Most dogs bite while playing because that\’s how dogs often play with one another. While your dog thinks it\’s all in good fun, it may pose an annoyance or cause pain for you. The best thing you can do is to train your dog not to bite. When he nips you during play, immediately freeze and try yelping (like another dog would do if injured). Do NOT jerk your hand away, for your dog will think you are still playing. Instead, if he has locked onto your hand, gently push your hand further into his mouth and he should unlock his jaw and you can slowly remove your hand. Once you have done this, you can also try putting him in a \”time out\” in another room or trying turning your back and ignoring him. The key to each of these strategies is timeliness. You want your dog to learn the effect of his actions, so be sure to correct his behavior immediately after it happens!
what is \”mouthing? \” \”Mouthing,\” a. k. a. \”play-biting\” is a natural, instinctive way dogs play with each other. They explore the world with their mouths like we do with our hands.
Mouthing is not aggressive, but can be irritating to humans, especially guests in the home of a dog that mouths. It can be misinterpreted as aggression. why do dogs mouth? Puppies learn how to play by mouthing their littermates and their parents. They explore with their mouths, and they use their mouths to play with each other. The ASPCA outlines that Young dogs usually learn bite inhibition during play with other dogs. If you watch a group of dogs playing, you\’ll see plenty of chasing, pouncing and wrestling. Dogs also bite each other all over. Every now and then, a dog will bite his playmate too hard. The victim of the painful bite yelps and usually stops playing. The offender is often taken aback by the yelp and also stops playing for a moment. However, pretty soon both playmates are back in the game. Through this kind of interaction, dogs learn to control the intensity of their bites so that no one gets hurt and the play can continue without interruption. In contrast to aggressive biting, mouthing is playful and not ill-intended.
It can, however, be an unwanted behavior as far as humans are concerned. Puppies typically learn to control the intensity of their play bites by their littermates, but puppies taken from their littermates too soon may need to learn this from their human families. Typically, humans teach their puppies that no form of mouthing is acceptable, but that is not always the case, as is the situation with Quincy. It\’s likely that since his mouthing is so gentle, he was never taught to behave otherwise. playful mouthing vs. aggressive behavior There is a huge difference between playful mouthing and aggressive behavior. While you may or may not train your dog to quit mouthing you, no degree of aggressive behavior should be tolerated. How can you tell the difference? PLAYFUL MOUTHING AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR how can I teach my puppy or dog not to mouth? You can teach your puppy or dog not to mouth just like his littermates would. Note that it is much more difficult to teach an adult dog not to mouth, as they are not as sensitive to our reactions as puppies are.
Teaching your pooch not to mouth is a process. 1. Teach your puppy about bite intensity by yelping and pausing play when he bites too hard. Praise him when he stops, and repeat this a few times per play period. Your puppy will learn that you have a negative reaction when he bites too hard. 2. Mouthing is natural, so you want to teach your dog what is appropriate to mouth and what is not. If you wish (as most humans do), teach your puppy that no mouthing of you is acceptable. Once your puppy has eased up on the intensity, practice the same steps whenever the puppy mouths your hand (or ankle. or whatever his favored body part is). Provide him with an alternative, such as a chew toy or ball. Your puppy will learn to mouth appropriate items rather then your hands or the hands of your visitors. Б Avoid wiggling your fingers in front of your dog\’s face, and avoid play-slapping his muzzle. These actions will likely encourage your dog to mouth and play more aggressively.
Б Don\’t discourage play and mouthing all together, as it\’s a great way to bond and it provides your pooch with mental and physical stimulation. Allow your dog to mouth a toy you are holding rather than your hand. Б Don\’t physically punish your dog for mouthingБor for anythingБas it will likely cause more aggression, and your dog may become fearful of you. Б If your puppy or dog mouths you, don\’t pull away. Pulling away will be considered a game by your dog and will encourage him to play harder. Kind-of like tug-of-war. Б Always provide appropriate chew toys for your dog. Б Provide your dog with plenty of exercise and entertainment. Excessive mouthing can be a sign of boredom. Б If your dog is biting aggressively, seek the help of a certified, professional dog trainer immediately. Does your dog mouth? Have you taught your dog not to mouth? Please share your experience! *All names have been changed in the interest of privacy.