Dante the crocodile HELP!

6 replies [Last post]
elisabooth's picture
Joined: 2013-03-14

Pet Profiles

So I've been trying to record this behavior for about a month now, it's been going on since he was about 3 and 1/2 months, he's 5 months now.  He only does it when he is up on the bed with us.  Usually if he doesn't stop after a few corrections (Yelping, redirecting onto toy and saying NO!) we put him down from the bed where he will continue jumping up on the bed, lunging like he does in the video, but I let it go on a bit longer than I usually would so you could see what I'm dealing with.  

As you see in the video, he puts my hand in his mouth but he doesn't bite down, barely any pressure.  I try not to jerk my hand away because I heard that might encourage it even more.  It's worth noting that he is heavily teething at the moment, lost 3 teeth just today while playing tug with his dragon.  

Sorry if it's shaky, it's really hard to take video this close.  

Please be gentle.  Dante is my first puppy and I'm determined to raise him into a well-mannered Dobie, and really this is only him about 1% of the time, but it is a very scary 1% of the time.  




Tannaidhe's picture
Joined: 2013-02-25

It's a little hard to tell just from video and not knowing his individual body language, but my guess is a combination of being playful and resource guarding (the toy). 

Definitely make sure he knows it is NOT acceptable behavior, but I wouldn't worry about it too much if he isn't actually biting.


I am sure there are others with more experience who can and will chime in with more advice.  :)

Joined: 2012-10-28

Pet Profiles

Hi Elisa,

I'll tell what works for us, and Bella never does anything like this anymore. But she got my message pretty quick with this method. I think she had reasonably good manners to begin with.... we are so lucky!

Hook the end of your pointer finger or thumb right down onto the middle of his tougue, wrap your hand around his chin, hold it there a second . Say "NO" and he won't want to bite you or have any part of your hand in his mouth....he will want you to stop the fingernail pressure/digging ( not too hard) into his toungue.

Now I only have to hook my finger and B remembers not to take any part of my hand into her mouth. Even when we play toy shakey tug/o /war, she is very sweet about realizing why I stop if she made a "mistake" and got me!

good luck, woof from B

 great video, beautiful verbal baby:)

talisin's picture
Joined: 2011-02-25

For me personally I think this needs to be stopped. It is obvious he is throwing some play into it but for me none of my dogs or cats for that matter are allowed to behave this way to humans. I don't think it's a dobe thing it's just an animal thing and it does cross over into cats. What I see is that your hand goes towards the toy as if you are trying to remove the toy, and he does "his thing" and you never take the toy, these dogs are really smart and he will instantly associate the movement he is making with you moving away and not taking the toy therefore that behavior/movement got a desired result - you moved away from his stuff....this could escalate when you really have to take something away and he may use more force. If you look back at the video you will see how many times your hand moves towards him and then backs off when he nips and chews on your hand that just teaches him to do that to you to get what he wants.

What I do with all my animals dogs & cats is that when they even move towards my hand I teach them verbally that it is not ok and if verbal doesn't work then I handle their face gently but firmly so that they understand if they reach for my hand with their mouth it is uncomfortable therefore don't do it. My animals never get the chance to ever put my hand in their mouth for any reason, I stop them the instant I notice a movement towards me in any pushy way and when need be I have left the hand they were reaching for and grabbed them by my free hand but I never jerk away or move backward.....

That's just me.....but I would never have tolerated this even to make the video cause even in that length of time he is learning. You will be able to stop it but you must act quickly as soon as possible.....play is play but this is not all play this is guarding.....

bluedog7's picture
Joined: 2013-05-02

I agree with Talisin's comments. This behavior will keep escalating if you do not stop it now. I have used a fist pushed into their mouth with a firm NO to prevent from having my hands mouthed. I like principessa's method even better. Our hands are sacred and should be treated with respect by our canine children.

Remember, Dante is a baby and will be testing you right up until the day he dies how much he can get away with. He is a 3 year old child with fur....babies test the authority figure...you...so allowing him to get away with "protecting" his toy is a no-no. Everything he has is yours...his food and his toys are yours...he needs to know that and ASAP before his behaviour becomes more dangerous.

elisabooth's picture
Joined: 2013-03-14

Pet Profiles

A BIG thanks everyone for your suggestions.  There are a couple I've tried before, the thumb on the tongue and the fist in the mouth, both which have had limited success, but now that I think about it, I might be giving up on it before the message had really sunk home, kinda of deciding that it is good enough if he mostly stops what he's doing.  So next time I will follow through until he completely submits to it.  

He is awesome most of the time, now if I can only get this under control, he will be the star dobie I know he can be :D 



Joined: 2012-10-28

Pet Profiles

Hi again Elisa

Interesting to read the other comments and also to watch the (whole) video. 1st time I watched 1/2 of it. 

 He sure is a beauty! I did not recognize the sweetie in the shopping cart, that's for sure.

I think that its time to let him know (no ifs ands or buts) that his behaviour needs to be good and that there's a reward when he is good. Like he can't be on the bed if he is too rough or not letting you pet him or take his toy away.

Remember nilf Nothing in Life is Free. Small acts of obedience really do add up if you are patient and get him to do them alot. Bella is only allowed front paws on the bed. She must relinquish ANY thing out of her mouth for me. She used to evade us or want tugowar when we wanted her toy, now she knows "drop", she gets to have the old way of fun, but only until WE change our mind! Sometimes I wonder if she really notices how many times I praise her just for being a good girl, but I think she gets the message and that makes her happy too.

Remind him that you are the supplier and taker away of all the good food and toys in his life. Make him wait and sit when its feeding time. Praise him to the stars so he really knows/gets it how happy you are when he is good:) Keep a special toy or a special treat for him to have only when he has been responding to your demands. Just suggestions, imho

Good Luck!

By 10 mo's (forever) he should be advancing into semi-maturity....

woof from me and pb