My solution to a nippy/biting puppy! FINALLY SOMETHING WORKED!.. So MIND BLOWN. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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My solution to a nippy/biting puppy! FINALLY SOMETHING WORKED!.. So MIND BLOWN.

So I did a lot of searches on the forums.. and tried to read up as much as I could on bite inhibition. Just as I had gotten through the housebreaking headaches.. began the land sharking. Hes broken skin A LOT. König is 12 1/2 weeks now.

I used the "ouch" and time out method for a long time. The problem is... when I leave the room.. i swear he never cared. Even as a puppy we picked him from the breeder because he was less whiny and attached to humans. We knew he'd have to be alone for long periods of time eventually and wanted to try and avoid a puppy with separation anxiety as much as possible. So yea, I'd say "ouch" leave the room.. and he'd just keep himself busy or lay down. Wasnt seeing any improvements but I just kept at it so I dont confuse him.. or give up on a method too early.

Well recently I watched these two videos:

I used "relax" command instead of "head". He got it pretty quickly. I applied it from any down position. From his sides and his belly. I say relax and he'll just lay his head down and stop nipping. I had a really big issue with him nipping at myself and guests when we'd try to pet him. He'd start going for the hands. So now when he starts to nip when people pet him I just tell him to relax and treat when he puts his head down. I also added in petting as I say relax. So now he will lay there and be pet with his head down. I've been doing this for 3 days and hes getting REALLY good at it. Response is within a few seconds now.

Next I used the "gentle" command. I did this by holding a treat in my palm but having it pinched down with my thumb. I hold the treat and say "gentle" and mark the behavior with "yes" then release the treat. He learned within one session that he's only going to get the treat by licking. He no longer bites when being given treats. I then started just carrying treats on me constantly. And when we'd be playing, ANYTIME he got nippy, I'd say "gentle" I would just let him bite my arm or hand and wait for him to either stop biting or start licking (I had to bear through a lot of bites..) Then mark and treat. I've been doing this for 2 days now, and I've already seen a HUGE difference in nipping. I think he's making the connection of "When I stop biting i get a treat" And now.. nipping can actually be STOPPED when he starts. Before, when he'd get into a biting fit, there was no stopping him. I think redirecting to toys is a good method as well.. but I felt that it didn't really teach him what you wanted from him. It just told him.. "oh.. when you bite, I'd rather you bite that and not me" instead of teaching.. "I like it when you STOP biting. Or just lick instead".

Im hoping that eventually he realizes that there is ZERO benefit to biting. Only benefits to being "gentle" and "relaxed". That plus him hopefully eventually growing out of it... I feel like I finally made some headway into this land sharking that has been driving me MAD.

Well.. longer post that I had originally intended. What do you guys think? Good approach? Terrible approach, ditch it now? I dont think the guy in the youtube videos (who actually has a lot of other great videos) intended for this to be a solution for nipping.. but its definitely working for me. I'm going to later try to add "easy" and mark and reward when he goes from an amped up state of mind to a calm one. He's usually only biting when he's all worked up. Also, i thought im being all innovative here, haha but i doubt it. Anyone else try this and seen results? Anyways, this problem has been driving me crazy so I thought I'd share for anyone who might also be on the verge of losing their sanity!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 11:50 AM
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Good for you for finding something that works to teach your puppy what you want from him. I don't see how anyone could say this is a terrible approach, if these are the results you want? I'm happy for you, especially if you get to keep your sanity, lol!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 01:57 PM
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Kudos to YOU! I too used bite inhibition coupled with "Easy". That seemed to work for us. I had to teach him these since his favorite playmate is a chiauhau! He's 8 1/2 months now and is actually starting to get outa of that mauling "land shark" phase. Thank God!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 05:12 PM
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Haha, I used a similar technique teaching mine "easy" when he started getting nippy. It's his sign to pull back and calm down. As long as you found something that works for you and your dog that's teaching him the behavior you want, I say you're doing great!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 05:38 PM
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I teach that gentle command, and use the word a LOT and treat, and as I go along, I make it tougher and tougher to take the treat, so the do needs to be very careful taking the treat. When they are really good at that, I start using the word Gentle to remind the dog to be Gentle with the girl, Gentle with the puppy, Gentle with my fingers.

I like them method, it works for me.

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