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Hi all,

Just looking for some advice on curbing the biting on my 4 month old GSD.

I have raised 4 Scottish Terriers throughout my life.
I have fostered dogs. (2 Pitbulls)
Never really ran into this issue.

I figure that it is teething. Keep plenty of bully sticks and toys around.
He is also in puppy classes.

Max never bites me, it is just my wife. He is driving my wife nuts. Any thoughts?
 

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Ive got a 4-1/2 month old in the same phase... He wont bite at me anymore, but he does with everybody else.. I have never let him bite by hands or anything else that wasn't his toys.. But some of my friends have made it a game to rub his face and then avoid him snapping at their hands.. Its a playful game but leads to him wanting to always play that game.. I have had to ask people to PLEASE quit playing those type games with him.. He is getting to the point now that he needs to quit wanting to put his mouth on everyone.. I know i wasn't any help to your problem, but just wanted to say you are not alone.. Haha
 

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There are tons of previous posts regarding this. It's a well known GSD puppy phase called landsharking. Type landshark into the search box on the upper right and you will find a bunch of great advice!

It does pass!! Think mine got significantly better around 5.5 months.
 

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OMG... 2.5 months to go...

There are tons of previous posts regarding this. It's a well known GSD puppy phase called landsharking. Type landshark into the search box on the upper right and you will find a bunch of great advice!

It does pass!! Think mine got significantly better around 5.5 months.
Boon is 3 months old and bites at me maybe 50% less than he does to my husband. Hubby just says "ow!" and repeats Boon's name a lot between unheeded pleas to "quit it" and "calm down". I think I must be starting to taste annoyed and crabby, since the brunt of what I get after a month of discouraging this puppy is gentle-ish bites at my feet in the morning and bites at my shoes/pants on some walks.

Then there is always the biting at our hands when we want to snap a leash on, or put a harness on. Biting at sleeves when I thought I found 10 quiet minutes to work on the laptop. Boon is always interested in trying new things to bite.

The best thing that works for us is a long walk to really tire him out. We can really only do this on weekends but that gives us a pup who is mainly interested in hanging out quietly at home and/or sleeping.

Two and a half months to go, huh?
 

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Boon is 3 months old and bites at me maybe 50% less than he does to my husband. Hubby just says "ow!" and repeats Boon's name a lot between unheeded pleas to "quit it" and "calm down". I think I must be starting to taste annoyed and crabby, since the brunt of what I get after a month of discouraging this puppy is gentle-ish bites at my feet in the morning and bites at my shoes/pants on some walks.

Then there is always the biting at our hands when we want to snap a leash on, or put a harness on. Biting at sleeves when I thought I found 10 quiet minutes to work on the laptop. Boon is always interested in trying new things to bite.

The best thing that works for us is a long walk to really tire him out. We can really only do this on weekends but that gives us a pup who is mainly interested in hanging out quietly at home and/or sleeping.

Two and a half months to go, huh?
Yep lol. Jax got significantly better after he was done teething, but then you get into that bratty "make me" phase where they think they don't have to listen. Somehow through it all though, we ended up each day saying how lucky we are to have such an awesome dog! He is SUCH a good boy now at 8 months.....though that took a lot of training time and when he gets in a bratty mood I will still put his prong on him around the house with a 2" leash so that I can give a correction if need be.

And just when I am patting myself on the back for how awesome he is doing.....I take him to Petsmart to get his nails trimmed and he gets us kicked out because he wont stop barking at every dog in the place :headbang: So tomorrow morning we are off to the trainers to start working on distraction training. There is ALWAYS a new challenge but that is a big part of what makes it fun!
 

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Yes this sounds just like Xena. She was so bitey until about 5-6 months. It lasted about 2 weeks maybe 3 and now she's in the brat stage. She's more bitey when I take her off her tie-out for some reason. I don't know first puppy in years that I've really interacted with.
 

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I'm so glad there are threads like these. Helps me realize that I'm not the only one and that there is hope. Today my pup is 9 weeks old. Picked him up last Saturday. The biting has left my hands with small minor bruises and scars and scratches. He loves attacking my feet, toes, and ankles when my socks come off. He's grabbing everything he can. It's a nightmare to take him outside because literally every 10 seconds (and I'm not exaggerating) he's grabbing pebbles, twigs, mulch, grass, trash, etc. I'm constantly prying his mouth open to get things out. He tries to bite and chew on concrete, asphalt, flagstones, light poles, etc. I'm watching him like a hawk. It's tiring. After a week, it's gotten slightly better. My previous GSD wasn't this bad at all. One thing, I'm finding is many times (not all the time) when he bites me he wants something like he wants to go out or he's really hungry. I tried an old 12 year old bottle of bitter apple spray that worked wonders on the previous GSD. This one...it doesn't work. Maybe because the apple spray is too old and lost its efficacy. Or maybe the pup likes the taste as some dogs do. I tried a water bottle spray that also worked on the other dog. Not this one...he likes the face washes. Fun times.
 

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Yup, my pups mouth is always open except for when she's asleep. I have tried diverting her onto a toy and that only works part of them. She started biting harder so it was time to mean business with her. I say a sharp, NO BITE. And she will stop. Her attention span is around 5 seconds :surprise: So I just continue to tell her NO. It seems to be working. It's working with the cats as well. She's learning what NO means. She plays with one of the cats but sometimes the cat doesn't want to be bothered and she insists so then I have to intervene. She will lay down and just look or pout.
But in any case, my pup is the same way. bite, bite, bite, chew, chew, chew. She doesn't like the nylabone I bought her and it was not cheap!
She likes the bully stick for a while. We want to try some beef bones.
 

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I am feeling much better after reading all of the posts.
Max is sweet with me. Just the occasion bite, when he jumps up on the bed to watch TV... when my wife and I are ready to go to bed. He will try to nip at my hand, I make a yipe! sound and he stops.

For biting, my wife is now keep Max's toys near by, and when he starts to get bitey, we are giving him a toy.
If he gets really bad, we both ignore him. He eventually stops.
My wife was also happy to hear that we are not alone in this, and that other GSD parents have experienced the same.

But yea, he is going through the brat stage.

In regards to driving in the car, he is getting better has he gets older. Not quite as scared.
I am also starting to walk him, since he had all of his shots.
 

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wow, those EARS :) My 9 week old pup bites on me way more than my husband. We're working on it. All my other Shepherds were also not like this one. This one has her mouth opened most all the time
 

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wow, those EARS :) My 9 week old pup bites on me way more than my husband. We're working on it. All my other Shepherds were also not like this one. This one has her mouth opened most all the time
Looks like our pups are around the same age. It's comforting to know someone else is going through the same thing. If I didn't have these forums to go to, I'd think that my 9 weeks old was one of a kind. I found out that at least one of his littermates is also just as bad.
 

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A trainer friend of mine suggested making the biting uncomfortable for her by sticking your hand in her mouth or even a few fingers and when she stops, the positive reinforcement starts. I'm not clear on exactly what that is so I have another email into her. She's a great trainer. I worked with her at the zoo I used to work at.
 

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A trainer friend of mine suggested making the biting uncomfortable for her by sticking your hand in her mouth or even a few fingers and when she stops, the positive reinforcement starts. I'm not clear on exactly what that is so I have another email into her. She's a great trainer. I worked with her at the zoo I used to work at.
That is a bizar way to offer positive reinforcement; your arms will turn into ground meat. There is plenty of more sensible info out here. What animals did she train in the zoo?
 

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I didn't have issues with biting. But I did a lot with my dogs when they were puppies. Hiking off leash, playing in the backyard, car rides, etc. then mandatory crate time.
When I'm sitting down relaxing is when the puppy should be relaxing.
If they started to get over rambunctious with a family member, I got up, got the puppy moving, then potty and crate. Then in was able to sit down, and not worry about someone complaining about the dog.
 

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Boon about drove me crazy today. He kept biting at my shoes as I was trying to get through a foot of slippery snow in the backyard. Does NOT respond to "NO!" in any other way except to jump around and bite more. It's a game to him, because I get crazy and don't chase him per se, but I do spin around trying to keep him off me. He bites at my shoes as I take him to go potty. Bites at my hands as I try to put on or take off his leash and/or harness. Bites as I try to clean his ears or trim his nails. He gets up on my husband's footrest like he's going to be a nice pet, and then he bites my husband's feet. Bite, bite, bite. Bite, bite, bite. I swear, I hope I can make it for the next several months without going mental.
 

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That is a bizar way to offer positive reinforcement; your arms will turn into ground meat. There is plenty of more sensible info out here. What animals did she train in the zoo?
No, you're not going to be turned into ground meat. Maybe this will explain it better. she and I trained for conditioning behaviors for medical issues like drawing blood without having to knock the tigers down. they will sit there happily and willingly. We trained the bears for injections. Trained the mountain lions to crate up etc.....
You’re reinforcing her letting your hand go and closing her mouth. You’re reinforcing it by stopping the pressure when she starts the behavior you’re looking for. It’s not like positive reinforcement when she does something and you add something to the environment like saying good girl or give her treats after the behavior. With this, you’re taking something away which is the pressure. And the taking away the pressure is teaching her what you want. To stop. Because when she stops the pressure is gone. And she’s not going to want to bite more because you’ve made it really uncomfortable for her - so between the two you’re teaching her that biting is no fun and keeping her mouth closed is what you want.
 

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Boon about drove me crazy today. He kept biting at my shoes as I was trying to get through a foot of slippery snow in the backyard. Does NOT respond to "NO!" in any other way except to jump around and bite more. It's a game to him, because I get crazy and don't chase him per se, but I do spin around trying to keep him off me. He bites at my shoes as I take him to go potty. Bites at my hands as I try to put on or take off his leash and/or harness. Bites as I try to clean his ears or trim his nails. He gets up on my husband's footrest like he's going to be a nice pet, and then he bites my husband's feet. Bite, bite, bite. Bite, bite, bite. I swear, I hope I can make it for the next several months without going mental.
Yup, sounds just like mine. And mine would rather chew on me than her toys. Even a beef bone is not enticing enough. So what my friend suggested has been working for me.
 

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A trainer friend of mine suggested making the biting uncomfortable for her by sticking your hand in her mouth or even a few fingers and when she stops, the positive reinforcement starts. I'm not clear on exactly what that is so I have another email into her. She's a great trainer. I worked with her at the zoo I used to work at.
I actually did a version of this and it was very effective. My son showed me when my pup bit his hand. My sons version, he held the tongue down while holding his lower jaw which made my boy try to spit his hand out but couldn't because my son was holding the jaw. I told my son to LET HIM GO! And I felt horrible. But, I started thinking, what if I just pressed his tongue down but allowed him to spit the finger out on his own and also have a toy he could redirect his focus on.

I thought about it for a few days and then tried it. Bingo! My pup decided hands and fingers weren't worth it. The toy felt better in the mouth. It took about 2 weeks of this to end almost all of the landsharking. I'm positive it worked with no reprocussions because I was using the natural gag reflex and there was no fear of hands because I never prevented him from spitting me out. It was basically using the gag reflex. The press of the tongue is at the tip of the tongue, not the middle or the back and never touching the roof of the mouth.

Always had a toy that he could grab instead.

Also, I think my boy may not have been as high drive as some pups are. Your pup may just work through that gag reflex as I imagine some can and will, if that's the case don't use this method.

If the trainer says to hold onto the jaw, I would not do it. It seemed counter productive to me when my son did that and my own logic says it could cause mistrust of your hands.

I'm not a trainer, just giving my own "how I did it" and the results that I got. Always have a toy or tug on you so he has an outlet.

Also used this same method when I met my sil mouthy golden retriever. That dog had the same reaction my boy had with no reprocussions. Spit the hand out, continued to play tug with me and didnt try to mouth for the rest of my visit with them.
 

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I tried that (pressing the tongue down for a gag reflex) and it hasn't worked, BUT my way was to hold the tongue down with my thumb whilst gripping the lower jaw. I'll try just pressing the tongue instead and see if that helps with hand-biting. Not sure what to do about him biting shoes yet. Bitter apple spray just seems like a condiment to him.
 
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