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Proper Training for Mouthing Behavior of  your Dog


    Puppy Mouthing (chewing on his owner's body) is a continuation of your puppy's exploring the world with his mouth. It is also part of the way that puppies play with one another. So, it is normal, and it is natural. Puppy mouthing would probably not bother us if our skin were thicker and covered with thick hair. But puppies have needle-sharp teeth, and we have thin, bare skin. Mouthing is aggravating. A two-pronged approach best stops puppy mouthing. The first is to make his mouthing as unpleasant for your puppy as it is for you. The second is not to do things that encourage him to chew on you.

                                                         Making Mouthing Unpleasant for Your Puppy: 
    The best deterrent to mouthing is to surprise your puppy when he does it. Get a water pistol. Fill it with full-strength white vinegar. Do not dilute it. Use it just as it glug-glug-glugs out of the bottle. Any time your puppy puts his teeth on you, squirt him in the mouth with the vinegar. Vinegar is a mild punishment. It would help if you kept the water pistol with you. You can only change behavior while that behavior is happening. If you need to cross the room to get the gun, you are too late in punishing. Your puppy will not make a connection between being squirted in the mouth with the vinegar and chewing on you unless you spray him while he is chewing. Probably it is best to keep the water pistol stuck in your belt. You need to look like Roy Rogers walking around in your house.

The taste of vinegar does not deter some puppies. If yours is not, I suggest that you go to a drug store and get a squirt vial of Banaca Breath Spray. Most puppies that can tolerate the taste of vinegar do not like the taste of  Banaca.

                                                                Quit Encouraging Your Puppy to Mouth:
    We all tend to when our puppies mouth us to push them away. Since the mouth is what is bothering us, this is where we push. We are giving the puppy a handy target. Also, when we pet our puppies, we pat them on the head or chest. It's an invitation to him to chew on us. Much better to rub him on his back. A puppy especially enjoys being petted and scratched where his tail attaches to his body. Doing this gets your hand away from his mouth.

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