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Here is a link I found from youtube of a GSD puppy playing with her family. Of course it caught my attention because this is how Timber would like to be able to mess around with us.
But.....I dont let him. I dont let him mouth me like that. And If Im hunched down on the floor like the boy did in the video, Timber would completely clobber me.
Maybe Im wrong. Maybe Timber "should" have more moments like that with me. Maybe Im "holding" him back when he should be able to act like a pup sometimes. But I actually try to redirect this kind of play onto HIS toys instead of my arms/hands.
What do ya'll think?
 

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My husband does this same kind of wrestling thing and they LOVE it. They know when it's time, they know when he says enough it's enough and they also know it's not for me. They really enjoy it and now that they're getting close to a year old they're definitely learning the limits but enjoying the heck out of it. He takes them out on the deck to the same spot so they know it's the time and place
 

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We always redirected the mouthing too. It seems like the dog would get confused trying to figure out when he could or couldn't use his mouth.
 

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when i'm playing/rough housing with my dog
he gets mouthy. he never applies any pressure.
the mouthing is the same thing he does when he's
playing with a dog.
 

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i think they know when they can use their mouth.
we teach them no nipping/mouthing. when i'm playing
with my dog and he's mouthy but i don't correct him.
that's the only time he's mouthy. i'm
i making any sense here? lol

QUOTE=Whiteshepherds;1950250]We always redirected the mouthing too. It seems like the dog would get confused trying to figure out when he could or couldn't use his mouth.[/QUOTE]
 

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Arlo does the same. He never bites. If I say oww, he will sit and wait for me to make the first move to continue. Otherwise I end it with all done.

And by never bites, i mean hard to hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Im thinking that Timber wouldnt know when enough is enough. I guess Ive tried curtailing this behaviour mainly for my 4 year old sake. Eventhough there may not really be a whole lot of pressure in the bite for us, it sure feels like it to my son. Then I feel like Timber will get confused that he can play with me that way but NOT Aidan?
What do ya'll think about curtailing the mouthing until they get a better grasp on life when they are a little older and more settled?
 

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No, we don't. Our dogs are taught not to put their mouths on us from day one, no nipping and mouthing is never an issue.

I don't see an issue with playing with the dog in this manner if the dog can understand the difference, but so there's no confusion around here we simply don't allow it.
 

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Both me and Sinister's "dad" wrestle and rough house with him. He doesn't bite down but his teeth have left plenty of scratches.

Sinister has never bitten me and I am almost positive that he never would bite me. (maybe he would by accident if he were in a fight and I tried to break it up or if he is sick and not feeling well)
 

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My husband roughhouses with Kokoda, but we only started after bite inhibition was completed and she is only allowed to mouth when invited. She had also learned to settle before we started introducing rough play. She has a very soft mouth - she gets a firm hold but she doesn't use any pressure, so there is never an indent left on the skin, no matter how rough they are playing, and she is only allowed to go for forearms (no cheap shots). While they're playing she will lick his face and neck like crazy, but never mouths. She is also required to stop instantly and settle on command. She only plays that way with my DH, and my brothers and I would never allow her to do that with a child. She has never been confused by when it is appropriate and when it isn't, and never assumes that's the game we're playing even if people shove their arm in her mouth.

ETA: I would never let a dog play like the one in the video, since that is an excited, mouthy puppy that is being encouraged to bite. He is in control of the game, while he is allowed to jump all over the child, and goes and grabs the person holding the camera. If this kind of behavior is encouraged (and I was just talking to someone the other day who's goldendoodle was) then you end up with an 18 month old, 80 lb dog who acts the same way, and it suddenly isn't as cute. Our rule is my husband starts the game, controls the game, and ends the game - and she absolutely loves it!
 

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What do ya'll think about curtailing the mouthing until they get a better grasp on life when they are a little older and more settled?
Yes! Panzer is now 7 months old and he finally has a good understanding of "no biting!" and when to stop. A couple of months ago were a lot more painful.
 

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I would never let a dog play like the one in the video, since that is an excited, mouthy puppy that is being encouraged to bite. He is in control of the game, while he is allowed to jump all over the child, and goes and grabs the person holding the camera. If this kind of behavior is encouraged (and I was just talking to someone the other day who's goldendoodle was) then you end up with an 18 month old, 80 lb dog who acts the same way, and it suddenly isn't as cute.
That's my feeling too - that puppy is way too big to be allowed to be that mouthy, especially with kids. A certain amount of mouthiness is expected in a young puppy, and necessary to teach bite inhibition. But that puppy looks to be in the 5 to 6 month old range, and by then it should know not to grab kid's arms and bite their hands.
 

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I never do this with Skylar, or King. My brother does it with his rotti/lab, and she knows the difference between playing with him and actually biting, she's never actually bit anyone even by accident. She doesn't do it with anyone but him, so it's okay in that situation, but I don't let anyone do it with skylar or king, just don't like the idea of it for my dogs. :)
 

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I don't know, I do not like puppies mouthing me, so I do not allow it. But this puppy looked like an ordinary uncurbed puppy playing the way they allow her to. In fact, I saw her stop and sit when the boy told her something. Not the adult taking the photos, she seemed weak and allowed the puppy to walk all over her in my opinion, biting the hand even though she was saying it hurts.

On the other hand, I was happy that no one was grabbing the mouth or smacking the dog for this behavior. They were redirecting and saying ouch.

I generally move my hands out of reach and ignore them and they get it right quick not to mouth me.

At this point it is play and it is fun. Five months from now when that dog is seventy five pounds and his toenails dig holes in the kids' back, I do not think this will be so funny. In fact, I expect some rescue or breeder somewhere will get a call about how they cannot manage the dog.

But maybe I am being cynical.
 

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One thing to consider when you are thinking about whether or not to let your dog mouth you is that a mother (and father, if they are around) deals with little tiny puppies with their mouth - moving them and generally taking care of them as well as correcting them when needed. So obviously a GSD can certainly control their bite with enough feeling so as not to actually cause any harm when mouthing.

That being said they have to be taught to do so. we have played rough (sometimes!) with all of our GSD's in the past and also our current 90+lb male.Not one accident where they applied too much pressure.

But the playing is done with our rules to start and stop and time out.

It can seem a little scarey when such a big dog has your hand or arm in his mouth and he is making growling noises that if you didn't know him would make you swear that he is going to eat you. One big "OW" and he starts licking furiously.

Can be fun and certainly has never made the dog think he is in charge or that he can get away with aggressive behavior toward the family.
 

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I play a lot rougher than that, both with the adult and with the pup!!

What I don't like of the video is the confusing signals they send to the dog. They command the pup to stop, yet they keep being mouthed and allow it.

when I play there is a lot more violence, growls included, but if I say it is enough... it is.
 
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