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Old 11-29-2008, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Vermont
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All over everything! I have an 8 month old male shepherd (Ike)who can't keep his mouth off anything! People, clothing, shoes, kids toys, EVERYTHING! HELP! He just ripped a whole in my daughter's new winter coat. What is the proper way to train a dog not to put their jaws on someone? We had another shepherd a few years back (God rest her soul) who was fairly easy...she chewed on things but was easy to redirect to her own toys. He's great in so many other ways....is totally housebroken and has an incredible disposition. Any suggestions are welcomed from seasoned pet owners. Thanks
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:16 AM
 
Location: California
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When he grabs at your clothing, hold his muzzle and give a firm NO! The entire family will have to work at keeping clothes, shoes, toys that are not his, out of his reach....when he does grab one, another firm NO, and re=direct him to one of his own toys. The process needs to be consistent or it just confuses him as to why he can do it sometimes and not others.
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:28 AM
 
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If you grab him by the muzzle, odds are that you're going to end up with a hand-shy dog, and I don't recommend this.

Just redirect his behavior to an appropriate object. I like Kong toys that are filled with plain (UNflavored, unsweetened) non-fat yogurt and then frozen. This keeps the dog busy for a long time, working to get the yogurt out and gives him something appropriate to chew.
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:31 AM
 
Location: California
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I didn't say GRAB his muzzle...I said hold his muzzle. He needs to know that this action is unacceptable.
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Vermont
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I haven't tried a Kong toy yet. Are these the rubber toys that have the hole in the center which I would fill with a treat myself? I think I remember these from a few years ago.
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelbyGirl1 View Post
I didn't say GRAB his muzzle...I said hold his muzzle. He needs to know that this action is unacceptable.
I still wouldn't do this. It makes dogs hand shy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trombley View Post
I haven't tried a Kong toy yet. Are these the rubber toys that have the hole in the center which I would fill with a treat myself? I think I remember these from a few years ago.
Yes, they come in various hardnesses of the rubber: red= normal and black= for heavy duty chewers. For a pup, I'd get the red one (he doesn't qualify for the light blue - that's for teething pups).

I have five of these (one for every day of the work week) and make up all of 'em on Saturdays, so that all five are ready for the upcoming week.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:18 AM
 
3,724 posts, read 8,845,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trombley View Post
All over everything! I have an 8 month old male shepherd (Ike)who can't keep his mouth off anything! People, clothing, shoes, kids toys, EVERYTHING! HELP! He just ripped a whole in my daughter's new winter coat. What is the proper way to train a dog not to put their jaws on someone? We had another shepherd a few years back (God rest her soul) who was fairly easy...she chewed on things but was easy to redirect to her own toys. He's great in so many other ways....is totally housebroken and has an incredible disposition. Any suggestions are welcomed from seasoned pet owners. Thanks
There are a couple other things you can do. He's old enough to learn to carry things on command, for one. It's pretty easy to train a mouthy dog of any kind to hold and carry something, especially to carry it to someone else, and it turns the negative into a positive by turning it into a job. And you can leave particularly tempting items laying around, after spraying them with bitter apple, or a dusting of cayenne pepper. We had a dog when I was a kid who was determined to chew up our newspaper every evening when it was tossed on the lawn [the paper was rolled into a nice big chew-type object], and after fixing one up with half a box of red pepper - and plenty of water available - that was the last one she ever touched.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Texas
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He also is old enough and needs to know the command

"Leave it."

That will help immensely. Then he will learn which are his toys are which aren't. I can leave anything around now, b/c my dog knows which things are for her to chew and which things are not hers.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Vermont
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I know one strike against me are my children... I need to sit them down to educate them on the commands we will all use "universally". At this point they are serving to undo my work...and probably confusing poor Ike. I may write out a wall chart to post in our livingroom so even when I am gone to the store or whereever...they can be cued in to what response is expected of them. The Kong is a necessity! The cayenne pepper sounds great...I should rub it all over our hands...LOL!!!
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:11 AM
 
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The cayenne pepper is pretty cruel, if you ask me.

To teach 'leave it' you need to have a WONDERFUL treat, such as little pieces of chicken breast (NOT the dark meat: too greasy). Have on a clean pair of socks.

Put the chicken piece on the floor and when your little one dives for it, cover it quickly with your foot, saying, IN A HAPPY VOICE, NOT A THUNDERING COMMAND, 'Leave it!'

When she backs off, uncover again and every time she dives, repeat, and repeat the words 'leave it.' She'll get the idea very quickly. When it's all right for her to have it give her a release word, such as 'Clear!' or 'Release!' I don't recommend using 'OK' because it's used so much in everyday speech.

As for mouthing hands, your pup needs to learn some bite inhibition. All puppies bite! Normally, puppies learn this from littermates and mom, but if she was taken from them early (like at 8 weeks), she likely didn't have a chance to learn this. Rather than put her in her crate, you can TEACH HER bite inhibition:

Have her with you in a completely puppy-safe place, where she can be left alone (outside the crate) and can't see or hear you. This is important.

Start playing with her. When she chomps down too hard, YELP, loudly, like another puppy, and, without a word, get up and LEAVE. Completely. Out of the room. Just for a minute.

She'll quickly learn that when she bites too hard (normal for a puppy!) she loses her most precious resource: you. It's important that she not be able to hear or see you during that minute that she's left alone. And it's just a minute, no longer.
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