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Play Snapping


Guest AngelPup
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Guest AngelPup

Hi all. This hasn't been a major issue with the hot and humid weather, but on the occasions when Brady gets very playful and/or he's excited I'm home from work, he tends to snap toward me and I really have to be mindful of where his mouth is when he gets supper happy & excited. I've been giving him a stern "NO" when he snaps at me, but I'm not sure it's helping. I know greyhounds do air snapping when they are happy and I think it's a form of that, but he gets pretty close and has pinched me a few times. I definitely want to nip this in the bud and prevent him from doing it to other people--especially children!

 

My last dog, who was a Lab/Shepherd mix would do that when she went through her obnoxious adolescent puppy stage, but I was able to distract her with a toy every time and eventually she would just pick up a toy and carry it around when she got excited. Obviously, this strategy isn't working with Brady. He grabs the toy and either flings it or just drops it.

 

Any suggestions?

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Ignore him when you come in the door. Don't greet him, don't pet him, don't look at him, don't acknowledge him until he is calm and under control. Cross your arms across your body and turn away from him - no talking or scolding, no interaction of any kind until he calms down or redirects to an appropriate object. If he does nip you, give a loud cry like "OUCH!" and immediately turn away as above. Keep a supply of appropriate toys or kongs next to the door, and throw them away from you to redirect him. If he knows any commands, now is the time to use them.

 

If he is *very* recalcitrant and doesn't learn after a good trial - say three weeks - you might need to employ a dis-incentive like a squirt bottle.

 

One of my Angels was a Butt Nipper when you came in the door. You had to keep your behind turned to a wall or something so he couldn't get behind you!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest AngelPup

Thanks for the great tips Greysmom. I think the totally ignoring him and turning away thing will work when I get home. I'll need to employ commands and/or be sure to bring a toy outside with me when I take him out as he sometimes, unexpectedly wants to play when I take him out to potty.

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If he does nip you, give a loud cry like "OUCH!" and immediately turn away as above.

 

This is my favorite thing. Any contact of teeth on hands = a loud yelp by you. It's a Victoria Stilwell technique.

Don't be afraid to yelp like a dog in pain. If he thinks he's hurting you, he'll be less likely to do it.

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Saying no isn't likely going to work since dogs respond better to training which helps them understand what they should be doing. That's why ignoring him until he calms teaches him no snapping = attention.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Yelping like a pup is the best way to tackle this one, then giving him the cold shoulder till he calms down.

 

I'm not a big fan of using aversive techniques like the water bottle to modify this type of behaviour. He is behaving exactly like the dog he is, and showing his pleasure at having you home. It's what dogs do.

 

It's not acceptable, because he's behaving too much like an adolescent and he's hurting you and may hurt others, but it's a shame to punish him for being pleased that you're home. It's a bit like a slap in the face and 'don't love me too much' IMHO. Better to teach him that he's hurting you, and let him know that he gets no attention if he does that, then he'll modify his own behaviour - and still trust you. :)

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Guest AngelPup

Thanks everyone! I agree about letting him know that he's hurting me and ignoring the rambunctious behavior. I've dealt with this with smaller puppies, but never very large adult dogs. Plus, all my other dogs were hunting breeds who loved to carry toys in their mouths, so they were easier to redirect.

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