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Old 03-06-2014, 10:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mouthing when Mad - 9 months

Our female is 9 months old, and mouths when she gets mad. We have never allowed mouthing, and she knows it's wrong.

She receives extensive attention and has had a very privileged life.

She only mouths when she's mad (not when she's excited or anything). For example, tonight she tried to steal a piece of chicken off a plate, and when she was told no, she started.

I don't know if this is teen behavior, or if it's something I should be concerned about. Please help!
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What do you mean by "mouthy?"

At 9 months a dog is no longer teething. Mouthy puppies, are generally exploring their world with their mouthes, and teething. That should be done with by 9 months.

It will not be done if the dog is rewarded in some way for doing this.

Depending on what "mouthing" is, I think maybe you should google NILIF. Privileges are what exactly? Extensive attention is what exactly?

You need to give positive attention for positive behavior. No petting unless there are four (paws) on the floor. When mouthing starts, remove that which is being mouthed and do not give attention for mouthing. None. Game Over. When a pup gets over exhuberant during play or what have you, and behavior is getting out of hand, game over.

Attention is something that should be initiated by you and given by you and ended on your terms not the dogs. You call the dog over and pet it, don't pet it when the dog nudges your hand and asks for it. Usually, a dog will be fine if you do these things, but when you have a dog that is pushy, or rude, or trying to assert itself in ways that are not acceptable, then, you have to consider all of these things, and change your management style.

Look into NILIF (Nothing in Life Is Free), it's a place to start.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What do you mean by "mouthy?"
She walks up to you and takes your hand in her mouth when she's mad. She doesn't apply pressure, but it's obvious she's doing it because she's not getting her way.

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Depending on what "mouthing" is, I think maybe you should google NILIF.
We have practiced this to an extent, but not religiously. It's a great place to start; thank you!

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Privileges are what exactly? Extensive attention is what exactly?
In addition to long walks (at least one, anywhere from 30-90 mins a day), she gets out of the house multiple times a week (dog park, pet stores). We also play ball with her anywhere from 30-120 minutes a day. She receives extensive attention and has never wanted for anything.

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When mouthing starts, remove that which is being mouthed and do not give attention for mouthing. None. Game Over.
We do. We initially tried placing ourselves in time out (moving away from her), but she destroys the house when we take this approach. Now, we immediately place her in her room for a time out when she places our hands in her mouth.

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When a pup gets over exhuberant during play or what have you, and behavior is getting out of hand, game over.
As I said, it's not from play or excitement. However, when she was in the normal land shark phase, the approach you mentioned is what we did.

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Look into NILIF (Nothing in Life Is Free), it's a place to start.
I will implement this more consistently. Thank you!

However, I'm still wondering if others have had a similar experience with dogs of the same age?
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lime View Post
Our female is 9 months old.
She receives extensive attention and has had a very privileged life.
Please help!
I think you just answered your own question. Is this a child or a pet ?
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lime View Post
She walks up to you and takes your hand in her mouth when she's mad. She doesn't apply pressure, but it's obvious she's doing it because she's not getting her way.



We have practiced this to an extent, but not religiously. It's a great place to start; thank you!



In addition to long walks (at least one, anywhere from 30-90 mins a day), she gets out of the house multiple times a week (dog park, pet stores). We also play ball with her anywhere from 30-120 minutes a day. She receives extensive attention and has never wanted for anything.

We do. We initially tried placing ourselves in time out (moving away from her), but she destroys the house when we take this approach. Now, we immediately place her in her room for a time out when she places our hands in her mouth.

As I said, it's not from play or excitement. However, when she was in the normal land shark phase, the approach you mentioned is what we did.

I will implement this more consistently. Thank you!

However, I'm still wondering if others have had a similar experience with dogs of the same age?
I think it would be best to rethink how you interpret your puppy. Your puppy wants something. It is communicating with you. It is pushy. It is trying to make you understand what it wants. But it is not mad. If your puppy was acting out of anger, your hand would be bleeding.

If the puppy is trying to communicate, is not being nippy or bitey with you, then I wouldn't put her in her room. I would say, "No, that's not for you, let's go find your toy."

Make her do something for you and reward her with a little cheese.

She is trying to communicate with you, and she is still very much a puppy. If she is being gentle with your hands, then you can teach her not to take a hold of your hand, but I am not sure if that is even wise.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I concur with Selzer.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by selzer View Post
I think it would be best to rethink how you interpret your puppy. Your puppy wants something. It is communicating with you. It is pushy. It is trying to make you understand what it wants. But it is not mad. If your puppy was acting out of anger, your hand would be bleeding.

If the puppy is trying to communicate, is not being nippy or bitey with you, then I wouldn't put her in her room. I would say, "No, that's not for you, let's go find your toy."

Make her do something for you and reward her with a little cheese.

She is trying to communicate with you, and she is still very much a puppy.
It just happened again. She's normally good with cats, but started going after one. I tried to put her in her room until I could remove the cat, and she grabbed onto my ankle when I tried to close the door. (Despite what it must sound like, she rarely gets time outs in her room (maybe a few times a week) and 90% of the time she goes in her room voluntarily. So, I don't think it's a room/crate aversion)

So, reading into what you've said so far, is to accurate to say you'd categorize this behavior as normal puppy/teen behavior? And in that spirit, we should adjust the way we've been handling her?

Quote:
If she is being gentle with your hands, then you can teach her not to take a hold of your hand, but I am not sure if that is even wise.
Not wise? I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Sorry.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I can't see the dog. Only what you are saying about the dog. It's a puppy. It has drives. Food drive, pack drive, prey drive, play drive. It seems a bit pushier than my dogs, but probably not nearly as pushy as some dogs. Maybe average to a little on the pushy side.

It does sound like it is mouthing to communicate that it wants something. I am not sure how I would go about changing that behavior, whether or not I would want to change it.

I had a bitch who used to come up and touch her ice cold nose to my arm. This was a signal that she needed to go out and potty, right now! Who wants an icy nose on their arm. But if the alternative is a pile of lumps or a loose bit of stool on the carpet, then that bit of communication is priceless.

How to respond to mouthing. Dog wants something your eating, something you often give the dog. You do not give it, and the dog starts mouthing to remind you to give him some. If you then look at the dog, and think, oh yeah, I usually give you some of the, ok, here. Than you have just rewarded the dog for being pushy. It is so easy to do.

The question is, if the dog is being gentle, do you want to respond negatively to this, or do you want to ignore it, or do you want to make this a signal to go and give the dog a job, some obedience training, for which you can reward the dog with an appropriate treat?

Would ignoring this, but making sure you do not reward it by remembering your pooch might like a taste of this or that, might like to lick off your plate, or what have you, escalate the behavior. For example if taking your hand does not get the pup what it wants, is it going to take your hand more roughly? If you have ever rewarded this behavior, then it is harder to eliminate it without some type of negative response.

I think improving your NILIF management is the way to go with a pushy dog. If the dog is being pushy.
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