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We rescued our 9 month male GSD 2 weeks ago. He was mainly used to living outside tied to a tree from the information that I could gather. He is sweet and loves attention but a behavior he has that did not go away once he adjusted to our home is that he goes absolutely nuts when myself or myself and my husband go to sit down on the couch. He will jump on our laps throwing his paws all over us (he is 65 lbs) and whenever we tell him no and push him off he gets even more excited and jumps even harder. He also is nipping quite hard at our hands feet and face during the whole process. He will even grab my arm in his mouth although it has always been gentle and never an actual bite (he has never actually put pressure on my arm)
What is the best and quickest action to take to stop this behavior in its tracks ?
 

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Since you have only had him for 2 weeks and he hasn't been well socialized and used to living in a house, I would either have him come up on the couch with me (that is what he may want to do) or I would sit some place else or I would gradually get him used to me sitting on the couch. I wouldn't want to correct him and make a big deal out of it, since he is obviously excited and nervous about the couch for some reason. It seems to me that he is almost afraid that you won't get up. I think as he adjusts to his new home, he will get over it. If you want to get him used to you sitting on the couch, I would first take him for a walk, keep him on his leash when I come home and then work on the down/stay - I would sit in a different chair - have him on the down/stay for a few minutes - get up then reward him and let him off the leash - I would practice daily and gradually work my way toward sitting on the couch with him on the down/stay. It helps to sit on the leash to keep him from jumping up.
 

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Just another thought, since my Sting did act like that when I would sit on a rock or on he beach when he was around 9 months, when I did that, I was lower than the dog. If your couch is low - a futon kind, so that when you sit on it, you are lower to the ground, and if the dog is tall and big, he is actually standing over you. So that makes him the big guy and he starts to want to herd you or play like he would with another dog. So he nips, bites, gets wild. I did work on obedience and not ramming, I played tug so he would have an outlet for his prey drive and made sure he won at the end. I also avoided being lower than him until he matured. Since you will want to sit on the couch, I suggest you work on the exercise, obedience, down/stay, and be sure he gets an outlet with tug.
 

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The behaviour your dog exibits tells me that he is thursty to make closer contact with you. He wants to be equal that is why he wants to be on the same level with you above the floor. Mary Beth is right - don't push him down from the couch, but rather teach him to be fondled while you are sitting there together. To tell him that you are his friend you can also sit on the floor yourself. Many dogs show their affection by touching your hands with their teeth, it is not what you call a bite. He will stop doing it gradually, receiving treats from your palm, tender stroke of your hand, you should show him that you are gentle, give him examples of your gentleness. Also avoid doing sharp and abrupt body movements in his presence, he musn't hear irritating tones of your voice, never shout or squeak. Let him "copy" you, and, when you are serious - acquiring a (strong but not loud) so called "commanding tone" , he will be serious as well.
 

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I would recommend that you don't let him on the couch at all. Our 10 month GSD used to do the same thing, so we decided no more couch for her. It's nice to have a dog to cuddle with, but its much better when your dog isn't able to jump up on you, especially if you like to eat on the couch. It teaches boundaries to your dog, and it helps assert dominance. Plus, he'll learn pretty quick that he's not allowed on the couch if you keep it strict. Good luck!


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Discussion Starter #6
Just as I got home he was going nuts. I understand that because he's happy to see me but I gave him no attention while he was going crazy but I picked up his leash and turned my back to him while he was jumping on me and waited til he sat down which he knows he has to do before I will put on his leash and go outside. But after coming back in he went twice as nuts and I kept trying to distract him by making him sit and stay but as I went to praise him for doing as he was told he actually jumped up and bit me in the face! It's almost like he's getting worse than better. Is this him just trying to be a little rebellious towards me since its very clear that I am his "alpha"
 

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What you are describing reminds me so much of my Sting's adolescence and I had him from a puppy on. He would just get these wild streaks - overreact to everything, like your dog did with the praise. When you dog jumped up and bit, it sounds like an air snap - yes, they are scary, but that is all it is. I do suggest more exercise as that is the best cure for these antics and also training. If you have classes in your area, I suggest you sign up for them.
 

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It has only been 2 weeks and he is wound up and excited with his new home and also he is at the difficult age. The best advice I was given when my Sting was in "wild months" was to let him run. A fenced in yard is the best. I would encourage the running by throwing balls (I had to use 2 as Sting wanted to keep the ball), fetch/tug where the tugs are attached to lines, having him sit/stay and then throw a treat in the air for him to catch. It helped me also to be aware of Sting's body language - if he was really wound up - to keep everything low key including praise. I would do the sit/stay but walk slowly around him and back up having him hold the sit/stay then have a ball or treat in my hand - and say "okay" and toss that ball or treat in the air away from me . Also I would walk him more and have him sit at curbs - then cross the street so he would have to concentrate. That helped tire him out mentally also. At the same time, I had to be careful he did not get overtired because then he acted real crazy. So he also had to learn to have quiet times when I would sit - he would be on the down/stay and I would read. I would give him his favorite bear toy for "company". I started with 5 minutes and worked up to 30 minutes. He protested at first, but then ended up taking a nap.
 
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