German Shepherd Dog > PLEASE HELP - Looking for help/ideas for a very mouthy 6 month puppy (23 replies)
PLEASE HELP - Looking for help/ideas for a very mouthy 6 month puppy
by JDGSD on 11 November 2010 - 17:01
|Hello all! I have tried and tried over the past several months to address our puppy's mouthiness/nipping. For example, If I or family try to pet him (usually) he will mouth them. Not bite - but mouth and perhaps hold for a sec. Same thing happens when I put on his chain, etc. Additionally, he will walk up to my 7 year old daughter, sniff her a little, and mouth/nip her hand/feet, chest etc. It is a problem. And it appears that he now thinks it is a game and I have run out of ideas on how to correct this behavior.|
I would be forever greatful if someone could give me some ideas. I would be happy to provide more information, but I will keep this short at this point. Note I have tried grabbing him by the scruff of his neck and shaking and that has never worked. He just thinks that is a game.
Hoping for a miracle.
by Felloffher on 11 November 2010 - 17:22
Is this a sport dog or family pet? What are your plans with him in the future? Your answers to these questions will determine which route to take correcting the problems.
by LadyFrost on 11 November 2010 - 17:39
|Felloffher is correct...if your dog is more of a pet...than my solution may work for you...|
I had same issue with my 7 month old female who was very mouthy; she would run after you and nip your hands or legs, it was a huge deal w/ my daughter so I had my daughter when ever dog would mouth her push her hand into dogs mouth till dog would pull back (not to the point of gag but enough to make dog uncomfortable, and this was also a good lesson for my daughter if she ever got attached by a dog out on the street) ...I think she did that twice and since than we have not had any issues with puppy mouthing anyone..she is still good with playing tug with rags, playing with other dogs but she keeps off people unless I am playing with her and even than she is very gentle when it comes to skin contact.
Good luck, hope it works out.
by JDGSD on 11 November 2010 - 17:40
|Let me answer this way. We recently started showing him and I would like to do protection work with him in the future. That said, the most important thing for me is that our family is able to pet/touch/hug/live with/etc. him without the nipping. He is an inside dog. |
by beetree on 11 November 2010 - 17:42
|John, you need control. Get a soft cotton lead for livestock and leave it on while the dog is in the house with the kids. If the bad behaviour persists, the kids can grab the leash and begin some restraint of the dog to gain control, for starters.|
I actually don't mind a little mouthing if it is just that, but if they are doing the chest popping or face thing with the kids, I was told that is a sign of disrespect.
Hope this helps with a mindframe only, I am not a trainer.
by JDGSD on 11 November 2010 - 17:46
|I will try sticking my hand into his mouth. Sounds a little scary - but I will try. But before I try that, any other ideas/solutions?|
by K9sRule on 11 November 2010 - 18:11
|Check your PM inbox|
by JDGSD on 13 November 2010 - 18:58
|LadyFrost, Good idea. However, unfortunately it didn't work. I tried this about 10 times. While he did back off when he felt the gag reflex, he still kept coming back thinking it was a game. It then progressed to him holding my hand in his mouth. Not good - so I ended that! Any other ideas? Anyone???|
by ShadyLady on 13 November 2010 - 20:30
|JDGSD, is he getting enough outside exercise and tug play?|
by JDGSD on 13 November 2010 - 21:15
|ShadyLady, He is getting a lot of exercise. However, not a lot of tugging. Do you think that would help? And if the answer is yes, should I always let him win? I have heard conflicting answers on this. John|
by mirasmom on 13 November 2010 - 22:37
|Take your hand and place it over your dogs muzzle and squeeze very firm and gentle till he cries a little, and when he starts to lick your hand, tell him "Good boy"|
Works for all my pups, and that's what I show the new owners to do.
When the mother dog is weaning her pups, she places her mouth over the pups whole head, and directs them away from her.
by Felloffher on 14 November 2010 - 00:46
If you want to do protection with your dog in the future then be careful how you approach this. Really 6 months is way to late to be trying to fix the issue, so it's going to take some time.
Personally, from this point on (just for now) your dog can no longer have free range of the house. He needs to spend any unsupervised time in a crate. Bring him out only when he can be supervised and he needs to be on a thin leash attached to a pinch or choke collar that he drags around (thin rope on a clip is best). When he goes after your daughter you need to come down on him fairly hard (biting kids is unacceptable). I would set him up to fail, hold the line slack and have your daughter walk by outside the range of the dog and when he goes to nip give a hard correction and a strong "No" at the same time. Repeat this until he no longer goes after her. You may also need to teach your daughter if you haven't already that screaming and running around the dog can't happen. You may need to do this exercises in different areas of the house and the yard so the dog gets a clear understanding that going after kids ain't gonna fly. This may or may not work depending on how hard headed your dog is. This is the starting point if it doesn't do the trick the dog might need harsher methods.
For yourself carry a small tug or ball with you at all times, if your dog latches on to you pull out the toy and redirect the bite to the toy and praise. Puppies usually grow out of this stage. If he's being a dick and just nipping or doing a hit and run on you make sure you have control of his leash and give him a quick correction and a "No". It would be best to clearly have play time outdoors and in the house is quiet time where he must remain calm.
I would suggest joining a club or seeking a trainer to start working with. I haven't seen the dog and can't say for sure if this approach will work, but it's a starting point. If your not comfortable with training get help from a professional. Either way I would get on top of this right away before your dog gets any older.
by trixx on 14 November 2010 - 02:57
|your problem is your pup thinks he is the boss and wont change untill you step up and be the boss, you will have to be very firm with this pup, i would do the poke on ths side first, or put him down , be hard on this pup as everything you do is not working cause he does not see you as the boss but more like a play toy.i have never let a pup go as far as yours has cause you need to nip this in the bud early on.|
by Don Corleone on 14 November 2010 - 03:51
|Agree with Fellouther. Re-direct it to tugs/toys. I wouldn't recommend you stick your hand in its mouth.|
by poseidon on 14 November 2010 - 13:34
|Also agree with Felloffher and Don.|
Crating, long line/leash for correction and redirection for bite.
I would also try to encourage other fun games like retrieves, hide and seek, basic obedient exercises with jummy rewards etc so that your pup does not just focus on biting games.
by Sunsilver on 14 November 2010 - 13:56
|Puppies play with their mouths, so it is natural that this pup wants to nip and bite. He's treating you and the kids as if you were playthings or other puppies. The mother corrects overly mouthy pups by gently grabbing their muzzles in her mouth and holding them. The pup soon gets the message. This is what I'd do. I'd also use a word like 'no bite!' and have a toy handy to give the pup something that's acceptable to play with. If you redirect his play drive, it shouldn't cause problems when it comes time to do real bitework. I think at this stage, poking the pup or trying to roll him will only be interpreted as play behavior, and will only escalate things. Also, if he's got any sort of drive, he's going to fight being pinned, and that means trying to bite the hand that's holding him! Working line GSDs do tend to be more mouthy than others. I've heard several people say that their (adult) WL likes to hold their hand gently in its mouth. So, what you're experiencing here is normal behaviour for the breed.|
by ShadyLady on 14 November 2010 - 14:23
|John, your boy seems to have some drive and since you are wanting to do bitework, you should find a reputable SchH club and/or trainer to work with. It's easier to show you in person some ideas and talk about the problems you are having, than to explain to you in writing.|
There will be no miracle for you, just work. He has all of this drive and no direction. You yourself need some training, too. ;-)
by ziegenfarm on 14 November 2010 - 15:27
|redirect the puppy's biting. give him something to bite instead of humans.|
the hand around the muzzle is also effective.
also praise when he is correct. praise and rewards for being correct goes much further with puppies than any kind of correction. somehow they seem to understand what they are being praised for long before understanding what they are being corrected for. this is also true of other commands: sit, down, etc.
by JDGSD on 15 November 2010 - 00:28
|Thanks to everyone for their advice. I will continue working with him every day (like usual) over the next several days and incorporate all advice and see how it goes. Stay tuned. I will post soon. I did meet with our breeder today and he also was extremely helpful with our daughter. Probably more like a miracle worker with our daughter. Stay tuned!!!|
And as always, thank you all for responding. This forum is such a great resource. The breadth of experience on this listserve is, at least from my perspective, the best that there is. I thank you all.
by LadyFrost on 15 November 2010 - 17:23
|JDGSD..sorry that didn't work...it worked on my past 2 dogs (7month old boy and 4 month old girl). Hope hand over muzzle will work, just make sure what ever you do dog does not leave you excited after correction because than he will assume its a game, he needs to be ignored after correction or make him lie down and stay for a few minutes..|
Good luck with him I am sure it will all work out and he will be a wonderful protection dog. :)