Snappy Dog

Posted by bobcolleenhotmailcom
Oct 14, 2011
I have a 8 month old Golden Retriever named Riley that has been "grabbing" our hands, legs, elbows, whatever is available with her mouth and though it's not "biting", she's none too gentle about it either. She does this when we try to pet her, simply walk along with her, put her leash on...But not always, she often behaves perfectly fine. We jerk our hands away and say "no" firmly but if she gets on a roll doing it there's nothing to do but walk away from her. It's like she becomes obsessed with doing it and it escalates to aggression. Help please!
Posted by KOPCaroline
Oct 15, 2011
Hey there,

There are a couple other basic techniques you can try to decrease this behaviour - I've heard success stories with all of them.

A good way to start is what you've been doing - giving a sharp "no" command. Obviously not working with Riley!

Next, when Riley starts biting, try standing upright immediately, saying "no", folding your arms, and turning your back to her. Basically ignore her until she calms down. She may continue to try and nudge at you and jump a bit, just keep turning your back and ignoring. You may even have to walk away at first (obviously you can't on a walk, so just stick with ignoring her while staying put!). Only give her attention and turn back to her once she stops. Give her a "good girl" and then pat her quickly, and continue with what you were doing.

Some owners have success with yelping like a hurt littermate/doggie playmate when their dogs put teeth onto them. Just give a short, loud yip sound. Some dogs respond to this, but others only get more excited - its worth a try though

You can also try substitution. Carry a small toy with you as much as possible. When Riley goes to nip/bite, say no, get her to sit, and when she does (only once she listens to you!) give her the chew toy/squeaker/whatever instead. You're stopping her biting inappropriate things and instead replacing them with something thats ok to chew on.

All of these methods require you to be very repetitive and patient - you have to do the same thing in response to the same trigger every time - and don't let up until Riley gives you the reaction you want. Certainly part of her "problem" is age - young pups just like to put things in their mouths - do you know if she's lost all her puppy teeth yet?

In your home, encourage her chewing appropriately by having lots of good toys to knaw at, rawhides or denta-bones are really good, and help maintain dental hygiene as well!

I hope this helps, and I hope one of the techniques shows some progress! Let us know how you get on