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Canine Behavior/Puppy chewing toy/cloth while sleeping

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Question
I have a pug who is 11 months almost but he has a habit of keeping toy or cloth in mouth & sleeping, i read ur last answer & according to it if a dog is not interactive after take that cloth it is a problem
So ma problem that ma puppy want always that with it can u plz tell me reason of this behaviour and solution plz

Answer
I apologize for the delay in your answer. For some reason my original reply did not send properly.

I reviewed my old answers and believe I have found the one you were referring to. Please reply with a correct link if the below link is not to the question/answer you read before writing to me.

Is this the one?
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Canine-Behavior-3553/2012/6/dog-nibbles-blankets-pill

As I explained in that response, some dogs do suckle on blankets, bedding or certain toys. There are certain breeds such as Dobermans and Dachshunds which are more prone to the behavior - suggesting a genetic component to the behavior. But dogs of any breed can pick up this habit.

If often develops in puppies who do not have sufficient opportunity to suckle during those first weeks. If the mama was not available for nursing/suckling throughout the day, puppies will often turn to suckling on each other, themselves or bedding and blankets to satisfy that intense physiological need at that age to suckle. Also if they become startled or scared during those early weeks and Mama is not available for a comfort suckle, the puppy may suckle on another object for comfort.

The act of suckling in itself is not dangerous to the dog and poses no harm. Dogs who begin this behavior as a puppy are likely to continue doing it throughout life. While it's not super common for dogs to suckle objects, it's also not rare.

I'm not sure I completely understand your question, but I believe that is due to a language barrier. My only concern with your dog sleeping with his preferred suckling object in his mouth would be choking or suffocating. Pugs have a harder time breathing than most other breeds due to the squashed shape of their face and so having something in the mouth while sleeping could impede his ability to breathe even more. For that reason, I would remove the object from his mouth once he's asleep to avoid breathing difficulties while sleeping.

But, because the chewing and suckling is very likely a soothing and comforting action for your dog, I wouldn't take away all opportunities to do it. If he's choosing inappropriate objects to suckle, then you will need to remove those objects from his access and provide him with acceptable alternatives. Example: if he's currently suckling on your bed sheets and that's not OK, then keep him out of your bedroom when unsupervised, but buy a couple of pillow cases that are just for him. Let him drag those around and suckle on them when he's settling in for naps and sleep. Wash them regularly, of course. But this way you redirect him away from your good sheets that you're sleeping on and allow him access to something that is OK for him to engage with.

Unfortunately, other than providing him acceptable options to chew or suckle on and just making sure they're not in his mouth (but still with him in his bed) after he falls asleep, I don't think there is a real solution in that I don't think it's wise to try to prevent the behavior altogether. Dogs generally do this behavior because it's comforting. That suggests that he's feeling some anxiety or stress. Determining the cause of that anxiety or stress and addressing that might reduce his need to suckle. But it might not. If he only does it at bedtime or naptime, then it's part of his self-sooth and comfort rituals for settling in to sleep. Taking away the option to suckle on something may cause significant stress for him and that can create other unwanted behaviors.

In short, I wouldn't be concerned about this behavior other than making sure your squashed-faced pug doesn't accidentally suffocate himself by falling asleep with the fabric blocking his airway. I'd remove the object from his mouth but leave it in his bed so if he wakes up, it's still there with him. If he's choosing something inappropriate, limit/remove his access to that object while also providing him with an acceptable option. If you can identify a specific trigger in his environment that causes him stress or anxiety, then you can address his that situation and help him feel better about that situation. Then, with the reduction in anxiety or stress over that other thing, this may reduce his inclination to suckle at other times.

I hope this proves helpful. Please feel free to follow up if I can be of further assistance.

Jody, CPDT-KA, APDT
Los Angeles Behavior Specialist
http://NutzAboutMutz.com

Canine Behavior

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Jody Epstein, CPDT- KA, APDT

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IF YOU BELIEVE YOUR DOG IS ILL OR INJURED, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT THE FORUM TO ADDRESS URGENT MEDICAL ISSUES. I AM NOT A LICENSED VET AND HAVE NO DIAGNOSTIC SKILLS. ***I have been answering questions on All Experts for over 5 years now. I enjoy being able to offer assistance in this forum. I do need to be clear, though. If you’re looking for free advice about a specific behavior question, you MUST submit your question to me via All Experts. If you bypass All Experts and write to me directly through my website, I will ask you to submit via All Experts. On the flip side, if you’re local to Los Angeles and you wish to speak to me privately about an in person consultation, please go through my website. I appreciate your assistance in keeping my volunteer work on the volunteer site.*** I can answer questions about the following canine behavior issues: obedience, timid/fearful & fear-based aggression, nuisance behaviors, families that are expanding with either new human or new animal members. If you have potty training questions please first read my trio of blogs at http://CashewsCorner.wordpress.com/ If you still have questions after reading the blogs you can post your specific questions here. PLEASE be as specific as possible when asking a question. Give me a detailed example of the situation - dog's behavior, body language, circumstances surrounding the issue, what the consequences are (another dog's response, your response), etc. I can only provide insight if I can get a picture of the whole scenario. If I ask for further details, please provide them. In person I would normally observe for at least 90 minutes to assess the situation and the dynamics before offering tools and suggestions to modify it. In writing it is ever so much more difficult. Thank you for your participation in the process.

Experience

I have been professionally modifying behavior and training obedience for 7 years. I have owned dogs my entire life. I have just changed the name of my business. It is no longer Good Dog! Dog Training. The new name is Nutz About Mutz!. If you see previous questions with the Good Dog! website information, that is my response.

Organizations
I am a Certified Profession Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), #2133301 ; I am a member in good standing with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), #77763 ; I am an AKC certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator (CGC), #71253

Publications
http://NutzAboutMutz.com ; http://CashewsCorner.wordpress.com ; Multiple articles in the local pet magazine Pet Press (found across Southern California)

Education/Credentials
I have a graduate education in animal behavior and learning. (While I completed my coursework and did the requisite research, I did not defend a dissertation. I am qualified, but not certified and so technically not a doctor. This is commonly referred to as Ph.D.-ABD which means All But Dissertation.) My educational focus was with non-human primates, but my personal interest is with domestic dogs and their relationships with humans and other animals. I continue to educate myself to canine-specific behavior through extensive reading, online interactive workshops, vidoes and attending canine behavior conferences.

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