10-22-2013, 02:43 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
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Increasing working puppy drive and question about "snarling"
I just adopted a 7 month old mixed breed puppy. Right now I'm guessing Black Mouth Cur with something smaller (he's only 23lbs right now).
This little guy has a big future ahead of him: Dog Sports competitions and SAR. I've never had a puppy I planned to "raise up" to work. I know at this point he is more an adolescent than puppy, but still more malleable than a fully mature dog. He's a bit barky, mouthy and very much an explorer. I chose him from a few other puppies because I felt like he had the potential to be successful. He likes tug toys and tennis balls so we've been doing a lot of tug-training where I let him win and playing fetch (he naturally fetches whatever I throw, which is awesome).
I want to increase his drive, both play and prey, as much as I possibly can. He's medium-drive right now. What can I do right now to increase his drive and confidence?
Also, random question because I am curious--he is very into making a "snarl face" during play with and without toys, where he lifts his front lips all the way up and shows his teeth. He goes in for the "bite" sometimes ( I allow mouthiness in appropriate situations with my dogs) and is actually incredibly gentle with his teeth. Its like he really wants to just "hold" my arm/hand/finger in his mouth. I can easily pull my hand away. He doesn't even leave the little red welts a lot of puppies do. He is NOT like that with toys, he grips hard and play growls. I just want to make sure I am not missing something by thinking the snarl is simply play (as in, not an impending warning he secretly wants to rip my flesh off