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So I recently got a purebred male German Shepherd puppy at 7 weeks old. He is now 13 weeks old. It's my first time owning a dog, much less a GSD. Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed. It seems like my pup, Taz, just doesn't care to listen. He's so stubborn. He knows "Go to sleep" and "Sit", but he selectively does it. He'll only do what I ask when he wants to. I enrolled him in an AKC STAR 8-week puppy class, and the first class was yesterday. He was doing good at the class, but at home, he will only listen if I have a treat or if he is extremely tired.
Another HUGE problem is that he LOVES biting. I know he is teething and it's all playful, but it's at the point where it hurts. My daughters and I have scratches all over our arms from his teeth scraping our arms. I have tried literally everything I can I've found online, from friends, from trainers... He bites both when he wants to play, and also a bit out of aggression. For example, he loves to bite feet. However, when we want to put him in his crate or put on his leash (sometimes even just pet him!), he turns his head and latches his entire mouth on our arm. It does scare us all at times. When we go out with him to stores, everyone gathers around him and loves to pet him and let him kiss them. He never bites strangers, only licks them. I'd much rather him bite us than strangers, but I don't want either to be honest. I've tried yelping when he bites, replacing my arm with a toy, having frozen rags for him to chew on, a dozen chew toys, Bitter Yuck, giving him "time-outs". When he's in his very hyper mood, it's very hard to get him to relax and calm down. I love him with all my heart, and wish these behaviors would stop. Please help me, because it's getting to be a painful and scary experience. Thanks for reading.
 

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Could you tell us a little more about you and your puppy?

Why did you purchase a German Shepherd Puppy?

What would your ideal dog be like?

What do you expect to do with your puppy/dog?

How many people live with the pup? Ages? Who is the primary caregiver?

What is your puppy's schedule like?

What kind of GSD is your pup, what lines?

When you give your pup a command, and the puppy fails to perform the command properly, what do you do?


From what you wrote, I don't think your puppy is abnormal at all. I think that maybe he isn't stubborn or aggressive. He is a baby, and he needs to learn through going through the motions, and through repetition, and performing the task in different places and different distractions. Your pup is very young to be 100% at anything.
 

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Another HUGE problem is that he LOVES biting. I know he is teething and it's all playful, but it's at the point where it hurts.

I love him with all my heart, and wish these behaviors would stop. Please help me, because it's getting to be a painful and scary experience. Thanks for reading.
i don't see how it's a huge problem. it's a GSD puppy. i would think it was a problem if he didn't act like a normal GSD puppy.

welcome to puppyhood.

just keep correcting and redirecting, you dug yourself this hole by getting a puppy. don't complain now. it will stop if you're consistent.
 

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Normal puppy behavior.

I 'feel your pain,' seriously.

Make sure this pup has enough exercise. Tired puppies are good puppies.

Also, during teething stage I've found it helpful to get a few cheap washcloths, wet them, twist them then freeze, Helps sooth the gums.

Hang in there, pup will outgrow this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Could you tell us a little more about you and your puppy?

Why did you purchase a German Shepherd Puppy?

What would your ideal dog be like?

What do you expect to do with your puppy/dog?

How many people live with the pup? Ages? Who is the primary caregiver?

What is your puppy's schedule like?

What kind of GSD is your pup, what lines?

When you give your pup a command, and the puppy fails to perform the command properly, what do you do?


From what you wrote, I don't think your puppy is abnormal at all. I think that maybe he isn't stubborn or aggressive. He is a baby, and he needs to learn through going through the motions, and through repetition, and performing the task in different places and different distractions. Your pup is very young to be 100% at anything.
Well, I have three daughters aged 19, 16, and 14. They all help with taking him outside, exercising him, playing, cleaning up, etc. We live in Chicago, IL and we make sure he gets plenty of exercise as well as a proper diet. We first decided to get a GSD because it was our favorite breed. My husband also had one when he was younger and we had also done a ton of research before getting one. I understand biting is a normal puppy behavior, but I just need reassurance that it will get better, haha.

He wakes up at around 6-7, eats at 7:30, goes on a walk around the neighborhood or plays with us in the yard. He usually will be super tired after a walk and sleeps for a while. He eats lunch at 12-12:30, again plays after that. Dinner is at 4-4:30, and usually by 7-8 he's asleep. We take him out at 3AM to pee, and that's pretty much it. I just want to give him the best life possible, as well as provide my family with a lifelong best friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have actually soaked a washcloth, twisted it up, froze it, and then gave it to him. He'll usually just lick it for a little while and won't care for it after. Are there any good products out there to help my puppy with his teething pain?
 

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Ok, I will work with what I have. Your daughters are certainly all old enough to handle puppy biting, to learn how to manage the puppy, to be on board with rules concerning the puppy, etc. If we were talking about kids 2, 3, and 5 years old, it might be a different story.

It will definitely get better. Puppies go through a stage when biting is much more trouble, teething and all that.

I don't know that I like to require walks/exercise with young puppies, but some lines of GSDs tend to have higher energy, higher drives, and if your pup was one of these lines, the people that own those dogs could give you a good example of how much exercise their dog needed at that age. Maybe your dog needs more, maybe less. It sounds like the dog is with family 24/7. Do you crate him at all? Is he basically crated between 7-8PM to 6-7AM with just the 3AM pee break?
 

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I wouldn't soak a wash cloth, and give it, because some crazy dogs will try and swallow that. I would use knotted cotton rope, soaked and frozen. You can use kongs, filled with peanut butter and frozen. Raw beef marrow bones, and when the dog gets the marrow out, you can fill those with peanut butter,
 

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It sounds to me like you are doing just fine. Puppies are crazy. (And each puppy I've had has been different from the other puppies.)

They all have gone through "wardrobe critic/designer" phase, "landscape architect" (on going), and other career explorations....

Puppy will take care of his teething pain by chewing on something (provided or not). One of mine left baby teeth here and there, the last two, I've never found a tooth from.

Redirecting is just luring into an althernative for chewing (from your hands, arms, pants, ankles, etc.)
 

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Ok, I will work with what I have. Your daughters are certainly all old enough to handle puppy biting, to learn how to manage the puppy, to be on board with rules concerning the puppy, etc. If we were talking about kids 2, 3, and 5 years old, it might be a different story.

It will definitely get better. Puppies go through a stage when biting is much more trouble, teething and all that.

I don't know that I like to require walks/exercise with young puppies, but some lines of GSDs tend to have higher energy, higher drives, and if your pup was one of these lines, the people that own those dogs could give you a good example of how much exercise their dog needed at that age. Maybe your dog needs more, maybe less. It sounds like the dog is with family 24/7. Do you crate him at all? Is he basically crated between 7-8PM to 6-7AM with just the 3AM pee break?
He is crated during the night, yes. However, we do let him out of the crate around 11-12 at night to sit and play with us.
 

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Another day another "my GSD puppy is biting" thread. I'll tel you what I tell everyone else. It always gets better, GSDs bite a lot as puppies. Keep a rag on you and redirect to that when he wants to bite. Another great thing is when he bites you give a loud NO and walk out of the room. He will soon associate biting with no fun (you).
 

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We got our pup at 8 weeks & now she's 7 months. Our pup was a HARDCORE nipper and at one point I thought there was something seriously wrong with our puppy. Everyone said it was normal and I didn't believe them. I though for sure our pup was actually much worse than everyone else's and she would never outgrow it. Surprisingly to me, she did outgrow the nipping. Husband and I still have some scars to prove we didn't imagine that crazy stage our she went through.

For us personally, a combination of gentle leash corrections & bully sticks did the trick. We also tried redirection & yelping but the first two seemed more effective. We would go through bully sticks like crazy. I'd hold the stick for her for 30 minutes or so 4-5 times a day. It really helped satisfy her urge to chew.

Good luck and be patient. It does get better sooner than you think.
 

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I have actually soaked a washcloth, twisted it up, froze it, and then gave it to him. He'll usually just lick it for a little while and won't care for it after. Are there any good products out there to help my puppy with his teething pain?
I've always had success with frozen carrots, big round ones, when they're teething. Most dogs like carrots, and when they're frozen, it should occupy him for a while. As for the biting... You do know that GSD owners 'fondly' refer to puppies as landsharks, don't you? There's a reason for that, really, lol.

Susan
 

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Are you doing any obedience with your puppy? It is just as important to tire him mentally, as physically. You should be doing several short training sessions with him every day. In addition, incorporate the commands into his daily life - sit and wait, before eating, before crossing the street, before going through the door.

Play games, where he needs to figure things out. Put some kibble in an empty plastic bottle and let him work on getting it out. Hide a treat under a cup or bowl and let him work on getting that.

Yes, it does get better. Hang in there.
 

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Normal puppy behavior.

I 'feel your pain,' seriously.

Make sure this pup has enough exercise. Tired puppies are good puppies.

Also, during teething stage I've found it helpful to get a few cheap washcloths, wet them, twist them then freeze, Helps sooth the gums.

Hang in there, pup will outgrow this.
A friend of mine suggested trying the cheap washcloths soaked in chicken or beef broth and then freezing. My girl wasn't a super fan of those but she'd at least mouth on them for a few minutes. Her poor gums were such a bloody mess when the teeth were erupting - I tried to get her to chew anything that might help her feel better.

I went through a period of time where my puppy bit me a lot. Just me - not my husband and not anyone outside of our household. We did end up going to strong corrections because none of the methods based in positive reinforcement/negative punishment worked. When she bit, I would grab her muzzle (not hard) and give it a light shake, look her in the eyes, and tell her calmly but firmly, "NO BITE." If she escalated, I'd pull her to the ground (again, not hard, not roughly, just firmly) and repeat, "NO BITE." Being consistent and calm but swift with this was what got through to her.

HOWEVER. All of this was done under the guidance of a trainer who worked with us in person. I have a very resilient, independently minded dog who needed and can take a tougher correction than a, "YIPE!" or "Uh-uh." And I would never have done that without the guidance of the trainer who knew me and knew the dog. I don't know your dog and don't know what your trainer would say. So I'm not telling you to log off and go pull your dog to the floor. I'm telling you this is what worked for us, but it was under the advice and guidance of an experienced trainer...so talk to your trainer.

Edited to add: It does get better, I promise. I was at my wits end with this puppy (she was my first dog, as yours is for you). I trusted my breeder and my trainer when they assured me that with consistent work, I would soon forget I ever had any issues. And they were right. The biting behavior extinguished altogether I forget how long ago now. Amid that, we had also started work on "gentle!" for taking treats out of our hands. That's really helped with bite inhibition as well. She's two now and while she's enthusiastic with her affection (we're still working on loving people with our mouth CLOSED, because big teeth hurt when they run into your knee), there's probably a laundry list of annoying puppy behaviors that have simply dropped off as she matured. By now, I have trouble remembering most of what she did that was irritating or misbehavior because she's so good.
 
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