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Hi all!

I know this sounds weird but my GSD has never barked at strangers! He's 5 and half months old now. He barks at me if I leave him during play time.. He jumps around me when he sees me. He is active but lazy sometimes. He kind bites me when I hold his hands and help him walk upright.. He bites my hand when Im petting him.. he doesnt bite with force.. he just puts my hand in his mouth and chews lightly.. but I give a "yelp' sound.. and he starts licking.. if he doesnt stop. I pull my hand out and I give his snout a slight stroke and I say "NO!".

If we mess with him.. he barks and becomes angry. I can tell it by the way his snout's skin pulls up and nostrils widen! :D Thats scary!! :D

Anyway, else he's an awesome pet. Never gives trouble to strangers. except for running around em and jumping.

But he has never been in a situation where either me or my family or himself was threatened. So I think his protective instinct is yet to be tested.

Anyway, I have 2 questions:

1. With the biting thing worsen with age? And will he bite me? Coz Ive heard stories here in India about dogs biting their owners after they grow up. Im scared. Should I be more strict with him?


2. Is this friendliness okay? Coz my vet said GSD's are supposed to start barking at strangers from an early age. Im worried about that..

Btw, I never tie him up (which is very common in India). And he is always with our family. He is free to come inside the home and play. He is always free.

A cousin of mine took another puppy from the same parent. He is raising it in the terrace of his house. So the pup has minimum human contact. He is slightly aggressive. Barking at strangers... growling when I reach out with my hands to pet him.... And everyone in our family always praise his dog for whatever he does and says my dog is very playful...

My dog is like a baby for me... and what would people feel if someone insulted their baby?? They never think of it that way. But I feel insulted all the time.
But I keep saying to myself that my pup is more confident and brave than his. Thats why he aint barking. But he barks when he needs to.. like getting my attention etc.

Anyway.. please give me some advice about this.

Thanks in advance :)
 

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Hi, The biting should sort itself out, it's an age thing, just yelp or say "no" in a stern voice every time your pup does it. He'll soon learn.

Barking when you are playing is frustration which is normal, and at 5 months I certainly wouldn't be expecting him to bark at strangers yet. My pup is 8 months old and not yet barking at strangers. I'm not worried, she's still a puppy and that side of her will develop, as it will with your baby.

Your cousins dog may be growling at strangers out of fear which is not good and can lead to fear-biting later in life, this is not good, it is a sign that the dog lacks confidence. From what you say, you are raising a far more well adjusted dog and he will develop more confidently that a dog that is tied up and has less contact with people.
I don't think you need to worry about a well adjusted dog biting it's owner, sounds to me as though you ae doing a good job!
 

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Hi, The biting should sort itself out, it's an age thing, just yelp or say "no" in a stern voice every time your pup does it. He'll soon learn.

Barking when you are playing is frustration which is normal, and at 5 months I certainly wouldn't be expecting him to bark at strangers yet. My pup is 8 months old and not yet barking at strangers. I'm not worried, she's still a puppy and that side of her will develop, as it will with your baby.

Your cousins dog may be growling at strangers out of fear which is not good and can lead to fear-biting later in life, this is not good, it is a sign that the dog lacks confidence. From what you say, you are raising a far more well adjusted dog and he will develop more confidently that a dog that is tied up and has less contact with people.
I don't think you need to worry about a well adjusted dog biting it's owner, sounds to me as though you ae doing a good job!
I agree. 5 months is a little young to expect protectiveness.
Looks like you have a nice dog there.
 

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I would advise against, don't let him play with your hands in any circumstance - licking or anything, yelp each time, because it will be somebody else's hand one day. He bites your hands because it is a real living flesh! In the wild they play with their siblings until one and half year old, he wants you to be such a companion. He needs a rope chew toy, play tug with him, and vocally disencourage him if he touches your hand with his teeth. Then, at this age he has young still growing teeth, he needs to strengthen them, so, his wish to bite is absolutely natural. Provide him with large raw beef bones regularly, just be careful, when the bone is almost chewed up - it would be better to remove the remainder from him, because he might try to swallow it and if the bit is too big he can suffocate. I always gave my dogs really large bones for this reason, so I could put them into the bin before chewed to a small piece.

If you, as a person, is communicable, if you like to meet people on your walks, if you often have friends in your house, then, your dog will not show his protective character too early. He is confused about people, and, actually it is good. Your dog should learn about people, recognise their nature before his instincts started to draw him into agression. Isolated dogs start showing their agressiveness early because all spectrum of their emotions was suppressed. Don't expect him to bark at anybody before he's one year old. Before that time he must be fully trained in obedience and stay beside you, not acting on his own. You should watch how quickly he reacts on your "No", how quickly comes back to you when he runs to strangers. Don't worry, he will be protective. Teach him to remain in down or sitting position when someone enters your house. He will notice that there's something special about it very quickly, just grasping his mission as a watch dog. In the street, where are many people and other dogs he will react protectively only if he recognises the threat. It would be better if it were you, who will tell him about the presence of a threat first, not him decided that something is a threat. Ask some unknown guy to shoo at him and in the same time hold your dog close to you and talk to him in whisper. Your puppy might turn friendly instead, just walk away in this case giving thanks. Repeat this exercise with adults, never with children. So, he will know his "No" and his "Yes" before any protective instincts emerged in his doggy soul.
 
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