Discussion in 'Puppies' started by kristinedogtrainer, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. kristinedogtrainer New Member

    My pup is only 3 months old and adorable! He does have a mouthing problem though. Is there an easy way to train him not to mouth anymore? Is this common with puppies? Please answer! :doglaugh:


  2. snooks Experienced Member

    Stand and immediately ignore puppy or place him gently on the ground if you are holding him. When he calms down you can resume interacting. Use a toy for him to hold rather than your hands and praise lavishly when he puts his mouth on the toy. Watch and catch him when he grabs a toy and praise him. Don't just pay attention to naughty things. Attend to the behavior you want more than what you don't want.

    You can also use dangly toys like ropes or tugs if he continues to target your body or clothes with teeth. Step over a puppy gate and while removing your attention is the punishment remember that looking at him and pushing him away is attention so don't do it. You are a stone just for a moment until he calms down. Distract, redirect, praise is the key.

    Puppy bites you, you grab your ready toy and place it in his mouth distracting him, then you redirect his play with interaction and the toy, and praise this heavily. :) ALL puppies go through this and it can go very fast if you and everyone that interacts with him are very consistent.
  3. ozjen Well-Known Member

    I also found that encircling the pups muzzle and giving a very light squeeze(no more that a slight tightening of grip) as you growl at the pup stops this behaviour. Its similar to how the mother dog corrects them and I found it worked very quickly on my last litter of pups when the reached the pirranah stage used in conjunction with what Snook adviced. It also worked on my Aussie when she was rehomed to me as an uncontrolable 13wk pup who was biting nonstop, took less than a half hour to break the habit and I got a great dog.
  4. snooks Experienced Member

    Often this hand holding the dog's muzzle can be very frustrating, sort of like someone covering your mouth when you are talking. I would try other things first since it can cause reactivity in some dogs and some defensive biting.
  5. mojopup New Member

    My four month old Aussie is very mouthy. When I try to just ignore him it seems to excite him more and he starts barking and making a growling kind of sound. I'm pretty sure it is not an aggressive growl but it does sound a bit fierce. More like a 'play with me' growl though it is disconcerting.

    If I step out of the room and he'll promptly start destroying the couch, a pair of socks, or whatever else he has available. He has toys which are consistently close at hand but because he wants my attention he'll go for something inappropriate. Clever boy. I am very good about praising him when he chooses one of his toys and I am also consistent about redirecting the chewing.

    But when he gets wound up he nips, barks, eats the chair, and is generally out of control. When we are calmly playing and he nips I give off a little yelp and he stops immediately and starts licking whatever he bit. This doesn't work when he is wound up though. Do I put him in his kennel when he gets wound up? I don't want him to associate kennel with punishment. I'm not sure what to do.

    But anyway not to derail the post entirely, here is what I have found helpful: I stay calm while we are playing, I keep him well exercised, I redirect chewing to one of his toys, I praise him for making good choices (sorry, I have toddlers so we talk a lot around here about good choices) and I yelp short and sharp if he nips me while playing.
  6. snooks Experienced Member

    Redirecting onto a dangly toy that gets the dog away from your body can help too. Any way to distract and reward more appropriate is very effective. But sometimes puppies go crazy because they're puppies. When puppy gets so excited he starts tearing stuff up gently and silently placing him in an xpen would be a good safer alternative for your couch. It would also avoid any negative association with stuffing him in his crate. A little ignored time each time if consistent every time will soon make it very clear. If you act like a little piranha you go in the pen for a bit. No getting out until he's quiet, it doesn't have to be for long, just not mid howl. Have some toys in there for him to play with and put it on a tile floor not the carpet. With that much excitement potty time might be soon.

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