OFF mouthing training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-29-2013, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
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OFF mouthing training

Hi guys,
Our ten week old is doing great so far - we've started clicker training (we've had her for a week) and potty training via crate is going fantastic - she sleeps through the night and as long as I'm careful with supervision is great about not having accidents.

But she is getting pretty mouthy and snapping at the air etc when playing. Her nips are pretty painful so I've been attempting bite inhibition with the clicker. However OFF training, though it looks great in articles and videos, doesn't seem to work for her. I would love to be able to teach it (using the term "gentle") but when offered a close fist with food she goes nuts with teeth and paws, then instead of stopping, gets disinterested and trots off instantly before I can reward her. Her claws are sharp and getting a little long but since she is mouthy I wanted to get that under wraps first as nipping is her reaction to lifting paws.

She is great with body contact and carrying etc, no nipping there, but when she is in play mode it gets rough very quick. She's also good with food (she has to sit and wait to get it) and never nips or gets aggressive.

We have training sessions starting next week so ill be consulting the trainer. Any suggestions as to what to work on until then? Yelp/"Ouch!" and step out of puppy area? Continue trying "off" with fist of food? Another method? Distraction with toys (and then praise) works but not for long.

TIA for any advice - see happy land shark below.
OFF mouthing training-imageuploadedbypg-free1372538290.759950.jpg

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-29-2013, 06:08 PM
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Location: New Jersey
Posts: 595
I don't know what everyone else will say to my advice, since this is our first puppy. Recently, I was reading the Monks of New Skete book and their advice on puppy mouthing is to stick your index finger into the puppy's throat which brings about the gag reflex. I started doing this the last two days(mine mouths once in a while nowadays, and mouths when I try to trim his nails etc.) He starts to nip then stops.

But do wait for others to let you know if this is a good strategy or not.

the other thing is perhaps to apply some bitter apple spray on your arms or legs or even pants. I use Bengay or Vicks cos bitter apple does or vinegar not faze our puppy.

The OFF does work though. Maybe just click and drop treat anyway. That way the puppy knows there is a treat coming once it backs off.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-29-2013, 06:15 PM
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When sabo grabs skin I yell "ouch"! And turn my back, play time is over. When he relaxes, game on!

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Sabo- March 19, 2013
Metro- November 2006- May 29, 2013
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