Do German Shepherds Chew To Be Spiteful
A lot of times it seems like your german shepherd is repeatedly chewing things you love. And you may think that theyre doing it to be spiteful or as revenge for you telling them off.
However, this isnt true. German shepherds dont have the capacity to think like that.
If theyre chewing, then its because theyre trying to get relief from something.
Puppy Biting: How To Stop Puppy Biting
Congratulations, you have a new puppy! Puppy breath is a good thing, puppy biting not so much.
Puppies are curious and joyful bundles of energy that lead with their mouths.
Very quickly, you are going to discover you have brought home a four-legged piranha with razor-sharp teeth. These pointy little teeth are piercing, and they hurt.
Lets talk about puppy biting and how to stop puppy biting.
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.
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They’re A Herding Breed
On top of that, this is a herding breed, so the pups like to chase and gather moving things and they often accomplish this by using their mouths .
In the old days, the herding style of German Shepherds encompassed for a good part what was known as boundary patrol, or flock containment. These dogs had to ensure the sheep were properly contained and the rebellious sheep were controlled by gripping the top of the neck, the ribs or just above the hocks.
Breeder and herding expert Ellen Nickelsberg explains how puppy herding trials are conducted and how puppies are selected based on gripping style which may range between damaging and less damaging bites, full-mouth bites and puppies who bite and hold on. These preliminary tests are done when the pups are very young.
Training A Soft Mouth With Your German Shepherd
- When feeding your dog a treat, keep the treat pinches between your fingers slightly. This is so your puppy has to lick or nibble at the treat to get it.
- If your puppy is biting or chomping at your hand dont release the treat. Instead, pull your hand back slowly.
- Now, offer your puppy the treat again. When he switches to just licking or using a soft mouth to nibble the treat out release the treat.
- If your puppy is too excited you can choose another time to train them or say ouch! when they bite too hard. Withdraw your hand.
- Wait a few seconds before offering your hand with the treat again.
Practice teaching a gentle mouth at least 3 to 5 times daily in short sessions only about 2 to 3 minutes long. You want to keep the sessions short so you dont wind up your puppy with long, stressful training.
Once your German Shepherd is using their mouth more gently, you can move on to teaching the drop or leave it command.
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Why Is My German Shepherd Puppy Biting Hard And So Aggressive
First of all, sit back for a second and take an objective look at things. Is your puppy really aggressive, or is it just playing like every other dog?
Sometimes regular play may appear aggressive in larger dogs.
Answer this question fairly, not from the perspective of fear or anger.
If hes just playing, its essential to keep things in check. But its also important to let him be a dog. If he is genuinely being aggressive, there are things that you must do to curb that aggression.
Remember the part about making sure that your German Shepherd puppy gets basic obedience training?
When Does The Chewing Start
A GSD starts to chew at the age of three to eight weeks. This is the time when your GSD puppy is developing teeth, a process known as teething. During the teething period, a GSD pup will chew on almost anything that it finds. This behavior is a result of extreme gum pain that is eased off when the puppy applies pressure with its gums. Biting on things with excessive force will numb the gums which will not cause irritating pain.
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When Your Dogs Had Enough Try This To Prevent Destructive Chewing
Chewing is a habit that every dog has as it starts to learn about the environment it lives in.
It is alright to let your GSD chew on its toys, but it becomes a problem when it begins to chew on your personal items like your shoes, underwear, pillows, and much more.
Is Your German Shepherd Puppy Biting Hands
So, why didnt Allie bite ankles? Because she was too busy biting hands! This was my little piranhas specialty she wanted to nip my hands at every opportunity.
There are lots of reasons why a pup may decide to start biting your hands. For one, good things come from hands. Also, hands are almost like swinging toys from the perspective of a playful pup too enticing to pass up!
The following tips will help you curb your German Shepherd puppys biting instincts, whether they target hands, ankles, or anything else!
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Is Your German Shepherd Puppy Biting Ankles
Nothing is worse than an ankle-biter! I was very lucky not to have this problem with Allie. But many owners arent so lucky and have a problem with their German Shepherd puppy biting their ankles.
Why does your German Shepherd puppy target the ankles? Because your GSD is a working dog trying to do its job herd you around the house like livestock. German Shepherds were originally bred for herding flocks of sheep. And you are your pups favorite sheep!
Your furry pal may also think heel nipping is just a really fun game. If you walk past quickly, its very tempting for your playful pup to reach out and bite.
Using a toy as a distraction and keeping your pup active will help nip ankle nipping in the bud!
Too Tired Or Lack Of Sleep
A wild German Shepherd probably needs a long nap to help them become their sweet self again.
Did you know that puppies sleep 18 to 20 hours a day ?
I know what youre thinking
That cant be right because my German Shepherd has nonstop energy!
Yes, your puppy is a bundle of excitement, but
They also need plenty of quiet time to relax and get quality sleep to recharge their never-ending battery. A German Shepherd puppy who is nipping and biting a lot might just be cranky from lack of sleep, and not willfully acting out.
Even as an adult if my German Shepherd doesnt get quiet sleep shes less likely to want to train or perform cues I give her. Dont underestimate how much sleep your puppy or adult GSD needs to behave appropriately.
Now that you know the main reasons why your German Shepherd bites you, lets cover the right ways to discipline them.
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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.
Herding Instinct And Prey Drive Can Play A Role In A Pups Nipping
People often excuse a pups biting as normal playfulness. However, a puppy playing may also be exhibiting prey drive. Such pups will bite too hard, and the action becomes a stimulus for further aggression.
Have you corrected your puppy in the past for nipping only to have her bite you harder? When you think your pup is acting defiantly, she probably is simply becoming overstimulated. You must treat an excited puppy differently than one who is displaying normal playfulness.
Herding breeds often have the instinct to nip more often than other classes of dogs. They are motivated by an enhanced prey drive as well as a desire to control other individuals.
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Always Supervise Your Puppy When Young Children Are Present
A German Shepherd that bites a child is a massive problem.
In most case the bite wont be serious. But its still enough of a risk to make sure you supervise younger kids during German Shepherd play and at all times.
Kids can easily be knocked over by an excitable German Shepherd, and Ive seen puppies try to go for ears and faces when they are over-excited.
Put A Thumb Under The Puppys Tongue And A Finger Under The Chin
With persistent biting you could try this tip. It seems to be quite cruel, and admittedly Ive never tried it, but it is used by some dog trainers so could be a fall-back tactic.
Dog trainers tell you to do the loud squeal when the German Shepherd puppy bites you then quickly place your thumb in their mouth, pressing it underneath their tongue. You can then put a finger under the chin.
Hold this position for 10 seconds if you can, but not hard enough to hurt the puppy.
The German Shepherd will not like it, and it could mean they stop biting you and will learn for next time.
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Why Is My German Shepherd Puppy Biting And Nipping
Is your sweet puppy biting and nipping you all of a sudden? Read below to find out why.
When my adorable German Shepherd puppy came home to me her antics were so much fun!
I loved to move the toys to play her favorite games and keep her entertained. But, my hands looked like I had accidentally adopted a baby tiger after our playtimes!
There were scratches, puncture wounds, and she could even draw blood!
Im sure you understand EXACTLY how it feels because youre there now, too.
To learn how to discipline a German Shepherd for biting or nipping, its important to know why they want to bite you in the first place so you can fix the issue.
Should I Squeal When My Puppy Bites
One popular method to stop puppy biting is to squeal, squeak, growl, or make another loud noise.
Some people claim that this method replicates natural puppy play and tells your GSD when they are being too rough.
For some owners, this may work. But, theres a risk that your puppy will become more excited when they hear your loud responses to their biting.
If this is the case, making a noise when your puppy bites will act as a reward, and encourage your German Shepherd puppy to bite you even more.
This is one reason why puppies biting children is so common. Many children will make lots of noise, especially if a puppy bites them, which can lead to further nipping.
As we said above, its best to simply remove yourself from the situation when your puppy starts to bite.
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Why Do German Shepherd Puppies Bite
Its important to understand that your fuzzy little friend isnt being aggressive this is just how your puppy plays. Up until this time, your puppy was with its littermates, and playtime meant lots of mouthy, nipping fun.
Accordingly, this is the only way your GSD knows how to play! As a new puppy parent, youll need to teach your dog other gentler ways to play.
A German Shepherd puppy also uses their mouths to explore different things like toys or hands, ankles, furniture pretty much anything they can get their mouth around.
Because dogs cant pick things up and examine them, they resort to using their mouths. While being mouthy isnt inherently a bad thing, youre in trouble when teeth start getting involved.
Your puppy could also be teething, which can increase their mouthy behavior.
Now that you understand a little more about why your pup is biting, you shouldnt be alarmed. Just be patient as you work through the German Shepherd puppy biting phase give your pup time to learn to be gentle when playing or seeking your attention.
Include Mental Stimulation To Avoid Destruction Boredom
While a bored German Shepherd is a destructive dog, a mentally active German Shepherd is a relaxed, happy dog!
Unfortunately, many owners are away long hours from home and are too tired when they return to engage their dogs in a mind game.
But, mind games and mental stimulation are a necessity for the German Shepherd.
You cant simply command your dog to not be destructive.
You can, however, give their minds a way to engage with you and their environment in a positive manner!
There are many types of mind games or brain games on the market. Some owners even make do-it-yourself games, while others prefer games that are premade.
These reward-based strategy games mentally stimulate your dog and keep your dog from destructive boredom.
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German Shepherd Puppy Teething Phase
All puppies go through a teething phase. Is yours?
German Shepherds get their razor-sharp baby teeth around 2-weeks-old. The baby teeth have usually all grown in by 6 to 7 weeks of age. So, when your pup comes home, around 8-weeks of age to live with you, all 28 of their baby teeth are ready for nipping and biting.
GSD puppy teething phases:
Baby German Shepherd puppies might also bite on your hands or chew furniture and other objects because theyre developing new adult teeth. When the adult teeth grow in they can irritate the gums and cause your dog discomfort.
This leads to your pup looking for things to chew to help soothe their teething pains.
Expose Your Puppy To Loud Noises And Fearful Situations
As well as socialization, its also important to expose your German Shepherd puppy to situations that can spark fear and aggression such as vehicles, children, and busy public places they are capable, given how they make such great police dogs.
The sooner they can get used to things like this, the sooner they should learn not to bite out of fear.
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What Are The Right Things For German Shepherds To Chew That Withstand Being Destroyed
Did you know?
The most common time of the day that your German Shepherd is likely to be destructive is when youre away at work or out doing things outside of the house.
Leave your dog with the right toys while youre away that are safe for them to chew. Many dogs tend not to play with toys without their owner there, but food or treats placed inside specially-made toys encourage toy exploration.
You can leave them a stuffed Extreme Kong, which is a heavy-duty chew toy you stuff with food and treats so it gets their attention. The idea is your dog chews on it, instead of your things.
The Bite Of A German Shepherd
Theres a saying that when a German Shepherd bites you, shes in it for the long haul. An aggressive 70-pound dog pouncing on you can get quite ugly fast.
Think broken bones, damaged muscles, deep lacerations, bruises, scars, and expensive medical bills. Although uncommon, it can sometimes lead to the victims death.
German Shepherds have a bite force of 238 PSI , compared to humans with a bite force of 162 PSI.
In fact, the American Animal Hospital Association lists the German Shepherd as one of the six breeds with the most dangerous bites, based on a US study.
Therefore, training your GSD to inhibit her bite is mandatory as it not only rewards you with a well-behaved dog, but also ensures your safety as well as the safety of the people around you.
A crucial step towards correcting this nasty behavior is to first understand why German Shepherd puppies bite.
Before we move on, take a look at some important and useful information that weve written for you in the following 2 articles:
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