Q. I have a 8 month old Lab. He gets excited and likes to get mouthy and puts the persons hands in his mouth. Doesn't bite hard. How can we stop this?
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Bite inhibition is a great way to stop mouthiness that occurs often with teenaged dogs. There are several training techniques that can be done to help teach your dog how to play nicely! One is to teach a "Leave-it" command. Begin by holding a treat in your hand and asking your dog to "leave it". If he attempts to chew or bite, a high-pitched YELP! will help. Once he backs away or ignores the treat, ask him to "take it" and offer it to him. Another useful way to teach bite inhibition is through the use of a tug toy. Again, the "take it" and "leave it" commands are used. During a tug session, ask your dog to "leave it" or "drop" and exchange with a treat. If he lets go of the toy, reward him! One final option is also "airplaning" treats. This method involves having your dog sit and then slowly lowering a treat toward him. If he goes for the treat, back away and start over. Once he can sit calmly and not chew on you, reward with the treat! All of these techniques are great for helping teach dogs bite inhibition. :)