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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm have a serious problem with our 10 week old pup lunging at our children. I took a week and a half off of work to be home with the new pup, and while things were difficult we managed to avoid any incident of our pup seriously biting of of our boys. We have a 6 year and a 3 year old.

This pup is seriously smart, he was potty trained in about a day (obviously we still have to watch him though).. he knows the commands Sit & Down.. and has done very well with all the level I games put forth in the book "My smart puppy"

He does not seem to understand though, that he is not allowed to treat our kids as his toys, chasing, nipping and biting.

Now, I'm back to work, and it's day 2 and my wife is overwhelmed.. When she pushed the pup away from the kids and tells him off, he lunges at her, growls (probably play growl..) and if she tries to pick him up to place him in a timeout area, he nips at her face and or hair.

I exercise him in the morning, work on training him, get him all worn out.. and he goes and lays down.. then this morning, he gets up.. all tired like, and just goes for one of the boys..

I want to know how to correct the dog so he will quickly understand.. or any help or suggestions.. seeing as he's only 10 weeks old, he's not even to his snotty adolescence stage yet.. so I fear things are going to get way worse, before they get better..

please help!
 

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Peter,

If your dog was 10 months I would agree that you have a serious issue.

Your pup is 10 WEEKS ... this isn't really a SERIOUS issue. He's a puppy, this is what puppies do. Now, I'm not saying what he is doing is acceptable, because it's not, but he sees your kids as his playmates. Have you ever watched puppies play? Especially GSD puppies? They are not all marshmallows and roses let me tell you. Kyleigh sounds like a baby lion when she's playing with her best buds (dog friends).

I haven't a clue how to link other threads in here, but there are TONS of threads, information, advice and suggestions in the puppy forum.

Every dog is different, so you'll need to weed out the ones that work for your puppy and the ones that don't. AND, it will take some time to figure out which one works and which one doesn't, and you always need a back up. Kyleigh figured out that if I did "a" she couldn't jump, so she'd try something else, and I needed to have "b" in my "back pocket so to speak" to let her know that THAT won't work either.

And I'm sure your wife is very overwhelmed, a puppy and two kids ... that's a LOT of work for one person all day. Do you have a crate for the puppy? There is absolutely nothing wrong with your wife putting the puppy in the crate for an hour or so while she gets the "important" things done, and then bring the puppy back out to play.

The time out area ... are you expecting a 10 week old puppy to sit / stay in an area for a long period of time? If you are, your expectations are WAY TOO high. Your puppy can likely sit / stay in one area and not move for about ohh ... 10 seconds ... and then his attention span is on to something else. This is NORMAL.

Please go through the puppy threads ... you'll discover a whole wealth of information.

And good luck, and have fun with your puppy! Before you know it he'll be a year old and you'll wonder where the time went!
 

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Yeah, I've read through pretty much everything I can find on here, and I guess I'm looking for a magic solution.. obviously there is none.

As far as the timeout goes, it's a whole room that is gated off, so he is separated from the family, but can still see the family.. he's not expected to sit in a corner and not move :)

The other thing we've noticed, he seems to be most unruly right before, and right after he poops.. am I crazy or has anyone else noticed this?
 

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GSD pups go through what is referred to as the "land shark" stage. Its normal. Be prepared for some sore hands and torn pant legs. Here is a video of my daughter and my dog ruger as a pup;


What helped us was too have toys, ropes and tugs in easy reach around the house. We learned to redirect the biting on to a play object.
 

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My arms and legs had so many cuts from Rocky that people thought i was cutting myself and I had to wear long sleeves at work (waitressing) because people complained.

Normal behavior
 

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LOL Nope, there is no magic solution ...just time, patience, consistency, training, patience, training, patience, consistency (get the idea ha ha)

The whole room? Too much space!!! Would you have let your 10 month baby when they were learning to crawl have the whole first floor? Same idea with your puppy ... too much space for that young pup! Pop it in the crate for a quick time out - NOT as punishment, but a time out - put a toy / kong with peanut butter or something in the crate with him.

Punishing him at this age is useless, he's too young to get it ... just keep him exercised, played with, sleeping IN HIS CRATE and repeat until his brain cells start connecting for longer than 10-15 seconds!

Ky was the same right before and after she pooped ... it was hilarious ... a couple of times she pooped and then turned around and barked at it - I almost fell off the deck laughing at her!
 

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My arms and legs had so many cuts from Rocky that people thought i was cutting myself and I had to wear long sleeves at work (waitressing) because people complained.

Normal behavior
Omg lol!!! I feel your pain. My hands are tore up.


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I have 2 kids and 2 dogs. One being a 4 month old GSD. Lots of separation needed!! Get an x pen and put it in the kitchen with lots of toys and things to chew. When the kids are napping have her to a couple short obedience exercises and tug games to tire him out. Crate time is ok too. It's all just management until the puppy is older. It is a lot of work for your wife so hopefully she wanted this puppy as much as you did. The puppy I have is MY dog so I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. My husband does help when he's home. But care is 98% my responsibility.


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Discussion Starter #11
I have 2 kids and 2 dogs. One being a 4 month old GSD. Lots of separation needed!! Get an x pen and put it in the kitchen with lots of toys and things to chew. When the kids are napping have her to a couple short obedience exercises and tug games to tire him out. Crate time is ok too. It's all just management until the puppy is older. It is a lot of work for your wife so hopefully she wanted this puppy as much as you did. The puppy I have is MY dog so I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. My husband does help when he's home. But care is 98% my responsibility.


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Ok, so lots of separation is ok? our breeder said we should not separate them much.. I also read you should not play tug with the pup.. but I figure it's better he understand that he can chew and bite a rope, instead of pants or people.. maybe I'm wrong.
 

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Playing tug with your pup is LOADS of fun and a great way for him to expel energy! Just be careful b/c puppy teeth aren't as strong as adult teeth ... don't pull TOO hard!
 

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Yes separating toddlers from land sharks is a must. Or someone is bound to get hurt. Tug is great for puppies and training. Can someone link him something for that? I don't know how. There was an old school though that tug made the dog aggressive or something. Not true. Most agility/obedience/schutzhund people use tugs as rewards with training.


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By separation I don't mean away from the whole family. The x pen allows them to be close without hurting anyone or tearing up the house. And I make sure to give the puppy lots of individual time throughout the day. But she's rarely by my kids unless she's tired and I'm there to watch.


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Discussion Starter #15
By separation I don't mean away from the whole family. The x pen allows them to be close without hurting anyone or tearing up the house. And I make sure to give the puppy lots of individual time throughout the day. But she's rarely by my kids unless she's tired and I'm there to watch.


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Ok, this makes a lot of sense...
 

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How's his recall?

My Border Collie puppy still has a jumping problem with strangers or people he really likes that encourage it. :rolleyes:

Much like it would be if he started to run after children, I recall him (he has a beautiful recall inside, I can call him out of rough play with numerous other dogs) and treat him, let him calm down by me, play a game with a toy if necessary, and let him wander away. If he gets too rambunctious I call him away again. It's great recall training and would teach him that when the boys run/move, he runs to you and sits! :)
 

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How's his recall?

My Border Collie puppy still has a jumping problem with strangers or people he really likes that encourage it. :rolleyes:

Much like it would be if he started to run after children, I recall him (he has a beautiful recall inside, I can call him out of rough play with numerous other dogs) and treat him, let him calm down by me, play a game with a toy if necessary, and let him wander away. If he gets too rambunctious I call him away again. It's great recall training and would teach him that when the boys run/move, he runs to you and sits! :)
I would say it's pretty decent.. especially if he knows I have a treat.

The problem seems to be that nothing is more alluring than my little boys legs when he's (the dog) is rambunctious.

We've done a LOT of work with him in a short period of time..

We play a "Look at Me" game that he totally gets.. I'll toss a treat, or a piece of food, or ball.. while on leash.. and before he goes for it, he knows he has to look me in the eye.. and I have to tell him go get it. No problem.

We play a game called "Mine", where i throw down something he wants, like a bagel, or a shoe, and I block him from it until he sits and looks up at me.. at which point he gets a treat.. he excels at this as well.

but again.. kid legs are the end all be all for this pup.. it's like dropping a bucket of blood in a pool of sharks (though, he wants to play.. not kill)..

unless of course, he's totally wiped out energy wise.
 

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Now, I'm back to work, and it's day 2 and my wife is overwhelmed.. When she pushed the pup away from the kids and tells him off, he lunges at her, growls (probably play growl..) and if she tries to pick him up to place him in a timeout area, he nips at her face and or hair.
Pushing a pup away from you when he's jumping and biting on you, will only excite him MORE. He thinks it's a game and the more you push, the more he will push back.

At ten weeks, GSD pups are landsharks. It's totally normal behavior and they grow out of it, but it does get tiresome! Is your pup crate trained? He should be crated in the house when the children are playing, otherwise he will want to join in the play, puppy-style, which means leaping on you and biting. That is how puppies play, he is not being snotty, malicious or dominant, he's just being a puppy.

Arm yourself with a stuffed toy, rope toy, Kong or whatever he likes best, and whenever he bites you, stuff the toy in his mouth and play tug-of-war with him. Eventually he will find that it's more rewarding to bite the toy than your hands. You might try spraying your hands and sleeves with Bitter Apple, so that the pup learns that they taste awful, further encouraging biting toys instead of human parts. This works sometimes... other times, the pup seems to develop a taste for Bitter Apple. :rolleyes:

See if you can find a Puppy Kindergarten or socialization class in your area, that will help him blow off steam with other puppies, and they sneak a little bit of elementary obedience/manners in there as well as giving you tips on how to handle a spunky GSD pup.
 

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Do you have a crate for the puppy? There is absolutely nothing wrong with your wife putting the puppy in the crate for an hour or so while she gets the "important" things done, and then bring the puppy back out to play.
Totally agree! It's better for everyone, humans and puppy alike, that he gets some down time. If you don't have a crate for him, I'd suggest getting one.

GSD pups go through what is referred to as the "land shark" stage. Its normal. Be prepared for some sore hands and torn pant legs. Here is a video of my daughter and my dog ruger as a pup;

German Shepherd puppies and Wii Fit don't Mix - YouTube

What helped us was too have toys, ropes and tugs in easy reach around the house. We learned to redirect the biting on to a play object.
That's exactly what I did - toys EVERYWHERE! When we moved from one room to another, I'd grab at half dozen or so of the favorite toys of the moment and take them with us.

Pushing a pup away from you when he's jumping and biting on you, will only excite him MORE. He thinks it's a game and the more you push, the more he will push back.
This can't be overstated - dogs will paw at each other to initiate play, and what are human hands to a dog? Paws. I understand the instinct to push away a jumping puppy, but as your wife has already observed, that just encourages him to continue. Instead, you can body block (no hands!), you can turn away, and you can also have him drag a lightweight leash which can be stepped on or picked up, or he can even be tethered to someone by a leash.

Arm yourself with a stuffed toy, rope toy, Kong or whatever he likes best, and whenever he bites you, stuff the toy in his mouth and play tug-of-war with him. Eventually he will find that it's more rewarding to bite the toy than your hands.
:thumbup: He doesn't know how he's supposed to interact with humans, so you need to show him. He wants to engage with you, and that's good, so redirect him to a toy when he jumps and bites.

And as Freestep suggested, if you haven't signed him up for a puppy class, now is the time. How long the landshark phase lasts has a lot to do with how he's handled and managed, and how diligent and consistent everyone is about working on bite inhibition and developing appropriate play skills. I've found that my pups are usually much easier around 6 months or so, but I put a LOT of work into them from the day they come home, and they've been in at least one and maybe even two classes by then. I would expect to see the worst of the biting to be over by around 4 months old - before teething begins and jaw strength develops.
 
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