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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

My parents adopted a 6-month old German Shepherd/Border Collie mix from our local Humane Society 2 weeks ago. He's an adorable, sweet, and very observant little guy named Brinkley. He loves getting belly rubs, being brushed, going for walks, and his kong. Although the shelter told us that he was a laid back guy who had been a star in his foster home living with kids and other pets, they're having issues with him biting. As a 6-month old, we realize this is puppy play biting, but the bites leaves bruises and if he gets too excited he begins growling. It can be hard to get away from him. It's mostly predictable- when he gets home from walks, when people get home from work, when food is being prepared- but every once in awhile it's just random. So far they've been trying: make like a tree, redirect him onto a chew toy, leaving the room, saying 'eh eh eh' and 'no bite,' all with limited success. It seems like the more you engage with him, the more aggressive he gets. We spoke to our vet, who recommended we continue leaving the room and trying to give him no attention when it happens, as well as putting him in his crate with a toy when he gets home from walks to try to prevent the behavior. He's also just started obedience training this week.

He goes on 3 long walks a day and is well socialized with other dogs and people. Once we know him a little better, we also want to start taking him to dog parks for some free run time. The biting really only happens in the house (so far). Is this just something that will take time? Anyone else have this experience with a puppy around this age or of these breeds? We all want to be safe and we want Brinkley to feel safe and happy here, too. My fear is that he's a big dog getting bigger, so this sort of behavior can only become more dangerous :/ I also don't want to overreact to something that might just be a developmental thing.

Any and all advice would be appreciated!

IMG-20130311-00141.jpg DSCN4057.jpg
 

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GSDs are sharks, so this is normal.

Since it seems like engaging him makes him more excited, try walking away from him. Put up some baby gates so he can't follow you, and leave the room for a minute. Do this consistently and he will learn that biting ends the fun.

Also, he's really cute, but I highly doubt he's a GSD x border collie. That mix would have much more fur. There has to be something with a short coat in the mix.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that response. That's our main tactic- trying to leave the room calmly. I'm being impatient, but I'd be more encouraged if we were seeing faster results! Such is life of a having a puppy.

Yeah, the shelter said that was their guess, because he looks shepherd-ish but exhibited some BC behavior- he gets into a 'herding pose' when other dogs approach and then lies down, is super sensitive to sounds/sights, observes everything- but I suppose those could be traits of a lot of different breeds or just individual quirks. Any guess as to his other breed(s)?
 

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He looks SPUNKY... training him through his teenage years will be challenge-- you are off to good start, try an adolescent manners class, when he gets a bit older ....OOPS 6months! get him in nowish would be great!!! And you would hear alot of similar stories...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Spunky is a good descriptor for him! It's comforting to hear that other people have experienced these puppy crazes and biting. I just want to make sure we're not missing some early signs of a serious behavior problem.

He just started a 'Puppy 1' class last weekend and he's going every week to learn basic obedience commands. The other three puppies in the class are closer to 3 months though, so I feel bad that our rescue guy is behind! I haven't heard of options for an adolescent manners class... do you think the one he's in now will suffice?
 

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Spunky is a good descriptor for him! It's comforting to hear that other people have experienced these puppy crazes and biting. I just want to make sure we're not missing some early signs of a serious behavior problem.

He just started a 'Puppy 1' class last weekend and he's going every week to learn basic obedience commands. The other three puppies in the class are closer to 3 months though, so I feel bad that our rescue guy is behind! I haven't heard of options for an adolescent manners class... do you think the one he's in now will suffice?
It wont hurt, alot of 3months have that nipping/mouthing issue as well... but look around if you are in city, most places (even our SPCA) has an older puppy manners/ adolescent class-- then you will have a cohort with similar issues/developmental stages to relate to....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's great info. We do have one in our area, so we'll look into getting him signed up for that. Not sure how much longer I can take the arm bruises!
 

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Border Collies can come short or long hair. I just bought a gsd/border collie mix and there was one pup with real short smooth coat while all the others were fluff balls. I got the runt however so all tho she has gsd colors she's real small.
 
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