German Shepherd Dog > Please help - 23 month old still nipping (8 replies)
Please help - 23 month old still nipping
by JDGSD on 31 March 2012 - 01:50
I will share that we have never had a gsd before. And perhaps I just don't know what to expect from a german showline gsd. But here is my situtation.
From the begining, we have had problems with him mouthing/nipping/play bitting. We brought home our puppy approx. 21 months ago. We have trained, trained, and trained even more. I work with him everyday. We have done all sorts of training. I have also had "experienced" trainers also work with him. We have spent a lot of time and money on him. However, I am getting to the point that with his continued nipping with my 8 year old daughter, I am questioning whether or not this is a right fit. While I don't think he would ever intentionally hurt my daugther (or any of us), when he gets fired up, he tends to treat everyone like a littermate (best description).
Is this "normal" behavior? He is a showline. We specifically stayed away from the working lines for this reason but now I am wondering if we made the wrong decision. Perhaps we gave up the brains for the beauty??? I don't want to start a war over that last statement, but I think most will understand what I am saying.
In the end, should a gsd still be causing these types of problems on a daily basis? I will add that when he was a lot younger and we were showing him, he also seemed to be one of the only dogs who would always be nipping at the judge and/or handler.
Lastly, while I do not have a lot of experience, I also don't think that he is a BIG biter in that he should not be considered a family dog. He is not a BIG biter. And he is nothing compared to some working lines that I have seen.
I hope this makes sense. What should I expect at this point? Am I expecting too much???
I welcome all helpful responses.
by live4schutzhund on 31 March 2012 - 02:07
|Explain the nipping in detail please. Play, dominance, mixture of the two? Where, how, from behind like hearding etc? Mouthing or biting? Defensive or playful? What is your daughter doing at the time of the nipping? Running away? Squeeling? Teasing? There are many people who could help you on this board but you need to be specific so they can isolate what your dog is doing if they cannot be there in person.|
by trixx on 31 March 2012 - 02:17
|are you working on draining his mind, what do you do when he nips someone?|
how firm are you with him?
this problem should not be that hard to fix, there are alot showlines, that nip, it seems to go with there drive, but this can be control with a very dominate person.
i personallty never had any niping problems , but from day one they know i am the boss and will put them down if they cross me.
you need to be very firm with the dog and where are you located , maybe some one on here can help.
this dog does not see you as the boss and i have had some puppy buyers ask about the nipping that some have had , and i say the same thing be firm and mean it when you put them down and the dog/puppy should get to a point that he sees you as the boss and will stop it.
i hope the judge was not mad...
have you talked with the breeder?
by JDGSD on 31 March 2012 - 15:48
I hope that was specific enought.
by JDGSD on 31 March 2012 - 15:57
I have tried correcting with a stern no which he does understand. But of course, that only solves the problem temporarily. I have slapped him on the nose (which I really don't want to do, but when he is charged up, that is the only thing that gets his attention). And even that, sometimes he thinks that is a game.
I wish the problem would be easy to fix and I would happily work with anyone who could help me. I am in CT. When you say "put them down," do you mean taking the dog to the ground somehow?
I tend to agree with you that there is a heirarchy issue within our "pack" and while he may listen to me the best (although he still mouths me sometimes and does like to play fight sometimes with me), when it comes to my wife and daughter, he may think he is the boss.
The judges were not mad. But I don't think they realized the extent of the problem.
I have talked to the breeder before about this.
Again, I am in CT and would love to be able to work with someone from around here on this and other training issues.
by live4schutzhund on 31 March 2012 - 16:39
|As for your own hands. He needs to learn he does not want them in his mouth. Some people use the reverse psychology approach. For example, he wants to mouth your hands, give him that in the way of two or three fingers down his throat. He will gag and try to get them out. Keep doing it until he looks at you like, "your crazy, i dont want that in my mouth". Another method is to grab ahold of his lower jaw carefully and use your thumb and push down on his tounge in the middle of his mouth. The movement is fast and hard and should be over as soon as he lets out a little yelp. Dont hang on to the jaw if he yanks. If you dont do it hard enough it isnt worth doing. I am not a vet so make sure that method does not pose any injury to your dog but it has worked for me. |
As for other people, like your child and wife. Make sure you have an appropriate correction collar of some type suitable for his temperement and place a short 1 foot lead on it. This will give you easier access to correction. Never use a down command as punishment. Make your dog down whenever your 8 year old is in the room. Try to limit the rough housing and play with your child until you can control the dog.
You can try always having your dog on a lead when lets say in the living room hanging with family. Let him drag it around but make sure it is close buy so can give a correction.
Train your child too. Some behavior is not acceptable around dogs.
Make sure his toys are put up unless you give them to him. There are simple ways for children to establish dominance.
They can start with simply claiming space. Claiming space by simply moving into where the dog is standing and making them move without saying anything establishes dominance. Crowd with your body and make them move by stepping into there space.
If that works, find a toy they like. Your children will not have the ability to reach down confidently and grab something from the dog. They will jerk back, lose, and empower the dog. They can however, use there feet. You need to be standing close. Everyone needs to be calm, not playing or laughing. Your child needs to be wearing heavy shoes. Have your child stand on the toy and claim it. If the dog goes in to grab it have them say "NO" or whatever. Make sure you have done this first so you can kinda predict the behaviour.
The dog may do several different things that will let you know what he really thinks of you. If when you do this first without your child and your dog sticks his nose to the toy near your foot and growls, first, win the fight, then, call a trainer and stop.
What you want to see is the dog take a step back then lay down, then take focus off the toy. If the dog is staring at it like he is about to die, he is still telling you it is his, he is just waiting until you give it back. When he ignores it, or looks at you calmly he is saying ok, i get it, its yours.
Leerburg has some good articles. I dont agree with everything he says, but most is on point.
by JDGSD on 01 April 2012 - 01:02
|Thank you so much for your response. Your several examples are appreciated. I have tried the fingers down the throat idea when he was younger but that didn't seem to work despite him choking. But I will try again.|
Your ideas and explanation re space and toys are really good. We will try them tomorrow. He is VERY ball driven so this should be interesting. I am trying to come up with ideas on how to incorporate his crazy ball drive into training. I will take a look at leerburg again. I haven't visited the site in some time.
Again, thanks. Your explanations on what to do and what to expect were exactly what I was hoping for.
by dbeden01 on 01 April 2012 - 03:19
If you are in CT, feel free to send me an email (email@example.com). Our French Ring Club is based out of Andover CT and our training director works with both sport and companion (pet) dogs, including those with behavioral problems. Nice people that are open minded and have no bias regarding show vs. working line dogs .... I train both a Belgian Malinois and a showline GSD, so you might be in good company :-)
by Bhaugh on 01 April 2012 - 05:59
|You had mentioned trainers......exactly what experience have they had. Are they trainers who work with "working dogs" or a trainer for the basic pet dogs. I would check out dbeden01's club. Even though you may not have the desire to join to compete, you will find others who have working dogs who can help you correct your issues.|
A tired dog is a happy dog. If the dog has alot of drive use that ball to tire him out. Or if you jog/run take the dog with you. If your making corrections and the dog thinks its a game, then the correction isnt hard enough. I would limit his time with your daughter until you can regain control. He should never be allowed to win at any game right now esp with her or this will never be in control