Air Snapping - Should I Correct or Ignore it - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nigel View Post
By your discription it sounds like excitement vs anything problematic. I have one that is 9 years old and has air snapped since she was a pup. If I pick up a ball, stick, or act as though I'm initiating play she will air snap repeatedly. She will hold whatever position I place her in without fail, but the mouth doesn't stop.
Yeah, I'm 98% sure it's just excitement, because it's only during times when there's arousal but nothing for her to do - IE: Waiting on food, or wanting to play while we're hanging out on the couch.

Originally Posted by tim_s_adams View Post
My dog would air snap virtually everytime I had her back up all through her puppyhood. As she's gotten older she's stopped mostly. I always took it to be playful excitement, but I can see where it's a little backtalk-y too (I know, new word of my own making...don't see it catching on any time soon LOL), so perhaps a little defensive. Either way it diminished with maturity on it's own, and was never threatening or aggressive in any way. Like barks and growls and nose pokes, it's communication, so I would never correct it!
I was wondering if maturity would age it out, thanks!

Originally Posted by Jenny720 View Post
It sounds more like an excited playful air snap. More then a behavioral airsnap. If she is constantly doing it it may be an obsessive thing. You will want to give her some instructions during those times of excitement and important she gets lots of mental stimulation that LRP mentioned .Max will occasionally air snap when playing fetch. He will get super excited and his playful air snap it is just a hurry up throw the ball I can’t wait to catch it that kind of thing out of excitement and playful.
Yeah, I don't believe it's aggression/dom at all. She tries to play with my cats but she's also very receptive to their body language and doesn't impose on them when they're very clearly not having any of her shenanigans. The only time she gets grouchy is when my 1yr old APBT tires her out but *insists* that she still plays.

Originally Posted by LRP View Post
Is she just snapping at air or is she snapping at flying bugs - flies???

My female chases/snaps at flies. She is insane about it, because of that we are looking into herding activities for her. Something that will challenge her mentally and use that chasing/herding tendencies to something more productive. It does not overwhelm her and she will still take corrections from us so I am not overly worried about it. She is a little thicker of a gal so the extra walking will not kill her

Your pup just may need more mental stimulation, GSD's get bored because they are so intelligent
She definitely hunts bugs, but I can say with confidence there aren't flies around during these particular episodes I'm speaking on


So basically I just need to mentally stimulate her more. Perfect! We're forced to stay inside during most of the day right now - we live in Florida and it's HOT. I'll up frequency in her training sessions and buy her some more toys for her busy little mind Thanks y'all!
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 07:35 PM
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My now 4 y/o went thru a phase of air snapping when I would pick up a toy to play with him. It was excitement....over arousal maybe. As soon as he did it, I'd "play dead"...drop the toy, stare at the ground, not respond in any way. It went away pretty fast.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 09:30 PM
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One of mine did it when she was excited, for her whole life. She was a very bitey little thing as a puppy, so we worked very hard to stop that. Instead of biting a hand, she learned to bite at the air. It became a form of expression.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JonRob View Post
Congratulations on getting such a great dog.

The type of air snapping that you describe is not a behavioral problem. It is a medical problem. It does not need to be "corrected." It needs to be treated.

There's three main possibilities for this that the vets know of.

1. Obssessive-compulsive disorder.

2. Seizures (known as fly catching seizures).

3. Gastrointestinal disorders.

Useful info at:

We had a GSD that had fly snapping seizures that became so bad he couldn't sleep. The vet put him on phenobarbital and the fly snapping seizures stopped in two hours. After a week, we were able to taper him off the phenobarbital when we switched him to a lamb and rice kibble diet. That was the only sign of GI trouble he had. Apparently it had something to do with his gut biome and the lamb and rice kibble corrected his gut biome.
Just curious as to whether your dog ever had a reluctance to eat the food that he was intolerant to.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by MineAreWorkingline View Post
Just curious as to whether your dog ever had a reluctance to eat the food that he was intolerant to.
Very good question, and, no, he did not. Gobbled it right down.

But then all the lactose-intolerant folks I know crave ice cream. . . .
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