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Category: Training For Dog Trainers | Author: admin 30.12.2013
Some people will say mouthing is different than nipping and nipping is different than biting and while I understand and agree with most of what they are saying the problem is that puppy teeth are going on human skin or clothing!
95% of new puppy owners think this behavior is cute at first, and therefore they allow it to continue until it gets out of control to where the the puppy is biting hard or maybe even biting kids. Figure out what type or reward or payoff your puppy is getting out of mouthing, nipping, or biting. Nipping and biting can be aggressive or non-aggressive, and it can be hard to tell the difference. Indeed, nipping and mouthing are natural, usually non-aggressive behaviors that dogs use to communicate during play and normal interaction with other pets and people. Everyone knows what nipping and biting looks like, but it can be difficult to tell the difference between nonaggressive and aggressive nipping and mouthing. However, an aggressive dog often has a stiff body, a wrinkled muzzle, erect ears, tense facial muscles, and possibly exposed teeth.
Dogs can also learn bite inhibition from people: First, play with your dog, letting him or her nip and mouth your hands. If your dog nips or mouths while being petted or scratched, feed your dog small treats from your free hand to accustom him to being touched without being able to nip or mouth.

One way to differentiate play from aggression is to be aware of the way your dog communicates with other dogs. Some dogs use their mouths out of fear or frustration, which can indicate a problem with aggression.
Time-outs are often effective for reducing nipping and mouthing in adolescent and adult dogs. Before you interact with your dog, spray the deterrent on areas of your body and clothing that your dog likes to mouth. Owners of dogs who might be nipping, mouthing, or biting as an aggressive behavior would do well to consult a qualified professional, such as a veterinarian, a certified applied animal behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB), or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (DACVB). Play gives your dog an opportunity to make friends, practice dog body language and burn off extra energy. In any play situation, communication needs to be two-sided and both dogs need to be having fun.
Though most nippy, mouthy dogs are engaging in a non-aggressive form of the behavior, some take a decidedly aggressive approach to nipping and mouthing. Playful dogs have a pliant, relaxed body posture, and their tails may be held low and wagging.

Some behaviorists and trainers believe that dogs who have learned bite inhibition are less likely to bite hard and break the skin if they bite someone due to fear or pain. Occasionally, a dog nips his or her playmate too hard, causing the victim to yelp and, usually, stop playing. When your dog nips or mouths too hard, yelp loudly and ignore your dog for 10 to 20 seconds; if he starts nipping or mouthing during this period, walk away for 10 to 20 seconds.
If your dog mouths you, stop moving and wait for him to react to the bad taste of the deterrent.
The other dog may perceive your dog as a threat and respond with warning signals; if your dog fails to heed these, play can quickly escalate to an altercation. As you continue to play, require your dog to become gentler: Yelp and stop play in response to increasingly softer nipping and mouthing until your dog uses little or no pressure with his or her mouth.

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