Let’s talk about puppies and their predilection for blood letting. During those early months when the puppy is loose ( not in it’s crate) I always have a tug toy on my body and in every room within easy reach. When the pup zeros-in on a body part that tug toy appears in front of said body part. Hopefully my timing is perfect so as they lunge they have their razor teeth wrapped around the tug-toy and not the calf of my leg. For the most part my timing is very good, puppy teeth are very sharp and painful, this has helped improve my timing drastically! When the puppy is acting super crazy and biting like a piranha —it is time for them to go in the crate for a nap. Your Pup is telling you they are tired. It is OK to use the crate as a time-out if you have taught them them the crate is safe and a good place to be ( i.e. Susan Garrett’s Crate Games). Puppies need to bite and chew, they also need a lot of sleep. It is also good for them to learn to be by themselves and just chill—-obviously not all of the time but some time spent alone is fine. I always give them something to exercise their jaws on and to entertain themselves—such as a chew toy, like a stuffed kong, stuffed-femur bone, or Merrick chew treat (I said Merrick because their products are from the USA).
I can also tell you this is not an exclusive problem to the GSD. From teaching puppy classes it is a frequent concern from owners of all breeds of dogs. However, I will concede a drivey GSD puppy may be a little bit more of a handful, then say a Golden puppy.
Please share your experiences, tips, comments, (condolences?) on teething. I looking forward to reading what you have to say.
Julie, thanks for the information. I think Schumi has exhibited all of the characteristics you described above. Becky and I need to be sure to be more consistant in how we are combating the situation. Both of our hands look like we have been playing tug o’war with barbed wire, and I have recently lost a pair of work pants to piranha like activity. Sometimes we just need a sanity check that this is normal and shall pass. I guess one of our concerns is trying to socialize around kids with the fear that he may grab an arm and not want to let go, which he does sometimes with us and then scare the child into an adverse reaction. We’ve been lucky that he hasn’t really chewed any furniture or household items up. It is funny sometimes when he is just walking by somethign and then out of the blue decides that he should try and take a bite out of it; when he does this to metal objects I think it is the funniest. Thanks again for the help and see you Monday.
I think you have already given the best advice possible. Puppies—especially high-drive GSD puppies, aka Alta-Tollhuas puppies, need to release their energy and/or frustrations on a good tug or chew toy.
Puppies at this young age, and sometimes up to a year old are like toddlers. They have good days and bad days. Puppies with high drive have high energy levels. They need activities to keep them focused. When those puppy teeth come at you, have a tug available. When they turn into a wild piranha, like an unruly toddler, they need a time-out. Send them (the pup, not the toddler) to their crate with a chew toy.
Kayla is over 5 months old. Even at this age she will still chomp down on my hand, though not as often as the little youngsters. I don’t recall her chomping on me at all at Julie’s. Her chomping is more due to an adjustment period for her new surroundings—new home, new animals, new people, less freedom, etc.
If she becomes “mouthy” it is because I haven’t played tug with her enough. I won’t play right that second (on her terms), but will wait until she’s settled or ask her to do something first and then I’ll play tug and/or go for a walk. Once she releases that energy, she’s fine.
Last night during our “get use to the cats while watching tv” routine, she became tired & frustrated with the cats so turned her energy towards me. Kayla wants to play with the cats and they still aren’t willing playmates. Kayla decided to play wild Piranha with me, which in turn caused me to say, “you’re tired and need a nap”.
It’s been over 20 years since I’ve had a pup that was even close to this level of drive. I know with time and patience, and plenty of activities and proper time-outs this too will pass.
By the way—that high energy dog from 20 years ago drove me nuts for the first year. Then she turned out to be the best dog I’ve ever had—until now.
Rudi seems to go through phases where he alternates from being really quite lovable to being a clone army death monger, known as Rudi the rocket. Hilda’s neck, which was healing up pretty well, is now covered with some pretty big scabs where the puppy has been hanging from her neck. She is patiently allowing his agression, but will also draw the line, knock him on his rear and hold him down and let him know “enough!” in dog language. Her saying enough doesn’t phase him in the least and in a few minutes he is back to his chewy self. We have been giving him walks to burn some of his excessive energy, but in reality it is just creating greater stamina for longer more energetic play bouts. Julie has been really engaged with Rudi and she has been tirelessly playing and working with Rudi.
One thing we have begun to do that seems to work pretty well is to alternate between free running play time and play time on long lead in the house. That way if he becomes too wild, whoever is holding the lead can reel him in and change to subject with the pile of nearby toys. The long lead is working pretty well. We don’t have to jump and sprint over to stop him from biting expensive furniture or other inappropriate objects, biting us or starting up a game of chase the kitty. When he settles down, the lead hangs loosely and he plays, chews and wanders within easy range of the family unit. It allows us all to relax a bit easier, retain some control and improve our sanity while dealing with a highly driven pup. We emphasize that the long lead is not used for correction or punishment. It is not used all of the time. We simply use it occasionally as a means of control. We get him from point A to point B, end inappropriate behavior and begin appropriate behavior using a distraction. Peter
Bear also had very sharp puppy teeth like pins like pups have. And
sharp toenails that had to be trimmed often. He was the devils son for
a time with the sharp teeth. This is a hard time for the pup also and
is painful for him soon the teething will be over and then on to the teenager stage.
We just let them bite the hell out of us! I like puppies that eat you constantly! :)) If it gets real bad, we always where shoes, preferably above the ankle, no laces!, and have something of less value then the puppy that we can throw to them to distract them long enough to get away!
Not to much help I’m sure, :))
Julie- you forgot to mention the toe assualt. I think you unwittingly cause these pups to have secret toe fetishes by always wearing those sexy sandals around them.
I was so relieved to get throught last summer with Chief, then this spring, the first time I wore sandals, here it comes- toe biting, ouch!! He did stop though.
Thank God they mature!!