Nippy 1 yr dog
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Thread: Nippy 1 yr dog

  1. #1
    Member kmac99's Avatar
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    Nippy 1 yr dog

    We are fostering a 1 yr it so old GSD mix. She is only 42 lbs and how big she will get. So not sure what she is mixed with.
    She is a major hand full, a real brat.
    We already have 2 really good dogs. One is a Newfie mix (alpha too) and other is a box/hound. They listen and behavior so good. This is our doing and training so not new to dogs.
    The new one is so mouthy. Alot of it is play we get that but after 4 weeks ahead of will not listen. She is aways starting with my other 2. They are 4 and 5 yes so not to old. The Alpha has put her in her place so many times it is not funny but still keeps staring.
    Two weeks ago my 2 went after the pup. Dog fight and it was just me to break it up. I know part of it was them protecting me. In the end no dog hurt but my 1 finger got ripped by the pup. Today she went after my hand and if wasn't for my ring she may have gotten me again. I know it was just play to her.
    She does have chew toys around too. Just can figure out how to stop to biting.
    And ideas? Looking at training but that will be 3 weeks from now.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member oldNgray's Avatar
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    Re: Nippy 1 yr dog

    I am dealing with the same issue with my 5-month-old border collie pup. Oh, how I hope she grows out of this well before she is 1 year old!

    Our trainer suggested having tiny bits of treats to distract her. It's hard. Some days it feels like I'm rewarding her for biting. But the idea is this: Distract with food. Get her into a "sit" or "down." Then treat her for the sit or down -- not the biting. Unfortunately, I do not wear the treat bag 24/7. Maybe I should.

    My girl is very mouthy. She used to put her mouth on me every time I'd try to pet her. A few weeks ago, I started to treat & pet, treat & pet, treat & pet and now she's much better about being touched. In fact, I've since learned that she loves a good belly scratch and enjoys being scratched behind her ears. Though I think she just tolerates me stroking her back and other parts of her body. The real nipping problem comes when she's amped up. She gets so excited that she doesn't just mouth, she nips. Sometimes hard enough to break the skin. This happens when it's time to come back inside after a rousing game of fetch. Happens sometimes, not always, when I try to take something from her that she doesn't want to give up. And it happens when she's really tired and I'm trying to get her into her crate (she sometimes goes willing, but sometimes doesn't). It feels aggressive to my hands and arms, but I know that in her mind she's just initiating play in her own little border collie way.

    While I've raised two other dogs from puppy stage over the past 25 years, I'm a complete NOVICE to the mechanics and psychology of dog training. Hopefully, someone with lots of experience and training will come by and answer your question. In the meantime, I would suggest keeping the foster GSD separate from your household pets. And keep lots of treats in a pouch or pocket for those times when you are interacting with the foster pooch. And work with her often, so that she can learn good behavior for her new family. If she ends up in a home with someone who is not as understanding or patient as you, it might be disaster for this little GSD mix.

  4. #3
    Member kmac99's Avatar
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    We have done treats but once she gets them she goes right back to nipping away. When it gets really bad and she will not listen at all we put a muzzle on her for just a couple on minutes. Trying to not be aggressive. A negative treatment that doesn't hurt but there got to be a better way.
    When she isn't nipping she not bad but it's normally what she does, nips at us or my 2 other dogs.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Mouthy GSD doesn't sound unusual 🙂 Generallly high energy, high drive, some bred for sports and work that includes using the mouth. But, I am not a GSD person so my direct breed knowledge is limited.

    That said, your phrasing and use of terms like "alpha" make me wonder if maybe your training techniques and guidance might be a bit outdated? A muzzle for example has good uses- it can keep a dog from eating something dangerous on a walk whilst you train him to leave it, can keep a dog in pain for biting a vet during a procedure, can help a known dog aggressive dog to be walked safely. But it should never feel like something negative for the dog. I don't mean that I think you are trying to punish the dog with a muzzle, I just read the wording as an indication that studying up on some positive and modern training might be to your benefit.

    Age appropriate physical exercise (safe for growing joints and tendons), lots of mental exercise, and learning how to be calm (the dog, not you, although kinda the human too) are keys to surviving teenage puppyhood.

  7. #5
    Senior Member Canyx's Avatar
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    Re: Nippy 1 yr dog

    I would put down two rules:
    -any inappropriate mouthing immediately leads to a time out
    -reward calm, acceptable behaviors with appropriate tug games
    Soro - 4.22.06 - retriever/X
    Braeburn - 1.29.17 - Dutch shepherd

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    Re: Nippy 1 yr dog

    I would separate this dog from the other dogs. And I would keep this dog separate from the other dogs. That gives you an opportunity to work with this dog alone. What gender is the Newfie? If that dog is a female and they have already had a fight the next fight, which is coming. may be to the death. Males fight for breeding rights. Females fight for breathing rights.

    I agree with Canyx.. inappropriate behavior the dog does NOT get what she wants. A time out is good. Right into the crate or kennel or another room (I prefer the crate or kennel with nothing to self amuse or self reward).

    I would make her work for everything. She gets what she wants ONLY after you get what you want. Nothing in Life is Free. Calm behavior requires you to be calm first in voice and actions. Any teeth to skin results in time out. Leave a leash on the dog when out of the kennel or crate so you can pick it up and put the dog up (never have a collar on a dog in a kennel or crate).

    Tug with a ball on a rope or a tug toy with two handles is a good reward if the dog will engage with toys. I suspect she will. Let her win some of the time so she does not get frustrated with the game and lose interest (but have the leash on her so she cannot run off with the toy and amuse herself). The ONLY time she gets that toy is when you are working with her.

    Good luck.

  9. #7
    Member kmac99's Avatar
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    Ok so we have always been told to not use a crate to punish if you use it other times. So we haven't but might have to. It's not great weather here so she is treadmill train and use it to burn of energy. Truth hasn't worked she wants to to play with someone ALL the time. Our boxer, who can very energetic, can't keep up with her.
    Anything that seems to work for a couple of days and then she doesn't care. We been using positive and time outs to reinforce things.
    The Alpha is out top dog who is a female. They all are. We all agree a part of the fight has to do with my girls wanting to protect me. My boyfriend was out of town and when the pup got out of hand they put themselves between me and her. When we are not around the pup is in her crate. Also if all 3 are outside we make sure one if us is there too. Truth since that night the Alpha been very patient with the pup.
    We have an appointment next week to see about professional help. They specialize in GSD too.
    Hopefully they can give us what we are missing.

  10. #8
    Senior Member oldNgray's Avatar
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    Re: Nippy 1 yr dog

    Quote Originally Posted by kmac99 View Post
    Ok so we have always been told to not use a crate to punish if you use it other times. So we haven't but might have to.
    Do NOT use the crate as punishment. I did that and it was a HUGE mistake. Bad news for all involved.

    Many times, I think well meaning, experienced trainers give advice to novice trainers without giving us all the details or step-by-step instructions we need to be competent pet parents. The term "time out," which is common on forums and blogs can easily be translated into something it is not meant to be. For example, when I was told to give my pup a "time out," I did it the same way I would for a school-aged child: scold for misbehavior and send to room. This does not work for a dog. Instead, think of "time out" as "nap time" for a cranky toddler.

    For example, when I did "time out," I shook a finger, said "Bad girl. You get a time out," picked up her leash and led her to her crate and gently, but forcibly put her inside. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! What ended up happening is my pup would hear, "time out" and she'd throw a temper fit. She'd fight the leash, nip at my pant legs (something she'd not done for weeks) and she'd lunge up to nip my arms and hands. By then, I'd have to not-so-gently force her into her crate. In other words, I caused her bad behavior to escalate by using the crate as punishment.

    Time out is not supposed to be punishment. It should be a time for the dog to calm down, rest, maybe take a nap while also giving everyone else in the household a break from their naughty behavior.

    Now, when she gets to be a brat (which is several times a day), I take a deep breath, tell myself, "This little girl is overtired and we both need a break. Then I calmly lead her to her crate, lure her in with several treats and softly tell her "nap time, sweet girl." At first, it was really hard to get her to go in the crate on her own. It's been 10 days that we are using the "toddler nap" mindset. She is doing much better about going into her crate now. To be honest, at first, I felt like treat-luring her was akin to rewarding her for her bitey behavior. I had to remind myself that I was not rewarding her for the biting, which took place one or two minutes earlier. Instead, I am treat-training her to go calmly into her crate, a safe place where she can calm down, rest and refrain from her nippy behavior.

  11. #9
    Senior Member Canyx's Avatar
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    Re: Nippy 1 yr dog

    Time out is a punishment at times. Removal of something the dog wants.

    In real life, I have NEVER had a pet owner come back to me and say "those time outs you mentioned ruined crate training for me." Probably because I never have people use the crate as a time out location if the puppy doesn't already love the crate. Goes without saying, it is easier to assess a situation and really figure out what someone is doing correctly/incorrectly in person. However, if it needs to be clarified... A "time out" is putting yourself or your puppy somewhere where the puppy can calm down, and not physically be able to reach you. Gate, crate, pen, tether, different room, etc. If a dog already loves the crate, the result of a time out is the dog should simple settle in their crate; because that is what the crate means to them.

    So to kmac99, IF your shepherd already loves the crate, and IF you calmly ask her to go in and shut the door for 15 minutes as a time out, there should be nothing wrong with that. IF your dog is 'fighting you' each step of the way or you need to seriously coax your dog to go in, opt for other time out locations instead. Regardless, I am a strong believer that for mouthy dogs, you need an area of absolute separation. The dog can still be in the same room (so not thrown into a cupboard or into the basement), but not be able to practice mouthing a person any time they want attention.
    Soro - 4.22.06 - retriever/X
    Braeburn - 1.29.17 - Dutch shepherd

  12. #10
    Member mustluvdogs66's Avatar
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    OldNgray is correct. The crate should not be used in any negative way. If you need to get a break, either “time out” behind a gate and ignored or if you have to use crate, it’s “time for a break” in a happy tone.
    I’m not sure why your dogs feel the need to protect you, but you need to assure them that You can handle it. It’s not their job to protect you from another housemate.
    Start thinking about this in a different way. She is not trying to be a brat. She just doesn’t know what to do with herself or how to relax. She’s been with you a very short time.
    You have a teenage working breed. Hanging around the house won’t cut it. She sounds like she needs more physical exercise - meaning structured walks outside the yard. And mental stimulation like working on cues (Sit, Down, stay, play hide n seek, etc...) and doing food puzzles, like a treat ball and a Frozen Kong.
    Reward her with a treat for any calm behaviors, if she’s sitting or laying down or just being calm.
    You got this. Stay consistent and positive. It will get better!

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    Does the dog know how to settle down? Some of these dogs do have to be taught to settle in the house if they dont see it on their own.

  14. #12
    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: Nippy 1 yr dog

    Has the nipping gotten any better with your GSD?

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