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About me, I have a fair bit of training experience. Coming from Lab's which I ran in field trials, to having had one IPO line GSD before which I trained into an amazing dog. He was far from easy, but I don't recall him being anything like the puppy we just got.

We have now had our puppy for 1.5 weeks, he just turned 10 weeks today. First the good, he knows his name, and is doing pretty well with other commands when provided motivation (sit, down, kennel, come). He adapted to crate training pretty well. Generally he is pretty confident (though most recently has been scared of weird things, to be expected I suppose).

On the negative but what I sort of expected, he goes absolutely crazy for anything cloth related. He wants to chew up the carpet, his bed, clothing, absolutely anything he can find. He is under constant supervision so has not had any problems besides once with his crate pad.

He is incredibly vocal, which I did not expect, but have mostly been ignoring so far. He barks when he is excited, when he is frustrated, or when he is scared. I mostly try to ignore it unless I think it's because he is scared and needs to be helped to introduced to things.

I think all of the above come with being a high drive puppy, and I feel pretty confident in being able to work through them. Where I am more concerned is the more aggressive aspects he has.

Speaking about pure aggression, we unfortunately saw it early on with resource guarding. Luckily more recently, we have not. I attribute that to focused hand feeding and focusing on exchanging rather than pulling things from his mouth. Still, in the first days with us he did full on bite twice, breaking the skin in response to pulling away from something he wanted.

More recently the aggression can be seen in his mouthing. I expected a "land shark", and we have been focusing on trying to encourage him to make it softer. The problem is that most of the time NOTHING can get him to stop biting. Saying no, trying to ignore him, he just keeps biting your hands, legs, or even parts like your stomach, whatever he can get. If you start to hold him in ways he can't bite you he just gets more worked up, growling and biting more aggressively. He is happy to bite on to your arm and thrash like you would see an adult protection trained dog do.

I generally would like any advice on how my GSD around this age compares to others. After only having one before, I wonder if my last dog was the exception (in a good way), or if our new dog is.

I also would love any advice on how to deal with the bite inhibition. Denying him biting does not seem to work well. I wish he was motivated by the word "no" to actually not do something, but there is nothing I can say or do. Even other play (like tug) is not enough to encourage him off biting most of the time.

Thanks everyone
 

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As always, the more experienced trainers may have a better approach....

I wear a fleece vest around the house with two big pockets. One pocket has chew toys and one pocket has treats.

I have several chew toys spread around the floor in pup's area. Whenever I interacted with the pup, I had a chew toy ready to stick in his mouth. If I ever saw him getting ready to chew, I tried to preemptively give him something appropriate to chew. I figured that he doesn't know that the stuffed lamb with floppy ears is his and the sofa is mine. I hope this helped him understand that chewing is good, the problem was that some things (like people) are off-limits.

After a few days of redirecting, I started to squeal 'och' in a loud and very unmanly voice if he were to bite me. My normal deep-toned 'no' just seemed to make him work harder to make the bad thing he was chewing go away.

Ironically, the bad thing was often one of my limbs.
 

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More recently the aggression can be seen in his mouthing. I expected a "land shark", and we have been focusing on trying to encourage him to make it softer. The problem is that most of the time NOTHING can get him to stop biting. Saying no, trying to ignore him, he just keeps biting your hands, legs, or even parts like your stomach, whatever he can get. If you start to hold him in ways he can't bite you he just gets more worked up, growling and biting more aggressively. He is happy to bite on to your arm and thrash like you would see an adult protection trained dog do.
  1. Put him in his crate when he does this. He's tired and doesn't know how to settle. Putting him in his crate when he's overtired will teach him how to settle down and sleep.
  2. He wants to grab something and thrash it. It's clear from grabbing at your arm and any piece of clothing. Make him a flirt pole out of an old rag, or just let him have an old rag. Teach him to play tug with the rag instead of with your arm. You have to work with what he wants to do rather than outright ban natural behavior. Give him a proper outlet for grabbing, biting, and thrashing.
  3. Get him more rope/soft toys. Let him destroy them, chew them, etc. These soft things are all his to destroy and "kill" if he wants. When he goes after something he shouldn't, give him a firm "no", then give him something he can have instead with a "good boy!"
 

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Send him HERRRRREEEE!!! He sounds just like my girl as a puppy.

Mine was real biting. Like attach herself to your leg and draw blood. She finally just got a correction for that. But mostly it's trade for toy and teach them what is appropriate to bite. I would not hold him. Dogs don't really like that, especially when they are amped up. when it's all just to much for you, put him in a crate with something to chew on.

At 10 weeks old, I wouldn't expect him to understand what No means. But you can certainly start obedience games with him that keep him off your arms and get his brain working. You can start recall games, perchwork, sits, luring heeling.

If your goals for this dog is IGP then I would not allow him to just thrash things. They need a calm grip. But a flirt pole is also an option. If he's barking already, use that and teach him to bark on command.

Could you send me his pedigree? I"m always curious what the pedigrees are when threads like this are posted. Just for my own curiosity of the dogs in the line, not to share.
 

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No spray bottles. No yelping.
Firm fair consistent. Redirect or stop the game.
Shadow was a tiny fury as a pup. She would attack anything that moved, and go until she literally collapsed in a heap. At just a few weeks and a few pounds she was ready to take on the world.
Yelping tends to amp up prey drive and spraying is a great way to build frustration. Not to mention rude.
Puppies learn what they live.
 

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Sounds like a lot of dog. Where is he from? Not sure your intent with the dog, but did you tell the breeder you wanted a certain type of dog?

With the right training, I think you will end up with a great dog. Looking forward to seeing the progress on this dog.

I want a puppy bad!
 

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The things you mention don't sound like a high drive dog to me. Unfortunately, "incredibly noisy" seems to be a nasty trait in some of today's lines. I would nip that in the bud ASAP especially if you have neighbors. I would not ignore it.

I have found that my teething puppies all preferred something soft to chew on. Go to a thrift store and buy some towels for him to chew on.

He is 10 weeks old, it is doubtful that he is showing any more aggressive aspects than a toddler would. Most young puppies that resource guard their food and actually connect are puppies who are not being left alone to eat.

Mouthing is not aggression. A dog's mouth is its hands. It is how they play, explore, eat, teethe and a host of other functions. Bite is genetic, I doubt you will meet with much success trying to get him to bite "gently". If he is using you as a chew toy it is because you let him. I would stop that now before it grows into something that can be more serious.

From what you describe, this puppy sounds high energy, not high drive. A lack of appropriate exercise can result in some of these behaviors. What are you doing for exercise?

When your puppy bites you, clasp your hand over his muzzle and press his lips under his teeth and let him bite away. I have never seen that method fail if done properly after one, and rarely two, applications.

No should be a conditioned negative marker. Once conditioned, No should always be followed by a correction. The correction can be something simple as a flat collar pop. You may want to put a dragline on him until you bring some of these things under control.

Resource guarding, possession, can be genetic or it can be trained. At this age, your pup's possession is most likely genetic. IMO, the best way to address the problem is not with counter conditioning or with training but establishing trust with the puppy. The puppy needs to know that you will not be harassing him when he eats. Once that trust is established, you should not have an issue with him biting you.
 

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Interesting point about the flirt stick. For a newbie like me, it was a bit counter-intuitive. Teach a dog to control his impulse to bite.... by amping him up and showing them how fun it is to chase and bite.

After playing outside with the flirt stick for about two weeks, Ole is getting the notion of the on and off switch. Being 'on' is perfectly acceptable when Ole is out in the yard playing with me. But it is more appropriate to be 'off' in the house.

A couple of weeks ago, someone posted a comment about the night time zoomies, when it seems like pup is possed by a demon spirit. While Ole still catches the zoomies between 8 and 9 o'clock, He is now just as likely grab a toy, to head over to the front door, sit down, and tremble in anticipation to go outside and play as he is to do laps around the living room at full speed.

Whenever he shows the 'playout outside' behavior, I try to capture it and reward heavily for knowing the time and place to be excited. It is a bit like potty training... teaching Ole there is a time and place to release all that energy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for the replies, they really help.

  1. Put him in his crate when he does this. He's tired and doesn't know how to settle. Putting him in his crate when he's overtired will teach him how to settle down and sleep.
  2. He wants to grab something and thrash it. It's clear from grabbing at your arm and any piece of clothing. Make him a flirt pole out of an old rag, or just let him have an old rag. Teach him to play tug with the rag instead of with your arm. You have to work with what he wants to do rather than outright ban natural behavior. Give him a proper outlet for grabbing, biting, and thrashing.
  3. Get him more rope/soft toys. Let him destroy them, chew them, etc. These soft things are all his to destroy and "kill" if he wants. When he goes after something he shouldn't, give him a firm "no", then give him something he can have instead with a "good boy!"
We started with #1 today and it seems to already be helping. We have been trying to avoid plush or soft toys because I worried it would just encourage it, but we will give it a try too.

...Unfortunately, "incredibly noisy" seems to be a nasty trait in some of today's lines. I would nip that in the bud ASAP especially if you have neighbors. I would not ignore it....
What would you suggest to address barking in such a young puppy? The teach bark method?

He is 10 weeks old, it is doubtful that he is showing any more aggressive aspects than a toddler would. Most young puppies that resource guard their food and actually connect are puppies who are not being left alone to eat.
This is why it's so surprising. I am very confident it was real aggression, but we luckily have only seen it a couple times. Food is not enough to cause it, it has only been with bully sticks, or rabbit poop. Everything else we can approach and remove very easily. Even in the high value cases we can exchange for a high value treat without issue. Still, the times we have not done the exchange and result in a snap are very concerning to us. We are trying hard to focus on not causing these situations and hope it will go away as his confidence in training and his trust in us increases. If anyone has any other suggestions I would greatly appreciate it.
 

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Thank you all for the replies, they really help.



We started with #1 today and it seems to already be helping. We have been trying to avoid plush or soft toys because I worried it would just encourage it, but we will give it a try too.



What would you suggest to address barking in such a young puppy? The teach bark method?



This is why it's so surprising. I am very confident it was real aggression, but we luckily have only seen it a couple times. Food is not enough to cause it, it has only been with bully sticks, or rabbit poop. Everything else we can approach and remove very easily. Even in the high value cases we can exchange for a high value treat without issue. Still, the times we have not done the exchange and result in a snap are very concerning to us. We are trying hard to focus on not causing these situations and hope it will go away as his confidence in training and his trust in us increases. If anyone has any other suggestions I would greatly appreciate it.
My dogs get corrections for barking. It really depends on the situation. If they nuisance bark to be let out of their crate, I walk away. Rinse and repeat until they are quiet and then they get what they want, out of the crate.

I do not start leash training my pups until they are about a year old. Leashes take away a puppy's first line of defense which is flight. That alone prevents a lot of fear, frustration and reactivity. I don't create and then try to fix bad behaviors. I believe in prevention. Then again I don't walk my dogs where there are cars either.

Honestly, I would need a more detailed explanation as to what is going on when your puppy reacts when you are taking things off of him. With all due respect, based on your comment alone, you are taking an awful lot of things off of him. I have multiple dogs and have not had to take that many things off of them combined in the past decade.

I recently had to take a pork chop bone off of a half grown KNPV Mal pup who had her sibling, a year old WL GSD and a WL ACD circling and lunging at her like a bunch of piranhas vying for the bone. The three larger dogs are extremely possessive. I had never taken anything off of any of these pups. At one point, for a split second, the Mal's eyes met mine and I saw them soften with recognition before refocusing on the other dogs. I walked up to her, she tried to swallow the bone whole, I lifted her by her collar and she outed the bone a few seconds later. None of the dogs challenged me for the bone. I think people make too big of a deal out of taking things off of a dog. Teach your dog an out and a recall, keep your hands out of his mouth, and you should be good.
 

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This is stupid and I probably shouldn’t suggest it but I got my last gsd to stop biting because we would make it a game where if she bit our arm or hand too hard we would shove it all the way to the back of her teeth ( in the little gap where her teeth end and it’s just gums ) and she would release immediately. I don’t think it really hurts, it’s just annoying and she doesn’t have any fun or pleasure with it haha.
I’m a small girl and have small arms and hands so it might not work with you. But we never yelled at her or anything, just laughed and shoved our arm into her mouth ( gently but with intention )
 
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