Puppies and Dogs For Sale in UK

The ‘Mouthy’ Dog

I use the term ‘mouthy’ in the nicest possible way! I am not referring to a dog which talks all the time or a dog which constantly uses bad language, no I am making reference to a dog which is always using its mouth for one thing or another.

Now I know dogs use their mouths to carry out normal daily functions such as barking, eating and drinking but some dogs seem to lick everything in sight and are always trying to put everything in their mouths to taste. Generally if this problem is observed in an adult dog it signifies that they were not fully taught how to inhibit their ‘bite’ as a puppy.

Bite inhibition is usually taught to a puppy by its mother and a litter of puppies will also learn from one another but sometimes if a puppy is the only one born the mother dog may not choose to teach her one and only puppy how to inhibit its bite, this is not true in all cases but it has been observed occasionally when a single puppy has been born.

If you study a pack of wolves you will notice that they show affection to each other via mouthing, they mouth the necks, paws and muzzles of the other pack members. The ‘Omega’ wolf is always the underdog of any wolf pack and is bullied by the other wolves, this wolf can often be observed trying to move up a rung on the hierarchy ladder by attempting to mouth the more senior ranking wolves as a sign of affection.

So you can see that when your dog grabs your hand he/she is only trying to be loving towards you but all the same it is not always the best way to show you that he/she adores you! Your hand ends up covered in slobber and soaking wet, lovely!

There are a couple of tips which you can try with your dog, you can use a bitter tasting spray on your hands to put your dog off. Many owners recommend bitter apple which comes in either a spray or a cream, this will not harm your pooch but because most dogs do not enjoy the flavour they will not choose to taste it again.

You can turn to stone when your dog next takes your hand, show no emotion or reaction to your dog. The total lack of feedback will completely throw your dog because even if you reprimand him/her for the behaviour you are still acknowledging them therefore they are receiving the attention they desire. If they receive no attention from you they are likely to not wish to repeat the behaviour in a hurry.

Mouthing can also be an indication of insecurity in dogs and is often seen in those dogs which suffer from separation anxiety. Do not fuss your dog too much if you think he/she might be feeling insecure, the best approach is to continue as normal and build on your canine chum’s security issues prior to beginning work on the mouthing problem.

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