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Puppy growled when I put my hand in his mouth

May 21st, 2009, 06:39 PM
Today my 5 month old puppy growled at me for the first time. It looked like he was chewing on something so I put my hand in his mouth (as I always do) to take it out (it was a hair clip!). He growled this time!

If he does it again, what is the proper way to correct it? I said in a loud stern voice, "No bite!" (did that in a yelping voice when he was a baby) and then reached in and took it out. He didn't bite.

He is also teething so it may have been that he didnt want his gums touched because they were sore (we have been inspecting his mouth daily to make sure they are growing in properly).

I hope this was an isolated case but just incase, how would you correct this?

This is him

May 21st, 2009, 06:52 PM
Shibamom, this is not a behavior you want to use a correction for. You want your pup to offer it to you willingly, not feel threatened by you.

First thing that's really important with a pup in the house.....clean up after yourselves! They can get into all sorts of dangerous stuff so better to remove anything you don't want him having. That includes shoes, towels, laundry, etc.

Second, how about teaching him the "leave it" command? Give him something appropriate to chew on. Once he gets into it, wave a treat or other high value toy in front of him. As he releases the toy, say "leave it" and immediately give him the treat (don't forget "good boy") with one hand as you pick up the toy with the other. Repeat. The quickest way for them to learn is by setting up short lessons frequently throughout the day.

Have you considered puppy positive training classes? A wonderful way to learn more about canine behavior and the safest methods with which to teach them.

May 21st, 2009, 08:43 PM
Ohhh...the 5 month puppy teething stage :cry:

LIME...LIME...LIME :D Not lemons. :lightbulb:

Pack up the fruit/vegetable keeper with some lime. Cut a wedge and leave it within arms reach of yourself.

When Simba does something that you're not happy with, take the piece of lime and gentle squeeze/rub on the tip of his nose (not too hard).

Stops them dead in their tracks :D and better yet, it's a natural fruit with no chemicals :yuck:

It will only take a couple of times before he'll get the hint. :thumbs up

May 22nd, 2009, 11:04 AM
My Eskimo is almost 5 - jaws/teeth of death - and he knows the Leave It command - he just decides whether or not to listen - not always. The fellow that did some gardening for us has a now 7 year old Shiba, a very nice dog, but shall we say quite assertive with people other than his owner (okay, he loves me!) - but apparently he became more assertive around puberty, which is common. I would follow advice given - but if you are in Toronto you might Google the Shiba Inu group - they have get togethers - and perhaps you could get some advice as well as make a few Shiba friends. You have to fill out a questionnaire etc. and be accepted - they are pretty quick to respond -I know this because there isn't an American Eskimo group in Toronto so I tried to join the Shiba group - but was turned down - oh well, didn't hurt to ask. Just a thought - and if not in Toronto, there might be one in your are of Canada. There is a Dachshund group in Toronto but unfortunately it was formed a couple of months after my last super alpha darling died - otherwise I would have joined in a minute - tried to get my Eskie in with them too - after all he does look like a fluffy white wiener - and my Eskie understands my love for and bond with all things Dachshund.

May 22nd, 2009, 12:03 PM
The lime things seems extraordinarily weird to me. :shrug::confused: I personally wouldn't use it.

Some growling is to be expected as they test the waters and learn what is and isn't tolerated. Growling at people, other than in a playful manner, is not tolerated in our house; people get to do/take whatever they want and dogs just have to deal with it.

Keep all items that you don't want chewed up off the floor. Which is pretty much EVERYTHING. Welcome to the puppy teething/chewing phase :laughing:

I would be doing two things:

1. work on "take it" "drop it" and "leave it" as was suggested. Do it on your own terms, with an object of your choice, not when a war of wills has already started; both you and the dog will be in a much better frame of mind to work on this.

2. work on willingness to be handled around the mouth. I'd do this when there's no objects in there. In our house the dogs are poked, prodded and pulled on a regular basis; we want them to be bomb-proof and not freak if a small person puts a hand in/near their mouth/ear whatever. Plus we're just big poker/prodders and it's just part of how we interact with them, and we really don't tolerate any "don't touch me there" stuff with them. If your dog is really unhappy about being touched somewhere and it's not an exercise you've dont with him in the past, work with him calmly and slowly and gradually increase the amount/type/pressure of touching, using lots of praise and rewards.

Hopefully, after some time you'll have a delightful pup who willingly gives up whatever object he's got in his mouth (or won't pick it up in the first place if you don't want him to), or at the very least a somewhat wicked pup who will let you take it from him if he's being a brat :evil:

If, after everything, he's STILL growling at you, I would suggest that you have some dominance issues which would require addressing other elements of your interactions with him.

May 22nd, 2009, 04:29 PM
Thank you for all the advice. I will use LEAVE IT next time. I guess I was worried he was choking (it seemed that way) so I put my hand it right away. This was the first and only time he ever growled so I won't go beyond 'LEAVE IT' for now. Yes, it was silly to have a hair clip laying around :sorry: His fangs fell out last night so I think his gums were very sore too.

SnowDancer- we are actually in Vancouver and go to the Vancouver Shiba meetup!:ca:

May 22nd, 2009, 05:50 PM
This has nothing to do with the growling but a great recipe for a homemade teething toy is....

Take an old washcloth, wet it, twist it, put in ziplock bag and freeze. Take out when frozen for your teething puppy to enjoy!

And it's good to have more than one so you can switch them out when one melts.

Good luck!

May 22nd, 2009, 06:57 PM
This has nothing to do with the growling but a great recipe for a homemade teething toy is....

Take an old washcloth, wet it, twist it, put in ziplock bag and freeze. Take out when frozen for your teething puppy to enjoy!

And it's good to have more than one so you can switch them out when one melts.

Good luck!

Thank you! We are going out for dinner now but I'll put one in the freezer before, hopefully it will be ready for him when we get back! :):thumbs up

May 23rd, 2009, 08:55 AM
That's great that you have a meet-up group for your Shiba. I know there are a lot of Eskies in Western Canada but no so many in Toronto, although the Eskie population is growing due to a major puppymill bust in northern Ontario. But as you will know from these forums I am one of the very few with an Eskie - there use to be a couple of others who posted but they disappeared. For this reason I lurk on the Eskie specific board to watch out for anything awful happening in Eskiedom - and for help by doing searches for problems we have. Eskies are funny little angel/devils to be sure.

May 25th, 2009, 08:36 PM
Here is the Give Command.
It is easier to show then type the instructions, but I'll try.

When a dog has something in his mouth that he shouldn't you need to get it out, quickly and safely. It could be meds or something that could kill him or make him sick. Here's how:
A dog needs a reason to give up what is in his mouth, so you must offer something better, Putting out your left hand, give the GIVE command. At the same time you have your right hand behind your back with a treat in it. As you give the command, bring the right hand out with the treat presented to the dog. while you give him a treat, with your left hand remove what was in his mouth and IMMEDIATELY, move the left hand with the object removed from his mouth back behind you. If you hold the removed object in front of your body, he may try to get it back again, but putting it behind you, all he gets is the treat. You should practice this before you are in a situation where you will need it. Pretty soon, instead of treats in your right hand, you can give another toy, or even physical rubs, whatever works for your pet. This can be practiced 5-6 times once it works the first time. Thereafter, try doing it at least 2-4 times a day after that. I hope it works