Q: I have a one-year-old GSD. He is a very sweet dog with tons of energy. I have trouble walking him, so to give him exercise I throw balls around and run him around the backyard. Still sometimes he can get bitey. I know he just wants to play, but sometimes he jumps on me and bites hard. Once he starts doing this it’s really hard to get him to stop. How should I handle this? I’ve searched for tips before online. One recommended to turn away and cross my arms but he is so big he can knock me down or will just continue to bite me anyway. How should I proceed?
Either a tether or a Gentle Leader headcollar can be effective in these situations.
Buy a Gentle Leader and train him to wear it; he should drag a leash anytime he is loose so biting, mouthing and other inappropriate behavior can be interrupted.
Here is a video on acclimating your dog to a head halter:
Teach your dog to love the head halter
Tethering him to a sturdy or stationary object while you are in the same area is another way to prevent inappropriate behavior, but tie him only using his collar or a harness, and NOT the Gentle Leader!
When your pup gets bitey, say “Ow!” in an unpleasant voice, and stop playing with him for 5+ seconds, then try again. Use toys as an intermediate when playing with him, like the fetch game you describe. If he bites you or grabs your clothing, pick up or step on the leash so he cannot reach you (if he’s wearing a Gentle Leader), or step outside his tether range (if you are not playing fetch and he is tethered). Try playing with him again in 20-30 seconds, or as soon as he’s settled into a sit or down on his own for three seconds.