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Discussion Starter #1
We have an 11 week old male. We've had him for 3 weeks. Our first GSD. Although I've read a lot about GSD behavior, and know that puppies bite, I was really not prepared for the "landshark" stage. I constantly, constantly redirect, and while he has seemed to improve around me, as SOON as my kids (ages 6,9,12) wake up in the morning, come home from school, etc., he is chasing them, and almost seems to be attacking them. I'm always telling them to redirect him, although nothing seems to work until I physically go and get him. He'll bark at them, but not growl. He has shown some improvement, but there are still those times that his behavior scares me, because it makes me wonder what he's going to be like as he gets older. I do find myself getting angry with him, but do not ever punish with aggression, or put him in his crate (he likes his crate, and I want to keep him liking his crate!) I do sometimes put him on a leash while the kids are getting ready for school. Note: there are times when he's very calm, and the kids can pet him, even the 6 year old has him "sitting" and "staying". Also, he starts puppy school on Friday, and the entire family is going to make sure we're all on the same page.

I'm looking for reassurance that this is completely normal. I'm wondering if anybody else can share their story of being "afraid" of some of their puppy's behavior. I really think he just gets super excited to see them, and cannot control himself. Please tell me this will pass.
 

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He is thinking the kids are littermates so he is playing with them as if they are just that. With training and time he will improve. I have a 8 week old and she is very fiesty and mouthy but I know with time and training it goes away.
 

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It's very normal behavior. It will pass. They tend to out grow the landshark stage around the time they finish teething. Around 5-6 months. I know that sounds like forever away but it really does go by quickly. Stay strong, consistent and patient:smile2:. You are doing everything right. Don't be afraid to give him a little timeout in his crate if you need. You won't make him dislike his crate if you don't make a big deal of crate time. Just have him go in with a calm attitude.
It's fantastic that you are having the whole family involved with puppy class.
Hang in there!

Welcome to the forum!:welcome:
 

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He is thinking the kids are littermates so he is playing with them as if they are just that. With training and time he will improve. I have a 8 week old and she is very fiesty and mouthy but I know with time and training it goes away.
This makes sense. Thank you!
 

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I have a 10 week old female pup who is a ball of fire. My 3 (will be 4 in a couple months) year old grandchild also lives in my home with her father. Genali is a great puppy, even if she is a handful, but when Genali and grandchild are in the same room, its like someone has unleased a force of nature!

I do tend to be a little harsher on corrections (to both the pup and to grandchild) when they interact. Here is what works for me.

I do not let pup around grandchild without supervision. E.V.E.R. this is for Genalis's safety as well as grandchild's safety. I usually will have Genali dragging a lead so that I can step in easier if I need too. I encourage grandchild to stand up for herself to Genali.........she is learning to give appropriate commands "DOWN" and "NO". If Genali starts getting too rough, she goes to the crate for some calm down. Calm down time in the crate will not cause your pup to dislike the crate, so long as you don't put him in and forget. Just enough time to calm down. Genali usually needs 2-3 minutes.

Training the children is just as important as training the pup. Watch carefully....are the children doing anything (probably unintentionally) that would cause your puppy to become over excited? too much running, squealing? too many people saying his name at once? Competing for his attention? Be sure that you are watching that the children don't accidentally set your pup up for failure here. I have a rule with grandchild.......if she does something that causes Genali to get over excited and act inappropriately, she is required to sit in her time out spot until Genali is calm. It is working well. Grandchild is learning respect and self control, Genali is learning that play time ends when she acts like a brat puppy and I get a chance to breath. Your children are older, so you may not need this.
 

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It's very normal behavior. It will pass. They tend to out grow the landshark stage around the time they finish teething. Around 5-6 months. I know that sounds like forever away but it really does go by quickly. Stay strong, consistent and patient/forum/images/Germanshepherds_2016/smilies/tango_face_smile.png. You are doing everything right. Don't be afraid to give him a little timeout in his crate if you need. You won't make him dislike his crate if you don't make a big deal of crate time. Just have him go in with a calm attitude.
It's fantastic that you are having the whole family involved with puppy class.
Hang in there!
5-6 months does seem like an eternity right now. But, your reassurance helps! Thank you, thank you!!
 

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I have a 10 week old female pup who is a ball of fire. My 3 (will be 4 in a couple months) year old grandchild also lives in my home with her father....
This is great advice! My 9 year old does tend to get him excited - she can't help herself because he's so darn adorable. But it usually ends in her crying, because he's nipped her. Yes, there's running away - which the puppy probably thinks is playing. I am going to continue to work with the children on that part, and might even try quiet time in the crate. It gives me hope when he listens to the kids commands (for treats).

Thank you for your response!
 

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Yup very normal! There was like a 2-3 week period where I did not pet/touch my pup cause he would do nothing but bite. I was conviced it would never end & I was conviced that my guy was more mouthy than everyone else's puppy and they just didn't understand my situation. Just keep pushing. My puppy is 5 months and NEVER mouths anymore and he got a lot lot lot lot better around 4 months! GOOD LUCK
 

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This is great advice! My 9 year old does tend to get him excited - she can't help herself because he's so darn adorable. But it usually ends in her crying, because he's nipped her. Yes, there's running away - which the puppy probably thinks is playing. I am going to continue to work with the children on that part, and might even try quiet time in the crate. It gives me hope when he listens to the kids commands (for treats).

Thank you for your response!
Running away is a big problem here too! Grandchild gets upset and tried to run, and soooo Genali is like "OOOOOHHHHH SHE WANTS TO PLAY CHASE!!!!!!". I have had to create a "stand your ground" rule. Children that work puppy up and then cower or cry and complain about the situation that they caused don't get much sympathy from mean ole gammy. Teach your 9 year old to give a correction and re-direction when puppy nips. I think that the thing that has helped my grandchild the most is learning (through education and discipline) to have confidence when interacting with the puppy.

Yesterday, Genali was too rough with grandchild. Grandchild hadn't really done anything to start it. When grandchild complained, I asked her what she thought needed to be done. This grandchild of mine grabbed the leash, lead Genali to the crate and said "CRATE".......Genali walked right in and sat down. Grandchild shut the door and walked away. I was so proud of BOTH of them!

Genali is my first GSD.......she is a lot different than the Dobermans that I am used to, but she will be worth the time and the frustration. Your pup will be too!
 

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It will get better. Your children don’t understand what it means to redirect the dog. They may get it intellectually, but they need to feel and experience how to get the dog to stop chasing them. Show them exactly what you mean and make them practice. If the dog is chasing it means they are running. That will always excite a puppy. Genali explained it very well. They can’t run and expect the puppy to stand and watch them. The exercise is good for him, though. It is always easier to keep a dog tired when you have small children. You need to do it safely.

We get cute, fluffy puppies thinking they are going to be warm and cuddly and it doesn’t work that way with landsharks. Mine was all teeth at that age. My older dog was exceptionally patient and taught him bite inhibitions, which helped a lot. I got a firehouse type wedge tug and let him mouth that a lot.
 

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Go to Leerburg.com. I feel his ideas of puppies/dogs and kids is spot on. And when you redirect, make the toy, one that is soft and very fun to bite, come alive. You MIGHT be able to get the kids involved with a good flirt pole like the one Chewy sells. They stand still next to you and you help them play with the pup with it. Herding dogs herd..and have tons of prey drive and as pups no threshold as to when and what to chase.
 

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Boon is 15.5 weeks old, and bites bites bites. Always wants something to chew/nibble/bite. He bites me awake in the morning, he bites when we pet him, he bites while we eat. He still has teething to go through.
It's not hard, aggressive biting. It's sometimes his way of saying he wants to play, and sometimes when we say "go get your toy", he'll do that.
If he gets too rambunctious, I might warn him to ease up or he'll go in the kennel. He knows the word "kennel" and switches to a more gentle mouthing or licking, at least for a few seconds.
I trust it will pass, and that his ears will pop up when the teething is done as well.
 

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Your puppy sounds perfectly normal. Unfortunately, GSD puppies show their love with their teeth. Just don't neglect his training, keep up with puppy classes, and he should grow out of it in a couple of months. Don't be afraid to use the crate when you need a break (within reason, of course). Also, baby gates and ex-pens are your friends. I would try to discourage the chasing as much as possible (I know how hard that can be with an 11-week-old puppy) by putting the puppy out of the way or distracting him with a more appealing toy while the kids are running around, squealing, rough housing, or doing other erratic kid things. Until both kids and puppy are able to gain some self-control and have learned how to behave around each other, it makes some sense to keep them seperate when things get too amped up. Don't be discouraged. Take lots of pictures. Before you know it, you'll feel sentimental about this cute little bitey puppy stage.
 

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Boon is 15.5 weeks old, and bites bites bites. Always wants something to chew/nibble/bite. He bites me awake in the morning, he bites when we pet him, he bites while we eat. He still has teething to go through.
It's not hard, aggressive biting. It's sometimes his way of saying he wants to play, and sometimes when we say "go get your toy", he'll do that.
If he gets too rambunctious, I might warn him to ease up or he'll go in the kennel. He knows the word "kennel" and switches to a more gentle mouthing or licking, at least for a few seconds.
I trust it will pass, and that his ears will pop up when the teething is done as well.
Mine is also 15.5 weeks old (will be 16 weeks on Thursday). Like Boon, mine also bites bites bites. I get those sharp needles when I pet him, brush him, wipe him down when he's wet, clean his ears and eyes, put a leash on him, give him treats, play with him, etc. etc. etc. My hands, fingers, wrists, arms are all cut up, bruised, scratched, and bandaged. If I redirect him, he will come back and bite harder. If I yelp and walk away, it doesn't phase him. They don't help, but I continue to do these things because that's what we're supposed to do. However, I know it'll get better because that's what everyone says, AND I went through this with a previous GSD. Sometimes I feel alone and that I got the only GSD ever that bites this much,...until I realize from these forums, and through other means, that everyone goes through this. Some pups bite more than others. My previous wasn't as bad as the current one. (BTW, can someone tell me if working lines are worse than show lines or it's just a coincidence because my previous was a show line, and my current is a working line...and the previous was much less bitey?) The weird thing is he bites me and my family, but never bites strangers which I'm glad because the last thing I need is a lawsuit. Plus 1/3 of the time he bites me to tell me something...either its meal time, or he needs to got out to potty, or he needs a nap. I'm looking forward to the day when he stops biting, hopefully sooner than later. You gotta give something (your blood and a short period of your life), to get something (a lifetime of having a wonderful pet). Remember...NO PAIN, NO GAIN. So stay strong, OP, and it'll be over soon. Try, just try, to enjoy these puppy days because 12 years from now, you will wish you spent more time enjoying the puppy stage and not wish he grew up faster.
 

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In the end, they grow up to be the most intuitive, most loving and devoted companion you'll ever have...and then you'll forget all of this minor stuff, and want another >:)

Genalis mom, best wishes for the surgery and your speedy recovery!
 

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We've had a lot of luck with our now 2 year old and our 13 week old with doing a loud yip when they bite; I think it's down to less than once/day with the puppy, and with our adult I know she stopped very early, even through the heavy teething stages. They come from relatively gentle lines (I don't think that's an official term; I just know they are chill, their relatives are chill, and there are a lot of therapy dogs). I let both the now 2 year old and the puppy mouth my hand gently, and yip as soon as there is any pressure. The adult will come and gently correct the pup if she perceives I'm getting hurt.
 

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BITING not nipping!

Hang in there. My boy is 5 months old today. I laugh when people say “nippy” or “mouthy”. I wish! He full on BITES! He would find my ankle and bite. He would find a finger and bite. My clothes, my shoes, my hair, etc... My arms and legs and my clothes are a mess. I had to go to the doctor yesterday to get stitches removed (not due to the dog!). The nurse saw my arms and legs and wondered if I needed help for “cutting”. I immediately told her I have a 5 month old GSD and she laughed (and probably breathed a sigh of relief).

But at 5 months old, he is MUCH better now. Maybe once or twice a day he will try his assault maneuvers. I am healing! I too tried the redirect, the “yipes!” Etc... It just made him more crazy. But overall he is amazing. Someone said to relax and try to enjoy this stage, because before you know it, 12 years has come and gone taking your best friend with it. My first GSD has been gone almost a year. I still miss him very much everyday. But this guy helps the healing and he will have a good life, and he will give me a great life!
 

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