use them for calm, quiet 'time outs' when she doesn't listen and instead grabs your mom's dog.

Another great help in all of this is getting your dog on a real exercise plan with just YOU and the dog. A hour long drive/hike/walk every other day with just you and the dog would really help with your leadership, bonding, and general exercising as well as socializing.

Weekly dog classes are a great deal of fun and another way to help make the time to spend one on one with your dog.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 06:58 AM
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You can also re-direct her biting to something that is appropriate to bite on, like a ball or a toy.. Have the toy/ball on you at all times and when she starts getting excited with the kids or anytime she goes to mouth, break out the toys and make them more interesting.. Maybe have the kids kick her toys around to attract her attention to the toys and not them..

What should happen in time (if it's done correctly) is the dog will seek out his/her toy and chew bite on that.. even when the kids are out..

I have laying around my yard (and inside the house) a few of the cuz's balls, and a couple jolly balls.. that way as soon as my dogs come out of there crates they immediately find their toys and carry them around.. I also do a lot of playing with my dogs..

Yelling or screaming doesn't work.. It normally just draws more attention.. Or in the dogs mind you become an even bigger squeaky toy..


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for those replies! Bella is crate trained, and I have used that as a sort of time out at times. We do go on walks most mornings, usually 30-45 minutes. I like the toy idea, she does like to chase balls or other toys at certain times and we have quite a few outside. I'm glad to hear that I am already on the right track.

I have started having my 2 youngest children, ages 7 and 8 take over her feeding with my supervision, having her "sit" or "down" and "wait" while they put her food down and my daughter likes training her too.

She does really good on walks if it's just me, I've tried going for a walk with her and the kids and she pulls if they are ahead. They just seem to excite her so much.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 08:43 AM
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As for the walks, she wants to be the leader.
This is easily corrected with a redirect.
When the kids are ahead and she begins to pull, switch direction with an immediate "with me". Once she is walking nicely, go back to following the kids.
She will get frustrated in the beginning, but stick with it. Keep turning her around and wait for her to be calm them back in that direction again.

This took us three good walks for Timber to get the idea, but now he walks calmly with the kids ahead.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 10:43 AM
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Buddy used to do the same thing with my boys. Now, Buddy has to have a toy in his mouth before he can chase the boys around the yard. This keeps him from nipping and jumping at them. The boys know not to run until they plop a toy in his mouth, and the funny thing is is that Buddy now knows he has to go grab a toy before chasing them. It's pretty funny. These dogs are almost too smart.

I had mentioned this issue to our trainer and she suggested having the kids run with one of the dog's toys and throw it when the dog starts to get close. That works, too.

Another thing I do is teach "off" (meaning all four paws on the ground) and the second I see Buddy look at one of the boys like they're a long lost littermate, I will say, calmly, "Buddy, off!" And that breaks his concentration of them.

You do definitely have to be out there supervising when the dog and the kids are together, at least at first. What is so surprising to me is that Buddy is now absolutely perfect with my youngest, who is 5. I'm trying to figure out if my youngest has a different energy than my 10 year old, who Buddy likes to play with very roughly. My ten year old is more energetic and loud. Crazy loud. So I have to be there when he and Buddy are out together always (for now.) I am constantly reminding my boys to stay calm, and that will keep the dog calm.

Our latest problem is the swings. Buddy put holes in two of my boys' shirts yesterday trying to "catch" them as they were swinging. So today I'm going to go out and put him in a sit/stay while they are swinging and continue to do that until he learns to leave them alone and stay away while they are swinging.

Good luck!! I know it can be frustrating.

Buddy von Gaishauser ~ 4/18/09

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his LIFE, his LOVE, his LEADER. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion" - Unknown
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