Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alvin's mouthing off

Alvin continues all his odd mouth behaviors but a new one has started.  At night when we are on the floor together he gets what can only be described as a mischievous look and begins to somewhat play pounce on my hands.  He then begins to put any objects that I am holding into his mouth and puts a small amount of pressure with his teeth on them.  He has started taking his paw and clamping down a bit on my hand and then he wants to put my hand in his mouth.  The interesting thing about it is that normally I would not even consider letting a dog put my hand in his mouth, particularly if he was applying any pressure with his teeth but when Alvin does it, it seems to be such babyish behavior and is like nothing I have ever witnessed.  I have been around puppies and dogs that will want to chew on a hand and although they are just playing, one can see the potential for the dog to get carried away but what Alvin does is different and I wish others could see it.  His behavior is so non-threatening that he put his teeth on my beloved Kindle and I didn't take it away because it was clear that he wasn't going to bite down.  I am thinking that his behavior of putting his paw on mine and mouthing me may be him trying to assert dominance but his body language, attention span, and focus seem that of a baby animal. Poor Alvin has a whole routine to pull off each night because besides the behavior I just described, he is still repeatedly sniffing and doing the nose/mouth press on me and every surrounding object.  He also finds cloth (a sheet, shirt, jeans, etc.) and acts as though he is going to chew on it but once he gets it into his mouth he will give it a couple very gentle bites and then release it.  He then often comes back to the cloth object over and over again.  I have been watching his chewing because he managed to chew through an electrical cord at Cathy's house when he was stressed out but the only chewing I have seen is when he is in his babyish, playing mode but there is a certain nervous, scared quality about him as well and I find it all a bit confusing.  Knowing poor Alvin's luck he is probably being the very most aggressive he can possibly be and I am responding by cooing at him like a baby.  What a disappointment I am probably turning out to be for him but a dog can't be responsible for training all human beings because there is always going to be on bad apple in the bunch.

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