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Hey everyone. This is my first time owning a dog. I've had him since he was 9 weeks, he currently just turned 10 months. He was big on nipping, and biting when he was much younger then he stopped and now he's back at it. He bites me when I come through the door and I don't pay him attention right away, he does it when I'm walking him and I stop and talk to my neighbors, and he does it when I'm home and he wants to play. I have tried everything that I have read in these forums and online. I have screamed "ouch" and that makes him pause for one second and then he bites again less hard but continues. I spray him and nothing happens. I leave the room and then he resumes after I come back. I give him time out and he jumps up and down and doesn't listen and thinks it's a game. I ignore him and this frustrates him as he makes this noise and pulls my sleeve harder or bite harder as if to say why aren't you paying attention to me. I have no idea what else to try. It's getting to the point where I'm loosing my patient and I'm getting really frustrated. Please help!!!!
 

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I will try to help.Sounds like the loud OUCH is getting somewhat of a response.Does he have a "leave it" or "drop it" command?If not,teach one!How about "NO"?
Get his attention with a sharply spoken command of your choice,then give him something else to do immediately.A sit/stay or down/stay.Release him for a short game of tug or fetch for his reward when he's calm.He only gets to play when he listens to you.If he puts his teeth on you the whole procedure starts again.

If the initial command isn't enough to get his focus,keep a short drag leash on him(no loop)and give a firm leash pop along with the command.Firm enough to get his attention,not a light tug to nag him or amp him up further.
He's formed a bad habit and you can help him form a new one.Keep toys and tugs handy to reward him for obeying whatever you need him to do at the time.
 

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I would give a correction with the collar. A pretty stern one actually. Then move off and redirect. At 10 months his mouth should not be one your skin.

He is at his bratty teenage stage, so they push and test, and are generally obnoxious. For most things I would be telling you to exersise him more, get him into classes, yadda yadda. But not for continued mouthing.

A strong pop on the leash, a very firm loud NO, give a command and then ignore him.
 

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no negotiations -- a lightening fast , stern correction.

don't let the dog push you around

and then I would go right into some obedience - he wants attention , well he's getting it , not what he planned for !
 

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I would think what may help is more exercise, training, and play. He seems to be wanting your attention. If you have classes in your area, an obedience class and maybe agility. Something for both of you to do together. If not, I would suggest long leash walks. When you stop to talk to someone, have him sit by your side. Keep your hand on his collar - that way you can stop him if he tries to bite by saying a sharp "NO" and squeeze hard his muzzle. For play, tug would be ideal - he can bite down - but be sure after a good fight, that he wins - praise him for that. He also needs to learn how to be quiet with you, so I would suggest doing the Sitting on the Dog - where he is on the down/stay by your chair while you read or do something quiet. Start with 5 minutes and work up to 20. A soft squeaky toy does help as an outlet and also use to redirect. That can help when you are home with him. Give him his toy and praise him for taking it and biting it.
 

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Can you crate him until he stops? I ignore my dogs when I first came in until I have done everything I need to do. Then they get attention on my terms. My puppy is still crated, so he doesn't get access to me until he is calm and quiet.
 

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agree.

your pup needs more exercise and training.

They need mental stimulation as much as physical.

He's asking for attention, and like a child, will get it whether it's positive or negative.
 

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Make sure to not leave him at home all alone and bored. This is like jail for a dog. They have this cool puzzle toy, its like a big ball in the shape of a hexagon, and when the dog puts it on a particular side a treat pops out. This can keep them busy for hours! Look into some of these kinds of mental stimulating toys when you have to go to work or whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all your feedback.

I have tried the word No, and he knows what the word is but he ignores it when he's biting my hands/sleeves.

I have tried giving commands and he again ignores it, it's like he has zeroed in on my hands only.

I have tried grabbing his nuzzle and he had a bad reaction. He pulled his teeth back as in warning to back off and I never did it again.

I did the toy thing near me and redirect his attention to the toy and that somewhat worked but then I walk away he follows me and bites me.

I walk him twice a day for about an hour each time and he plays at the dog park.

He is crate trained. He always has toys in his crate to keep him entertained when I am gone.

I also don't make a big deal when I get home and ignore him until I've done my things. But, as soon as I open his cage he jumps up on me, kisses me, and then bites my hands. When I say the word NO in a firm command and try to get his collar he gets in the position he does when he is playing with other dogs and he runs and thinks it's a game. At this point when I go after him the only thing I achieve is chase him which he again thinks it's a game of catch me if you can.

Then I did the going next to his cage and say Bad Dog (which he knows what that means), he lays down and calms down and then I turn around and he comes up and again this cycle happens all over again.

People kept telling me the biting was "normal puppy dog behavior" and now all I think I have achieved is reinforced the habit that he can do that to me. Which also he ONLY does that to me. He doesn't do it to any other family member or neighbors or even my nieces who are 3 and pet him.

Thanks for suggestion the leash method. I will try that with a firm no and tug, and see how that works.

I will let you guys know how that goes. Wish me luck!
 

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Stop with the dog park. That just winds him up more. He doesn't need to play like a dog. He needs to learn to be with people.

Instead of waiting for him to bite you, (try to engage with you), give him a command first. Praise. If praise winds him up, moderate the praise, to a low, "Yes, good boy." Teach him DOWN, and STAY, and SIT. Make sure you play with him too. Instead of the dog park, teach him to fetch and chase the ball, or to tug with you. The dog needs to interact with you, but in appropriate ways.

About corrections, A hard physical correction, if too hard can lose trust and make a softer dog, or a handler sensitive dog shut down, or hand shy, not good. But a physical correction that is not hard enough just annoys the dog, and it can ramp him up and get him going. I am not a fan of trying to rule a dog physically. We outwit them, yes. We manage the resources, fine. We stand up and stay calm and patient -- earns respect. We prevent biting by removing the dog from our biteable parts, no problem -- but we can't crate or x-pen them away forever. So we make them work for the things they want. They want to play, we say, "Go Get Your Tug!" Go Find It. They want attention, and we give them a 5 minute training session, SIT, Down, Come Front. Finish. Down. Stay. Come, Around, Down. Stay. Then we put him in his crate for a time out -- YES, when he is doing good. Not a punishment. We eat dinner in peace, and then we take him for a walk.

He is pushy when you stop to talk to the neighbors. Instead of letting him mill about and be an ass, Tell him, SIT, DOWN, STAY -- then keep it really, really short at first. I mean, "I got to get him in, nice to see you." Build up to a 3 minute sit stay and a 5 minute down stay. When that is perfect, you need to add in distractions, like neighbors. But don't expect a 5 minute down stay with neighbors right off the bat. 1 minute to start.

Inside where things are calm, build up to a longer stay, change it up. Leave the room. Come right back at first, and then make it tougher.

Teach him the gentle command. It's a word that you want him to associate an action with, so you want to use that word, as a command, a reminder and in the praise, every time. Do it with treats and take your time. Start with your palm open, Gentle. He takes it gently out of your hand, he has to. Good Gentle. After a few days or even a week at each stage, make it harder, put a thumb over it. Keep saying that word. Put it in a closed fist, he only gets it if he licks but does not bite at your fist, good gentle. make it harder, between your finger and thumb. Take your time. After he is doing that perfectly, you can use that word for other stuff. Gentle with my fingers. Gentle with the babies.

Don't Yell OUCH! He may see that as fun, or lose respect because you are yelling and acting crazy. You do not want to have to reach a certain volume or pitch in order for your dog to respond to your voice. Instead tell him once. Then follow through. Eh! Gentle with my fingers. If he does not stop immediately, then you stop any game or fun and put him in a down or in a safe area, and give him a time out.

He NEEDS attention and engagement, so after 15-30 minutes, training session or walk.
 

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Have you tried simply turning your back to him and not allowing him access to you? Pretty much a body block. My youngest went through where he got excited and tried to jump on me about a month ago. I seen him coming and I turned my whole body away from him and ignored him, even kinda walked sideways. He then would circle and try the other way and I turned in the opposite direction. It took maybe three times for him to realize it gets him nowhere and he stopped. Now he sits and waits for me to pet him.
 

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To @selzer

Thanks for your response but I should probably clear up a few things. He knows commands but when I was talking earlier about the situation he bites me, he does not listen. He doesn't listen at all. It's like is hearing is blocked.

He knows how to sit and laydown. He works for his food. I noticed since the beginning he does better with hand signals than verbal words. So I've taught him how to sit my moving my hand. He knows how to laydown by moving my hand down and he knows how to make eye contact when I tap my eye. I signal go and that's when he comes in the house or when he goes and eats his food. He knows paw, he knows high five, and rollover without me saying a word just hand signals.

His only flaw is that he is very mouthy, too mouthy. I was hoping I could train him out of the behavior but now I think I need professional help.

I give him time outs. I make sure he calms down from his walk and only until he is calm does he go in the home. It's just he will lay on top of me turn around and he will bite, and it's never hard at all but still the action worries me.

He actually learned the words BE NICE and when he wants a toy and he's getting too mouthy with it I will take it away and say be nice and he keeps his mouth closed. And sometimes it works with my hands and he licks but it's not all the time.

Idk maybe I'm being too impatient and keep switching methods on him, how long should I try one until I realize it's not working?
 

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This is kind of long and complicated but there are many suggestions in how to stop a puppy from mouthing people. You might find something that works. My landshark is now 9 months old and never bites. He is a WL and he likes to grab my sleeve to talk to me or get my attention sometimes, but I have gradually taught him other ways to get what he needs. I did many things with varying success, but when I started teaching him obedience seriously, sit, down, etc, he began biting less. I made sure I knew why he was mouthy. Was he tired, did he have too much energy and not enough exercise, was he hungry or thirsty? Sometimes I just crated him until he calmed down. Other times I let him play in the yard and tire himself out. I did not let him put his teeth on me. I use kibble in a closed fist and taught him to lick my hand to get the treat.

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/puppy-behavior/647481-not-normal-puppy-behavior-i-do-not-know-what-do.html
 

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Are you sure he can hear? He works better with hand signals, than use hand signals. Teach him lots of hand signals.
 

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I am also a first-time dog owner who, despite doing months of research before getting Kane, was utterly and completely unprepared for the level of effort required to raise a GSD. I can only speak from my one experience, and it took me way too long to genuinely 'get it' even though I knew it in my brain.....if he is continuing to do the behaviour, he is getting the reward he is looking for....attention.

He wanted attention and excitement... all... the... time. It was exhausting! Getting frustrated and angry with him only excited him....he is a dog and his emotional spectrum isn't as wide as ours. Any increase in my energy (anger, frustration) just came across as fun excitement to him. He doesn't just THINK it's a game...it is a game and you need to stop playing it because he never will on his own.

First, don't feel guilty for just taking a break when you're frustrated...put him in his crate and let yourself think about how to deal with the situation. If he's fed, exercised and loved, let go of the idea you need to be perfect and do what YOU need to do to keep YOURSELF happy.

Anyway....even after Kane stopped mouthing skin, he continued to use his body to try to get my attention...pushy, obnoxious behaviour like pawing me, grabbing my sleeve, sitting on me. Some of the things might not have been so bad if it hadn't been ALL THE TIME without a moment of peace. I had to find a way to turn him around and do a good behaviour to get my attention.

For me, what worked was holding his tug toy, getting eye contact, then in a calm voice telling him 'ask me nicely.' Of course, he had no idea what I was saying, but was very interested in these new words. He went into his repertoire of tricks....down, spin, paw and I kept calmly saying 'ask me nicely.' He finally landed in a sit position about 2 feet away, facing me and I said 'GOOD' and played tug with him for a minute or so. He was able to figure out on his own what those words meant. The next time I said them, he stopped what he was doing and I could literally see his thought process in his eyes....he just stood looking at me and thinking for a good 5 seconds then sat down a distance from me. Reward again!

He was happy as could be because I was paying attention to him, and I was happy because we were calmly playing a game under my rules. "Ask me nicely" started to be what I said every time he was looking for anything. He would sit a distance away and then I would continue the conversation....'do you need to poop?' 'do you want a nap?' etc. He'd sit there, head tilting back and forth until I landed on 'do you want to play?' and then he'd do his 'ears up at attention and stare' that means yes. So, we'd play for a bit. In no time at all, he started to just ask me nicely on his own and entirely stopped with the sleeve-biting and other obnoxious behaviours.

Clearly, this is all just positive reinforcement but the key message is that it was a game we figured out on our own, that both of us enjoyed. He was getting attention, I was having fun, and he was doing behaviours I could tolerate (even if it was still sometimes a bit too much).

I think sometimes that no matter how amazing a trainer is, there's no substitute for just spending the time getting to know what works for you and your dog (and I emphasize it has to work for you too). Kanes LOVES when we 'talk.' He's getting attention and I can see that he appreciates when I understand what he's asking for. It sure has made a difference for us.
 

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I am having the exact same problem with my 9 mo female. She will only do the biting to females and doesn't listen to any commands. Physical correction irritates her, turning my back makes her jump up and bite my bra strap across my back, and she is deaf to commands (she never listens to me anyways unless I have a treat or ball). The trainers are just scratching their heads and don't know what to tell us. Please let me know if you are able to get your GSD to stop.
 

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I am having the exact same problem with my 9 mo female. She will only do the biting to females and doesn't listen to any commands. Physical correction irritates her, turning my back makes her jump up and bite my bra strap across my back, and she is deaf to commands (she never listens to me anyways unless I have a treat or ball). The trainers are just scratching their heads and don't know what to tell us. Please let me know if you are able to get your GSD to stop.
Those aren't real trainers. Anyone can teach a dog basic commands but to change behavior requires an ability to read a dog and interrupt the cycle. Find a better trainer.

Put your dog into a training collar and keep her leashed. Don't turn your back to her. That is an invitation to jump. Watch her. You need to stop her before she jumps. Does she lean forward or down slightly before she launches off the ground? The second you see her start to jump, give her a correction and make her sit and make eye contact with you. Don't let her up until she is relaxed. Your dog doesn't know what you want.
 

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Sounds like you have a good dog. Seems like he has a lot of prey drive. A dog with high prey drive can either be a dream or a nightmare. Which one depends 100% on the handler. If your dog becomes nippy redirect him onto something that he can bite and play tug of war with him. Make it a game. I always teach my dogs from puppy hood that biting me is wrong by redirecting the biting to a prey article. In fact if my puppy starts to get mouthy , I usually get excited because it means he is in drive and we can get some decent training done. Good prey drive is the foundation of everything from protection work, tracking to search and rescue. You just need to find ways to redirect it into something constructive. It is very important that your dog sees you as the leader but sometimes instead of using physical corrections it works to outsmart the dog. Our intelligence is after all our only evolutionary advantage over animals.
 
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