So, just like babies, puppies like to mouth everything. The difference is that puppies have a mouth full of sharp baby teeth! Our puppy is no different. Our older dog still has trouble with wanting to nip, so I knew I didn't want any of that from this gorgeous puppy - if she looks like the perfect dog, I want her to act like it too!
This morning, she was playing rough, and nipped me pretty good, so, I began to read a bunch online about "teaching your puppy not to bite".
Then came playtime, and little did Dakota know, it was also training time.
I played with her, petting and scratching her ears and side (her favorite!). After a couple seconds, she turned to munch on my hand. I yelped as loud as I could (my neighbors probably think I'm crazy!), then turned away from Dakota. She looked at me very startled!
After 30 seconds, I turned back to her and petted and scratched her more. She tried mouthing on me - a little softer this time, but I still yelped, and turned away from her.
30 seconds later, we repeated again, and this time, she laid, enjoying the attention for a good minute before trying to mouth on me (even softer this time). Now, with little kids at home, and a baby on the way, I want Dakota to resist having her mouth or teeth touching people at all. So, even though it didn't hurt, I yelped, and got up and sat on the couch where she couldn't reach me.
She looked at me with the saddest, most pitiful look.
I sat on the couch, refusing to look at her. I felt like a dramatic five year old, but I still dramatically ignored her for a good 30 seconds.
That's all it took. I sat by her again, and petted and scratched her. She snuggled next to my leg, and enjoyed the attention. I put my hand next to her mouth, and softly petted her chin (something that makes her *really* want to nip and play), but she closed her mouth tighter, and snuggled into me more.
It's going to take a LOT of repetition before Dakota truly understands are remembers not to bite or mouth on people, but today showed that she is very capable of learning great behaviors, and that she really does want to please - which makes training even easier!