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Mouthing.

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by siberiankiss, Mar 24, 2011.


  1. siberiankiss

    siberiankiss PetForums Senior

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    Oscar has a real problem with mouthing. He is one sometime in the next week or two; we rescued him in September so have had him for six months now (feels like he's been here forever!).

    He is terrible, especially when my OH gets in from work (he doesn't really do it to me, but I'm home most of the time any way so I'm not as exciting!). As soon as OH opens the door Oscar jumps at him, mouthing. No amount of yelping from OH, ignoring or telling him to sit calms him down. He just loses it and you can't get through to him for a good five minutes.

    We've been trying really hard with him, but literally nothing has worked. Is there anything obvious I'm missing?
     
  2. theevos5

    theevos5 PetForums VIP

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    Does your OH greet you first or the dog?Its just that my OH used to go straight to Alf for a hello and I would be last in line for the kiss!By leaving Oscar till last,it will teach him that he has to sit and wait to be greeted.We have a rule that anyone that enters the house has to ignore Alf totally,because the visitors used to wear him,he was that excitable.Anyway,when they do ignore him,he will just sit and wait for you to greet him.Then the jumping has stopped and also the mouthing,and he was honestly such a mouthy dog,but again,if we were stroking,playing etc and he started mouthing,we would totally ignore him,all the fun stopped and then play would continue when he was calmer!
     
  3. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    It probably is just total over excitement, they can become so hyped up they just dont listen. Does your OH also tend to play the rough housing type games with him, as well as maybe play these games or games with him on the floor at his level? If he does that may be adding too it. They think that this is the acceptable type of play, get even more exciteble and do it even more.

    Does he have immediate access to your OH the minute he comes in the door, and does your OH pay immediate attention to him. If so that will likely add to his excitement and hyper behaviour so then the jumping and mouthing escalate from the excitement.

    You could try, puttin him in the kitchen, or somewhere so he doesnt have immediate access, and get your OH to ignore him, and only pay attention to him once he has calmed down and got over the initial excitement to stop it escalating. He can re-inforce it in general by praising and rewarding when calm, and ignoring him, when he starts to get exciteable. By folding his arms turning his back and walking away, and ignorning until calm and has stayed that way for awhile. Or if he starts to get really hyped remove him to calm down, letting him out,ignoring him and if the calmness continues then paying attention. He should realise that calm behaviour gets rewards and hyper exciteable behaviour doesnt.
     
  4. siberiankiss

    siberiankiss PetForums Senior

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    When we first got him, OH would play rough with him, wrestling and tuggie etc. As he saw that his mouthing wasn't getting better he realised that this play had to stop (I had been telling him for ages - men!) so he doesn't play rough anymore and hasn't since well before Xmas.

    When he comes home from work, he comes in through the kitchen. Oscar hears the car come up the drive and starts getting excited from that point and then as soon as OH comes through the door he just loses his mind, jumping around, mouthing him and nipping at his clothes.

    OH tries to ignore him but he does find it hard because sometimes Oscar does hurt him! The only way I can think of to get him to greet me first is if we shut Oscar in another room, but then he won't be able to see so I don't know how that would work.

    I suppose it's worth noting that Oscar was a stray and has separation anxiety (though this is improving). I suppose the whole experience of someone coming back is overwhelming for him.
     
  5. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    I would put Oscar on a lead at the first sign of excitement. Tie the lead to something solid and greet your OH first. As soon as your dog sits, go over and praise him. And then, as soon as he allows you to walk past and praise without getting hyper, let him off the lead. If he gets hyper off the lead, put him straight back on. You don't even need to say anything other than "Good boy", accompanied by calm, short stroking.

    Be consistent and allow no margin for error whilst practising this exercise. Gradually, after a week or so, you can try removing the lead all together and walking in, ignoring the dog, and following the same procedure. Hopefully he'll learn that any attention he gets is when he's not mouthing and hyper.

    If he likes tug toys, I would also engage in a game of tug as soon as he gets calm (maybe a later stage in the process) and initiate it by saying "Let's play!" as a reward for being calm when your OH enters. Then, you can introduce a "Finish" command and stop play. If he carries on, isolate him or put the lead on and praise for calmness (the dog and your OH!!).
     
    #5 Rottiefan, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  6. theevos5

    theevos5 PetForums VIP

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    Totally agree on putting him on a lead,have one handy and then when you hear the car coming,pop the lead on,so he is in the same room,when your OH comes in and then get him to greet you first,tell Oscar to sit and maybe wait,and then when he is calm,reward him with attention.Then take the lead off when he is calmer and then this should progress to your other half coming in and Oscar waits his turn to greet.Jut be consistent and don't give in,Oscar is still getting his attention but only when he has earned it by his good behaviour:D
     
  7. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    To avoid over-excitement during "Tug!" build in pauses, stop the pulling and get a drop, then have it taken on permission and resume. You can build up the difficulty and self-control required by moving the toy.

    There was a thread recently with clips showing how to safely play "Tug".

    The OH avoiding the greetings, no eye contact, nothing, and then later rewarding calm behaviour sounds like sense to me. Using a lead so you can control the situation, so your OH is not ambushed in a door way sounds sensible to.
     
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