German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We got our puppy 1 week ago, tomorrow he is turning 8 weeks. While playing with him we started noticing these past days that he started to bite harder when we play with him causing us a lot of pain and a bit of blood with those needle-like teeth.

I heard some people saying that it is a good idea grabbing them by the scruff and pinning them down until they submit (just like their mom would do if they got to bite her too much while playing).

When I tried to do this he became very "stressed", struggling and making very high pitch sounds. My understanding is that this is normal since it's his natural behavior and he has never been "submitted" before and I should just stick to it until he submits. I know I'm not causing any physical harm by the way I'm holding him but I'm worried it could cause him psychological problems in the future since they say the first weeks on a puppy's life are very important and we should be careful to not cause any psychological trauma that will stay with him forever.

What are your thoughts about this?

Many thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,122 Posts
If your puppy is 8 months as your post said, he certainly wouldn't still have needle-like puppy teeth, so I'll assume you meant 8 wks and that was a typo.

In either case, that whole line of thinking has been disproven so many times! You don't want that kind of relationship with your dog! So yeah, stop pinning him down!

Instead, teach him by showing him stuff he can chew on. Play with him with that, whatever it is, an old t-shirt, a toy, whatever he likes to play with.

My pup liked plastic stuff, because it makes great noises when chewing. Just keep an eye on these toys and dispose of them when they start getting worn so the puppy isn't eating pieces of plastic!

My advice in general would be to think about your puppy as your partner, part of a team. He needs guidance and clear communication, not bullying!

The bitey, puppy stage with a GSD puppy can be trying. But you'll never have a better opportunity to learn how to communicate with your dog. Teach him no, but not with physical force, with clear demeanor and body language. Next time your puppy starts to bite you, square you body, stand up, and yell (not too loud, but above conversational tone), STOP and mean it, say it forcefully!

The second he does stop, and usually a little raising of the voice will get him to pause, praise him profusely!

This is where so many people fail at training. They forget, or don't appreciate the impact of praise! You need to do it immediately and very animatedly!

I taught my puppy stop, by 3.5 months, and she's never forgotten it.

Try it, and congratulations on your new puppy!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,682 Posts
I've watched my big-boy pin my gal-dog when she was a little pup. She understood it and settled and he quickly released her. If your pup is not submitting and struggling then I'm pretty sure she doesn't understand what you are trying to tell her. It is only frightening her.

Make sure your pup isn't over tired. Tired pups are unreasonable and nippy. Have opportunities for the pup to play tuggy bitey games with you, like Tim mentioned above. Don't just give her the toys or shove a tug into her mouth. You have to play with the pup, making the toy come alive, like a little prey animal. When you both get good at playing tug, the game can be used as a reward for good behavior. It builds that bond that makes our GSDs so special.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,804 Posts
How are you playing with this puppy when he starts to bite you?

The best way to stop puppy biting IME is to grasp the top of their muzzle with your hand and wrap the puppy's lips under his teeth and let him grind away. I never met a pup that needed that more than twice to stop biting. Be firm, stop the biting, enjoy your puppy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
If your puppy is 8 months as your post said, he certainly wouldn't still have needle-like puppy teeth, so I'll assume you meant 8 wks and that was a typo.

In either case, that whole line of thinking has been disproven so many times! You don't want that kind of relationship with your dog! So yeah, stop pinning him down!

Instead, teach him by showing him stuff he can chew on. Play with him with that, whatever it is, an old t-shirt, a toy, whatever he likes to play with.

My pup liked plastic stuff, because it makes great noises when chewing. Just keep an eye on these toys and dispose of them when they start getting worn so the puppy isn't eating pieces of plastic!

My advice in general would be to think about your puppy as your partner, part of a team. He needs guidance and clear communication, not bullying!

The bitey, puppy stage with a GSD puppy can be trying. But you'll never have a better opportunity to learn how to communicate with your dog. Teach him no, but not with physical force, with clear demeanor and body language. Next time your puppy starts to bite you, square you body, stand up, and yell (not too loud, but above conversational tone), STOP and mean it, say it forcefully!

The second he does stop, and usually a little raising of the voice will get him to pause, praise him profusely!

This is where so many people fail at training. They forget, or don't appreciate the impact of praise! You need to do it immediately and very animatedly!

I taught my puppy stop, by 3.5 months, and she's never forgotten it.

Try it, and congratulations on your new puppy!
Yes, I meant 8 weeks. Thanks for the advice, I will try to redirect him to his toys and let him know that biting our hands is not good by using voice and not force. Let's see how it goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
This is an interesting video but it doesn't explain how to "fix" this problem,do we just have suck it up when he bites our hands and try to redirect him to toys and the behavior with time will go away as he matures or do we have to do something else to make sure he doesnt bite us when he is older?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,145 Posts
Your puppy is teething and will continue to do so until between six and seven months.Make it uncomfortable for him when he puts teeth on you,either by rolling his lips over his teeth as described above or making a fist and gently pressing into his mouth towards his throat until he backs off.Then offer him a toy to chew as you praise and play with him.Dogs will repeat rewarding behavior and avoid what causes discomfort.
Alpha rolling is not a punishment.It's a challenge.Unless a dog is super submissive,he eventually will begin to take up the challenge and fight back.It does nothing to further the bond we want to create with our wonderful companions.Puppyhood is all about building a relationship.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,122 Posts
8
This is an interesting video but it doesn't explain how to "fix" this problem,do we just have suck it up when he bites our hands and try to redirect him to toys and the behavior with time will go away as he matures or do we have to do something else to make sure he doesnt bite us when he is older?
Use the method I suggested, or the one MAWL suggested above. But understand too that puppies explore and interact with the world with their mouths. No matter what you do there will likely be some degree of mouthiness until the puppy gets to be around 5 or 6 months old and teething ends. Just make sure your puppy has things available to chew on, and consistently dissuade him when he bites the wrong thing...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
So you mention mother dog behavior. Here's an example of a mother dog disciplining puppies without touching them:


This is also how my adult dog disciplines our 11 week old puppy when he's being obnoxious.

Substitute the growl with a firm "No" instead. When the puppy stops biting (even for 2 seconds), praise and shove something acceptable in the puppy's mouth. Soft tug toys, old rags, or soft squeaky toys are best. If the puppy is at a point where he has "crazy eyes", it's time to put him in his crate. He's tired and doesn't know how to stop.

This is a crazy-eyed puppy. I'm sure the expression looks familiar. This is what an overtired puppy starts to look like, and you'll usually see excess running around, biting with wild abandon, and a general mindless frenzy of activity.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
845 Posts
This is an interesting video but it doesn't explain how to "fix" this problem,do we just have suck it up when he bites our hands and try to redirect him to toys and the behavior with time will go away as he matures or do we have to do something else to make sure he doesnt bite us when he is older?
The video was about alpha rolling not bite inhibition.

Here is some info on biting and puppy raising:



I would also recommend finding a GSD savvy trainer and start working with them now. GSD's are a herding breed and like to chase and bite, it is what they were bred to do. If you are struggling with an 8 week old puppy you need to find a good trainer who can help guide you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,393 Posts
The video was about alpha rolling not bite inhibition.

Here is some info on biting and puppy raising:



I would also recommend finding a GSD savvy trainer and start working with them now. GSD's are a herding breed and like to chase and bite, it is what they were bred to do. If you are struggling with an 8 week old puppy you need to find a good trainer who can help guide you.
Now I have a question. I've seen discussions of this video where some people said this was totally inappropriate mother behavior, especially for that breed.

I have never seen a mother dog raise a litter, I have no idea. But I'd love to know what people think? @selzer @wolfstraum who else on here breeds and would know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
468 Posts
I agree with those that said to redirect to a toy. I've had two mouthy puppies - my shiba and my male shepherd that I've done this with and both times it has been successful. I try to not make a big deal out of the actual bite and wiggle the toy around to draw attention to it, then reward with play.
There are times I allow gentle biting - say I'm rough housing with them, but they do not bite me at all to initate play. It's a toy brought to me and placed in my lap (or tossed on the floor in my shiba's case).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Alpha rolling worked great on several of mine when they tried to start getting too assertive with my kids whether it was biting, jumping, etc. Couple of times and they realize they are not the leader. No harm done whatsoever to their psyche or confidence. Perhaps it depends on the dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,874 Posts
At this age my bitches put up with anything, ANYTHING, from their puppies. At 12-16 weeks, they will lift a lip or snarl at their puppies if they get too obnoxious, but my bitches have all been really easy on puppies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,342 Posts
I think I quoted the wrong post. I was referring to the video of the mother golden and her litter
I just watched the video. I've pulled starved, beaten bitches who were better with their pups! That is NOT normal behavior and honestly I would allow her near the pups for fear of what affect it may have on temperaments.
It's normal for a bit of growling when milk is drying up, but that poor girl is not a good momma and is taking things to far. She is clearly uncomfortable and unhappy being with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
Well this is a kind of old thread, and I haven’t read everything, but one time I pinned my puppy on his back completely out of reflex/instant reaction. It wasn’t planned! He was 7 months old and was laying in bed with me. He thought it would be a good idea to leap across the bed and bite me right in the face. My reaction was to temporarily pin him, angrily say his negative marker, and tell him to get off the bed. That’s the first time he was pinned and the last. He lost furniture privileges. I felt bad about pinning him, but it definitely got the message across to him that I was NOT HAPPY. I would never ever do that on a regular basis.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top