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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
NEW PUPPY German Shepherd Aggression / Biting

This question is NOT about typical " mouthing " or " puppy biting ", I understand that puppies use their mouths for everything, and have no problem with that. My question is about something very different, a sign of aggression, and biting to avoid being stopped from miss behavior or being picked up.

We have a 10 week old German Shepherd puppy, and 75 % of the time she is very sweet. We pick her up, pet her, etc with no real problems. But there is about 25 % of the time that she gets " Hyper " and becomes very difficult. When we try to pick her up, she gets mad, lets out a little growl, and tries to bite our hands so that we will let her go.

This puppy is with us 24 hours a day, is never left alone, she gets lots of attention, and has all the toys a puppy could ever want, so I do not think she is biting due to lack of attention. The breeder did tell us she was the " alpha " of her litter, more dominant than the other puppies. She is incredibly willful and smart, every time I find a way to stop her from doing something bad, the next day she figures out how to do the misbehavior despite my best efforts.

I read 1000 articles all over the web about typical puppy play biting, but can not find a single article or advice about a puppy showing signs of aggressive biting like this. Does anyone know how to deal with this ? Is this problem of puppy aggression so rare that no one even talks about it ? How do you deal with a very willful, defiant puppy, I do not want to resort to negative correction all the time, so I am not sure what to do...

Mike
 

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Your puppy needs more alone time. All dogs do. Too much together is a lot for a puppy and can create stress. A few hours separated from you in a quiet place in a crate will help her a LOT (she may scream at first). If you watch a litter of puppies they are not all together all the time. Each will go off by itself for awhile. Give her that time (I use a crate and something to occupy the dog). A few hours a day is good.

This is not a dog to "pick up." She has reached an age and size where she doesn't WANT to be picked up and, when she is an adult you won't be picking her up. Stop that.

"All the toys a puppy could want" is another issue. No. She can have 20 toys but only gets two or three each day. Rotate them so that each day she has NEW toys.

Last, but not least, there should be two or three toys she ONLY gets when you are playing with her or training her. When you are not engaged with her, those toys are put up.

If you give her structure and boundaries she will be happier and so will you.
 

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Lol is this your first german shepherd pup?
Puppies that age can get really hyper and cranky at the same time....when they need some down time. I'd try just putting her in her crate or wherever you put her when she gets like that, and let her nap.
Try not to do too much correcting right yet. She's still very young, and right now for the first few months just working on the bond between the two of you would be what I'd mostly be working on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Your puppy needs more alone time. All dogs do. Too much together is a lot for a puppy and can create stress. A few hours separated from you in a quiet place in a crate will help her a LOT (she may scream at first). If you watch a litter of puppies they are not all together all the time. Each will go off by itself for awhile. Give her that time (I use a crate and something to occupy the dog). A few hours a day is good.

This is not a dog to "pick up." She has reached an age and size where she doesn't WANT to be picked up and, when she is an adult you won't be picking her up. Stop that.

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Just to clarify a bit, we are home 24 hours a day, but she does have a crate to sleep in, and also a dog bed. She can walk off and sleep whenever she wants. Actually we prefer it when she plays by herself or goes go sleep :)

I frequently pick up my adult German Shepherd, so the puppy will have to get used to it also, because she will be picked up sometimes. German Shepherds make great lap dogs !

My adult German Shepherd is amazing, the moment she figures out what I want, it is done. The puppy is exactly the opposite, the moment she figures out what is bad, she wants to do it more. I feel like I have gone from having the best dog in the world to having the hardest dog in the world.

Mike
 

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Haha I know the feeling. My current dog 11 months old and in the teenage stage. My wife calls him satan......every time I get a puppy I just keep telling myself all the bad behavior is potential to be channelled.....over and over and over....
 

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Hate to break it to you, but this is completely within the normal range of puppy behavior, GSD or not. Simple answer is your puppy needs more structure, not more corrections. I do not like the words "alpha" "defiant", etc. when describing such a simple behavior... Your puppy is bored (which is OK), she is motivated to chew and explore, maybe she is independent. Dog training is not about a battle of the wills. It's about control of resources and access.

If your pup is constantly misbehaving and biting you, put her away! Utilize a crate, pen, baby gate, etc. Teach her that inappropriate behavior results in a (gentle) 15 minute time out. Use her meals to train with her. Teach her to do what you want instead of punishing the millions of things you don't want her to do. Use her favorite toys to play and train with her instead of having them free on the ground. And puppies get zoomies (times when they are hyper, extra mouthy, and not listening at all). Just put her away for a nap. Ignore her if she whines/barks/etc. Easy as that.

Sounds like you lucked out with your first GSD :D Most of them are like your current puppy.
 

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Do you know the genetics behind this puppy? Genes are the source of all basic dog behavior.

If you have a new puppy with working lines, the lap thing may very well not work or may have to happen on her terms. I have a smallish working line bitch who is titled IPO 3 and has her Fh and she will sometimes choose to climb up on me. She will also roll over for belly rubs. She weighs in at 58 pounds. I have another bitch, German Show Lines, who would have a melt down if I picked her up (besides she weighs 78 pounds!). She would be un-nerved. My young dog is male and is too strong in personality for picking up or belly rubs. A young very stable dog in temperament who is very clear about his boundaries which is what you want in this breed. He commands respect without being a threat and considering the work he has ahead, that is awesome.

My point is you need to know "what you have" in your new dog. They can be variable.... by quite a lot as determined by genetics. What is the breeding of your new puppy? I see the dog you have is white. If you bought a puppy for color and not for temperament you may have some issues since selecting for a non working trait (such as color) can leave you with a dog with unbalanced drives.

Bitey German Shepherd puppies are what we like to see. Get a ball on a rope and engage this dog. Jolly balls are good too. You can teach impulse control with a jolly ball (she cannot touch it until you say go and you kick it). Impulse control helps with everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Do you know the genetics behind this puppy? Genes are the source of all basic dog behavior.

If you have a new puppy with working lines, the lap thing may very well not work or may have to happen on her terms. I have a smallish working line bitch who is titled IPO 3 and has her Fh and she will sometimes choose to climb up on me. She will also roll over for belly rubs. She weighs in at 58 pounds. I have another bitch, German Show Lines, who would have a melt down if I picked her up (besides she weighs 78 pounds!). She would be un-nerved. My young dog is male and is too strong in personality for picking up or belly rubs. A young very stable dog in temperament who is very clear about his boundaries which is what you want in this breed. He commands respect without being a threat and considering the work he has ahead, that is awesome.

My point is you need to know "what you have" in your new dog. They can be variable.... by quite a lot as determined by genetics. What is the breeding of your new puppy? I see the dog you have is white. If you bought a puppy for color and not for temperament you may have some issues since selecting for a non working trait (such as color) can leave you with a dog with unbalanced drives.

Bitey German Shepherd puppies are what we like to see. Get a ball on a rope and engage this dog. Jolly balls are good too. You can teach impulse control with a jolly ball (she cannot touch it until you say go and you kick it). Impulse control helps with everything.
Hi 3GSD4IPO,

You are correct, we wanted another White German Shepherd... Our older White German Shepherd is absolutely amazing, zero issues at home, sweet, and as soon as she figures out what we want, its done. What I want to do is clone our current dog, but that is not a possibility, so we did the next best thing and got another White German Shepherd puppy. I am a little encouraged about what you say, because the majority of the time, our puppy does like belly rubs, being pet, and is totally OK with being picked up and carried. The only issue with picking her up is when I try to pick her up to give her " TIME OUT " at which point she will growl and try to bite... The time out thing worked perfectly for one day, but then she figured it out. Now it is impossible to get her into the time out area and close the door, she quickly figures out and counters our every move... At 10 weeks, she is smart enough to know when I am going to put her away, correct a behavior, etc. etc. and counters me very effectively. If she can resist this effectively at 15 pounds and 10 weeks, I fear what it will be like when she is 80 pounds....

What is IPO 3 ??? I would not even know how to find out the genetics of a dog... So now it is time to figure out what we have, any advice on finding out what kind of temperament / behavior she will have ? We paid 1800.00 dollars for her, so I hope she is the companion / sweet dog we are looking for. Any advice on the best way to teach her impulse control ??? I know my time window is very short for training, so we are willing to put the work into her now.

Mike
 

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If a dog is resistent (bites me, is evasive, etc.), that dog is not loose in my house without dragging a leash. Now, I'm not saying to drag the puppy into a timeout space. But you can train leash skills separately, and at the very least you can use the leash to gently restrain the puppy in her wildest moments, or safely tether her to a sturdy object.

Feisty puppy, too much freedom, not enough structure.
 

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Yes to the drag leash! Mine have a leash of one sort or another on almost all the time for the first six months or more. A drag leash is a fantastic means of control while in the house.
 

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IPO used to be Schutzhund. Here are links with information.

https://www.germanshepherddog.com/about/schutzhund-training/

http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/articles.html?s=what-is-schutzhund-and-ipo

If your dog does not want to go in the crate, then you need to make going in the crate a game and rewarding to the dog. This means working on it when you do not NEED the dog to go in. Food is a wonderful thing and I use food that is better than kibble (bits of cold cuts, pieces of dog food rolls, Kong with peanut butter in it etc.).

A lot of people make the mistake of having a great dog.. then getting a second dog and wanting it to be like the first dog. Nope. Rarely. Almost never. Your new dog is smart, self interested and NOT like your other dog at all.

So, the learning curve is yours not hers. Haha! And she is smart so yes to the leash drag and have food on you always. Correct behavior gets some reward.

A little advice. Most people will tell a dog when she is wrong. Very few people will enthusiastically tell a dog when she is right. Every correction needs to be countered with 3X more enthusaism for making the right choice (hopefully right after a correction).
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Yes to the drag leash! Mine have a leash of one sort or another on almost all the time for the first six months or more. A drag leash is a fantastic means of control while in the house.
Do I also need a steel ball to put on the leash ;)

Right now we use baby gates to keep her where we want. I am not ready to resort to the leash thing, but will give it a try if the current situation becomes unworkable, thanks for the advice !

Mike
 

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A little advice. Most people will tell a dog when she is wrong. Very few people will enthusiastically tell a dog when she is right. Every correction needs to be countered with 3X more enthusaism for making the right choice (hopefully right after a correction).
We have that one down ! We treat our dog as part of our family, and she has no shortage of praise, love, and attention. I do appreciate the advice though, I will make sure we concentrate 3X on the positive reinforcement. I guess this process is just going to take longer than I thought.

I am absolutely hoping our new puppy will be like our current dog. Our puppy watches the adult intently, tries to imitate, and follows are adult German Shepherd around a lot. My idea is for our Adult to help train the puppy by example, I would think some of the good behavior would be observed and learned. Choosing the same breed / color, and letting the puppy learn by example, what could possibly go wrong with that plan :D

Mike
 

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Lol no steel ball. Drag leash will just give you a way to guide the pup at times without having to pick her up or handle her so much. It can give you a way to avoid conflict with your pup......such as having to pick her up when shes being bratty, or if your pup wants to bite all over your hands when you need to physically stop her from doing something. Also makes for a great primer to just being on leash in general. Its just a short leash with the hand loop cut off so it doesnt get caught on stuff.
 

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Watch the praise, love and attention.
The reward for doing the right thing has to be clear to the dog and timing is everything. This is not love, praise or attention. It is clearly giving the dog something the dog wants (usually food) after marking the correct behavior at precisely the right time (so you need to teach her a marker.. clicker or the word YES said the same way each time). I wait about 2 seconds after marking to reward and I always reward after marking the correct behavior. You must be CLEAR!

I would separate your puppy from the older dog and work with him alone without the other dog around. You need to form a bond with the puppy. If your puppy spends a lot of time with the older dog, she will bond to the dog and not to you. In fact, her behavior could be emanating from that very thing. She will find it easier to make a bond with another of her own species than with YOU.

If this were my puppy and I wanted a second house dog two things I would have done and would do. First of all, I would NEVER have gotten a second female. A lot of people have two females and it works, but it can go wrong badly when it does not. One bitch will be #1 and the other #2 in rank between them. Trouble happens when the lower ranked dog thinks she should move up the ladder. Bitches (spaying makes NO difference) will fight to the death. Be aware that this CAN happen and would probably happen when the puppy reaches the age of 3 or so (sometimes sooner and sometimes later and sometimes MUCH later and sometimes never).

Second, from day one I would limit the interaction between the two dogs. You want your puppy to look to YOU, not to another dog. It is not to late to fix this part. It is a lot more work, but it makes all the difference when it comes to getting that puppy to do the things you want her to. You can give them some play time together if you want, but no more than half an hour twice a day. There are ppl on this forum who disagree with me and that is fine. I know what I know and to that end my titled dog will leave another dog to come and be with me in spite of her lower than ideal pack drive!

In this breed, behavior (and drive) is all about genetics. The litter my young dog came from is VERY consistent and this is a repeat breeding. The puppies from the previous litter were also very consistent in drives and behavior. I looked to a breeder who knows their business. My young dog's sire won the world IPO championship. The bitch is titled with very high scores and consistency. I purchased him with certain genetic expectations and so far I like what I am seeing. It does not always happen, but it surely increases the odds of getting what you want.
 

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When you were raising the older dog, was she always sweet, never nipped, AND did she always have 100% attention like the current puppy?
 

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Sounds like a tired, amped up puppy who has had very little handling/husbandry experience. Lots of treats and fun things for you touching them, etc.

And just +1 on what Canyx said. Sounds like a very normal puppy.
 
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