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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,
Sawyer will be 9 months old in a week. He's such a great boy and has the sweetest, gentlest disposition but there's a problem that we really just cannot seem to get a handle on. When he first greets someone he wants to "hold" them for lack of a better word. He will grab onto your hand, arm, clothing, anything and want to hold onto you. While he's doing this he's doing his low puppy growl which he also does when he carries a toy, shoe or whatever to greet you (we think that is adorable :)) We've tried to tell him to get a toy (which he will) when we first greet him and he'll bring it to us very proudly but then as soon as we pet him he drops the toy and wants to hold onto you. We have him sit and when he's calm we try and pet him but he will still do it. When I walk him and people want to greet him he tries to hold onto them too. To see him do it you can tell that it doesn't appear to be agressive at all. He just seems very happy to be with whoever left the house, first thing in the morning when everyone first gets up and he hasn't seen anyone all night or when meeting new people. He doesn't do this with me too often because I am home with him all day. Any suggestions on breaking this habit would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Ben does this too. He doesn't usually hold hard, but he sometimes likes to take my arm and lead me to the kitchen when it's time to eat or to the leash when it's time to go for a walk. We don't mind since he's so gentle about it, and only does it with my husband and me. If he does bite down harder, I yelp and he always lets go.
 

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I think this is adorable but I can see where you'd want to control the behavior.

My suggestion would be to re-direct with treats or toys when he wants to hold and to continue until he has gotten over/worked thru his excitement at the new person. This might be harder in the morning when there's so many people for him to greet.

You could also, at some point, teach him to hold on command. We did this with Penny for jumping up. We'd hold our forearm out and tap it with our other hand and say "paws". She would be allowed to jump up and put her paws on our arm. As her interest in jumping on people dwindled so did her interest in putting her paws on our arm.

You can shape this behavior so he's allowed to do it when you say so but only then.
 

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My lab/golden (black one in my signature) did that for years. She greeted everyone by taking their hands in her mouth and leading them to the livingroom. She never bit down and was always very gentle about it. I just warned people when they came in to expect it. I thought it was a very sweet trait. I'm not sure how old she was when she quit it, now she grabs a toy.

I wonder if all dogs who do this have a strong retrieve drive. I know Jasmine would still, at 11 years old, run after a tennis ball until she collapsed if I were to let her.
 

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Are you saying "ouch!"? I had a trainer suggest that anytime a dog's teeth connected with human skin or clothing we say "OUCH!" loudly and firmly and turn our back on our dog. Although what you're describing is not biting (it does sound cute) if you want to stop it that is probably the quickest way.
 

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Ozzy uses his mouth like a hand too. He does it when he wants us to pet him. It's cute in one sense but I can see why you don't want your dog mouthing people when they come into your house.
 

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Chester does this too! Its like his main mission in life is to get your hand or arm in his mouth...then he just holds it quite pleased with himself...never bites down or anything like that.
Luckily he doesn't do it with anyone other then household members although I always warn people first just incase...just saying he is very mouthy.
He has a very strong retrieve drive and on the days he's been out shooting with my OH he doesn't do it so much oddly enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you everyone! Will definalty try some new approaches. Appears as though Sawyer is not the only one that wants to hold their people:)
 
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