Jumpy/Mouthy Behavior

Your new dog has been jumping up on people energetically and 'mouthing"them.  Dogs who jump up are either trying to play, to say hello or get attentions. The jumping up is often accompanied by the dog's mouth on the person's arms and legs.Usually the mouthing is.painless as hardly any pressure is applied and is not
done to do harm, but sometimes the mouthing can be·quite uncomfortable...

If you follow the recommendations below, you will be able to teach your dog not to
jump on people and mouth them.

Discourage unacceptable jumpy mouthy behavior. When a dog demonstrates
jumpy, mouthy behavior:

  • Let the dog clearly know that you are not interested in this form of play.
  • Turn your back, stand perfectly still, cross your arms and close your eyes.
  • If the dog does not give up, try a time out. (Either walk out of the room, crate/tether the dog and leave the room).

Note: Some frequently recommended methods to stop jumpy/mouthy behavior such as '"kneeing", grasping the dog's feet and squeezing, grasping the dog's muzzle or scruff often make matters worse. Many dogs misinterpret these behaviors as play and think that they are fun. As a result, the jumpy/mouthy behavior gets worse
instead of better.

Encourage and praise acceptable forms of play and greeting:

  • Whenever the dog is in a playful mood, or when you do things that bring on the jumpy/mouthy behavior, such as petting or attaching a leash, offer a favorite play toy for the dog to chew on. To get the dog more interested, make the toy "come alive" by throwing it.
  • Teach the dog that he or she will only get good things and praise after sitting. (see "Say Please" training document).
  • Teach the dog to play games with people such as retrieving a ball or plush toy. (See"Retrieval Training" document).
  • Whenever possible, setup play times for the dog to play with other dogs.
  • Don't forget to·follow all good behavior with praise by saying "Good dog" and offering a treat!