Male German Shepherd Puppy Jumping Up on People.

Posted by Brucerit
Sep 10, 2008
I have a 14 week old Male German Shepherd Puppy that I am currently trying to teach to "come", "sit", "stay", and to "fetch" and he appears to be learning.

He also is slowing down on "play biting" me. He only does it every once and a while when he gets a burst of energy.

We don't get a lot of company out here in the country, because I have 2 acres that are fenced and gated. We had a friend stop by the other day, and the GSD Puppy jumped up on him, "play bit" him on the calf until he was bleeding, and now has started jumping up on me.

I have purchased "SitStayFetch", and in reading the book, the best I can figure is that the pup thinks he is "The Alpha" where I am concerned.

I react angrily and tell him "No" when he jumps up and I turn and ignore him.

Is this the correct response?

Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Sep 14, 2008
Hi Brucerit,

Your 14 weeks GS will soon grow to the 60-80 pounds so I understand you want to correct his bad habits sooner.

I don't think his jumping and play biting are the signs of "Alpha" or "dominant". They are typical puppy behaviors. Both behaviors are signs of excitements and happiness. Does he have a playmate? If he does, he would be jumping and play biting the playmate but he should learn this is not the way he interact with human beings. Jumping to a strange dog when he first meets is not a good way to greet either. He would be learning all these rules with other dogs so I hope he will have a lot of opportunities to socialize with people and dogs.

As for jumping you are doing the right thing by turning around and ignoring him. Another good exercise is to show him a treat high above his head and if he tries to jump up (stand up) to get the treat, say "Uh Uh" and wait until he sits down to give the treat. Create situations he would jump up so that you can reprimand and reward when he stops jumping.

For play biting, it is effective to say "Ouch!" sharply and firmly and stop playing (ignoring). Give him a bone or Kong or some chew toys instead. It is frustrating but you will just have to repeat this until he gets the idea of what he can chew and what he can't.

GS is not a Golden Retriever. It is a breed less friendly to strangers, can be more protective and sometimes fearful of strangers. I understand you don't get much company where you live but I strongly recommend socializing him as much as and as soon as possible to avoid future problems.

Good luck and please keep us posted on his progress.
Posted by Brucerit
Oct 3, 2008
Thank you MaxHollyNoah. "Max" is now a little past 16 weeks, and he now is getting his permanent teeth, so the playbiting has almost completely ceased.

I have been dragging this big lug up into my lounge chair to lay him on his back in my lap. I massage his paws and tell him what a nice dog he is and hold him there for a few minutes, sometimes against his will. This is getting tougher and tougher because he now weighs over 40 pounds.

I have been teaching him to fetch, sit and stay, but I think he thinks he is the Alpha Dog, because he continues to jump up on me more and more.

I am going to get serious about training Max when he is 6 months old, so I am reading up on Being the Alpha Dog in my spare time.

Thanks again,
Posted by Liz-amp-Koa
Aug 21, 2009

I guess I am a little late on reading this thread.

How is the puppy now? Is he still jumping, still on the chair?

I have a GSD who is now 2, but he was a rescue at 8 months and he has been constant work. He is much better now, but with no socialization with humans as a pup, it has been very difficult. He is fear aggressive, looks real nice and friendly, then lunges at anyone he doesn't know. So, doggie day care it is, and he loves it.

Good luck.