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Playful biting but won't stop...Help!

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  • Playful biting but won't stop...Help!

    My dane likes to put your hand, arm etc. in her mouth playing but she is getting bigger and sometimes it almost hurts. I've tried to break her with a stern No and by holding my hand over her nose and mouth. But she does it as soon as she gets loose from my hand. I'm afraid if she does this with a child it could hurt them.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

    Heidi

  • #2
    RE: Playful biting but won't stop...Help!

    I frequently discuss this one in the puppy classes that I teach. Here are some common ideas that help people out….

    1) Don't encourage or allow rough play. While playing and the pup starts biting too much/too hard, take your hands & arms away. Stand up, fold your arms across your chest and turn your back to the dog. Tell them in a stern voice that you won't play with them if they get that wound up & rough. This is like a time out. Remember to quickly forgive and forget as soon as the dog settles back down. If the dog continues to escalate back up quickly, the play session is ended for longer.
    2) Make your hand something your dog doesn't like in his/her mouth. Make a fist and shove it gently into the dog's mouth, until they start trying to spit it out.
    3) Sometimes letting them know it really hurts you with an "OUCH!" is helpful. In my experience it can wind some dogs up further, but if done correctly most dogs will step back and rethink.
    4) There are products like Bitter Apple which can be applied directly to your hands and arms. It has a very repulsive taste to dogs.
    5) If the dog refuses to settle down and is continuing to be obnoxious, I use a scruff shake. Since one should never smack at or hit their dog, this is the ultimate punishment in my book….which means don’t jump to this one as your first line of defense or you have no aces left to play. A firm scruff shake, along with a stern voice telling puppy that is not allowed, usually subdues.

    Be consistent in your training. Don't allow the puppy to get away with the rough play one time and then the next time expect them to figure out not to do it.

    Enroll in an obedience course. Even if you've already taken one, a refresher is smart. Obedience is a great way to gain control over your dog. It's also helpful to have an experienced obedience instructor to answer individual questions about correcting unwanted behavior in your pooch.

    If your puppy is still too young for a regular obedience class (usually under 6 months old), there are puppy kindergarten classes. This really helps with socialization as well. There is a side benefit in allowing your puppy to play with lots of other puppies in puppy kindergarten classes while still young – the other puppies teach each other bite inhibition. It’s a form of passive training for us….we sit back and let them teach each other that when the play becomes too rough the other puppy will no longer want to play. That’s a big impact on your puppy. They figure out they need to control themselves a bit more if they want to be able to be included in play. Yes, they still play rougher with other puppies than you would want them to with you, but your time outs, as mentioned above, will have much more of an impact. Plus, dogs with lots of dog-to-dog socialization skills often have a softer mouth than those without that socialization.

    Best of luck.

    Bev

    Bev
    Foto Danes

    Ch Payaso Flighty Star Alliance RN CGC CHIC
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    • #3
      RE: Playful biting but won't stop...Help!

      Bev,

      Thanks for all the great ideas. We are currently in our first obedience class...we have alot of work to do! Anyway...I actually came up with shoving my hand to the back of her mouth a while back and it did seem to work. I know dogs are reinforced by favorable things so I tried to take the fun out of chewing on my hand. i think I'll try that some more...only consistently this time. I think we'll try the timeout thing too.

      Thanks again...Heidi

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      • #4
        RE: Playful biting but won't stop...Help!

        hello,
        just thought that i would add one thing, and if Bev does not mind, i would like to see what Bev thinks as well as anyone else. with chance, he was a biter too, and when he was playing i would say "OW" than "NO" and if he hadnt stopped i would shove my hand into his mouth further, and than if he still did not stop(my dog was not "bright")i would take my hand out say no, and hold his mouth shut for a while. I that good? do people do that? is tha tokay from a trainers point of view? or i am confusing the dog? well thoguth i would ask

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        • #5
          RE: Playful biting but won't stop...Help!

          I guess I personally don't see a lot of benefit in holding their mouth shut. They normally seem to just go back at it as soon as you release them. However, it's a similar idea to the "time out" – you’re just physically restraining them. My preference would still be to take your hands and arms out of their reach and make them learn to control their body themselves.

          I do know that lots of people use this technique though.

          Bev

          Bev
          Foto Danes

          Ch Payaso Flighty Star Alliance RN CGC CHIC
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          • #6
            RE: Playful biting but won't stop...Help!

            I've heard that you need to let them know that having any part of your body in their mouth isn't pleasant. Maggie is such a little sweetie, that for instance if she bites my thumb, I ball up my fist and put ALL of it in. Then, when she tries spitting it out, I praise her all over the place and make a big deal of it. So far, she just doesn't seem all that mouthy. I wonder: "why have I been wasting my time with terriers all these years??"
            My best boy, Trooper.
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            • #7
              RE: Playful biting but won't stop...Help!

              I used to have a pal, who when mouthed by dogs, would grab their tongue & say " A (fill in the blank by breed) tongue! For me? Just what I *always* wanted! Can I keep it?"
              By the time she got that last sentence out, the answer was definately "No!". I never saw her mouthed twice by the same pup (probably they all thought she was seriously nuts).
              Me I just turn "OUCH!!!" into the "OUT!" command and that'll do it.

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              • #8
                RE: Playful biting but won't stop...Help!

                That is so FUNNY!!! For as much as they love to use their tongues, i can't imagine any dog wanting to have it pulled on!:P
                My best boy, Trooper.
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                • #9
                  RE: Playful biting but won't stop...Help!

                  Ok, I know I really goofed here... :+ but Seqia just looooves to walk around with some part of me in her mouth, especially after I've been gone for a while, to work etc, and first come home - my hand, my shirt sleeve, my shirttails - and I usually don't mind. Her eyes just sparkle and she seems sooo thrilled I've been letting her get away with it. She doesn't clamp down or pull, just gently holds and there's really no pressure at all. Am I really goofing up here royally? Astrid & Zoo

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                  • #10
                    RE: Playful biting but won't stop...Help!

                    I've owned more than one Dane who liked to "hold hands" and even (gently) lead me to what they want me to see. A couple who 'walk themselves' with their own lead. Never progressed to any display or dominance, rude behaviour or even silly obnoxiousness. So depends on the dog & the relationship you have with them to my mind. Some have the self control to manage this & others don't. Besides mouthing pups & an mild-mannered adult "walking" you are two different things? JMOSHO.
                    And caveat is most trainers would tell you never to let a dog put his mouth on you anyway.

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                    • #11
                      RE: Playful biting but won't stop...Help!

                      What worked with all our dogs when they started the playful biting was a gentle, but firm pinch to the jowl, while telling them "Not good." Then as soon as they let go, BIG rubs and pets to their heads, maybe a hug, and telling them, "Good girl!" Only had to do this a couple times and they learned that biting hurts, not biting doesn't! Hope this helps!

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