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Our puppy, as much as I love her, almost died tonight (not really). She has a problem with biting, a bad problem. It's not an aggressive bite, it's just puppy biting, but it hurts. We've been following everything we've read on this site and we're getting nowhere. We try walking away and ignoring her when she bites, that doesn't work because she doesn't even notice, she just moves on to one of her toys. I've tried pinching her cheeks really hard and telling her "no," but that doesn't work because she tries to bite me as I say no. I've tried pinning her on the ground and scolding her, but as soon as I let her back up she does it again.

I'm not new to dogs by any means (I had two huskies, and believe me, they are hard to train), but I can't seem to correct this biting thing.

Tonight was the last straw. She bit my face really hard, getting her tooth right in my nose and drawing quite a bit of blood. She thinks she's playing, even though I was filled with rage.

I don't know what else to do. I don't let her bite me playing around, I don't let her bite my clothes, I've done everything that I've read on this site as well as in a German Shepherd book I bought. Nothing is working, not even slowly.

Is there anything else you can think of that I can try, other than wait? I realize she'll grow out of it, but if I can speed up the process, I really want to. I'm not going to hurt her or get rid of her or anything like that, but I really want the biting to stop, it's starting to really hurt (she's 3 months old now).

Any advice is appreciated.
 

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Landshark alert!

What you are describing is actually absolutely normal GSD
puppy behavior. Abby was the most terrible biter.
I had 4 bandages on me at one point. Then came the
zoomies with drive by biting. Egads...nothing to do except
cover up valuables until it passes.

It does get better. Buy a big box of bandaids and a tube
of Neosporin ointment.

Keep a toy handy. When she is in biting mode stuff
the toy in her mouth. Give her alternate targets...
plenty of chew toys.
 

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Just because it's NORMAL does not mean it's ACCEPTABLE. I do not understand why so many people tell everyone to expect it and to be prepared. There is no reason your puppy should use you as a chew toy.

I have two words for you - BITTER APPLE. White vinegar and water 50/50 mix also works on many puppies.

google it

Puppy nips you - take it's muzzle, tell it NO, or AUGHT (whatever your "no" word is) and a swift squirt of bitter apple in its mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Normal or not, it's no longer acceptable, not after drawing a large amount of blood from my face. I'm going to try the vinegar solution and spray her every time she nips and see how that goes, because nothing else has worked.

She's an incredibly smart dog and learns things so quickly, but she hasn't learned bite inhibition at all.
 

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Stopping biting is not inhibition.

You can use your method and she learns to stop biting - until she doesn't. Or you can work to inhibit her bite, make her a smarter biter, and you have a dog who has control over their mouth.

I am not a tall person, but it would take a lot for a puppy to bite my face. When I have mouthy puppies, I keep my face away from them pretty well. :) I am not a swift or agile person - but have learned... :D

There is a sticky about bite inhibition in this section - just read the links in the first post and see if they help.

Don't get into a peeing match with your puppy about this. I like to create another word/action and ask for that - kissy kiss is what I use with puppies and adults - and they learn to lick instead of bite. It takes some shaping, but it works well.

Good luck.
 

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If you pinned me I would bite you too,lol It sounds like from what I just read when you walk away and ignore the biting she goes to a toy and chews on that.....this is what you want:)
As long as she's not biting you or inappropriate items she does need to chew. She's teething and it feels good so encourage her to chew on her toys, play lots of tug, fetch, and provide lots of off leash exercise. This really is a faze they grow out of and not a permanent behavior- weather the storm it really does pass:)
 

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Hate to tell you, but this is such a common problem we made a sticky out of it.

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/puppy-behavior/85888-teaching-bite-inhibition.html

All puppies bite but I've found GSD puppies ARE much worse. That said, it's PLAY biting. Painful. Maybe bloody. Hard to break. But still based on PLAY.

We want our pups to play. We want happy and balanced puppies that want to engage and play with us.

So instead of punishing a NORMAL play behavior. We need to use our intelligent human brains (punishing is a no brainer and just teaches avoidance) and figure out how to TEACH our puppies a new less painful way to play with the humans in their lives.

And it works, truly it does. The teaching rather than just punishing. Cause we CAN be smart and learn too! :wild:
 

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Something that worked for my GSD's.

1. Always have a toy near by (tugs work GREAT for this).

2. Puppy bites, say "ah ah" or your "no" command.

3. Stick toy in mouth (puppies, not yours ;) ).

4. "YES!" Praise and play.

Simple.

Teaches puppy that it is okay to bite but that there are certain things that are appropriate to bite and you are not one of them!
 

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Also, I should mention when saying "ah ah" (I like this word) it's not a mean, loud, scary "ah ah" or "NO" it's more of a "oops, try this instead".

Puppies are babies, they have no clue what is right or what is wrong, it's up to you to show them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I tried everything in that bite inhibition thread and it didn't seem to get me anywhere. When she would bite, I'd simply walk away to let her know that she hurt me. But it's like she didn't even notice I walked away, she would just move on to biting either her toys, or anything else that was within reach, such as shoes, the couch, my PS3 controllers, my cell phone, etc. Then as soon as I would return she would bite again.

I tried redirecting her to toys and praising her, but many times she wasn't even interested in her toys, she would just keep trying to bite me.

Oh well, I'll just keep at it and wait it out I guess. Hopefully it starts to improve, because it's starting to really hurt when she bites.

As for the pinning down thing, i actually read that on this site. I first walked away, then when she bit again I pinched her cheeks and told her no, then when she bit again I flipped her over and pinned her on the ground for a second or two and told her no. She doesn't like being pinned on the ground and this would stop the biting, at least until I let her back up.

Oh well, I'll just keep redirecting to toys and hope for the best.
 

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We had the exact same issue with our pup, Saggio. Nothing worked -- until we discovered the Pet Corrector (canned air). You can get the official "Pet Corrector" at the pet store, but it's fairly expensive. We decided to just get some dust-off canned air at Staples. Keep the canned air with you, and then put your pup in a situation where she'll do her puppy biting. The instant she goes to bite, spray the air. It should scare the crap out of her, just enough to do the job. Keep the air around for the next little while, until she gets it that anytime she goes for humans, the terrifying air comes to get her.

I'm sure it just depends on what you're dog will respond to. But for us, this worked immediately, and its effects were permanent.
 

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How are you re-directing to the toy?

Are you just stuffing it into her mouth and walking away?

How about using it as a lure of sorts to tap into her prey drive.. get the toy moving and re-direct her to the moving toy and not your hand/arm/leg/toes/etc..
 

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The instant she goes to bite, spray the air. It should scare the crap out of her, just enough to do the job. Keep the air around for the next little while, until she gets it that anytime she goes for humans, the terrifying air comes to get her.
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Just a question...but do you really want to train your puppy by scaring the crap out of her?

If you punish and scare your puppies, how will you build a bond? You are going to have a dog that doesn't want to come near you.

And what is your timing to squirt them with air or vinegar? Is it always in your hand so that you squirt them as they are biting? Or do you need to go get the air/vinegar and come back to do it? Do you call them over to you and then squirt after you've retrieved your item?

There isn't anything about these methods that sounds like a good idea to me.
 

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You have a younger version of my pup. NOTHING worked. Not a single thing anyone suggested. I went through everything, viniger, noses, ahh ahh, time outs, mouthwash spray, toy replacement you name it. I bet there is not one method I did not try. I loked like a walking war wound with cuts all over my arms and hiking boots on my feet to protect my ankles.

Canned air did startle him enough to let go of my limb (you do not spray them, you spray it into the air making a funny noise to stop their behavior so you can try to redirect and yes it was always in my hand) and I NEVER would have put my face close to him when he was in his nipping stage. In fact I had to throw a towel over his head to pck him up.

I got a nose cut from my last one which is where I learned that lesson.

We then started training the word "off" for treats and it still took him slowly growing out of that horrible phase.

Though not acceptable there are some pups that just dont respond to all those wonderful things, in fact they just bite harder. I wanted to just kill my little guy for weeks. I just kept working at it and sometimes screaming in frustration and coming here for support (and this is my third GSD). Shoot I put myself in timeout in the x pen a few times.

Fast forward to 5 months old. He is my little man. He mouths some but not painfully..bite inhibition and if I say ouch now he lets go quickly.

He cuddles and kisses and curls up on the floor with me. He runs to me and melts down my legss as I massage his chest. He rolls in pure delight as I pet his tummy.

It will pass, but if he is like my little guy....good luck cause mine had to grow out of the really nasty nipping.
 

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If you punish and scare your puppies, how will you build a bond? You are going to have a dog that doesn't want to come near you.
In general, I would agree with you that fear is not a constructive emotion to evoke while training. But in this case, using the air was the only thing that work -- and it worked fantastically. Our dog is not afraid of us in the slightest.

And what is your timing to squirt them with air or vinegar? Is it always in your hand so that you squirt them as they are biting? Or do you need to go get the air/vinegar and come back to do it? Do you call them over to you and then squirt after you've retrieved your item?
Yes, the air is always in your hand. (We did it when we knew he would bite, because he would always bite in certain playful situations, so it wasn't an issue having the air handy.) As unpractical as that may sound, however, it worked out well for us, as we literally only had to do it two times -- total -- for our pup to understand that biting wasn't allowed at all. That was two months ago, and he hasn't laid his teeth on us since.

We also haven't used the air in any other situation. We have used positive reinforcement/clicker training for everything else.

All that said, I appreciate what you're saying: Inducing fear in your dog is not a good training technique.

EDIT: I wanted to add that we never sprayed the air at him. We would always spray it pointed in a different direction, but so that he could clearly hear the noise. Spraying canned air at the dog can be dangerous, as it can sometimes shoot frozen carbon dioxide at the dog, risking injury to the eyes.
 

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Just wanted to add - our dogs all have very soft mouths, they have no problems with bite inhibition and they are taught not to bite us from day one. Redirects to toys works for many dogs, not all.

Regarding teaching the "kissey face game" - I don't want dogs - even mine - licking my face or anyones face frankly because many people don't like it and I don't want my dogs licking someones face if they bend over to pet them in public. If I encourage them, they will lick my face, but I'd prefer they didn't so I certainly wouldn't teach them too.

They are also not afraid of us and they come flying when we call them. :)
 

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Thank You ,Saggio, for further explaining how to used the air and the dangers of spraying the air at the puppy. :)
 

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Just wanted to add - our dogs all have very soft mouths, they have no problems with bite inhibition and they are taught not to bite us from day one. Redirects to toys works for many dogs, not all.

Regarding teaching the "kissey face game" - I don't want dogs - even mine - licking my face or anyones face frankly because many people don't like it and I don't want my dogs licking someones face if they bend over to pet them in public. If I encourage them, they will lick my face, but I'd prefer they didn't so I certainly wouldn't teach them too.

They are also not afraid of us and they come flying when we call them. :)
I believe you may be referring to my teaching of an alternate behavior. Using the phrase kissy kiss to teach a puppy to lick (like teaching touch and targeting with the nose as well). I don't do that with my FACE, because I don't let puppies that bite near my face - which I did state. When they are trying to bite hands and arms, legs, feet, I teach that.
 

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Nothing works for me, either. I've tried every single thing on this board, nothing has worked AT ALL. It may sound simple, but for some of us, it's anything but. If I redirect to a toy/chew, he ignores it or drops it immediately. I don't do any of the hitting/tapping/getting angry stuff, but I HAVE yelped/screamed/whined/ouched and every single time, no matter how loud or high pitched, he steps back, cocks his head, and comes back biting HARDER. If I get up to leave the area, he follows and bites my legs. My arms are so scarred and bloody that I am getting looks from people when I go out, they think I'm a cutter or something.

Leave it works like a dream - on everything BUT my hands. When he's biting, he ignores all commands. So unless anyone has other suggestions that haven't been mentioned anywhere on these forums, my only option is to wait it out and wear welding gloves around the house.
 
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