playing with the mouth

Posted by noelsantiago
Aug 22, 2010
Hi everybody,

First of all, I apologize for my english: It's been a long time since I didn't practice it and, furthermore, I don't have he necessary vocabulary to talk about dogs behavior.
Anyway, I have a lovely 6 months old puppy that is a mixed golden retriever and something else...
She is calm, but when as soon as my hands came near her, she take them in her mouth. She doesn't hurt, but this is a behavior I would like to change.
Any idea on why she does that and how to change it?

Another thing that happens is that she has a pain in her right arm (not sure if we can say "arm" for a dog). It started about 3 to 4 weeks ago.
We went to the vet and it told us it was a tendinitis and gave us some drugs. and told us the dog must stay "quiet" for some time and get rest.
So we just go outside for short period of time, we don't play too much with her, but it's very difficult because she have a lot of energy to burn.
She still have the problem and the next step may be to bandage the arm so it can't move for about two weeks (according to the vet) but the weather is very hot (we live in Barcelona) and I'm not sure that could be good for her.
What do think about that?
Any idea or comment would be greeted.

Thank a lot,

Posted by kjd
Aug 22, 2010
Hi, Noel,

No need to apologize for your English -- I couldn't begin to communicate in Spanish!

The biting is puppy behavior. When she puts her mouth on you, tell her "No!" firmly and then offer something she can chew. (When my 6 year old dog started chewing my shoes, I told her "No!" and put them out of her reach, but I also bought some chew sticks for her. She now chews the sticks.)

You can also yelp, like a hurt puppy, whenever her teeth touch you, and turn away. This is how her littermates did it.

As for keeping her quiet while her leg heals, that is very difficult when you have a puppy. Even if the vet bandages it up, you will find she can get around very well. One thing you can do is get down on the floor to play with her. If you play tug with her toys, hold the toy on the floor so she lies down while pulling it.

I hope this helps,
Posted by KOPCaroline
Aug 22, 2010
Hey Noel,

The biting is just a typical puppy behaviour, like kjd said. The best bet is to remove your hands, and give toys or treats that are ok to be in her mouth. If you're standing and she tries to put your hands in her mouth, say "no", get them out of her reach (cross your arms, for example), and turn your back to her. When she calms down, give her a chew toy instead. Same goes for when you go to pet her or play with her at all, remove your hands, wait for her to calm down, and then give her a good chewy. She'll get the idea in no time I'm sure.

For the tendinitis, it is a pain while she's a pup. Taking her for low action walks is helpful (flat surfaces, no other dogs to play with), for probably about 30 minutes at a time. Playing on her level, like kjd said, is also good for burning energy. You can try toys that occupy her mind and body, like a Kong or something else stuffed with treats that she has to keep working at to get.

If she does end up needing a brace on her leg, the vet will most likely shave the hair off the leg first, which will help with the heat and irritation. But again, echoing kjd, dogs get on perfectly fine with braces and casts, and it will ultimately help her leg, so I wouldn't worry too much
Posted by noelsantiago
Aug 23, 2010
Thank you very much KJD and KOPcaroline.
I will apply your suggestions right now.