I adopted Kaena from our local shelter.Remarkably she is AKC registered. Her background just states the previous owner couldn’t handle her need for exercise as they were not very active :]
Anyways my question is about jumping and mouthing. I don’t think she was properly trained. She was at our shelter for 2 months though and had some behavioral classes and socialization from volunteers. Shes about 85 pounds right now so I want to figure how to get her to stop mouthing arms when she jumps at you.
I know she is playful and she’s not growling or aggressive in anyway when she does this. It is her way of greeting once let take her out of her kennel. She practcally knocks me over though! I am petite myself and in a few years she’ll outweigh my 110 frame! So I have a few bruises on my arms where she has jumped and put her paws around me and licked my face haha. I know it comes with the territory, big dog and all. I just want her to calm down a little, and break her of that puppy habit of mouthing.
She does respond to commands to sit and lay down…when she feel like it. Overall she is a joy to have and I love her to death!
Overall it sounds as though Kaena is doing very well considering the upheaval she’s been through, but you’re right to want to put a stop to this behavior. It’s irritating at best, and could be dangerous if she was to act this way with a child, or old/frail person who could get seriously hurt.
There may be an element of dominance in her behavior, as I’m guessing she’s an adolescent or young adult, and although she’s being friendly and exuberant, she may also be expressing a ‘show of strength’ (not necessarily, but possibly).
I’d recommend that you read my Stop Puppy Biting page and follow the tips and advice there. If she’s pretty well-behaved overall and respects you, she should understand the corrections you’re giving her. As she’s a bit older though and has been allowed to indulge in this behavior, it may take a bit longer than you expect to change it. Be very patient and consistent with your corrections.
If she knows the ‘sit’ command, use it every time she jumps up and only pet her when she’s sitting nicely. Don’t greet or pet her while she’s jumping – ever. If after several weeks of consistent training she is still jumping and mouthing, then you could try a no-jump harness which physically stops a dog from jumping, but it can only be worn for short periods.
Enrolling her in another round of obedience classes would probably also help and strengthen the bond and communication between you.
I’m so happy that Kaena has been lucky enough to find a good, loving home with someone who is willing to take the time, and put in the effort, that’s needed to give her a second chance at a happy life. I wish you both the best of luck.