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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How does one put a dog "in it's place" when it has mouthed/nipped/bite or shown confrontational behaviours?

I mean something of this nature can not be ignored (easily) and if you think about it, most humans when displayed these behaviours by other humans...well they get angry or aggressive and try to physically dominate. It's the same as with dogs, sometimes it's a posture or a look or the listed behaviours that cause the fights. That's how dogs and humans deal with those unwanted behaviours.

But how does a dog owner deal with this? I mean you certainly can't ignore the behaviour and you can't get physical with the dog, it's going to get physical with you, and you shouldn't really punish the dog because it's going to associate punishment with you and may just end up biting you again.

What is the right thing to do in this scenario?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First of all how old is the dog?
Have you owned this dog as a young puppy?
Does he show this aggression to all owners?
No I don't have a dog anymore, I had a husky who mouthed my son a couple times and we really didn't know how to address the situation and we couldn't keep him anymore. I didn't learn how to handle and I wanna know, but I do understand no substitute for LIVE EXPERIENCE.
 

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I would grab my pups muzzle and hold it shut while i gave him a stern "no!" he never really bit, just nipped once or twice
 

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Depends on why the dog is nipping. Is it trying to initiate play? Is it demanding something? Is it just excited and using it's mouth or is it being pushy and trying to dominate. Is it nipping to try and herd or as part of a prey based behavior? Is it nipping in protest to something? Different reasons mean different methods of correction.

Puppies and most young adult dogs nip because they're over stimulated and haven't learned that their mouth is not a good way to play with people. An excited dog that hasn't learned to inhibit it's bite will first need tons more exercise to wear it out, and then be taught appropriate places to put it's mouth to play. Like the tug toy you're going to be carrying around. I always think of these dogs sort of like the hyperactive kid...you can't really tell them to calm down because they simply physically cannot. You have to give them something better to do with their energy- activity, game, something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Depends on why the dog is nipping. Is it trying to initiate play? Is it demanding something? Is it just excited and using it's mouth or is it being pushy and trying to dominate. Is it nipping to try and herd or as part of a prey based behavior? Is it nipping in protest to something? Different reasons mean different methods of correction.

Puppies and most young adult dogs nip because they're over stimulated and haven't learned that their mouth is not a good way to play with people. An excited dog that hasn't learned to inhibit it's bite will first need tons more exercise to wear it out, and then be taught appropriate places to put it's mouth to play. Like the tug toy you're going to be carrying around. I always think of these dogs sort of like the hyperactive kid...you can't really tell them to calm down because they simply physically cannot. You have to give them something better to do with their energy- activity, game, something.
How about the mouthing involved lip snarling and barking/growling and was most likely a means to test dominance?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Depends on why the dog is nipping. Is it trying to initiate play? Is it demanding something? Is it just excited and using it's mouth or is it being pushy and trying to dominate. Is it nipping to try and herd or as part of a prey based behavior? Is it nipping in protest to something? Different reasons mean different methods of correction.

Puppies and most young adult dogs nip because they're over stimulated and haven't learned that their mouth is not a good way to play with people. An excited dog that hasn't learned to inhibit it's bite will first need tons more exercise to wear it out, and then be taught appropriate places to put it's mouth to play. Like the tug toy you're going to be carrying around. I always think of these dogs sort of like the hyperactive kid...you can't really tell them to calm down because they simply physically cannot. You have to give them something better to do with their energy- activity, game, something.
But even in this sitaution, after a puppy/dog mouths/nips because it is overstimulated and is hyper, won't playing with it encourage more of that unwanted behaviour? Even if I ignore it, a bite is still a bite and there has to be some sort of repercussion. If someone shoots someone accidently, they still shot at them. If one dog is a hyperactive gsd while the other is a small yorkie, the gsd's playful bite may be interpreted as an aggressive and potentially lethal bite.

What does one do in this catch 22?
 

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You confuse dogs with humans and this is really part of your problem. Your average dog mouths to play, communicate a dislike, or because it is over excited. Dogs can't talk like we can, but their body language, sounds, and mouthing behaviors speak volumes. You need to be able to read these signs before knowing how to react. Zoe will mouth and growl when she is really excited and happy. I know she is happy because her tail is wagging or because we are playing with her stick and she is over focused and again excited. She is not trying to dominate me- she is playful and full of personality.

It seems your stuck on dominance, aggression, and your need to control these things you have perceived your last two dogs to have- but from the sound of it your last two dogs were not the problem- it was your lack of knowledge. A bite is not a bite in all cases nor a growl a real growl- dogs are vocal and can't be related to a human shooting another. However, think about it if you shot an intruder or randomly shot some guy walking by is there not a difference? I don't get your whole catch 22 with the hyper GSD and yorkie. It's kinda hard to confuse a lethal bite since a lethal bite would kill someone right?

Playing with a dog calms them and does not encourage aggression. You need to go to a few training classes WITHOUT a dog and just watch, read as many books as you on dog BEHAVIOR, and be spectator at any and every local dog club within a 50 mile radius of your house. If you lived near me I would seriously have you come over and play with my GSD. She will jump up growl, snarl, bite the air, and get down and dirty with me while we play tug- she's playing and yes her play has drawn blood....perfectly normal if controlled:)
 

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You confuse dogs with humans and this is really part of your problem. Your average dog mouths to play, communicate a dislike, or because it is over excited. Dogs can't talk like we can, but their body language, sounds, and mouthing behaviors speak volumes. You need to be able to read these signs before knowing how to react. Zoe will mouth and growl when she is really excited and happy. I know she is happy because her tail is wagging or because we are playing with her stick and she is over focused and again excited. She is not trying to dominate me- she is playful and full of personality.

It seems your stuck on dominance, aggression, and your need to control these things you have perceived your last two dogs to have- but from the sound of it your last two dogs were not the problem- it was your lack of knowledge. A bite is not a bite in all cases nor a growl a real growl- dogs are vocal and can't be related to a human shooting another. However, think about it if you shot an intruder or randomly shot some guy walking by is there not a difference? I don't get your whole catch 22 with the hyper GSD and yorkie. It's kinda hard to confuse a lethal bite since a lethal bite would kill someone right?

Playing with a dog calms them and does not encourage aggression. You need to go to a few training classes WITHOUT a dog and just watch, read as many books as you on dog BEHAVIOR, and be spectator at any and every local dog club within a 50 mile radius of your house. If you lived near me I would seriously have you come over and play with my GSD. She will jump up growl, snarl, bite the air, and get down and dirty with me while we play tug- she's playing and yes her play has drawn blood....perfectly normal if controlled:)
:thumbup:

I'd also buy the DVD 'Calming Signals' by Turid Rugaas to at least get a start on learning to look and learn from what our dogs are doing. Rather than projecting human behaviors on them.


The other thing about 'mouthing' is it's the ONLY way dogs know how to play until we TEACH them differently. Watch these dogs play and how they ALL use their mouths. So if they want to play and interact with humans they use the same tricks cause they don't know any better. Fact is though, it's 'play' behavior so shouldn't be considered all deserving of corrections..

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
:thumbup:

I'd also buy the DVD 'Calming Signals' by Turid Rugaas to at least get a start on learning to look and learn from what our dogs are doing. Rather than projecting human behaviors on them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj7BWxC6iVs

The other thing about 'mouthing' is it's the ONLY way dogs know how to play until we TEACH them differently. Watch these dogs play and how they ALL use their mouths. So if they want to play and interact with humans they use the same tricks cause they don't know any better. Fact is though, it's 'play' behavior so shouldn't be considered all deserving of corrections..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOiAwIxpt1c
So I should ignore it?
 

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Ignore what? Are you allowing the advice given to you to sink in? Learn what behaviors to ignore and which ones are not okay by interacting with dogs on a regular basis for awhile. Go to classes and watch, go to clubs and watch some more, read books, look at videos and make yourself dog savvy. Thats the only way to learn- it's how we all learned:)
 

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There has to be a replacement behavior for unwanted behavior. For a dog that jumps, a common remedy is to teach it to sit instead. When my puppy mouths me I do not generally physically punish. I squeal, to let them know that it hurts me, and the instant their mouth leaves my hand, I present a toy instead. And then we play. If the puppy will not quit, and I am losing my patience, before I physically start taking my frustration out on the puppy, I get up, walk away, and put the pup in the crate.

It's not necessarily about ignoring, but rather about indicating that you don't like it and offering a preferable alternative that will still allow your dog to gain what it wants- attention and interaction. My dogs still want to play all the time...but now they rush me with a toy in their mouth which keeps me free of teeth marks.
 
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