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Categories: Basic Puppy

Q. My question is regarding playing tug with your pup vs correcting the pup for inappropriate mouthiness when you are not playing. How do you teach the pup to differentiate?
I am a dog lover and dog owner for most of my life. I currently have a 12 year old bullmastiff who I trained myself, and has always been very well behaved. My training methods have come from personal experience (trial and error) and from just about everything I try to get my hands on to read or watch - and Leerburg has been invaluable.?

My question is regarding playing tug with your dog as a puppy vs. correcting your dog for being "mouthy" when you are not playing tug. Obviously, you don't want your dog opening your mouth to your hand (even playfully) or a guest who wants to play with your puppy... What is the best way to differentiate for your puppy the difference between tug and encouraging your dog to bite and grip vs. playing with an open mouth??

Thank you.?

A. There is a difference between time to play and the general rules and expectations we have for living with our puppies.

We use a system to let them know when we are ready to play, with verbal cues like "ready" and "all done" when we are finished. There is a clear beginning, middle and end to a play session.

For general life with our puppies, we control all the interactions with a leash, exercise pen and crate. We cover this in our videos Your Puppy 8 weeks to 8 Months and Living with your Puppy & Establishing Pack Structure.

I would also recommend reading our biting puppies article.

Cindy Rhodes

  Response:

Thank you.

Your website is invaluable, thank you.
  
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