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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do I discourage mouthing by my 8 year old GS?

We have had him a couple of weeks now and I think he is feeling more a part of the family.

When you pet him, he starts wagging his tail, pushing his head against your arm or side, etc......but then he starts mouthing your arm, hand, whatever is close. He likes to tug at your sleeve, pant legs, etc. It seems like an affectionate thing. Or is it b/c he's happy and gets overexcited?

My older kids don't mind it....I wouldn't either....it doesn't hurt and I know he's just playing. But we have always tried to discourage him by saying, "NO!. Leave it" because I have a four and six year old who with giggle or squeal and that really gets him going. And he doesn't listen to their "leave it." Then he gets more excited and they start freaking and run away. If I'm close by, it's never an issue b/c I just tell him "No" and can get him to stop. They can't.

Is it b/c they are so little he won't listen to them. Does he just need more training to know not to do this and then he might? Or do dogs never respect very young kids like that, as far as commands? They can get him to sit, stay, go down, etc. with a treat.......but this, I think he just is too excited.

He's not hurting them at all, but I want to discourage this habit, b/c it does get to be too much for them at times.

Dee
 

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Yes, I agree with you that he is excited. I don't have experience with children, but what I do as adult is to either just put my hands up and out of reach or in my pocket and turn away. My Sting will still do it when he is excited and that's what I do and tell other adults also to do it. If it happens when I am brushing him, I redirect with his soft bear toy. What I have noticed, is that when he is excited like just before going for a walk he will go and grab his bear and mouth that. It may help if your gsd has a favorite soft toy.
 

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We had the same issue with my 3.5 year old shepherd but it was only with my oldest son. Bell(the dog) gets mouthy when she's excited so when the boys were running around she'd mouth my oldest who's 8. What has worked for us is to give her a toy to hold in her mouth. It seems to fufill a need for her. You should see her when the boys go for a swim. She grabs her jolly ball and runs back and forth beside the pool fence at full speed. You can see the expression on her face that says "oh my! I can't stand it! where's my ball, ball, ball!" :)

If holding the toy doesn't work then they get separated, but it usually works. Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A toy is a good idea. I can work with him.....having the kids pet him while he has a nylabone or his kong. But usually when you give him those things, he takes off to his crate with them. lol. Maybe not his favorite one would work.
 
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