Is it time to 'snip' the problem so to speak???
Our german shephard is 11 mo. He has always been mouthy. He loves to gnaw on bones. We tried training him to kiss, or lick, instead of gnawing on us. He is not actually biting us, more gnawing us. It is not agressive snapping, more nipping at our sides as he passes buy.
He has a really high prey drive which is hereditary in german, german shephards, more than the americans. Our siamese and him have been raised together and she loves him but he mauls her. They love to go under the table and play. She in the chair hissing and hitting at him, he with his mouth open trying to lick and put her head in his mouth. We supervise this play because he is a large dog. She literally looks for him so he can catch her. But he is big and having more than 80lbs run down the hall or down the stairs after her is a bit much. So we say No Kitty and monitor the time together.
He has done really well with training and actually did a down stay for 20 minutes while dh drove away with others in class. But in our culdesac he stays and when dh goes back to get him, he bolts and takes off like crazy. He will do a down but again, just as you approach he bolts. Or if he is commanded to come he will come just up to you, lay down and then bolt as you step forward to stand beside him.
We do not allow him on furniture and he likes to take his chew bone and chew on it while he sets it on sofa next to whomever is sitting there. He wants us to hold it while he chews on it.
He is still a pup and has a long way to go. He loves the agility part of class and we hope to do more.
So lately he has regressed and we are wondering if it is time to snip his boys. We want to make sure his growth plates are formed as our first shephard had horrible panostiitis (sp?). We were warned that Germans do not fix their dogs and just learn to control them. Well we are not in germany and do not plan to breed him or show him so a snipping we may one day go.
He went through a phase where when I tried to correct him, he wears pinch collar with long leash so we can correct him if he takes off or is caught on the sofa, etc, he would growl/bear teeth and act like he was going to bite. I guess he sensed my fear because I finally shoved my hand into his mouth and told him to go ahead and bite me. He barely, very slowly clamped down but stopped once his teeth actually touched my skin. Not a mark left on me.
So now when we reach for leash to correct him he is no longer growly. But he started to really behave so we did not have to correct so much.
But now he trots past us and nibbles at us. He tries to nip our heels when going up or down the stairs. When we try to switch from pinch to say choke or regular collar, he gets mouthy and really wiggly.
He has never liked hands to go over his head, most dogs don't like that so it is no biggy. I always praise him by comeing alongside him and reaching down to pet chest. He likes that.
He definitly sees dh as alpha but we are wondering if he is starting to challenge that because of this recent behavior. The other day dh said it was time to go outside and workout with him. He asked pup to heal. Pup came around dh, nipping at dh's hip and started jumping up and down and pawing at dh. It was really out of control. Once outside and doing his routine with him, pup did all the commands just right and calmed down.
So anyone out there wonder if this is just his trying to dominate us all again, he is doing this stuff with all of us. Does anyone think it is just time to snip off the testosterone? We know he is still a pup and has a LONG way to being a real dog. But we also want to make sure we are not letting him go bad when he really is a great dog.
He is home during day alone outside in nice big area. Neighbor dog and him get along just fine throught the fence. Kids play with him and have him inside when they get home. Then we come home and are all together. DD takes him for nightly walks, I take him every morning and dh works him nightly. We know he gets lots of our time.
Any ideas? He can be so good and follow commands for his age and drive. But then he just is all over the place and nipping at us.