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Old 05-20-2014, 10:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Question about puppy's mouthing

I've been reading up and I keep seeing that it is good to let them mouth your hands but giving an "ouch" now and then to teach to be gentle. In the same article it says never to let them mouth your cloths.

What I've been doing.

I've been doing this but it was unclear what to do when the go for the cloths. I've been holding the snout and telling him to sit. It seems to work but I want to know if this is to aggressive. I don't squeeze or yell I just hold his snout shut and make him sit.

I have also been keeping a chew toy with me to give him when he tries to chew on things he shouldn't.

Thanks in advance.


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Old 05-20-2014, 12:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I NEVER let my pups mouth on me. At all. If they do happen to get their mouth on me for any reason, I'll redirect them to something appropriate (like a toy) and change my management to keep it from happening again. I don't hold the snout because I've seen many puppies that take it as a game. Think of it like rough-housing. We mean it to be negative, but the puppy could see it as a fun response to their initiated rough-housing.

I personally don't want my dogs to ever think it is ok to put their mouths on people. While a soft-mouthed GSD probably won't do anything to an adult's skin, a GSD who thinks it is ok to soft-mouth people can still run into trouble if they do that to young children or elderly people as they have more fragile skin. And breaking skin is breaking skin no matter who it happens on.

I may have stricter standards because I tend to work therapy where it is essential that the dogs do not mouth at all, but I feel like making mouthing on people in general an off limits behavior will save you any potential future trouble. Especially with all the concern about dog bites these days.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think you are doing fine with your pup. My girl was more excited when I yelped so telling her to sit or give paw worked better. She only chased clothes between 4 - 5 months. I personally don't want a dog who has no concept of controlling it's jaw pressure when biting. Even good dogs who would never bite a soul can become injured and bite accidentally. A dog who hasn't been allowed to learn bite inhibition has no concept of pressure and can react with a level 5 bite rather than a 1 or 2.

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Old 05-22-2014, 11:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The bite inhibition seems to work. He now mouths very light with me and the kids. I've also noticed when the kids give him treats he takes them very gently.

Still trying to keep him off the wife's slippers though.


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