New Member

New Adult Dog

This past weekend my boyfriend and I started foster-to-adopt a 1 year old German Sheppard/Husky. He is fully house trained and the only issue we've had is some slight marking indoors. He is very high energy so we walk him twice a day and give him plenty of play time. However, during play he gets rough and wants to bite us instead of play with his toys. We do not engage him in tug-a-war or any aggressive play but it seems that is what he wants. Since he is an adult the biting hurts and it turns into chewing on your fingers or hand. When he gets into this rowdy mood he is very hard to control and assert dominance over. I try making him sit and then lay down but when I try to praise him he goes back to biting. It is very rare for him to lay down and rest during the day, he is always walking around whinning and pacing. We don'y have a fenced yard so we can't let him out to run either. Is the biting just pent up energy? How do we stop it before it becomes aggressive or seriously injures someone? Any help would be great. We love him and want to keep him but the biting is the only concern. 

Community Manager

Re: New Adult Dog

[ Edited ]

Hi Jasper318


Thank you for sharing your question and welcome to the community! I'm sorry to hear that your newly fostered dog is being a bit more aggressive at play time. Here are a few articles that may be helpful: Aggressive behavior towards strangers and How to discourage unwanted behaviors. As with other living creatures, your dog may need time to adjust to their new surroundings and learn to trust their new pet parent. It is always a good idea to allow your new companion time to get used to their new habitat for a few days. They all have different personalities, some may come right up to you, while others may need a little more socialization. The key is to go slowly. I'm sure with patience, you'll see their personality bloom over the next few weeks! I hope this helps.


Also, have you considered looking into Petco's Positive Dog Training? The Adult Level 1 class helps The 6-week introductory group class is designed to help you better communicate and train your older puppy or mature dog. Dogs will learn skills such as "leave it," "wait" and walking on a loose leash. This class also addresses challenges such as jumping, barking and digging. For more information about our positive dog training visit our website here. What's their name? I'd love to see a photo! 


AlexCat Very Happy

Community Manager

Re: New Adult Dog

Hi there!

Congrats on adding a new family member.
Providing a high energy dog physical outlet is important, however, don’t forget the mental stimulation as well. Giving him his food in a food puzzle will help mentally stimulate him, which tires dogs out in a different way than the physical aspect. Mental stimulation will also help calming him down. Besides his regular food, try stuffing chew toys such as a Kong for him to spend some time with. This will also substitute some of your hands on play with him, hence increase the space away from you and reduce the nipping/biting. Tug of war games can be a very good outlet as well, as it gives him something to have in his mouth while playing with you. Just make sure you set up the rules: if his teeth get on your hands/skin, the fun is over. Put the toy away and end the play session. One thing you should do is to visit a vet to rule out any type of underlying medical issues causing his “nervousness”. It will also really benefit you to join a dog training class to help you bond with him, provide extra mental and physical stimulation, as well as set up routines you both can enjoy. Even working with a professional behaviorist to help you overcome the handling and praising pieces, as a behaviorist will help you determine the best way to praise him (too much touching may stimulate him further) and help him settle down. Dogs catch on much quicker if they can voluntarily perform behaviors, rather than being pushed/forced, plus they enjoy it more, too! Please be sure to come back and keep us posted!
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