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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
often. He seems to love to mouth it. He doesn't bite, he doesn't hurt me at all. He just wants to mouth my hand. And his bushy tail is going 100 mph.

Someone told me this is a dominance issue but it doesn't seem to be with him from what I can see.

Rascal is a Sheltie/Pomeranian mix that was a rescue from the Humane Society. He's 4 years old according to the vet and we got him in Feb.

Is this a problem that I should be trying to change? Or is it just a silly Rascal baby thing? (I call him my Rascal baby. lol)
 

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It is definitely a sign of attempted dominance. To correct it is Dependant on what you feel is needed. A dog with a strong Alpha or pack leader (you) is a relaxed and less stressed out Friend. Dogs dominating their owners is a common thing because most people do not know what to look for, or do not know how to act. Essentially, the need to get down on the dogs level and act like a strong pack leader.

This side of ownership is so vast that it would take days to type up. Start by reading the link below. And get ready to start seeing behavior in your dogs that you never thought would be there, or even think twice about.;)

American Dog Trainers Network -- Taming the Dominant Dog
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the link! After reading it, I have to say this:

We don't play games. Neither of my dogs knows how to play. To exercise Rascal, I go out with him and I use a huge 2 armed sweeping motion and say, "RUN! RUN!" and he goes 100 mph all around the yard, coming back to the starting point for me to yell, "RUN" again. We do this until he gets tired.

The only real command he knows and follows is sit or sit pretty (front legs up). He will come if outside 99% of the time. And most of the time inside. Sometimes though he slinks toward me like I'm going to beat him when he gets to me. Of course not. But he's a rescue and he was picked up as a stray so we have no clue what happened before. And sometimes he slinks away from me when I call him. I can't see what the differences are to trigger this behavior. :(

He doesn't get on any furniture unless invited. He does occasionally invite himself into our laps but usually he asks.

He waits for me to go through the door first. He has learned that since we got him.

Dogs eat at 5-5:30 and we don't eat until 6-7 so there isn't any real issue there, I don't think. Too much time elapses.

I can handle Rascal in any way I can think of. I can trim his feet, give him a bath, carry him around....pretty much anything and he's ok with it.

He pats my arm quite insistently while I'm at the computer. Usually he wants to go out or for me to get in my recliner so he can get in my lap. :) I will pet him, tell him he's Mama's good baby dog and I love him but he has to go lay down. He does.

As long as he understands what I want him to do, he really does try hard to do it. Sometimes his fears overwhelm him, I think. He's still very skittish. If I'm reading a book and he's in my lap and I turn the page so that it rustles a little louder than normal, he tenses and sometimes springs from my lap. *sigh* I was hoping he'd get over it but he doesn't seem to be any less skittish than he was when we got him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So based on the above info....what should I be doing? Tell him OUCH and pull away? Remove my hand and ignore it (what I do now)?

He does seem to be doing it a lot less than when we first got him.
 

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If you want to cure it, just pull your hand out and walk away. Dogs really don't understand ouch except that is it a strange noise that may interest them. The distraction is what makes them stop. The mouthing issues I have seemed to stem from the dog commanding a person to stay near them. It might be different with your guy. watch him and see how he reacts.

Cleo is a dominant dog (acts like the alpha female) in my house, and exhibits several of the signs, but only with women. Her habits were formed long ago when other parties went against the flow when I was training her, so I just let her do her thing most of the time. Like I said, it all depends on what you think.:) A dominance issue gets important, if you have a larger aggressive dog. Those dogs, you have to stay on top of or they could turn physical on occasion.
 

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To add, smaller breeds tend to exhibit nervous ticks, and react differently to the type of training I do. My experience is with larger breeds, and hunting dogs. Hopefully someone will chime in that has experience with the smaller breeds. It also might be as simple as he is a nervous little guy and your hand is his security blanket. From what you stated in your second post, he doesn't seem like a typical dominant dog.


Oh yeah, I don't have mouthing issues, it is issues I have seen. I really hate spellcheck, lol
 

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Iam going to go a different direction. I do not believe in dominance theory and don't think hes trying to own you, control you etc etc etc. Remember the dominant animal is defined by whatever animal has the resources in a given scenario. You as the human have ALL the resources, therefor are always in charge.

He does it because on som' level its rewarding...maybe its the eye contact...maybe you talk to him when he does it...maybe it gets your attention....he might even be trying to play with you.

If you don't like it have a soft toy and put it in his mouth everytime he does it...at first he will spit it out and go back to you...if he does..walk away and try again later. They call that redirection, eventually he will mouth the toy not you. :)


If you are interested...

http://www.nonlineardogs.com/



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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Crio's answer seems to fit better, although I don't agree with the article and the non aggressive nature of dogs. I have seen a few in past that were very aggressive naturally. Maybe a happy medium can be met.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Rascal isn't aggressive at all. He's pretty skittish. I think he may be trying to play with me.

I'll get a toy and see if he'll take it next time he does it. We're usually sitting in my chair when he starts it so I'll put the toy on the table next to the chair. He doesn't play other than the running dealy we do outside.

He used to run 100 mph and then ram into me at full speed. I put a stop to that as my hubby was afraid he'd knock me down and I'm too old to fall any more. :)

He only weighs 22 lbs so he's a little guy but he's pretty strong! :)

Thanks for all the info and links, etc.
 
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