German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My girlfriend and I are new German Shepherd owners. Our GSD is 10 1/2 weeks old now. We love him to death, but some times his behavior is a concern, specifically for my girlfriend.

Unfortunately, we aquired him at a mere age of 6 1/2 weeks, so biting inhibition was already a concern. There have been minor improvements in regards to the biting specifically, but there are still times where he is repeatedly biting us and leaving significant marks on our skin. That coupled with the growls and barking is causing a fear in my girlfriend. He seems to be more aggressive towards her than myself, though I have my moments.

Is this normal puppy behavior? When should we become concerned? What is the best way to discipline him in these moments, so we can mold our beautiful puppy into a well-behaved adult? :help:

Thanks ahead of time for all your input.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
it's puppy behaviour. enroll in a puppy class. take control
and tell your girlfriend to stop being afraid of the pup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,699 Posts
there are a lot of threads here. There is also a sticky on bit inhibition.
Normal behavior - he is playing like he would play with his littermates. I've got to run to work but I'm sure that someone will chime in with links and helpful advice :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,735 Posts
I used to post here about biting, my pup was the worst case ever. 5 and 1/2 month now and he is cuddles =) When it seems like biting will never stop, it will!

P.S. he was also biting me allot more than my husband, I was just more fun I guess
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
This is one of those ironies of nature. They give pups the sharpest teeth during the times they bite everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
My pup was also 6.5 weeks old when she came home with me christmas day (was a gift from my parents so had no choice in the matter) and she was horrible for biting a lot more than my last GSD who came home with me at nearly 10 weeks. Its just about getting through the worse of the biting, no point in being afraid of the pup will just feed into him, try putting a toy in his mouth and playing with that say NOOOOO when he bites and then put the toy in his mouth and play and say This is yours! In a happy tone.. give him stuff he is allowed to chew on like a bone and do the same thing Noooo! and This is yours. Also just walk away and leave him be for a minuet then come back...

I know it might not seem like it now but the biting stage does end! lol I promise you that, my girl is almost 8 months now and we are LONG past the biting stage that ended at around 5 months. Best of luck, and ready the stickies in the forum for Bite Inhibition there are lots more ways than what I have given. Any pictures of the little landshark?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
I agree, it worked for us. Ours didn't come home until 8 weeks, but we did the same.
A stern - not mean - noo or ouch , replaced with. Toy!
When you think it will never end it finally does, then you'll have a snuggle bug!???
(Just watch your face during this stage)


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
Teach him to bite a rag or a moving towel and correct him for biting you. Later, you can use the biting of the toy as a motivator for obedience training. Use a leash to help maintain control and give him pops on the collar to correct him. If he does this in the house when you are just sitting around and you can't redirect him to bite a toy, crate him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,323 Posts
Totally normal. It may be an uphill battle for you-- being taken from mom (and litter mates) way too early means that he missed a critical socialization period where they start teaching bit inhibition to each other. He'll grow out of it if you keep on top of it though! Redirection is your friend...carry a toy in your pocket whenever you're around him.

I remember thinking my puppy was Satan incarnate... :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Awesome information, guys. I really appreciate all the insight and high hopes for the future. I will definitely check out the stickies and other posts on this forum. :eek:

We have tried the toy method, but it only works about 25% of the time at this point. Lately, we've also been trying to instill time outs, but it's still too early to gauge it's effectiveness. Does an ignoring method work better than a physical response such as a collar pop or flipping him on his back when it comes to GSD's? Sometimes I feel this only fuels the fire. He seems to respond more positively to my stern "no's" as opposed to my girlfriend's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
And FYI, we are enrolling him in puppy classes at the end of this week. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
My pup was also 6.5 weeks old when she came home with me christmas day (was a gift from my parents so had no choice in the matter) and she was horrible for biting a lot more than my last GSD who came home with me at nearly 10 weeks. Its just about getting through the worse of the biting, no point in being afraid of the pup will just feed into him, try putting a toy in his mouth and playing with that say NOOOOO when he bites and then put the toy in his mouth and play and say This is yours! In a happy tone.. give him stuff he is allowed to chew on like a bone and do the same thing Noooo! and This is yours. Also just walk away and leave him be for a minuet then come back...

I know it might not seem like it now but the biting stage does end! lol I promise you that, my girl is almost 8 months now and we are LONG past the biting stage that ended at around 5 months. Best of luck, and ready the stickies in the forum for Bite Inhibition there are lots more ways than what I have given. Any pictures of the little landshark?


This is the little terror himself. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I bought my GSD puppy at 8 weeks and she is very bad with the biting (she's now 16 weeks). I tried everything in the book including redirecting her to a toy but she was not interested. My vet told me to hold her mouth closed until she relaxed and my puppy thought that was a game. Tried ignoring her and she came still came after me. Tried yelling ouch and "yelping" and that didnt phase her. My mom read online to try scuffing her....BAD IDEA! I finally found a class to enroll her in that didnt require all 3 shots and my trainer told me to put her in her cage for 20 seconds and say "no bite. " If she came out still biting place her right back in. That works when my puppy wants it to work ( she's a little hard headed). Getting her into her cage is another story....she likes me to play the chasing game and is highly entertained by it! My hands are all torn up....looks like I got abused and my hands are in constant pain. It also doesn't help that she's teething right now....can't wait till all the "razors" fall out! All in all I would suggest trying putting your puppy in the cage for 20 seconds IF the other methods don't work. Good luck!


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,323 Posts
So, so, so, so cute :wub:

I would seriously avoid physical correction and alpha-rolling. I speak from experience... not a good idea. If you have a dog that doesn't have solid nerves (like mine), you'll create an even bigger mess (like mine). I listened to all the people who don't know the breed going "oh no! He'll be aggressive, he's a GSD! You have to show him who's boss!"... except that a puppy being mouthy isn't about him trying to be boss, it's how they explore the world. There's definitely a line between "you can't let him get away with stuff" and "you have to show who's boss." Be consistent that it's not acceptable. I found that the "yelping" really did help over the long run. If he gets a little mouthy in play right now (he's almost three but can still get very excitable), I will still "yelp" and he stops dead.

I don't think anything will be foolproof at this point besides patience and consistency. You're fighting instinct, so it'll take a while. Once you guys get "homework" from puppy class, you can also start redirecting with commands like "sit" and "down" and practicing those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Welcome to the landshark club! :)

Our 12 week old puppy is the same way, he likes to "play" more with me than my husband. We had the same issue with toy redirection and time outs on his end didn't work. He does respond better to my husband's voice but if I clap my hands or snap my fingers with a loud NO it usually snaps him out of his rampage. We've had the best luck with leaving the room altogether when he was too rough (thank god for babygates). We bought about 6 different types of bones before we found one he would actually chew on (peanut butter rawhide). We're also teaching "off" and "easy/nice", of course it works better with treats in hand haha but we've seen improvement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
So, so, so, so cute :wub:

I would seriously avoid physical correction and alpha-rolling. I speak from experience... not a good idea. If you have a dog that doesn't have solid nerves (like mine), you'll create an even bigger mess (like mine). I listened to all the people who don't know the breed going "oh no! He'll be aggressive, he's a GSD! You have to show him who's boss!"... except that a puppy being mouthy isn't about him trying to be boss, it's how they explore the world. There's definitely a line between "you can't let him get away with stuff" and "you have to show who's boss." Be consistent that it's not acceptable. I found that the "yelping" really did help over the long run. If he gets a little mouthy in play right now (he's almost three but can still get very excitable), I will still "yelp" and he stops dead.

I don't think anything will be foolproof at this point besides patience and consistency. You're fighting instinct, so it'll take a while. Once you guys get "homework" from puppy class, you can also start redirecting with commands like "sit" and "down" and practicing those.
Thank you.

I think that is solid advice. Patience is key at this point, particularly for my girlfriend. :crazy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Welcome to the landshark club! :)

Our 12 week old puppy is the same way, he likes to "play" more with me than my husband. We had the same issue with toy redirection and time outs on his end didn't work. He does respond better to my husband's voice but if I clap my hands or snap my fingers with a loud NO it usually snaps him out of his rampage. We've had the best luck with leaving the room altogether when he was too rough (thank god for babygates). We bought about 6 different types of bones before we found one he would actually chew on (peanut butter rawhide). We're also teaching "off" and "easy/nice", of course it works better with treats in hand haha but we've seen improvement.
Thaaaanks.... :crazy:

Vader starts classes next week, but I'm going to go ahead and try to instill the "off" command in his regimen. Maybe I'll pick up another bone while I'm at it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Yeah just buckle up cause it's going to be a wild crazy ride for a few months!! ;) Doing the "yelp" helped with Remy, when he bit too hard I would give out a high-pitched yowl and then walk away and ignore him for about 30 seconds. It took a little while but eventually started to sink in. But as others have said, it's part of the phase so you will have to just manage some of it as much as you can and try to give him stuff to bite on instead of your body parts and furniture. Have fun and enjoy the sleepy times :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,920 Posts
We have tried the toy method, but it only works about 25% of the time at this point. Lately, we've also been trying to instill time outs, but it's still too early to gauge it's effectiveness. Does an ignoring method work better than a physical response such as a collar pop or flipping him on his back when it comes to GSD's? Sometimes I feel this only fuels the fire. He seems to respond more positively to my stern "no's" as opposed to my girlfriend's.
Don't collar pop or flip a puppy onto their back. The puppy is just trying to play and that kind of action will just potentially damage your relationship.

I did sometimes put a puppy on his side to get him to calm down but it was not an "alpha roll" It has to be done a very very specific way. You gently but firmly put the puppy on his side and hold him in place by his shoulders and hips. NEVER THE NECK or it may freak out thinking you are trying to kill it. You CALMLY hold the puppy in place even if it screams and struggles. Don't get angry don't give stern commands don't do that silly dog whisperer hiss. Just calmly tell the puppy relax over and over. It will give up and chill out. As the puppy relaxes you ease off on the pressure used to keep him in place till you're just using a finger or nothing at all. If it struggles just keep holding it there. When you have him relaxed the eyes will be giving a soft look or closed the puppy will be laying down on its own. The real test is if you run your finger near its mouth. If it goes for a gnaw its not relaxed and perhaps just playing possum! When the puppy is relaxed you give calm praise and pet and repeat good relax. You will also want to pet and say "good relax" whenever you see the puppy calm and resting on its side outside of the exercise so that you put a label on that behavior for the puppy over time.

You can achieve the same thing hugging the puppy against your chest too if you want to seem less alpha rolly. You want to be confident the puppy doesn't go for your face in protest if you go this route though. The end result is you being able to tell the puppy to relax when hes freaking out, and he will go into that state of relaxation just like if you were to command the dog to sit or stay.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top