How To Train A German Shepherd Puppy Not To Bite

How to Stop a German Shepherd Puppy from Biting: 12 Methods


Biting should never be a problem if you start training your German Shepherd at a young age. While German Shepherds have generally good temperaments, they use their mouths to learn and will bite anything in sight when they are puppies. It could be a problem for the rest of their lives if it isn’t addressed.
Even though it’s hard, I’ll explain how to stop a German Shepherd puppy from biting in this guide.
All of the training methods are ones I used with my own puppy. He’s never been an aggressive biter, but as a puppy, he used to nip a lot. Unfortunately, I was responsible for a lot of the biting because I would roughhouse with him and almost encourage the nipping.
Those playful nips began to hurt my puppy as he grew older.
Please consider all of my suggestions, as I believe they are the most comprehensive solutions for stopping a German Shepherd from biting that you will find anywhere on the Internet.
However, first and foremost, why do German Shepherd puppies bite you?

What makes German Shepherds bite (and what isn’t)?

At some point in their lives, most German Shepherds will exhibit fear or aggression. Most will give you a warning bark if they are scared, indicating that you should stay away.
If you don’t keep your distance, the bark can turn into a growl, complete with their tiny (but sharp) puppy teeth showing. If you continue to irritate them, the growl will turn into a snap and possibly a bite.
When scared, most German Shepherds will bite you with a small nip and hopefully won’t cut you. A bite from an older, more aggressive German Shepherd, on the other hand, could be very painful, especially for a small child.

Is it true that German Shepherds bite a lot?

When German Shepherd puppies are young, they are prone to biting. The majority of the time, it’s all about teething and playing, and most children will outgrow the behavior.

When German Shepherd puppies bite, it’s usually because they’re frightened.

You’ll notice your German Shepherd puppy biting the most during the teething stage. I’ve written at length about the German Shepherd teething phase before, which explains how they explore their surroundings with little nips and chew on things to soothe their painful gums.
When playing with you, some German Shepherds may bite a little too enthusiastically. This is a holdover from their childhood, when they would engage in mouth play with their siblings.

Giving a German Shepherd something to chew on will prevent them from biting you when they are teething.

You must distinguish between biting and playing. As I previously stated, I used to play with my own puppy, and he would try to eat my hands with his teeth. I turned it into a game, which became a problem as he grew older and I had to train him out of it.
German Shepherd puppies can also bite to demonstrate their dominance over you. Yes, these little bundles of fun may believe they are in charge of your relationship, so it’s up to you to set the record straight.
Whatever the cause of your German Shepherd puppy’s biting, it must be addressed as soon as possible. If you don’t, you’ll have trouble convincing your adult German Shepherd that biting is acceptable.

A biting adult German Shepherd is a problem.

If your German Shepherd bites as an adult and hasn’t grown out of it, you’ll need to teach him or her to stop. Also, if your German Shepherd begins biting for no apparent reason, take him to the veterinarian right away; it could be a sign of a new illness or injury.

What can you do to stop your German Shepherd puppy from biting you?

If you’re looking for a way to stop a German Shepherd puppy from biting, here are a few ways that have been proven to work.

1. Squeal with delight, as if you’re a puppy (bite inhibition).

When puppies in a litter play together, they will make a small squealing sound when bitten by a sibling. The pup that bit you will usually back off after hearing the squeal.
We can model this behavior as German Shepherd owners!
Make a high-pitched squeal sound if your German Shepherd puppy bites you and gives you a nip. A firm command, such as “no” or “stop,” can also be used.
Expert dog trainers use this method to stop dogs from biting because when a puppy bites you, it thinks you are hurt.
Some German Shepherd puppies will dislike this because it feels like they are being disciplined. You may find that your puppy is seeking reassurance and comfort, but the key is to provide it. Instead, turn your back on them for a few moments and ignore them.
This may sound harsh, but it can be very effective in getting your German Shepherd to stop biting. The sooner you start using this method, the less likely your German Shepherd will bite you and your family.

2. If your German Shepherd puppy bites you, don’t smack him.

Physical punishment is incomprehensible to dogs, and it never works. All it will do is make your dog scared, which may lead to more biting as a result of the fear.
Physical punishment will be lost on a German Shepherd with a biting problem.

3. Playing back biting isn’t a good idea.

If you want your German Shepherd puppy to stop biting you, don’t react back to them when they nip. I made this mistake with my own puppy when I tried to playfully push him away, but it only encouraged the biting.
I believe it’s because you’re reflecting their joy and reacting in a playful manner. They’ll want more of the action, so they’ll bite back.

4. Instead of using your hands, chew on toys.

When puppies are young, it’s fun to play with them with your hands, and a little nip here and there won’t hurt them. However, you’re training them that your hands are fair game.
Instead, chew toys should be used for this type of play. If you can divert their attention away from your hands and toward a toy, they’ll learn that fingers and hands aren’t meant to be bitten.
It all comes down to positive associations.
When we first started training my puppy not to bite, I let him play with a great chew toy I found on Amazon. The prices can also be seen by clicking on the image below.

5. Instruct your German Shepherd to accept your hands near their mouth.

This leads to the need to teach your German Shepherd puppy that having your hands near their mouth is acceptable without biting them. It’s something they must accept, and it will also assist them with the points discussed later in this guide.
Puppies are prone to eating things they shouldn’t, so you’ll have to fish things out of their mouths. You should also check their teeth and gums for any signs of disease.
If your German Shepherd refuses to stop biting your hands whenever you try to check or intervene, you won’t be able to do this.
Using a treat or snack to train a German Shepherd puppy not to bite your fingers in their mouth is one of the most effective ways. Allow them to see it before popping it into their mouth and out again with your fingers.
They should get used to letting you put your fingers in their mouth without biting back over time.

6. Train your German Shepherd puppy not to bite while eating.

When food is involved, a German Shepherd puppy is more likely to bite. Puppies are known for being too protective of their food, which they learned when they were in the litter and had to fight for survival.
Unfortunately, this is a behavior that has the potential to spill over into their food bowl.
If your German Shepherd is displaying food aggression, you must teach the puppy that you are in charge and that you can pick up and put down their bowl at any time without the dog becoming aggressive.
You place a bowl in front of your German Shepherd and then remove it quickly. If your German Shepherd does not attempt to bite, praise them and reward them with a treat.
If they growl and bite, give them a firm “no” command and keep the bowl in your hand.
Repeat until you get the desired response… The goal is for your German Shepherd to see you as the dominant alpha who controls the food source and avoids being bitten.

7. Put a thumb and a finger under the puppy’s tongue and chin.

If you’re dealing with a lot of biting, you might want to try this method. It appears to be quite cruel, and I’ll admit that I’ve never tried it, but some dog trainers use it as a last resort, so it could be a viable option.
When the German Shepherd puppy bites you, squeal loudly and quickly place your thumb in their mouth, pressing it beneath their tongue, according to dog trainers.After that, you can put your finger under your chin.
If you can, hold this position for 10 seconds, but not for long enough to hurt the puppy.
It will irritate the German Shepherd, and it may cause them to stop biting you and learn for the time being.

8. Put on gloves that have a foul odor.

Another German Shepherd bite prevention tip I saw on a dog trainer’s website was to wear gloves with a foul-tasting substance on them.
Bitter spray, which can be bought on Amazon, is used by dog trainers to teach puppies that biting is painful and that they should not act aggressively.

9. Show your German Shepherd that you are in charge.

Biting is common in older German Shepherds as a means of asserting dominance over their owners. They may also bite out of jealousy or when you command them to do something, such as get out of your chair or bed.
You must train your German Shepherd to understand that you are the pack leader and the dominant member of the pack. Alphas, such as ourselves, should not be bitten by lower-ranking pack members.
Being assertive will help, but rewarding good behavior is often enough to get a dog to obey your commands.

10. Allow your German Shepherd puppy to interact with other dogs.

Puppies and older dogs will get to know each other. That is why socializing your German Shepherd with other dogs from a young age is important. It will help them to learn what is and is not acceptable.
We frequently care for puppies for our friends. Our friends frequently comment on the positive impact our now older dog has on their young dogs after spending a day with him. This can include a reduction in biting.
There’s another factor at play here: they’ll exhaust each other. This means that your puppy won’t have the energy to bite you.

11. Make your puppy familiar with loud noises and frightening situations.

In addition to socialization, your German Shepherd puppy should be exposed to situations that can cause fear and aggression, such as vehicles, children, and crowded public places. They are capable, given their reputation as excellent police dogs.
The sooner they become accustomed to such things, the sooner they will learn not to bite out of fear.
When exposing your German Shepherd to new things and noises, keep them on a leash.

12. When there are young children around, always keep an eye on your puppy.

Biting a child by a German Shepherd is a major issue.
In most cases, the bite will be minor. But there is still enough of a risk that younger children should never play with German Shepherds without being watched.
Excited German Shepherds can easily knock children over, and I’ve seen puppies go for ears and faces when they’re overly excited.

When should you seek assistance for your German Shepherd’s biting problem?

If you still have problem behavior after using all of these training methods to stop a German Shepherd’s biting, contact a professional veterinarian.
They can tell you right away if it’s just teething or if there’s something more behavioral or health-related that needs to be addressed.
Biting and fear aggression in German Shepherds can also be helped by specialist animal behaviorists. If you live in the United States, the CAAB website can help you find a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (for UK readers, take a look at the RSPCA website).
However, you should think about how long your German Shepherd might be teething. It can last up to 8 months, so expect them to bite and chew things during this time.

The dangers of being bitten by a dog

Biting by adult German Shepherds can be dangerous. Even though they are a small breed, infections can make them sick. For example, about half of all dog bites will spread bacteria that could make the person sick.
“The front teeth of a dog will grab and compress your tissue, and their smaller teeth can tear your skin.” As a result, the wound is open and jagged. When a wound becomes infected, the consequences are often severe. Infection is the most serious concern with these bites. You may need to be admitted to the hospital and receive intravenous antibiotics. “If you’ve been bitten, you should always see a primary care physician,” says the Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Sayles.

When bitten by a German Shepherd, what should you do?

If you are bitten by a German Shepherd and the bite results in a bleeding wound rather than an abrasion, follow these instructions:
  1. Apply pressure to the bite wound. This may result in blood loss, but this is a good thing because it allows bacteria to escape the wound.
  2. Use warm water and a mild soap to clean the bite wound.
  3. Again, press down on the bite wound with a clean cloth to help slow and stop any bleeding.
  4. Apply antibiotic cream to the dog bite wound if you have it, then cover it with a new or sterile bandage.
  5. If the situation is serious, seek medical advice.


Using positive and negative affirmations is one of the quickest ways to stop a German Shepherd from biting. To put it another way, you praise good behavior while discouraging bad behavior.
Whichever method you try to use, and can be a combination, just make sure that you are consistent when training your German Shepherd puppy to not bite. If you have contact with the puppy, tell your friends and family to use the same methods.
Finally, unless you make it clear and obvious to your German Shepherd that biting is a bad thing, the puppy will not understand.
You must assume the role of pack leader.