Redirecting Puppies To Other Objects
We know puppies are extremely energetic. Theyre all over the place! Sometimes, it seems impossible to stop their zoomies!
When a puppy starts nibbling on your hands during playtime, you can take its attention off of you by introducing other objects. You should always have some chew toys like dog kongs around.
So, you simply limp your hand and move it slowly away from the puppy. You take a chew toy and put it in front of your puppy instead of your hand.
It will surely hang onto it and forget about biting you. This step should be repeated daily for better results.
Once your puppy takes the chew toy, you can give it a treat for being a good boy, and practice positive reinforcement.
Puppy kongs are soft, rubbery chew toys great for little puppies. Whats awesome about the kong is that you can fill it with puppy food. This will keep your puppy occupied for hours, and it is a great tool used in dog training to prevent excessive chewing and anxiety.
Train Your German Shepherd To Leave It
Train your dog the LEAVE IT command. This is also useful when your German Shepherd starts to put his mouth around your possessions or furniture, ready to have a good gnaw!
Furthermore, its an excellent command to use when your dog picks up something in his mouth that he shouldnt, such as grapes or chocolate.
Watch How To Teach The LEAVE IT Command
What Can I Do To Stop My German Shepherd Puppy From Biting
Because biting is normal canine behavior and GSDs are a breed that is more prone to it, the goal here is to inhibit the bite, not completely stop it.
At the end of your training, your GSD should have achieved that lovely soft mouth.
Below are the dos and donts to keep in mind when training your GSD puppy in bite inhibition.
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Do Use Toys As Alternative Items To Chew
Puppies will nib on your hands or your feet especially during the teething stage. Train this behavior away by offering the puppy a toy whenever she starts biting your hand or your ankles.
This teaches her what is acceptable to bite and which is not. It is good practice to always keep a chew toy nearby in anticipation of the biting behavior.
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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Children Speak A Foreign Language To Dogs
Thelabradorsite.com talks specifically about Labrador Retrievers, but German Shepherd puppies and other breeds all have difficulty understanding the body language of children.
Adult dogs likewise can make errors reading kids, likely responsible for the fact that a large percentage of serious dog bites happen to children under the age of nine years.
Just as you supervise full-grown dogs with children to prevent injury, you should likewise monitor your puppys interaction with toddlers.
Because kids can be inconsistent, it becomes difficult for a pup to learn bite inhibition from them. Puppies tend to nip children with more force than they would adults.
Give Them Plenty Of Chew Toys
Since a growing German Shepherd puppy can experience teething pains, its important to make sure that they have plenty of chew toys available. Having a variety of chew toys can alleviate their need to bite our hands and feet, and offer them the relief they seek in this uncomfortable transition.
There are so many toys created for teething puppies, that it should be easy to fill your home with plenty of appropriate options. One of our favorite chew toys is the Kong Teething Binkie.
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Discipline At The Moment Your Gsd Bites
You must discipline your German Shepherd at the very moment the biting or nipping occurs so that he will quickly learn and remember that his biting behavior is inappropriate.
Have you ever left your GSD alone for an hour or two and, upon returning, found that hes had a good chew on your possessions or your wooden table leg and then tried to discipline him without success?
Well, this is because your German Shepherd wont understand what he is being reprimanded for as youve missed the disciplinary moment. This is because dogs have a very short-term memory, and they will typically forget an experience in about two minutes.
However, if you train them well, they will remember your commands through associative memory.This means they can remember experiences, people, and places based on different associations.
Heres an example of associative memory when I pick up my car keys, my German Shepherd will go straight to her bed as she has learned to associate the sound of the keys with me going out. She goes directly to her bed to relax as she knows theres no playtime for a while.
Learn More on How to Train Your Puppy to Stop Biting
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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Dont Rub Your Dogs Nose In His Poop Or Pee
You should never rub your German Shepherds nose in his poop or urine as a means of teaching him not to bite. This old-fashioned technique is a form of positive punishment and was often used to house-train pups. Not only is it gross, but its also similar to the above aversive methods and will only cause your dog to fear you, or worse, cause aggression.
Many people will have used this method decades ago without success, but at the time, they believed it was the right thing to do. I can even remember my Grandma rubbing her chihuahuas nose in his pee after discovering he had had an accident on the kitchen floor after coming down in the morning.
For a positive punishment to work, the problem is that it has to be administered during or immediately after the act otherwise, the dog will not make the connection. Unfortunately, dogs were punished too long after the accident, as in the chihuahuas case, and would not have understood why they were being punished.
Take Advantage Of Baby Gates
I use tall baby gates and pet fences a lot when working with dogs. They give you the opportunity for some respite when things get a little too wild. The moment you notice your pup getting into nippy mood, rather than bringing your puppy into timeout zone , put yourself in for a timeout by simply walking past the baby gate and closing it.
Make sure to give your pup something to do when you leave though. As I leave I’ll ask the pup for a sit and then toss him a chew toy or frozen Kong to enjoy.
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What Not To Do:
I want to take this moment to mention that there are RIGHT ways and WRONG ways to train your puppy not to bite.
I have seen so many people give bad advice to puppy owners including:
- Holding their mouth shut after they nip you
- Pinning them on their back to show them you are the dominant one
- Putting a muzzle on them
- Incorrect styles of time-outs
- Punishing or hitting the puppy
Why Does This Work
It sounds awfully easy and simple, doesnt it?
In reality, your pup might not refocus on his toy immediately, and he might push the limits a little further before he listens.
But when he does, Its crucial to capitalize on it.
In the end, this training WILL work, it wont work after a day, but after a solid week or training and consistently redirecting his chewing behavior, he will eventually only chew on what he knows hes allowed to.
This works because, at the end of the day, puppies only want to appease their owners and have their owners approval. I know it doesnt seem like that, but its the truth.
Once a puppy knows the difference between right and wrong, they generally always stick to what they are allowed to, unless they are stressed, frustrated, or are lacking basic needs.
Basic positive reinforcement like this remains to be the best way to train a puppy or dog anything. With enough repetition and positivity, you can teach a puppy anything.
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How To Get Your German Shepherd Puppy To Stop Biting You
There are a number of things that you can do if you want to get your German Shepherd puppy to stop biting you and I will mention a number of them below.
Try positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you reward the behaviors that you want to see with attention, treats or something else that your German Shepherd likes.
To use positive reinforcement training in getting your GSD to stop biting you would stop giving it attention or treats by facing away from it and putting your hands in your pockets.
You would then wait for a few moments and they go back to giving it attention. If it bites you again you would stop giving it attention again. If it doesnt bite, you would then reward it with a treat.
You would then repeat the process until it has learned that biting doesnt get it the things that it wants.
You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get more tips about how you can train your GSD.
Avoid reinforcing the biting
While positive reinforcement training can be very effective in getting the behaviors that you want, it can also work against you.
If your method of getting it to stop biting you is to give it toys, treats or something else that it wants then it would be likely that you are reinforcing the behavior.
Give it things to chew on
It is natural for German Shepherds to want to bite on things when they are young. This is mainly because it will soothe their gums when they are teething.
How To Quickly Discipline A German Shepherd For Biting: A Step
Knowing how to discipline a German Shepherd for biting and nipping will not only help save your hands and legs from tiny razor-sharp teeth
But teaching your GSD puppy to stop biting can also help you with valuable training skills!
Skills that will not only help you control and stop your German Shepherds bites and nips without force or fear, but have a better behaved dog overall.
Lets get down to business teaching you how to discipline a German Shepherd puppy for biting or nipping.
You dont have to live with a baby Jaws on the loose any longer!
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They May Be Taken From The Litter Too Early
Young puppies learn to naturally inhibit their biting through socialization with their mother and their siblings.
A puppy does not quite understand yet the force of her own bite unless she bites too hard and the recipient reacts by yelping out of pain.
This interaction among puppies and their mother is crucial, and it happens during the puppys early socialization period between three to six weeks old.
Taking a puppy away from her mother prematurely will therefore deprive her the chance to learn important socialization skills.
As a rule of thumb, the American Kennel Club recommends that you take home a puppy that is no less than eight weeks old. By this time, the puppy should have had ample time to interact with her playmates and learn bite inhibition.
We concur that you should never take home a puppy that is less than 8 weeks old. In fact, more than half of the states in the U.S. have laws or regulations that mandate how old a puppy must be before it is allowed to be sold or adopted.
This does not mean, however, that your puppy will completely stop nipping. As the new parent, it is your job to continue training the dog so that any subsequent bites should be gentler.
For more on selecting the right German Shepherd puppy from a litter, including additional information on the proper age, what to look for in a puppy, and what to expect from ethical breeders, be sure to check out the 2 articles linked below:
How To Stop A German Shepherd Puppy From Biting
As any owner of a new puppy knows, nipping and gentle bites are a normal part of the first few months of a puppys life. This is especially true with dogs like German Shepherds because they have a strong prey drive, but this nipping and biting can also quickly get out of hand. German Shepherds are powerful, loyal, and fearless animals, and its vital to stop this habit early on to prevent future aggressive behavior.
German Shepherds are herding breeds, and as such, its in their genes to keep their flock in check. This often comes out as biting and nipping, but puppies will also bite when they are teething and to taste the world around them. This can, of course, quickly get out of hand if not taken care of swiftly. In this article, we look at the reasons behind German Shepherd puppies biting and seven steps to help stop the behavior. Lets dive in!
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Ways To Stop A German Shepherd Puppy From Biting
Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.
Is your German Shepherd puppy’s biting driving you nuts?
If you are blessed with a German Shepherd puppy, you may at times feel at your wits’ end when it comes to those constant nipping behaviors. Don’t feel badyou are not alone. This breed is indeed notorious for nipping, and those sharp puppy teeth hurt! If your arms are covered with bruises, scratches and teeth marks, you surely are upset about it and are looking for a way to decrease the nipping and finally allow those wounds to heal.
Acquired Bite Inhibition Protocol
In my ABI Protocol, I share my exact process for:
- Using a positive interrupter when your puppy is in a biting frenzy.
- Scanning and rating the bite in a matter of seconds.
- Also running through a list of possible causes of the biting frenzy.
- What to do after you’ve interrupted your puppy.
- When to remove them from the situation and how to do this with kindness.
My tracking tool will help you collect data on your puppy’s biting behavior and follow improvements over time.
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Is It Normal For German Shepherd Puppies To Bite
Biting is a normal behavior in puppies of all kinds. Puppies begin to bite their siblings from the moment they can move, and will continue this behavior until they learn otherwise.
A biting German Shepherd puppy is to be expected, and should not result in any discouragement on your part. As long as you are following the tips we mentioned above, your puppy should shy away from this behavior in no time!
Let Out A High Pitched Yelp
When your German Shepherd bites with those razor teeth, immediately let out a high-pitched cry such as Ouch! or Ahh Ahh! to let your dog know its not acceptable. At the same time, pull your hand away slowly and move away from your dog. Dont jerk your hand out as your pup will see this as a game, like a game of tug-of-war.
The idea here is that you are mimicking a littermate, as a pup would yelp if a sibling bit it too hard during play, and then all the fun would stop. Its precisely the same thing only YOU stop the play.
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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.