How to Force Your Dog’s Mouth Open to Get an Unwanted Object Out

by The Pet Care Guy on February 25, 2009

If you have had a dog for any length of time, you most likely have had your dog pick something up in his mouth. Sometimes he drops it, other times he probably eats it, or tries to. And, you may have had to try to pry his mouth open to get it out.

Well, my own dog Storm has come across many things over the years, put them in his mouth, and I have had to get them out. Also, being a dog walker and dog sitter, it is inevitable that one of the dogs I am watching does the same thing. I use the same technique on the dogs that I am taking care of as I use on Storm.

You must act quickly before they swallow it, and sometimes you just won’t be quick enough. A lot of times you can get the item out. Now, some of the gross things I have had to get out of a dog’s mouth have been cat poop, and a dead bird. The dead bird I had to get out of Storm’s mouth.

A lot of times, though, you won’t have to touch the item to get it out of the dog’s mouth.¬†Again, act quickly and with purpose. If you are hesitant or timid about it, your dog will be more likely to resist you, even showing aggression.

Simply grab the dog’s muzzle with both hands. Usually one hand on top and one hand on the bottom. The dog will usually resist if you just try to open his mouth, so you need to apply pressure towards the back of his mouth, pressing his lips against his teeth. Apply even pressure, using continually more pressure trying to part his teeth through his

Dogs do not want to injure themselves, and they should eventually open their mouths. And, they do not want to bite down on their lips either. Keep the pressure up until he opens his mouth enough that the item will come out. Tilt his head down, and you may need to shake his head a bit so gravity can do its thing to make the object drop out on its own. Once the item is out, let go.

You should give the ‘Drop it’ command, or other command that you use, and praise your dog when the object comes out. If the item does not drop out, then you will have to grab it yourself.

Now, you may be saying that your dog is too aggressive and would never let you do that to him. Who is the leader, anyway. This is why you act quickly and with purpose. Do not give them the chance to act aggressively. I have used this technique on dogs that I would call more of an aggressive animal.

If your dog is so aggressive that this would set him off, then your dog needs more training and¬†having a dog who picks things up he shouldn’t is not the most important thing to work on.

What do you say? Have any other ideas about this?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina A. May 4, 2012 at 8:16 am

I have a 3-month-old Yorkie and I was never able to get him to open his mouth for me until I read this post. Thanks!


Rob M June 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

Best thing I have learned to do when a dog has a bird in its mouth is to fill a large bowl with ice and water and pour it over its head and gurantee it will drop it.


Kylee T June 24, 2012 at 8:37 am

im so glad i saw this becuz i have a puppy that is7 wks and likes to chew and scratch !!!


Terry February 6, 2014 at 6:48 am

I just found this and thanks.
My dog grabbed a pork chop bone off the table. I turned around and before you know it she was off and running. I grabbed her (cause she’s fast) pryed her mouth open and able to get it out. My trainer and I just started it DROP IT, but it was too yummy. I injured my finger but I’m ok and so is she. The trick is do it fast.


The Pet Care Guy February 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Yes, you cannot hesitate.


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