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Stop Puppy Biting


How to stop a puppy biting

To stop puppy biting, you should apply the same education to the pups that it would get in its pack. This means, you should combine a sound response with a physical response.

The typical sound response the puppy would get in its pack is a short, loud, high-pitched yowl - a sound that the pups will only ever hear in this exact situation, so it is a unique response to its nipping or biting.

The typical physical response is a short pinch in the ruff of its neck. This stretches the puppy's head upwards in reflex which provides feedback right through to its snout to open up the jaw.

How to stop puppy biting

This way, your response to the puppy's nipping or biting closes the circle - within a few times your pups will realize: If I bite, my ears will hurt from a loud, high-pitched yowl, I feel pain in my neck, this pulls my head upwards, which stretches my jaw and forces me to open my mouth. Using my jaw on someone doesn't do me any good.

This is a fundamental part of nature's puppy training whilst still among the litter, and you should replicate it in your German Shepherd puppy training too. This is how to stop puppy biting. When you subscribe to the MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL, over time you will find out more interesting ways how to stop a puppy biting.

Now, because you have the advantage of being a human and not part of the litter, you should use this opportunity and combine it with the first basic example of obedience commands as part of your German Shepherd obedience training: Say a sharp, short "No!" after the yowl while you are pinching the pup's neck. This way, within a few times your pups will learn to stop doing something when you say "No!" - not just to stop puppy biting.

If you still have a GSD puppy, this is a great time for you to learn to read the German Shepherd body language - a regular topic of the MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL. Although your dog's expression of feelings via its body movements will naturally become more accented when your German Shepherd puppy grows up, a GSD puppy develops its own characteristic German Shepherd body language at the time it is about eight to ten weeks old.

Dog owners who have problems with their dogs, in fact have a problem to understand their dog’s body language. While we humans make a lot of use of our voice to express our feelings, dogs express almost every feeling and mood through their dog body movements - even more so if you forbid your GSD to bark, see German Shepherd barking.

Also consider this: Unless you are able to read the German Shepherd body language you cannot know if your German Shepherd puppy training, or later your German Shepherd dog training, was successful to stop puppy biting or future dog biting. You would only know that your training efforts were definitely unsuccessful the moment your puppy bites or your adult dog bites. To be sure and safe all the time, you must understand your dog's body language.

If you still have children in the house too, this is even more important. Motivate them to consciously observe your German Shepherd as well. Use specific situations to read the German Shepherd body language and to explain to your children what your GSD is likely to feel at the moment, hence what his movements mean. This will not only make your children much safer in dealing with the dog when they are taking it for a walk, but it should also help them to notice and interprete the human body language and the adult world around them when they grow up.

  15 Responses to “Stop Puppy Biting”


    Very helpful information I desperately needed. I haven’t been able to get my GSD puppy to stop nipping when we try to pet her. She has a sibling that bites her and she’s taken on that habit. I can’t wait to try this technique on her and correct this habit I’m not willing to compromise on. Thanks for the advice!


    I have a 14 week old puppy who bites me. He has done so from the day we brought him home (8 weeks). We have tried everything to get him to stop. I have done the sharp “yelp” and it worked for a day, but stopped the next day and it was almost as if it was a sign for him to bite more. I can not get my hand around to the scruff of his next because he goes for my hands anytime I am near his face. We are currently in our 3 week of puppy classes. He originally started biting just my hands and arms, but it has turned into snapping at my face and legs. Any advice? I have been working at this from Day 1 and here we are. He is getting older and bigger (28.8 lbs), so I know he has got to be stopped very soon.


      Crystal, Crosby is a typical example of those dogs that end up in a shelter (if they are ‘lucky’): Problems at puppy age not solved, thus becoming unbearable when adult dog!
      There is a much more effective approach to deal with your pup’s biting (nipping). It’s (of course) in our members-only Periodicals (free) as well as in my books (not free).
      It helps to become a member of our site AT LEAST A YEAR before getting a dog. From your subscription date I see that you would get the “Puppy Training Essentials” document in a couple of weeks (for free as well), but I have a BIG heart for puppy problems, so I’ll send it to your email now! :-)

      Do give feedback how it goes. I don’t want that Crosby becomes one of those dogs mentioned above! Okay?


    Dear Tim,

    I dearly need your help. We have a 3 1/2 month old German Shepherd. We got him when he was 8 weeks. He was from a couple whose German Shepherds accidentally got pregnant. Ever since about the 2nd week of him being home, he has been biting hands, arms, feet, clothes, etc. I am the one who works with him the most, so I tend to be the one getting the harm, but he tries to get our 2 kids (4 and 3 years old). He does nothing like these actions with my husband. We have tried everything from google to YouTube, to help us. We are in our 5th week of puppy classes and there has been no let-up. He is not-altered (yet) and we have nt started walking him around the neighborhood for exercise, due to him not having all of his boosters yet (will be complete next week). He is becoming more and more aggressive in his bites and I don’t know what to do with him. When we take him outside in the yard for exercise he normally hasn’t bit, but has a very calm yet playful and obedient demeanor. But bring him inside, he is a very dominant dog, until I place him in his kennel (which I hate, but had only planned on using it until potty trained and then he would be free). When he is in the kennel he abides by every command and doesn’t bite or snap at anyone, so we open the gate to let him join us and he goes right back to the biting and tugging while his teeth are on my arm. I am in the process of trying to figure out an isolation room, I tried the powder room tonight, but the moment I released him he went rit back to biting me. Attempt number two, for an additional minute had the same result (due to the realization of this being an “isolation disipline” behavior, i quickly placed him in there and I became worried about not exactly puppy-proofing it…he was very quiet with the exception of scratching the door). I seriously need your help. Please, please, please give me whatever advice you can. Another key element, I know could have a lot to do with it, is I work full-time as well as my husband. He is in a kennel most of the day, with my mom coming over and letting him out midday to let him use the restroom and play in the yard. Again, please, please help.


      Crystal, I sent you the Puppy Training Essentials earlier, you don’t mention that with a word, so shall I assume you haven’t seen them?
      Apply all that to the letter, from today, from now. EVERYthing you mention above will stop once you’ve applied the essentials for a few days, a week MAX! But stick to EVERYthing in there.

      In addition, to your new info above:
      – Get him altered immediately, there is no reason to wait any longer, but as you see (feel on your skin) every reason to do it NOW.
      – Get him out of the kennel as soon as you can (you got The Complete House Training Guide for free as well, so you know how to do this.
      – Your living situation is very difficult for a GSD (any dog really!). Since you can’t easily change your situation, and want to keep your dog, you’ll have to involve your mother in the training so that she can keep him during the day (out of kennel).
      – One minute Isolation is not enough. See the Training Essentials how to do Isolation right.

      I wouldn’t try “everything from google to youtube”(!!), there’s a whole load of crap on there too, so how do you know which is which??
      In your dire situation, if it was me, I would ONLY DO what is proven to work: The Puppy Training Essentials I sent you. If you prefer it visually, then our favorite prof. dog trainer Dan has a HUGE video library (quality, not youtube potpourri). That costs of course, other than me no one is so generous to offer all for free, doh! This will have to change, given the amount of queries we get each day!


    THANK YOU! THANK YOU for responding. I tried to write this on the website, but it kept freezing and my computer kept having to recover the website. I have been reading through your manual and trying to get things in order to start the steps. He was out about in the house with us more today. There were some frightening instances with me, when he he got overly excited for some reason. When you use the “freeze collar” where exactly do you hold on the underside, where he can not reach your hand? I did that a couple of times today and he would roll over on his back and use all 4 of his paws and his mouth to go at any part of my arm that he could get to. Also, I have heard that neutering too early can cause disformation in the body structure (particularly muscle structure). How much of this is true?

    Thanks again for everything.


      Crystal, Think: Do you prefer that he stops his aggression NOW while you can still control the outcome, or do you prefer that he gets MAX muscular?
      GSDs are strong and muscular anyway. And I guess you don’t want a strong and muscular AND BITING adult GSD?
      Get him neutered TOMORROW. Later you’ll get an entire Periodical that will reassure you of this decision.

      I can read through the lines: You haven’t yet implemented the FEEDING ROUTINE. You need to apply EVERYTHING I wrote in the Puppy Training Essentials I gave you. This is my last message on this topic, until you can honestly say you’ve applied ALL (ALL!) of it for at least a WEEK. Okay?


    We just got a 7 week old GSD puppy and he’s biting a lot, mainly playing now but his teeth are very sharp and I know when he gets bigger his bites will too.
    When you say to pinch him in the rough of the neck is that under his chin area?
    I tried pulling up on the back of his neck with some success which sometimes makes him let go I also try to pin him on his back until he settles down which works sometimes but it’s going to be hard to pin him down when he’s a few months older. Just wanted to clarify your technique.


      Hi Jay, thanks for your question. No, actually don’t do that. We have MUCH better advice for our (free) subscribers to the MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL.

      The public page you refer to should be re-written by myself now, but I struggle to find the time because the Periodicals for our members are more important: GSD owners with a real interest do subscribe, only “surfers” stop at the public pages.

      Don’t ruin your relationship with your new German Shepherd puppy now! The next 5 weeks are the most important to shape your dog to behave well as an adult dog, to make both of you happy. DO SUBSCRIBE!

      If you don’t want that, follow the guidance I give in the Puppy Development Guide – Puppy 101 (but being a book, obviously that’s not free).


    I have been following a lot of your instructions but i have a problem that i need help with. we have had Sasha for almost 2 weeks and she is doing well. still some biting issues but it’s me having to crack down on my kids and teaching them to be consistent. I take Sasha out a lot at least every hour sometimes more if she starts sniffing around a lot but sometimes she’ll just squat and pee. Most times this happens it hasn’t been more than 15 to 20 minutes since she last went out. I’ve been cleaning the area with the vinegar and water as well. Is this normal. I know she is still young(10 weeks) but she knows where she is suppose to go in the yard.


      Not sure which “instructions” you mean Chris. Have you followed the House Training Guide (which was on offer until yesterday)? That one includes the pertinent guidance for housebreaking too. Everything.

      No, 10 weeks is a good age to know where and when to go. Apparently she doesn’t know yet. Sounds like your kids are at fault :-)
      Have you used the camera technique?


    I need help my gsd is biting my dothers and me she is 1 years old what can I do ?


      Neilton, she’s biting whom? I am not english native, looked up dothers, but have no idea what it is?
      At 1 yr you are very late with comprehensive socialization (that’s what she missed).
      I would do this now:
      – Start Bite Inhibition Training today
      – Start our Feeding Routine today
      – Start Controlled Play-fighting today
      – Provide plenty of exercise each day
      – Get the Puppy 101 and follow through with comprehensive Socialization as explained.

      What, all of that??
      Yes. Is necessary, or it will get worse!


    I want to share with new pup owners and some that have posted here previously…I subscribed and read much of Tim’s books prior to my GSD, Heidi, coming into our home. I am so glad I did! I read and re-read just to clarify I would train her correctly from her ‘8 week old’ – first day with us and for the rest of our lives together. She is almost 10 weeks now.
    I have used the crate training, feeding routine and the biting inhibition technique and Heidi and our family are off to a great start…she knows to whine to go out ( so far so good…and dry!), she sits when told to, near her water and waits for my OK to eat – even after the bowl has been placed down and the nipping has ceased…especially impressed with that as our 2 year old grandson loves to play with her and doesn’t get bit! Oh, and she obeys Sit, Down, No while now working on Stay and Come and leash training too. GSD’s are so smart and we (humans) need to understand them and how they think and operate and READ TIM’S BOOKS. I was skeptical at first but glad I subscribed to learn Tim’s views. Thanks, Tim.


      Thanks Debra! Frankly, I haven’t even looked at any public page here for years. Not sure what the contractor wrote. All my personal work goes on the inside (and into the books). Who don’t subscribe, phh I can’t help, too much to do already for the members.

Sorry, no funds to reply to every random dog owner. Subscribe if you are serious. Are you?

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