14 month old too bitey - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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14 month old too bitey

Hey all, wasn't sure if this is considered puppy since from what I have heard they stay puppies for a while. My 14 month old female "Athena" is overall a good girl, but her mouthiness around particularly my 8 year old daughter and 13 year old son is becoming problematic. These by no means look like biting with the intent to hurt, but its making it so that my daughter in particular is afraid to go near her. The behavior is far less with me, very seldom will she do it. Example, last night we were all watching a movie in the living room. Athena was just kind of prowling around and chewing her toy. My daughter just sort of motioned to her in a playful voice and she pounced onto the couch and started biting her feet and hands as she tried to pet her. No growling or aggressive posturing. My son then tried to pet her and she immediately tries to bite his hand. Again not hard but she is fast whipping her head around and biting hands. We have tried to have them walk away when she does it, but once she starts they can't even get away because she follows them. I find this to occur more often in the morning after she is let out of her crate. She does this with my kids immediately when they get playful, but with me she is more willing to be pet or touched. I suspect this is partly because she spent a large portion of her early months with my son and he was playing too rough with her but I am not sure how to correct this now. She is not spayed yet, if that matters at all. Also, she does respond to basic sit and stay etc but she tends to be stubborn about it when treats are not involved. I feel bad because they want to love and pet her so badly but she just doesnt let them....any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 09:29 PM
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Kids and puppies are a unique challenge for sure. At 14 months she really should not be biting at all. In my observations the girls get it worse because they are more apt to shriek and flail or run. And yes young boys seem to instigate rough play that is not as much fun when the puppy gets bigger!
Have you tried having them redirect to a toy? I have found that larger sized, kind of half stuffed teddies do a great job of being fun while protecting body parts from teeth. Explain to the kids that they need to entice her to the toy not them by flopping it around and making it fun. And really at this age some corrections are probably in order, for puppy not kids. A firm NO is appropriate and if she persists I would remove her. Put her in her crate for a few minutes or in another room so that she gets the point that biting WILL make all the fun stop.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 12:15 AM
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I'd keep her on a pinch and drag line when she's around the kids and correct her hard when she bites your kids, and I wouldn't let your kids play with her with their hands and feet right now, a toy instead. She's too old to be bitey, sounds like she needs more engagement training.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 12:33 AM
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I agree with Ausdland. She has absolutely no business biting the children. She shouldn’t even access to them, if she interacts with them that way.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 07:58 AM
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I had this same problem with my Jax and son when he was younger. He was very mouthy. Would grab loose clothing to tug etc. All of my son's school pants had ripped hems. We went through a period of him wearing his prong with a short 5" cut leash for corrections when needed. He did either outgrow it or we did a good job of teaching him what is and is not appropriate behavior because it has been quite some time since we have had these issues. He is now the bestest boy ever, if a bit spoiled. He will be two in July. I will occasionally put his e collar on when I know we have company coming so that I can discourage any shenanigans if they arise, but have not had to use the stim function in over a month. Vibrate only and he gets the point, even on off leash walks passing other dogs etc. If you consider an e collar just please be sure you do your research and know how to use it properly.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 10:17 AM
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Supervision so behaviors do not get practiced. A long lead is good to keep on so you can correct behavior with a collar pop. As mentioned along with having toys to play with it. No rough housing with kids no chasing allowed at all. Teaching kids how to interact with dog. There are good you tube videos on “leave it” and “place” which will is one of the greatest thing to teach in my opinion. Some dogs just need time to chill out in their crates. Excitement with kids it can be over stimulating they just have to be taught how to behave. It is so much more challenging with kids but good behaviors taught and learned and practiced they will all be best friends.

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Last edited by Jenny720; 06-14-2019 at 10:24 AM.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 12:56 PM
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When 14 month old dogs act "puppy-ish" they need leadership, training and management. After the land shark stage is over at around 5 months, they should not put their mouths on anyone IMO. I considered the land-shark stage over when their permanent teeth were in. Puppies lose their puppy license to adult dogs at around 16 weeks, so that could be a clue for what to expect of these little brats. Luckily for them, they look cute.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 02:13 PM
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I have a range of ages at my house. The humans are 17,13,9, and 7. The non humans are 9,3, and 14 weeks. The 17yr old is scared of the puppy and runs away shrieking, which my pup thinks is a super fun game, and she will keep chasing and biting. My younger girls (the older ones are my stepdaughters), know better because they’ve always had dogs around them since birth. Is any mouthing, nipping, jumping, etc happens, the turn their backs to the dog and ignore them. I’ve found this method a whole lot easier than doing physical corrections. The dog learns quickly that when they get “bitey” the human shuts down and they get nothing. No pets, no rubs, no treats or toys (if they will not redirect to the toy) and no attention paid to them at all. So there is no fun or reward in them acting that way.

My 3yr old Husky GSD mix is VERY mouthy with my husband, because that is how they play. But the dog knows it’s okay to play with dad that way, and no one else. He has never nipped or mouthed the kids.

I’m in the process of training my husband that he cannot play in certain ways with the puppy. He thinks it’s adorable when the puppy nibbles his ear (yuck and yuck again). I have to remind him over and over that any behavior he allows her to get away with as a puppy (because it’s so cute when a puppy does it) she will carry into adulthood thinking it’s an acceptable behavior. I asked him if he wanted a 60lb dog nibbling his ear, and of course, he said no. So now he corrects her when she does it (at least when I’m around, I have a feeling he lets her do it when I’m not) so he doesn’t end up losing an ear when she matures.

My point, your dog was likely allowed to do this as a puppy, because she was so cute, and it’s a puppy thing. And she then carried the behavior into maturity. So you’ve got some training to do on your hands, for both the humans and dog. Teach your kids to try to redirect with a toy, and if that doesn’t work, to give the dog their back, and refuse to interact with her at all. She will learn it’s no longer fun to mouth the kids. And you need to supervise any and all time the dog spends with the kids so you can verbally (with, or without a physical correction with an e-collar or prong collar) correct her when she is trying to be mouthy with the kids. But it’s just as important that the kids are trained as it is that the dog is trained.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 10:49 PM
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I have two that are 14 months right now. I think this is pretty late in their lives to be dealing with this. But the standard method I have always used is to immediately show the dog you don't like it and firmly stop the play. GSDs generally really want to be with you and really want to play, and will want to please you naturally.
When my dogs were young I simply said "Ow!" whenever they did it and pushed them away and stopped playing. If the dog has already wrongly learned that people like this, I would say "Ow!" loudly, and firmly take control of the dog so they couldn't do it until they stopped trying. Another bite brings an immediate stop to the action. If I feel teeth, the dog would be firmly pinned to the floor a second later. No punishment, just a firm "Don't do that!" Then, of course, reward them with affection when they learn to approach without getting wild and crazy. Stop the bad behavior immediately with physical control and then reward good behavior. All the ones I have worked with picked it up pretty quickly as long as you were really clear about what you wanted.

But I only play a dog expert on the internet, so what do I know?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 10:29 AM
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At this age I'd be delivering strong corrections for that. The puppy I have now is 16 weeks and I started putting expectations of manners on him right after he settled in after 2 or 3 weeks. We redirect and it works well, but when it doesn't and he is determined to roughhouse and bite play the human directly despite our redirection efforts he gets immediately and calmly put in his crate. When that happens (not often) he usually crashes into a deeper than normal nap- i.e he was overtired and wound up just like a toddler that missed a nap. You've missed that window it seems, so I would go to a correction collar and tab as suggested. You will have to go back to day 1 type training. Crate, and supervise when she is out so you can correct the behavior with proper timing. Once the kids yell and say OW and such she has already received a gratifying reward in the form of a reaction she was hoping for, a sharp correction after may be worth it to her lol You can work on teaching your kids and her appropriate interaction once she gets the initial message. To be honest, I don't let kids and pups roughhouse right from jumpstreet. There are way more productive ways to physically interact and bond with a dog. Playing 2 ball, tug, doing OB, mind games etc.
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