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Hello! We have a 17 week old GSD/ Golden Retriever mix named Cosmo. My husband and I both grew up with dogs, but this is our first puppy. We are having quite a difficult time with the biting, it seems really aggressive and intentional(if that makes any sense:). I am just coated in bruises, he is biting really hard. We have 3 kids and at this point, we don't have the kids in the same room as Cosmo except to just walk by him and give him a treat. We keep Cosmo on a leash in the house at all times and are crate training. We have been going to puppy classes and he is doing well with pretty much everything else, you can tell he is smart, he just hasn't made much progress in the biting department. We are trying to keep everything as positive as possible and have tried time outs when he is crazy biting, ignoring it, saying ouch, treating him if we are able to get him to stop, using very appealing treats......etc., etc., Our trainer has suggested a gentle leader for him, does anyone have experience with this with a puppy our age? Our trainer also told us not to run him, just walk, and that the calmer we could keep things the sooner he would get the message. So we walk him in the morning and in the evening, but honestly it is getting really tough. He snarls, really lunges and tries to get his teeth in whenever he can. Anyone have any other suggestions, coping ideas?
 

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My four month old has digressed to biting again (she had stopped for a couple of weeks) so I am also curious about the responses regarding this issue. It's frustrating when it feels like we take two steps forward then three steps back.
 

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In more than 30 years of dog training, I have found only one thing that consistently stops puppies from biting like this. And no, it's not hollering ouch. That just turns you into a squeaky toy and makes biting even more fun. Also, rewarding him with treats and toys for biting usually does not work.

Here is what usually does work, in my experience: As soon as the puppy starts to bite, quickly and calmly stick your hand or as many fingers as possible into his mouth all the way to the back and keep it there while he tries to spit it out. Hang on to his tongue if you have to. When he makes it totally clear that he really does not want your hand in his mouth anymore, let him spit it out. This should not be done in a way that hurts the puppy. But it is icky for him. Push your hand in through the front of his mouth, not the sides, so you don't get bitten while you do this. Many people do not have the nerve to try this, which is why you don't see it very often. It will usually have to be done more than once and there may be a few relapses, but it usually fixes the problem and does not hurt the puppy.

I do not recommend a gentle leader for any dog but especially a puppy. If a puppy hits the end of a leash going full tilt with a gentle leader on, the sudden snapping of his head to the side can break his neck and kill him.
 

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Please give your puppy access to off leash running on natural surfaces. It is necessary for proper joint growth and health. Running is also necessary for his mental and emotional well being. It is what puppies do.

Proper exercise is inversely proportional to anxiety. You can be creating a host of undesirable behaviors by withholding proper exercise. With that said, after the puppy has been exercised is the proper time to teach your puppy to be calm and to train calm behaviors.

Here is a listing of some methods to stop biting. Some are more effective than others and can work quite rapidly. If the method you choose does not work in a day or two, move on and try the next one.

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/8333337-post1.htmll
 
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