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Hi guys! I'm new to this site as I recently got a German Shepherd pitbull mix puppy. Her name is Dulce and she is 12 weeks old. My husband and I have had her for about 10 days, and the first couple of days she was an angel baby. Now that she is getting more comfortable with us, she is biting, A LOT. When she plays, she likes to play in your feet so she can go between biting her toy and biting your feet. She jumps up at clothes and tries to play tug with them. We have been teaching her 'drop', and sometimes she will drop for a treat, sometimes the tug of war with our clothing is more interesting. She is not toy motivated at all. We have tried the yelping and standing up but then she just chases after you when you try to walk away, or when you try to ignore her. Our trainer has told us to try time outs in her crate, but she is just starting to get comfortable in her crate, and we don't want to make it a place she doesn't want to be. We know that this is probably normal puppy behaviour, but it's kind of scary when it happens, she's growing so fast and I'm worried that we won't teach her proper behaviour by the time she's big enough for me to be scared of her in that mood. I want to make sure she is learning that hard bites are a no no, but it seems like anything I do just continues the game to her. Any tips, please let me know! And also please let me know that I'm not crazy and this is 100% normal!
 

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It's normal :) I have had luck with the two dogs I've had as puppies redirecting onto toys. But it sounds like your girl does not have big toy drive. What does she place value on?
 

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No experience with the pitbull part, but having had two recent GSD puppies, I can verify they act like "land sharks" at times.

Teething is a particularly bad stage for mouthiness. Redirect her to things like bully sticks, beef trachea or nylabones. My now 8.5 mo. old went through a secondary stage of extreme mouthiness, post-teething, but has now grown out of it nicely. Yelping/ walking away did not work so much for me. Mine would just follow as you describe.
All dogs are different, and my female was more toy motivated than you descrbe, which did help with redirecting her. I could easily move her from nuisance nipping to retrieving.
My 8.5 month old went through her first heat, and I have noticed some maturation as she went into it, and came out of it. Not night and day, but some of the more puppy behavior has tapered. Whether because of the heat cycle, or because we discouraged and redirected from it or both, she has pretty much entirely stopped going at our pant legs, shoes, and so forth. Also largely stopped destructive chewing of articles, although I would not leave valuable stuff on the floor or waist high just to test her on this.
 

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Your pup is toy motivated - your jerking away your hands and feet when his sharp little teeth sink in make for wonderful toys:) Keeping toys handy that are large enough so he can bite one end while your hands remain safe is a good idea.Animate those toys and make them fun and irresistible!There are two 'stickies ' on the top of this forum with loads of ideas to get through this landshark phase.
 

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try not to run away when she is biting your feet because then she thinks it’s a game and will chase you and keep doing it. If she gets like that stay really still and she should give up pretty quickly/get bored and walk away. Also try teaching her the “leave it” command. Just be consistent do not let her get away with it constantly redirect 😭 I know redirecting constantly is annoying and I know the biting hurts but it gets better I promise!! Bully sticks and “No-hide” chews are a life saver if your puppy is food motivated.
 

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Oh I forgot to mention that I would HIGHLY recommend not doing time outs in the crate. She should have a positive association with the crate and feel safe in it. My brother made that mistake with our gsd pup when he was little and to this day he doesn’t willfully go in. He’s fine in the crate, doesn’t usually whine and he sleeps through the night in it but he’s not fond of it. Try using a small blocked off area (that’s safe) in your home and only do it for a minute or 2 max.
 

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The part where you say her behaviour is scary worries me. Dogs like this whose owner are afraid of them will 100% take over. She WILL try to bite and threaten you to test her limits and if you let her win now, she’ll become that dog who thinks it’s perfectly okay to bite their owners to get what they want. She won’t let you put a leash on her and she’ll guard whatever she considers hers. Guaranteed. Start teaching her now that everything in the house belongs to you, not her.
My 5m old puppy right now is like this. She gets hand fed, not from a bowl and when we’re done playing with a toy, I take it away and she only gets it back when I want to play... it’s kind of a challenge for me acting the authoritarian dictator because I’m more inclined to spoil my dogs and love and cuddle them and let them do whatever they want but with this temperament it’s a recipe for disaster. She does growl and bite at me in a threatening way but as soon as I stand my ground, she submits instantly like “just kidding” and runs around and wag her tail and wants to play some more. If I acted scared, she’d continue terrorizing me like a monster and make her not very likeable.
This alpha-bitch personality will test you every day to see if they’re the boss yet. When they’re satisfied that they’re STILL not the boss today, they’ll do everything they can to please you because you’re the boss.
 
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