How To Tell When Jumping And Biting Is A Sign Of Aggression
While in most cases your pup jumping up isnt going to be a sign of aggression, its important to spot the signs early.
Afterall, german shepherds are big dogs, and if they do ever attack someone theyre going to do a lot of damage as well as risk being put to sleep.
Positive Body Language
If your German shepherd is happy to see someone before jumping up at them, therell normally be accompanying body language. This can include:
- Excited Crying.
- Being Full Of Energy.
- Dropping Down On Their Front Legs
Weve all seen the tell-tale signs of a happy dog and those are what you should be looking for if your dog is jumping up and biting in a non-threatening way.
Negative Body Language
However, if your dog is showing negative body language before jumping up and biting then you have a problem. Negative body language includes.
Growling: This may be when someone touches them, as someone approaches them, or if your dog starts walking towards them.
Snarling: Similar to growling, if your dog starts to bare their front teeth at someone, before jumping up and biting then its definitely aggressive in nature.
Barking: While dogs can bark when theyre excited, they can also bark when theyre aggressive. Barking of this kind will normally accompany other signs of aggressive behavior.
How To Train A German Shepherd Puppy To Stop Biting
Use treats for positive reinforcement.
When your puppy does something wrong, give him a pre-selected command to express that you are not happy with what hes doing. A simple no will do the trick.
When he responds favorably, give him treats, pet him or allow him to have time with his toy. This response is much better than raising your voice or using other unfavorable training methods that only serve to make the dog resent you.
If youre still having behavioral issues, theres a better than average chance that youre not giving your dog enough exercise.
Increasing his physical activity can go a long way toward curbing any behavioral issues that might still exist.
They Have A Strong Prey Drive
For starters, many German shepherds have a very strong prey drive, so they are very attracted to movement. If you watch your puppy in the yard, you may notice how readily he captures the slightest movement of some critter in the grass.
His big ears will twitch to capture the faintest sounds, and his body will be ready to pounce into action in a split second.
Balls, small critters, and unfortunately, your arms, legs, ankles and pant-legs will soon become targets of his prey drive and turn into objects for a fun game.
And to make things worse, any movement you make to move your hand away when your pup comes to nip will further increase this drive and risks damaging your skin. That explains all those “teeth scratches” you have on your arms and legs!
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When To Get A Trainer For Your German Shepherds Biting
Though biting in German Shepherd puppies is usually easily corrected, there are some puppies that prove to be more challenging. Some puppies just dont get the hint with standard training, and require a bit of extra help to kick the habit.;
If you are unable to make any progress within a month of implementing the tips we discussed above, it may be time to contact a dog trainer. A trainer can not only help your pup refrain from biting, but offer other obedience training as well.;
Do Start Training Early
We keep mentioning throughout this site that training and socializing your GSD as soon as you get her home is crucial.
Although training older dogs is not impossible, it is true that it is easier to train younger puppies, when habits are still new and can be easily corrected.
If left untrained, adult German Shepherds can be prone to aggression towards other animals and humans, which can result in tragic situations.
Its very important that you do not overlook the importance of early training and socialization. To get a better understanding of what is involved with these necessary steps, be sure to read these 2 excellent articles:
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My German Shepherd Puppy Wont Stop Biting: 5 Potential Ways To Stop It
Nipping;can lead to negative consequences for you, your GSD and the wider public + other dogs.
It is completely normal for German Shepherd puppies to gently mouth you, and the objects around the house.
But, if this behavior isnt managed from a young age, an adolescent and/or adult dog can cause serious damage.
Weve outlined 5 methods;you might consider to manage this behavior if it isnt too serious.
If you suspect the issue is serious enough to cause harm/danger, seek a vet or animal professionals immediately.
A complimentary guide to this one might be our main guide on how to train a German Shepherd, including top tips, and advice from a professional dog trainer. You might get some additional training pointers from reading this guide.
Lets look at ways to potentially stop nipping and biting!
Other Resources To Consider When Dealing With A Puppy That Bites
If you have a real problem with a German Shepherd puppy biting and growling or a German Shepherd puppy biting hard, you may need some expert help.
Resources like Doggy Dan the online dog trainer and the Secrets to Dog Training online program are a great starting point because these guides are full of tips and related issues. The former is now revered across the world because of its user-friendly advice and easy-to-follow steps. The latter is a great alternative approach that focuses on the behavior of the human owner as much as the pet. Both have strong sections about biting These resources may also be able to provide more information on German Shepherd puppy teething to help with appropriate solutions at this point of development.
With so many different opinions on the subject of German Shepherd puppy biting, it can be hard to know which route to take.
Opinion is split on the best way to stop a GSD puppy biting. It can be confusing trawling through the net for the best way to discourage these pups from biting because some will praise bite inhibition and pack-style training and criticize the use of toys. Other take the opposite view. These two opposing views dont have to be so conflicting. Simply look at these approaches as two separate options to an important problem. If one fits in with your training style and is more comfortable then work with that one.
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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 a great command to use when your GSD picks up something in his mouth that he shouldnt such as harmful foods, for example, grapes or chocolate.
Heres a helpful 2-minute video from the American Kennel Club that shows you how to teach your dog the Leave It! command:
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.
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Show Them The Behavior You Expect To See From Them
The first method is to show your dog exactly what you expect from them. To do this youll need to do the following:
- Get your dog to jump up at you. You can do this by offering them treats that are just out of reach, or if your german shepherd is really used to jumping up, raise your hand higher than they can get to without jumping. (Just remember, at this stage dont reward your dog by giving them the treat or stroking them.
- Once your german shepherd jumps up and bite your hands use a voice command (such as no, ah ah ah or whatever you choose. Cross your arms and dont stroke them or give them a treat.
- When they drop down, and theyre waiting patiently you can then give them the treat and stroke them and give them lots of praise.
- Take a step back and repeat the first three steps again. If you keep doing this for 5-15 minutes every day your dog will quickly learn that jumping up and biting arent acceptable behaviors.
Have you ever been curious about a german shepherds biting force?
German Shepherds Have A High Prey Drive
One of the primary and distinct characteristics thatmake a German Shepherd a popular choice for police and military work is their high prey drive, coupled with their intelligence and high trainability.
Why Are German Shepherds Good Police Dogs?Originally bred as herding dogs , GSDs work closely with the flock and deal with unruly sheep by gripping them on the back of their necks .
Take a look at the video below showing what GSDs were originally bred for. At the 6:47 mark, the handler even explains that some biting is necessary, but that its part of the training so that the dog does not go overboard.
GSDs also have a natural inclination to chase almost everything that moves in their surroundings. Your GSD is very sensitive to even the tiniest movements that occur in her environment whether its a squirrel, a rat, a ball, or your hand!
All too often, people get a German Shepherd without prior knowledge of its inherent characteristics a high prey drive included leading to a frustrated owner who does not know how to handle his dogs improper behavior that could have been corrected.;
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How Long Does The German Shepherd Puppy Biting Phase Last
Now that youve learnt some of the most common causes of puppy biting, you may be able to easily recognise which ones apply to your puppy.
But, this isnt always that comforting. What you really want to know is, when will it stop?
The length of each German Shepherd puppys biting phase depends on two things:
- The particular cause of biting
- How you and other people react to it
For most puppies, the biting phase will only last a few months, if not less. In fact, many owners dont even realise that the biting period has stopped, as it can happen quite gradually.
However, you can minimize the period by making a few easy changes to your behavior when biting occurs. Lets take a closer look.
My German Shepherd Puppy Wont Stop Biting
If the biting persists even after his teething period, it important to know how to stop your German shepherd from biting. One good reason why a German shepherd bites a lot is: he most likely did not receive proper training as a youngster. Sometimes owners can be a bit too gentle and lenient towards their puppies, leaving unwanted behaviors such as biting ignored or encouraged. My German shepherd puppy wont stop biting is the solution for your dogs biting problem.
When a German shepherd is not properly trained, he might start to bite at strangers, visitors, and random household objects. This behavior should be corrected and controlled immediately or somebody might end up hurt. For German shepherd puppies, biting are game they love to play. They bite their brother and sisters and this is usually harmless. Sometimes puppies can hurt their playmates unintentionally and this will result in a sudden and loud puppy cries. This sound is a sign that you should intervene for a time out.
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German Shepherd Puppy Biting Take Charge Like This
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get compensated if you buy through these links this is at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.
German Shepherd puppy biting is one of the key behaviors you should take charge of as soon as possible.
Ignoring or encouraging biting behavior can lead to it spinning out of control.; And once your puppy is older biting could mean big problems
Like puncture wounds, legal battles, confiscation or worse euthanasia.
Keep in mind that your German Shepherd puppy will one day be a strong and muscular dog.;
Adult males can weigh anywhere between 30 40 kg and females between 22 32 kg .
And they have a powerful scissor-like bite exerting more than 1060 Newtons or 238 lbs of force.; Trying to control the strong bite of an adult dog could end in disaster for you and your dog.
Provide Plenty Of Chew Toys For Teething
If your puppy is biting your ankles and you think its due to teething, then make sure that youre providing him with lots of chew toys.
Its much more likely that hes teething if hes biting your ankles when youre not playing with him and just sat down.
Kongs, bones and hard chew toys are all great for a puppy thats biting your ankles. If you think hes teething you can also give him frozen carrots as well.
To teach them not to bite your ankles you should offer them the toy every time they try. This way theyll learn that your ankles arent acceptable, however, chew toys are.
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Is Yelping A Good Way To Stop My Puppy From Biting Me
While you may have heard about the common practice of yelping like a puppy and stopping the game, this method doesn’t work with all puppies. In some puppies with strong prey drives, the yelping may arouse them even more.
So you must ask yourself, is my yelping in pain increasing or decreasing the behavior? If it is increasing and doesn’t reduce, your yelping is likely positive reinforcement, meaning that the nipping behavior will continue and you are further fueling it.
This is the most likely scenario if after your yelp, the puppy doesn’t stop, but actually is more aroused and comes back to more biting and with more intensity. If it is actually decreasing over time, what you’re doing is likely working and you must continue what you are doing. Be aware though of extinction bursts.
Hand targeting helps reduce and eventually stop German shepherd puppy nipping.
Games To Curb German Shepherd Puppy Biting
The best time to curb a German Shepherd puppy from biting is during a play session between you and your puppy.
I suggest initiating play sessions with your puppy as often as possible until you have taught your puppy to have a soft mouth.
I suggest using a clicker for these games.; If you don’t already know how, check out my article on before getting started.
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Common Positive Reasons For Growling
When your German shepherd is growling its not always doom and gloom. In fact, some times they may be growling for positive reasons. Just like humans shout when theyre angry, but also when theyre excited.
Every dog Ive ever had growls when they play. This most often occurs when Im playing tug of war with them, however, they also often growl at each other.
While the growling may appear angry, the truth is it isnt. In fact, if you really listen youll notice that playful growling tends to be a little bit higher and doesnt last as long.
If your German shepherd is growling playfully then you dont need to worry too much. However, you should keep an eye on it just in case more aggressive behavior follows.
As well as growling because theyre playing, some dogs may also growl when theyre happy or enjoying something.
For example, I knew a dog who would sometimes growl when you were stroking them or rubbing their belly.
At first I was worried, I was bothering them, however, when I looked at their body language it said something completely different.
They were wagging their tail excitedly, and every time I stopped stroking them they would get up and begin nuzzling into me to get their belly rubbed again.
So before you start to get worried about your german shepherd growling, make sure theyre not doing it because theyre happy.
Theyre Anxious To See You
How To Stop German Shepherd Puppy From Biting
German Shepherd puppy biting? The most common question we get from new German Shepherd puppy owners is, my puppy wont stop biting me Ive tried everything.
While labeling any dog breed would be unfair, specific characteristics are commonly associated with German Shepherd puppies. Unfortunately, some people have the misconception that German Shepherds have a tendency to be vicious. That could not be further from the truth.
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What Not To Do
First of all, if your German shepherd is growling, there are a couple of things you should avoid doing at all costs.
Dont Shout At Them/Scold Them
If your dog is growling at you for a negative reason, its because he is feeling negative emotions. You shouldnt punish your dog for the negative emotions they feel.
First of all, this may cause them to hide their feelings until theyve had too much and snap. Meaning you wont get any warning signs and may end up being bitten.
Secondly, if you scold your german shepherd for growling at you then they wont want to communicate with you in the future. As well as increasing the chance of being bitten, its also likely that a number of other behavioral problems are likely to occur.
Dont Reward Them Either
However, you shouldnt go the complete opposite way either. If your German shepherd is growling at you, you may feel the need to give them a treat to get them to back off. However, this will only reinforce the negative behavior.
If you feed your German shepherd a treat every time they growl, then they may start doing it cause they know theyll be rewarded. So when theyre actually angry, you wont be able to tell.