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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

We had Rex for 2 weeks now and he will be 10 weeks in couple of days.

We have seen lot of changes in Rex since these last few days and the family is enjoying his company alongwith new developments in his personality.

He likes to bite a lot which i perfectly understand is normal at this age and we will have to bear this for 2 to 3 months more.

Since last 2 days we are worried with his new behavior with all of us.


  1. Me and my wife are trying to work on the biting inhibition and let him mouth our hands when we see him in calm state. We yelp and walk away if he bites too hard. This does not seem to have any effect and he is back to chewing with more power if we are back. Add to this the zoomies that he has started recently. What we noticed is that when we are not allowing him to mouth our hands he seems to get aggressive and barks and growls and jumps towards our hand or feet/ankle. This is even if we are standing without moving our hands as it may seem like a thing to chase.
  2. We are not allowing him to go to top floor as we are waiting for him to get better with his house training and some reduction in biting/chewing furniture and stuff. What i do is spray a mix of white vinegar & lemon the stairs which is carpeted. It seems to work for some time when its fresh (i distract him by throwing a toy to other room and spray on stairs before he comes back). If we are sitting on the stairs sometimes and watch him playing around, he would come to us suddenly like chasing us and starts barking and growling which is like without any interaction with him. If i get down from stairs he would jump and try to bite my leg or hand growling at the same time. And we also noticed his tail does not wagg unlike when he tries to bite/nip when he does his zoomies and snarls or growls.
  3. He usually tries to bite my hands whenever i try to put the leash on the collar. Today i took it out to adjust the length and was not able to put it back.I finally managed to hold him and lift him and put him in the crate. After a while i came back and sat in front of the crate with chicken liver treat. I unlocked the crate door holding it with my hand to stop him from coming out ( we put him in crate during night and usually would sit and wait for the door to be opened to come out without pushing it) and told him to wait. As soon as he laid down i marked and threw a treat inside. Slowly i started opening the door more and waited for him to listen and wait inside. After 5 repetitions he was lying inside. I then took the collar and tried to put it around which he resisted and tried to come out. I shut the door and held with my hands and asked him to wait. As soon as he lied down i marked and gave him one treat after opening the door. After giving treat i tried to put the collar. After about 4 attempts he allowed me to put the collar without any resistance at which time i marked and gave him treat. After that i opened the door wide open and uttered the word OUT. I again praised and gave two more treats. After that he smelled my hands and once he saw there's no treat he started barking and jumping at my hands which seems like biting. Not sure why but it is definitely not the sound he makes when we give him food or peanut butter or biscuits and he kind of whines and asks for more. I know the difference.
I cannot think of a 9 weeks pup trying to establish dominance but this has made us worried and we have told the kids to be away once he seems to be getting excited as we don't know why has be suddenly started barking and trying to bite like that.

Its just two weeks we had him and i was trying to plan to start the basic obedience commands from this weekend since i wanted him to be comfortable and adjust to our house and family. Without his shots i cannot take him outside to burn his energy and there's only much we can do inside home and in the backyard with tugs or balls etc.

Thanks,
-Ti2
 

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The barking and growling is just him trying to get your attention and get you to respond.

A 10 week old puppy is not aggressive.

Try redirecting by putting a toy or rope in his mouth when he bites you.
 

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A 10 week old puppy is not aggressive. He is looking for ways to get you to play with him.

Get a toy, when he is biting you, pick up the toy and play with him with the toy. I carried a toy around everywhere with me for the first 15 weeks or so... it helps prevent a lot of sore hands/arms/ankles and ripped clothes.

If you don't want him upstairs why not see about getting a baby gate to keep it closed off?

You can start with some very basic obedience like "leave it" (always a good one for a puppy :) ) and "sit" and his name as well.

He'll get used to the leash eventually.
 

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Long toys or even a towel or rag that you can animate will keep him away from your hands and feet.He just wants to play,that's not aggression.Obedience commands are best taught when he's older and able to focus for more than three seconds.Right now he should be (slowly!)learning your family routine and basic house manners.Get him outside as much as possible to stretch those muscles and sniff around and explore.It wears them out just using their nose and ears to explore the big wide world.
 

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Yeah, he's a baby, no aggression. Did you see how he interacted with his littermates? :wink2:Everything they do is with their mouths. But he has to learn to have a soft mouth when it comes to his family, they do learn.

First, kids can really get a puppy amped up. High pitch screams of laughter, arms and legs all over. Make sure their time with him has boundaries. You are in charge.

Engage him in play, give him something he CAN chew on safely other than arms and ankles. Teach him downtime in his crate. Make sure you are allowing him to be part of what you're doing - taking the trash down, doing laundry, whatever. When you can't have two eyes on him, crate him or put him in a x-pen.

They are like little sponges at this age, take advantage of it. Start building your bond. Teach him basic obedience - sit, stay, come, etc. There needs to be constructive interaction at this age.

Get him use to the leash and collar - when you take the trash down - leash him and let him come with you (as an example).

Remember, he's a baby, literally. He transitioned from being with his littermates to his human family. He just has to learn. Remember you are in charge but be a fair leader.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi,

Thanks everybody for the reply. Maybe we are not able to understand his behavior and being the first GSD in our life, we still have to learn a lot.

Will get some more long toys and/or towel to distract him during his excited stage and hopefully he will be interested in those instead of our hands and ankles.

Will update this thread after few weeks with our handling and his reaction which i hope will be on the better side.

I need to read some more stuff on the body language and other signals i should be aware of to better handle things.

Thanks,
-Ti2
 

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OP
"He likes to bite a lot which i perfectly understand is normal at this age and we will have to bear this for 2 to 3 months more."

don't come half way and accommodate him putting his teeth on you anywhere .

any behaviour you don't want - stop right now , clear and fair and firm - no conditions - yes or no - consistent

you are not the dogs chew toy

I don't like the yelp and walk away because a yelp is why a squeaky toy builds excitement and more chewing

that is a "prey" noise and you went away -- haha victorious puppy .

of course he's going to look forward to another round

young pups don't interact with each other this way and the mother dog certainly does not .
The matter is dealt with decisively .

you don't need the pup to become a little extortionist
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OP
"He likes to bite a lot which i perfectly understand is normal at this age and we will have to bear this for 2 to 3 months more."

don't come half way and accommodate him putting his teeth on you anywhere .

any behaviour you don't want - stop right now , clear and fair and firm - no conditions - yes or no - consistent

you are not the dogs chew toy

I don't like the yelp and walk away because a yelp is why a squeaky toy builds excitement and more chewing

that is a "prey" noise and you went away -- haha victorious puppy .

of course he's going to look forward to another round

young pups don't interact with each other this way and the mother dog certainly does not .
The matter is dealt with decisively .

you don't need the pup to become a little extortionist
Hi Carmen,

Thanks a lot for putting it straight and clearly. I agree with you that i need to set boundaries and be firm with things i do not want him to do and since he is a puppy i have the advantage to work on it now.

May i ask you for your suggestion on how to be firm and how to handle him when he is barking and growling (without his tail wagging or shoulder down with back up which is when i become more concerned) and he doesn't care about the toys or distraction i offer but only want to bite my hand or feet or ankle. Anything i say like No or NO BITING etc with increase in tone does not work i now i feel it might be actually creating more excitement. I really want to stop this behavior.

Thanks,
-Ti2
 

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Hi Carmen,

Thanks a lot for putting it straight and clearly. I agree with you that i need to set boundaries and be firm with things i do not want him to do and since he is a puppy i have the advantage to work on it now.

May i ask you for your suggestion on how to be firm and how to handle him when he is barking and growling (without his tail wagging or shoulder down with back up which is when i become more concerned) and he doesn't care about the toys or distraction i offer but only want to bite my hand or feet or ankle. Anything i say like No or NO BITING etc with increase in tone does not work i now i feel it might be actually creating more excitement. I really want to stop this behavior.

Thanks,
-Ti2
I'm not trying to answer for Spack, but I can tell you this is something that just doesn't seem to explain well online. Its probably next to impossible to tell you exactly how to physically correct for the biting, its just not going to describe well in print and if it isn't done to a point of stopping the biting it will only become even more of a game or worse, biting to defend himself. Nevermind trying to compare yourself to the mother or littermates, that stuff. They arent stupid enough to think you're a dog.

The one thing I can tell you, I think clearly, is since you know he likes to bite, be very direct about teaching him whats appropriate to bite. Take a fairly large, soft toy of some sort, put a short line on it to create some separation from your hands, and make the toy move to excite him. Direct his focus to the toy. The more interest he has in biting the toy, the better. Then if he does go for you instead of the toy, NO! and stopping everything becomes a clear consequence to him. Bite the toy, have fun. Touch me, fun stops. On another thread, Sunsilver posted a video of someone using a flirt pole, if I remember right, that showed pretty good use of it. Maybe search her posts and you can find it.
 

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don't come half way and accommodate him putting his teeth on you anywhere .

any behaviour you don't want - stop right now , clear and fair and firm - no conditions - yes or no - consistent

you are not the dogs chew toy
Maybe I am missing something but this statement sounds like zero mouthplay?

IMO the dog needs to learn a soft bite with those in the house, I have trained that will all my dogs and it is very helpful as they age. My Border Collie will instantly release if she thinks she got a hand during playtime and my heeler does the same except in instances where she and I are doing more rough mouth play.

I have been following this with my 10 week old GSD and I see huge gains already. He still gets a little carried away with me at time but he is 100x better than week 8.5 when we got him.

We also dont wear socks or long pants / skirts around him either right now as those are too easily confused for playtoys. That has eliminated just about all attention brought to those areas he can reach to play with.
 

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Maybe I am missing something but this statement sounds like zero mouthplay?

IMO the dog needs to learn a soft bite with those in the house, I have trained that will all my dogs and it is very helpful as they age. My Border Collie will instantly release if she thinks she got a hand during playtime and my heeler does the same except in instances where she and I are doing more rough mouth play.

I have been following this with my 10 week old GSD and I see huge gains already. He still gets a little carried away with me at time but he is 100x better than week 8.5 when we got him.

We also dont wear socks or long pants / skirts around him either right now as those are too easily confused for playtoys. That has eliminated just about all attention brought to those areas he can reach to play with.
I know I'm kinda chiming in, interrupting, but no teeth on you, period, is what she's saying. I say the same thing. Putting aside the comparison of those different breeds, a dog that has strong biting as a correct part of their temperament, is better off with a clear distinction from the beginning about what is appropriate. I know there are going to be dogs that just about anything basically works, but the problem is there are at least as many that never learn the difference even though it may taper and soften here and there. Then out of the blue at sometime around 5 mos or maybe a little later, the biting takes on a different intent and you have a serious respect problem.

Just out of curiosity, wouldn't you rather dress how ever you want without worrying about what the puppy thinks of it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I know I'm kinda chiming in, interrupting, but no teeth on you, period, is what she's saying. I say the same thing. Putting aside the comparison of those different breeds, a dog that has strong biting as a correct part of their temperament, is better off with a clear distinction from the beginning about what is appropriate. I know there are going to be dogs that just about anything basically works, but the problem is there are at least as many that never learn the difference even though it may taper and soften here and there. Then out of the blue at sometime around 5 mos or maybe a little later, the biting takes on a different intent and you have a serious respect problem.

Just out of curiosity, wouldn't you rather dress how ever you want without worrying about what the puppy thinks of it?
Hi,
I do agree that the dog should know what is and what is not allowed or expected out of him from the very beginning. And it has to be done firmly and with fairness is what is more important. Me being the first time GSD owner is trying to understand all these. I would like to keep a balance between the things that happen like i do understand a puppy plays and shows affection with its mouth by holding the hands and ankle or play by pulling at your pants or clothes etc. I would not try to stop that and rather engage in the activity to better bond with the puppy. Yes there would be boundaries and rules like no hard biting and if indicated that its not what it should do then it has to stop doing that. Barking/growling and kind of lunging to continue to do what it thinks is something that needs to be handled and here is where i'm stuck with as described in my original & earlier postings.

The only thing i do now when he is excited is somehow grab and pick him and manage to put him in crate as timeout and to cool down. I throw in some ice cubes to keep him busy crushing and calming him down. A half hour to 45 minutes crate time helps but i do not want to do it as he is a puppy and manageable but in few weeks i cannot do that. My original post was to ask for some kind of solution to this behavior which looks aggressive. We do try not to wear loose clothes that waves or anything similar but again we should not be restricting ourselves to the normal routine things. I need some kind of solution to manage that lunging with growling behavior when he is denied to chew us. Any toy or other distraction does not work (will try a long toy and/or towel and try more). Everything else or his behavior or response etc seems so normal that it surprises me whey he does that. He learned to paw the hanging bell to let us know to go outside and only thrice has he soiled inside that too when we missed noticing his bell ring. Each time he will stop at the door to let me come to his parallel and will go out only after i put my first step out. This is something i didn't teach. He does not rush when i put down his food and usually waits for the EAT command even though i can sometimes see him moving his head and following the bowl to smell. Its just that lunging and growling/biting when denied ourselves to be bitten. Its as if he is entitled to it and we snatched it away.

Thanks,
-Ti2
 

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Its just that lunging and growling/biting when denied ourselves to be bitten. Its as if he is entitled to it and we snatched it away.
That's exactly what you are doing unfortunately.You allow him to mouth you and when he gets excited and amped up he simply can't muster up any self control.No teeth on you whatsoever would be the best approach for this particular puppy,as Steve pointed out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Its just that lunging and growling/biting when denied ourselves to be bitten. Its as if he is entitled to it and we snatched it away.
That's exactly what you are doing unfortunately.You allow him to mouth you and when he gets excited and amped up he simply can't muster up any self control.No teeth on you whatsoever would be the best approach for this particular puppy,as Steve pointed out.
Hi Dogma,
I see your point here and will change ourselves because i really want to stop him doing it.

To be honest though now i'm a bit confused over inculcating the so called 'Biting inhibition' which involves letting the puppy mouth us and get used to human flesh to avoid future dangerous bites or other incidents and on the other side to totally avoid the biting which is something i cannot tolerate or accept personally and with kids around.

I definitely do not want to be lunged at and be bitten hard during his excited stage and i will avoid any such mouthing activity at all even during his calm state if that is what is leading to his behavior. I just pray and hope this thing is temporary till his teething ends and he is bit calm on his own sooner. Otherwise he is a cutie and is so innocent.

Thanks,
-Ti2
 

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Just out of curiosity, wouldn't you rather dress how ever you want without worrying about what the puppy thinks of it?
It is very much like having a baby, the wife stopped wearing earings and I would take of my glasses until she grew more and learned what was expected more clearly.

Same applies here. Remove the unneeded distractions taking the pups attention away for now.

By your logic why do anything differently than one would without a dog, no? I also place my benches out of reach while I am in the kitchen with my pup as they will certianly chew on the wood, every dog ive owned loved wood. In time that will pass as it has for my older dogs.
 

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You can teach the dog that sniffing your hand gets rewarded where biting or mouthing doesn’t. Put a treat in your fist and let the dog sniff your hand. Reward. If the dog mouths or tries to bite, withdraw your hand and the treat. Bite inhibition needs to start somewhere. It’s not an either or, you teach them to replace biting with something gentler.
 

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@Ti2 it's true that a more laid back puppy would respond well to learning to mouth you gently and only being rough with toys.You don't have a laid back,mild mannered puppy.

You will see the phrase "train the dog in front of you" many times on this forum.Also "many tools in the toolbox".All of our dogs have different energy levels and respond to various training methods depending on the temperament they were born with.If one thing just is not working despite your best efforts,try another tool:)
 
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I think the OP should do what very experienced people here say to do, and not go down the path of 'inculcating the so called 'Biting inhibition'. This is a GSD, not a soft mouthed Labrador or Golden Retriever. The command to teach is No Bite! Don't squeal and turn away, or naughty puppy wins. No Bite! Be still, silent, the fun stops. Then, toss out the wiggling toy and engage in fun approved activities. I have sprayed Bitter Apple on my hands and arms to reinforce No Bite in a baby puppy. It will get worse anyway in the Landsharking Stage and he will grow out of it. This baby puppy is not 'being aggressive because he is not wagging his tail while attemping to chew on you. Please don't worry about that.

Another thing- someone metioned wearing the puppy out with a flirt pole. Isn't this puppy way too young to stress his growing young joints with flirt pole play? Throw a ball. Plat tug with a towel. Go for long (to him) walks. Then put him for a nap when getting out of hand. They become more annoying when they are tired. Good luck and what fun.
 

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A puppy that young is not aggressive. Zeus is 8 mos old and the landshark phase with him was crazy. Usually when a puppy is all riled up they are most likely tired. Zeus would go after our legs and hands all the time at that age. We would redirect him and after 3 times if still doing that would go in his crate for 15 min and then come out. Most of the time he would stop after the first time. And when we would have to put him in his crate after the 3 rd time he would end up falling asleep. Sometimes when they are all riled up they are tired. It does get better. Zeus doesn’t go after us now but he does get the zoomis and tears through the house sometimes. Be patient this too shall pass. Have fun with you puppy they get big fast. This is Zeus the day we brought him home and now at 8 months.
 

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