Chihuahua People Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently adopted a chi puppy from a rescue. She is about 7-9 mos and barely over 3 lbs. Her foster mom encouraged her to to use fingers to chew on instead of toys. Now she will only chew on fingers, feet or my clothing. I didn't have this experience with my other two. I've offered all of the toys we have but she won't chew on any of them. I need to find something for her so we can try to break this habit, which is getting worse. I read that when she bites, we should give a firm NO, then offer a toy instead. Can anyone suggest a type of toy that is soft and small enough to fit in a tiny mouth? We have antlers, balls, a mini kong and a couple of plush squeaky toys. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Hi, Perhaps try toys which have treats hidden in the middle. This may encourage her to start chewing on the toy to get the treat out and then she may realise that chewing toys can be fun :) I have mini kongs for both of mine where you can hide treats in the middle, they both LOVE these! Or maybe try putting a little bit of peanut butter in it or on the outside even if she just licks at it at first it may be a good start. Hopefully this will work for her! Good luck and let me know how it goes :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Keep in mind, that they use their mouths just like we do our hands. They hold on to us like that, and may do that through Adulthood.

This is a natural behavior, but the previous owner let it get to far, and teething issues probably caused the escalation. I wouldn't recommend trying to divert this behavior to a toy, but to focus on limiting the bite force it applies. You could "yelp" and make it think it was hurting you, and the usual "NO's" are ok too. The holding with their mouths issue is quite important to them, it's actually a subordinate action which enforces your "leaders" position, so that's why I say don't discourage it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Keep in mind, that they use their mouths just like we do our hands. They hold on to us like that, and may do that through Adulthood.

This is a natural behavior, but the previous owner let it get to far, and teething issues probably caused the escalation. I wouldn't recommend trying to divert this behavior to a toy, but to focus on limiting the bite force it applies. You could "yelp" and make it think it was hurting you, and the usual "NO's" are ok too. The holding with their mouths issue is quite important to them, it's actually a subordinate action which enforces your "leaders" position, so that's why I say don't discourage it.
This is really interesting and I've not heard this before. Lily 'bites' a lot but never clamps down or sinks her teeth in, her teeth literally touch your hands and then pull away. I feel completely safe with my hand in or near her mouth so its good to know that this is completley normal. I've read a bit about 'soft mouths' so I've tried to encourage this.

To the OP, Sorry to hijack the thread, Lily prefers soft toys with a squeaker in the middle to chew rather than plastic or rubber toys. She also chews mini rawhides and dentasticks etc xx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
I feel completely safe with my hand in or near her mouth so its good to know that this is completley normal. I've read a bit about 'soft mouths' so I've tried to encourage this.
Few realize how very important that holding is to our animals, one could compare it to holding hands with your spouse/companion.
That's quality time in their eyes...

A good intuitive move ! :thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I've had dogs for years and I understand the importance of chewing and the use of their mouths, but this is unlike any other dog I've had. She isn't teething, all adult teeth are in. We finally found one toy she will play with - a rope bone. We also bought a tiny kong and though she got the treat out, she never actually chewed the kong itself.

Penny has a bit of a crooked mouth and a slightly misshapen head. She could have experienced some trauma, but there is no way to confirm it. It was suggested by her foster mom that she could be slightly special needs, though my vet found nothing specific to support that. She takes a LONG time to heat, even tiny kibble, though now and then, she will eat faster like my other 2. Even when she drinks, it takes a few moments for her to get started.

She doesn't clamp down hard when she chews on our fingers and toes, but her teeth are very sharp and I would like to discourage it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Christa,

Wow, that's a tough one to try to resolve.
One way is the next time you have in for a Vet Visit, you might ask them if there's any way they can slightly dull the points of her teeth. That might be an option.

I "sorta" have this problem with my Males. But, I want them to be aggressive, so our bite/play is done with rather thick Gloves. When we're not playing, it's a absolute NO BITE situation (don't even think about it), but, when the Gloves go on, it's "Katy bar the Door' and really can get rough.

Understand, I probably don't handle/train my animals like anyone else on this Forum :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
945 Posts
I give cat toys to my little one, who is about the same age and size as your pup. They're small enough for her to chew, as I often find that even toys made for small dogs won't fit into her tiny mouth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,050 Posts
One way is the next time you have in for a Vet Visit, you might ask them if there's any way they can slightly dull the points of her teeth. That might be an option.
I just wanted to say this seems like a really bad idea to me. I have never heard of teeth dulling in any dogs other than "bait dogs" used for fighting and I have seen how tragic the effects of that are. You are taking away the first layer of enamel and you can never get that back, your dog will forever be prone to tooth decay and quite possibly pain when they chew for the rest of their life. No ethical vet would do this. It is a trainable problem usually, this seems like a really drastic measure.

OP- You may want to google "bite inhibition." Here is a decent article on it but there are a few methods you can use so you may want to research more- Teaching Bite Inhibition - Whole Dog Journal Article Bite Inhibition - Whole Dog Journal Article. Not clamping down hard (bite inhibition) when playing is something dogs have to learn, either from people or other dogs- some just take a really long time to learn, particularly if you don't start early. I start my dogs by letting them play bite, but teaching them to not clamp down too hard. If they go too hard I yelp, then get up and walk away. Eventually they become very reliable in not biting down with any force and then I stop all biting entirely. This way if they ever "forget" and play bite they know to do it softly, it is a bit of a safety lesson for the dogs! I don't think it is necessary to allow your dogs to hold onto you with your mouths- nor have I ever heard of it before as a good idea even if you are going by dominance theory in your training- but I guess everyone has their methods. Whatever works.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,787 Posts
Mine really likes the "Spinz" from Pet Smart. Small size. Made in USA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
The OP did say Puppy, and that method would allow reasonable contact/training until it's permanents came in. Yes, that would be rather drastic but things sounded desperate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,050 Posts
The OP did say Puppy, and that method would allow reasonable contact/training until it's permanents came in. Yes, that would be rather drastic but things sounded desperate.
Honestly curious- have you ever heard of this being done to a dog? It is just so new to me it is not even on my radar. I can't imagine a vet agreeing to do this.

And the dog is 7-9 months old, that's adult teeth in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Sorry, but I don't remember exactly that it was Dogs. I vaguely remember, possibly a Primate or Cat. And I would not recommend this if it had it's permanent teeth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,050 Posts
She doesn't clamp down hard when she chews on our fingers and toes, but her teeth are very sharp and I would like to discourage it.
Also it really does not sound like a drastic problem ^^^^^
The dog is play chewing on hands too hard, not attacking anyone. I just don't see how filing teeth would even help the issue, particularly when the dog has a crooked jaw already and has trouble eating to begin with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,050 Posts
I just don't want anyone reading this (it is on the internet after all) thinking that filing a dogs teeth down at any age, permanent or not, would ever be a good idea. For a puppy I bet it would actually impede bite inhibition.

The reason puppy teeth are so sharp is so that they DO hurt, and the puppy can learn by using very little pressure that it is not ok to bite down hard on other dogs (and in the case of domesticated dogs it applies to humans too). The puppy bites down just a little bit with those sharp teeth- the adult dog yelps with very little pressure and no injury- and the puppy learns to not use pressure when playing with pack members.

I really try to see all sides with most issues but I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
411 Posts
I don't know if this will help or not... But Bailey my 8m old likes to bite and chew also... She loves those little kong balls... She will roll around w them, chew on them, hide them and then bring them to us to play fetch... She will run back and forth forever if we let her... When she starts to bite or chew i ask her where's your ball and she stops and gets it and we play...I don't know maybe just something else to try?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
I really try to see all sides with most issues but I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one.
No, I think we are in agreement. It is a very drastic measure, and everything you have pointed out is correct. I think that your pursuit of this type clarification is quite justified.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top