Use Special Toys For Play
Toys are useful for playing with your puppy because they put a barrier between your fingers and their teeth.
Even better, have a set of toys that are only used when you want to engage in play with your puppy. Hide these toys in a basket or box after your game of play.
This makes them extra special.
They are under your control and your dog must give them back to you. Special toys are more fun for your pup to bite than you.
When in doubt of what special toy your dog likes, use my list of what toys German Shepherds love for interactive toy ideas that are puppy-safe.
Dont React To Biting By Playing Back
If you want your German Shepherd puppy to stop biting you, dont react back to them when they nip. I made this mistake with my own puppy, as would push him away playfully, but that just encouraged the biting more.
I think its because you are mirroring the fun back to them and reacting in a playful way. They will want more of the play, so will bite back again.
Do All German Shepherd Puppies Bite
The causes of puppy biting that we looked at earlier in this guide apply to all GSD puppies. In fact, they apply to all puppies of any breed.
So, you arent alone in dealing with puppy biting.
Biting and chewing is a normal puppy behavior, and a normal part of play.
As long as you react to this behavior in the right way, it is a period that will pass.
It doesnt mean that your puppy is any less well behaved than any other.
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German Shepherd Puppy Biting Is In The Genes
If you’re already the lucky parent of a German Shepherd puppy, you’ve probably noticed that your GSD puppy is particularly nippy.
And you’d be right
Some owners loving refer to their German Shepherds as land sharks. And it’s true, to begin with.
Of course, that’s until they have learned that biting human limbs is off-limits.
German Shepherds have extremely high prey drives, so they love anything that moves fast!
Anything from balls, garden critters, to other puppies, and unfortunately your hands, feet, or even your pants can become a target.
And the faster you try to move your hand, foot, or something else away, the faster your puppy will move to catch it.
To top it off, your German Shepherd puppy is from strong herding stock so chasing and gathering’ moving objects is pre-programmed into their genes.
Being a herding breed their job is to ensure the flock is contained at all times, and to deal with the wayward sheep by gripping them at the back of the neck, above the hocks, or the ribs.
Keeping in mind what your puppy was originally bred for will be really useful as you work on bite inhibition.
Before we look at how to take charge of your German Shepherd puppy biting we should first understand a few key things about biting
Use Chew Toys Instead Of Your Hands
When puppies are young, it can be fun to use your hands when playing with them, and a little nip here and there probably wont hurt you. But you are training them into thinking your hands are fair game.
Instead you should use chew toys for this type of play. If you can focus their attention onto a toy and not your hands, they will learn that fingers and hands are not there to be bitten.
Its all about positive association.
Theres a I let my puppy play with when we started training him not to bite. You can also see the prices by clicking the photo below.
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How To Stop A German Shepherd Puppy From Jumping And Biting
If you watch a little of puppies, you will see them jumping and nipping at each other as part of the play. When things go out of hand and become too rough, his mother intervenes and regains control of the situation by growling at him.
Now when you brought your new puppy home, he likely wouldnt have any idea how to treat you or your children and mistook you as one of his littermates. Here is how you can stop your shepherd puppy from jumping and biting.
Teach Your Puppy That Biting Means Game Over
If your puppy bites you while playing, that means playtime is over, with no exceptions. Yelling at or physically punishing your puppy, as strange as it sounds, is also a type of reward. It teaches them that biting gets some kind of response from you, which is known as positive punishment. This can also make them fearful of being handled. Instead, teach them that biting will get them nothing. Kathy Santo, dog trainer and columnist for AKC Family Dog, suggests turning around and tucking your hands into your armpits.
Its actually a calming signal and a minor form of attention withdrawal, she says. And be careful not to roughhouse with your young pup in ways that only encourage them to lose control and bite you.
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Give Your Puppy An Alternative Item To Chew
Its a good idea to keep a puppy chew toy at hand at all times, so you can anticipate biting behavior and substitute the toy for your hand or furniture. Doing so will let pups know what is OK to bite or chew. If they start nibbling at your fingers or toes while youre playing, offer a toy instead.
Again, if they continue to nip, stop the play session immediately. If youve been training your puppy to sit, you might also redirect them by asking them to sit and rewarding with a toy.
Consider Safe Dog Anti
If your German Shepherd is chewing valuables, consider using safe anti-chew dog deterrents. These use an aversive association mechanism by causing your dog to associate the object with the deterrent that has an awful smell or taste, therefore, labeling it not good for chewing.
Follow these steps to create the aversive association:
Note that coupling the deterrent with another form of training that redirects your German Shepherd to chew permitted objects such as toys will be more effective in making your dog cease chewing your valuables.
Some of the anti-chew deterrent tastes/odors you could consider include those with a bitter apple/lemon flavor, apple cider vinegar, or cayenne pepper. However, be careful with the latter as although the pepper is not harmful to your dog if swallowed, it may irritate his eyes if he gets it on his paws and then rubs his face.
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Say No To Your German Shepherd Puppy When They Start Biting
You should make German shepherd know that biting is an unacceptable behavior. Let your German shepherd know this through hand signals, body language, or voice commands. When your German shepherd bites you, its okay to say ouch. After that, pull your hand away from your German shepherd and tell him No.
Move or walk away from your German shepherd and stop playing. It might be hard to resist their charm but mind this: when you stop playing with your German shepherd the moment he bites, he will understand and associate no play with biting. This may not work the first time you do it but with practice, your German shepherd may easily pick up the message and learn that biting is no-no.
Is It Better To Get A Male Or Female German Shepherd
Research shows that males German Shepherds are more aggressive than female German Shepherds. This means that a family should consider choosing a female for a companion over a male. Males tend to perform better for roles in protection and guarding and could do well in a home without children and the proper training.
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How To Stop Your German Shepherd Dog From Jumping Up
So, how do you stop it? The simple answer is body language. This is how dogs communicate at is the easiest way to explain to him that this behavior is not acceptable.
Whenever you see your dog getting ready to jump up at you, immediately give a firm no or ah-ah and turn your back. To a dog, your back is boring. There are no physical cues for him to read. His first response will probably be to circle you so he is facing you. Now he is ready to try again!
Be persistent. Even if he manages to get his feet of the floor, still give him your back. He will immediately get down because by turning your back you are rejecting his request for attention. Eventually he will give up. This doesnt mean he has learnt not to jump, it just means he has learnt that it isnt wanted right now.
To continue with the training, you need tell everyone your dog comes into contact with the do the same thing. That will begin to develop and association for your dog between jumping up and not getting the fuss he wants.
In addition, you need to give him an alternative. When he comes rushing towards you, hold out the palm of your hand like a stop gesture and ask him to sit. As soon as he does you can lavish him with pets and praise. The second he jumps up you must end the interaction by turning your back on him.
Never Use Physical Punishment Or Yell
Using physical punishment or yelling only teaches your German Shepherd to fear you or act aggressively towards you.
This study showed that using aversive training methods such as punishment and negative reinforcement can affect both the physical and mental health of dogs. It was also concluded that positive reinforcement methods should be used as much as possible.
In another year-long study by the University of Pennsylvania, it was found that using confrontational or aversive methods to teach aggressive dogs did not work as the dogs continued to be aggressive until the training methods were changed.
The same study found that punishing techniques and dominance-based training, such as hitting or kicking, growling, or yelling at your dog can cause aggression as stated by Meghan E. Herron, lead author of the study:
These techniques are fear-eliciting and may lead to owner-directed aggression.
Meghan E. Herron, Veterinarian
43% of dogs from the study that were either physically hit or kicked became aggressive as did 41% of dogs that were growled at.
An even more recent study in companion dogs suggests techniques that use even mild punishments like yelling and leash-jerking can stress dogs out more than dogs that are taught using reward-based training. This stress causes negative consequences and poorer welfare.
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When To Get Help With Your German Shepherds Biting Problem
If even after using all these training methods to stop a German Shepherd biting, you still have problem behavior, do contact a professional vet.
They can very quickly tell you if its simply mouthing to do with teething, or something more behavioral or health-based that needs to be addressed.
There are also specialist animal behaviourists who can help with biting and fear aggression in German Shepherds. If you are in the United States you can find help from a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist on the CAAB website .
Something to consider though is how long your German Shepherd could be teething for. It can last up until they are 8 months of age, so biting and chewing things is to be expected during this phase.
When Do German Shepherd Puppies Stop Biting
Biting persists especially when the owner ignores or encourages biting. German shepherd biting habits can be stopped when their owners train them properly as early as possible. Dont be too gentle or lenient towards your German shepherd puppies if you dont want unwanted behaviors to arise in the future. Correct and control your GSDs biting behavior by following the strategies above. If you dont address unwanted behaviors like biting immediately, it can get worse and your GSD might become aggressive which would be difficult to control.
German shepherd biting is a common problem but it can be stopped. Take time to learn the different ways to stop German shepherd puppy biting especially if you are inexperienced. If the redirection technique works for you and your GSD, then be firm and consistent. If its not effective, try other approaches. If youre not sure how to handle this problem, you can always ask for a professionals help.
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Its Their Instinctive Behavior
Although a lot of people use german shepherds as guard dogs for their home, its not actually their main behavior. As their name suggests German shepherds are herding dogs.
And because they wouldnt be able to herd cattle through brute force, they have a better way of doing it. They bite at their ankles and nose to get them moving.
If your puppy is biting your ankles then hes trying to herd you.
How To Stop A Dog From Chewing When Home Alone
Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. They use their mouths to explore the environment in the same way that humans use their hands as investigative tools. Irksome and sometimes expensive destructive chewing usually takes place when the owner is not with the dog. Therefore, correction when the dog starts or is in the act is impossible. The chewing can then become a compulsive behavior when the dog is lonely, bored, stressed or anxious.
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How Else Can My Dogs Chewing Activity Be Reduced
In addition to providing ample opportunity to explore and play, you should insure that your pet has a regular daily routine that provides social activity times, where the pet gets play, training and exercise and an opportunity to eliminate. For many dogs a daily walk can be very calming and provide exercise and activity. In between these social times, especially if the owner cannot supervise, the pet will need to be placed in its bed, crate or room for a nap, or placed in a room or confinement area where it has appealing feeding, play or chew toys.
Many of the breeds obtained as family pets have been bred for a variety of working tasks. This means that they are mentally and physically capable and âprogrammed forâ activities such as retrieving, herding, hunting or sledding. Therefore the requirements of these breeds should be met by providing either work or an equivalent amount and type of play. Games such as tug-of-war, retrieving, catching a ball or Frisbee, jogging, pulling a cart, flyball, or even long walks are excellent alternatives for expending energy, while socially interacting with family members. However, the type and amount of play may vary with the breed, age and health of the pet. Obedience training, agility classes and training your dog to a few simple commands and tricks are not only pleasant interactive activities for you and your dog, but they also provide some stimulation and work in the dogs daily schedule.
Turn Destructive Chewing Into Positive Chewing
Remember, its okay if your dog slips up occasionally and chews something they shouldnt. Kindly prompt your dog to release the off-limits item and exchange it with a chew toy. When your dog accepts the chew toy, praise them. Dont yell at your dog for destructive chewing your furry friend wont associate the punishment with the unwanted behavioreven if it is only a short time after the fact, according to the ASPCA.
When you get right down to it, the moral is less about learning how to stop a dog from chewing and more about teaching your best friend healthy chewing habits. You can turn a negative situation into a positive one with patience, dedication, and lots of chew toys!
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Be Consistent With Your German Shepherd To Remove The Biting Problem
The key in successful dog training is consistency. To stop your German shepherd from biting, you will need to repeat the technique you prefer several times before you succeed. You will also have to be your dogs leader and not a friend of the same level. When you are a leader, you are doing your dog a favor.
Train Your Gsd To Obey Anti
Even with the best of training, your German Shepherd Dog will try his luck with chewing things he shouldnt once in a while, such as the leg of your wooden kitchen table!
Using anti-chew commands is important in deterring your dog from destructive chewing when you notice his attention to a non-chew object such as wooden furniture in your home.
If the obedience command you use when you want to stop a behavior in your German Shepherd is leave it! use that to deter your dogs temptation to chew what he should not.
Alternatively, you can generalize the leave it! command by presenting your dog with the valuable object he tries to chew and repeating the command when he puts it in his mouth.
Reward your dog with a treat, his favorite chew toy, or a good dog praise every time he heeds the command to ensure he understands that not chewing the shoe is what is expected of him.
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