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Should I discourage my puppy from doing this?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Mwingli, Feb 22, 2017.


  1. Mwingli

    Mwingli PetForums Junior

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    Hello all,

    I have a 22 week old puppy. When we first got him, he was nipping quite a lot as all puppies do, but we worked hard on this and he now no longer bites us....sort of.

    What he does do when playing is he tends to bounce around me a bit then will bite me on my hand or arms but there is no pressure applied. He always does this whilst playing, it doesn't hurt and is very gentle, he is barely making contact with me. Its just a gentle nip, then he continues to bounce away then a another nip etc. And sometimes when he wants a snuggle, he will put my hand in his mouth, move his tongue around my hand, and again his teeth make contact with my skin but barely. Should this be discouraged? Would letting this continue lead to unwanted behaviour?
     
  2. Darkangelwitch

    Darkangelwitch Princess Shona

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    If he has stopped the hard biting I can't see a problem with the play as long as you control it and if at any time he does bite stop immediately. As for holding. Your hand in his mouth it may be comforting him and again I see no problem.
     
  3. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    Just have a think about who he will be coming into contact with on a regular basis. For instance if you have children and they have friends round you don't want him bouncing and nipping them as they might misunderstand and think he is biting, same with the gentle mouthing of the hand. We do let our dogs mouth gently on our hands and my OH has a rough play with one of my pointers but we don't have children or visiting children and nobody else plays with our dogs so as long as he stops when told "enough" we are quite happy.
     
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  4. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Agree with @rottiepointerhouse about this. He may just do it to you and that's fine as you understand him, but if he starts doing it to other people he may get himself into serious trouble if it misconstrued. So I would be very careful and only allow it to continue if you are the only one he does it to.

    One of my previous dogs used to take me gently by the wrist and take me to the door to let her out if I had failed to notice that she wanted to go out.
     
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  5. Wiz201

    Wiz201 PetForums VIP

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    Its just play, its like my cat will sometimes try to attack my feet from under the bed in what I call 'black panther' mode but she doesn't use her claws, she just bats them gently.
     
  6. Mwingli

    Mwingli PetForums Junior

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    Thank you @Siskin and @rottiepointerhouse, these a good a re points to think about.

    We do not have children yet but this may happen in a few years. We do not come in contact with children often, normally this only happens when children come running up to pet Arnold, which ends with me telling them that they should have asked their parents or me first before doing so. Arnold is a happy chappie, he doesn't seem to mouth anyone apart from myself and my partner, but this might change with adolescence.

    We haven't had to stop play yet as he doesn't get rough with us and tires quite easily as he is quite young, but do both of you have any advice on how to use a cue word to stop mouthing?
     
  7. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    Arnold sounds lovely. I teach "enough" much like teaching any other cue word such as sit or wait. If he is mouthing on you try a little yelp, it works with some pups but can over excite some, if he stops then praise and once he has got the hang of it start to add the word and give a reward. If the yelp doesn't work then try folding your arms with your hands out of the way and see if that works doing the same praise and reward then adding in the word. Don't rush it or make a big deal of it as he is still young and will get over excited at times - in which case use time outs as needed. The other trick if you want him to stop doing something (such as bouncing) is to ask for a behaviour you do want and that he knows such as "sit" and praise/reward for the appropriate behaviour whilst ignoring the unwanted behaviour.
     
  8. Muttly

    Muttly Fluffy Mutts Rule!

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    Muttly does things similar to this. He will happily sit there with my arm in his mouth and will put my finger in his mouth if I point at him lol. Hardly any pressure, I've not discouraged it.
    He plays the bite and run game with my OH, again not much pressure.

    With my Step-Daughter who's 8, he won't ever play these games with her, he just knows not too. Even when she tried to play with him like we do, he just licked her.
    I think dogs know that they are kids or fragile people that they can't pay like that (obviously don't just trust them to do so!)

    We also use enough, to stop any playing, what he's currently doing.

    Arnold sounds a good lad :)
     
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  9. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    I think you'll find your pup will grow out of it. I have a pup just over 6 months old who does the same, particularly taking my hand and rolling her tongue around it usually when she's becoming over-tired.
     
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  10. Mwingli

    Mwingli PetForums Junior

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    Hello All,

    Since I last posted, we have had a number of visitors and I watched Arnold closely. The first were my OH's brother and sister in law. the sister in law loved him to bit, Arnold was licking her face off and snuggling with her. With the brother was interested in the football so Arnold didn't pay him that much attention. There was no play biting as they weren't playing with as such, just cuddles and kisses.

    My friend also came to visit and stayed all weekend. this was a bit awkward as I had pre-warned her that Arnold loves people and will most likely be licking her face and ears and crawling up her top for a snuggle. She said she was ok with it but when faced with him, she found it a bit too much. But when she played with him, Arnold did some play biting with her and was very gentle.

    He also met a few kids but will not play bite with them, just a lot of face licking.

    I am hoping that maybe he knows that children can only be played with in a certain way, will need to keep a watchful eye the situation. Thank you for all of your responses.
     
  11. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Not everyone likes being licked by a dog, no matter how cute they are! ;)

    I don't and certainly not on the face :Wtf

    I would discourage it tbh before it is ingrained and he becomes a pain.
     
  12. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Well done you for listening to what has been said and working with your dog, sounds like you are doing a grand job.

    Do agree with @Lurcherlad about the licking especially about the face as not everyone appreciates it, there's a fairly good chance you could train him to lick you, but no one else if that's what you want. I'm a real doggy person but I don't really like my face being washed by another dog, I don't encourage it with my own, she's only allowed to give me a kiss when I ask her for one which is more of a nose touch with a little flip of her tongue.
     
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  13. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    This part concerns me slightly. I really wouldn't risk letting him play/interact with children unless they are close relatives and the parents know he may play bite otherwise you risk a nasty situation if he nips a child and the parents involve the authorities even if it was meant in play.
     
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  14. Mwingli

    Mwingli PetForums Junior

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    Yes, not everyone likes it but I give every visitor a lot of pre-warning and ask that they let me know so that its managed. We have had visitors that don't like being licked and it's been fine just as long we know. We use the "off" cue and direct his attention elsewhere.
     
  15. Mwingli

    Mwingli PetForums Junior

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    Yes, of course! Arnold is only allowed to play with children unless their parents are ok with it and present at all times. When children stop to him while we are out and about to say hello, I always ask them to check with their parents. I also hold on to his harness so he can't jump up and lick them.
     
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