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We recently (almost 3 weeks ago) adopted a mixed dog, likely some hound or retriever from the humane society. She was an owner surrender, but I don't know the details. She is approx. 9-10 months old and weighs 32 lbs. She is overall a sweet dog and doing well with house training. She doesn't seem to mind being crated at night and the bits of time we crate her when we leave the house. I'm a stay at home mom, so she spends plenty of time out in the house. She has a behavior of jumping up when people walk by (with or without food). She nips at clothing, fingers, hands. I was walking at the yard and she jumped up to my face for no apparent reason and tried to nip me. She jumps like this at the kids too and I'm just so fearful its a matter of time someone gets hurt. I have a 90 year old blind grandfather who visits (hasn't met the dog yet) plus my kids are only 5 & 7 so aren't much bigger than the dog. It doesn't seem like she's angry or aggressive but it also seems a little more than playful. Is this a kind of behavior that is correctable with training or should I read the warning signs and find a new home for her without children? My children are in no way provoking her on purpose. They have had a dog before (much larger) and are normal kids that may be loud at times or carry a snack or play on the floor. We had another child come visit with her mother and that went well. She was gentle. I do not leave my children unattended with the dog.
 

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Yes this is pretty typical puppy behavior that was probably her only means of getting attention for who knows how long. Since attention and engagement is the object, the most powerful way to turn this behavior on its head is to REMOVE attention and engagement as a punishment for the behavior. The first time you might say "ouch" and replace with a toy. If she persists in grabbing at you, tell her "enough" or "too bad". If it continues, remove yourself for a few minutes. You might step behind a baby gate or tether her to a sturdy piece of furniture until she cools her jets.

The other side of this is that you need to replace that old method of getting attention with a new method that works better for both of you. When she comes up to you, perhaps ask for a 'sit' and reward her with a quick game of fetch with a toy, a stuffed kong or a 1 minute training session. Another option I love when I am busy and have a bored dog is to tether them to me via a waist leash and just have them follow me around as I do chores. Not the most entertaining option for a dog but hey, it keeps them entertained ENOUGH that they are not doing anything rude. LOL.
 
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