Aggressive Puppy Biting?

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Aggressive Puppy Biting?

This is a discussion on Aggressive Puppy Biting? within the Introductions forums, part of the DogForum Community Welcome category; Hello everyone, I have a German Shepherd Puppy that's 12 weeks old now and she has started aggressively biting, It always starts out she's licking ...

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Old 07-16-2015, 02:35 PM
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Aggressive Puppy Biting?

Hello everyone, I have a German Shepherd Puppy that's 12 weeks old now and she has started aggressively biting, It always starts out she's licking someone's hand then she starts to gnaw gently then she presses on biting harder and trying to play bite. It does hurt so me and my family are trying to teach her it's not okay to bite at all so we say a firm "No" or give a small swat (which I am trying NOT to do anymore) but then she starts barking and snarling and baring her teeth and biting aggressively until it comes to a point where I am trying to hold her at the scruff until she calms but she keeps showing aggressive behaviour until I have to put her away in her kennel, this has been going on for 2-3 weeks and she does it quite a few times every day I don't know what to do, is this normal for German Shepherds or puppies am I doing something wrong if anyone has any advice that would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Lola the GSD View Post
It always starts out she's licking someone's hand
This is when you need to take steps, since you know where the licking is going to lead. And the steps should not include swatting; being hit is exactly why she is becoming more aggressive. Holding her at the scruff till she "calms down" is also making her more aggressive. In short, these actions are scaring her and making her think she has to protect herself from you. As she gets bigger/older, this behavior will get worse unless you stop instigating these physical confrontations.

Licking can be an appeasement behavior, so my guess is that she wants to play, doesn't realize that her nipping isn't wanted so she offers "appeasement" and when that's accepted, she moves on to play. It's probably rather surprising and scary to her when she gets yelled at/swatted.

So, when she begins licking your hand (or anyone's) she should be distracted with a toy, or something she is allowed to chew. If, at any time, her teeth even barely touch your skin, all interaction with her should stop dead for a minute or two. You can walk away from her, turn your back on her, completely ignore her. After a minute or three, resume contact; if her teeth touch your skin, ignore again. Don't say anything, don't scold, don't try to push her away, just silence and ignore. You want her to learn that teeth-on-skin = no play, no petting, no attention. It may take 100 or more repetitions for her to get it.

This will take some time, possibly a few weeks, so don't give up after a few days.

Because your dog is a little older and she seems to have reacted pretty strongly to your physical corrections and scolding, you may want to also get a positive-trainer/behaviorist in to assess her and to show you exactly how to handle this situation and how to avoid more problems down the road.
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Old 07-16-2015, 05:04 PM
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okay that sounds good thank you so much for the advice, I feel really awful now, I didn't know that was making her afraid of me. Your advice helped a ton thank you I will try that, also I find if ignore her sometimes she still tries to pull my hair and nip my ankles is there anything I can do about that?
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Old 07-16-2015, 05:09 PM
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okay that sounds good thank you so much for the advice, I feel really awful now, I didn't know that was making her afraid of me.
No worries, lots of people make mistakes - I certainly did - and dogs are very forgiving! But at least you are open to learning a better way.

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Your advice helped a ton thank you I will try that, also I find if ignore her sometimes she still tries to pull my hair and nip my ankles is there anything I can do about that?
If that's the case, then you need to have an area where she can be confined and not get to you. I hesitate to suggest using her crate, because you don't want her to associate her crate with punishment. Can you baby gate a room, so that if she does this, you can step over the baby gate and leave her alone? Or use an ex-pen?
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Old 07-16-2015, 05:20 PM
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yes I could definitely do that! thats a great idea and I know just the place.
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