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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've been fostering five wonderful and hilarious half-GSD puppies for more than two weeks, with another three to go (took mom back to the shelter yesterday so she can be readied for adoption.) They are all mouthing and chewing of course, but a couple of the pups bite overly hard on hands and ankles. I'm looking for a way to mitigate that behavior, but the strategies I've heard of to use on a single dog don't seem to apply to a big group (like yelping and letting my hand go limp, ...) because the other puppies get confused. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you

RS
 

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Time outs? Have a pen ready and when pup gets over aroused he gets popped into the pen until he cools off. You may notice that play sessions are better shorter than longer so stopping play/training/handling at 5 minutes means you lose less skin than stopping at 6.
 

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How old are they? At about 6 weeks they should be kept separated in separate crates part of the day with more structured play time. At 8 weeks, most breeders I know separate the puppies. Period. A litter of puppies is a HUGE amount of work!!!!

Redirecting is your friend. Interact with them one by one and you will make better progress as you get them away from "group think."
 

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How old are they? At about 6 weeks they should be kept separated in separate crates part of the day with more structured play time. At 8 weeks, most breeders I know separate the puppies. Period. A litter of puppies is a HUGE amount of work!!!!

Redirecting is your friend. Interact with them one by one and you will make better progress as you get them away from "group think."
They are in the 10-week range. We brought them home about a month ago with mama, a 100% German Shepherd, because they were still nursing. She went back about 10 days ago (and got adopted quickly). The puppies will go back a week from Saturday. We can't separate them because we don't have the supplies or the set up for it. The shelter said it wasn't necessary and was actually better to keep them together. They have a lot of room to exercise as a group, and we spend time with them individually (or in pairs), and that's when we can use treats as rewards for good behavior, sitting, not jumping, etc. They act very differently when separated from the rabble. They've all gotten "sit," even when they're all together, which amazed us. We're just resigned to the fact that when they're in high-energy mode and are all together, the angels become little (adorable) monsters for a short time. Yes, it's a lot of work, but well worth it. It was much harder when mama was here because we had to walk her 6-7 times a day because of frequent diarrhea (which she couldn't always hold). The shelter vet said it was because she was still eating babies' poop and was pretty normal.

And you are so right: redirection -- and deception -- are wonderful friends. We're learning as we go. We'll be sad to see them go, though one of them will stay with us for good. What a hard choice!

Thanks for your input.
 
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