Teach Bite Inhibition! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Teach Bite Inhibition!

This is a plea to dog owners everywhere to teach your dog ACCEPTABLE biting and bite inhibition. There are too many dogs out there that know only two bite pressures- "none" and "CLAMP HARD!" Many serious incidents would be minor if the dog had pressure discretion and understood that simple mouthing is plenty to convey wishes, that there is no need to sink in those canines and crush.

Some argue it is best to teach a dog that it is never acceptable to bite, that "teeth must never touch skin" (a quote I read in a Dog Fancy article about Akitas). This advice makes some sense on the surface but accidents do happen. Most dog owners, if not all, have tripped over their dogs at night. Some have had kids startle them while sleeping. As it is a perfectly natural reaction for a dog to react when startled from a deep sleep, in these times, how many of us are thankful that our dogs freeze as soon as they realize their teeth are on human flesh and how many wish their dogs would have?

Shove your hands in your puppy's mouth and play, then get up and leave if their bite gives the slightest discomfort. Teach dogs to carry eggs without breaking the shells. Do not allow dogs to snap like alligators when giving treats; reward the gentle mouths. This will have no effect on a dog's ability or desire to bite down hard when the time comes.

Many dogs do get a good lesson in bite inhibition while they are with the litter but this is something that needs to continue throughout life. I can watch my dog crunch bone and crush thick toys and yet when we play, he will use his mouth but his paws are certainly much rougher. The worst I get are some red drag-marks and a liberal coating of slobber. There are other dogs I've played with that seem to believe hands are heated chew toys with jelly filling. Maybe they just play rough and have excellent discretion in a pinch but it's not a bet I am willing to make.

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:06 PM
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Just yesterday I took the puppy in a separate area while she was playing with a nylabone and I kept putting my hands in her mouth while she was chewing it, taking it away, putting my hand in her mouth with/without the bone. She won't bite me in any circumstance...sounds kinda silly that I was trying to get her to do so, but I really can't even get her to play bite with me or any person and she's done this on her own. I play tug o war with her and if her mouth gets to close to my hand she backs off(without me saying anything). I have enough trust in her that I put my face right next to hers while she is chewing on her bone, she stops, kisses me, and goes back to the bone. When she's sleeping and I roll over on her she doesn't even move-I can lay on her like she's a pillow or drape my legs over her...nothing, no response. I am lucky because she has two other dogs that she plays with and I have supervised that since the beginning, I think she understands and backs off when she gets too mouthy. Then again she has never really been a biter, even in her younger months during the teething stage.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:17 PM
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I am very happy with my dog's bite control and I think it is because I allowed her to use teeth on skin. She was very mouthy and I found it easier to teach her bite control than to not use her mouth at all. I expect a lot of disagreement with this but she's my dog. She has been mouthing for all of her 2 3/4 years and she has never bitten down once. Sure, injuries occurred when her teeth were puppy needles but it wasn't because she was biting down. FWIW, she doesn't mouth anyone except me and, occasionally, my wife. She is gentle with children.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PaddyD View Post
I am very happy with my dog's bite control and I think it is because I allowed her to use teeth on skin. She was very mouthy and I found it easier to teach her bite control than to not use her mouth at all. I expect a lot of disagreement with this but she's my dog. She has been mouthing for all of her 2 3/4 years and she has never bitten down once. Sure, injuries occurred when her teeth were puppy needles but it wasn't because she was biting down. FWIW, she doesn't mouth anyone except me and, occasionally, my wife. She is gentle with children.
I don't disagree with this, I just can't get my dog to do it

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:29 PM
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I don't disagree with this, I just can't get my dog to do it
Good for you that you didn't have to deal with it. Lately, with maturity, the mouthing has decreased to almost never.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 09:56 AM
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@DianaM

Good post! This is definitely something that I wish I had worked on much more with my dog (Lab) as a puppy. He actually does not have the greatest bite inhibition during rough housing and when taking treats. It's much harder to re-train these types of things which is what we're doing at 2.5 years old so I'd also urge people to do to it right and extensively when their dog is young.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2015, 11:10 PM
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Any tips for a 8week old pup. He has quite a few toys. If we are all sitting down he might take a quick bite at someone's toe. Of course it's not as bad as could be if he was bigger just want to be on the safe side with this. I've been doing the yelping noise every chance I get but it seems to only work for a moments notice
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2015, 11:30 PM
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Any tips for a 8week old pup. He has quite a few toys. If we are all sitting down he might take a quick bite at someone's toe. Of course it's not as bad as could be if he was bigger just want to be on the safe side with this. I've been doing the yelping noise every chance I get but it seems to only work for a moments notice
toys, tug with him, fleece, some softer cuz balls, a couple stuffy toys, and then a nice nylabone to chew in the crate.
Pups love to tug, it helps get that oral fix. Just be gentle, and let the pup win often. It encourages confidence as well.

You have a couple months before the teething begins, and you'll have to stop tugging, at that time, give some nice semi-frozen raw knucklebones for pup to chew on.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2015, 11:34 PM
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Hahah A couple months ! Sheesh alright that'll be here soon. Thank you !
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