Mouthing problems.

anabelle coddingtonanabelle coddington Posts: 7Member
edited 10 September, 2013 in Australian Kelpie
Hey everyone! I recently adopted a kelpie mix. He may even be all kelpie...or possibly mixed with husky? Anyway! His name is Agent K and he is a handful! His jumping can get a little crazy because with the jumping he is pawing and "mouthing." Though his mouthing has broken my skin and ripped my clothing. It seems he may be playing but he occasionally will affiliate some growls with the sleeve pulling. I definitely get a little bit scared...and I try my best to not show that fear. What are some good ways to assert my dominance in these situations? Oh ya...he is VERY dominant as you may have guessed. He was wild for the first 6 months of his life...then in a shelter...then in foster care. he improved some in foster care for sure. He was there for 6 months. He was saved literally within minutes of being euthanized. So I am glad I have him...I just need to get this issue fixed! His prey drive is also very very very high. Help? :r


  • debbie mcdougalldebbie mcdougall wilmotPosts: 10,574Member
    edited 9 June, 2012
    hi Agent K ! I am so glad you found a forever home ;c; I am a voluteer at our SPCA and we have a Kelpie in shelter with the same issues so I came to this page looking for some answers too . how are you making out ? Clifford {shelter dog } has had some improvement with some volunteers by using food insentives and stepping on his leash when he tries to jump or bite the leash or arm if in the way ...bol . but it's mouthing not intentional biting to harm.
  • Heidi HeathHeidi Heath Northern ColoradoPosts: 5Member
    edited 14 June, 2012
    My Kelpie mix does similar aggressive "playing". Things that have been most effective to curb it are- Tons of excersize, lots of chew bones and stuffing free animals with squeakys, and when he acts this way, instead of saying NO or trying to calm him down, I simply turn away and ignore him which makes it stop almost instantly. Not sure if it will work the same with your dog, but iv noticed my dog mostly acts that way only because he thinks ill play like another dog or give him some kind of attention, and when I dont he loses interest.
  • Tucker FinnTucker Finn Posts: 1Member
    edited 12 July, 2013
    My kelpie used to "mouth" a lot when I got her at 11 months old. I worked really hard to teach her not to put her teeth on my skin in any situation. We practiced "playing" on my terms. I would use a simple correction word or sound as soon as her teeth would touch my skin and I would reward her verbally and with pets when she responded and showed an understanding of the rule by pulling away. (I like the word "yes" used excitedly as a way to tell the dog "that's right" the minute they get it right). Now she's five and she knows the rule of no teeth so well that we can even face play together. Don't recommend this (you never know) but we have sort of made a game of the no teeth rule which she and I both really enjoy. Great thing about kelpies is they are SMART so you can teach them anything once you figure out the best route to teaching it. And they enjoy the rules and boundaries. I once taught the same Kelpie to sit at the stairs before we go upstairs to bed. She would wait for my ok before going up. Years later I don't care if she sits at the stairs or not. She's not a kid anymore. But she loves that rule. And she insists we do it every night. It's part of her routine and she enjoys it. Kelpies are the best.
  • Michael PalmerMichael Palmer Posts: 1Member
    edited 10 September, 2013
    We adopted a Kelpie (at about 9 months old)from Indiana about a year ago. She had been abandoned in Indiana and showed up at the farm house door with collar but no identification or microchip and was not spayed. Had her spayed and then picked her up and drove her back to Virginia. Our house is large with a basement, fenced back yard and doggie door that we leave open until the last to go to bed closes it. This Kelpie is high energy and needs walking twice a day with a lot of ball retrieving and attendance at various agility training courses offered by the county park service. If the weather is bad we play ball and tug with her in the basement. She likes to play hard with other dogs as well as her owner. For the first couple of months hard play (tugging throwing a ball etc) would result in excited jumping and "mouthing" of the tug and my arm. The mouthing is accompanied by low level growls which seem to be more expressions of pleasure with the playing rather than aggression. I have never been bitten but have had her teeth scrape my arm in her excitement. I found that just letting go of what ever it is she is jumping for and then getting her on her back while massaging her haunch and stomach brings her excitement level down very quickly. I am able to remove objects from her mouth (if I can catch her) with no biting and have started rubbing dog tooth paste on her teeth in attempts to get started with periodic tooth brushing. I have noticed that she loves to mouth my hands when we play, but never clamps down to a hard bite. Also when you play tug with a kelpie keep in mind that if you pull the tug out of her mouth she will jump after the tug, so keep your face away from the tug or you could get an inadvertant bite. We have had the Kelpie for about a year. She is very loyal and wants to be involved in whatever we are doing. She can stay by herself for several hours and does not chew up the furniture. This Kelpie is a great dog and very pretty with a dense short haired tan/red coat, black toenails, mouth and black rimmed almond eyes with eye liner extending from the outer eye which my wife call's her Liz Taylor cleopatra look!
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