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Mitch had some very bad habits when we got him that were encouraged by his previous homes.
When he's happy to see you, he launches himself into the air right in front of your face, or uses you as a spring board. It's gotten A LOT better, but he'll still occasionally do it to me.
He also was encouraged to "bitey face". He tries to be gentle about it, but big dog teeth and human lips are just a bad combination. This has also pretty much been stopped thankfully.

But tonight, I was being not so smart, and I picked up his front legs and was hugging him, and he was licking the side of my face and then BAM!! Bitey face!! Canine tooth into my top lip!! Holy moly did that ever hurt!! I not have a big fat lump on my top lip. At least it didn't break the skin, but it won't stop throbbing!

Please!! Even if you think the bad behaviour is cute or endearing, it's NOT!! You NEVER know if you might have to rehome your dog, so do any potential future owners a favour, a nip those bad habits in the bud!!!
 

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If you don't mind, Locket, I'll just use your thread to post my own similar rant. I was going to start a new thread, but I think it will fit perfectly here.

I am so ticked off right now. I have a co-worker who loves Teddy and Teddy loves him. When we get to the office, Teddy runs right to this guy wanting to play. The guy gets down on the floor and plays with Teddy. He lets Teddy mouth his hands.

If I have told him once, I've told him a million times not to encourage that. I've explained that if Teddy is going to be a therapy dog, he cannot, ABSOLUTELY NOT EVER mouth anyone. He shrugs it off and says, "He's just playing".

I know he's just playing, and you know he's just playing, but the nice people at the nursing home won't care that he's just playing when his teeth accidentally break the fragile skin of one of their residents. Can you say "LAWSUIT"?

So tonight, in our therapy dog class, someone came up to Teddy while he was lying on the floor. She petted him on the head and scratched behind his ears. Then he rolled over on his back and she rubbed his belly in such a way that made him think she wanted to play. So he mouthed her RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE INSTRUCTOR. She then said that she didn't think Teddy is ready for certification (the exam is next Monday night).

I'm so angry about this--you have no idea. All the hard work that Teddy and I have done working toward this goal is about to fly right out the window, all because someone just couldn't respect my request.

It would be one thing if she wasn't going to pass him because he wouldn't listen to me when I tell him to sit or stay or whatever. I could deal with that. We've worked very hard on those kinds of things and he has improved 1000% over where he was just six weeks ago. How do I deal with this? I can try to teach him not to mouth, but in a week? I'm just so frustrated at this moment. I know after I sleep on it, I'll calm down and everything will be back in perspective.

He can always just go for the CGC instead, but that wasn't the intended goal. I think I'll go cry myself to sleep now.

But just to reiterate what Locket said, no matter how cute you think that kind of play biting behavior is, just don't.
 

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Marian I am so sorry. I know you and Teddy can do it. Don't give up, just make no bitey games your priority for the week. You can do it :)
I know the difficulty of this for therapy work. The people that had Lacey before me let her play all kinds of bitey games. We too, have worked long and hard to undo this kind of play. Every once in a while she will still lick people's hands as they are walking away and I really have to get after her. She used to nibble hard, then just nibble, then lick, and now mostly nothing. But every once in a while when a friend walks away she just can't help herself. They know she is playing and just wants them to stay, but someone who doesn't know her might not feel the same way about it.
I wish you and Teddy the best, I know you can do it!!
Tomorrow I might bite my co-worker ;)
 

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Thanks for the words of encouragement, APAD. I appreciate it.

And yes, Locket, I hope your lip stops throbbing and doesn't make people stare at you at the grocery store like they did to me that time I broke my fall with my face and had a really pretty purple shiner. :D
 

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Lockett I hope your lip feels better! If you have ice on it, make sure you have a towel or some kind of barrier between your lip and the bag.
Marian- Honestly, I would remove Teddy as soon as his teeth hit your coworker's skin. You know the coworker won't listen, so you have to stop it another way. If he heckles you, explain that Teddy can only play if there is no teeth on skin and why.

And now, my rant: I was a vet tech before I got sick and I will tell you, the dogs most likely to bite were the ones who played bitey, teeth-on-skin games at home. They learned it was ok at home and then when we did anything they didn't want, they snapped at us and meant it. Then the owner would sit there and giggle about how cute it was and how it was just a game while we were trying to not get bitten.
Personally, I just don't get how teeth-on-skin games are fun. Puppy teeth are like needles, adult teeth HURT. For me personally, it would have been disastrous for Lola (being a pit bull, even though a super friendly, well behaved one) and Dixie (being a service dog and now a therapy dog) to think teeth on skin is ok.
 

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A friend taught me a technique to help with mouthy behavior. If/when they get mouthy with your hand just put your fingers inside their mouth and wiggle your fingers. Nothing harsh. This is not what they were looking for and usually "spit" your hand out.
 

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OMG Marian, I feel your pain! I have told my dad a THOUSAND times "Don't let him bite you!". They play rough, we all play rough with Desmond. He loves it, but everybody knows how to control Desmond when they play with him, because they actually listened to me when I told them "If he nips/mouths/barks, just stop playing, have him sit and tell him to chill". Works like a charm. However, since my dad CONTINUALLY lets him bite (I mean, right in front of my face, right after I've told him not to let him bite), Desmond is slipping into his old bad habits and DOES go up to people and gnaw on their hand to get them to play. It's so embarrassing and rude, and I can't believe my dad lets him behave so badly! I've told him countless times why I don't let him bite, and dad says "he's just playing, it's fine, I don't mind". I don't think he understands (even after I spell it out..) how much this bothers me and how much it affects Desmond's behavior with OTHERS, not just him. Quite frankly, my dad can handle himself, I'm not worried about Desmond biting HIM, but he learns bad behavior from him and my dad encourages it. It's horribly annoying, and I am constantly cutting off their playtime because my dad will NOT listen. ): Thank god none of the rest of my family enables it, but it only takes one...

Locket: I don't understand why people think bitey face is cute. It just hurts!! ): I know a few pups at work who I LOVE and I let them give me kisses on the chin/cheek (since Desmond won't... I need to get my puppy kisses fix from work haha), and a few of them have managed to chomp while kissing and it's awful! They're all big dogs too, so they have big teeth. Ouch!! ):
 

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Oh my gosh Marian!!! I am so sorry that happened!!! I would be FURIOUS with that coworker, and tell him about what happened at your therapy dog class. Maybe that will get it through his head???

The lip is still sore when I smile, and it looks like it's going to bruise, but luckily the swelling is only noticeable to me, even if it feels like I got some serious botox injection.

My dad rough houses with Matrix and I can't STAND it. I look forward to living on my own (with the bf) and getting future dogs because they will be SO well behaved. My bf doesn't rough house with them, he doesn't let them sleep in the bed, doesn't let them lick his face, doesn't give them table scraps, doesn't let them jump, etc....he just likes to snuggle with them. They'll be dream dogs!
 

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If you do start that obedience class to re-educate men about biting not being "play," "fun" or "allowed," please save a seat in the front row for my husband! He'll likely need a tutor, too!

He drives me nuts by undermining all my diligent and devoted training with Chagall by teasing, provoking and ENCOURAGING him to nibble on his fingers and hands! I too was hoping to get Chagall credentialed to do therapy work so we could visit the local nursing home, at this point I think I'll put my husband in it instead.

Chagall's trainer has admonished my husband, as have friends, but he either says, "He's just playing!" or, my personal LEAST favorite, "I didn't do it!" So, though his birth certificate indicates he's 67, my husband's age in "dog's years" appears to be 10!

While I'm relieved to know I am not the only poodle owner on the planet battling this dumb human behavior, I am sorry anyone has to.

Marian: best of luck in getting Teddy's certificate--he surely deserves it and will be an outstanding therapy dog and representative of the breed.

Birdie: maybe let's send your father and my husband off on a trip together, with one-way tickets only!

Locket
: hope you heal fast and well and maybe we can market and patent a "paint gun" to tag all the fools who think it's fun to teach a dog to nip or bite!
 

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Oh Marian,
My heart goes out to you and Teddy! Liberty does get mouthy when she's playing, but when you're doing therapy, there's no playing! She runs around, barks, pulls on the lead, rough houses, and jumps on beds when she's not on duty. If someone rolled her over and started to rough house with her, she'd do the same thing! If someone was evaluating us when she's not "on duty," she'd fail too! But if she has her bandana on, and I'm right there with her on her short lead, she wouldn't ever try any of that stuff. She's all business, snuggly business. It's kind of like she shifts gears. So here's my question. I know that with our organization, if the mouthing doesn't occur during the test, then it's all good, because we figure the animal will act on a visit like he does on a test. So basically, we judge the dog on how he is that day. Will your teacher fail him for what he did a week ago, caused by someone's action that isn't tested? Or was this a practice test that he got mouthy on? In which case, it was just a practice, which means you know you need to work on it, and konk the coworker in the head, so that it doesn't happen on the real test, or on a visit.
 
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