Dog Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We have a 3 month old german shepard pup. His biggest downfall is bite inhibition. If it cannot be fixed in the few months of "puppy" we have left, it could be really bad

Heres whats happening

Essentially, the dog cannot play with toys when he is excited, his only method of playing is biting, which is normal.

His biting is quickly getting harder and harder, its now starting to be crushing and sharp.

Anytime he bites us we say "ouch" or yelp and ignore him or leave. When we come back to try again. He does not lighten up.

If we could find something he likes to play with a lot. It would help so much. When he is having a lot of fun and bites us, we could stop the game, and he can learn a lot easier.

When playing, we really make the toys be engaging and alive, i try to bribe him with food to play, but he just goes into food mode and sits still.

When he does bite on a rope toy, he drops it after losing intrest after a second or two.

He cannot play with even his favorite toys long enough for us to show him he is hurting us by leaving the game

He is extemely scared of other dogs and pups, every dog i meet outside he will not interact with, so he cant quite play with other dogs for now.

He is extemely smart and learns fast, but he cannot understand that he is hurting us.

I dont want to get rid of him because he cannot learn how to play.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
He is playing - he just hasn't learnt to play according to your rules. There is no reason to think that this will turn into aggression, so no reason it should lead to a bad bite. Do his bites break the skin and if so, how badly?

Saying 'ouch' or yelping doesn't work with all puppies. What worked for mine (eventually) was, every time his teeth touched us, we leave the room - or put him out of the room, whichever could be done most calmly. Don't say anything, not even a mild 'No.' The point is that the fun has stopped. I prefer using a stairgate of some form, as closing a door on him could be distressing for him, and he can't learn if he's distressed. You literally only have to leave him for 5-10 seconds, after which you calmly let him back in again. At which point he'll put his teeth on you again, so you put him back out again, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat. Prepare to be exhausted, and to spend all evening doing this. With my dog, eventually he came back into the room, went to grab my leg, then hesitated.... OK, then temptation got the better of him and he went to grab m leg again, but it was the first sign that the penny was beginning to drop, and he (very) gradually improved.

Wearing old clothes, and maybe even wellies, can help you keep calm, as you're less worried about the damage to you or your clothes.

As well as learning what you don't want to do, your dog needs to develop the impulse control to - well - control his impulses. This is a good video for teaching this skill in general:

Keep on working with getting him to enjoy toys, and if he only wants to play with them in a way that gets him treats, fair enough. While he's working out how to get treats out of you he's not biting you (if you're worried about weight you can give him kibble from his normal daily amount, or bits of carrot or similar). And if he enjoys training sessions, make the most of that too. If he has times he's particularly bad - early evening is common - then steel yourself for a few exhausting hours of repeated timeouts, training, whatever... Teaching a good 'settle' can help too, as pups can tire themselves out but still be wired, like toddlers after a party. Here's a vid for that:

Don't worry about him not interacting with dogs for now. Play in puppies and adult dogs can easily turn into bullying, and it's better for him to learn to be calm round other dogs than actually interact with them.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,775 Posts
About the only thing I did different from JudyN back when I had my puppy was to give him 2 chances to play with me with his toy. We'd be playing with his toy and he'd drop it and bite me so I'd replace whatever body part he'd grabbed with his toy and try playing with him again. In the beginning he'd drop the toy and try biting me again, at that point I"d get out of his reach (generally that would mean I'd leave the room) for a few minutes before going back in and trying again. I did that EVERY time he bit me, no exceptions, and no one else was allowed to let him bite them either. Puppy biting human = end of fun time. I also made playing with his toys the funnest thing ever. After a few weeks of doing that consistently there came a day when he looked at me and I could tell he was thinking about biting me to play, but he got a thoughtful expression on his face, he paused, then ran and got a toy. After that any time he wanted to play he went and got one of his toys.

Please remember that he's a baby, and GSD puppies are known to be cute, furry, little landsharks with a taste for human flesh, I think that about the only breed that's worse is Malinois. They are smart though, and really want to work with you so if you are persistent he'll learn. I bet he's easier then my puppy was, my boy was a terrier mix and had 0 bite inhibition, he bit and bit HARD, oh and if I yelped or yelled OW! he thought it was a game.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The main problem im having right now is

I dont know how to play with my dog!

By his way of playing or by mine. If i could figure out how to play with my dog, he could have fun.

If my dog bites while having fun i could stop it, and he will learn.
How do i play with him?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,775 Posts
Play however you want with him so long as he does not put his teeth on your skin, also keep in mind that if you wrestle with him now he'll want to wrestle with you as a full grown GSD and that might not be so fun.

Some of the things I play with my dogs are tug of war, chase, a bit of rough housing so long as they do not jump on me, and fetch. We also play keep away with their toys, but I try not to play that one if the dog is prone to stealing a human's things and I teach drop it so they know to give the thing back when I ask. The puppy I mentioned learned to rough house with the toy in his mouth.

Whatever games are fun for both of you feel free to play, just don't let him bite you. All of my dogs play growled while playing, and there's nothing wrong with that so long as they are having fun and not trying to say they are getting annoyed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Im sorry i just need to explain this in a different way.

I have never played with a dog, i dont know how any of this works.
I cant play with toys, he wont bother with them.

I dont know HOW to play with my dog

How to start it,
How to continue it,

He can chase stuff i throw outside. But that wont help his biting problem

The way i engage with him when he starts going crazy he does not find fun and entertaining.
If he doesnt find it fun, stopping any kind of game i play with him will not lighten up his iron grip
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,775 Posts
This video may help you

Also please understand that your puppy is around the equivalent age of a human toddler so he's not going to want to play long with one toy. Try having a few different toys around and when he loses interest in one switch to the next one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
If he likes chasing things, this will help with his biting because he won't be biting you, it'll become less of a habit, and as he matures he'll grow out of it sooner. Management is just as important as teaching in this respect. Try training instead of play, teach fetch, hide & seek, hunt the treat, anything that doesn't involve biting - and don't feel you need to do any roughhousing at all if it always results in biting. Don't focus too much on needing to 'play', just on interacting - or even not interacting, just being with - in any way that doesn't involve teeth on skin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
I agree with everything said here. Mine was exactly the same as a pup. Absolutely no interest in toys whatsoever. I would shake or squeak his toy and he would think "Oh boy! Hand!" And would come straight for me.

He did, however, like chews. Bully sticks, dental chews, bones. So he got lots of those.

Since he liked treats so much, I found that he also loved training. He was the most well prepared puppy on his first day of puppy class because we spent tons of time training. It was good bonding for us, tired him out, and he enjoyed spending that time with me. He got so good at "come" that I would take him to the field in our neighborhood, tell him to "stay" walk ALL the way across the massive field, kneel down and yell "come!" And he would run at lightning speed toward me. I always thought he was smiling as he did it because he got to run as fast as possible while spending time with me.

He also loves water. So I got him a little pool. I would run the hose over the pool so he could jump and splash and attack the water. I would splash him too from outside the pool.

He also loved to play chase. The game is simple. Tell your dog "I'm gonna get you!" And run after them. They will run away. The more jumping/ stomping/ flailing of arms involved the better. Just act like you're trying really hard to get your dog. Winston loves that one.

Also remember that although your puppy may seem like a crazy menace, he loves you. Even though you might think he's not having fun, he probably is because he's spending time with you. Mostly that's what dogs want, regardless of what you're doing.

Keep trying to show your dog toys. It may take a LONG time, and he may never be toy crazy, but he probably will start to like toys to some degree if you show him they can be fun. Show him how to fetch, how to tug, how to play keep away. Find toys with different textures and that make different sounds to see what he likes. My advice is don't treat during play. Eating is calming for dogs. He likely will not engage in energetic play while he's eats, and if he's more food motivated, he'll probably just sit there waiting for more the minute he knows he can choose between toys and treats.

Winston is now a crazy teenager and I have found that agility is a lifesaver. He loves it, and your GSD might too. Winston thinks it's just a big old game. He runs around as fast as he can with mama and gets treats. What could be better!? It involves lots of thinking and physical coordination from your dog, so it's very good for them and they come home pooped. I would highly recommend it. Just be sure he's not jumping very high for the first 18 months or so, as it's not good for a puppy's growing joints.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top