German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have had a land shark in my house since my GSD puppy was 2 months old! He nips my hands, heels, etc. It is terrible! :cry:

The only thing that kept me going was that everybody in this forum says it kind of goes away when they are around 6 months old. I kept telling myself "Just a little bit more and he will turn 6 months old! Then my life will come back to normal".

Guess what? He is 7 months old and 10 days, and still a land shark! Granted, he did improve a little bit. But he is still very very nippy. Is it normal? Could it be that he has a slow development because he is the only dog in the household?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,602 Posts
He should be getting the idea that biting is not allowed by now. Have you tried correcting him?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,991 Posts
Yes it's normal, when the dog isn't taught early on not to nip and bite.

So many people here say "they outgrow it." No, they don't. They are out trained it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,036 Posts
The only thing that kept me going was that everybody in this forum says it kind of goes away when they are around 6 months old. I kept telling myself "Just a little bit more and he will turn 6 months old! Then my life will come back to normal".
Has anyone here actually said it simply "goes away"? I think puppies do tend to start getting easier by around 6 months old, but during those first few difficult months I'm also spending a LOT of time training the kind of behavior I expect from them - it doesn't just happen by itself.

I agree that 7 months old is too old for him to still be that nippy. You need to be actively working on this, better late than never. Ideally, he would have learned bite inhibition by around 4-1/2 months old, as his jaw strength increased. Here's a good article: Puppy Biting | Dog Star Daily
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,305 Posts
Good article, Debbie.

I agree that 7 months is pushing it. Have you seen any gradual improvement in bite inhibition and/or general frequency of nipping over time? I see a progression in my 3 1/2 month old pup, who seems to have 'selective' bite inhibition (very soft mouthed with me and my daughter, but not so much with the teen boys). Every week she is a little better. What are you doing to help with the issue?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So, I read a lot about bite inhibition before I got him. I also read Ian Dunbar's book from the link you sent.

In the beginning I tried yelping and walking away, but that only excited him more and he would bite my ankles as I left. It wasn't working.

Then I decided to say "no" and try to ignore him by turning my back and crossing my arms, but he would bite my ankles and sometimes jump and nip my back or arms. I also put him in the garden or in a different room when this happened. This is what I did throughout his puppyhood.

Then a month ago I hired a dog trainer that told me to correct him more physically by grabbing his muzzle or lightly hitting his muzzle with an open hand, but this made him really very excited and very nippy. It didn't work at all, so I didn't follow through with this.

Any ideas on how I should correct him?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
By the way, yes, there was some progress. Now he allows me to pet him when he is calm, for example. But he still bites my ankles as I walk to the garden and my hands if he is excited.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,036 Posts
Then a month ago I hired a dog trainer that told me to correct him more physically by grabbing his muzzle or lightly hitting his muzzle with an open hand, but this made him really very excited and very nippy. It didn't work at all, so I didn't follow through with this.
Yeah, that often does the exact opposite of what it's intended to do, lol!

In your case, I'd try redirecting to a toy. When my dogs were little I had toys EVERYWHERE, and I'd often have one on my person, so when they started biting there was always something in reach to cram in their mouths.

Also - removal of attention. He plays nice, or it's instantly "game over". Refuse to engage until he calms down and plays nice. Make good behavior work for getting your attention, and bad behavior stop working.

Cassidy was a very nippy puppy, and we didn't get her until she was almost 5 months old. No manners, no training, no bite inhibition. It was all play, there was no aggression at all, she just had never been taught how to use her mouth appropriately. What worked best for her was instant brief timeouts. If we were in the bedroom, I'd immediately walk out of the room and close the door behind me, leaving her alone. I'd wait 30 seconds to a minute or so (any longer and she would have shredded something! :rofl:) and then I'd return. She'd get several chances, sort of a 3 strikes and you're out kind of thing, and if she didn't get it, she went into her crate for a longer timeout. And then we'd try again.

Are you practicing NILIF with him? Nothing in Life is Free There's a link on the right side of that page for Social Isolation - I actually did that with Cassidy for 2 days, and it turned her right around. She was the invisible dog and she couldn't STAND it! I don't know if it would be right for your dog, but it helped me a lot with her.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,219 Posts
My dog is still mouthy at 19 months. She doesn't actually bite but she likes to grab hands when we are walking or grab clothing when she is free in the yard. "Grab" sounds worse than it is because she doesn't bear down or hold on .... she just wants to play.... and will stop immediately if we tell her to. It is OUR fault, not hers, that she is still doing this and she would have stopped sooner if we didn't play along.
Ankle biting is your dog's chosen game, you just have to teach him not to. Don't be surprised if he protests vigorously, you just have to hang in there and stand your ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,305 Posts
Adding to the toy redirection...

This did not work very well for Saber at all, as she would dodge the toy and go for the flesh. I had to tweak it a bit. I taught her the command "toy" meant to go bring me a stuffed animal of hers. (I clicker trained this). So whenever we enter the room we tell her to get a toy and she brings it and viola, she can't bite. She will get all excited and play but as long as that toy stays in her mouth we are good.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
I have had a land shark in my house since my GSD puppy was 2 months old! He nips my hands, heels, etc. It is terrible! :cry:

The only thing that kept me going was that everybody in this forum says it kind of goes away when they are around 6 months old. I kept telling myself "Just a little bit more and he will turn 6 months old! Then my life will come back to normal".

Thanks!

Well I'm sorry you somehow got that poor and incorrect information. Cause you are now MONTHS behind all the management things you should have been told to do. And things WOULD have been so much better with the information and being pro-active.

There's and entire saved Sticky on this called http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/training-our-puppy-basic/134407-teaching-bite-inhibition-2.html#post2041662 (click on that) with tons of great info. Starting with

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Are you practicing NILIF with him? Nothing in Life is Free There's a link on the right side of that page for Social Isolation - I actually did that with Cassidy for 2 days, and it turned her right around. She was the invisible dog and she couldn't STAND it! I don't know if it would be right for your dog, but it helped me a lot with her.
Good tip, thanks a lot! I have started with the social isolation today and I have a good feeling about this. Today the trainer mentioned he seemed a little bit too used to being around me, so I should isolate him sometimes. Let's see if it helps!

Thank you for the help!:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Well I'm sorry you somehow got that poor and incorrect information. Cause you are now MONTHS behind all the management things you should have been told to do. And things WOULD have been so much better with the information and being pro-active.
You seem to want to imply that I wasn't pro-active enough to try to get the right information to solve this problem. FYI, I read four or five books before getting the puppy and ever since I got him I do my best to solve every little problem he has. I have also hired a dog trainer to help. I also read a lot of things in this forum and other sources in the internet.

Also, your premise that being pro-active and getting the right information is all it takes to solve problems is not entirely correct. After all, all kids in a maths class get the same right information (textbooks), get the same teachers and in general spend the same amount of hours studying at home, but some do well on tests and some don't. I am just the boy who didn't do well on the test even though I did all my homeworks.

Anyway, I am sure you had the best intentions so thank you for taking the time to reply to my question. Just remember that there are inexperienced first time owners around here too, and saying that they are months behind is not encouraging (even though it may be true).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Rocky didn't 'get' that he hurt me until about 2 weeks ago. It was like one day he just started 'mawing' instead of biting.

Every day what I would do is if we were playing and he bit too hard I was say "Ow" or make a squeeky noise like a puppy lol then I would stand up quickly and leave the room or turn around and not look or speak to him for about a minute. (He never acknowledged 'ow' at all when I said it the first three months. It was like I never said anything)

Then one day we were playing and I said ow the same as always and instead of keeping on playing he looked up and licked my hand and stopped biting. Since then his hardest bite is nothing...he knows what playing is now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,389 Posts
My breeder taught all the puppies in Boaz's litter bite inhibition before they were 8 weeks old. They were all taught to kiss instead.

Seems like you are behind schedule in your training.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,036 Posts
Good tip, thanks a lot! I have started with the social isolation today and I have a good feeling about this. Today the trainer mentioned he seemed a little bit too used to being around me, so I should isolate him sometimes. Let's see if it helps!

Thank you for the help!:)
Keep in mind that it's intended to be social isolation, not actual isolation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
My command is, "NO".

We have our first GSD; he is eight months old and 91 lbs. He is a little too large to be "nippy" with people. When we first got him, he sure was bitey. Man, it drove my wife nuts. The kids were scared of him (12 and 14), so we worked with him, and our overall command for stopping any and all behavior/action is "no". NO -- don't chase the cats, don't run away, don't jump on the bed/furniture, don't eat till told, don't BITE, etc. And it works: you tell him no, he stops what he is doing, and he will look at you for other direction.

I was playing with him when he was about four months old and he was getting REALLY riled up. I mean it was a little scary. He sort of lost it and was really trying to bite me. I thought it was funny (cause he was small), but I know that that can't be normal for us, so I made sure never to rile him like that again. I don't want an aggressive dog, period. I don't want a dog that bites. I am mean enough for all of us. :D

Your dog can learn not to bite/nip. But you are going to have to take charge. I made sure Rex knew he was not the alpha male and to be subservient to the people in the house. It was, and still can be, challenging. But we have worked with him a lot and can take him anywhere and he is just fine. I couldn't take him out in public if he was going to nip kids/strangers.

We tried the toy thing too: you can always use a good distraction technique! But, he preferred people meat. LOL He still plays really rough with the other dogs, but he used to be worse. They have trained him as well: pack mentality.

One thing I would do, and still will, is if he wouldn't do as directed, the leash went on and he would have to sit/lay at my feet, and be IGNORED. The leash means control and the ignore made him very uncomfortable. That worked for lots of behavior issues.

Good luck! It won't take too long to change the behavior.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top