Through my decades of working with dogs and helping humans, I’ve heard it all when it comes to dogs mouths on humans and paws on humans:
- My pup was just over excited when…
- My dog was just playing when….
- My pup didn’t mean anything by it when….
- It was an accident when he play nipped my hands….
- It happens when I’m petting him then he nips….
- He only jumps when…..
If your dog’s paws are on you or their mouth is on you uninvited, it’s a problem.
Watch a puppy move into an older dog uninvited and you will see that the older dog will walk away or the older dog will give it a hard look and lean/step forward or it will freeze and stare or even growl or it will snap or more severe consequences for the infraction.
Either which way you slice it or dice it, a mature dog does something when a spatial infraction occurs.
There are a ton of reasons why a pup or dog will put their paws and mouths on you: they can be over-excited, over-tired, over-stimulated, guarding something, defending something or in pain, etc. If a dog is putting their mouths on you or jumping on you uninvited, it’s a RESPECT OF SPACE ISSUE.
No matter the motivation it needs to be addressed.
If you want to be able to fix a problem, you need to be able to influence the choice of your puppy or dog. That means GET A LEASH ON YOUR PUP OR DOG, immediately!
When your dog or pup is out of her crate, she needs to be on her leash on AT ALL TIMES. The leash can be tethered to your waist, on a carabiner clip, on a fanny pack or in your hand. Your dog can drag the leash around when strolling around in the house or playing outside (I call that Roaming with Rules). Put that leash on and keep it on, only taking it off when the dog is in her crate or for rest.
You should tackle jumping, nipping, and mouthing by addressing all kinds of respect of space strategies in other areas of your life together.
HERE are my TOP RESPECT OF SPACE tips:
- STOP TOUCHING YOUR DOG. Yes, you heard me right, get your hands off your dog. Often, that solves many of your issues. Respect is a two-way street. Often, Dogs are OVER TOUCHED, which can make them over-excited, over-stimulated, etc. When your dog gets fidgety, immediately stop touching the dog.
- Put your dog in a crate or expen when you are not working obedience, walking, running, playing, snuggling, tethering, grooming or otherwise purposefully interacting with your dog.
- If your dog’s mouth hits your body, it better be like hitting a brick wall. That means, your body firmly stays put, and it hurts a bit when your dog hits that brick wall. My hands don’t retreat when nibbling begins. If anything, my hands cuff them under their chin and form a very firm boundary between my skin and the dogs teeth. A dog might even experience a strong flick to the nose. I can also take a firm hold of the leash and give a corrective little pop. Or, I can take that leash and shut down the silliness by quickly bringing the dog to my side and having the dog sit. We have a fantastic LIVE demonstration about how to do this on 7/27/2021 in our private Facebook group called Aly’s Insider Club.
- Make sure your dog sits at the door and waits for calm BEFORE you head out. You can even sit again on the other side, as you close the door.
- Work PLACE inside your home at least once a day. Work PLACE outside at least once a day.
Dogs do SOMETHING when spatial infractions occur.
They react quickly and immediately in that exact moment. They aren’t emotional about it. They get in, make the correction and then it’s done and they move on. The strategies I teach are similar–just in a human to dog way. There is an old saying out there that says, “You know that thing you don’t like your dog doing…don’t let him do it.”