Mouthing on visitors(12 Posts)
We have a two year old terrier cross that we got as a rescue dog aged 5 months.
She's very excitable and affectionate and is desperate for attention from visitors. We've pretty much cracked stopping her jumping up as they arrive and she is settling down and often going to her bed quite quickly now but there is a new issue.
Once the visitor is seated she can seek attention by sitting next to them with her head on their lap or the seat next to them. If they put their hand out to her she has started mouthing on them. It is gentle with no pressure to close her jaws but it isn't OK for her to do that.
She isn't allowed to put her mouth on people in play. The response is always a sharp no and a withdrawal of the play and, if she ever forgets herself it only takes one reminder so she knows the rules.
Some visitors allow her to mouth on them despite me asking them not to. My response when I see it is to put her out of the room.
Is there anything else I can do or a better approach to dealing with this? I imagine it may involve rethinking altogether how she is allowed to interact with visitors.
I'm not at all worried that she will actually bite anyone, although you can never say never. It's just that this is unacceptable behaviour and needs to stop.
It's likely to be an outlet for her excitement but I agree, I wouldn't be happy for my dogs to do that to visitors.
I think you need to be firm with visitors or is unfair on the dog. You might find it useful to put a house line on her when you have guests, so the moment she mouths she can be removed from the situation. I'd also keep a supply of stuffed Kongs so she can be otherwise occupied when visitors arrive.
OK. Will makes sure I have some Kongs ready and send her on her bed with them. Good idea.
You're right about the visitors. There's one in particular that is going to be quite a challenge, DH's friend. He's already come a cropper by trying to dominate our very nervous rescue JRT and had a warning snap make contact with his hand (the only time I've know him bite someone in the five years we've had him and it only just broke the skin). This guy thinks he's a dog expert because he grew up on a farm with home-bred labs.
He whips the terrier up into a frenzy, teases her, waves his hands round her face to make her put her mouth on his hands and ignores all my requests to stop. I'm going to have to get quite abrupt and make sure DH backs me up. If it causes offence DH can deal with it.
Thanks. I needed someone to say that.
Seriously I would not be having someone like that in my house - and I'm pretty accepting that the rest of the world is less uptight than me, so I tend to give leeway. But he's a prick and absolutely the worst sort of person to handle anxious dogs.
I'd either shut the dogs away or make them all wear house lines when he visits, for their own sake.
I know. It is difficult because he and DH do an awful lot together.
I do shut the JRT away now as soon and we see him arriving and the DCs are primed to do the same as they are worried that their beloved dog will end up biting him properly and having to be put down.
I can't shut the terrier cross away because she would be upset. She loves her crate and I don't want it to feel like a prison. I'll have see if I can use the house line idea although it will mean putting a harness on her every time.
I think we'll have to have a family chat about it and make a plan for when he turns up.
Still open to being told there's a better way to manage the mouthing if anyone else has dealt with it in the past.
I always think that people are harder to train than dogs. Currently have my 3 adult sons home for the holidays - we got pup whilst they were away at uni/work - and it is very hard training them to discourage the mouthing, and be firm. My younger kids who have been with pup from day 1 are way better. The older ones just think it's funny or want to indulge her and no matter how often we tell them to put her in the kitchen or down on the floor at the first nip, they carry on.
I remember with dogs I have had in the past, training visitors to ignore the dog at first has always been a nightmare. Training the dogs relatively straightforward!
I always think that people are harder to train than dogs.
Oh yes but IME only adults.
I've found my friends' children and my own are great and do exactly what i ask.
Adults who think they know lots about dogs are my worst nightmare. Our poor JRT has always been terrified of men and, as a result, comes across as aggressive. DH's mates trying to show how macho they are by showing him that they are higher in the pecking order is a nightmare. They couldn't possibly bend down, avoid eye contact and offer treats when they arrive. That wouldn't establish their superiority
I send him to my mum's now if I know they will be coming round and shut him in the utility if he's here.
I hope you mean you send your dh away or shut him in the utility room.
Seriously, there'd be harsh words with these mates if they upset my dog or his training. Arseholes.
He loves going to my parents' house and shutting him in the utility sounds awful but it's where his crate is. He feels happy and safe in there and would sometimes stay there all day if we left him to his own devices.
He's got a few issues from how he was treated before he came to us and I don't think he'll ever choose to spend a lot of time in the midst of busier bits of family life. He chooses when he wants to join us and we are happy to let him do that.
I think what I do is more shutting DH's mate out of the utility than the JRT in it IYSWIM.
I'd still keep the dog out and shut them in.
I'd still keep the dog out and shut them in.
The dog would be mightily pissed off and I'd have to find somewhere else to keep the beer
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