Help with 5 month old German shepherd

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Help with 5 month old German shepherd

This is a discussion on Help with 5 month old German shepherd within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi all, we have a 5 month gsd who has started to jump up and bite us randomly this week. We think she could still ...

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Old 11-13-2017, 07:54 PM
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Help with 5 month old German shepherd

Hi all, we have a 5 month gsd who has started to jump up and bite us randomly this week.
We think she could still be teething, but we have seen most her teeth fall out and when I look in her mouth it looks mostly like her adult teeth.

Could it be the start of adolescence? I have noticed that she has started to not listen to us as much as she used to. Is 5 months the start of adolescence? Or is that l a little early?

We have tried to turn around and make it look like were not interested, and even leaving the room for 30 seconds to a min, but have little success with the random jumping up and biting us. We do put her in time out also but still doesn't do much. She relaxes for a bit then goes back to random biting
Does anyone have any suggestions to help us out?
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:26 PM
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She could still be teething. :-) Adolescent doesn't really start tell 7 months when they get a little rowdy :-) But there are a couple of people on here who are German Shepherd people @DriveDog and @Sthelena would know I'm sure :-):-)

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Old 11-13-2017, 08:54 PM
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Was he bad about mouthing when he was younger? Did he go through landshark phase? Do you know what lines he is from?
This info could help.....lots of differences between lines.
My shepherds are usually starting to tone down the landshark phase by 5 or 6 months old.
Some more info about your dog and how he was up until now would be a big help for us to be able to give you some decent advice. Theres obviously a reason he's starting this now, we could use more info to figure it out.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:55 PM
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Sorry I meant she
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:50 PM
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5 months is closing in on a "retesting" of previous civil behavior and boundaries coupled with the new "feelings" their age might be supplying, perhaps a bit early but....

I know what I have done for the jumping and the biting and I'll suggest an option or two for the jumping. I did it straightforward, pup goes on a dragline immediately and I just stood on the line to restrict the pup's ability to jump but not to the restrict the pup's normal posture. Generally, if you are consistent and patient enough, you'll know when the "extinction burst" occurs. I'd reward the pup when the pup took a calmer position, standing, sitting or downed, it's all the same. If I did it again and the pup's food drive was fairly high, I might try having some food scraps on me and toss them on the floor before the pup started the jumping baloney. Maybe throw a few around as you break the theme the pup started with. If the pup knows the basics, I'd bribe the pup into a sit or down and continue the new behaviors to replace the jumping or other undesirable behaviors with acceptable ones.

I experienced the same as you, ignoring and timeouts didn't work and generally ramped up the pup to bring it on with even more passion so it seemed entirely unproductive.

All the biting stuff I did differently and probably not in a way that might work for you. I allowed the pup to enjoy the desire to work me with her teeth and paws, they do that kind of thing when they are pups, it's kind of how they express themselves at that age ( certainly younger ). I taught bite inhibition and bite pressures through a designated "play" session with a distinct beginning and ending and also provided appropriate outlets besides my forearms and hands, if our sessions weren't in session It's a lot of fun and few puppy scratches and bites along the way but I like a spirited pup! Like I said, probably not the way you might like to go. But FWIW, it did stop all unwanted nuisance nipping and she acquired a wonderful use of her jaws and uses them appropriately.
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:15 AM
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I'm starting to think it is the start of adolescence yeah. My pup is going on 6 months soon and I see the exact same behaviour . She's being rebellious and doesn't want to listen anymore basically. I'm putting in more effort to train again until this phase blows over. But right now previous behaviours are popping up again like nipping, barking at us and perhaps the worse one, lunging. Lunging is the worse because my dog is already taller than me at 5 months and weighs probably 110 pounds, that's a lot of dog lol. Lunging cannot continue in adulthood because she will definitely crush someone at that point.

But yeah maybe someone on here can give advice on how to handle this phase . It would be greatly appreciated . Thanks
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:26 AM
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lol I also dont heavily discourage the biting and mouthing, use tug games from an early age to teach my pups impulse control with the biting. I actually like the bitey-ness qith the proper outlets...... I havent had much issue with jumping and nipping past a few months old, but I think my general lifestyle reinforces the obedience side of things.
I do think @DriveDogs methods of dealing with these things are spot on. Replacing one behavior with a more polite one is in general how I shape my dogs into what I want. The german shepherds I've had seem to constantly need something to be doing, and giving them a replacement behavior seems to work better for me than just trying to stop them from doing something altogether
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:58 AM
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My border collie mix did this a lot when he was a puppy. The only things that stopped it from happening was a lot of patience and ignoring him. If he started getting jumpy with me, I would fold my arms and turn away from him. He'd usually sit down out of confusion but I would turn back around and praise him. Took probably about 6 months to sink in, but he doesn't do it anymore.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Borg34572 View Post
But yeah maybe someone on here can give advice on how to handle this phase . It would be greatly appreciated . Thanks
Besides what I have already added to the specific situation, I think in general when a pup reaches this phase of retesting boundaries and exhibiting previous undesirable behaviors, one has to "up the ante". I suppose there are numerous ways to accomplish this. One method which would be in accordance with this forum's theme would be using the NILIF protocol. Doggy wants, doggy earns it, nothing comes for free without some level of capitulation or demonstrated obedience. I'm not certain if self reinforcing/rewarding behavior escalates during this phase due to age but it does seem to reappear or become more obvious. I think it is important for the dog to learn where proper reward comes from and certainly the most satisfying rewards should be coming from you of course.

I also believe this phase tests the handler's resolve and patience and it can run the risk of creating avoidance behaviors in the dog if the handler becomes frustrated and loses their composure. Also, I've seen too many start to reissue commands when they previously didn't have to, essentially they start asking the dog, hoping for results and this will quickly be learned by the dog and most likely continue forward as S.O.P.

In a nutshell, up the obedience training and if one is still reliant on the use of food rewards, it's a wonderful time to begin weaning the dog off them and use more of your "approval" to let the dog know job well done.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by chibicricket View Post
Took probably about 6 months to sink in, but he doesn't do it anymore.

I'm glad it worked out for you and I most certainly applaud your patience!
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