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Are you at the end of your rope and wondering how to stop your German Shepherd puppy’s aggressive biting right away?
Don’t let them ruin your previously happy relationship with their nuisance nipping!
Take back control of their behavior using these quick and easy solutions to stop German Shepherd biting that actually works.
1. Use Special Toys for Play
Toys are useful for playing with your puppy because they put a barrier between your fingers and their teeth.
Even better, have a set of toys that are only used when you want to engage in play with your puppy. Hide these toys in a basket or box after your game of play.
This makes them extra special.
They are under your control and your dog must give them back to you. Special toys are more fun for your pup to bite than you.
When in doubt of what special toy your dog likes, choose from this specially-curated list of what toys German Shepherds lovefor interactive toy ideas to keep your dog entertained.
2. Say OUCH!
When your pup bites you, say OUCH firmly.
This simple technique catches the attention of many puppies when done correctly and can train a German Shepherd puppy to not bite you.
You could also make a YIP sound instead, just like their little brother and sisters would make a yipping noise when playing too rough.
Here’s how to stop a German Shepherd puppy from biting you:
Let your pup play and chew on their toys, but as soon as they chew or nip you let out a sharp OUCH or give a high-pitched yelp.
This not only gets their attention, but it’s the same feedback they would get from their littermates during play.
If they continue to bite and nip, say OUCH again and then get up immediately and leave the room for a few moments.
You may return to play but keep repeating this simple process until they learn to keep their teeth on their toys.
Any biting, nipping, chewing, or teeth to skin contact STOPS PLAY.
Don’t laugh or smile during this process, even though your dog may give a cute face or gesture to you.
This will only encourage them to continue their unwanted behavior.
This process doesn’t work overnight, so stick with the training until they understand and try the other training techniques further down in this article.
If your pup bites you aggressively when you and your family walk past you, then use an exercise pen or this German Shepherd-sized pet safe partition gate to contain them.
Only use pet-safe partition gates that are high enough to prevent and discourage your German Shepherd from jumping over to continue to try and bite you.
Use the items during busy times in your home to keep your dog calm and out of areas that might increase their excitement and biting and nipping you.
When they remain calm in their exercise pen or behind their baby gate, reward them and tell them “good dog”. Only let them out when they’re showing calm behaviors, such as lying down quietly or sitting calmly.
If you let them out while they’re whining or excited, you’ll also encourage them to stay in an excited mental state and this increases nipping and biting.
4. Offer Them Frozen Kongs
Puppies tend to bite and chew when their teeth are coming in. They do this to relieve the pain and help soothe themselves.
Freeze a durable large Kong with their favorite treats and kibble and have them on hand for times when your dog is acting out and biting you.
Give them a Kong to gnaw on and bring icy relief to their gums.
Even better, say “KONG” when you give your dog the toy to help train them to understand the word. After a few repetitions of saying the cue word, the next time they bite and nip you say “KONG” and see if they follow you to the freezer or race you there.
Even if your German Shepherd isn’t teething, they’ll still enjoy chewing on a frozen Kong. Plus, chewing has been shown to help relax and calm dogs.
So, you can’t go wrong with offering a Kong…
Instead of your fingers and hands to chew.
5. Use Redirections
Redirections are actions that keep your pup from engaging in unwanted behavior by showing them appropriate behavior.
When your dog nips you, find their teething toy to bite instead.
When your dog jumps on you to bite your hands or ankles, look around for a Kong to give to them to bite on.
If they’re chasing you and nipping your ankles, find their rope chew toy and encourage them to chew on it instead.
The goal is eventually to have your dog perform positive behaviors more often by going to their approved toys that you’ve left for them, instead of your fingers or hands.
Squeaky toys like this toy that continues to squeak, even after a puncture, are ideal to distract your dog from your hand to another object. These toys differ from their special toys (mentioned above) because these redirection toys are ones you leave out for your pup to chew most of the time.
They’re lying around and used for the redirections when your pup bites you aggressively. So, be sure to have them nearby!
6. Use Daily Leadership Skills
Use daily interactions as an effective way of teaching your dog about leadership.
Feed your pup only after you’ve eaten and always have them sit before their meal.
Don’t let your pup sleep in your bed if you’re experiencing aggressive biting issues, as this may teach them they rank as high as you on the leadership scale.
Have them sit before you take them for a walk or exiting a door.
While these don’t directly stop your puppy from biting, they help communicate with your dog your leadership. If your dog sees you as a confident leader, they’re likely to respect your discipline more.
Stop roughhousing with your dog before it frustrates them.
Use appropriate, puppy-safe toys instead of play sessions. This way, your pup can bite the toy instead of your fingers, hands, or arms.
You may also stress out your GSD by engaging them rough of play. For your pup to either keep up with the play or stop you from too rough play, they may bite you!
Don’t get angry, yell or punish them.
From day one, avoid play that involves mouthing or teeth on the skin. Use toys to provide your dog a way they can bite to release their energy…
Without nipping you!
10. Teach Impulse Control
Puppies love games, especially when you’re involved as the teacher and leader of the game.
And this game is great because it teaches your dog a necessary life skill.
Practice the game:
multiple times a day
for 2 to 3 minutes at a time
Your pup learns impulse control during the game and this transfers over to their ability to stop themselves from biting you.
Read below for the easy-to-follow directions.
The Rev Up and Cool Down Game: Help Teach Calming Behaviors to Your German Shepherd
If your dog gets too worked up and then bites, then teach them this Rev Up and Cool Down game.
Start by running a few steps (your puppy should chase you because it’s fun for them).
After a few running steps and before your pup gets too excited, stop running and walk slowly.
Don’t look at your dog at all. Keep moving slowly until your dog also slows down. When you see them slow down, take a few more steps calmly and peacefully. Then, click and treat them or say your reward word (say “yes” or “good dog”) and treat them.
Continue with steps one through three. Each time your dog should slow down sooner and quicker.
If your puppy knows any of thesebasic German Shepherd commands, incorporate those commands to make the training more interesting and fun. (The link above will also easily explain how to teach over ten commands!)
The point of the Rev Up and Cool Down game is to teach them to settle and stay calm without nipping and biting you.
Conclusion: How to Stop German Shepherd Puppy Aggressive Biting
Learning how to stop German Shepherd puppy aggressive biting and nipping can increase your happiness with your dog.
Don’t let your dog continue these behaviors or you’ll wind up without control and leadership in your own home.
You need to keep your pup exercised, mentally stimulated, and show them what calming behavior is.
Be fair and understanding.
A Shepherd is a joy to own when given the direction they desire and the commitment they need.
I’ve also found a group of other like-minded individuals with an online behavior-improving training program that helps reinforce good behavior using fun games.
You need German Shepherd training to get the best behavior from your dog and enjoy a happy life with them. Read these posts to find out what type of German Shepherd training works the best for your breed.
Your German Shepherd’s health, as well as your dog’s specific breed history, contributes to their overall life span. These posts will help you become aware of your dog’s health problems and how to help solve or improve them.