The snout grip is used by some dog owners as a kind of “panacea” in dog training, for example, when barking or other undesirable behavior. But, unfortunately, the method is anything but practical! Animal rights activists also describe the disciplinary measures as brutal and unsuitable for animals’ appropriate treatment.
The snout grip is when the dog owner grabs his four-legged friend from above the snout and presses the lips against the teeth below with more or less intense pressure. For dogs, this is very uncomfortable and sometimes associated with great pain. In addition, puppies and young dogs can sometimes scream when the grip is practiced on them. Therefore, you shouldn’t use this method to discipline your dog.
Animal rights activists and responsible dog owners reject any form of corporal punishment for dogs. But, of course, discipline sometimes has to be, but please never use force! Much better – and usually more effective – are indirect punishments such as the withdrawal of attention.
For dogs, the snout grip by their owner is a simple assault. But, unfortunately, it can even lead to the fact that the four-legged friend becomes afraid of the owner or mistress’s hand, snaps at it, and becomes aggressive. So when a puppy bites at the grip of the snout, users needn’t be surprised.
In general, if an animal is brought up with pain, behavioral problems such as aggression or an anxiety disorder are usually the result. In addition, the pain can permanently damage the human-dog friendship.
Mother-To-Puppy Snout Grip
Dog owners who want to justify the snout grip in dog training usually make a particular argument: that the mother dog also bites her puppies in the snout when they don’t behave. But, unfortunately, this can not be standstill.
Dog mothers use the snout grip on their young when they do not want to listen to undesirable behavior even after repeated warnings. However, the intraspecific snout grip is not comparable to the painful grip on humans’ muzzles.
A mother dog would never grip so tightly that her pups feel pain and squeak. The intraspecific snout grip is based on instinctive behavior, which the dog mother exceptionally well controls to give her puppies an educational break. The puppy immediately stops entirely still in its mummy mouth, calms down, and is then released from its mother’s catch.
Again, this mother-to-puppy action cannot be equated with a painful human grip on a dog’s lips. In addition, dogs playfully use the handle. Finally, without exerting any pressure, the dogs snap tenderly at the muzzle of a conspecific.
Alternatives Snout Grip
There are countless alternatives to the snout grip with which you can raise your dog much better and more animal-friendly. Most important requirement: take your time. Teach your necessary dog commands like “No!” and “Off!” and stick to the rules you set up consistently. Then your dog will stick to them too.
A good – and above all non-violent – method of dog training is positive reinforcement: If your dog behaves in the way you want in a particular situation, a negative stimulus disappears. For example, if your dog is begging for food at the table, you will acknowledge this with a resolute “No!” and a stern look. As soon as your dog stops praying, you look at him in a friendly way again, thus removing the harmful stimulus.
The method of positive reinforcement works the other way round: Here, desired behavior rewards. For example, if your dog comes running to you immediately when you call, he will receive a treat or will be petted extensively.