Prey drive biting - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Prey drive biting

Hi everyone! We have a 4 month old gsp who is amazing. She has the most chill disposition I've ever seen in a puppy, especially with kids. She's pretty mouthy but has learned gentle very well. The problem I'm having is when she's playing or wanting to play, she will quickly seek out my 8yo or 6yo and bite them pretty good. She's using restraint because she's never drawn blood & I'm assuming she is either trying to play with them or herd them but I hate to see any kind of fear from my kids towards her. They know to make the high pitched puppy noise but it seems almost like the thinking side has shut down & she's going on instinct. Do we just continue to redirect, and she'll figure this out as she matures or is there something else we should be doing? Thanks everyone!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 10:11 AM
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Dog toys squeak because that's what prey does when a dog bites it. It ENCOURAGES the attack, by feeding into the dog's natural prey drive!

Squeaking or saying OUCH! when bitten is the WORST thing you could do. Well, maybe running away would be even worse, because that encourages the dog to chase you.

Supervise your dog carefully to keep this from happening. Give her lots of other outlets for her puppy energy. Tell the kids to stop squeaking when bitten, and find a toy for the dog to play with instead. Teach her the meaning of the word NO, and get your kids to tell her NO when she bites them, then to praise her when she takes the toy instead.

There's a good thread here on how to cope with this stage of puppyhood:
https://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...tips-help.html
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 10:18 AM
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Your kids are too young to teach her not to bite. You have to manage the pup in a way that she doesn't get a chance to practice this behavior. You cannot expect young children to not scream or run when a puppy chases or bites them.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 10:19 AM
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First of all, you have a very cute little girl on your hands! I'm glad she seems to be fitting in well with your family.

When you say "redirect" do you meant to a toy? That is what I would do. Tell her "nuh-uh" when she bites/mouths me, then offer something she can bite and praise her when she takes it.

I don't have children (nor did I have siblings), so I'm not quite sure what could be expected of them at 6 and 8 years old. Do your kids understand this as well or is there a chance that maybe they aren't able to be as consistent with redirection?

If they are running around and she goes after them and nips, then yes that could be herding, but I think you mentioned in your other thread that she doesn't chase them. If she is chasing, maybe keep her on a leash tied to you so she can't be given this opportunity?

It may be best to only allow supervised play with them so you are there to keep the "correction" consistent. Kennel or X-pen when you cannot supervise.

Hopefully someone with children can come and give some advise if mine is repetitive of what you are already doing.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 10:39 AM
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there is no "gentle" there is no restraint - there is just NO

no mouth on me , no mouth on the kids -- you are not prey toys for the dog

it all has to do with clearly defined limits and relationship between dog and her people

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-21-2018, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
there is no "gentle" there is no restraint - there is just NO

no mouth on me , no mouth on the kids -- you are not prey toys for the dog

it all has to do with clearly defined limits and relationship between dog and her people
X2

Your dog is of the age to learn bite aversion. Most GSD owners, most dog owners, need to teach their dog that putting their teeth on a human is really bad news, no exceptions.

In a few months your dog will be large enough to inflict serious injuries.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
there is no "gentle" there is no restraint - there is just NO

no mouth on me , no mouth on the kids -- you are not prey toys for the dog

it all has to do with clearly defined limits and relationship between dog and her people

I've read that it's very important for them to learn bite inhibition. Meaning she needs to learn that humans are fragile & she needs to learn to control her bite pressure. I understand the idea of just not allowing it at all but from everything I've read from different trainers, if we skip the bite training now, someone could get seriously hurt later.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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I think this is why I'm so confused...the article you referenced says the complete opposite of what you're saying. Squeak vs no squeak... Is it just a difference of training types or dog temperaments?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunsilver View Post
Dog toys squeak because that's what prey does when a dog bites it. It ENCOURAGES the attack, by feeding into the dog's natural prey drive!

Squeaking or saying OUCH! when bitten is the WORST thing you could do. Well, maybe running away would be even worse, because that encourages the dog to chase you.

Supervise your dog carefully to keep this from happening. Give her lots of other outlets for her puppy energy. Tell the kids to stop squeaking when bitten, and find a toy for the dog to play with instead. Teach her the meaning of the word NO, and get your kids to tell her NO when she bites them, then to praise her when she takes the toy instead.

There's a good thread here on how to cope with this stage of puppyhood:
https://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...tips-help.html
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! I think I need to be better about tethering her more when the kids are present. I thought we were past that but I see I need to stay on that until she can control herself because y'all are right, the kids are too little too handle that themselves. (btw, the kids are always supervised with the pup) And as much as I thought I was working her out enough, I think I will add a few more physical sessions to get the puppy energy out. So basically 22 hrs a day of running puppy! 😜 Just kidding. Sort of. Thanks guys!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 11:50 AM
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Marvelmama, the thread I linked to gives different opinions from different posters. Needless to say, not everyone agrees. I hold firmly with 'squeaking triggers prey drive' because WHY ELSE would dog toys be designed to squeak?
I have training as a biologist, so I know a bit more about animal behaviour than the average person. Okay, puppies squeak when hurt, but to my way of thinking, that's a distress call so Mama dog can intervene if needed.

Children move quickly, and make high-pitched noises. This causes puppies and dogs to treat them as either playmates or squeaky toys/prey. They have to be taught NOT to do this! And if your kids are too young to prevent the dog from doing this, YOU need to step up to the plate, as Carm says!

The best way for a kid to respond to being bitten is to stand still, and say "NO BITE!" in a strong, low-pitched growly voice. A toy that doesn't move is no fun, and the low-pitched voice simulates mom's growl of annoyance when the pups get out of line. That's my opinion, and I'm stickin' to it!

https://wagwalking.com/behavior/why-...h-squeaky-toys
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