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  • Biting Puppy

    Hello, there!

    We (my girlfriend and I) have a very young puppy in our apartment. It arrived with only 4 1/4 weeks and now he's almost 7 weeks old.
    We have two main problems:
    1. He bites us very hard when he plays. And we don't know if it's normal because he's so young or how to stop that behaviour.

    2. We have newspaper on the kitchen floor, we can't take him out because he doesn't have all the vaccins. When he's locked he always uses the paper as his bathroom, but every chance he has, he goes to any carpet.
    How long should we wait until he learns? Are we asking too much for such a young shepherd?

    Best regards

  • #2
    Yes, you are asking too much of such a young dog. Behaviors like this can take a long time to correct. The biting one will be done much sooner than the housebreaking (or paper training).

    A 4 1/2 week old puppy was MUCH too young to be taken from the mother. At that age he would have just started being taught a lot of what he needed for the rest of his life--such as when enough is enough.

    In the dog world, when two puppies are playing and one "bites" another, the mother dog would be the one who eventually stepped in to stop the play. That constant behavior by the mother would have taught the puppy when to stop. But, it's not the end of the world. Getting him so young just means now you (and your girlfriend) must become the mother dog.

    When he bites you like that (and he's actually only playing too rough) what you need to do is very loudly and in a painful way say "oww" or "ouch" and then walk away. Don't play with him anymore. Don't talk to him or look at him. Totally ignore him. You're gonna do this every time he plays too rough. Eventually (and it'll be pretty quick) he'll learn his limits and when he needs to stop.

    As far as the newspaper goes, a dog would rather not do his business all over himself. So when he does it on the paper in his crate, what he's doing is doing it as far away from where he sleeps as he can. If you don't put newspaper anywhere chances are you'll find that he goes in the same place--which is away from his resting area. So when you give him a wide open space to play in he's going to do his business wherever he wants to that's out of his play space.

    And remember that his attention span and memory aren't the greatest right now. So if you have newspaper three rooms away from where he's at, he's not going to remember where it's at and that he should go on it. Your better option would be to seclude him in the one area where the paper is (such as gating him in the kitchen).

    But this kind of training can take a long, long time. I've had puppies totally poop trained on the paper but they'd up and pee wherever the heck they wanted to. You might want to invest in some puppy pads (they have a urine scent on them to attract the puppy to the pad).

    And remember never to scold him for going anywhere he shouldn't. If you see him doing the potty dance, pick him up and take him to the paper (or wherever you want him to go). Then when he goes on the paper, praise the crap out of him. Tell him he's a good boy, pet his head, love on him. Do everything except yell at him. You want to teach him what he should be doing (going on the paper)--not what he shouldn't (going anywhere else).

    Good luck!

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    • #3
      I agree with dog mom, another awy of stopping the bite is to place your thumb on one side of his nose, you forefinger on the other a squeese just until he lets out a little yelp, this is another 'mom' behaviour to teach puppy that biting hurts. Let go as soon as he yelps, he should do one of two actions, either lick your hand or walk away, this is his way of accepting the punishment for hurting you.

      The carpet peeing is often a sign of a puppy use to peeing outside on grass, carpet resembles grass so puppy is determined to go where he's use to. The pee pad is a great idea, though personally I am under the philosiphy that training your dog to go anywhere inside your home is a very bad idea. If you have a patio, you might want to try teaching him to go there instead of in your home, as this can lead to complications when it comes time to teach him to go outside. After all, how will you feel cleaning up after a 70 to 100 pound dog when he's full grown, chances are you wont want him going in your home at that time, so its best to teach him off the bat to go outside, even without his shots, just keep him out of stegnant water and places where other animals are often found until he has his shots.

      Remember he is just a puppy, he has about the same amount of understanding of a year old child. Tat ta may destract for a minute but really it has no meaning to them. My best advice to you is find a good dog trainer now, talk to them often and be prepared to enroll your dog in classes as soon as he is old enough by the trainers standards.Also pick up a couple of puppy books, I find the "Puppies for dummies" and "Dog Training for Dummies" books to be really good, they talk to you on total lamens trems all the "... for Dummies books are good, you might even want to invest in one for German Shepards, as they have one on most of the popular breeds, the one for rottweilers was a welth of information when I got my first rotties years back.
      The reason dogs are great is they wag their tails, not their tongues.

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      • #4
        In addition to what others have said, I also like to allow biting *at first*, so long as it's gentle. Once the pup's very solid with this behaviour - eg. he wouldn't dream of biting you hard enough to hurt - then I teach them, with the same methods suggested, not to bite humans at all. This is called bite inhibition.

        The theory behind it is that dogs are dogs and dogs WILL bite if they feel the need. You can train a dog very well, and instill a high 'bite threshold' - that is, teach it to put up with all sorts without biting - but even then, there is still a threshold where a dog just won't put up with it - eg. if someone really hurt it or cornered & threatened it badly. Unfortunately, it is often kids who unintentionally cross those boundaries. So it's good to teach a dog that it takes very little to hurt a human with their teeth. They're much more likely to bite gently if they're pushed that far.

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        • #5
          Great post thanks for sharing.

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