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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question for all who are familiar with Standard Poodles. Mr. Layne will be 6 months old soon. Very good puppy but he does something that I'm curious about. He's not particularly mouthy. The puzzle is he pinches me. Little, tiny pinches with his front teeth. He doesn't shut down or leave a bruise. I haven't yet been able to figure out if he's trying to tell me something & I am not 'getting it' or if it's just naughtiness???? I don't want to shut it down until I understand why he does it. Typically I see this at first greeting (although that's settling down as he's getting older) & at night when we go out for last bathroom break. I'm starting to wonder if he's trying to pinch me to make me stop walking or get back so he can clear the area.

I've worked with some breeds who communicate this way out of frustration.
I am well versed on Doberman pinches. When a well behaved Dobie pinches you s/he is trying to make you understand something is a problem. They've communicated in other ways & their human isn't 'getting it' so pinch or poke with the nose. Giant Schnauzers punch with the nose & yep, you're likely to have a bruise because they don't do it until they're very worked up about the issue. Collies on the other hand tend to pinch when they've told you something & you're not moving fast enough. "Mom, there's coons on the way to the hen house... move it... no dead birds on my watch" & if I don't shoot fast enough... pinch...pinch...PINCH!! (My old Collie was part drill sergeant). These are not dogs who are misbehaving. They are trying to get their humans to understand something that we're simply failing to 'get'. So is this normal Standard Poodle operating procedure? Or is this a Mr. Layne quirk?

So is this normal for the Standard Poodle? Is this Mr. Layne unique? He also bounces like a rubber ball when he's excited but I've always thought that rather Poodlely :) I've seen Spoo show dogs bounce beautifully after they've shown.

Thanks in advance if anyone can weigh in on this.
 

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My mini boy, Neo, does something like this but only as part of the "get mom out of bed" routine. He pinches the back of my hand, not sure whether to wake me up or get me to pet him or something else. He self limits and stops when he can tell I'm awake.

When either or both of us return home after being gone, he grabs a toy in his mouth and wiggles for all he's worth. I think he might be grabbing the toy to keep his mouth off of us in his excitement.
 

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My Asta does that sometimes -- usually when I am relaxing in the evening reading a book. I think he thinks that he is just not getting enough attention. My Command is "Stop nibbling"
 

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Poppy pinches bums. These days it is in an excess of excitement, but when she was a puppy it was because it was a fun game. I don't allow it, and she has got better about it over the years, but will still occasionally feel the need to grab something in her mouth when she is overwhelmingly overstimulated, and then inhibit it to a tiny pinch with the front teeth.
 

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My poodle although naughty at times, excitable and bouncy does not pinch, nor does he mouth on a human. He is a mouthy boy and will mouth play with the boxer but when it comes to me he knows not too. Maybe when he was a baby with shark teeth blooding up my arms but that stopped.
 

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My 8 mo standard does the nibbles on my mom's yorkie and cat. Corn on a cob is a good description. The yorkie loves it, and will bump her ears to my spoos mouth to encourage her to start again if she stops.cat tolerates it. She nibbles me too a bit, especially my hair, though I am trying to discourage her. Its very gentle, no pain at all, and I interpret it as a "contented and i love you" gesture. She does also get mouthy with a few more teeth, still no pain, but faster, when over stimulated/frustrated. Trying a lot harder to discourage that!
 

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When either or both of us return home after being gone, he grabs a toy in his mouth and wiggles for all he's worth. I think he might be grabbing the toy to keep his mouth off of us in his excitement.

Zeke has done this since he was a year old. After 3 years if watching himgo find his favorite toy when he knew I was home (I watched him in my security camera while I approached the stairs), I did some research on it. I dint know where I found it, but 2 different studies said that means the dog is happy. For nearly 5 years, and even now quite a lot of the time, he wouldn’t jump in my lap without his toy. It wasn’t to play. When he follows me around the house, the first thing he does when he gets up from his bed, is to grab his toy and go with me. I guess he’s a happy boy!



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Discussion Starter #11
We've had an interesting development. I think in part we've just made a shift from my pup looking at me like a bossy friend to being a true leader. I've had years of experience in handling ornery puppies, feisty puppies, badly bred, badly handled puppies. Mr. Layne was lovingly raised & handled, taught a lot of things but I think he had not completely made the transition to seeing me as a true leader.

A few days ago, he came in the house & was being naughty. Running into the other dogs, nearly running over the tiny dogs. For this reason I don't allow running in the house. He wasn't being mean or aggressive, just overly puppy. So I put his leash on & gave him a minute to settle down. I started working with him in training, might as well use the energy for good :) He did very well until he took his stand. I've been working on the down command. I gave the command & then start putting him into position & praising him if he makes any effort to help. Well... he took his stand. He doesn't lay down... he does NOT... nope... no way... ain't gonna happen & he's gonna have a fit about it. I didn't so much as crack a smile while this was going on but it was hard because his idea of a really disobedient fit is comical. He bounced, flounced, bucked like a horse twice, bit his leash like he was a bad ombre but he wasn't actually being aggressive, he was being frustrated.

During his 'spell' my Giant wanted to correct him. My Giant doesn't allow anyone to sass me. But she's also very obedient so she stood down. I stood like a post. I only touched him to guide him away from knocking into anything & hurting or scaring himself. When it was all over (maybe 3-4 minutes later), I gave the command for sit & he plopped his butt down. I praised him. Oh what a good boy! He looked at me kind of funny & I said, "let's go" & off we went. Now the trick is to train just a few minutes after the spell to put myself in the driver's seat but also so that you have an excuse for praising puppy for the right things. So he can earn that praise & end on a good note. We called it quits & I noticed he was very subdued & watchful.

Now having shared all of this what I've seen is now the poodle pinches are starting toward being poodle nibbles but they are ultra polite now, he puts his teeth on me but I barely feel it & he's not putting any pressure through his teeth, just touching. Now he's got a bit of stars in his eyes when he looks at me. Just minutes ago he came inside (it's ultra hot out) & he lay down & for the first few seconds he nibbled on my toe, very gentle. I reached down & rubbed his ears so he lay his face on my foot.
 

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My Merry also does the corn on the cob style nibbling when she's feeling loving or happy to see me. I don't allow her to do it to me after she accidentally pinched my thigh through my pants and left a bruise, but the kids love it. When she can't nibble me she nibbles a toy or blanket etc right next to me

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