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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alright, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to properly describe the behavior, but I'd like some insight. Sometimes Shae will jump up and nip at my face when she's over-aroused or just frustrated. I'm pretty much always standing up when she does it and I'm not always interacting with her. She jumps straight up and nips (I'd say air snap or something, but it's not a warning sign or necessarily aggressive), but she never actually makes contact with her teeth. Actually, sometimes she will leap at my chest and typically make contact and tear my clothing, but that's not as common and only happens when we're playing and she gets over-stimulated.

Example: Shae was at the vet and she enjoys meeting new people/being loved on by them. The vet was crouching on the floor and giving her attention. She was enjoying it and then she turns around to me and jumps right at my face. Immediately returns to vet for more attention.

Another example: Something gets her really excited, I call her back so she comes back and it's the first thing she does when she gets to me.

She's not jumping up to greet me and it's not aggressive. Sometimes she seems excited, but other times not so much. She does it once and then tries to return to the objective at hand or whatever she was doing before. She doesn't do it with anybody else but me. The only thing I can think of is it's simply over-arousal and she's redirecting it to me. But why the face? Also, how should I respond to it? I block her, say no, and then cut whatever we're doing short (end an interaction if somebody else is there, end a training session, etc). Not sure how I can train her not to do it since it doesn't happen on a daily basis or anything and, like I said, she does it once and that's it.
 

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Honestly, I would correct her for that. I'm all about ignoring and ending interaction when they mouth, but I can't have dogs randomly flying at my face when they are aroused.
 

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Zoey used to jump at faces when she was a pup and excited. I know for me, I would prepare for it, block her and say "no - down"; it was extremely annoying to have her jump at my face whenever I was in her zone. Eventually she stopped and now what she does when I'm at her level is come running over and start licking my head .. quite funny actually when I'm on all 4 looking for a shoe or a slipper and she insists that she has to lick me ... I usually end up giggling like a little kid because she is relentless!
 

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I should clarify that I would not correct a baby puppy for jumping at faces. That's just what they do and it's a whole part of the bite inhibition process.

But an adult dog (over 8 months or so) who is still doing this occasionally when over arouse - yes, I would correct and let the dog know that it was not acceptable in anyway.

It's unlikely that just turning your back and ignoring will work if it's a really random thing that she only does once. She's already done it, doesn't plan to do it again, so what does she learn by you ignoring her?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Zoey used to jump at faces when she was a pup and excited. I know for me, I would prepare for it, block her and say "no - down"
This is what I've been doing consistently whenever it happens, so I've not been completely ignoring her but I know it's not enough to make any sort of impact on her (especially when she's not using her brain in the first place). Correcting her is pretty much where I'm at. Especially since it's such a wildly inappropriate behavior that could easily be dangerous given the right set of circumstances. I'm just not really sure how I should correct her in this situation.
 

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Depends how soft she is. For mine, kind of grabbing their collar or two hands on either side of their face and saying "no" sternly pretty much does it. Verbal alone isn't enough but it's not like I have to get super physical either. I just physically make them still so they aren't just continuing to jump around and ignore me. I think this is a case where one firm correction isn't going to ruin your dog or anything but it's a fine balance for sure to make it effective but not over do it. Basically why it's hard to recommend corrections in the first place because they're hard to do right, and why I rarely use them. But this is a case where I have.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The main reason why I've waited hoping she'd just stop doing it on her own once she got out of the super puppy stage is that I feel like it's hard to properly correct with timing unlike a behavior that is done in a persistent fashion. Also, I'm not thinking much beyond "Jesus Christ" when something is launching towards my face haha. She's not a soft dog at all, so I'm not too worried about any corrections tried having a negative impact. Will probably start off there with what you mentioned and then try something else if it doesn't seem to have any impact after a time or two.
 

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The main reason why I've waited hoping she'd just stop doing it on her own once she got out of the super puppy stage is that I feel like it's hard to properly correct with timing unlike a behavior that is done in a persistent fashion. Also, I'm not thinking much beyond "Jesus Christ" when something is launching towards my face haha. She's not a soft dog at all, so I'm not too worried about any corrections tried having a negative impact. Will probably start off there with what you mentioned and then try something else if it doesn't seem to have any impact after a time or two.
Honestly, the correction and timing are in the reaction. I've done it to Molly once or twice (all I needed). Dog leaps at my face with teeth, I scream and duck and/or run and/or shove the dog away abruptly. It's not a controlled correction, but I'm usually soft spoken, quiet, and even almost meek with the dogs. Hearing me screaming about something is a pretty solid 'come to Jesus moment' for them.
 

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This is what I've been doing consistently whenever it happens, so I've not been completely ignoring her but I know it's not enough to make any sort of impact on her (especially when she's not using her brain in the first place). Correcting her is pretty much where I'm at. Especially since it's such a wildly inappropriate behavior that could easily be dangerous given the right set of circumstances. I'm just not really sure how I should correct her in this situation.
LOL gotta love those boinging aussies. Mine luckily isnt a face biter, but he can verticle leap above my head and I am 5ft 10, so its probably a good thing he doesnt LOL.

Depends how soft she is. For mine, kind of grabbing their collar or two hands on either side of their face and saying "no" sternly pretty much does it. Verbal alone isn't enough but it's not like I have to get super physical either. I just physically make them still so they aren't just continuing to jump around and ignore me. I think this is a case where one firm correction isn't going to ruin your dog or anything but it's a fine balance for sure to make it effective but not over do it. Basically why it's hard to recommend corrections in the first place because they're hard to do right, and why I rarely use them. But this is a case where I have.
I tolerate biting in some situations, but not in others, if I am just walking leisurely, and he wants to horse around (and if I have forgotten his rope toy LOL), but if I am jogging, biting my legs and pants is not allowed, and he knows it, if he "forgets" I give him the leave it command and that is it, he stops.

Honestly, the correction and timing are in the reaction. I've done it to Molly once or twice (all I needed). Dog leaps at my face with teeth, I scream "JESUS CHRIS, NO" and duck and/or run and/or shove the dog away abruptly. It's not a controlled correction, but I'm usually soft spoken, quiet, and even almost meek with the dogs. Hearing me screaming about something is a pretty solid 'come to Jesus moment' for them.
I have a certain way I say "HEY!" in a very harsh, barky voice that they KNOW means "mom means business and we should stop what we are doing RIGHT NOW." I also trained a default come, so when I give that "hey!!" they about face and come back to me.
 

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Thank you for posting this I'm having the same issues with Sterling at 4 months old where he will LUNGE at my face and nip - I know it's just him playing because of how much he loves me but that love hurts man! Lol.
 

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Thank you for posting this I'm having the same issues with Sterling at 4 months old where he will LUNGE at my face and nip - I know it's just him playing because of how much he loves me but that love hurts man! Lol.
LMAO, I got me a piece of nylon rope, like the width they use to make horse lead ropes at home depot (dont know if you have those, or an equivalent in canada) about 3 feet long and tied knots in it, viola! I can redirect him to that when he gets bitey LOL.
 

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When my Aussie Royce was a pup he did the same thing, launched at your face, I tried a lot of stern nos, redirect and everything "nice" so to speak.

What stopped it for good, never again happened, was when he caught me off guard, he jumped, grabbed my chin, the pain made me scream like a banshee and instinct took over and I back handed him across the room, after the throbbing quit I felt horrible. But I just reacted.

Royce, instantly went back to playing with his toys, he was a hard dog and i probably could have beaten him regulary and he would have thought it a game lol. But he NEVER launched at my face again.

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT ADVOCATING TO BACK HAND YOUR DOG. Im only sharing my "omg, that hurt like a bit**, and reacted poorly' story.
 

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I think Shae is trying to get your attention. Fortunately for her, it works. However, it is not appropriate behavior. I have raised boxers for over 30 years. Boxers are a breed known for intelligence, excitability, great vertical leap & clowning. I block the action with my hand while vocalizing a stern, bark-like NO. Channel your inner Alpha Dog. I turn my back to the dog and wait for them to sit. It may take a minute or two originally. When the dog sits, I give him a lot of praise and love. When the dog needs/wants my attention, they come to me and sit patiently. If Pearl needs to go outside urgently, she will sit and after a minute paw me to say, "Now Mom!". When I do give my attention, I give a verbal & sign cue of "Show me". The dog leads me to what needs attention ie outside, water or kibble bowl, someone at the door, phone ringing etc. The depth of their learning is only hindered by my ability to teach and imagine new tasks. Shae appears to be a bright and happy dog. You are part of their family pact and dogs naturally want to share good things with you. I understand this behavior is not consistent but your response must be. Encourage this "sit & wait patiently" behavior in all she does. If she wants to play fetch and brings you a stick, turn away and wait for her to sit. Praise liberally and then respond to her request. Soon she will understand that if she wants your attention, she must ask politely. Good Luck!
 

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As elrohwen suggested, a good way to address this behavior is by using a method called Bite Inhibition, where you use incremental training to teach the dog to control how hard he nips, eventually teaching him to nip softly, and then not at all.

Google "Bite Inhibition" or search the Forum for the process.
 

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It should come as a surprise to no one that Toast does this as well. He usually throws a clack in there, too, for extra excitement.

Half of his puppyhood has been getting his crazy I HAVE TO LET THESE FEELINGS OUT AND I DON'T KNOW HOW biting, jumping, muzzle punching, face-clacking, etc under control, so I'm not sure I can separate it out specifically.

In general I've learned to anticipate it and through a combination of correction and teaching him alternative behaviors I can either signal him an "easy" (which is basically "sit right now and dial it down, mister") or to get a toy before it happens.

One will slip by here and there. He has never connected though so although I definitely discourage it I'm mostly "no harm, no foul" about it at this point. I just freeze when I see it coming.


ETA: To be clear, he doesn't actually nip me. He jumps and clacks, which is essentially an air snap. If I had a puppy/dog who was actually nipping my face there would be a Come to Jesus moment pretty fast.
 

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ETA: To be clear, he doesn't actually nip me. He jumps and clacks, which is essentially an air snap. If I had a puppy/dog who was actually nipping my face there would be a Come to Jesus moment pretty fast.
Hahaha, come to Jesus moment. That cracked me up, and basically what happened when he grabbed my chin, the pain made me feel like I was having my own come to Jesus moment though. Lol.
 

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Trey, my sheltie, did this and actually eventually bit my (then) 3 year old sister in the face. So definitely agree with stopping it immediately. There was a BIG come to Jesus at the time.

In my experience it's pretty common for mouthy breeds and especially herders to try to bite and often the face is the place they go to.

EDIT: I remember when Trey was young and we were having a hard time with the face biting and my dad one day just caught him when he jumped. Trey actually stopped jumping up at people's faces because he was like wtf just happened!?!?!? He yelped and might have been partially traumatized but he stopped. Not sure that's the right reaction and it's probably easier to catch a sheltie than an aussie.
 

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Oh wow. Haha. I bet that startled him. Probably a better reaction then my back handing of Royce. Like I said I felt awful, but that was the last time and he didn't seem traumatized by it, just more like,... well, okay then she apparently doesn't like that, she coulda just asked... lol
 

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The most I have ever done as a knee jerk reaction is do the CM style jab thing when Lincoln pinched my achilles tendon when he was biting at my pants (I know for sure he wasnt trying to get my skin, his bite inhibition is AMAZING, even as a pup he would NEVER bite down on my bare skin, even when really excited.

He kind of avoided me for a bit after I did it, he got over it, but I felt so bad that I vowed not to do it any more :(
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah, I corrected her for it yesterday. Just took her by the collar, looked at her, and said a firm no. She was a bit taken aback but a few short moments later resumed with her life and wanted to play. Pretty much how I expected her to respond. No idea if it will have an impact on her, though. Fingers crossed, I guess.
 
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