Posted by Hamsco
Nov 30, 2011
I have a 13 week old female German Sheppard that was the alpha dog in the pack. She nips at my hands and feet constantly when I either pat her or play with her. I have tried to replace my hand with a toy, grabbing her lower jaw and putting her in a timeout. Nothing seems to work. She is a playful dog with a good disposition. Any suggestions would be helpful.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Dec 2, 2011
Hey Hamsco,

It sounds like you've tried a few things to stop her - what does she do in response to each method? Does she just continue to nip? When you try grabbing her lower jaw, make sure first of all you're not hurting her, just keeping her still moreso. Keep holding until she stops struggling - thats the key with that sort of training. I did it with my dog a few times when he was a pup and it seemed to work, but you have to wait for them to stop struggling against your hand - and it might be better to just try holding her mouth shut (this is what I did), instead of just grabbing one jaw.

Another thing you can try is to cross your arms, turn your back, and ignore her when she starts up. If she keeps jumping up and trying to get your attention, keep turning away from her until she calms down. Then say "good girl" and pat her. If she starts biting again right away, repeat the process.

You can also try startling her when she nips, but that requires your free hand to access a loud, noisy object quickly when she starts in - like a jar full of stones or coins. Alternatively you can try yelping loudly or shouting "HEY!" when she does it. This method is trying to startle the pup enough that their attention is drawn away from what they were doing wrong.

I hope this helps, I'm sure other members have more great advice for you!