Let’s face it; dog bites can do real damage. As you might already know, some attack victims land up in the hospital, requiring serious treatments.
Believe it or not, the average bite strength of a German Shepherd dog is 238 pounds (108 kg) per square inch, which is among the strongest bite force in dog breeds.
If you don’t know, bite force refers to the amount of pressure inflicted on a victim from a dog’s bite. The more the pressure, the more will be the damage/injury.
If you haven’t guessed it yet, 238 pounds of bite force is good enough to crush a human bone. This should tell you that uncontrolled German Shepherd attacks can be pretty fatal.
All of this should explain why it’s a preferred police/military dog. Brutal bite force aside, German Shepherd dogs are also known for their fearless attitude.
German Shepherd bite encounters are usually a result of their natural behavior. Aggressive and fearless by nature, they can bite if they are not taught proper obedience lessons.
Their biting instinct can also get triggered due to fear. This means that they can bite when they feel the need to defend themselves.
Despite the brutal bite force, they make excellent human companions. They are loyal, sweet, and highly intelligent. As with any other dog, it’s important to train them well.
The good news is that they are easy to train. They can pick up commands quickly, which makes the training process easier than usual.
How to Get a German Shepherd to Stop Biting While Teething?
Under the right ownership, German Shepherd puppies learn quickly what they are allowed to bite on and what is not acceptable to chew on.
The chances are that you will be amazed by their learning speed. This isn’t to say that your puppy will learn everything overnight.
But then, you will be impressed by the dog’s ability to grasp things, which reinforces the fact that their intelligence is superior to many other dog breeds out there.
Accept their Need to Chew
Like a human toddler, young puppies have ‘milk teeth’ that are gradually replaced by adult teeth. They start losing their temporary milk teeth when they are around 5-6 weeks old.
Unfortunately, the puppy teething process can be quite painful. The process usually lasts till puppies turn 6-7 months old. When they bite on objects, the pressure from the bite provides some relief from the pain they experience during teething, which should explain their natural urge for chewing.
In scenarios where the teething gets out of hands, nothing will be safe from your dog’s jaws. From magazines, remote control, rugs, and more, your puppies will try to chew on everything and anything in sight.
Therefore, it’s important that you provide them with age-appropriate toys to chew on at any given time. Gladly enough, there are many chewing toys available in the market these days.
These chewing toys are designed to be safe for biting. So, you can use these toys as substitutes whenever the dog starts to bite your hands or any other body part.
Basically, you will be redirecting your puppy to bite at the right things. In a way, you won’t be stopping him/her from biting. However, you will be controlling what your puppy chews on.
Needless to say, make sure that the toys chosen by you are of a medium-size and not too small. There have been instances where puppies have swallowed small toys.
You can also use frozen carrots to deal with the teething issue. Just cut the carrots in appropriate lengths and freeze them in the freezer. Grab the frozen pieces and give them to your puppy when he/she tries to bit you. When you run out of carrots, you can use any other frozen treat.
Keep in mind that teething can bother some puppies harder than others. It’s not unusual for puppies to lose their appetite or pass soft stools during this period.
Some puppies can also get a low-grade fever. If you notice that your puppy is getting extremely bothered, place him/her on your lap and rub his/her gums with a finger.
Basically, you will be massaging his/her gums. Believe it or not, a gentle massage can work wonders. It will release some of his/her anxiety, pain, and discomfort.
Young or old, positive reinforcement always does the trick. For this, you need to keep treats in your pockets at all times and reward the dog whenever he/she obeys.
To begin with, say a firm ‘no,’ when the dog bites on inappropriate things. Offer him/her treats when he/she bites on the right things.
If your dog is biting hard at an inappropriate object, you need to make him/her stop through some distraction. Keep correcting him/her every time he/she chews on the wrong things.
You will have to keep doing this repeatedly until the dog eventually stops biting on the wrong things. Of course, never hit the dog, even if it takes longer than usual to coach him/her.
The poor chap may not even realize what he/she is punished for. As mentioned earlier, biting craving comes naturally to them during teething. Have you ever witnessed two German Shepherds play on their own? You will notice them biting each other. Of course, no one gets injured in the process.
The point here is that they know how hard they need to bite each other. The bite tolerance level of human beings is lower than dogs, which the young puppies may not understand.
So, it’s important to train them to bite to an acceptable tolerance level or not bite at all. As hinted earlier, positive reinforcement usually does the trick over here.
Possible Teething Issues:
In rare cases, puppies may face the issue of jaw misalignment, which may predispose your pet to other dental issues down the road.
This usually happens due to poor biting habits. The good news is that it can be corrected by a vet. The key is to visit the vet’s office before the ‘permanent teeth’ sets in.
This issue is common among puppies. Cracked teeth can expose their nerves, leading to infection. Not to mention that your dog will find chewing difficult with crooked or cracked teeth.
To address this issue, it’s better to take your dog to the vet as soon as you spot crooked or cracked teeth on your dog’s mouth.
Teeth Not Falling
It’s also possible that the puppy’s teeth may not fall off. Needless to say, adult teeth won’t set in properly unless the ‘milk teeth’ are removed.
Therefore, it’s important that you get the puppy teeth removed by a vet before all the permanent teeth come out. If not, the growth of adult teeth will be blocked.
Word of Advice:
If you think that you are not the right candidate to reinforce good chewing habits, do not hesitate to take help from a dog professional. Also, it’s highly advisable that you visit the dog’s vet many times during the teething phase to address any issue that’s building up.
Bleeding gum is a normal thing during the teething phase. A slight fever is also acceptable. However, it’s best to seek immediate medical attention if you notice anything abnormal.
Even if you are planning to try any home remedy, keep the dog’s vet in the loop. In this manner, you can minimize any health risks arising from the use of any home remedy.
Taking Care of your German Shepherd’s Teeth
Once the teething timeline is over, your puppy will hopefully know what to chew on and what to avoid. This will ensure that your pet doesn’t chew on harmful materials, which can damage his/her teeth.
It goes without saying, establishing proper mouth hygiene is a must as well. You should brush your puppy’s teeth to remove food particles stuck in its teeth, and, of course, to keep cavities at bay.
A common mistake that most pet owners make is that they use human toothpaste on dogs. Believe it or not, human toothpaste can make your pet sick. Therefore, you should use proper dog-oriented toothpaste.
Did you know that you can also use coconut oil as a toothpaste? Yes, you can use coconut oil to brush your dog’s teeth. The lauric acid found in coconut oil prevents tooth decay. It also prevents bad breath and other gum diseases.
Be patient and know that this too shall pass. Once the adult teeth are in, the puppy will no longer feel the urge to bite.
Frankly speaking, the weeks spent on coaching a puppy to stop biting will be totally worth the time and effort.
Your puppy will not only stop biting humans, but he/she will retain the good habit even after the teething period.