Dogs Play with Their Teeth

Water Play!

Dogs don’t have fingers and arms and hand dexterity, they can’t play twister (although sometimes it looks like they are trying) and they can’t play scrabble.

Dogs are limited in how they play and they often get in trouble when they use their mouths.

When it comes to you playing with your dog, it is important that you teach him to keep his teeth off you when you play.  YOU as a human can teach him how to play with you using mental stimulation and obedience to get toys and interaction.

But when he plays with other dogs, chances are you are going to see a whole different side of him.

Now, let me preface this by saying that not all dogs like to play with other dogs.  If your dog is showing signs of fear or serious aggression click here.  Now that my older dog has died, not one of my other three likes “playing” with other dogs or going to the dog park… they are all very dominant with other dogs and have difficulty submitting to other dogs.

Playing should bring “joy” to your dog not be forced on him, or make him miserable or barely tolerant.

My Nix on his 12th Birthday! He asked to play at the Dog park!

If you are not sure if it is serious aggression read on; but remember that I cannot diagnose behavior without seeing it with my own eyes and dog behavior can be quite complex.

Often when dogs are playing it looks like aggression.  They snarl, and grow, and bark and bite and often times it is just in the name of play.  Often when I look up “Dog/dog Aggression”  photos online, it is clear to me which ones are just playing.

My oldest Belgian Shepherd that recently died was the best dog I have ever seen with other dogs.  He would play to whatever degree they were comfortable playing at.

When he was 2, he got down and laid on his side to play with two Chihuahua puppies.  I worked at a boarding kennel that allowed dogs in play groups and he would go from playing with these two Chihuahuas, to playing with a slightly dog aggressive white German Shepherd with severe pain and hip dysplasia (he loved the interaction with Nix, and Nix was always very careful not to hurt him), to playing with another Belgian Shepherd mix by tossing her around by her scruff and jugular.

I swear that their play habits almost stood my hair on end; they would grab and toss one another around by the throat running and playing for hours if we would let them.  Her owners came to peak over the fence and watch them play once and were a little taken aback at how hard they played.

But It Was Clear They Were Best Friends

So how can you tell aggression from play?

Sometimes it takes a very skilled eye to read doggy behavior.

If in doubt or you want to learn, go and sit in a dog park and watch dogs interact; I love just watching dogs play.

Usually you will see one dog “play bow” and throw his front feet on the ground in front of the other dog in a way of appeasing or showing the other dog his intentions are to play.

Play bows are my FAVORITE form of doggy behavior!!  I also look at their eyes and how they are looking at each other, if I have two dogs “staring” at one another I am more concerned.  A dog with a hard stare and dilated pupils that runs right up to other dogs and gets into their face is closer to having an incident.  A dog with soft, blinking eyes, and lateral movement when greeting is the sign of a submissive dog.

Knowing about a how a dog uses his tail to communicate also helps for more on that click here.

Dogs size each other up pretty quickly, one dog may be the dominant play partner in one play scenario and the submissive play partner in another.   When dogs play with other dogs, it is important that they can play both parts.

Extremely dog dominant dogs, don’t usually play well with other dog dominant dogs.  And, extremely submissive dogs usually are uncomfortable being constantly dominated by other dogs.  It usually takes a dog that is somewhere in between.

My Dog Has the Dominant Body Posture in this Photo; not the Pitbull!

Although my dog was usually the submissive, he could also show dominant body behaviors with some dogs.  The difference is; that if another dog had dominant body posture he would be the first to throw down those front feet and run in an invitation to play.

If you watch dogs for a while, you will see that the ones that have problems are the ones who can’t figure out who is going to submit.  Often this is followed by, climbing on the back of the other dog and trying the “dominant hump”.

Many dogs won’t tolerate being mounted by another dog.

When dogs are on leash and meeting I never allow them to do this in the beginning before I know how they will deal with it.  Mounting usually escalates aggression and behavior very quickly.  Either the mountee will throw himself on the ground in a submissive acquiescence, run off to play, stand there and be humped, or he will muscle up and threaten to fight for such behavior.

My Rules

If I am not sure if my dog is a “player” or not; I keep both dogs on a leash so that any altercation can be broken up quickly.

In the beginning, I don’t allow mounting behavior.  Dogs are separated when either one grabs the other or one dog forcefully puts his chin over another dog’s shoulder (also very dominant).

Once they have played successfully for a while, and it is clear to see who is dominant and who is going to be accepting and submissive I can let them play with leashes dragging (again so I can grab leashes if need be).

My other rule, is that my dog be obedient enough to listen to me.

When I stay to “stop” or “come” I want my dog to listen.  If he is not listening he is putting himself at a risk that I can’t control.

I will also stop rough play if I am unsure if it will escalate.

Make Sure your Dog can Share BEFORE you let Him Play!

If I am not sure and I think play is getting to rough, I will stop it.

Ultimately I am the “Mom” or “Alpha” whichever you like to use and when I stay to stop you need to listen.

This keeps play from getting over the top.

As I get to know each dog I can allow more roughness.

If you don’t know doggy behavior go and watch some!

But always make sure you keep your dog as safe as possible and be in control of the situation to the best of your ability.

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Comments

  1. M. chamberlin says:

    This was very educational and reassuring. My chihuahua mix loves to play with the chihuahua mix across the court. I just want to make sure that they are BOTH having a good time. My dog is the bigger of the two and throws the neighbor dog around rather roughly. I have an older dog that keeps trying to stop the play (Jack is old and grumpy, kind of like the old neighbor yelling at the neighbor kids). We never leave them together unattended and keep the older dog indoors doing something else while they play

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  2. Sammie says:

    i enjoy reading your blog i have a six month blue and red heeler mix her name is mushu and she is a very sweet ball of fur, however she is extremely attached to my husband who is in the army and in a few months could possibly be deployed overseas im worried my heeler will suffer severe seperation anxiety. im not worried that she will lack for attention from me or my 2 year old who she also adors but her bond with my husband is really one for the books so my question is what are some ways i can help her cope? there are also several other factors to key in such as i am pregnant and she will have a newborn to adjust to a new environment and her big dog aka my husband will be gone we also will be adopting a husky another high intelligence dog of course i will be sure to see to it that mushu is comfortable with all the big changes before i allow another dog into the family. i consider mushu family and love her like shes my baby and i want to avoid any jealousy from her since i will be dealing with enough of that from my 2 year old when the new baby comes so if you have any helpful suggestions or advice i would greatly appreciate it.

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    Minette Reply:

    OMGosh!

    First off, I hate to say not to adopt another dog, but don’t you think maybe right now you have your plate full?

    As a dog trainer I don’t know how many times I have seen a pregnant mother adopt a dog or get a new puppy; then when the baby comes they don’t have time for the dog and the baby and of course the baby takes precedence.

    I would focus on your babies and your current dog. Then once you have the baby and all is going well with everyone you can consider adding another family member.

    As far as your heeler, I would recommend you take a class when your husband deploys and change her schedule.

    Dogs are very much schedule people, so in order to help her adjust change what she knows as “normal” so get her up earlier and take her for walks, play with her and take a class.

    A class will help you to bond and it will teach her to listen to you before the baby comes plus it will help her adjust to the changes in her life.

    I always work on my obedience at home first, get it to the point we are working well together, then I take a class so my dog learns to work around other dogs but already has the foundation of what we are learning.

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  3. i find this all very interesting and i will certainly be using you your ides. i have 2 staffordshires and they seem different to other dogs. they are very friendly and very loveable

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  4. Luann says:

    Hi Minette,

    I enjoy reading all of your articles. I always learn something each time. I use to bring my dog Harley to dog parks and because he is small I never had a problem with him. My park has a seperate play area for dogs 25 pounds and under. i noticed that most small dogs either stay on their owners lap or chase the big dogs through the fence. Harley just liked to mark his territory around the entire park and no one bothered with him. If I saw a puppy who was to much for him I would leave Or a dog who was aggressive I would leave. Now I just adopted a Husky and use to take her to dog parks also. She seemed to love playing with other dogs. Then one day I notices that she will put her head over other dogs necks and everyone would say Oh how cute she is hugging. Then the growls will start…then she would not listen to me to the come command (which made me nervous) . So i stopped taking them to the parks and the Husky goes to training classes 3 times a week and I walk her 3 to 6 miles a day and train her at home with Chets online training and advice I get from others. I realize that dog parks are really the lazy way not to take your dog for a walk. I know some people who do walk, play and take to the dog parks, but most don’t. It also became a coffee clutch and no one is really supervising their dogs. It’s just not for me or my dogs anymore. My only question is with makita the Husky is she just became very mouthy on my boyfriend and me. My boyfriend plays rough with her and she likes it but now she is starting to hurt him I told him its not her fault and I give her toys and bones to chew on instead… I wonder if there is any other way to stop this behavior..it comes from nowwhere..whenshe grabs my arm she useually has to go potty so I put a bell on the door and she rings that now. Then when she wants a treat she grabs my arm and brings me to the cabinet. I wonder if I should put something on the cabinet but I really can’t give her treats everytime? Thank you for your time.
    Sorry this is long I have insomnia….lol
    Sincerely,’
    Luann

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Wrapping your head over the shoulders of another dog, is almost the same as humping. This is a very dominant behavior.

    Dog parks are dangerous places and not all dogs belong there. There is always a chance of injury or death when you take your dog to the dog park. That being said, I have had 2 dogs that LOVED the dog park and got more exercise there than I could have ever provided them plus they got to socialize.

    I do not currently have ANY dogs that like the dog park… so it is about what kind of dog you like and how they play.

    If you play rough, you get rough. You are teaching your dog that biting and nipping gets her what she desires. This is what you have taught her, now it will be more difficult to change her mind.

    From now on no more rough play and if her teeth come out she should be put outside or taken out of your presence.

    DO NOT reward her for biting you or insisting on treats! She is training you if you allow that!

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    Luann Reply:

    Thank you for getting back to me. I will make sure that this behavior stops and you got it…she does try to train me. I been bringing her to obedience and agility. They told me she is going through her teenage years…lol. It really feels like that. I do have to say your articles and Chet’s online classes are great. I get more out of this then in my outside training classes, but I want her to be trained with other dogs around us for distractions. I do walk her alot and we both enjoy are bonding time.
    Thanks agaian,
    Luann

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    Minette Reply:

    I’m glad to have you hear reading 🙂

    Huskies are difficult by nature, this is what makes them so effective at sledding. But it makes them SUPER hard to live with!

    Keep an eye out, I will be posting an article soon about exercise and in it there is a video of my dogs pulling a pedal cart. They LOVE it and it wears them out! I bet your girl would love it!

    Kudos for doing obedience and agility classes, even as a professional I do the same thing to work on eye contact, focus and distractions!

    Plus, it bonds us to one another better than anything else could!

    Luann Reply:

    To Minette,

    I can’t wait to see the article and video of your dogs pulling a pedal cart. I bought a scooter and go scootering with her in the cooler weather. I bought the equipment from Alpine Outfitters. It’s a workout and a half. She is small so I have to push alot, but once we start moving it’s alot of fun. All my neighboors come out and watch. I want to go cross country skiing with her if the snow is good. I’m looking foward to see what the pedal carting is. It sounds like fun.
    have a great week,
    Luann

  5. Pam says:

    I have been reading this article and none of these things work with my 20 wk old pitbull razorhead.

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  6. pat says:

    how can I get a copy of “Dogs play With There Teeth”. This is so me but I have trouble expressing it in the correct terms you have here. I work for a vet whow does some daycare and the staff does not have the knowledge to read dog behavior. I also volunteer at a large dog shelter where most of the other volunteers are not into behavior. This artical is me and you have put it in words that most pet lovers not being behaviorists can learn by if they could read this article. Can I copy or receive a copy that I might pass on. thank you.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You are welcome to pass this information along just please give us credit.

    And we are happy to have people join us on the blog and on FB to understand more about dogs and training 🙂

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  7. Eileen says:

    Dear Minette,

    I really enjoy your posts you have the ability to really state things in a way that even the novice dog owner can understand! Sometimes as a behaviorist simplyfying things can be an obstacle, you do that with ease!

    Sincerely~
    Eileen

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Thank you Eileen 🙂 I really appreciate that more than you know 🙂

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  8. Minette,

    How do you deal with a puppy who jumps on every dog she meets? I have a 5 month old German Shorthaired Pointer who tends to be submissive while playing with dominant dogs but jumps all over them when she greets them. We’ve been working with her on the jumping (this is a problem in the house too) but we are at our wits end! I feel like she needs more time with other dogs to learn how to behave but most people do not want a puppy jumping all over their dog! Any advice would be welcomed!

    Thanks, Dawn

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    She shouldn’t be allowed to greet other dogs until she can control herself.

    Keep her on a leash and teach her to sit, as long as she is sitting and showing good behavior she can interact, but once she gets up and starts to jump you need to keep her from socializing.

    She needs to learn what the criteria for playing is!

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  9. Jenny says:

    I’m a relatively new 1st time dog owner – I’ve had my rescued 16 month old PomChi for 7 months so I’m learning about dog behavior all the time. I worry about keeping my teeny little girl safe as she weighs only 5.7 lbs. We’ve just graduated from advanced level obedience training and she’s really come a long way in a short time. She gets barky around larger dogs but with smaller ones, it’s obvious she wants to play. I’m having a hard time reading her with larger dogs but think its fear barking more than anything else. Shes definitely worse on leash than off – no big surprise – and most of the larger dogs simply ignore her. I’m concerned though that her reactivity will spark a fight and she’ll get hurt because she’s sooo little. Any suggestions on how I can work with her to be more confident and less reactive with bigger dogs?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Only let her play with big dogs that you know are good with little dogs.

    Some doggy day cares have these special dogs that are great socializing other dogs, call around and see if there are any play groups she can safely get into.

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  10. Phil Quartararo says:

    Hi,

    Two months ago, I purchased a delightful 2 month old Great Pyrenees female puppy, and I also have a 3 year old G. Pyrenees male. He is a delightful well disciplined, good tempered, perspective animal who seems to distinguish well between friend and foe, and he is very protective of us,our property, as well as our goats. When I brought her home and walked to the fence of the yard he was in, he came running growling and barking as though he wanted to get out and rip her apart. I was a little surprised and thought, oh my goodness.

    Since then after observing them and working with them on opposite sides of a fence from each other for a while, then bringing them in the same yard both on leashes, then having him off a leash but her still on one, and now letting them run together for a while to play freely, … they are doing great together. Her teeth are very sharp, as you can imagine, and I sometimes worry about how much she bites him on his legs, his ears, and his face (I worry that she might injure him in an eye …) but he seems to control her well with his head, mouth, legs and paws in a way that seems to work for him.

    Now when I play with her (and I am not one who thinks it is wise to play rough with animals), even before the two of them were together, she has always wanted to play vigorously by playfully biting. I have given her verbal commands of “no biting”, I have tried to distract her from that, but she comes back wanting to continue to play bite. More recently she will start by play biting easier, but then she often resorts to play biting somewhat more vigorous. I have at times resorted to popping her on the nose with a piece of rolled up newspaper, and sometimes with my hand at the moment she is biting somewhat hard, saying “no bite”,… and that seems to work at the moment. It even lasts for a little while with her seeming to realize what the problem was. I can then pet her and she enjoys that, but shortly thereafter she sometimes resorts back to the playful biting.

    One other concern about this biting is that I have several grandchildren (from 10 to 16) who come over from time to time, and our puppy starts to play bite them too. This turns them off about playing with her.

    Now all this is leading to my asking: “how do I learn to effectively train her to stop this playful biting she seems to enjoy.”

    Thank you,
    Phil

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Exercise her.

    Keep her on a leash when grand kids come over and read this.

    http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/taste-horrible-aversive-dogpuppy-training-mouthing/

    [Reply]

    Phil Quartararo Reply:

    Thanks for your reply concerning playful biting.

    I just purchased your book and videos, and am looking forward to getting them. I am wondering if there is a section or portion of that information which teaches the instruction “no!”?

    Thanks.

    Phil

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    Sandy Burch Reply:

    We have a beautiful 7 month old German Shepherd who has a bad habit of play biting. Sometimes he can be very docile and friendly but when he gets excitable mostly when he wants to go out he’ll start with the biting. We know he is not being mean but he’s getting really big and his teeth are adult and they hurt. Most of the family doesn’t get attacked but my oldest son who usually takes him out when he needs to go gets “the treatment” I, too, have been on the recieving end of his mouth and I am never amused by it. I found a way to deal with it that works for us (maybe it won’t work for everyone) When he has his leash on (the kind that pulls tighter when he pulls against it) and he starts his “biting” I pull his leash up short (keeping my hands and body parts out of harms way) and give a sharp tug while at the same time saying (with authority–not anger) NO! Every time he tries to bite I do it and now he pretty much stops right away and turns his attention to something else as soon as I see he is stopping (but not before) I tell him he’s a good boy and I let him loose.

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  11. JENNY says:

    I have a6month old cocker spaniel she keeps attacking us barking and biting im sure its for attention but we dont seem to be able to stop her.She was abandoned at 8 weeks old the gentleman who found her could not keep her so she had 3 owners in as many weeks.
    When she is not doing this she is very loving.She is very frightened of humans but gets on well with other dogs please help .

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  12. Fran says:

    Thank you for yet another great article. Our 15 month old spaniel Charlie enjoys his play time at our new local doggy park (here in suburbia Sydney Australia) & appears to have made some great friends of all shapes & sizes. He loves to be chased by other dogs & is happy to initiate the play. Recently his tolerance to being chased by the bigger dogs is not what it used to be. The bigger dogs (doberman, ridgeback, german shepherd) are not aggressive at all & generally Charlie can out manourve them on a good run. But because of their size he appears frustrated that they out-muscle him in their play. Now Charlie has taken to bearing teeth &/or nipping at them when they don’t back off. The other dog owners think its “great” that Charlie is sorting it out for himself (ref your recent article “Let them sort it out”), or think think he’s “just playing” but we don’t agree. Now we take Charlie out of the park if his play is getting a bit rough as it’s not something we want to encourage. Charlie is our family’s first dog, so we are a work in progress when it comes to being good & responsible dog owners. Your articles (& Chet’s training) have helped enourmously to give us the confidence & knowledge to help make the right decisions.

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  13. mike j says:

    I have a 10 month old male terrier mix. I recently put down a 15 yr old shepard mix who was great and 2 weeks later rescued this terrior who was 9 weeks old. He always had a problem mouthing . He will grab anything inc hands plus uses his paws to claw at you and at times will cut you. I am now 68 and dont have the patience I used to. How do I cure this prob. Thanks for your help

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  14. Judy says:

    I have a Havanese that is almost 1 1/2 years old and always wants to mouth me or other people and have his teeth on me (my hand usually or sometimes my feet while I’m walking). In your article above you don’t say much about how to train dogs to not play with their teeth. I would like to have more information on how to do this. I tell him “no teeth” or “no biting” when he does this and I try to give me a toy to play with, but it just is not working very well. The main result I have gotten is that he doesn’t bite hard or chomp down – just wants to use his teeth. Any suggestions would be very helpful. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Remove yourself from the situation or remove him but never play with him when his teach come out.

    He needs more exercise! Exercise and mentally stimulate him!

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  15. Bree says:

    Hi. What are ALL the things dogs can’t/shouldn’t eat?

    [Reply]

  16. Helen says:

    Hi Minette,
    I’m new to your site and found this article to be very interesting. I have ‘almost’ stopped my 7mth blue heeler x husky pup’s constant play biting (by stopping play and leaving)
    However I’ve looked on your site to see if you have advice on two other mouthing issues but couldn’t see anything so hope it’s ok to ask here….. 🙂
    Firstly, my little boy, Banjo, constantly wants to lick. Not so much me now but whenever he greets someone. I’ve almost stopped the jumping up and make him sit but whenever someone goes to pat him he just wants to lick (hands, cloths it doesn’t matter).
    Secondly, he is trying to pick up everything to eat it & chews his toys to the point of trying to eat them also. I now only give him toys when supervised but it is sooooo hard to monitor. I am so worried he’s going to eat something that causes an obstruction or worse !! How can I stop his desire to eat everything as it makes walkies not such a fun time ??

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Exercise, and monitoring him are the best for his chewing!! Exercise will keep him too tired to want to chew. And get lots of toys that are “indestructible” for when he does chew.

    And, don’t let him interact with people if he licks. As soon as he starts to lick tell him “no” or whatever word you are using and then prevent him from socializing until he is not licking.

    He should be rewarded for something if you don’t want him to show that behavior!!

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  17. Jaci says:

    Minette,

    I have 2 6-month-old Chihuahua mix pups. They are brother and sister and I find that they play very well with toys when they are separated, but if they’re together all they do is “play-fight.” It’s ridiculous. They go at it ALL the time. It’s to the point where I have to hold one with a toy and leave the other on the floor with a toy. I find that I do kennel them for several short periods in the day because it’s the only way they won’t fight. To be completely honest, I can’t tell if they love or hate each other! Any advice?
    They know what “NO” means, so I try saying that whenever one initiates, but it’s not enough.
    On a totally separate note, I find that the female has been peeing on the carpet right INSIDE of where our doggy-door is, but I always hear her go outside and come back in. Is she confused or belligerent?? When I’m in the room with the door, she does it right. I think she’s just refusing to submit.
    I’d appreciate any help at all!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    My guess is that she is marking her territory.

    Are they spayed and neutered? If they aren’t I would do that IMMEDIATELY!

    Often dogs from the same litter have problems co-existing and figuring out who is on top, so they fight it out until they figure it out. Sometimes that ends in blood and horror.

    You need to be working on obedience with them so that they are learning to listen to you all of the time, then if there is a problem you can intervene.

    I would separate them often so that they get use to being individuals and then when they spend time together they are happier to see one another.

    Its like twins. Usually one is the dominant or loud twin, OR they fight with each other all the time. Plus even twins like having alone time.

    [Reply]

  18. Jaci says:

    They have both been “fixed” and since that, the male has calmed considerably, but she hasn’t. When you say “obedience training”, you mean sit, stay, etc.? I must admit, I haven’t done much of that due to their very short attention spans. Even when they’re hungry, she’s super hyper and he’s skittish. Any ideas?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    That is like saying you don’t take your kids to school because they are hyper and shy.

    In order for them to be successful they have to LEARN to learn and have longer attention spans.

    Not all dogs come having 30 minute attention spans, we all work to lengthen the amount of time our dogs can pay attention. It comes slowly but with regular work it increases.

    If you don’t work on it, you are teaching them that short attention spans, shyness and skittish behavior is what you want and what you like.

    Instead set aside time every day to work on obedience, sit, stay, come, down, heel, eye contact and you will see their behaviors change.

    They will love it because it will be time spent with you.

    [Reply]

  19. Pat says:

    We have two Terrier/Pug who are one year old. They are sweet but still can’t be left alone for a minute without chewwing the furniture. Help!

    [Reply]

  20. Jolisa Delaney says:

    My 4 month old, male lab, when told to give a paw, will place his paw in my hand, and immediately show his teeth and attempt to snap at my hand. He also seems to get angry when I point to his bed and tell him to go to it. He doesn’t look at “me”, he looks at my hand and jumps as if he’s thinking about biting my hand. It almost seems as if he thinks I am “his”, and he;s training me, rather than the reverse. I am consistent, give treats and praise with positive reinforcement being the foundation for all training. Please advise…OH! hew also shows dominance with my 13 year old female lab. I’ve made a comittment to have him his entire life, and I need the best advice as quickly as possible. Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He needs clear boundaries.

    showing teeth, dominance or aggression gets him nothing or alone time.

    Even with positive reinforcement dogs need consequences for bad behavior. That doesn’t mean physical corrections but losing something they want or desire.

    I too have a very dominant puppy. So when he wants to bite me, he goes outside alone, or into his crate for a few minutes.

    I don’t make a big deal about it because I don’t want to reinforce the behavior even with negative attention, I just put him outside.

    But I also realize that he may need some exercise or training when he is like this so I wait for a few minutes/half an hour and then I train and exercise him.

    Dogs get bored and do naughty things because they are bored. If we exhaust them… the don’t have a chance to be naughty.

    And, training is a MUST he has to learn to listen to you in an obedience manner. So teach him sit, down, stay, come, heel and to give you eye contact and then you will see an improvement in his behavior.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would also recommend our puppy programming course it is full of videos and even advanced puppy training!

    http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/PuppyProgramming for lots of puppy training videos that can help.

    [Reply]

  21. Lisa K says:

    I learn something from all these tips but was wondering if you might have some suggestions for me. I recently adopted a rescue. Don’t have much background on him. Family surrendered him to a rescue group because they didn’t have time for him, so I’m assuming no socialization or training. He is approx. a 1 yr. old Boston/French Bull mix, very friendly and stubborn. My problem is when he is on a leash meeting other dogs, especially at training class he barks (a stressful bark) his eyes go completely red and he pulls on the leash to where he chokes himself. Which we’ve changed him to a harness. The ironic things is I’m a pet sitter in my home. When dogs come in he is excited, not stressed and will play. I know it is the leash but when I’m walking and have him outside he is of course always on a leash. What tips would you suggest to do when I go to training or meet up with another dog on my walks. I know dogs when unleashed don’t meet face to face but when on a leash this is a forced position when each dog is pulling on their leashes they are face to face. The trainer has to put a divider up in class because he gets too distracted too stressed and very disruptive if he sees the other dogs and there is only 3 of us in the class. He won’t even take his treats or listen to the clicker when he’s in class when he gets to this state, (and he is very food motivated) so food won’t even work until he calms down. Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read these articles http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/1-practice-habit-derailing-dog-training-program/

    Teach him http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/eye-contact-focus-behavior-broken/

    I would stop going to class if it is not helping it may be setting you back. Instead see if you can do one on one training with the instructor’s dog and working on desensitization at a safe distance. http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/understanding-desensitization-dog-training/

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  22. Bereanna says:

    Hi. I have a 5 month old pup. When he was 2 months old he was in the front yard playing with me and my friends. The neighbor’s kids came out to play (they have a pit bull that hates other dogs). Somehow their dog got out and started attacking my poor little puppy. We yelled for help finally the owner of the pit bull came out and stopped him from killing my pup. We did not charge them or anything because he was just bruised pretty bad (nothing we needed to take him to the vet for) and he was in shock. Now he is 5 months old. He is very afraid of big dogs. Sometimes he would fall to the floor or refuse to go even near a big dog. This is getting in the way (i am trying to train him). I want to get him into dog training classes but it is not that cheap. Can I go up to the pit bulls owner and say you have to pay for the mental damage your dog did to my pup? I am kinda wanting them to pay for a socializing class or something. And another thing because of the attack do you thing that is why he is a little protective of me? Example: (he sleeps with me in my full sized bed) When we get into bed he is ALWAYS right beside me or sometimes he is on my pillow. I just can’t live with my puppy scared of big dogs. Can you please help!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Check out our puppy training program with videos for training. http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/PuppyProgramming

    Get him use to doing the obedience at home first and then get him into classes.

    You can ask for them to pay, or you can sue them (you can sue anyone for anything) but that doesn’t mean that they will.

    And, he should be taught at home first, as I think he will have trouble LEARNING around other dogs. So I would check out the video program first then take a class with other dogs.

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  23. My dogs r a 3.5 year jack russle @ a 3.5 year old rockwaller and they hate each other when they were
    Puppies they were ok now that they r older hey can’t get along .I put them out and my jack russle will go right pass the rocks kennel but when I bring h in is when they want fight he the jack has even bit me trying to attack my rock

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  24. Jimmy Stanitz says:

    I just loved this article. I had a 3 year old Schnoodle named Jessie when my wife and I thought she might like the company of a little sister! So we went out and found her an American Eskimo & Tibetan Spaniel mix who we named Snuggles. At the time Jessie was about 15-16 lbs and Snuggles was barely pushing 3 lbs.

    After less then 2 days of getting to know each other the “Puppy” world wrestling federation matches started! Like you said, at first I thought Jessie was going to hurt her but then she suddenly rolled over on to her back and let little Snuggles dominate for awhile. It was absolutely hysterical! Now Snuggles is about 10 months old and she is a little bit bigger then Jessie! By the way she is white and Jessie is black so they work out great together.

    Today they are the best of friends and they still play somewhat rough at times but they would never hurt each other. I filmed some excellent videos and have lots of pics that are still a lot of fun to look at. Anyway, I really appreciate all your excellent insight and information.

    Take care & Keep up the excellent work!

    [Reply]

  25. Candie says:

    I have a pitt bull, Labrador, Rottweiler great dane mix. The only problem that I am having is that she likes for me to pull on her teeth. She doesn’t bite but she will take my fingers into her mouth and it she pulls on them. I have researched but cannot find out if this is just mouthing behavior or is it something else.

    [Reply]

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