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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

We picked Sky up at a slightly young 7 weeks; she's a full pedigree German Shepherd and is so far doing really well. She's learnt sit, down, stay, stand and even paw within the 3 weeks that we've had her and is keen to learn and usually picks things up within a day.

We are having an issue still with biting and attacking shoes, pants and obviously our hands which are scatted in srcratches and cuts.

I've already read many many books and articles to make sure I bring her up properly but it seems whatever we have tried so far hasn't worked, due to the fact that she picks things up nice and quick.

Can somebody give me advice on our particular situation: Sky will decide to pull and attack our trouser leg. Should we yelp or say no? We have tried both but she will continue to pull almost as if that provokes her. If we are successful and she stops for a split second, should we provide a toy or walk away? We find that when we walk away, she will attack our trouser leg again and of course prevent our escape over the baby gate. What about when she is in the living room with us; she will bite either us or our clothing - should we yelp/say no and if she continues pick her up and isolate her over the baby gate? We find that she will embark on doing things she knows she shouldn't when we do this, like flip her waterbowl over and rip her puppy pads up.

Any help is really appreciated - I won't be using any chokes or anything like that!



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That's why they're called 'land sharks'. Try everything! In time she'll catch on the the biting will lessen. They have a strong herding instinct which is why the pant leg nipping. You can start teaching the 'leave it' command- are you using a clicker? There are several threads about teaching bite inhibition
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've read many bite inhibition articles but it doesn't seem to be working unless I'm expecting results too quickly - is 3 weeks too quick?

In my opinion she seems to be getting worse with the bites, more blood etc.

It seems whenever I yelp regardless of the volume or type of sound, it doesn't work but just encourages more biting.. she really doesn't know when to give up.

I get the feeling she doesn't take me or my partner seriously, whether its a pack leader issue or not; we both try and practice NILIF all the time.
 

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It's a stage, just be consistent and redirect. It will get better for not for a while, so be patient.:)
 

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If you look through the behavior forum you will see many such threads and many sources of advice. What you have is a normal puppy. You just have to do your best. Our dog went through that for a long time and we found that yelping and pulling our hand (or whatever was being nipped) away quickly worked best.
 

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I had the same problem with my dog as a puppy. I wondered if she would ever outgrow the biting stage. But she did eventually. So there is hope! LOL Just keep trying everything! It does take time with some puppies. I know I would give my puppy a bully stick when she wouldn't quit and then that would side track her.

Is your puppy getting enough physical activity/exercise? If she plays fetch...definitely get her doing something else that is entertaining. I would take my puppy for a walk or just get her outside and have her run around chasing a ball. That would break the biting cycle if my yelping and saying Ouch didn't get her to stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I had the same problem with my dog as a puppy. I wondered if she would ever outgrow the biting stage. But she did eventually. So there is hope! LOL Just keep trying everything! It does take time with some puppies. I know I would give my puppy a bully stick when she wouldn't quit and then that would side track her.

Is your puppy getting enough physical activity/exercise? If she plays fetch...definitely get her doing something else that is entertaining. I would take my puppy for a walk or just get her outside and have her run around chasing a ball. That would break the biting cycle if my yelping and saying Ouch didn't get her to stop.
We spend alot of time with her; she has our attention until she sleeps! With regards to physical activity, I personally think this is where we might see an improvement - she is due her final injection on Saturday so she will be able to go outside on Xmas Eve/Day. Fingers crossed there will be some form of improvement. I've read no more than a fifteen minute walk at her age?

She has got the hang of fetch, she especially likes chasing a ball between myself and my partner.

When she gets too hyper or uncontrolable, she has time out away from us until calm. Are we doing right so far?
 

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Several 15 minute walks would be good. Sounds like you are doing the right things. Make use of her fetch capabilites to exercise her. It's easier on you. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great, it's no problem to walk her at least 3 times a day, 15 minutes per session.

We are also enrolling into puppy class once she's vaccinated - we are actually going to one tonight to see how things work there. It will mostly be for socialization as she has learnt the basic commands (100% success rate when theres a treat involved!).

Walking will be a whole different kettle of fish as she seems to eat EVERYTHING on the floor.

Even though she isn't really bothered/startled by a yelp, do you continue doing it anyway?? :confused:
 

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Thats great that you will be enrolling in a puppy class. I always feel you can't socialize your puppy enough.

LOL about walking her on a leash...re: eatting everything on the floor. My puppy was the same way. You just have to keep reinforcing the "Leave It" command with them.

I would continue with the yelp if she bites you. I had wondered if my puppy had a conscience cuz when I would yelp she would continue to bite. Of if I told her NO...she would still do what I was telling her not to. But as she got older...things worked out and she now knows when she did wrong and when I'm not happy with something she has done.

Just be patient. She will outgrow this stage.
 

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My dog is a 1 1/2 and she picks up everything on the street. She drops most things but she is still a BUG in that regard. She especially likes U-KNOW-WHAT.
 

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She will outgrow it! My little one is 4 months and hasn't done it for a few weeks now. I always yelped loudly and redirected. Hang in there, it will get better...but then the butthead stage is only a few months away! LOL
 

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Ya, I get a kick out of first-time butthead owners. "My sweet puppy is _______" fill in the blank.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great, I can't wait for it!

Another problem is that her 'attacks' are so unpredicatable.

Take an hour ago for example, we were playing with her and a toy and she was quite content. All of a sudden she stopped and clamped down really hard on my partners arm - again is that normal? She can and does mouth us nice and gentle at times so I know she has it in her.

I'm just starting to get a little impatient when she's really hurting my partner or myself.
 

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Clamping down is a whole nuther thing. Never had the clamping down problem, hopefully someone can help you with that.
 

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I've read a ton of articles, internet forums and even advice on here and everything anyone has said has made it worse. If you yell at them and tell them no, they will keep doing it.
I know this because we've tried everything with our dog and now she's a big dog and still lunges and bites us only it's harder.
We finally got with a German Shepherd group and what it comes down to is respect. She got away with it for so long and it became a game to see who is boss. Buy your dog a prong collar and make sure it is on CORRECTLY and when your dog bites you give it a nice firm correction and tell it to sit or down. Your basically taking control and telling it that the behavior is not acceptable. The prong collar will not hurt them.
Some people may not agree with me, but like I said diverting it's attention, yelping, walking away, putting it in it's crate and even the dog attack spray did not work.
You can get your dog in puppy classes to socialize with other dogs, but a lot of trainers won't work with you on this sort of issue.
 

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Ugh, the old show 'em who's boss routine...your tiny puppy just needs to know who's boss so you should buy a tiny prong collar, cinch it right up and yank the heck out of her. That will teach her to respect you! <<<<<<<Do NOT take that advice.

I have adopted and fostered both young puppies and grown adults who were landsharks. Bottom line is that your pup has tons of pent up energy (especially if I understand correctly that you haven't been walking her at all???) and so she just wants to play, play, play.

Here are things that do work:

1) Tons of exercise. A tired puppy is a good puppy. My young pups work up to long walks pretty quickly: my Chama was walking 4 miles a day at 10 weeks old. Forget about the 15 minute limit. Walking long distances will not hurt a pup's joints.

2) Short and fun training sessions on basics. This also tires out the pup and helps with your bond. I like to incorporate training into every part of our daily routine so that my dogs are always looking to me to figure out what we're doing next. I make it fun, fun, fun. Check out clicker training--this works great with pups!

3) Redirection. When I have a biting pup or adult I keep a toy handy at all times and substitute my body part for the toy. Once they get interested in the toy I throw it. Pretty soon when they get all fired up they grab a toy and bring it to me to play. Works like a charm every time...it can take a little while but once this one clicks, it really clicks. Rafi, my belgian malinut has tons of energy so he has learned to carry a toy with him everywhere.

4) Have patience. This too will pass.
 

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Ugh, the old show 'em who's boss routine...your tiny puppy just needs to know who's boss so you should buy a tiny prong collar, cinch it right up and yank the heck out of her. That will teach her to respect you! <<<<<<<Do NOT take that advice.

I have adopted and fostered both young puppies and grown adults who were landsharks. Bottom line is that your pup has tons of pent up energy (especially if I understand correctly that you haven't been walking her at all???) and so she just wants to play, play, play.

Here are things that do work:

1) Tons of exercise. A tired puppy is a good puppy. My young pups work up to long walks pretty quickly: my Chama was walking 4 miles a day at 10 weeks old. Forget about the 15 minute limit. Walking long distances will not hurt a pup's joints.

2) Short and fun training sessions on basics. This also tires out the pup and helps with your bond. I like to incorporate training into every part of our daily routine so that my dogs are always looking to me to figure out what we're doing next. I make it fun, fun, fun. Check out clicker training--this works great with pups!

3) Redirection. When I have a biting pup or adult I keep a toy handy at all times and substitute my body part for the toy. Once they get interested in the toy I throw it. Pretty soon when they get all fired up they grab a toy and bring it to me to play. Works like a charm every time...it can take a little while but once this one clicks, it really clicks. Rafi, my belgian malinut has tons of energy so he has learned to carry a toy with him everywhere.

4) Have patience. This too will pass.
This is exactly what I mean. Maybe it works with some, but it needs to be corrected before it gets out of hand. How long of doing your reccomendations until he should notice a difference? Because like I said I followed your exact advice and they are extremely smart. They know that you give them a toy instead they will put it down and go back after you. I used to think it was because she was bored. I would throw on rollerblades and go 6 miles twice a day, play fetch with her and let her run some more and it didn't help.
I'm not saying to abuse or to intentionally try and hurt them. Just correct them so that they know it's not acceptable.
A lot of the people with GSD's and the GSD clubs around here use them and highly reccomend if you don't have one, get one.
 

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Puppies don't need to be corrected: they need to be redirected. Reward them for doing what you want them to do. They want to play. I don't like to squash play drive in my dogs so I redirect them. Even with a working line foster puppy and high drive adults I have been able to use the methods above to teach the dog to redirect on their own. It does take patience but it has worked with all of the dogs I have raised and/or trained in the last 23 years.

And to the OP: when you get frustrated the best thing to do is to put your pup in the crate with a nice bone or something to chew on and give yourself a break!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the advice - I've began the redirecting now and after a few shakes and a few stupid noises she will detach from my trouser and grab the toy. She will then come back to my leg and the process starts again - is the aim of the game to 'out-persist' her now?

I'm not sure whether she truely respects me, I get the feeling that she only listens to my commands when she wants. I practice NILIF.

With regards to walking, the only reason she hasn't is because of the vaccinations - as soon as she's ready she'll be out walking and socializing! We try and tire her out in the house by playing fetch etc. throughout the day but obviously it won't be as good as a walk.
 
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