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Hi all! I'm at my wits end here
I've had gsds in the past and they were so easy, I know no two dogs are the same but I'm having a really hard time with my new pup Eva. She's 12 weeks old now and I've had her since she's was 8wks.
She doesn't mouth, she BITES. And I mean she really goes for it. Me and my partner do not get a second to breathe from the moment she wakes up she's biting. I redirect her with toys but she's not interested. I play with her until she's too tired to bite. We cant walk around the house as she bites our legs, and she really goes for it. She's really been hurting us and I hate crating her but its all I can do to get a seconds peace. My legs an arms, even my face and hips and anywhere she can get to is cut or bitten.
Now she's staring to growl, bark and snap her teeth at me.
I can't get her to stop.
I've enrolled her in a training class so she can get socialised and she's such a scaredy cat outwith the house. On walks we're only out five minutes before she drags me back to the house, so walks are no fun either.
She's also up multiple times during the night and that's usually a biting battle before I can go back to sleep again.
All this seems really negative but I will say she's amazingly clever and training sessions in the house are really rewarding. But training her that people aren't chew toys she can swing around is proving difficult and I can't get her to understand "no" or "off"
I really want to be able to play with her.
I'm getting frustrated that she won't listen to me when it comes to biting, or outside.
The lack of sleep doesn't help either.
I've tried walking away from her if she bites to hard, and I done this consistently but she's didn't get it.
Redirecting, she's not interested in biting anything but us.
So what I'm doing now, I said using the advice of the training class I'm at and pulling her scruff and saying no! Just seemed to wind her up more as did everything else.
So now it's just no and put in her crate to calm down.
She gets plenty excersise, lots of training, and lots of love!
I feel like a failed mother or something and I really need a different approach. I'm scared she's gonna hurt someone one day as she's already REALLY hurt me.
I feel like my training class or anyone who sees her outside the house doesn't believe me as she's such an angel at the vets or her class.
Any advice would be appreciated so I can curb this behaviour before it gets any more worse
 

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Ok step one and I know it's hard but you have to take a deep breath and relax. All you've done thus far is proven that the redirect and back turning bit does not work with "all/puppies." Nothing new there ... your gonna have to address this issue directly and "correct your puppy" for inappropriate biting! You just need to figure out an approach that works for you. :)


If the scruff of the neck thing did not work ... you might as well abandon that, most likely any "hands on approach is not your forte???" No or Off doesn't really work right now becasue there are no consequences for non compliance.

So your gonna have to keep it real for your puppy becasue yes .. if you don't stop this now, he just gets better at doing it. And he is a puppy now but in several months he will be a dog. And if you then decide to correct and now hard for biting becasue now ..it's intolerable ... he might not take to kindly to it??? "Kinda like oh no you didn't!!" We don't want to go there ... now is the time to get a handle on this.

One option is a "Bonker" Gary Wilkes pioneered that one and I have links. He suggest a towel bound in rubber bands and when the puppy bites you say no and "Bonk" them with the Bonker." But a towel and rubber bands ... to much trouble in my view. A pair of socks can service the same purpose. :)

Or you use what a recent member here used with a puppy similar to yours ... a piece of "Mail!" She smacked the little miscreant on the nose with the mail and said "NO!" The puppy sat down and awaited further instructions ... problem solved. That approach was a variation on the "bonker concept." :)

Option two ... use a "Pet Convincer" a hands off approach.:
Pet Convincer.com

Or a less expensive option and you might already have one ... pick up a Pet Convincer, for half that cost at your local bicycle repair shop. Because a PC is a bicycle air pump. And after a time or two ... you may just find that making the "PTSSS" sound ... is good enough.

For other suggestions ... see here. :
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/8333337-post1.html

And the walk issues well one thing at time but "Bethany" has a lot of "Puppy Stuff" and most likely you find something helpful here.:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL39rA__veYgR4EvJoPQhwRlxZmW5H3IEm

Welcome aboard sorry it's a bumpy ride so far. :)
 

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I would say keep doing what you are doing, keep redirecting, keep up with the stern "No Biting", keep up with walking away/crating for a short while/ignoring... it does get better... a few more weeks and they will start to realise. I posted the same thing when my guy was 12 weeks old and my arms and legs were in shreds. He is 1000 times better now at 5 months of age. Hang in there!
 

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Hang in there! It does get better, I promise! Around the 5 month old mark it stops. Keep doing what your doing. The crate is a beautiful thing for that "break"! Try a frozen wash cloth sometimes that helps. Take 1 or 2 wash clothes wet them and freeze. That's why they are known as landsharks.
 

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I'm about to read the responses, but really want to say that your post could have been written by me! It is that close to what I was going to ask about. Greta is about the same age (she's 11 weeks) and we are having pretty much the same problem.
 

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Thanks for all the feedback guys! I might try the bonking thing! Ill also need to get a bigger crate. Shes outgrowing the one I borrowed off my friend rapidly. I wish they stayed puppies but I cant wait for her to outgrow this! I guess I've been seriously lucky with my previous gsds!
Today I've just walked her as soon as she's awake, a tired pup can't be bothered biting lol. I heard about freezing cloths I'll do that now too.
I've read so many posts on here and I'm glad it's really common. I thought I was going crazy ?
 

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Do NOT do any bonking or go to the Pet Convincer with a little puppy - you can set up life-long fear of certain noises or of feeling air gusts. A puppy can generalize the Puff sound of the pet convincer to any other household noise that is similar, like opening a soda can, or using aerosol sprays, as her being bad and being punished, and fear these objects. The daily thought that punishment is coming can destroy her self confidence and shut her down.

Same with a bonker. Bonking a puppy? Really? This is how we get posts "Help! I was reaching towards my 11 month old to grab her collar and she bit me!". Pup got old enough to feel confident enough to defend herself against what she sees as an attack because owners thought that bonking pups was a form of training. Er, no - not even close.

Lots of puppies are crazy biters - they do outgrow it. Lots of times, the crazy out-of-control behaviour from a pup is a sign of being tired. Incorporate schedule nap times in her crate - lots of people have reported marked behavioural improvements with their pups once they started crating them for a couple hours at a time for naps.

The biting will stop on its own, patience is key! I suggest that you use a tuggy toy on a line, or a rope, and move it around a lot to get the pup to chase it and bite it - you will be out of teeth range if you are holding the line and the pup has her interest on the prey movement of the rag, or rope or toy you have at the end of the line.

And when pup just won't stop going for the flesh, pick her up and put her in a crate. Fun's over! Completely fine to use the crate this way, and helps preserve your sanity.
 

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I disagree that the biting will stop on its own, for some pups it will, but not addressing it is dangerous. I've met full grown dogs that still do this and are impossible to handle without wearing a thick jacket.

Be careful using a crate for punishment and behavior correction, it can work, but it can also create crate aggression or fear. You might be better off leaving the room and closing the door behind you and coming back 5 minutes later to see if the pup has calmed down.

When my dog was that age he was horrible and very bitey. He would get into a mode where he just wouldn't quit, so I would lay him on his side until he would relax. No yelling, no hitting. I just put him on his side and talked to him until he would stay there when I took my hands off, then I would walk away. If he came after me I would repeat the process, making myself no fun to bite, until he just decided to stop biting me or stop coming after me, because it just meant being laid down.

NEVER give up on redirecting!

The reality of training is that any method considered valid by one person will be seen as risky to another, that's just the way it goes. Like how Chip said to bonk, castle said no bonking, use a crate, and I said no crate lay him down. It will go on and on. Training is very personal and specific to a dog, I can't guarantee my method will work on your dog the way it did my dog, you just have to try different things.
 

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I'm just going to address the not sleeping at night. I never had the crate in our room. I always had it in a separate part of the house, especially at 12 weeks she should be fine overnight in the crate. Get some sleep, it's a beautiful thing. (I did set alarms when we first brought them home to take them out)
 

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Sorry OP ... your gonna get put on the back burner ... becasue "this" is what we do. :)


LOL ... the horror of the "Ptsss" sound!!! Yes ... I'm sure "Cesar Millan" would be surprised to learn that he has left 10,000's of dogs quivering in his wake at the thought of hearing that sound. :eek:

I remember a member on here ... explaining in great detail how the "Ptssss" thing was crap??? That was "news to me??" As I have used it twice .. well all the time actually. But twice stands out ... once was with my freaking friends "people biting herder dog (4 bite on others, at that time ... 3 more since.)" I came in walked past the dog and he came for my ankle most likely, I spun and faced him slammed my foot and said "PTSSS!" That dog ran like I had dropped kicked him in the butt .... "Priceless." :)

Occassion number two ... annoying "Vacuum Cleaner" chasing Mini Pin! Clients dog and everytime I try and vacume ... I have to deal with that tool dog! Finally ... I had enough ... the next time ... he came ... once he heard the vacume! I used the same approach ... and got the exact same response. The behaviour stopped cold! I went back the next week started the Vac and expected to need to repeat that performance?? But nope ... no Vacuum chasing dog appeared?? It appeared that for that dog once was enough. :)


And the Pet Convincer, thingie ... yes ... people say stuff. Personally I thought it was just a gimmick??? But more and more trainers I follow were recommending it??? I finally saw a clip and it was "proof enough for me." So I carry forth with what they found.


But you know that's me ... on my recommendation a "Real World Boxer" user tried it (PC) ... and this is what she asked me.:


Pet Convincer Question (Chip18 this is for you!) - Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums


It seemed to have worked out just fine for her. :)


The Bonker thing ... yessss. No one wants to be hitting poor little "Rufus" ... as he does not know any better. "Maybe/perhaps/possibly ... he will outgrown it??" Well maybe he will I can't say. But I can say that many effective trainers ... will not put up with there "puppies" biting the crap out of them! There dogs do not end up in rescue are being rehomed becasue they can't handle the crap behaviour once the dog gets to big. And my puppies ... did not bite me. I am a hands on guy ... lower jaw squeeze and release. But that's me ... my wife on the other hand ...yeah for a time she did the turn the back ... yelp like a puppy, redirect and ignore thing. They chewed on here awhile after they had decided ... that "daddy" was not fun with the biting crap.


The "Bonker thing" ... if the "OP" is that concerned ... then she could ask the source.: https://www.facebook.com/gary.wilkes.39?ref=br_rs


Gary would be more than happy to address any concerns. As I said ... a member on here "used an envelope and a smack on the nose to address her biting puppy issues" same deal as a "Bonker" and it appears ... to have "worked out fine." :)


I just relay information from "Trainers I trust and follow" and based on my experiences ... what they say makes sense. Folks are free to do with as they see fit. :)
 

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Chip please no bonkers. This is a baby!

I used videos like this one to teach the puppy to lick a treat out of my hand rather than biting me. I created a licking problem but that was less challenging than biting. Getting a treat for not biting reinforces not biting. I used my older dog to teach bite inhibition.

 

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If people know where to look ... the "Bonker" is not unknown or uncommon. You should tell the newbie to not hit her puppy with mail either by the way. :)

Not my call, if they are at all concerned about the "Bonker" ... they know who to ask. I got no shortage of more names I could throw out there also ... but "Zack's " not one of them. Most likely had I "followed" him ... "Rocky" would be long gone with this earth ... just saying. :)
 

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It's a faze, it gets better at around 6 months. She has prey drive, moving hands and feet are prey items to her. She just doesn't know any better at this age. Keep giving her toys and show her that toys are ok to bite and skin isn't. Don't worry it always gets better, you will just have to wait it out.
 

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OP, I agree with Castlemaid. No bonkers or hisses of air. You want to train the puppy, not scare it. I also use a crate. It's their time out, my sanity's time in, and their naptime. If they go in it because of biting, they have appropriate toys to bite or chew on. The biggest thing is consistency. Decide on a plan of action and stick to it. Puppies are great fun and also pains in the you know whats. Ten years from now you'll mostly remember all the fun times.
 

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Had a FB convo with Zak George years ago, to sum it up be thinks protection work is animal abuse and all working dogs should be pets and not 'forced' to work. His theories are too far out there for me. He chooses highly trainable dogs, which says to me that he doesn't do well with challenging or 'red zone' dogs.
 

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True that you don't want to associate the crate with negatives and punishment, but just calmly picking up your puppy and putting her in her crate, is just that - putting her in the crate, not punishment. No different than crate training when you crate your puppy for feeding, sleeping, or because you are leaving the house for a couple of hours.

After some time, their little brains makes the connection that: When I want to play and I do X, I don't get to play (X = bitting hands and feet). When I do Y, I have the funnest time with Mom! (Y = playing tug with a rope, or tug toy on a line).

It takes time for the thinking part to kick in, young puppies this age are functioning on hard-wired doggy behaviour mode. It will take a zillion repetitions to re-program their little brains into new behavioural patterns.

I believe play-biting is a very important developmental stage in puppies. Older rescued dogs that have been isolated from other dogs and people, like a young dog kept on a chain 24/7, for example, once rescued and adopted will often go through a biting/mouthing phase - something they did not have a chance to go through at a younger age.
 

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All GSD owners go through this when they get an 8wk old puppy. I got mine at 8 weeks (now 8 months) and I was in your shoes exactly. On here asking the same questions. While it won't be the fix for this issue, definitely get her enrolled in puppy class & start asap. In terms of the biting, just keep redirecting & praising. Don't get discouraged when she doesn't care for the toys or you feel like you're at your wits end. While I think redirection helps, I think this is something they just grow out of, & it takes until about 6 months(getting better each month). Just make sure you or your partner don't hit her even when you get angry, because you will. One thing that changed our training was looking at free roam of the house as a privileged & not a right. We did crate train for when we were out but we also began to use it as somewhat of a calm down space. When she gets to be too much, calmly put her in her crate. Eventually she will associate the biting, with play & free roam being taken away, & good behavior, with play & free roam. Good luck. At 6 months you will look back at this & think it wasn't that bad.
 

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Chip please no bonkers. This is a baby!

I used videos like this one to teach the puppy to lick a treat out of my hand rather than biting me. I created a licking problem but that was less challenging than biting. Getting a treat for not biting reinforces not biting. I used my older dog to teach bite inhibition.

People should consider what a mother dog would do if one of her puppies were biting her. Would momma dog try redirecting her puppy? Lol. The Mommy dog would growl as a warning to stop, and if that doesn't work she would nip the puppy as a correction. This is how dogs learn from each other. There is nothing wrong with corrections when done in a safe and common sense manner. A bonker can accomplish this if all other methods does
not work.
 

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We didn't use Bonkers on our pups. I am not Force Free by any means but I never thought that the bopping of the dog with a towel really communicated what I wanted it to. Puppies need to explore the world with their mouths. They need to test limits and their strength and their skills. It is a natural part of growing up. We need to use toys properly for them to fill that need. If you are just presenting a toy or shoving it into their mouth, that is more annoying (and therefore actually a punishment) than engaging.
We actually used leather gloves to play with our little guys. Then as they got bigger and stronger the glove became the toy, when tied to a strong string. By then we developed a nice tug game with real tug toys. Not the rope kind...those didn't work well for us. The toy has to become a challenge, a test of strength, something to catch. Later, the game becomes a reward for good behavior. It adds another tool you can use to communicate with.
 

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I agree with many of the others so much of this is repeat maybe with a few different explanations.

I am against hitting a puppy, especially for biting. I would also be hesitant to use natural air pressure noises to startle a puppy out of biting. If you are making the noise with your mouth, that is different and I would think acceptable. I actually did exposure training to air pressure noises with my dog through air brakes of trucks at Home Depot. If you startle at a young age with air pressure noises, I would imagine that fear/suspicion would carry on into adulthood and things like rest stops or gas stations could be minefields of fear.

I would suggest redirecting to toy with engaging play. If the dog won’t stop biting, put them in the kennel. Don’t yell or show anger. Just get up, get a treat from your treat bin and kennel the dog. It’s not a punishment, it’s time to get back to a better state of mind. Give them a few minutes and try again.

I am also a huge fan of scheduled naps. At least two a day in the kennel. Puppies need a lot of sleep and they rarely self regulate.
 
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