Puppy Problems - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Puppy Problems

Hi everyone,

We have a gorgeous six month old long coat male puppy named Max.
He is potty trained, knows and obeys most commands, has been for his vet check up today, and has a clean bill of health.

He was very well behaved, until about 2 weeks ago.
He is starting to show aggression towards me when I tell him "no" - like when he is digging holes in the garden, or chewing something he is not supposed to. He will start by giving a series of very high pitched barks, while continuing the naughty behavior. When I tell him "no" again, he lunges at me - grabs a hold of my hand and growls. When I turn my back on him, he bites my legs or jumps on me. The only way for it to stop is if I remove myself to another room or put him outside. Redirecting sometimes help, but I don't always have a toy or ball in reach.

Also, when I am lying on the couch or in bed, he will jump on me and start biting my hand. It seems like it starts out as a game for him, but it soon changes into him biting really hard and growling.
This is something completely new - he has never done this before.

He only does this with me, and not my husband.
I do most of the training and disciplining, and spend the most time with him, but it seems like he sees my husband as the alpha and tries to dominate me.

I am really at my wits end. I do not want to be scared of my own dog, but he already weighs 34 kilograms, is very big for his age and starting to become very strong.

I would love to stop this behavior as soon as possible, before it becomes a real aggression problem.

PLEASE help!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 11:54 AM
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Time to get a trainer involved. If you can, arrange a few private sessions in your home. Dogs are completely different in classes so trainers cannot see the real dog. The dog is not respecting you and it needs to be addressed soon before he does damage. He is close to real biting from what I read in your post. Just in case you wonder about neutering; it is not a substitute for training.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 01:33 PM
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When you say no do you follow up by showing him what you do want? Do you reward his good behavior throughout the day or just correct the unwanted behavior? When he is chewing on an okay thing do you let him know that pleases you? Does he have a place where it is okay for him to dig?

I think you are seeing a puppy who is frustrated and doesn't know what you want from him when you are giving a verbal correction. You may not be providing clear instructions to him or appropriate ways for him to satisfy his need to chew and dig. The "aggression" may be him telling you he doesn't feel like your corrections are fair or he doesn't understand why he is being corrected. Fighting fire with fire may only end up escalating things and making you an adversary for your pup to fight back against.

I agree find a trainer who can help you learn how to better communicate with your puppy and set up appropriate boundaries.

This is an article about the teenage phase in dogs:


If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the article!
Most things in there is what Max is currently doing - we thought the teething phase was bad, but the teenager phase is much more challenging.

We do reward good behavior, and a firm "no" always worked when he was doing something naughty.
When my husband tells him "no" he immediately listens. What can the reason be that he does not want to listen to me anymore?
(I must add that for the most part he is very loving towards me - follows me everywhere, lies on the ground next to me, and is very protective. This growling and biting usually happens late in the afternoon or early in the morning - when he is full of energy.)

This morning he tried this again, and I kept on telling him to "sit" and "stay" and after about 5 minutes it worked and he lost interest in trying to nip at me and focused on playing instead.

We are seeing a trainer this weekend - we live in South Africa, and there are not a lot of trainers in our area...
In the meantime, does anybody have any suggestions as to what I can do to stop the biting?
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