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Old 04-26-2009, 10:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dog Chomping when Excited

Okay, my 3 year old male chomps his teeth all the time. Anytime someone comes to the house, or when my girlfriend and I get home. He chomps his teeth the entire time he is playing with his "sister". At first, we laughed about it. But, sometimes you'll just be walking in the hall and he'll jump and chomp and get your elbow. It's never hard, but he shouldn't be using his mouth with humans at all.

Anyway, anyone have any suggestions? My other dog, female Shep/Husky is very good. I trained her when I got her at 4 months. She can do a ton of tricks and is well behaved. Leo, the male, is not so smart.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dog Chomping when Excited

What do you mean by chomping?

Rocky does something, I am guessing might be very similar, where he closes his mouth and you can hear his teeth hit. However, he does it, only with DH and only when they are playing.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dog Chomping when Excited

Yeah, he "hits" his teeth together. It's like he's really excited and goes, "chomp, chomp, chomp". But, I'd rather he didn't do it because it can be embarrassing and it's turning into a game for him. It's called, "How close to the big guys face can I chomp?" Nothing seems to help. If he gets too out of hand with it, I'll put him on his back and wait til he calms. But, as soon as I let him up, "chomp, chomp, chomp"...

It's weird because he's so NOT alpha. The female dominates him during play, and I've got reign over her.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dog Chomping when Excited

He sounds pretty smart to me--he's figured out a fun game!

First of all, alpha rolling (rolling the dog onto his back) is a very bad idea and is no longer recommended by any trainers who know what they're doing. And that certainly won't stop that particular behavior.

I wouldn't think it would matter if he was doing this while playing with your other dog but I can definitely understand why you don't want him doing it with people. When I first adopted Rafi he liked to jump up and snap in my face when he got excited.

The way I dealt with it was to find an incompatible behavior--getting a toy in his mouth--and teach him to do that when he got excited. He caught on very quickly and now whenever he's excited he goes racing all over the place to find his favorite ball.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dog Chomping when Excited

If he has his obedience training down I would redirect his "chomping" behaviour by imediately giving him a sit or down command.

I would not put him on his back...this is an old technique that was preached to make the dog submissive and does NOT work. Infact with some dogs you could get into real trouble and get a nasty bite.

Direct confrontation is not the way to handle this. Redirection will probably be much more effective. You need to time your command the minute he starts this behaviour. Once he is sitting guietly without chomping you can give him some quiet low key praise (do not escalate his mood to retrigger the behaviour). If he does attempt to start chomping again give another firm command (sit to down or reverse). You could also reward his redirection with a treat and this will make repeating the chomping behaviour more difficult for him.

Good luck with your dog.
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dog Chomping when Excited

Leo probably is smart. he's probably not so trained.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Travis My other dog, female Shep/Husky is very good. I trained her when I got her at 4 months. She can do a ton of tricks and is well behaved. Leo, the male, is not so smart.
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dog Chomping when Excited

My BSD clicks his teeth when he's excited, usually around other dogs. Is that like chomping? I was told it's part of the herding behavior and is used to nip animals to move them where the dog wants them to go. With Ranger, it is accompanied by a 'nose punch'. He got me once (on accident) and it hurt A LOT and left one big ugly bruise. It usually pulls out a clump of hair when used on the other dogs.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dog Chomping when Excited

I have only ever put him on his back when he gets way out of hand. When chomping turns to jumping and chomping repeatedly at your face. I'm not worried about him biting me; I'll bite him back. haha. I'm not scared of him at all; I've got about 160 lbs on him.

I'll try to use sit with him to redirect. I'm telling you he's not that smart. It took him the longest time to learn to sit, and when he does, he moves like a grandpa. Seriously, it takes him a good 15 seconds to get that butt on the ground.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dog Chomping when Excited

Travis,

I understand where you are coming from in regards to not being scared, but I have 225 pounds on my 75 pound male and if I try to bully him and be unfair (which quite frankly the alfa roll is nothing but bullying) he will send me to the ER. This is the same dog that licks my face and adores my daughter. People are warning you so that you , or more likely one of your friends that you tell to alpha roll their dog don't get hurt. It's just bad.

Redirection is by far the best way to handle this. Look at it this way... when he "chomps" he's excited and is bleeding energy. "His glass is full", and is spilling over. That energy needs to go someplace. It can be let out in a confrontation with you while you force him to be still, or he can channel that into a bite on a toy. Redirect him to a kong, or a ball, or anything you can keep in your back pocket. That will give him an outlet that will not freak people out when he gets excited.

In regards to obedience - and speed of obedience, lack of intelligence is not normally the reason for non-compliance or slow compliance... it's lack of MOTIVATION. What does he get for sitting? I trained my first GSD with nothing but compulsion. I hardly even used food. He sat, heeled, downed, stayed and came all to avoid getting grabbed by the scruff of the neck. The end result? Ears back, slow methodical performance that he was not happy about. He was smart as a whip, he just didn't care because I didn't make him care. If Leo is crazy about food, then become a human pezz dispenser popping out the highest valued food pieces you can find to him when he listens. Then only give him the treats when he does it FAST. He'll figure it out. Not a chow hound? How about a ball or tug? If he is chattering or chomping when he overloads, he probably has ball drive. Give him a bite on a ball for a fast sit.

The difference between compulsion and motivation is literally night and day.
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