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  #1  
Old 09-14-2016, 02:13 PM
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Default Biting strangers

Halle is an absolute sweetheart but she increasingly does this when meeting new people; she will be friendly, wag her tail and dance around and when they offer their hand out she will lick it, but then they stroke her and she lets out a whine and bites them (without hurting them or even trying to sink her teeth in) and then continues to ask for attention. The only other times she acts like this is when she is frustrated. Do you think she is getting overwhelmed and thus sending such mixed messages? Some people think she is playing with them, but she definitely isn't. More importantly, what do I do about it? Even people who approach her the correct way experience this from her. And after she does it she keeps going back to them, except this time they avoid her. I feel as if I'm going to have to start offering a disclaimer when she approaches people that this might happen, but ultimately I'd rather find a way of getting to the bottom of this and stopping her doing it altogether. Any thoughts about how I need to approach this?
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  #2  
Old 09-14-2016, 04:25 PM
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Do you think these are 'love' bites? Some dogs get so overloaded with happiness that they express it with little love bites. I think if it bothers you that you and your guests should stop when she whines. If you punish this behavior, I fear that she might get confused. I forget, is Halle a puppy? Some dogs 'grin' with strangers. (it looks like a snarl) I'd just watch and wait. I just thought of something---are you sure she doesn't hurt when you/they pet her back?
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:45 PM
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She will be three in December, Susan. I've never punished her, as I feel she is just trying to express something and it's my job to find out what. I noticed she started doing the whine and mouthing thing about a year ago. When we are out with her people want to come up and say hello, usually people who also have little dogs at home, and so are calm and gentle with her and know how to approach dogs. But she seems to not like the fuss. But I wouldn't say she is shy or afraid of them either, because she will lean forward to smell them and kiss their hands - but the stroking part she doesn't like. I've always got her in my arms when this happens, so wondered if she feels trapped, but now she is doing it at home when she has the space to leave the situation is she feels uncomfortable, but instead stays. The odd thing is that she seems to invite people to interact with her. I feel so bad for them as I know lots of people are wary of little dogs and she encourages the contact, and then does that, only to continue to wag her tail and up jump. If they ignore her she will jump up and dog and kiss their legs to get their attention. Very mixed messages, I wish I knew how to help her interact better.
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:24 PM
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I would ask people/guests to scratch/rub under her chin. A lot of dogs do not like to be petted on their heads. Some don't like petting at all! Our sheltie will allow strangers to rub her under her chin, but backs away if they try petting her head?? I still think these are mouthing and not true biting. I don't really have any more suggestions---I think you will just have to tell people that she will mouth them!
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