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Discussion Starter #1
We have a new GSD he is neutered and 8 months old. We have not had him long and have 3 small dogs. He seems to like to try and bite the back of their necks. This in turn freaks out the small dogs and they growl and or bark. When playing with us he also likes to nip at the air. Im sure its normal behavior but not desireable. Im more concerned with him biting the other dogs on the neck. Is this him trying to play or is he being mean? WHen he does it he gets focused on them with his ears up but never growls or barks.
 

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He is herding the smaller dogs. Does he like balls? I have Onyx keep a ball in her mouth so she isn't constantly nipping the others. Or keep a line on him to control him better, he could hurt them with out meaning to do so.
Maybe find a stable temperamented dog his size to play with?
 

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Uschi was 5 mos old when I got Stosh, who was 2 mos. Uschi loved to bite the back of his neck or right on the back when he ran. It took a lot of corrections and she started leaving him alone when he learned how to stand underneath her- she couldn't reach his back and when she tried he'd bite her under the front legs. Probably won't help your little ones, but you definitely need to keep him from picking on them. Uschi used to snap in the air when she knew she wasn't allowed to bite.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you everyone! How would or should you correct it when hes doing it? Does this mean he is not a stable tempermented dog? is he doing it out of aggression or doing what hes bred to do which is herd? I am NOT new to owning a GS but the GS we had was a very very well trained dog so this is a little different.
 

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It is instinctive. He isn't doing it out of aggression IMO. I would practice NILIF and let him know that it isn't acceptable. But when dogs are out playing the structure of training is very hard to keep. So a long line and correcting him if/when he does this is a good start. When he listens praise and reward him. Don't do it negatively, you want him to know he shouldn't do it, but not to blame the other dogs when he is getting corrected. He may see a heavy correction as coming from the dog he is biting so you need to be proactive(when you see him do the stare, re-direct) Onyx is a herder and I just make her carry a ball all the time, she knows she needs to do it as well!
 

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it's quite normal canine behavior.....mine plays that way, but I have taught him to "play nice"....which means he needs to bring it down a notch if I think he is getting out of control for the dog he is playing with.....the little ones do need to feel you can protect them and your new male needs to learn you are in control....young males have a tendency to test boundaries ( I am referring to dogs, buuuuttttt it's applicable elsewhere I suppose lol!)....I do not use a long line for correcting play behavior such as this b/c it can get caught up in feet and bodies, I have found a short line attached to the collar is enough to grab, but doesn't seem to get in the way.....Jane's suggestion about the ball is very effective...mine self taught that one!!! He does it when he wants to bark and he knows he's really not suppose too; grabs a toy to stuff his mouth!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is a good correction for this or rather would it be ok to tell him NO, in a calm firm voice and put him outside for a few minutes, then when he calms down let him back in?
 

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I think it has to do a lot with their prey drive- Uschi would chase Stosh down, then grab him on the back.
 
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