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Old October 20th, 2009, 09:03 PM
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maneater maneater is offline
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mouthing.

My 14 week old lab x has started to mouth my chi's. When she was a *smaller* puppy they played really really nice but now that she is bigger sometimes the play get a bit rough and she will mouth the chi's. Some times the chi's will ask for it. They are not always like this towards eachother. They can sleep together and eat together and all that kind of stuff and they do play normally together also. She has not drawn blood or punctured the skin or anything but i don't want this behavour to continue. We have put her on her leash and will use the leash to correct her behavour and then redirect her with one of her chew toys. and have her teathered to us during the day for about 30 min at a time, mainly to get her used to the baby. She does get exercised and has lots of play time. She is a very good dog otherwise and i am also worried that this mouthig behavour will transfer to play with the kids. Any ideas will help.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 09:47 PM
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Dee-O-Gee Dee-O-Gee is offline
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Mouthing is normal however; you don't want the 14 week old to climb the totem poll too fast. Are you chi's older? You want for your lab puppy to understand that she is part of the pack and not the pack.

Here is a picture of our puppy mouthing our 5 Y.O. Springer. We always monitor they're play however; we watch them closely to avoid any dominate behaviour in either one of them. Mouthing play time usually extends between 10 or 15 minutes then is broken up for down time. Other then what appears to be voracious behaviour, our puppy has become a loveable, devoted, human friend.

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Last edited by Dee-O-Gee; October 20th, 2009 at 09:51 PM.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 10:26 AM
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maneater maneater is offline
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the chi's are almost 2. it mainly happens with the female chi and the puppy dosnt show much intrest in the male chi for play time.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Labs, being retreivers, are incredibly mouthy dogs to start with. Combine that with puppyhood and you've got a dog who will put EVERYTHING in it's mouth. Our shepherd seems compelled to "mouthe" puppies or smaller dogs (like put their heads in her mouth ), but it's done with complete control, and gently. I agree that it's quite normal, and as long as it is controlled, I wouldn't do too much to discourage it myself. Pups absolutely need these kinds of interactions to learn proper ettiquette and play behaviours. I'm willing to bet that as your pup gets a little older, that kind of behaviour will be tolerated less by the elder dogs and they'll put him in his place quickly. mouthing of children is a different story, however. Dogs should not put their teeth on human skin, and this should be strongly discouraged. Playing with other dogs in a dog-appropriate way will not automatically translate to the same behaviours being directed towards humans, it appropriate boundaries are established early.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 07:26 PM
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I wouldn't interfere with mouthing between dogs either. They will let her know when it's enough or when it's too hard.

Puppies are also allowed to mouth on us. There's a method to our madness, don't worry . We yelp (a squeaky "hey" or "ow") and walk away only on the hardest of bites to begin with. Once a puppy stops to mouth or nip at that intensity, we yelp at the next highest level of biting until the puppy learns not to bite at that intensity either...and so on until the puppy only mouths super gently. At that point, we won't allow contact with their teeth and our skin any longer. Depending on the age of the pup/dog, it can take several weeks to about 1 1/2 months.

Why do we do this? Let's face it, dogs have teeth and all have the potential to do serious damage if they bite. And all dogs can bite, even the best mannered, gentlest ones. I'd rather purposefully teach a puppy/dog "soft-mouth," that is teach them the ability to control the intensity of their bites if it ever was to happen.

We don't use corrections for mouthing/nipping, ever. There is always the chance that a dog will learn to negatively associate the punishment with the object (another dog/person) which is something we strive to avoid in our household.

At 14 weeks old, your puppy is also teething. Make sure you provide plenty of safe chew toys such as stuffed Kongs (frozen are great too) to help her through this stage.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 11:28 AM
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thanks for all the advice. I have stopped correcting when she mouths the other dogs. She has kongs to chew on and some frozen toys. The chi's do let her know when they have had enough. I think I was just a bit paranoid having a 20 pound dog play with a 3 pound dog.
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