Aggressive biting - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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Aggressive biting

Hi, we have a 10 week old puppy. I have had puppies before so I was prepared for the biting but this has started to take a turn for the worse. Now whenever my puppy bites and I say ‘ow’ or ‘no’ she starts to snarl and goes for me with harder bites. We have tried redirecting her attention but when she is in that mood she will continue to bite no matter what.

Ignoring her and standing up and giving her time out only works whilst doing it, as soon as I go to play with her or give her attention again she starts biting again. It feels like an endless cycle that isn’t working at all.

She also bites really hard whenever we stroke her or pick her up, we have tried games that help her get used to our touch and we have held her until she is calm and then put her down but this doesn’t seem to be having any impact.

I was just wondering if anyone has any tips, the other puppies I had were not gsd so I was wondering if this is normal behaviour and if so how long it usually takes to train them out of it? I’m concerned she will still be biting when she gets her adult teeth. Is there anything else I should be doing? Thanks
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 04:03 AM
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Welcome to the forum! I couldn't pet my puppy until he was about 5 months old. The puppy could not cap the prey drive activated by a moving hand. So--I always had a toy for him to go after that was in my hand. I carefully substituted toys for body parts. As my GSD matured, it resolved itself. I never made a big deal about it. I worked on positively building a trust relationship and informal obedience. FYI--Sometimes puppies get ramped up and act aggressive when what they really need is down time in a crate.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 04:27 AM
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Relax, it's absolutely normal! The puppy isn't being bad, or mean, it's just how they're wired. I have never known anyone that had success with saying ow! What worked for me was to have plenty of stuff around that is okay to bite. I personally kept lots of recyclables, like plastic milk jugs, juice bottles, or even soda bottles all around on the floor for my puppy to attack at will! But I learned early on to remove the little plastic ring from the top before giving them to her, otherwise she'd bite them off and swallow them! In addition, as long as the puppy does have alternatives that are okay to bite, because they HAVE to bite stuff, it's a lot easier to teach them not to bite you...but it takes some work! From their perspective you are going to be a lot more fun to engage with and bite. So when you see that little glint in their eye telling you they're about to bite, and you CAN see it if you watch. Pick up a plastic jug and animate it so they're focussed on it instead of you. Play with her! To stop biting I taught my puppy stop. And to do that you just sort of square up to face them and in a serious tone, not loud, just a serious tone, and say stop! Stop all movement and be serious, but not angry or yelling, it's a combination of tone and demeanor...it's teaching, not punishing or being "alpha", just teaching. If you watch and preempt your puppy's biting by animating a toy, you'll do away with a lot of their biting! But not all. For the rest I recommend chain mail gloves, paper towels, and more than a box or two of bandaids LOL! Relax, their biting now does not in any way get carried over into adulthood! Congrats on the new puppy, enjoy her!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim_s_adams View Post
Relax, it's absolutely normal! The puppy isn't being bad, or mean, it's just how they're wired. I have never known anyone that had success with saying ow! What worked for me was to have plenty of stuff around that is okay to bite. I personally kept lots of recyclables, like plastic milk jugs, juice bottles, or even soda bottles all around on the floor for my puppy to attack at will! But I learned early on to remove the little plastic ring from the top before giving them to her, otherwise she'd bite them off and swallow them! In addition, as long as the puppy does have alternatives that are okay to bite, because they HAVE to bite stuff, it's a lot easier to teach them not to bite you...but it takes some work! From their perspective you are going to be a lot more fun to engage with and bite. So when you see that little glint in their eye telling you they're about to bite, and you CAN see it if you watch. Pick up a plastic jug and animate it so they're focussed on it instead of you. Play with her! To stop biting I taught my puppy stop. And to do that you just sort of square up to face them and in a serious tone, not loud, just a serious tone, and say stop! Stop all movement and be serious, but not angry or yelling, it's a combination of tone and demeanor...it's teaching, not punishing or being "alpha", just teaching. If you watch and preempt your puppy's biting by animating a toy, you'll do away with a lot of their biting! But not all. For the rest I recommend chain mail gloves, paper towels, and more than a box or two of bandaids LOL! Relax, their biting now does not in any way get carried over into adulthood! Congrats on the new puppy, enjoy her!
Ditto to Tim!

12 weeks seems to be the worst point and then it starts to improve slowly. Hang in there, you'll get through this
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your tips, I’m glad this is normal, I was just a little worried that she was getting aggressive. I will keep working on it and try all your tips! Thanks!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 05:17 PM
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I’m having the same problem with my girl, but I think I might have won. I bought a set of protective sleeves and work gloves from amazon, and she’s lost all interest in biting me. She might throw a few little nibbles, but because it doesn’t hurt, I’m not giving any pain response. She’d rather bite a squeaky toy and get a reaction. I tried petting her after I took them off, and still no bite. Highly recommended.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 07:03 PM
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Yes^^^ See this https://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...nhibition.html

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 09:18 PM
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I’m so relieved to read all of these comments! I have a 14 week old GSD and he too will bite and growl. We’ve been doing a two strikes deal where after he bites twice, we will walk away. When we come back (30-60seconds) later and re-engage, if he bites again he gets a time out. Each day, week gets better, but I agree, it feels like an endless cycle! I feel better reading how this is normal. I think my fear is that the aggressive moments will stay with him as he ages. He really can be such a love most of the time!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 12:26 AM
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Teach your puppy 'No teeth!' and 'Gentle'. Do this by hand feeding your puppy one small piece of kibble at a time. Before you give the kibble quietly say, "Gentle." If his teeth get your fingers, "NO TEETH!" (Like you mean it.) Every time he takes the kibble gently, "Good boy! Gentle." And repeat and repeat and repeat. He will learn the meaning of those words and then you can incorporate them at any time he gets mouthy.

I would also avoid picking up the puppy. Most puppies do not enjoy being picked up. Only do it, when absolutely necessary.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Stevenzachsmom View Post
I would also avoid picking up the puppy. Most puppies do not enjoy being picked up. Only do it, when absolutely necessary.
Quote:
She also bites really hard whenever we stroke her or pick her up, we have tried games that help her get used to our touch and we have held her until she is calm and then put her down but this doesn’t seem to be having any impact.
Sorry I didn't respond to this question earlier! As @Stevenzachsmom said, just don't do it! In my experience you cannot teach a puppy not to be a puppy LOL! Many don't respond well to being picked up or petted much until later on. The games you are talking about, to get her used to being touched, will likely just teach her the opposite of what you're after, and in fact are probably counter productive. They want to be near you, but if you try petting it's like an invitation to play, and play=bite.
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It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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