My almost 6 month old tri-color Cav is still very mouthy...grabs our hands and clothing when he wants our attention or when we are playing. He is not soft mouthing either. Do you think we should be concerned that this will escalate into a big problem when he is an adult?
Hi Joyful and welcome. :)
The answer is yes, and yes. This can become a very serious problem.
A guide to dealing with it is given in the free download book After You Get Your Puppy by Dr Ian Dunbar, www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads
If you go to the training section on the board here, I've pinned links to many top training sites and all will have guides to working with puppies to get a soft mouth. It is one of the single most critical bits of puppy training and now is the time to address it (never by punishment, as these good site links will explain).
A lot of this is related to management, too -- avoiding overexcitement, unrestrained interaction etc. EG if a puppy is allowed free rein to run about with young children (and vice versa) this kind of rough play can become a continuing problem -- the links at Diamond in the Ruff training site are particularly good on this as a management issue with children, if kids are part of the issue here. :thmbsup:
Yeah, I would call this problematic. Just wondering, do you brush your cavalier's teeth? Personally I think brushing Fletcher teeth at least every other day was very helpful in teaching soft mouth. I also think teaching him to calm down on command helped too. Its only natural for a puppy to use his or her mouth and teeth when playing but it is just not safe or fun to play with a pup hurting you:thmbsup: One thing that I think helps improve almost ANY and ALL behavior issue is to make sure your pup is getting plenty of exercise. I go with the old saying a tired dog is a happy dog, many many behavior things seem to pop up with bored dogs. Plus cavaliers in particular are prone to boredom because they are so smart.
Max gets plenty of exercise and lots of attention and is a pretty calm and loves to snuggle. I believe it has gotten better since he is almost done teething. He does not do this with our grand kids, he is very gentle with little ones. I have been putting him in his crate for a time out, no raised voice, just telling him to calm down. In a few minutes I let him out and he usually gets the message. My husband and I have been working on this since he was 8 weeks old.