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Discussion Starter #1
well i have a 6 month german shepherd. About 3 months ago i purchased my lovely little Rajah. Rajah has a little bit of a biting problem. First he bit my brother for coming into the room while he and my little sister where sleeping. He sleeps with us every night and since i got him he barks and growls at people that don't live with us if they come into the room but that was the first time he actually bit someone. I love that he is protective in this situation but he knows my brother (not well) but still. Secondly, my little sister's dad came to spend the night Rajah has met him twice so he's still a stranger to him as well. Well Sam went to hug my sister and didnt even make it to her. Rajah attacked him on the butt. I heard the barking so I walked into the living room to see what was going on, Rajah saw me and got Sam on the arm. I locked him in our room and calmed him down. Third, I was not present for this one my uncle was moving our new couch in for my mother and Rajah got him on the butt. He herd children by nipping at them and it scares the heck outta everybody. And he's really bad about going for males butts. Also lately we have been sleeping in the mother's room because my cousin have been staying with us and he must be mad at her because when he and i are already in the room and she walks in he growls and barks at her. He loves her alot and i don't think he would bite her but it scares my mom. He has never been dog agressive just plays rough. And he likes to put the cats head in his mouth and his mouth around its neck. He has never offered to actually hurt it. The main problem is the bitting male guest in our home, plus the herding children. Oh and is it okay for him to chase birds and try to catch them??? Sorry for writing a book :( :help:

Stephanie Clayton and Rajah:)
 

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I think some obedience classes would be first on my list.
Next, in the meantime, if he does this with male visitors you're going to need to be aware of that and be there to prevent it.

Sorry I can't be of more help on the actual problem, I'm not an expert. But until you do figure out how to deal with it you must be safe and minimize the opportunity of someone getting bit, for both the human and the dogs sake.
 

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It sounds like you really have to get this taken care of before he really hurts someone.

Obedience classes are a good idea, but from the sounds of things it may have progressed above and beyond... so maybe a good behavioral trainer that will work with both your dog and the household members would be a good idea.

I would immediately take the dog's freedom away. He cannot be trusted not to bite others, so you should keep him leashed to you at all times. Everything he gets comes from you: food, water, exercise, etc. If you are not there to keep control of him, he should be locked in his crate.

Start NILIF immediately.
 

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At this age, he is NOT being protective. He is scared, reacting and seeing what he can get away with.

Biting is normal for a puppy and you need to redirect him when he's being bitey.

How much socialization is he getting? Is he meeting lots of new people? When he is biting people, what do you do? It sounds like he's gotten away with it so thinks he can continue.

That's the thing with this breed, it only takes once for them to learn what they can get away with. :)

When you cousin walks into the room, and he growls and barks, what do you do? I would tell him No! When he is quiet when she enters a room, praise and treat him.

When you have a visitor, keep him on a leash so you can control the interaction between him and the guests. Don't LET him get to the people to nip their rears! That's really important that you be in control.

To be quite honest, it sounds like a puppy that is just out of control and has developed bad habits. I would get him into training classes. Teach him Leave It and you can use it when your cousin walks into the room. Tell him that before he growls at her. Reward him when he does! Tell him Leave It when he's herding the children. Leave It when he's going for a butt!

Cat head in the mouth? No way. Leave It! While he's playing now, eventually there will be a fatal accident.

You are the boss. You set the rules. Look up "Nothing In Life is Free" and start using it with him. He doesn't get anything without working for it. Set the boundaries for what you expect from him.

And keep asking questions! There is a wealth of knowledge here that can help you! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I do have a leash on him when people come in now. I figured I needed to do that. Normally I hold him on his harness too, and tell him to calm down. I also stay calm in the situation. When he bit Sam I told him No and immediately took him to my room and got him to calm down. I didnt let him out of the room unless it was to eat drink or go to the bathroom for like 3 days. I call it grounding him lol. When he goes to herd kids, I tell him no and he stops, but he'll try to do it again later on. And with the cat. I tell him No, and back off. He stops and moves back and sits down. He's really smart and listens to me. I take him everywhere I go except for work so he meets new people a lot. Outside of the house he's an angel no problem at all, it's only at the house he's like this and its only with men. No other male lives in my house(humans included lol). Do you guys think that it could be a man of the house kinda thing, too? lol.
 

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Also when he bites people he's not bitting hard. He's not breaking the skin sometimes he just gets their pants. It kind of like he's trying to make them go away. Maybe he's just trying to herd them. However with Sam that one was agressive because one time my little 2 year cousin was visiting and I was sitting in the floor with Rajah and my cousin came running at us yelling Rajah growled and then tried to lunge at her. He didnt make it up, I grabbed him, told him no, to calm down it was ok. Then he was fine. Never bothered her again. I think I might make it sound worse than it is. Im just frustrated with it cause he keeps doing it.
 

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I do have a leash on him when people come in now. I figured I needed to do that. Normally I hold him on his harness too, and tell him to calm down. I also stay calm in the situation.
It's really important for you to stay calm so that's really good. I would have the people give him treats once he is calm so he knows they are not a treat. He will soon associate strange people in the house with treats.

When he bit Sam I told him No and immediately took him to my room and got him to calm down. I didnt let him out of the room unless it was to eat drink or go to the bathroom for like 3 days. I call it grounding him lol.
What you taught him was that being in your room is a punishment. You can't fix the problem if you shut him away for 3 days. I would have removed him from the area but would have brought him back after he calmed down.

When he goes to herd kids, I tell him no and he stops, but he'll try to do it again later on. And with the cat. I tell him No, and back off. He stops and moves back and sits down.
Perfectly normal. Just keep working with him and he'll get it. Jax is 2 1/2 and will still chase the cat occasionally.

He's really smart and listens to me. I take him everywhere I go except for work so he meets new people a lot. Outside of the house he's an angel no problem at all, it's only at the house he's like this and its only with men. No other male lives in my house(humans included lol). Do you guys think that it could be a man of the house kinda thing, too? lol.
That's great that you take him many places! It very well could be that he isn't used to men in the house and is becoming territorial. Does your family have any men friends that you could invite over? The only way to really fix that is to desensitize him to the situation. :)
 

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Also when he bites people he's not bitting hard. He's not breaking the skin sometimes he just gets their pants. It kind of like he's trying to make them go away. Maybe he's just trying to herd them.
I think the herding thought is probably correct in a way. Jax will nip at other dogs and people when I come through the door. She's trying to drive them away from me. She's actually saying "she's mine, get away". He's trying to drive them away too. He's saying "Hey! You don't belong here! These people are mine!"


However with Sam that one was agressive because one time my little 2 year cousin was visiting and I was sitting in the floor with Rajah and my cousin came running at us yelling Rajah growled and then tried to lunge at her.
Here's my take on this. When someone is acting out of control, a dog's instinct is to put it back into control. So your cousin came in running and yelling (out of control). You were sitting on the floor. He didn't like her actions. It wasn't normal to him. So he tried to make her be in control again.

It sounds like you have a very strong minded GSD that need a strong leader. You have to learn to be that strong leader. I really urge you to join a good positive reinforcement training group to build that relationship and to learn how to be a good leader.

Right now, he is acting on what he thinks is the right thing to do. It does sound like he is being protective and a bit territorial. He should be looking to YOU for guidance on what is allowed and what isn't.

So....start with NILIF. That will be very important. He gets nothing without working for it. He doesn't eat until he sits, he doesn't go out until he lays, he doesn't get the ball until comes, etc....this really does work! Read up on it.

Post your general area so maybe some people can give you recommendations for a good trainer in your area!
 

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When he bit Sam I told him No and immediately took him to my room and got him to calm down.
I have a little bit of a different perspective on what you did here than Jax although hers could be right too.

If your dog is biting and reacting out of fear (which is highly likely), then what you did here was reward him for biting and it will continue. He is biting, barking and growling to keep away what he is afraid of and by removing him from the room, you just gave him exactly what he wants.

So, now he knows that if he bites, barks or growls then the scary thing goes away and he gets what he wants. You need to prevent him from doing those things because he is self rewarding. Correct him if he does it. And not remove him from the situation. Only touch or praise him when he is behaving so that you reinforce calm behavior.

You also need to socialize socialize socialize so that he realizes that people are not scary. Have all visitors toss him treats when he is being calm - not hand them to him, toss them NEAR (not at) him so he can get them. Then People = Treats = GOOD!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I live out in the country and have like 7 acres of land so I let him run around outside for a while if he behaves and stays in his area. If not I walk him on the leash around the perimeter that I want him to stay in. Plus I play with him in the house and outside. I train him a little bit everyday trying new stuff with him when he gets masters one command.
 

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I agree with suggestions, you need to get him OUT in the world and socialize him, and sign up for an obedience class.

Locking him in your room for 3 days letting him out for food and water as a punishment, is not the way to go..THe dog does NOT understand that this is a punishment.

You need some professional help with him, or the 'biting' is going to end up being a big liability for YOU which the dog will pay for in the end.
 

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Also when he bites people he's not bitting hard. He's not breaking the skin sometimes he just gets their pants. It kind of like he's trying to make them go away. Maybe he's just trying to herd them. However with Sam that one was agressive because one time my little 2 year cousin was visiting and I was sitting in the floor with Rajah and my cousin came running at us yelling Rajah growled and then tried to lunge at her. He didnt make it up, I grabbed him, told him no, to calm down it was ok. Then he was fine. Never bothered her again. I think I might make it sound worse than it is. Im just frustrated with it cause he keeps doing it.
You are RIGHT. He WILL keep on doing it. Cause he's a puppy. Puppies WANT TO PLAY. They need tons of exercise. And some training mixed in.

Mostly they need FUN, play, and a nice calm leader who is teaching and showing what they want. These are puppies, with the attention span of a gnat. To teach them something, it needs to be dealt with IMMEDIATELY so they connect their behavior to what you want.

So any 3 day 'time outs' are a wonderful way to give you a calm 3 days with no training at all. But you have just done zero to 'teach' a puppy.

PUPPIES WANT TO PLAY. If they are with other puppies it will go on all day. They play with their mouths and their teeth. They are DOGS and that's all they know until we TEACH them another way to play, and teach them to play WITH US.

We have to be fun. We have to interact. We must learn to be smart and to TEACH not just wait for them to 'misbehave' so we can punish and correct.

I didn't get how much time you spend a week on car rides and taking your pup out for socialization and meet/greets. Where are you training and can the instructor give help and guidance for your puppy?

BTW, on leash, or just walking around my yard with a pup in control is in NO way near enough exercise for any of my GSD's and they'd be driving me nutso way more than your pup is. THIS is the stuff I have to do to manage the situation and get a pup that's generally is behaving well:



 

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I live out in the country and have like 7 acres of land so I let him run around outside for a while if he behaves and stays in his area. If not I walk him on the leash around the perimeter that I want him to stay in. Plus I play with him in the house and outside. I train him a little bit everyday trying new stuff with him when he gets masters one command.
I have five acres . . . it would be nice if that was enough of an excuse to not take my pup anywhere (more land than a dog park!), or that training at home was enough, but as others have said, it is not. These dogs are high-energy, and SMART!!! we have to meet those energy demands, and work with their brains!

Nice to have lots of room to play at home, but in ADDITION to going out and having five acres to run, play fetch, do potty walks around the property, I make sure that my dogs also:

Get to explore new fun places where they can run and swim:


Sable pup is 6 months old in this pic - could run and play all day if I let him!

Winter too! No excuses!!! Got skis and snowshoes just so I can take my dogs out to run on the trails.


Then in addition to all this fun, throw in some formal training and activities:

Tracking (four month old pup):


Obedience:



A fun challengeto see how many new places you can take your pup, and how many new experiences he can have!


All that in addition to my pups having "field trips" to see horses, watch a hockey practice, hang out at a ski hill, go for leash walks downtown and in residential areas, spend the day shopping for a van and checking out the cargo areas of said vans being taken for a test drive, occasionally coming to work with me and hanging out in the office, and getting to check out the Hangar and the helicopters, etc . . . etc . . . etc . . .

Yes, a LOT of work and effort and time - but an absolute must to have a well behaved, well socialized dog.

A tired puppy is a GOOD puppy!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i do take him places i take him basically everywhere i go with the exception of going to work. i would love to take him to the river and let him swim. i only live within 5 mins of the river, however i can't let him off the leash because there would be people around and i can't take the chance of him biting anyone althought he has never became aggressive outside the house. he has alot to do at my house he herds my horses into the barn all the time. we play ball with him and let him run with the outside dogs. he gets his exercise and i train him a little bit everyday. he just does not like when male strangers are in my house at all. i am puttin us in an obedience training program now.
 

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hello,

from what you say it does not seem to be the puppy biting to play. It looks like in dead radjah thinks he's in charge of you all.

That is not good thing. You must show him and make him understand that You take care of your familly, you are the leader.
I'll start with basics: his place to sleep, not with you, eats after you, wait you get out first at the doors...etc.

For the leash and river swiming...try a longer rope (20 m) it will also help you to teach the "recall"

3 days...is a long punishement, I'm sure he does not understand why. Short and strong action on the spot just after the mistake was done. Later is useless.

good luck
 

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Hi Stephanie,

I had a female shepherd mix that reacted almost exactly the same way that yours did. For several years, the only people who came in the house were females. More specifically, they were my daughters and me. Our mix became very aggressive, if not downright hostile toward males. It took some work, but I specifically took her to situations where there would be males. I took her to the park to walk, took her to my father's home (especially if there were other friends of his there) and I held her leash, gave them treats to give her, etc. It took a lot of doing, but we finally got her to the point that she showed no signs of aggression toward men. I know it's hard, but the advice here on this thread that has been given, is very good advice. Just keep working at it. :)
 

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Hi Stephanie,

I had a female shepherd mix that reacted almost exactly the same way that yours did. For several years, the only people who came in the house were females. More specifically, they were my daughters and me. Our mix became very aggressive, if not downright hostile toward males. It took some work, but I specifically took her to situations where there would be males. I took her to the park to walk, took her to my father's home (especially if there were other friends of his there) and I held her leash, gave them treats to give her, etc. It took a lot of doing, but we finally got her to the point that she showed no signs of aggression toward men. I know it's hard, but the advice here on this thread that has been given, is very good advice. Just keep working at it. :)
Love you you realized there was a problem and then SPECIFICALLY addressed it in a good way.

A mindset like the following with a 6 month old puppy ONLY makes situations worse:

I love that he is protective in this situation but he knows my brother (not well) but still. .................
Because it is a COMPLETE mis-understanding of what's going on. This isn't a real response from a mature and confident ADULT dog that has accessed the situation and acted appropriately. Instead it's a 're-action' from a fearful and stressed puppy that has no other tools to deal with an overwhelming situation it's OWNER has placed it in.

Working on getting a calm and confident puppy in any and all situations will lead to a calm and confident adult dog that may then show APPROPRIATE protection responses to REAL threats (not friends and relatives we have allowed in the house).
 
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