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  • Help with mouthing

    Any hints, ideas on how to get Lacey, my 1 yr old Std. Poo. to stop mouthing me and my daughter on our hands, and arms.

    I've tried folding my arms, turning my back to her, ignore her, put my hands in my pockets (doesn't help, then she goes for my arms, hips and she has even gotten me on my boob! ouch!!!)

    She'll take the corner of my clothing, which sometimes has my skin and bite down. I don't think she is doing this to hurt me but just saying hi or just wants to be noticed. But let me tell ya, I'm really getting TIRED of it.

    I almost dread going upstairs when I get off here. She is up there and as soon as she sees me she is on me. Doesn't matter what I tell her she is all over me. It's like she hasn't seen me for months.

    She use to be very bad coming in the house when the other dogs where out with her. Open the door and she would charge right over top of them to get in. We have been able to teach her to sit and wait for the others to come in. I've tried that with her when she first sees me but it doesn't work fast enough and once she is allowed to break the sit she is mouthing me again.

    "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."

  • #2
    You ever read "Marley & Me?"
    "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
    People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me


    • #3
      Originally posted by Pixie View Post
      She'll take the corner of my clothing, which sometimes has my skin and bite down..... Doesn't matter what I tell her she is all over me. It's like she hasn't seen me for months.

      I can use some help on this also. Emily does the exact same thing: jumping, mouthing turning into biting, It's annoying and irritating and I have no idea of what I did to encourage it or how to stop it.
      ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
      Apparently common sense isn't all that common
      *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*


      • #4
        I have the same problem!

        I'm sorry, I don't have any advice for you...but I am curious to see what replies you get. We just got a 3 month old puppy from the shelter. She's a Lab/Terrier mix, and boy is she fierce! Constantly trying to bite! We should have named her Sharky! She has plenty of chew outlets, and is very smart. Potty training is going well, and she's learned to sit for treats and dinner. But you can't really cuddle or love on her.(unless she's REALLY sleepy.)
        My poor 9 year old daughter gets the brunt of it. You can't run with her, she immediately tries to attack your legs and feet. She was a return adoption at the shelter...wonder if this is why? We never asked why LOL! She'll try to bite you anywhere...not just arms and hands.
        She'll bite your nose, lips, knees, toes...anything. I'm sure hoping we can get beyond this. She looks like she's gonna be big...gotta nip this in the bud immediately! If she's still like this a year from poor kid! BTW, she gets very excited to see us, is happy we're there, cries when we leave and don't take her, etc. It's not all aggression, she just doesn't seem to have a "soft" side.


        • #5
          Please don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds like she doesn't look at you as the head of the household and is treating you like you are on "her level". Do you know how old she was when she was taken from mama? Maybe she was taken to young and didn't learn to be bite inhibited. Have you tried noise distraction? Whenever she bites you make a high pitched squeal fold your arms and turn your back on her. I know you said you do that part, but do you make a "protest noise"?

          If the sound distraction and ignoring doesn't work "bite" her back by giving her a firm touch (zap) by her neck or shoulder or hip the second she gets mouthy. I have had to do that w/William and Cyrus sometimes when they get carried away and start getting too rough during play just to "snap" them out of it.

          With my boys I also make them "work" for everything. They have to sit and stay coming in or going out of the house and yard till I call them by name, same for eating meals, getting on furniture....etc. We have little "rituals" that we do to keep them in check because they do have rather explosive energy and they feed off of each other. They respond really well to our little "routines". I'm not saying that they never get to be rowdy and wild. I just choose WHEN and WHERE they are allowed to cut loose. It has been a huge work in progress but well worth it!

          Your girl, like my boys, seems like she has an overabundance of energy. How often and how long does she get walked? Everyone can tell when Will and Cy aren't walked daily by the way they act. I firmly believe that a tired dog is a good goes w/kids!
          SheilaB from SC


          • #6
            when mojo was young he was also very mouthy,rex our sharpai /lab also and very rough about it.all I have had to do to change this behavior was at the moment they started to mouth I would remove my hands from reach and say NO MOUTH not yell just stern command voice.I do not train my dogs in a normal manner I never have but it has always been effective and has worked for me but those small commands can go along way...every day when I come through the door after work I am bombarded by 4 very large hyper beasties fighting there way to greet me . my first words to them all is OFF then I ignore each one for a brief moment until they have settled down enough to get the attention without trying to trample each other to get the first petting.then they can get all the luvvies they want.


            • #7
              I swear it is a Standard Poodle thing! Rex is the same way, and right now we are doing the spray bottle method. Seems to be working pretty good for us. I tried the arms folded, turning around, and just about everything else I could think of and as soon as I put my arms down or turned back he would just do it again. He just gets so excited when we get home and it drives me nuts!
              What does a dog do on it's day off?


              • #8
                I'm one of the old-fashioned sorts when it comes to bad manners like this in a dog.

                I'd swat her a good one in the face with a rolled newspaper, every time she bit. Then follow it up by throwing even more noise in her direction - like, YELL AT HER ABOUT IT!

                A noisy newspaper in her face won't hurt her physically anymore than really bawling her out will, but it will get the point across that there is a very unpleasant reaction headed her way for nipping you.

                She wants attention - let her have it big time every time she bites you. If she has any brains at all she will quickly connect the proverbial dots and drop her nasty habit fast.


                • #9
                  my rottie was like that as a puppy, what we would do was basically squeak or yelp when she bit to hard or mouthed and then ignore her until she calmed down. Its working with our newest puppy too for the time being. Although i have waken up to him chewing my hair lol


                  • #10
                    I agree with Sheila. I have 3 Great Danes and our youngest started mouthing around 6 months. It took about 2 weeks to break her of it. When she mouthed, I would tap her, say a low pitched nooooo, and when she sat, I would praise her. She got the idea very quickly and has not mouthed since. I also have rituals that my babies have before they receive treats, toys or food. They have to sit patiently, and I feed them in order of the pack. Our alpha male first, the alpha female, then the baby. This way they know the pecking order and they don't fight it. They greet me at the door like the great dane herd, but when I come in, they sit and wait to be addressed. Then they get wiggly and silly. Be firm, but loving. You can definately break this bad habit because you are there to witness it. Good luck.


                    • #11
                      I'm with Shelia as far as the "protest noise" goes. One year is still very much a puppy in my book, and puppies use their mouths to explore. Sounds like she hasn't learned bite inhibition, and the clock is ticking!

                      As far as a protest noise goes, I personally don't get growly as that can be mistaken for "bring it on!" Instead, I yelp. Ever have one of those dogs who screams like a baby for nails? Use that as your model
                      Make sure you don't prolong it, just a nice "YIPE!" and then try turning your back to her. I've come to understand that if you focus your attention to something else entirely, it sends a strong message. Hold your head high with an air of snobbery if you have to!

                      And if that doesn't work... have you ever heard of the sin bin? Pick a blocked off area, or even a room, and every time she goes to mouth, just slip on a leash, lead her away quietly, and leave her there for about 30 seconds, but never longer than a minute. This is attention seeking behavior, much like a toddler pulling and tugging at mommy's coat tail, so teaching her that the exact opposite will happen should extinguish it.

                      Also, it might sound funny, but don't forget to catch her in the act of being good! Give her treats, toys, praise, whatever you choose, for sitting, lying down, even just standing there! Those behaviors become MUCH more interesting! Who cares about jumping and mouthing anymore when there's better things to do?

                      One more thing, be more persistent than she is. You can't force the lightbulb to go on, after all. By doing exercises like these, you start the gears turning. Maybe they're a little rusty, but keep at it, and you'll see that "Ah-ha!" look on her face. I've used these techniques for several puppies; some took a little longer, but the end result was all worth it.

                      Good luck!!


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the replies.
                        I must admit she doesn't get out as often as she should. It's cold and there is snow on the ground and I just don't like the cold. I know I'm bad.
                        I'll have to try harder on some of the ideas that have been mentioned. I'll keep ya up dated.
                        "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."


                        • #13
                          All the responses you've seen so far are good, I'll just add my experiences as well, sorry if it gets a bit lengthy...

                          When Addie was a pup (and still today) I enforced a strict "no mouth" rule. At all. The inside of her mouth was never allowed to come in contact with skin, even in play, unless I put it there. When she got bitey/mouthy, I would give the loud yelp, remove any and all attention including eye contact, and completely walk away to a different room.

                          If she ever bit a little harder, I would do one of two things: either grab her bottom jaw, tongue included if possible (not hard to hurt her, but they hate it and they can't bite you this way) and give a firm NO BITE. I would sometimes do this as well, especially if it were a harder bite: when she bit, I would immediately grab her either by the collar, or skin on her neck if she wasn't wearing a collar, and pull her up off of the ground onto her back feet only. I'd get right in her face, staring in the eyes, and give a firm NO BITE, that is not okay. Then put her back down and ignore her for a minute or so, but I'd always go back soon and give her attention if she stopped.

                          None of these things will hurt her, but if Lacey's like any other Poodle I've met, she's somewhat sensitive and she will get the message very quickly - when I bite, mom doesn't like it and I don't get any attention. Some might think it's extreme but to me, stopping biting and even mouthing behaviors is serious and not something to be gently asked of your dog. It is never okay for the dog to bite.

                          One other thing that might be good for you to do with Lacey is a sort of "Go Wild and Freeze" game. She has to know how to sit to do this, use treats if you have to. Also use a leash until she understands the game. Get playing with her, push her around and get her barking/growling and playing with you. Then all of a sudden, stop very quickly and give her a happy "Sit." If she doesn't comply, use the leash and treats. As soon as she sits, release her and begin playing again. Keep repeating this until she starts offering the sit when you stop. Then you can add a sort of "Off switch" cue, such as "Stop" or "All done" when you stop the play. Soon she'll have a good command to stop play and settle down when you want her to, and she'll learn that you decide when to play - not her.

                          Addie never ever even thinks about biting now, and if she gets too mouthy for my liking, I give her a gentle "no bite" and she immediately closes her mouth and calms down. Just the other night, she accidentally caught my wrist in her mouth, and I gave a soft yelp. She immediately dropped her head and tail and stopped playing until I told her it was okay. She's not afraid of me at all, and plays very well with me. She knows I am in charge, not her, and she knows it's never okay to bite or mouth. I wish you the same luck with Lacey!



                          • #14
                            ...definetly a standard poodle/puppy thing

                            My 1 year old is mouthy too. We have been working on it for a month or so now she Only does it when she gets really excited like in the mornings when she's full of energy or after I get off a long days work and don't have time to take her on a bike ride. It's a work in progress. This morning when I cleaned her wound (I'm sure most of you know about it) I realized it was completely healed she was insane excited and so was I lol! Never have I seen her so happy she got over mouthy and made a couple red marks on my wrist. I just closed her mouth looked in her eyes and said No and we moved on to playing mouth free Remember these are still very young dogs for the most part so be patient and keep repeating whatever process you choose one is sure to take.

                            Double Dog- As for hitting my dog in the Face with a news paper OVER MY DEAD BODY. I mean, would you hit a child in the face with a news paper just because "It doesn't hurt?" I think not! What am I supposed to do... when my girl is excited and mouths a bit I should Stop go get a news paper, roll it up and smack her in the face!? Please that's utterly ridicules.


                            • #15
                              I'm never gonna remember who gave me the tip when Luna was "sharking" me last year...but mouth on human flesh/clothes is mouth on human flesh/clothes. Maybe it was Debbiedogs?

                              But...the REALLY startled, loud Yipe or Yelp...maybe even an accompanying scream in supposed pain...followed up by a "shut down" did the trick in several days. was kinda fun for me. I'd double over in pain, rub my arm, hop up and down on one foot, I loved the drama of it all. Was pretty much begging her to put her mouth on me after a week.
                              Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.