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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 17 month old male GSD (Trigger) that my boyfriend and I adopted 5 months ago. We also have a 12 year old daughter. Over the past month or so, Trigger has begun biting my calves, ankles and/or feet whenver I sit down on the sofa to hang with my family. He doesn't go after them, just me. Also, he has begun going after my feet when I'm walking around the house, and nipping at the back of my calves, thighs and even butt when I'm walking away from him. Last night, after he went after me, I bit him on the ear. He yelped and was VERY confused, pacing in circles and just all out of sorts. I thought that would have helped, but he started doing it again. I try to distract him with chew toys as much as I can, but I'd really like to know where this is stemming from. As I said before, he DOES NOT go after my boyfriend or my daughter this way. I also am the main person who feeds him, brushes him and I'm very affectionate with him. He does listen to me as far as commands and is otherwise a very good dog.
 

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It is never a good idea to bite a dog's ear. You are very lucky that he did not bite your face.
 

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How much exercise is he getting?

It sounds like he is trying to herd you or play with you.
 

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It sounds like he's herding you. He wants to keep you all in the same room together.
 

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Regen did this when we first got her for the first couple of months- we just tried to keep some of her chew/tug toys around so that if she started to mouth our feet, we could redirect. She would always bite the tug toy if it was offered...and it definitely happened more if she hadn't had enough mental and physical stimulation that day.
 

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Brody tries to herd me as well..he doesn't like when the momma leaves :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I understand the mental and physical exercise - he definitely gets nippy when he hasn't been outside to run around, especially on rainy days, but my concern was that it has just been me that he goes after - not the other two people in the house. As far as the ear biting issue, I didn't think of that on my own...it was online on another GSD website as well as in a magazine I was reading. They stated to bite behind the back of the ear when the dog bites/nips at you. One bite should be all it took (according to the articles), and I'm not going to do it again, as he started up with the biting again within 15 minutes. I'm used to him herding us when we take him for walks, but he ususally just walks from the front to the back and may circle around us without nipping.
 

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They must have gotten the ear bite thing from that movie.... Snow Dogs?
 

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Is he biting down, breaking the skin or is he just nipping?
Hard to tell by the way you wrote it whether he is biting you or
nipping. He may be trying to initate play.
How well does he obey when you tell him to stop?
Do you YELP when he does it so he knows it hurts?
 

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I've heard of folks using a spray bottle of water ... might give it a shot ! Personally I give'em a quick thump on the nose !
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Paddy, he'll nip the back of my calves, thighs and butt, however, when I'm sitting on the sofa he'll come up and bite down...HARD on my feet and ankles. He'll nip at my arms and chest (whatever is closer). He's only broken the skin once or twice. He'll let go when I tell him to stop - I'll say NO BITING. Yes, I've yelped, and sometimes that works. Instead of barking, he'll come up to whomever and mouth their ankles when he needs to go out. While I'd rather have him bark, or stand at the door, it wasn't a big deal because it ONLY happened when he had to go out. But now, when he does it, especially with me, I'm not sure what his deal is. Maybe I'm over thinking it...but the other night, the 3 of us were on the sofa - I was in the middle. Pete and my daughter had to block my feet with the ottoman because Trigger kept coming after ME. If he wanted to play wouldn't he have tried playing with them too? Their feet were right in plain sight!! Also note, when I'm petting him he will try and mouth my hand to which I tell him no biting and he stops.
 

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my trainer said that was the dog's way of trying to "herd" us. have you taught the dog his leave it command? i used a combination of good treats (beef liver) and the leave it command to get my pup to leave almost anything (including my ankles) alone.

as someone else mentioned, you can try a spray bottle. you can also try putting a bunch of coins in an empty aluminum can and shake it whenever the dog bites down on you.
 

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If it's any consolation, Lakota used to bite my feet & legs (never my husbands) when she was a baby. She's 11 months now and because I have the other dogs I think she learned excellent bite inhabition from them. I do not encourage mouthing, but occasionally she will get my hand or foot in her mouth and I will "och" and pretend that shes hurting and she will be extremely gentle with her teeth. My trainer used to tell me to redirect and if she persisted "no". I would get back to basics with him.
And by the way, years ago I was working with a young race horse that bit, he got me so mad one day I bit him back right on his neck. He was shocked and never bit me again.
 

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How involved are you in the everyday training, exercising and feeding of the dog? For some reason he thinks it is ok to put his mouth on you but doesn't think it is ok to do with your BF or your daughter.

Do you practice NILIF with the dog? Is it possible for you to carry a toy around and when he is nipping at you say "No" and give him the toy and praise him for chewing on the toy (redirection).
 
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