A sign of affection?
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Thread: A sign of affection?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    DefaultA sign of affection?

    My Riley is nearing 10 months now, and she is really getting the hang of some things. Recall is not so good, but we are still working on it. Down is good unless I have been away for a while and then she just is so excited to see me she forgets all her manners... still working on that too. The one that gets me is the mouthing. She seems to do it as a sign of affection, and not really trying play, and certainly she is not biting, as she is just happy to hold your hand or arm in her mouth with no pressure at all. Anyone else have this with their pup?

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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: A sign of affection?

    Yes...Aidan is my mouther. When he is glad to see you he wants to hold your arm in his mouth. or the bottom of your pants, shirt...
    Then he does his dance, wiggling madly back and forth...thus why we call him the "Pants dancer"

    It definitely is affection. We also, when he was little, would replace our limbs with toys, nylabones, stuffies.

  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: A sign of affection?

    Quote Originally Posted by WeHeartLabs
    We also, when he was little, would replace our limbs with toys, nylabones, stuffies.
    We have done this since she was little as well. It is almost like her way of hugging...

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  6. #4
    jlab Guest

    DefaultRe: A sign of affection?

    I also have a pup about this age and he periodically does the same thing. I'm not an animal behavior expert so my comments are just based on my own experience (we have some experts on this board, maybe they'll post some tips on this).

    I believe that this is natural behaviour for pups. They're just testing their social limits through play biting. When my lab does this, I've done a few things to teach him to take it easy. First I would say "OUCH!" to let him know that he has to be more gentle when putting his mouth around animals with skin. He seems to hold my arm with less pressure the next time he does this.

    When my pup would continue to put his mouth around my arm like he's trying to get me to do something, I give him a command like "Go To Bed!". This seems to work really well because he knows he doesn't get any playtime in his bed. Sometimes I'll give him a command like "Go get your big toy" and he'll release my arm and start looking around for his big chew toy.

    I think I've encouraged this behavior by rough-housing and playing with the tug-of-war rope with him. When he puts his mouth around my arm or hand during these activities, I just stop playing altogether and just ignore him. This seems to work best of all because he's much more gentle the next time we play this way.

    As I said, it looks like natural behaviour, part of growing up and testing limits. I'd like to hear how others have dealt with it so you don't end up with a pushy dog that holds onto your arm (no matter how gently) to get you to do what he or she wants.

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: A sign of affection?

    Zeus likes to do this as well mainly if your sitting on the floor with him and he's almost 2 y.o. I discourage it because I don't want him doing it to someone else and them thinking he's biting and pulling their arm out causing injury or him doing it to a kid. I generally just close his mouth and tell him no bite. It's helping he doesn't do it very often anymore.

  8. #6
    HersheyK's Dad's Avatar
    HersheyK's Dad is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: A sign of affection?

    This is interesting. Hershey kisses does this with me all the time. I substitute a toy and she will roll around on her tummy with it in her mouth while I give a tummy rub or wrestle with her.

    She does not take DWs flesh in her mouth, nor lick her.

    She loves our 1 yr old granddaughter. Does not take her hand foot, arm or leg in her mouth. Does lick her face and hands, near continual, until 1 yr old pushes her away and then she stops. She is always gentle and cautious near the 1 yr old,making sure that she does not get knocked down.

    These dogs learn their limits quickly, and some by instinct I think. But for the primary handler, I believe they test, test, test. Just like a human kid. The handlers consistency is the key to shaping behavior.
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

  9. #7
    Gus and Zekes Mom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: A sign of affection?

    Zeke likes to "hold my hand". He will take my hand in his mouth when he is especially happy to see me. He will also take my hand and lead me places. For instance, if he loses a ball under the sofa and he can't reach it, he will come get me, take my hand and lead me to the sofa. I probably should have discouraged this, but it is really sweet and he is very soft with his mouth when he does it. He only does this with me and not my husband. I don't think he feels dominant towards me either. He knows that I expect him to obey promptly so I think he just uses it as a means of affection and for help when he needs it. I have always wondered if he would come for me and lead me to my husband or Gus if they were sick. I hope that he never has a reason to, but I sort of think that he would. My husband calls it his "Timmy is in the well move."

  10. #8
    labby's Avatar
    labby is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: A sign of affection?

    Teddie is very mouthy. Stevie was too.



    Laura





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