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Old 12-31-2012, 02:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why does he nibble on me?

Weegee has been a very affectionate dog from day one. He gets excited and licks my face and nibbles on my ear. He. Never bites hard so I don't really mind, I just wonder why. He also sometimes nibbles at my chin. The weirdest thing is that two times he has opened his mouth wide at my neck and make growly noises. He isn't biting hard at all, it actually tickles. If he was a bigger dog it would be scary. I KNOW he isn't trying to hurt me, I just can't figure out why he is doing it. Any ideas?
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Affection

I think poodles are just very affectionate. My spoo likes to hold my fingers in his mouth when he is happy or really excited... and he loves to give kisses and 'groom' me with the little nibbles. I love it!
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Weegee is a year old. All puppies are mouthy. You can correct it, if you want to. It is up to you to decide what is acceptable in your house. I don't there is a right or wrong answer.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't mind it really, because it doesn't hurt and heist always so excited and happy while doing it. I figured the nibbling of the ear and chin was affection, but the neck threw me off. I can't make up my mind if I would correct it if he was bigger. I try to treat him like my other dogs, but I'm not sure how I would react to them lightly nibbling my neck while growling. I trust them, so I would probably let it go.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I suspect it is linked to dog greeting and play behaviour. Face licking derives from puppies soliciting food from Mum, but is part of happy greetings, especially from puppies to adults. I don't like having my face licked, but tolerate it on my ears, so Poppy has learned that when she is super happy to see me or that I am at last awake, a quick licking of my ears expresses her joy without making me go Ugh! And neck biting is part of puppy (and dog wrestling), complete with play growling - it would be interesting to see how he reacts if you respond by tickling him!

If he is lightly nibbling he is being very careful with managing his bite - I would not worry myself if it is a game you both enjoy, just be ready to squeal if it is ever more than a tickle to remind him human skin is softer than dog skin.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Fjm - can you tell me more about play growl. Harry play growls often. On one end he is growling and on the other end a mad tail waggle! He has been doing this from pretty much early from when he came home to me, but I still can't figure out what he is trying to say to me....expect maybe, oh fun, lets play(?)


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Old 01-02-2013, 01:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's one of those things that is difficult to describe but very obvious when you see it, I think - bit like the difference between children screaming in excitement, and screaming in real fear. Dogs tend to have very clear signals that indicate that what follows is a game, and not to be taken seriously - play bows, for example. They certainly know the difference between play growls, and the accompanying body language, and real growls that mean back off NOW. I think of play growling as being a bit like a child saying "Let's pretend I'm big and fierce and you are really frightened..." I use HaHa as the cue that we are now playing and it is not serious - the human equivalent of a playbow, perhaps!
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Admittedly as a first time dog owner, a growl is a growl to me. I think the waggy tail is the cue for me that he is actually happy. Plus i did not know how to describe it, but 'play bow' he does a lot of too. Again with a growl and mad waggy tail in action


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Old 01-02-2013, 04:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Mack play growls with his puppy kong, like he's killing it, it's the only safe thing for him to bite hard on, his growls will become snarls and he'll be throwing it around and chasing after it trying to kill it.

All in good fun though.
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