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I need some suggestions, please! When we first got Bella, Dh let her mouth us. In our puppy book it talked about how it would teach them to have a 'soft bite' therefore if they ever did bite someone (in time of stress) it would do less damage. Well fine, now I want her to stop altogether putting her mouth on us! She's stopped nipping at the kids' clothing for the most part. But she is just mouthy. I was walking with her in the yard today and she was trotting beside me and every so often I'd feel her teeth on my hand.

Now this doesn't hurt me, but not great for meeting new people and it can hurt my kids since their faces are a lot closer to Bella's mouth.

So far the only thing we've done, without much success is just "no bite!" as we pull our hand away. Or if she's getting jumpy while she's doing it (yeah, that's still a problem, too!) then we push her off with "Off! No bite!"

Help!

As an aside, when I took her to the park a couple of weeks ago all these random children kept asking to pet her or "does she bite?!" You wouldn't believe the looks on their faces when I said "yes she does." LOL. I wouldn't worry about her with my kids or their friends but I'm not taking a chance some stranger's kid is going to freak out if she mouths them.
 

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Well 1st, throw away that puppy book because it was written by someone with no dog experience and clearly no common sense!

This is going to be a bummer for Bella because you are changing the rules on her. It is not fair, but there is nothing else to do. You have to go back and retrain a bad habit that you instilled.

Keep her on a leash at all times when she is out of her crate. When she tries to mouth you, give her a a strong collar correction and a forceful "NO" or whatever negative sound you make.

She is going to be confused at first so you have to be very, very, very clear that she has transgressed by putting her mouth on a person. Get big and get scary. If you are wimpy in any way, she may think you are playing.
 

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OH I hate that mouthing. When we brought Jasper home he would nip at my pant legs as we walked and I hated it. I've grabbed his nose to teach the no bite and that's pretty effective but it's got him a bit shy of me handling his nose now. So I'm going to have to try something different because I do need to hold his nose to stack him later on. I hope that just the no bite now will work as he's learned I mean business.
 

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The way we did it with our Dobermann puppy (who is nearly 4 months), was by every time he bit or mouthed us (which was a lot! got a bleeding nose once from him), we just made a high pitched yelping sound and then walked away and ignored him. Now at nearly 4 months old, he doesn't even think to bite, mouth or pull at our clothes, because he knows he isn't going to get any attention from it, which is what he wants. So now he saves his biting for playing with the other dogs!
 

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The way we did it with our Dobermann puppy (who is nearly 4 months), was by every time he bit or mouthed us (which was a lot! got a bleeding nose once from him), we just made a high pitched yelping sound and then walked away and ignored him. Now at nearly 4 months old, he doesn't even think to bite, mouth or pull at our clothes, because he knows he isn't going to get any attention from it, which is what he wants. So now he saves his biting for playing with the other dogs!
Ironically, I just got this exact same advice from a long time Standard Poodle owner and groomer! She said, YELP loudly, like a wounded puppy, and walk away! Ignore the dog for a few minutes and then repeat if needed for as many times as it takes. Poodles are a mouthy breed and it's very important to correct this behavior as soon as possible!
 

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I also used the loud yelping method and then ignoring for a few minutes and it worked. First we did the hard mouthing, next week medium and then no mouthing. I had also read that this is how dog's teach each other if they're being too rough. Their little teeth can be really sharp!
 

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Right, the yelping works with little puppies but Bella is not a baby anymore. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought she was moving into her teenage stage. Mouthing at this age can be very very dangerous because they are getting big, but they don't have good impulse control yet.

Personally I don't find Poodles to be a very mouthy breed, at least not compared to say Labs or Goldens.
 

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Another thing I did when my Boston was a nippy puppy was replace what she was biting with a toy. When she'd start to bite, I'd say "where's your toy!!!" in a really excited tone. Then I'd put a toy in her mouth. Surprisingly, she began to get her toy instead of bite on me.

I also taught her to fetch her toy so that she had something else to do rather than bite me. Eventually, when she got rambunctious, she'd bring over her toy and drop it in my lap.
 

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Another thing I did when my Boston was a nippy puppy was replace what she was biting with a toy. When she'd start to bite, I'd say "where's your toy!!!" in a really excited tone. Then I'd put a toy in her mouth. Surprisingly, she began to get her toy instead of bite on me.

I also taught her to fetch her toy so that she had something else to do rather than bite me. Eventually, when she got rambunctious, she'd bring over her toy and drop it in my lap.
Aww, that is so cute

Just wanted to say, the yelping method has worked with my grandparents white standard who is 25", he was about 14 months old, and he started on me, and I did the yelping etc. and he stopped it after a couple of tries
 

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Everything in stages with pups and yes the yelping works as they then learn how hard they can bite to.
I agree with the book that you want a dog to feel skin and know when to stop. She is a puppy and is still learning so the lound yelp and ignoring should work if your consistant.
Sometimes playing tug or what not the exitment of the game they get my hand they both know instantly it is my hand and stop. I would prefere my guys knew my skin was gentle then never feeling it at all.

My English mastiff would sit with hubbies hand in his mouth all night just holding it while watching tv and it was their thing. He would also sometimes hold my hand while we went for a walk but he knew how hard was to hard and during play with hubby as they did a lot of wrestling a quick YELP would remind him who he was playing with.
 

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Ginger mouths my arm when I come home from somewhere - its like she is sucking it though - is this bad? I though it had something to do with being happy to see me lol
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone. We (well *I*) do the high-pitched yelping when she was trying to 'bite,' I guess I just didn't translate it to this mouthing thing as well. And then there is that my son swears she bites more when he does it. I don't know about that, though. LOL.

I'll try to do it for the mouthing today, too, and see how that goes.
 

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These are gerat suggestions. I am having some mouthing problems with sophie as well...am practicing my yelps now! Thanks to one and all.
 

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These are awesome suggestions...but I feel like a dork YIPPING at work. I take Flip with me every day, and he's the naughtiest here. Hehehe.
 
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