Last Updated: 2 months ago
If you find it cute that your little German Shepherd puppy is biting your hand, think again!
GSDs grow up to become strong and muscular dogs.
If you encourage them when they bite or make ‘aww’ sounds, it will adopt biting as a habit. However, once a GSD pup grows, its biting habits are not cute at all. Trust me on this one.
Why Is My German Shepherd Puppy Biting And Nipping?
Little pups that bite on hands or chew on toys are doing so because they are developing teeth.
Recently, we got a new addition to our GSD family, a cute male named Bobby, and surely Bobbly likes to bite everything. He doesn’t like plastic materials, and thus he doesn’t like his dog’s Kong toys.
We did order a set of tug ropes for him, and it is working. (for now at least).
Here is the model that we ordered from Chewy.
They chew on toys because their gums feel irritated, and to make the pain go away, they bite and chew on things.
This behaviour during the teething period is very normal and not much of a problem. However, if a GSD pup doesn’t leave its biting habit behind when it has grown into an adult, it becomes a huge problem for everyone.
Another reason that GSDs bite a lot is that they did not receive proper training as pups. When people start to appreciate or encourage GS biting or nipping, they are making it a habit.
Your dog will start to bite visitors and household items. This is a problem that needs to be controlled right away, or else someone will end up getting hurt. If you let your GSD bite and nip, you are letting it take over.
Biting and nipping are also games for GSD pups. They like to bite other pups in the litter, and this is usually harmless. However, when a pup gets hurt unintentionally, it makes a loud sound. This sound is an indication for the pup that it is hurting, and it is time to stop.
How Do You Stop A German Shepherd From Biting And Nipping?
There are several ways you can train your pup not to bite or nip. If your pup is biting because of teething, it is not a problem.
However, if your pup’s biting habit is getting out of control, adopt the following strategies to get control over it:
- The first step is to tell your dog that biting is not acceptable.
- You will do this with the help of voice commands, body language, and hand signals.
- If your pup bites at you, make an ‘ouch’ sound.
- Pull your hand away and say, ‘No.’
- Move away from your pup and stop playing.
- When you stop playing with your pup the moment it bites, it will associate no play with biting.
- Repeat this practice whenever your GSD bites or nips.
- It will help your GSD learn that biting and nipping are not appreciated.
If this method doesn’t work and your GS pup is still biting, try this:
- Start playing with your pup.
- Let it grab your hand, and as soon as the pup bites, say ‘No’ in an authoritative tone.
- Put your thumb in your pup’s mouth and under its tongue.
- Put your other finger lightly beneath its chin.
- Your pup will not be able to bite you, and in this uncomfortable situation, it will try to get your fingers out of its mouth.
- This is an effective technique that will make the puppy feel uncomfortable and will prevent it from biting you.
- Remember, you will have to repeat this technique several times until your pup completely hates taking your hand in its mouth.
This doesn’t work either. Try this:
- If you are playing with your pup and it starts biting your hands, say ‘No’ immediately.
- Pull your hand backward and pinch your pup in the neck.
- Do not pinch too tightly.
- This will make the pup associate pinching with no, and it will soon stop biting you.
Be Consistent In What You Teach
If you are trying to train your dog to behave and stop biting and nipping, make sure you are doing it with consistency and repetition.
While training a GSD, you will need to repeat your technique several times until it starts to learn. Your GSD needs to know that biting and nipping are not acceptable and will upset you.
You will also need to become the leader of your dog, not a friend of the same level. When you are a leader, you control the dog’s behavior. When the dog accepts you as a leader, it starts to follow the rules you set and the commands you give.
Do not let your puppy bite on your hands during the training process.
Doing so will create confusion in your dog’s mind, and it will not be able to learn that biting is not good.
Reward Good Behaviour.
If your dog is doing well and following your orders, do not forget to offer it a treat. Food treats are a kind of reward that you offer your dog only when it learns something.
Make sure you have enough treats with you when you are training your pup.
When your pup stops biting you on your ‘No’ command, offer it a treat. This way, your GSD will learn that no biting means a yummy treat.
In the later stages of your pup’s training, you can replace treats with cuddles or anything that appreciates your puppy.
Many troubled owners visit GSD training centres to get rid of their dog’s biting behavior. However, if they adopt effective obedience training strategies, they will be able to control their dog’s behaviour.
Do not let your pup’s biting habits turn into concrete. A little pup’s biting and nipping is likeable, but as soon as it grows into a muscular dog, its biting will cause injuries.
If you need any help regarding your GSD’s behaviour and habits, read on to our complete package of GSD guides for amateurs. You can also sign up for our newsletter to get an expert opinion on GSD behaviours.