is bite training right for me and my puppy?
Sorry for the long introduction, but I was hoping to give as much background to my situation to help get informed responses. I have been browsing many boards on this site for a long time, trying to learn as much as I can. But I decided it is finally time to ask for some direct advice.
First some background on me. I have grown up with dogs my whole life, specifically labs. I have my own 11 year old Labrador that I trained, and quite successfully ran in Field Trials. I am not new to this style of training, and have done it lots, and by many are considered quite consistent and good with the dogs.
But I am not looking to compete in anything any more. It was fun, but I don't plan to do it again. And because of that I looked to try something different, specifically I got a male GSD. I can't be more pleased with my decision, it was hard to decide what breed to go with, but I have no question I made the right decision.
Despite the fact that I have no desire to compete in anything any more. I have every intention of training this dog, through his entire life. The training I have given any of my previous dogs has more than payed off in the long term loyalty and the proper manners. It is easily the best investment you can make in a dog.
So, now I have a 12 weeks (turned 12 weeks today) GSD puppy. He is a great dog, I got him from a good breeder and both his parents have an extensive pedigree in schutzhound. He is extremely confident, and extremely intelligent.
Currently his training is consisting of:
with lots of play between commands, and lots and lots of treats. He seems to love his training, particularly loving to come running to me (not enjoying sitting too long, but he is only 12 weeks so I _try_ to not push him too hard). I have only owned him for two weeks, but he has made amazing progress, and I just keep doing more because he seems like he gets bored if we don't. I can tell already he will be a dog that not only needs physical exercise, but equally important mental exercise as well.
So I have been thinking things I can teach him, since this will be a long term thing. Mostly what I have come up with are extreme obedience situations, lots of distractions, lots of focus, etc. But with that said....
While walking him the other night, I had a somewhat scary situation. Nothing happened but some people will talking badly to us, and I worried it could escalate. I now carry pepper spray on our walks just to be safe. But since I have considered more things to train him with, and to exercise him mentally, the thought of bite training for protection did occur to me.
Which is what really brings this post. I am sorry if I sound ignorant, but it is only because I am. I have not done a lot of research into this, but I thought you guys might be able to direct me to some good resources, as well as giving me your personal opinions. So here is my questions:
Currently his biggest problem is mouthing...he really likes to bite at people's hands and feet, and just gnaw on them or bite at them. This is a behavior I have been trying to discourage as it's nothing anyone enjoys, and I worry what it could turn to when he gets older.
My questions are:
* Can we correct mouthing while still treating bite training
* My BIGGEST priority on this dog is that he is a well behaved pet, that he has manners and obedience. If teaching bite training is going to compromise that goal, I will find other ways to ensure my safety. So the question is, can this be something that is literally trained into. And trained to a point where it is ON with a command, and OFF with a command, and does not impact every day life outside of training.
* if this does sound like an okay training for me and my puppy to start, when and how do we start? Any online or book resources you recommend?
* what is the best way to show the difference from manners in the house, to training/play outside the house
* anything else you think I should know?
Thank you very much for reading this long post. I appreciate all the feedback and help