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Hi everyone.

My husband and I adopted a 5 1/2 year female GSD in August. She is our first dog as a couple and our first GSD (I grew up with Danes). She took a long time to open up to us and show her personality. My husband plays rough with her and he thought it was adorable when she bit his ankles when they played.

I don't know if he created a monster (I know he didn't really) or it was a habit she had prior to the adoption but it is getting worse. She bites (not hard but with herding intention) and nips my feet during our daily walk. This is honestly the most frustrating part because I don't understand what she wants. When she nips at me while I'm putting on shoes, I at least understand, even if I find it annoying. She only nips at my husband when they play. She clearly sees him as the alpha even though I'm the primary care giver for her.

I bought a 4 foot slip lead instead of having her on a regular leash. I was hoping that keeping her closer to me (and walking her next to me like I should have been all along) would improve her biting. I also thought the leash would help as well since I could could correct her without swatting her nose. I was not correct. When she's tired, she doesn't bite and is amazing on the leash. But when she is ready to walk, she is overly excited and bites/nips constantly. I decided to try and walk her with treats and give her rewards for heel, sit, down, stay. I was hoping that by engaging her mind and stomach I could train her out of biting/herding/nipping me. This is has been going on for weeks and I feel like all I can do at this point is hire a trainer.

Does anyone have any advice for me with the nipping behavior? I keep reading that they grow out of it, but not with this one. Is going to a trainer the right idea or is this something I can try and stop with more diligence?

Thank you in advance!
 

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You'd be better off if you both were consistent with not allowing teeth on you, at 5 1/2 she's grown out of everything she ever would. Try settling her down in general, and especially in the house. Nice calm obedience, not too much excitement over the rewards or anything else. Calm walks, exploring and hanging out. If that helps, later on see how she does with toys to play with. If she likes toys, it'll give you some ways to make it clear whats appropriate and whats not. I'm just guessing that in trying to open her up to see her personality, you may have inadvertently created some of this behavior. So I think you may want to just kinda back off, let things reset and see how it goes.
 
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