Like some shepherds and cattle dogs, German Shepherds seem to be nippers and sometimes called land sharks for that. This behavior can be nasty so here are some tips on how to stop your German Shepherd from biting and nipping!
Teething German Shepherd puppy
Just like all puppies, German Shepherd puppies love chewing hands and toys because their teeth are starting to develop and this makes their gums really itchy.
When their adult teeth start to emerge, German Shepherd puppies chew on toys, random things, and even any part of your body because of the discomfort they feel in their gums. They chew and bite and nip trying to make the pain and irritable feeling go away.
Generally, German Shepherd puppies start teething at 16 weeks of age. This period lasts up to until they are about 24 to 32 weeks-old. The nipping, biting, and chewing is very normal during this stage.
However, if your German Shepherd puppy retains the habit after that period, it can be a big problem.
Biting and Chewing as a Behavioral Problem
If the biting persists even after his teething period, it important to know how to stop your German Shepherd from biting. One good reason why a German Shepherd bites a lot is: he most likely did not receive proper training as a youngster. Sometimes owners can be a bit too gentle and lenient towards their puppies, leaving unwanted behaviors such as nipping and biting ignored or encouraged.
When a German Shepherd is not properly trained, he might start to bite at strangers, visitors, and random household objects. This behavior should be corrected and controlled immediately or somebody might end up hurt.
For German Shepherd puppies, nipping and biting is a game they love to play. They bite and nip their brother and sisters and this is usually harmless. Sometimes puppies can hurt their playmates unintentionally and this will result in a sudden and loud puppy cries. This sound is a sign that you should intervene for a time out.
How to Stop Your German Shepherd From Biting and Nipping?
There are different ways to stop your German Shepherd from biting or nipping. If your puppy bites and nips because he is teething, it is not really a problem but if this habit gets out of hand, you may choose to do the following tips.
You should make German Shepherd know that biting is an unacceptable behavior. Let your GS know this through hand signals, body language, or voice commands.
When your German Shepherd bites you, it’s okay to say “ouch”. After that, pull your hand away from your GS and tell him “No”.
Move or walk away from your German Shepherd and stop playing. It might be hard to resist their charm but mind this: when you stop playing with your German Shepherd the moment he nips or bites, he will understand and associate no play with biting.
This may not work the first time you do it but with practice, your German Shepherd may easily pick up the message and learn that nipping and biting is no-no.
Put Your Thumb Under Your Puppy’s Tongue
If the tip we mentioned above does not work, you may try putting your thumb under his tongue.
To do this, start playing with your German Shepherd puppy. Let him hold on to your hand and as soon as he bites you, say “No” in an authoritative voice and put your thumb inside his mouth, under the tongue. Put your forefinger gently but firmly beneath your puppy’s chin. That way, your puppy cannot bite you and since this is an uncomfortable situation for him, he will try to get your fingers out of his mouth.
This technique can be successful as your pup will feel definitely uncomfortable and he will avoid biting you in the future.
Repeat this method until your puppy realized he hates having your fingers in his mouth.
Pinch Your Puppy’s Neck
If putting your thumb under your pup’s tongue still doesn’t work, you may pinch his neck gently.
To do this, start by playing with your puppy. When he starts biting your hand, say “No” immediately and pull your hand. Then, pinch your German Shepherd puppy in the neck – but not too tightly. Your German Shepherd should then associate pinching with “No.
The key in successful dog training is consistency. To stop your German Shepherd from biting, you will need to repeat the technique you prefer several times before you succeed. You will also have to be your dog’s leader and not a friend of the same level. When you are a leader, you are doing your dog a favor. It is for his own safety and the people around him.
Give your German Shepherd a reward
German Shepherds are smart and they will most likely understand what you want him to do and not do. If your German Shepherd follows your commands, never forget to reward him with a treat.
Give your GS treats as a reward whenever he learns something. Just be sure to have adequate treats in your hands or pocket when training.
When your German Shepherd halts from biting you after you say “No”, reward him with a treat. By doing this, your GS will associate no biting with treats. In case this method is successful, you can later replace treats with cuddles or pats on the head.
Remember, German Shepherds are smart and they will most likely pick up the lesson you want them to learn. But it’s best to correct unwanted behaviors before they turn concrete.