Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know I've posted this problem before but I think this has turned more into a case of the puppy actually being seemingly aggressive when she's biting me. Is this even possible at 10 weeks old? I have been trying pretty much every technique that's out there to get her to stop but to no avail. Yelping gets her even more excited and holding her down while trying to calm her does nothing either. She shows absolutely no interest in any toys either.

Anyways biting isn't really the worrying part. When she puts her teeth around my ankles is actually seems she may be trying to hurt me. I've tried to scare her off with a loud low bark and just a loud angry NO but this gets her more aggressive. The biting usually commences when I take something away from her that she shouldn't be chewing on such as a stray shoe or the furniture and when I try to replace what's in her mouth with a toy, she goes straight for my body.

Is this normal for a puppy (GSD) or is there something wrong with her?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,072 Posts
It honestly sounds pretty normal to me, at least from what you're describing. GSD pups are REALLY REALLY mouthy, and they certainly CAN be pushy. I would work on the Trade Game (I think there's a sticky for it on one of the other boards) with her, and do a better job of puppy proofing- if she's got no access to stray shoes, it'll be easier. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
i'd get a trainer now (professional). GSD's are powerful dogs and need calm assertive training. you and it would both benefit from a expert.
in the meantime putting her in 'timeout' (eg outside or in a separate room) everytime she bites will send her the message. but i advise a trainer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
i'd get a trainer now (professional). GSD's are powerful dogs and need calm assertive training. you and it would both benefit from a expert.
in the meantime putting her in 'timeout' (eg outside or in a separate room) everytime she bites will send her the message. but i advise a trainer
I'm relieved to hear that this is normal. I just came back inside after a brief play session that ended in me having to walk away becauseshe started biting my ankle again and I had to drag myself + her hanging onto my shoe inside but pushing her to stay outside.

Kind of a silly question, but suggested in many anti-biting articles is the 'walking away from play tact'. If she is hanging onto something of you (like your shoes, pants or ankles), how do you go about walking away? Do you just let the pup drag on from you until you reach the door?

EDIT: I can't afford a professional dog trainer at the moment. I have just started taking her to the local GSD dog club training sessions weekly for some basic obedience training though. Hopefully this might help a bit too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
I wouldn't advise walking away while she's still connected as her teeth could be damaged. just prise her teeth off and put her outside and close the door. ignore her and don't speak to her. once you think she's calm let her in and if she does it again, repeat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,066 Posts
Your puppy is normal.

Part of it is play, part of it is actually exhibiting a mild herding instinct.

This breed is bred to maintain grips.

It is a herding dog yes, but it is also a protection dog, and we harp on grip.

When the puppy grabs you, stop moving, say "Ahah!" and give her something else to chew on. She's not intentionally being naughty or mean, just following her instincts (prey drive in this case) to grab onto the moving object and make it stop so it goes in the "right" direction.

If after redirecting she still insists on chomping you, matter of factly pick her up, take her to her kennel, and put her in for a minute or two. She'll learn quickly that playing too roughly costs her a playmate.

Got a schutzhund club near you? xD!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Your puppy is normal.

Part of it is play, part of it is actually exhibiting a mild herding instinct.

This breed is bred to maintain grips.

It is a herding dog yes, but it is also a protection dog, and we harp on grip.

When the puppy grabs you, stop moving, say "Ahah!" and give her something else to chew on. She's not intentionally being naughty or mean, just following her instincts (prey drive in this case) to grab onto the moving object and make it stop so it goes in the "right" direction.

If after redirecting she still insists on chomping you, matter of factly pick her up, take her to her kennel, and put her in for a minute or two. She'll learn quickly that playing too roughly costs her a playmate.

Got a schutzhund club near you? xD!
Ah excellent advice once again Xeph! Thanks very much. Isn't schutzhund the training of protection dogs? I'd love for her to learn that sort of stuff but I doubt I could afford to take those classes haha. Plus I can't even get her to sit yet (gives me no attention when I actually want it).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,066 Posts
Admittedly, schutzhund is not a "cheap" sport, but it can tell you ALL sorts of things about your dog!

And it is more than just protection. It is obedience and tracking too. In fact, overall, the idea of schutzhund is to show how OBEDIENT your dog is in all situations!

Also, even if you can't afford to do it all the time, there ARE obedience and tracking only titles (So you can get the OB1-3 and TR1-3 and not do any protection) :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Admittedly, schutzhund is not a "cheap" sport, but it can tell you ALL sorts of things about your dog!

And it is more than just protection. It is obedience and tracking too. In fact, overall, the idea of schutzhund is to show how OBEDIENT your dog is in all situations!

Also, even if you can't afford to do it all the time, there ARE obedience and tracking only titles (So you can get the OB1-3 and TR1-3 and not do any protection) :)
I just did a quick google and the only club in my state is full at the moment and not accepting members. According to the FAQ, the annual membership is only around 150AUD which actually is not bad at all. However, I'm already attending basic obedience with the local GSD club and even that's a challenge! I can't even get her to sit yet. :( She just lacks focus. Absolutely anything is better than me dangling beef liver infront of her nose telling her to sit! (Yes even the concrete ground).

But every time I lose my patience, her puppy face just reminds me how cute she is. I'm really looking forward to her maturing a bit though and can muster up more than 0.01 seconds of concentration.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,066 Posts
Have you considered trying a toy instead?

I own a drivey bugger as it is, and he is indeed food motivated....but he works harder for his tuggy ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
She has 0 interest in any toys. I have tried sqeakies, nyla bones, balls, ect. Only thing she likes to chew on that aren't my ankles are shoes. I'll be going to the deli and buying some cheddar cheese and kabana after my exam tomorrow though. Maybe liver just isn't her thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
I drove my wife nuts when i got Bello. He is part pitty and also as a puppy had a nasty look and growl that i had never experienced with 3 or 4 of my other dogs. She wasn't worried at all but i read, and watched videos and cesar milan and talked to trainers etc. because i figured he was going to be mean just because of his type of biting and the tone in his voice when he did.

well 1.5 years later although he is a rough and tough guy, he is as loveable as any dog i have ever had. His breed is who he is and i am still working on certain issues but he turned out awesome even after i thought alot like you are now when he was a puppy. i assume he will be fine. you seem like you will do what is neccessary to curtail your problem . good luck.

keep up on obiedience training, it can only help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,066 Posts
Try and use her prey drive as an advantage Mike :) Get out a tug toy and zip it around and see what happens.

I can make a video for you if you like :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,615 Posts
Ahhh GSD puppies...LAND SHARK ALERT! LOL

I'm going to suggest a couple of things..don't know what all you have tried but all are worth a shot.

1/build yourself a flirt pole (a piece of small diameter pvc pipe about 4 feet long, a lightweight but tough piece of rope long enough to go all the way through the pipe and to have 6-10 feet off the other end depending onthe size of your yard and your own physical coordination, and a "dead animal" toy..like the unstuffed sort). Put the rope through the pipe and knot is so it will stay, attach the "dead animal" onto the other end. If she is not interested right away, you can make the toypart smelly by adding peanut butter or fish oil to it. Hold the pole part and flip, turn and throw the toy around the yard with it..used kind of like a longe line with a horse. This keeps the movement of the toy going and encourages her to chase it and bite it. This is a great way of venting her prey and herding drives and keeps the toy well away from YOU. My GSD and GSD mix clients have done very well with this inexpensive and interactive game.

2/Work your training in before her meals. A slightly hungry puppy is much more motivated to work for her food. Try many different kinds of treats and work out a "value hierarchy", some dogs will work for kibble, some need steak..a lot depends on the distraction levels and personal attention span of the puppy. I believe, IMO, that all dogs WILL work for food (eat or die..food is a primary reinforcer) if done right and choosing the right foods. Food is the easiest for basic training..the dog needs to learn how to learn before mixing in lifestyle rewards like toys, freedom, walks, play etc.

3/Don't manhandle her by pinning or forcing her mouth open (at least as much as is feasible..if she's got something dangerous in her mouth you do what you have to). Now, part of this is because as a positive trainer I don't recommend force at all, but it is also because any hands around face, forcey kind of stuff just makes a GSD an air snapping, finger grabbing maniac (at least in my experience)..the young guy I was working with recently grabbed his owners hands and sleeves and air bit repeatedly because PETTING his head, unless it was slow, methodical petting of neck, ears, made him worse. Once WE became calm, soothing voiced, slow moving masseurs he calmed down..a lot.

4/Teach her to tug (with rules...but you still have to find a treat she likes..lol)

5/Teach her to target your hand or a target stick (see sticky on targeting).

6/If you don't want her grabbing your stuff, make sure it is out of sight. If you don't want her grabbing your clothing, don't wear loose sleeves, drawstrings or anything stretchy or with laces that are long. This goes for any pup...

Good luck, she's adorable...
and you know that's why they make puppies and babies cute to start with right? So we won't want to kill em.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I have been avoiding tug toys because I read in a few places that playing tug of war with a puppy increases aggressiveness later on. This is just a myth? If so I'll go get her a tug toy ASAP.

And so true what you said Cracker about making puppies cute at the start hahaha!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,615 Posts
There are very few dogs in the world I won't play tug with. It's a great game, interactive and a good outlet for natural doggy behaviours. Tugging does not create aggression, but in some dogs can increase it..that's why the "rules"are so important.

You should start with teaching a "drop" command (using trading for goodies) before getting really into tugging.

The rules of Tug (the way I do it anyway..):
The tug toy must be long enough that YOU are not part of an accidental grab. A long, big tug toy is a must. Occasionally she may accidentally get you, when that happens, yelp and stop play for minute or stop the game completely. Be prepared for her to be frustrated by that if it happens. Impulse control is a toughy for high energy, mouthy breeds like GSD's.

The toy is only used for play between you and your dog. When the game is over the tug goes away. It helps keep the game 'special' and also prevents ingestion of the ropes.

The tugging starts and stops on your command:
Take it, starts the game.
Drop it, ends the game or the section of the game (reward by giving it back and playing some more!) or praise reward and then "all done."

To start play for the first time:

Offer the tug, let her pull a bit on it, being careful not to whip it back and forth roughly..not only does that really rev the pup up but is very hard on still developing teeth, jaws and neck.
When you decide to stop (or for her to calm down). Pull the hand(s) with the tug in close to your body, using your hips/thighs as an anchor and STOP MOVING. Wait. Possibly wait some more. Turn your head, wait some more. The toy (and you) will eventually become pretty boring...puppy will let go.

Immediately praise and "take it" again. Repeat(this is the training phase)...eventually she will drop as soon as you stop moving, this is when you add the "drop" or "give" cue. Practice some more using the cue combined with the "freeze"..and then see if she'll do it without the freeze. If not, go back a step and work on it some more. Always reward the release with praise, the return to the game or a treat.

Once you have the game "learned" you can even let her win occasionally! That makes for a HAPPY GSD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Great advice thanks! I'll definetely try out this game, it sounds very fun indeed. Fingers crossed she will stay focused though hahaha.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top