Snapping and Biting Behavior

Snapping the air may not be unusual in some dogs and need to be redirected.

By | Posted: Tue Oct 30 00:00:00 PST 2001

Q. I have a 6-month-old, female German Shepherd who keeps snapping and biting. I have tried all the tricks I have read about with no luck. Can you give me any advise?

A. If you are referring to air snapping (snapping into the air when excited), this behavior is not unusual for German Shepherd Dogs. Try redirecting this behavior by telling your dog to get her toy. Most German Shepherd Dogs love something in their mouths, especially when they are excited.

What is critical with this breed is clear, consistent leadership. Start having her work for all her attention, play, treats etc. She must respond to you before you respond to her. Work toward one word commands and immediate response.

No rough play or wrestling with your pup, as these things can actually train her that you enjoy aggression, and then when she is feeling playful she will mouth you in an attempt to initiate a game.

Skip becoming angry as well, as some dogs find this sort of reaction entertaining and will do things just to get it.

If she is placing her mouth on you even in play she has crossed the line. Dogs need to learn that they cannot place their mouths on human flesh. Stop all action when she places her mouth on you. The cold shoulder routine is effective with some dogs; if you find she continues, use a command such as "sit" or "down" to redirect her.


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janet   bethlehem, PA

2/11/2011 4:24:37 AM

good to know, I stay away from snapping dogs

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janet   bethlehem, PA

3/19/2010 4:33:37 AM

thanks for the information

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janet   bethlehem, PA

3/8/2009 3:57:08 AM

good article thanks

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Jean   Steger, IL

3/19/2008 2:29:01 PM

I adopted a 4 year old male miniature Schnauzer last month and it air snaps. I was wondering if I should bring him to the vet.

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