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Hi everyone. I am new and this is my first post outside of the introduction thread. My family and I have just adopted an 8 month old Aussie/Border Collie mix. His name is Turbo and he is a very wonderful pet already, he's gentle natured, relaxed and very smart.

My question is about how to make him stop putting his mouth on us in a playful way. I did see the 'The bite stops here' thread but am not sure if it applies exactly to our situation since he is already 8 months and not a 'puppy puppy'. If so and I am asking again, I apologize in advance.

He is enrolled in obedience training and has attended one class to date. Due to a local holiday he wont have class this weekend so it will be a whole week before I can address this issue with the trainer (I wish I had during class #1 but forgot as it was so information filled that I just forgot)

We have been telling him NO firmly and removing our hand from his mouth and trying to avoid doing anything that seems reinforcing about this behavior to him but it hasn't made any difference at all. I tap him lightly on his nose and give him the NO but again, nothing-and please know that I do mean LIGHTLY, we do not believe in punishing him but in teaching him with positive reinforcement and consistency.

He weighs about 50 pounds and has large so this is often times painful, especially for our children. Any suggestions and advice are appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!
 

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Redirect him to an appropriate chew toy.

Stop all play, turn your back on him and totally ignore him for a few minutes.

Make sure you are being consistent (that everyone is) in enforcing your rules.
 

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I'm going through the same issue - but I have a much smaller dog. She tend to mouth (I like that word better than "bite"), me when I get her out of her crate. She is just so excited to see me so she nips at my fingers and stuff.

Anyway - as Skelaki said, just turn your body the other way. Tuck your hands in your arms like you're folding your arms.

I use the word "Stop" for training. Because there's gonna be several situations where you would say "No" and I *think* it can be confusing to the dog if you say No so many times. After a couple days of using the word, "Stop" Stardust seem to be doing a lot better with the mouthing issue. Consistancy matters the most...you and your husband must use the SAME word, and same hand signals for the training to work. :)

Good luck with your obedience training! I'm doing that as well!
 

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This is a problem that I am always working on as well. My dogs (Rottweiler's) have always been very mouthy. They love to play rough, though their mouths are very very soft. (at least the 2 I have now are) They tend to want to put their mouths on me to get attention and not just when playing. I might be cooking in the kitchen or cleaning or something and they will walk over and put their mouths on me. They are getting a lot better with just a simple "ah ah" and then I give a command like sit or down. They learn that putting their mouth on me sort of gets them a time out. Now, they just run to me and then to the door if they want to go out or they start breathing in an obnoxious way to get my attention.

It seems to work best in most cases if the dog is doing something that you do not want then ask them for a behavior that you do want.
 

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Hope Turbo is doing well. My wife and I adopted an Aussie who is very strong willed. We tried everything. I would yelp and turn away. This would just encourage him. Eventually we put some coins in a soda can. When he mouthed me my wife would shake the can. Within a week we had very little problem with this.
 

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Oh what a great suggestion. I am going tot ry it today. I know what you mean about it encouraging him, he seems to think we want to play his game no matter how we handle it!!
 

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Forgot to mention that we paired the shaking can with the term "no bite". This allowed us to phase out the can while still using the term. Every once in a while he will so very lightly mouth me all I have to say is "no bite" and he realizes that I won't play that game with him.
 

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My puppy went to play with the soda can! So we put bitter apple on our hands, worked great.

She's 2 now and all better. Our 1 yr old isn't as mouthy but I still have the bitter apple just in case!
 

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We just rescued a dog from a shelter...she is a pit bull mix who is a mush. However, when she gets riled up from play, she starts in with the biting and jumping. Last night I was not home and it got out of hand with my wife. She tried to correct her (NO...turned her back.....etc.) but that did not help. She kept at it and eventually tore her sweat shirt. I came home and she settled, but my wife was shook. After I tried to get the same response from her and when she started, I even had a hard time settling her, but after strong correction and redirect it helped, but not as quickly as i wanted. To her (the dog) it appears to be play, but we do not like it. I will try to use the can with rocks in it. I suspect this will work, because she is a bit timid.
Ill let you know how this works. Thanks, i love this web site.
-Rich

One more suggestion that I just thought of....a trainer said to me to buy one of those little plastic lemon juice containers and when a dog gets "mouthie" squirt some on her tongue and at the same time...say "NO BITE"!
 

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Dusty,
We went months trying everything to stop the mouthing. I was just thankful that the noise aversion of the coins in the can worked. We had tried everything else first from attention depravation to apple bitter applied to my hands and nothing else worked.
There are many roads to the same destination. You just have to find the right one for you, your wife, and dog. The first night at obedience training the instructor had us take a squirt gun filled with a weak vinegar water solution and squirt it at the dog when they barked. Within minutes my dog had pulled away to the full extent of the leash. I felt that all the trust we had built up to that point was lost. I haven't used this method since.

However I know people who use a spray bottle of water for all corrections and are comfortable with this approach. I prefer the noise since there is not a connection to the stimuli and my hand. Ranger, my Aussie, is very strong willed so I found consistency to be the key.
 

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My family's first puppy was pretty mouthy when she was young - and puppy teeth hurt! We used the turn away method as someone suggested, as well as the re-directing to a toy. At obedience class they suggested we yelp or make a high pitched noise before turning away - similar to the way the puppy's littermates would communicate "ouch! too hard!" I suppose it would have the additional effect of startling the dog to get it to stop the behavior.
 
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