|Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 12:25pm PST |
Ignoring won't work for every dog....particularly not for Bull Terriers, whose internal gameness can bring problems into the mix. One of my breeds, Giant Schnauzers, tend to escalate when ignored and as they are larger puppies and rather strong; that can get dangerous.
Placing your finger and pressing on the tongue when your hapless hand is in their mouth saying is the best method I know to discourage hand mouthing. It is not comfortable and they spit it out.
That's a less forceful method, and works more consistently. It is not that you are commanding them to stop....which doesn't work with your breed so good anyway ....but makes it a less than pleasant thing to do. Don't be dramatic about it. Just press and let him spit it out. It's not comfortable and most cease the behavior. VERY good as it gets results but isn't anything you're really doing to your dog as far as they know. What they KNOW is that a hand is not a pleasant thing to mouth.
If they redirect onto your pant legs, etc., some respect needs to go towards the crazy energy this breed of puppy has. They have a very strong prey response. Carry a squeaky toy....go to the store and find one that really makes her go zonkers....and that is of a small enough size so that you can carry it with you at all times. Only pull it out for redirection and get it back from her promptly (you can say something like "good catch! and then give her a treat when you take the toy back). What you want is to keep that prey elusive, so that they will always key on it.
With terriers particularly, the ability to develop an obsession with one specific toy is very high. Some show handlers use this trick over typical liver bait, just to show you how deep this goes.
Create that "prey nemesis" they never tire of (same toy will be great when it is harder to maintain focus....this breed's ability to obsess is a handy thing in this context). If you want to make it even BETTER, tie a string around the toy periodically and play a game of "chase me!" by dragging it on the floor. *DO NOT LET HER CATCH IT* (play with it much as you would with a cat), as in EVER by this method. Just let be a fun elusive chase game. It is your redirection ace in a hole. Squeak it....this is why the squeak needs to be unique....and you will get her attention and be able to redirect if you follow these measures.
ETA: Good points from Lucille and of the right mindset. To you, Lucille, check out the above elusive toy method, for future reference It does some brilliant work and also lays a foundation for focus building. That same toy can be a lifelong part of focus building training as well.
Edited by author Thu Dec 6, '12 12:27pm PST
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