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November 13, 2006


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I have a young Heeler/Australian Shepperd mix and he constantly likes to mouth/nip/bite my hands when we are playing. I usually use the "thumb in mouth - 'No bite'" method (where I hold down his tongue firmly for a few seconds while telling him "no bite" - he hates it and it seems to work for a while, but he goes back to biting sooner than I would like.

He is only about 4 months old and I would like to nip this in the bud right now -other than a muzzle, what can you recommend?


I have a 17 month old Aussie and now a 6month old Aussie. When they play I’m afraid they might hurt each other mouthing each other, would muzzle be a good idea.


If they are just getting used to each other, a well-fitted comfortable basket-type muzzle would be fine.

For long term, they are going to have to work out their social hierarchy ("pecking order").

It is important to reinforce whatever dominance hierarchy is developing. Don't try to "make it up" to the underdog. Always pet the dominant dog first, give him his treat first. You can give attention to both pretty equally, but attend to the dominant dog first, so the subordinate dog doesn't "get ideas" about challenging him and provoking a fight.

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