What do you do about a mouthy 9 month old Husky German Shepard mix, around kids?
By Red from Cumming, GA
This is how I have taught every dog I've ever had not to bite. Dogs of all sizes and breeds.
Whenever the dog bites, first things first you and the kids. Do not panic or get upset at all.
Stay calm and in a very firm voice, and pointing your finger at the dog at the same time, say "don't bite". You don't have to yell, just say it in a very firm voice.
If you panic there's no telling what reaction the dog will take. So don't panic or get upset.
If the dog doesn't let go immediately, tap it's nose, just enough to get it's attention, and keep saying "don't bite". Do not allow anyone to be laughing at the time or the dog may think it's a game. He has to know you are serious. This is why the play has to stop immediately when the dog bites. So that it learns that that action is not a play action.
As soon as it lets go, tell the dog "good dog!" and give it lots and lots of praise. Then continue with the praise as if the bite had not happened.
This is the easiest and most effective way to teach the dog. It takes consistency. But you and the kids have to realize that the dog is not biting to be mean. That's how dogs play. You are trying to teach them that biting is not acceptable when they are playing with people of any age. Just be persistent and still be loving and your dog will turn out to be a great family dog. (01/11/2010)
It's important to teach your kids the same method. You didn't mention how old they are. But even very young kids, 3-4 yrs old can be taught this. The biggest thing to remember is that this is a natural behavior for dogs, and you are training it not to use this natural behavior.
Another thing though, don't forget that there is a difference between biting and grabbing. Many dogs will grab hold with their mouths, but not intend to bite. In this case, if it grabs too tightly, I always stop and say "Ow" and they learn to let go or ease up. Make sure your kids understand the difference, too.
And whether the dog is biting or grabbing, make sure the kids know that the dog is not being mean, it's just playing and that it has to learn what's right and what's wrong in play. Just like the kids themselves have to learn.
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