Male Giant 9 weeks and Mouthing

The Giant Schnauzer is an example of working breed of dog and has a dense, coarse coat that protects them against the elements and vermin. The Giant Schnauzer is the largest of the three breeds.
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leoBarker
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Male Giant 9 weeks and Mouthing

Post by leoBarker » 07 May 2020, 16:51

Hello everyone,

I have 9 week old male giant who is sweet at times but when he starts playing he is trying to grab everything with his mouth and bites me and my girlfriend sometimes, but not enough to break the skin. We have tried saying ow but hasn't had any effect so far. Due to this we hired an animal trainer that will help us starting this weekend and I checked with the guy to see if he has dealt with GS males before and he said yes. He doesn't do all the time but sometimes does it whenever he is petted.

In terms of taking him out to work him tired we are still limited due to him not having his last set of shots so we can tell he is definitely board. Does anyone have any advice for dealing with the behavior.

Thanks all

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zeta1454
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Re: Male Giant 9 weeks and Mouthing

Post by zeta1454 » 07 May 2020, 20:54

Hi Bryan and welcome to the Forum :)

Puppy mouthing / nipping / biting is a phase almost all pups of any breed will go through and, even if nothing was done to try and train them not to do it, the likelihood is they will quite naturally stop as they come through teething and mature into adulthood.

If you have a search on the Forum for "puppy biting" you will find this is one of the most common issues that new puppy families struggle with so you are not alone. Puppies do use their mouths a lot to explore their environment and in interactions with each other when they are very young. Some dogs continue to play "bitey face games " with each other even as adults but they will take care to do so gently and not use their teeth to hurt each other.

You do want to let your pup understand that he must inhibit his bite and not use his teeth even lightly on humans but do so by giving him other acceptable chew toys or raw meaty bones to exercise his jaw and relieve any discomfort from teething. Never engage in games where he has the opportunity to grab your hands or arms and immediately stop a game if he does so and re-start again with a toy that he can get his teeth into. If the game always immediately ceases when he uses his mouth /teeth on you or your girlfriend he should soon understand that he must inhibit his bite or make sure he is not using it on either of you.

If need be, avoid altogether games that may get him over excited and more likely to mouth or bite such as tug toy games or games that encourage him to lunge or grab at a toy you are holding. Also,do make sure that your puppy has plenty of rest time too as often young dogs can become more likely to nip or bite when they are overtired and while still young they do need lots of "down" time as they are still maturing mentally and physically and this of itself uses up energy.

If he is biting or mouthing you when you are petting him, there can be several reasons for this and a canine behaviourist (rather than a trainer) may be able to assess what is happening with your pup. It could be that he loves the attention and wants to engage with you in a friendly physical way too, or it could be that he does not feel comfortable with being petted and is trying to let you know, or even that he has had a bad experience with someone petting him before he came to you and is a little anxious about touch now - these are all random suggestions but just to explain that some behaviour is specific to individual dogs and you do need to understand why your pup is reacting this way to petting if you want to resolve the issue. With some dogs it is a question of accepting their "quirks" as you would with a person and just know that, for example, they don't like hugs or close touch or being picked up or whatever...

Make sure that you have plenty of safe toys that your pup can use to chew on as he will need plenty of opportunity especially while teething to chomp on something to alleviate the pain and to help him relax.

Mental activities can tire a puppy more than physical exercise so try to provide challenging puzzle toys (Nina Ottosson type toys for example) or set up kibble trails or hidden treat games in your garden to get your pup using his nose and his brain to find treats or toys. Spend part of each day doing short training sessions too just a few minutes at a time but at different times through the day to get him thinking and help build the bond between you. Depending how much outside space you have at home you could also do recall training, lead training and other similar basic training skills.

Do be sure always to use kind, positive reinforcement methods that do not involve physical force or punishment as it is really easy to create serious problems in a young puppy by these methods which some trainers still use despite being discredited nowadays by all serious canine experts. You want to have a good relationship based on trust with your dog and that will never come from harsh treatment. Teething and mouthing however are a normal behavioural phase in puppies and not really a training issue at all. It is more that you and your girlfriend need someone who understands the breed to help you work through this phase with your pup and show you ways to avoid this happening and help build your relationship with your dog.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

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leoBarker
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Re: Male Giant 9 weeks and Mouthing

Post by leoBarker » 07 May 2020, 22:20

@zeta1454 that is my guess as well regarding this that something could have happened during those 8 weeks before we got him. I’m start driving him to the field to work him out some but got to keep it light since he’s developing still.

On how to calm him down when he’s in these playful bitting session. Is putting him in the play pen a good idea to calm down considered a bad idea. Also contacted a behaviorist for him also to see what’s the trigger because he will only get like this when he’s excited.

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zeta1454
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is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: North Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: Male Giant 9 weeks and Mouthing

Post by zeta1454 » 08 May 2020, 09:46

leoBarker wrote:
07 May 2020, 22:20
@zeta1454 that is my guess as well regarding this that something could have happened during those 8 weeks before we got him. I’m start driving him to the field to work him out some but got to keep it light since he’s developing still.

On how to calm him down when he’s in these playful bitting session. Is putting him in the play pen a good idea to calm down considered a bad idea. Also contacted a behaviorist for him also to see what’s the trigger because he will only get like this when he’s excited.
You are right that you don't want to overdo the physical exercise while he is still growing but short sessions where he can run free are a good idea.

If you have a playpen or crate already which he is happy to use you could try settling him in one or the other with a chew item if you think he is getting over excited but this really needs to done as a regular settle down period at different times through the day rather than as a reaction to him biting / mouthing as you don't want him to view the playpen / crate as a punishment or it could affect his attitude to it in the future and make him reluctant to go there voluntarily.

I hope the behaviourist will be able to offer you some advice too :)
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/C ... 916994967/

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Jacksons_Pet
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Re: Male Giant 9 weeks and Mouthing

Post by Jacksons_Pet » 09 May 2020, 23:25

Hi Leo,

Congratulations on your puppy :x ! I'd echo everything Zeta has already said, and would double check your proposed behaviourist's ethos before proceeding. Giants will not tolerate hard handling or punative methods, and given the size he'll become you need to make sure he's always motivated to work for you. Puppy biting is a really unpleasant phase, but for most dogs it's exactly that and should be manageable without it becoming any sort of crisis for him or you. What's your previous dog experience? They tend to have quite a different mindset to other breeds!

There are lots of good online resources for helping to channel puppy energy into something you can live with. If you're on Facebook I would recommend looking at the group Canine Enrichment. Lots of things you can do to help occupy his brain while you have to be careful with his growing body. Boundary games are also really useful. Absolute dogs have some good resources (marketing hype is irritating, but their methodology is sound). Lock down and vaccinations inevitably affect all the outside experiences you can have together, but it does give you time to identify what you want him to be like to live with and you can start working on walking manners in a boring environment, which he'll find much easier than the big wide world.

The behaviour escalation when excited sounds on the boisterous end of normal. All dogs have a behavioural threshold, where they're able to hold on to learnt behaviours and respond appropriately to stimuli, but if they are over threshold--stressed, tired, excited, anticipating something--it's very normal for learnt behaviours to take a hit and for them to seemingly forget all their 'good dog' behaviours. Training is about helping (gradually) to increase the dog's ability to stay under threshold. Puppies have a very low behavioural threshold, so require as much patience as you can dole out. Please check the credentials of any prospective trainer, I'd be less worried about them having worked with the breed before, and very interested in what their methods are based on. Steer clear of anyone using dominance, pack theory or punishment as their main method. These are outdated and dangerous, but far too often still used or disguised with different working. If possible I'd always watch a trainer with someone else's dog first before letting them interact with mine. (apologies if this is things you already know, but it's all very important and good to have on any thread where behaviour is being discussed).

I hope you're having a lovely time with him, pictures would be much appreciated! All the best with him!

leoBarker
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Re: Male Giant 9 weeks and Mouthing

Post by leoBarker » 10 May 2020, 04:21

Jacksons_Pet wrote:
09 May 2020, 23:25
Hi Leo,

Congratulations on your puppy :x ! I'd echo everything Zeta has already said, and would double check your proposed behaviourist's ethos before proceeding. Giants will not tolerate hard handling or punative methods, and given the size he'll become you need to make sure he's always motivated to work for you. Puppy biting is a really unpleasant phase, but for most dogs it's exactly that and should be manageable without it becoming any sort of crisis for him or you. What's your previous dog experience? They tend to have quite a different mindset to other breeds!

There are lots of good online resources for helping to channel puppy energy into something you can live with. If you're on Facebook I would recommend looking at the group Canine Enrichment. Lots of things you can do to help occupy his brain while you have to be careful with his growing body. Boundary games are also really useful. Absolute dogs have some good resources (marketing hype is irritating, but their methodology is sound). Lock down and vaccinations inevitably affect all the outside experiences you can have together, but it does give you time to identify what you want him to be like to live with and you can start working on walking manners in a boring environment, which he'll find much easier than the big wide world.

The behaviour escalation when excited sounds on the boisterous end of normal. All dogs have a behavioural threshold, where they're able to hold on to learnt behaviours and respond appropriately to stimuli, but if they are over threshold--stressed, tired, excited, anticipating something--it's very normal for learnt behaviours to take a hit and for them to seemingly forget all their 'good dog' behaviours. Training is about helping (gradually) to increase the dog's ability to stay under threshold. Puppies have a very low behavioural threshold, so require as much patience as you can dole out. Please check the credentials of any prospective trainer, I'd be less worried about them having worked with the breed before, and very interested in what their methods are based on. Steer clear of anyone using dominance, pack theory or punishment as their main method. These are outdated and dangerous, but far too often still used or disguised with different working. If possible I'd always watch a trainer with someone else's dog first before letting them interact with mine. (apologies if this is things you already know, but it's all very important and good to have on any thread where behaviour is being discussed).

I hope you're having a lovely time with him, pictures would be much appreciated! All the best with him!
Thanks for the great advice I went with a positive reinforcement based trainer. The behaviorist suggested that we need to exercise him more in the evenings and work on give him the ability to decision. After the first session we already seeing improvements from challenging him to choose between different options.

He also explained that he will have his tantrums where he refuses to be led and that’s when we should put him in the kennel to calm down and only invite him out when he’s calm. That has helped a bit because we used to be attentive when he was crying and he might have been training us.

This is my first dog but I have worked on farms with big animals for a couple years. My girlfriend has only had mini schnauzers before.

I’ll keep everyone updated on the nipping but we are going to make a ahhh noise and stand tall. Reward with something he can he chew for now and the water Spray and noise bag last resort.

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Jacksons_Pet
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Re: Male Giant 9 weeks and Mouthing

Post by Jacksons_Pet » 10 May 2020, 09:10

Great to hear you're already seeing improvements! Please don't used aversives (water spray/loud noises) you really don't want to instill more things for him to worry about--there are enough things in the world which he'll need a kind introduction to, without giving you more things you'll need to work on. Make sure he has appropriate things that he can chew on, redirecting to a toy can work but takes quite a bit of patience. You will get there!

Just be aware when you do start going for walks (yay!) that puppies will sometimes plonk themselves down and refuse to move. This is quite often because they're tired or worried, and it's important to given them a bit of time to zen before trying to get going again. Has your trainer given you any behaviours you can start teaching to help focus him on you? Touch is a really useful command, and most dogs find it quite fun to learn. Search games (very easy) with a favourite toy are also good for engaging their brains, you can also play games when feeding him which help reinforce learning, but also makes his meals more satisfying.

Giants are amazing dogs, but they're quite different to most of the breeds popular as pets (including minis) so do make sure you've got a good support network, try and identify somewhere you might be able to do group classes when it's once again possible to do so. Giants need repeated careful socialisation with other dogs or you can end up with problems (and at 40kg plus, giants tend to be big problems when they want to be!)

If you search on here you'll find a few threads following puppies through to becoming adults. All of them do seem to hit a selectively deaf phase somewhere between 8-20 months old, again they do come out the other side as wonderful dogs but it is rather trying!

Hope you and your girlfriend have oodles of fun with him :)

leoBarker
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Re: Male Giant 9 weeks and Mouthing

Post by leoBarker » 11 May 2020, 00:12

Image

leoBarker
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Re: Male Giant 9 weeks and Mouthing

Post by leoBarker » 11 May 2020, 21:27

Jacksons_Pet wrote:
10 May 2020, 09:10
Great to hear you're already seeing improvements! Please don't used aversives (water spray/loud noises) you really don't want to instill more things for him to worry about--there are enough things in the world which he'll need a kind introduction to, without giving you more things you'll need to work on. Make sure he has appropriate things that he can chew on, redirecting to a toy can work but takes quite a bit of patience. You will get there!

Just be aware when you do start going for walks (yay!) that puppies will sometimes plonk themselves down and refuse to move. This is quite often because they're tired or worried, and it's important to given them a bit of time to zen before trying to get going again. Has your trainer given you any behaviours you can start teaching to help focus him on you? Touch is a really useful command, and most dogs find it quite fun to learn. Search games (very easy) with a favourite toy are also good for engaging their brains, you can also play games when feeding him which help reinforce learning, but also makes his meals more satisfying.

Giants are amazing dogs, but they're quite different to most of the breeds popular as pets (including minis) so do make sure you've got a good support network, try and identify somewhere you might be able to do group classes when it's once again possible to do so. Giants need repeated careful socialisation with other dogs or you can end up with problems (and at 40kg plus, giants tend to be big problems when they want to be!)

If you search on here you'll find a few threads following puppies through to becoming adults. All of them do seem to hit a selectively deaf phase somewhere between 8-20 months old, again they do come out the other side as wonderful dogs but it is rather trying!

Hope you and your girlfriend have oodles of fun with him :)
He certainly likes to go and plonk and indeed. For the time being the guy just wanted us to focus on getting him to think and make choices. He also mentioned maybe we need to change his diet to more raw to improve his mood. We took to meet some of are other friends dogs and he learned a bit while playing with them that they don't like mouthing indeed. There was another Giant Mastiff puppy that did not want to be bothered at all. I will be taking him to more of the classes cause I could tell he was a bit shy in the interactions surprisingly.

Currently we are just trying to redirect him if he starts nipping and if we can't convince we give him sometime in the kennel to calm down and let him out and repeat.

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