Puppy Biting at 7 months

Posted by Pepstor
Nov 3, 2007
My 7 month old german shepherd pup is a determined biter. With her permanent teeth she is no longer breaking skin, but she will leave bruises. She bites at hands, feet and whatever else she can reach. I wear a knee brace and she always tries to bite that as well. When I take her out for a walk on a leash she does not do this, only when I am in the house or in the yard. I thought at first that the biting was the normal puppy invitation to play, but now this is a real problem. I have tried the substitution route, the time out route, the scruff of the neck route, all to no avail and the last route makes her more aggressive. Any ideas what I should try next? I would like to stop this behaviour sooner than later.
Posted by Blue
Mar 26, 2008

Puppies are wonderful, but they all love to nibble on us humans!! It is an invitation to play - but one that should be left solely to the dogs!

These are techniques that are suggested and quite successful:

*Get you or someone to sit down with your puppy and hold out your hand. If the puppy bites both you and your guest should growl sharply, say "AAHH" rather then "NO", and do not yell it, growl it; make it quite gutteral (even if this gives you a sore throat).

*Hold out their hand again, and if your puppy goes to bite it again, growl again but stand up suddenly at the same time. Walk away for a few minutes.

*Then come back and sit down to play again, hold out your hand once more. If the puppy goes to bite for a third time be ready for it and give the puppy a little thump on the nose and growl once more (thump hard enough for the puppy to actually feel it) with the hand you are holding out.

*Hold out their hand again, and by then your puppy should be wary of their hand (be aware that the hand biting behavior is probably a habit by now).

You can use this technique with anything else that she wishes to bite on - your brace, ankles anything. The more you practice, the more she will learn that biting humans is unacceptable.

Always reprimand any mouthing/nipping of guests as well - as soon as they happen. Even if it means explaining to your guests that if she bites, they need to get up out of their chair and walk away from her - that is a simple reprimand and doesn't require you to teach them how to reprimand her properly (like having all your guests growl at your dog... ).

It may also help if you take her to leash free areas/dog parks to play with other puppies/dogs as when dogs play they learn bite inhibition - how hard to bite before the other dog gets upset. The earlier socialization with other dogs occurs in this manner, the more well behaved your dog will be not only with biting, but with meeting other dogs!

Hope this was helpful, feel free to ask any further questions or post your progress.