Oh My Goodness, I Am So Glad You Are Home! I Have Been Waiting to Bite you All Day!!

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puppy training, why does my dog bite me

Stop “Excited” Biting

Recently I got a message from an owner of a dog that suffers from this kind of over stimulation when she gets home from work.

I also just had a client who adopted a rescue dog that also had this problem, but in his case it was more severe.

A lot of dogs get over stimulated and excited; and if left to their own devices they don’t deal with it in a healthy manner.  Most jump up, or run around, but some actually get aggressive and for some the aggression is fairly severe. Want to see videos on how to deal with an overly excited dog? Check them out here.

puppy training, why does my dog bite me

Dogs Need to be Redirected and Given Time to Calm Down

Not only are they over stimulated and over excited I believe they almost act as if they have a neurologic sensory disorder.   Although I can’t prove it because they are dogs and we can’t ask them, I think it is almost like having a child with ADHD or autistic tendencies…  (But, I can’t prove that!)

Either way; these dogs aren’t dealing with excitement in a normal fashion.

Often I see this in herding dogs, although any dog can suffer from it, I think the herding instinct kind of misfires and gets the teeth and jaws involved just like they would nip at stock when they are working.

My former Service Dog “Snitch” suffered from a mild form of this and when we would get home he would rush to the door and snatch a shoe.  Then he would run from room to room wagging, growling and carrying his shoe.

He never ate a shoe, but I swear you could never find a mate when it was time to leave the house either (I actually miss that!)

I think he preferred shoes to toys because they smelled more like us; the ones that he loved!

He pretty much taught himself his own coping skills.

Fast forward a few years and my ex-husband and I were raising another Malinois named Paxil (maybe we cursed him).  When we would open the door to his kennel, he would bite us HARD in the leg or arm and draw blood.

Even as a puppy he was extremely aggressive.

puppy training, why does my dog bite me

Put Something Appropriate in That Mouth

What Did We Do?

I had to teach him the same kind of coping skills that my previous dog had taught himself.

It wasn’t that he wanted to hurt us; he really didn’t!  It was simply that he didn’t know how to deal with his excitement and in some ways his genetics told him to bite when he was excited.

So we placed a toy box right next to his crate.

But, at first he still wanted to rush out of his crate and bite.

So then as we let him out of his crate; we would wiggle the toy and he would come out and latch onto it.

But, I have found, that if you are not careful and you let go of the toy; sometimes the dog will drop the toy and come right back after you.

Some Tricks

  • Always keep a toy box near your dog’s crate.
  • Wiggle the toy to engage him and give him something to latch onto.
  • Hold it; while it is motionless (don’t tug) and still in his mouth to let him decompress.
  • Motion (like you walking toward the door) can aggravate the over sensitivity, so stay still for a moment or two until he seems more composed.
  • If he wants to let go of the toy and still come back on you, hold onto the  toy as you walk him to a door to go outside.
  • Do not engage in a game of tug as this will just continue to overstimulate him.  The idea is that he just gets to keep something in his mouth and bite or suck on it to soothe his nerves.
  • For one client I had her pack a fanny pack full of toys, so if her dog dropped the first toy and came back toward her excitedly she had something else to put in his mouth until she could get him outside.
  • These tricks work for most overly sensitive biters and eventually you can teach the dog to go and get a toy on his own when he is overstimulated.
  • Most dogs decompress after they have been outside for a few minutes.
puppy training, why does my dog bite me

Doggy Toy Boxes are Essential!

But, a Few Dogs Are Severely Aggressive and Unpredictable!

The rescue dog that I worked with was an adult dog and so when he got excited and bit, he was dangerous.

And, to make matters worse his new owner never really knew when he would have a trigger that would excite him.  It was always when she came home, but sometimes he would get excited and bite her when he was playing, or when her other dogs played, or when he went outside or came inside.

His behaviors were much harder to predict.

Seeking a Veterinary Behaviorist or someone who can prescribe calming drugs may be in order, if your dog is biting you excitedly and it is unpredictable.

No one wants to feel like they are unsafe or under siege all of the time; and I guarantee your dog isn’t comfortable if he feels like this often!

The number one thing to do is make sure you are comfortable dealing with a dog like this, and if you need help get it!

 

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There are 165 Comments

  1. Noel Petter says:

    I have been writing you to solve a problem we have with 2 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels but to date no answer. When we come home after being out a while, when we open the door the two half brothers want to escape and when we sneak in they jump on us and claw our legs which are frequently uncovered and their claws hurt even after they have been trimmed. How can we deal with this excited greeting? They also have clawed my arm and caused bleeding. When we are at home we have no undesirable problems. We just want to corral their excitement upon arrival !

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You have to teach them what you expect.

    The problem is that they are together and they are feeding off each other, so it is hard to teach them together. It is hard for them to learn when they are competing for your attention.

    I would recommend crating them separately while you are gone (or at least while you are training) so that you can teach them individually.

    Be calm, don’t get excited to see them or angry if they jump both can cause them to escalate their behavior. You them to mirror your behavior. So ignore them at first and individually put them outside so they can decompress.

    Once they have been outside for a moment or two you can let them back inside. If they are still excited, ignore them until they are calm. Only reward calm behavior.

    If you work on their obedience you can ask them to do something else for you when you arrive, like sit or lay down. They can’t sit or lay down and jump on you at the same time!

    [Reply]

  2. My wife and I acquired a Syberian Husky mixed with a Alaskan Husky. Mika (we called her is 12 weeks young) is very excited. Mika likes to run knip, run and growl. I am trying your methods and I have seen a gradual positive success. I have ordered your training package and can NOT wait to see it.

    I also tried some of your techniques with the video, on get to your mat (cushion) and I highly recommend it to anybody.

    Thus far I am impress on the progression that Mika made in three weeks we had her in our Life. My wife and I are retired and we wanted a nice calm dog for our us. We got Mika for two reasons: one (1) we need a friend in the house, needless to say that Mika is a bundle of excitment and the second (2) reason is: I am a ritered military soldier with 37 years of service. I am suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) reasons that I can not discribe, however, my psychologist recommend me to get a Dog, which we did. I can tell you that thus far Mika really helps me with the problem that I have.

    Although there is alot to learn, this is why I have ordered your training package. This package will help me in a emphatic way.

    Again, I can Not wait,receiving this training package, this will allow me to better understand Mika.

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

  3. linda says:

    Every thing i read everyone is saying what there dog does but don’t say how to fix it.We got a cocker pup it is going to be 3 months old and she does nothing but bite I’m beginning to feel like a chew toy myself and it’s not just when we come home it’s all the time and i mean bite sink the teeth in everytime you pick her up or anything we have been doing in home obediance training like sit and down which seems to be working reel well but still just won’t quit biteing you pick her up she will lick you real nice then when you least expect it just lunge at you and sink her teeth into your nose or ear at wits end now even thinking of giveing her up just can’t take much more.We keep giveing her her toys and chew bones while we hold her but she won’t take them she just wants to bite.HELP please.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Exercise her until she is too tired to bite!

    Read these two articles http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/taste-horrible-aversive-dogpuppy-training-mouthing/

    http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/land-shark/

    [Reply]

    linda Reply:

    Thought the advice i got was crazy but was willing to try anything now when she bites me or my husband we yelp real loud can’t believe it it seems to be working really good happy with this cutie now THANKS TO ALL.

    [Reply]

  4. ZAIDA says:

    HI ,,,,WELL I WAS VERY PREOCUPY WITH MY 5 MONTH YORKIE,,,,
    THANKS GOD I READ ALL THE COMMENTARIES,,,,,BUT NOW I FEEL AFORTUNATE
    MY DOG IS NOT SO BAD,,,,, SHE IS VERY PLAYFUL,,,,ACTIVE ,,,SMART,,,,
    BUT SOME TIME TRY TO KISS AND BITE YOUR FINGERS,,,, AND SAID ,,,NO OR OUCH AND SHE DOES NOT CARE ,,,, I TAKE HER TO THE CRATE AND SHE STAYS ,OK
    BUT THAT DOES NOT TEACH HER,,,,Y TRY TO BITE AFTER SHE PLAYS,,,,AND
    NOW I AM JUST PUT THE LEACH AND THAT HAS BEEN WORKING,,,,
    I HOPE THIS KEEP WORKING,,,,, I LOVE A LOT MY DOG,,,, I WANT HER TO BE A
    LADY,,,,,,SUPER NICE,,,,,ZAIDA

    [Reply]

  5. Linda says:

    We recently adopted a Jack Russell Terrier. My vet thinks he is between 10 months and a year old. When I get home from work, my husband has to hold him back but he will run and jump VERY HIGH … grab and bite at my hands and arms. We have another JRT — female — who has never behaved this way. He often draws blood. He is not being mean … just very playful. I love the suggestions for the toys and we will try that. He can also be biting with our female and play pretty rough. For that I try to distract him. Sometimes it works but often it does not.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Have your husband run him first! Lots of exercise before you get home and then instead of “holding” him which can make the problem worse have him put him on a leash. If he is obedient he can have to sit or lay down prior to letting him socialize with you!

    [Reply]

  6. Alyssa says:

    My girl friend has a tamuskin part husky,shepard and something else. He is continalyy biting wayafter he is out of his crate, he is relentless. so what would you said tothis. My younger son is terrified of him he is so unruley that is why I brought the program to read about dog training before we get another dog, because of my friends misbehaved dog.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    The dog needs to be taught. Dogs cannot raise themselves any better than a child left to his own devices.

    Puppies need to be taught how to act and interact using leashes and obedience!

    [Reply]

  7. Ginnie says:

    Hi Chet,

    Thank you for all the great instructions on training. I have 2- 10 week old GSD (brothers). I have been following your articles and using them as they pertain to the pups at their age. They are so excited when it is time to be let out of the crate, I did not think I would ever get them to calm down when it was time to go out. I trained them to go in the crate and sit and they would receive a treat and so I reversed they had to sit and be calm before they could come out, and they would receive their treat. Did not take them long to realize sitting and being calm had its rewards. As you said redirect their attention. I also used your bell ringing at the back door, OH MY Goodness, what a fantastic idea. No more accidents in the house!!!

    [Reply]

  8. Robin Barton says:

    We have two Old English Sheepdogs. One is a year and a half and the other 5 months. When anyone comes to our house both dogs go absolutely bonkers with excitement. The oldest had a biting issue and we’ve taught him to “get a bone,” which is a chew. With chew in mouth, he jumps and runs and carries on for what seems like forever. The younger dog does the same thing. We cannot have guests without this long drawn out display of poor behavior. We have tried the lease approach. They do the same thing, just on a lease. We have asked our guests to ignore them; thinking the dogs would learn they only get attention when they are calm with four on the floor. This hasn’t worked either. We are to the point that when the doorbell rings, we ask the caller to wait while we put the dogs up. Surely there is a way to train them to greet guests properly. We are desperate! Besides this awful, unacceptable behavior, these are great dogs. Please help!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You can to set up training before you have guests, go out ring the doorbell and teach your dogs what to do.

    Dogs cannot learn when they are distracted with company being at the door. You have to teach them prior to people coming and then utilize your leash to work through the distraction.

    You can utilize the bones or toys when people come over just have them sit or lay down and be calm and use the leashes to enforce it!

    [Reply]

  9. Stacey says:

    I have an almost 3 month old border collie/lab rescue. We got him at just a couple days shy of 8 weeks He is a wonderful puppy, but the biggest problem we have right now is biting/nipping. He doesn’t do it when we first take him out of his kennel. He shows love and is ready to go outside. Throughout the day when he is excited, when playing, just about anytime he nips or bites, or chews. I have tried distracting him with a command of sit to give him a treat, but not sure if that is a good habit to get into? He is obviously very young. I have done just about all of the suggestions I have read, turning away from him, giving him a chew toy, and so on. A few holey pants later he still is having this problem. I work on the positive reinforcement with him constantly. I do think he gets over excited and has that urge to nip or bite. The back of legs get nipped and my husband got it in the face once…scary. I had a border collie/Sheppard before and he never had this problem, so this is new to me. Really want to get this behavior under control

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He needs more exercise! He is entertaining his own mind and body but doing it in a naughty way!

    Instead take him for walks, play with him, teach him to retrieve and continue to teach him obedience.

    If he is not listening to the obedience keep a leash on him so that you can restrict his movement and make him comply.

    [Reply]

    Stacey Reply:

    When I try to play fetch he gets over excited. I work from home, so I take him out at least 4-5 times a day which last anywhere from 5-15 mins. Then take him for longer walks 1-2 times a day, just depends on what is going on. I think I will try playing fetch again. Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Stacey Reply:

    When I try to play fetch he gets over excited and starts biting. I work from home, so I take him out at least 4-5 times a day which last anywhere from 5-15 mins. Then take him for longer walks 1-2 times a day, just depends on what is going on. I think I will try playing fetch again. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  10. Brenda says:

    Hazele is my dog name, very energetic, run jump on whom ever is around. What i find hard to beleived when she charge to jump on people, she failed to listen to me, as though she cannot hear me. Allots of dog problems are same as children with behavior problems due to ADHD, that consist of Attention deficit, hyperactivity and impulsitivity. sensitive to extreneous stimuli.

    [Reply]

  11. Lena Cofrancesco says:

    My 1 yr old boxer usually greets me at the door with a toy in her mouth. But when I am sitting down and she needs something she barks in my face and if I dont get up she bites, not to draw blood but sometimes it hurts alot! I am not sure how to interpet this behavior and I dont want to keep responding to the barking and nipping. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    By doing what she wants you are teaching her that she can control you by barking in your face!

    Use a leash, a muzzle or a squirt bottle (as long as she is not going to bite you for squirting her) and teach her that barking in your face results in something she doesn’t want. Like you leaving the room, or putting her outside or using the squirt bottle.

    Be consistent and STOP letting her bully you!!

    Exercise and obedience training will also help to make her too tired to be naughty!

    [Reply]

  12. Nicole says:

    These articles and tips have been very helpful for me personally. I wish the rest of my family would get on board, but right now that is the only challenge I am having. My 4 teenaged sons de-rail the training when I’m not home, so its taking longer than it should for some things (begging, playing rough, etc). =/

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Then you have to find out what your teenagers’ motivators are and take them away if they are not listening.

    Kids respond like dogs 😉 If my kids don’t do what they are suppose to, they know the rules and I always follow through. I take away their most prized possession or they lose a privilege so that they don’t derail my training program!

    Otherwise it is just unfair to my dogs!

    [Reply]

  13. Susan Carroll says:

    I have a lovely 12 week old labradoodle who nips and bites when we are playing. If we’re playing tug she’ll go for my hand instead of the rope. She will also bite at my clothes when I am walking (she loves my housecoat!). It seemed like normal puppy stuff at first. I’ve been mildly successful at getting her to nip more gently but after 5 weeks of trying to correct this behaviour positively through distraction, substitution and ignoring I’m getting a tad concerned about this. Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/taste-horrible-aversive-dogpuppy-training-mouthing/

    and the other article listed within this article

    [Reply]

  14. CARM says:

    HELP, My lab/pyrness of 6 years seem to have some sort of “neurologic sensory disorder” that is now serious. She has always been a friendly “beta” type of dog. Howerver, there have been a few times when she has gotten over stimulated in doggie interactions, which has resulted in “berzerker” type behavior and going for the throat of my aussie. After forcing the interactions to end, she has seemed to come to herself and then seems to not understand what just happened. No damage has ever occurred. However this week, she just went for my aussie which left some deep puncture damage and alot of swelling where her jaws locked. This was triggered when the puppy kept jumping on my aussie and my aussie got angry and showed aggression to the puppy. I don’t want to put the lab/pynress down, Is there anything that could be done for this strange behavior? Would she be safe to people in a no dog home? She had never ever been aggressive with people or children.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    If this is a new behavior I would do a complete physical exam and bloodwork and talk to your vet. Some dogs have seizures which can cause aggression and have the symptoms that you describe.

    [Reply]

    Hennie Reply:

    Give the older dog more attention she is jealous, it’s like bringing home a new baby with other young ones in the house, they usually try to get attention too,they need attention and most of all LOVE.
    The first year in a dogs life is always hard to put up with, they get sore gums, just like babies do, so to ease the pain they bite and nip, give puppy something to chew on like a RAW bone(brisket bones are the safest) hope this will help. Be patient.
    Hennie animal lover.

    [Reply]

  15. rose says:

    Kneed advice on my border collie jumping on people an biting when. Playing

    [Reply]

    Chad Reply:

    We have a male Newfoundland puppy, just 8 months old. Unfortunately, he has undergone surgery for OCD (disease of the cartilage at the shoulder), and he is not to run, climb stairs, or play with other dogs. At times, he growls. jumps at your hands or arm, and nips and acts aggressively. We expect that his frustration is due to the lack of exercise and the boredom. However, he is well over 100 pounds now, and we need some way of controlling the aggressive nature.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Ask your vet to refer you to a vet behaviorist who can work in tandem with your vet on a specific behavior modification program.

    I would also look into therapeutic swimming for his exercise and mental stimulation needs.

    [Reply]

  16. kathy brown says:

    We have a 4 mo female lab/pitbull mix. I have been working with her in the home, on the leash for behavior for come command. One problem I have is when we go to the door she will not back away, even with the sit command (which she normally obeys). Also, at what age should we start leaving her alone. If my granddaughter has her in her room and leaves to use the bathroom she will cry and howl. I worry that she will do this if I leave her alone. My neighbors are not the most understanding. How do i start training her to be left alone.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Check out our puppy programming course for training.

    http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/PuppyProgramming

    [Reply]

  17. Sue says:

    I have a female german shepherd, and I am having huge problems with her digging alover the yard, well not really digging but ripping up my sod. How do I stop this behavious. We also have a great dane and a 21 week old male german shepherd (the females son). They play alot together and get plenty of exercise. My property is 1 acre and completely fenced, so exercise doesn’t seem to be an issue. The other 2 dogs do not have this problem, but my female shepherd spins in a circle digging up the yard, this is really becoming an issue, and costing me large dollars.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    She is bored. Dogs dig when they are bored.

    Although I am sure that they “play” it is not enough to keep her occupied if she is outside all day… which is what it sounds like.

    Diggers need serious exercise and to be let out to potty, but not kept outside all day.

    Shepherds are prone to OCD and this will be very hard to break if it becomes obsessive.

    [Reply]

  18. Paul says:

    there is a general misconception ( with the majority of dog owners ), that “the dog is the problem” or “the dog has a problem”…

    the truth of the matter is, “the problem is ALWAYS the owner, and never the dog !”.

    if you looked at everything “from the dogs perspective”, instead of trying to rationalize “the symptoms” ( which is the main error in 80% of the posts ), you would understand your dog is sending you a message, put very simply “the dog is not happy”, and you can add to this “getting only xx minutes of exercise per day”, or “being left at home all day, while you go to work”, or whatever else you do, that your dog is not impressed with.

    Every problem produces symptoms, and collectively ( all the symptoms ) point to the deepest root of the problem, there is a cure, and it is so simple, “start thinking like a dog, not a human”.

    ok, ( human thinking as a dog, “in a perfect doggy world” ), i would wake up early in the morning, just before sunrise, wake up my owner, and together we will go to our usual hunting ground, together we will use our keen predatory skills to stalk the prey ( rabbits generally ), my owners assets are good long distance eye sight, and my assets are my incredibly sensitive nose and good hearing, i always end up capturing the prey ( as i am the fastest runner ), then i usually lay down and consume my kill, or maybe take it home and bury it ( for eating later, this also stops flies getting to it ), then my owner and i will have a nice long rest, followed with a bit of play time, you know running around, chasing things ( not really into balls and toys ), i prefer four legged and fury things ( cats, vermin, etc ), just to pass the time until my evening hunt…

    i hope this gives a few people another perspective on what your dog really wants from you, if you haven’t worked it out, here is the answer:
    1. your dog wants your leadership ( you are the boss, remember you set the rules )
    2. your dog wants you 24/7 ( time together ( companionship ) is extremely important to all dogs )
    3. your dog wants to do what a dog wants to do, and that is hunt ( some breeds will have this bred out of them, and that is sad for the dog, some people live in concrete jungles, and that is sad for the dog and the owner )

    what you think is fun, and what a dog thinks is fun, can be totally different, so with that in mind… the dog wants to have fun, but at the same time is willing and wanting to submit to your authority, and will be as patient as is possible whilst waiting for you to initiate the hunt, when the hunt doesn’t eventuate ( as you do not take your dog hunting ), then your dog gets impatient, or suggestive ( nipping, mouthing, biting ), note these things are all part of what puppies do, as they are being schooled by their mother and their own instincts, chewing each others ears and feet etc, they are “acting out” their hunting skills for later in life ( when their mother stops feeding them ) and they have to hunt for themselves.

    some dogs, and especially rescued dogs, have grown up never having had a “pack leader” ( ignorant or useless owner’s fault ), and as a consequence have developed a habit of being “the alpha male/female”, and until they are under the authority of a pack leader, nothing will correct this problem, so if you are one of these people, here is the best word in training your dog, the word “NO”, and the way to use it is, immediately ( don’t bother if it takes you more than 10 seconds, the dog will have forgotten what happened by then ) after the dog has done something wrong, using a “low tone voice”, spoken calmly and forcefully, look the dog in the eye and say “NO” to whatever action the dog has done, conversely, use a higher pitched voice to praise your dog for correct actions, after a very short time, the dog will give you authority to be the alpha, and will be submissive to everything you ask, if this doesn’t happen, then YOU are doing something wrong.

    do make the effort to be with your dog all the time, i cannot understate how much of an effect this has on the psychological well-being of your dog, other than to say “it means everything to them”, and that presents this question, “how can you be a pack leader, if you are away from them most of the day ?”, surely they will promote themselves to a more dominant position, and that means they will see themselves as ( most important, powerful, or influential ), and that is the issue you are all having ( the problem ), you see the symptoms, “can you now see the root of the problem ?”.

    i lived with a pack of hunting dogs that i breed myself, we hunted together twice or three times a day ( depending on the weather ), we played, ate, slept, did everything together ( the longest time i was ever away from them, was 3 hours in their entire lives, that is 14 years for the longest living one ), we lived as a pack, i was the alpha, giving them respect and receiving that authority from all my dogs, if any of them tried to bypass the rules ( to be expected when they are growing up from puppyhood ), a gentle growl from me was all they needed to remind themselves to submit, i never had to experience the foolishness that some people have brought upon themselves, my dogs were always obedient ( only ever disobeyed me when another dog came into their hunting territory, which their instincts told them, they had to bail up, as a message to the dog never to come back ), they lived to hunt, and for each others welfare, submitting to each other based on their position in the pack, working together as a team, i learned things that books cannot teach, only a dog can.

    so you might think these dogs could not be trusted ( with all that killing they did each day ), well i could stake my life on the fact, that i could trust each and every one of my dogs absolutely ( 100% ), i could put any of my dogs in a room with a baby in a pram, and know no harm would come to the child, a small child could hit any dog with a stick and the dog would just walk away with absolutely no aggressiveness whatsoever, why you may ask ? because people make dogs aggressive, people and their selfish needs, lack of knowledge, etc.

    a dog that hunts is the happiest dog in the world, it will be totally fulfilled and content with it’s life, as it is performing it’s purpose in life, doing what it knows is totally natural, using it’s instincts, burning up astonishingly huge amounts of energy ( distances that most people couldn’t walk in a day ), the companionship of the owner and other dogs, the environment of the bush ( forest, farm, etc. ), all these things give the dog the essentials for an enjoyable life.

    question, “do you really think a dog enjoys living in a city ?” my answer, “no”, put any animal ( or human for that mater ) in an artificial environment ( read: boring and unnatural ) and that’s what you will end up with, a bored and unnatural dog, and that equates to numerous problems, so i hope you can see why i previously said “the owner is the problem, and not the dog”, as the dog is only a creature of it’s environment, and that responsibility lays squarely on the shoulders of the owner

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Whereas I do agree with some of your statements others are simply not true.

    Good people get aggressive dogs or dogs with sensory problems and it is no fault of their own. They have to learn to live with the animal and yes, exercise is key.

    Not all people want their dogs to hunt, this can build an unhealthy prey drive that can become out of control for a non professional. Instead i like to build and control drive myself and teach my dogs not to chase or hunt… it gives me control.

    Plenty of dogs are happy living in a city if they get adequate exercise and training. It is unrealistic to expect all city dwellers to give up their dogs or move to the country.

    And, as I stated before Good People get out of control and aggressive dogs through no part of their own. Sometimes aggression, serious aggression can be seen in 6 week old puppies… that would not be the owners fault 😉

    It is so much easier to blame the person than it is to understand the behaviors and help them both make changes to live successfully and controlled together.

    [Reply]

  19. Sandra Burch says:

    We have a beautiful German shepherd named Guardian. He is ten months old and very smart but sometimes can get overly aggressive (usually when he has to go out) he doesn’t really bite bite but with his sixe and teeth it can’t help but hurt when he engages in this behavior I know he can be trained because my husband who is a kind of dog whisperer established his alpha position right at the beginning and is never treated with anything but affection from him. Unfortunatly for the rest of our household we are the ones Guardian practicies his biting skills on. We tried the nice approach the smacking approach and other recommended excercises but the one that works best for us (at least so far) is leaving a choke chain on his neck along with his collar whenever he starts his biting routine (which is not all the time just at certain times of the day) whoever is being chomped on will grab the ring on the choke and give it a short yank and say NO! we only do it when he bites as soon as he stops we pet him in a calm manner and say good boy and direct his attention elsewhere i.e. his chair or favorite toy. Usually after about the third or fourth yank he gets the message and stops. I think dogs like people respond differently so I don’t know if this would work with every dog but our stubborn dog does respond to this kind of training the nicer approaches didn’t work with him. I do want to say however that when we do this it is in a calm way and not in an angry way it’s just letting him know that he can’t get away with that kind of behavior anymore

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I am worried for you. At 10 months this is not a good sign, he is not even sexually mature yet.

    I worry that because you are using aggression too, once he realizes he is bigger and stronger than you that he will bite for real and do some major damage.

    I would consult a veterinary behaviorist and be very careful.

    Some dogs will maul their owners for a leash correction!

    [Reply]

  20. Paul says:

    hello Minette,

    quote [ Whereas I do agree with some of your statements others are simply not true. ]

    if you can be more specific when you say “others are simply not true”, so i can respond with an explanation of whatever it is you misunderstood 😉 if you are referring to my statement “do you really think a dog enjoys living in a city ?”, let me put it to you in a completely different way…

    if there were no humans on the planet, and the dog ( this should really be the timber wolf, but it is incidental anyway ) was left to live as nature intended, all the descendants would have totally enjoyable lives, the rules of life would be unchanging from generation to generation, survival would be paramount, social order within the packs would favor the “might is right” and “survival of the fittest” rules, that nearly all animals adhere to, and confusion of the mind would not exist, now add humans to the equation and everything that worked so well before, starts disintegrating, for example, hunting skills are no longer needed as food comes from supermarkets, physical strength is no longer required to become the alpha male/female as fighting is now banned, as a consequence of that, breeding mates are now selected by another species ( humans ), i could go on, but i think you get my point, but as crazy and unacceptable as some parts of this example may sound, it happens to be true…

    imagine for one moment if your dog was in charge of the decision making process, as to whom you should mate with, would you be happy with the dog’s decision ? i think not, and yet you think you can choose the correct mate for your dog, with all the information available on genetics, the dog still has the upper hand, the male dog can smell the genetic makeup of the bitch he wants to select as a mate, this also applies to horses ( which i also know a bit about, besides dogs ), not only that, the dog can also detect cancer in humans, i could go on for a long time on the merits of the wild dog, the domesticated dog, equine, etc, my point is to open the eyes of the average person to the things we as humans have lost touch with, but by contrast most animals still use to this day, people think about it deeply, just because we have adapted to this false lifestyle, that is so far removed from that of our ancestors that hunted for food, the animals haven’t, their instincts still remain ( to a lesser degree ) and when they are allowed to exercise those instincts, the animal regains what has been missing in it’s life, and the pleasures from it

    quote [ Good people get aggressive dogs or dogs with sensory problems and it is no fault of their own. They have to learn to live with the animal ]

    having the ability to see the problem in an animal, before making a decision to acquire it is very important, and i realize many people lack this ability. nevertheless, once you have taken charge of the animal, it now becomes your responsibility and duty to correct the problems that it has, this is a very easy task when you have those skills. i will give you a ( shortened ) example of one dog i corrected about 30 years ago, as i think it will give a lot of hope to people that have given up trying to correct their own dogs behavior, there is no point in accepting second best from a dog, when with a lot of love and time you can get the very best from it instead.

    this particular dog was a German Shepherd, it had been very badly abused by the previous owner, and impounded, deemed unfit for rehoming, for two years it had lived behind the confines of a heavy gauge, chain net security fence enclosure ( to protect the public ) the dog would relentlessly and ferociously attack the wire fence when anyone came into the dog pound.

    the day i started work there, i asked the staff about the the dogs history, and what was being done to rehabilitate it, the response was the same from all the staff, there is nothing you can do for her, she is only good for one thing and that is being the pound’s guard dog, she could never be re-homed, she is far to dangerous ( note: this dog was exhibiting extreme phycological distress, and disorders ) so i asked if i could have a go at training her, everyone thought i was joking ( or completely nuts ).

    so the first thing i did was stand beside her, she went absolutely mental, bearing her teeth, barking and biting at the heavy wire mesh until her voice gave out, which took about 30 minutes, i was sitting down beside her at this time, calmly repeating her name, and telling her it was alright, looking her straight in the eye, i had the back of my hand against the wire mesh, so she could get my scent. i repeated this every time i went past her in my work duties for many days, stopping to say hello, and she gradually became used to me, the biting stopped, then the barking, and eventually the whole “aggressive dog” routine, although she would still do it if anyone else came near.

    about a week and a half after i started training her, i decided she was at the point, that i could enter her enclosure, the gate to the pound was locked shut, and all the staff were looking out the closed windows of the office ( doors also locked ), because they knew she would maul anyone she could get her teeth into, i really cannot explain just how ferocious she was, but i hope you get the picture from the actions of the staff i worked with, they feared her immensely, and for good reason.

    the moment of truth… i walked up to her, greeted her in a calm manner, opened the door to her enclosure, and got the greatest shock of my life, she immediately laid down, rolled onto her back, and submitted to me totally, i knelt beside her and gave her chest a rub, and she greeted me by licking my hand, within a few minutes i was patting and hugging her, she responded with many ways of showing her affections, it was an amazing experience, what i did was restore her faith in humans, this is the number one issue that aggressive dogs have ( and aggressive horses, as i train these also )

    a nice ending… i continued working with her each workday, and approximately six months later, and with absolutely no aggressiveness at all, she was deemed fit for rehoming, a few weeks later a new home was found for her, what a lovely dog she turned out to be, without a doubt the most affectionate dog i have ever known.

    quote [ Not all people want their dogs to hunt, this can build an unhealthy prey drive that can become out of control for a non professional.
    Instead i like to build and control drive myself and teach my dogs not to chase or hunt… it gives me control. ]

    yes this can be true with a few breeds of dog, but there is two sides to a coin… when you teach your dog when it can hunt, and when it cannot, it is looking at you all the time with the thought “can we start the hunt now ?”, this has a beneficial spin-off, the dog respects you more for being the pack leader, all your dogs are waiting for you to give the command to hunt, as hunting is at the top of the dogs priority list, if you control this, you control the dog.

    quote [ Plenty of dogs are happy living in a city if they get adequate exercise and training.
    It is unrealistic to expect all city dwellers to give up their dogs or move to the country. ]

    my point in saying this is to give insight to what the dog needs and desires, not what the human wants, people live in cities because of their own personal motives, be it business, employment, family, whatever, nowhere are the interests of the dog mentioned, but the dog is effected a lot more than you may think by the environment it lives in, humans can desensitize any animal ( this is one of my jobs breaking in horses, all done with love and care though ), the animal will resist the new education, but eventually summit to it, what does this say, the animal has fears and instincts that are saying “i really don’t like this”, but my job is to ease the animal into the new training in such a way, that it will allow the training to happen, it becomes acclimatized to it, and eventually thinks the training is normal ( whereas it didn’t at first ), so over time, what is unnatural, become natural, but this still doesn’t change the fact that the animal is now living an unnatural lifestyle, and this is the point i was making, when you have a problem, you have to look at it from many angles, to determine the things that may be contributing to the overall problem, a good example is having a short haired dog in the Arctic, or a malamute in the tropics, you can see the answer straight away, other problems are a bit more complex to see, but having 50 years experience with dogs, and other animals helps.

    i will admit many animals just accept their lifestyle, and never give it a second thought, but some do not, and it was on this point, i said what i said, so those people that have tried “everything” and still no closer to a solution, have to question for themselves whether living in a city may be a contributing factor in why their pet is not getting any better ( food for thought ), personally i know what cities do to many dogs in this category, and it always ends in some “introverted phycological problem” that defies diagnosis… dogs chasing their own tails, etc, short answer, the dog get bored with life in the city, and loses the plot :-(

    i think that just about answers the points you have raised Minette, i do agree it is all about helping other people find solutions to problems, but we obviously interpret things differently, i have found it is quite difficult putting my knowledge into very few words, for others to understand, but something always gets lost in the translation :-)

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I still don’t agree. I have been doing this too long.

    I know my dogs are much happier getting regular meals and affection than starving to death or getting mauled to the point of a slow death. To me that is no way to live.

    I would rather live in a home with all the amenities than have to live off the land, as would they.

    They really don’t care about breeding, nor do I breed them. I am all about spay and neuter and limiting breeding to mentally and physically healthy dogs.

    There are always opposing views and a contradiction story or analogy to every story.

    However I write for the masses and some of these people have never owned a dog before; most people are not seasoned professionals with expert knowledge.

    And, although I often recommend exercise, I would never expect people to leave their jobs and move somewhere they couldn’t make ends meet for their dog. Some people have to live and like to live in the city. There are plenty of ways they can still give their dogs what they need.

    Perhaps we are destined not to agree with each other on most of these things.

    [Reply]

  21. Méabh says:

    It is really useful to know that other dogs behave like this. I have a 9 month old hound pup (kerry beagle) that I rescued from the dog pound. His biting is so bad I am afraid of him sometimes. He doesn’t bite other dogs (he does bite them but only in play and is not aggressive with other dogs, only friendly), only humans and mostly just me but also guests when they come into the house. I kept thinking he must have ADHD and everyone thought I was mad for thinking that about a dog but I have never seen behaviour like it and I have had dogs before. He gets so excited at the slightest of things and jumps up and bites hard and nothing will stop him. As he is a big pup/dog his bites are sore and I am often left bruised. I have been so worried about what to do with him and if he continues I don’t feel it’s safe to have him around. I will try the toy trick though and see how I get on with it. Hopefully I can train him not to bite so much and so often!! thanks for the tip.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He might have more anger problems than over stimulation.

    I would get a professional veterinary behaviorist to the house to see the behavior and make sure you are safe.

    [Reply]

  22. Debbie says:

    We rescued a 1 year old Australian Cattle Dog, Wrigley. Some of the previous postings have helped me with one of his issues. The other issue is that when my husband goes for the leash, he starts jumping, barking and nipping at my husband. We have to elderly dogs who he takes out for quick potty breaks in the front yard. Wrigley will bark until he comes back in with the dog. I should mention that he only does the nipping to my husband, not me. Wrigley has only nipped me twice in the seven months we have had him and it was during overly excited play with his ball. Any ideas on how to change the dogs and my husbands behavior?

    [Reply]

  23. Sabrina says:

    My boyfriend and I adopted a 11-months old retriver or hound mix on Saturday. He is really tall and lean (maybe 65 lbs and his head reaches easily above my knees). His previous owners taught him only basic commands (sit, down) and he will do them most of the time if asked to do so. They warned us that he likes to jump. He was pretty good the first few days, but since I had to go back to work (and can’t get him to doggy day care until next week when his shots have kicked in or to any training classes for that matter) and kept him in the crate during the day, he seems really overly excited, almost aggressive sometimes – note that this is only the case with me, not my boyfriend – despite three walks a day of at least 30 minutes each. I have tried hard to establish myself as his boss by making him walk behind/beside me, feeding him and giving treats only for following commands, etc. – but apparently something is not working. I’m really frustrated and don’t know what to do. I even considered giving him back, because I feel like he’s not respecting me. Last night he actually scared me. I got up from the couch and he excitedly ran up and jumped up and down and even nipped at my hands. He never growled or showed his teeth and his “bites” didn’t even leave any red marks, but he just wouldn’t stop. I tried to turn away and ignore him, but he just kept going until I finally yelled, he barked, and it all stopped as soon as my boyfriend entered the room because he heard the noises. Now I am worried what would happen if I had been alone… Is this really bad behavior on his part? Or something normal that I can train away? Would love your input as I am really frustrated and worried.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    It is bad behavior. I can’t see it so I don’t know how aggressive it is.

    Put him on a leash when he comes out of the crate so you can keep him off of you.

    Work more on training 3-5 sessions a day at least.

    And I 30 minute walk for an 11 month old puppy is like a 1/2 block stroll. He is an athlete and he needs to be exercised like one… running for 3-5 miles would make a difference for a while!

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/page/2/?s=THIS+is+what+I+mean+by+exercise

    [Reply]

  24. Sabrina says:

    Thanks for your quick answer! I really appreciate your insight. I am actually using the gentle leader his previous owners gave me when walking him outside, so I’ll follow your advice and get that on him when I let him out of his crate this afternoon. He hates having it on, but by using treats to make him sit while I put it on I’ve been able to make it a little easier. Hopefully having that on in the house will help me to get him to calm down when he gets so jumpy/nippy – it’s only happened twice so far, but I don’t want it to become a pattern and be able to react better. Would trying to get him to actually follow the “sit” command by using treats when he’s that excited help? Or just reinforce bad behavior by getting a treat?

    I’m hoping that doggy day care might help wear him out a little and will start substituting one of the walks with a run. For tonight I was able to schedule a long walk and play date with a friend’s dog of similar size, so hopefully that will make up for today’s boring day in his crate and keep him calm when we get home.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I’m guessing the gentle leader will really help. Put it on him before you feed him too so he has positive reinforcement for wearing it!!

    Obedience is needed but be careful about asking him every time he is naughty otherwise he will be naughty and then sit for the treat!!

    Day care should definitely help get him exercise and socialization!! Just keep up on obedience too!!

    [Reply]

    Sabrina Reply:

    Quick update… The more dominant I became, the more he pushed back. When the leash was on, he would listen to commands and be really good. The moment the leash was of, he would be really wild – very rough, no interest in petting, no listening. He would listen well to my boyfriend and was almost afraid of him even though he never laid a hand on him, but not at all to me. When I took of the gentle leader Friday night after a long walk and some command training, he ran around for a minute and then tried to jump and snap at my face – not growling, fletching teeth biting, but still… At that point I decided to return him :( Anyways, thanks for trying to help!

    [Reply]

  25. Marlene Tulak says:

    My dear friend has a 5.5 yr old poodle.
    When people go to leave she runs and nips their heels. She did
    mine and it did hurt a bit. I need to know what to tell her owner what to do. She’s a really good dog and this is the only thing she does wrong.

    Thanks for your input and its great reading everyone’s reply

    [Reply]

  26. Bear says:

    I have a 9+ wk old Rotty mix breed and you shed some insight into her behavior. In the morning she is all excited to “see us” even though she sleeps at the foot of the bed with the cat(yes they are best friends) and she get so amped up she starts biting and bouncing around, now i have raised many pups and a lot her behavior is puppy but the biting is anytime she get excited, friends come over, or we get ready to go someplace so now i’m going to start keeping toys everywhere and redirect her to the toy.
    Thanks for the guidance and the idea, keep up the good work.

    [Reply]

  27. Meri says:

    I have two dogs, a sheltie, and a japanese chin. Both came to me from abusive homes. They are great, after some work. I just brought home a 11mo old yellow lab mix. I got him from a shelter, shipped to me from TN. He is a gentle dog, recently nuetered, and he is very very possesive of me. He won’t let the other two dogs near me. He keeps pushing them away and taking total control of the space around me. He isn’t aggressive, I’ve already curbed his growling and nipping. But my sheltie, which has been my shadow for the past 5 yrs seems afraid of him. I know the lab has some issues with being abandoned, and I don’t want to make him feel that he’s not wanted, but at the same time, I don’t want my sheltie to feel like he’s being abandoned by me for the lab. The chin just sits around, watches it all, and has no problem climbing over the both of them to climb in my lap and snort at the boys. Any ideas how to get control of the winning possessive lab without making the sheltie feel left out?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Training!

    Train the lab separately and work on obedience so he will listen to you and eventually you can tell him to go lay down (away from you) when you want to snuggle with the others. Plus it will give you one on one time with him.

    Take the Sheltie out alone for training or play time or on a walk just alone, or go for a ride somewhere.

    I had an old dog that was my soul mate and as he aged he wasn’t able to train or play much anymore, so we’d get in the car and just go drive to the park or get a hamburger and just hang out together… it kept him happy and not feeling neglected.

    [Reply]

  28. Angie says:

    HI

    I have a 12 week old labrador cross staffie, male.

    My husband and I have always allowed our dogs to sleep on our bed, and we’ve had a few dogs together over the years, but none have been a problem like Buster.
    We’ve had Buster since 8 weeks old and for the past 2 weeks, as soon as we enter the bedroom he starts nipping, once we are in bed he starts launching himself towards us and nipping, almost biting, arms, face, whatever he can get hold of. We put him on the floor but he’s back on the bed within minutes, we keep repeating this process but it’s not until the lights go off and the TV is off and it’s dark that he will finally settle down. This was not an issue initially, we could put him on the bed, turn the light off and leave the telly on and he would settle, but now he won’t settle.

    He is driving us nuts!! We have tried to shut him in the kitchen but he causes such a noise that I have visions of our neighbours reporting us to the environmental people.

    Any suggestions what we can do, we do not like the crate idea, so any other suggestions would useful.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He needs to be crated!!

    You are creating a monster!

    After several months you can try again, but right now he needs a crate.

    He also needs lots of exercise before bed. Don’t let him sleep a few hours before bed so that he will fall asleep faster and sleep harder at night.

    [Reply]

  29. Shannon says:

    I need your help! I have a 15 mo old great Dane male who is neutered. He is usually pretty good, but he does this thing to only me (not my husband) more and more and I need help. When I leave a room, or a gated off area like the deck and I go to return Rocco gets this almost glazed over look. If I try and pet him he usually turns his head away. As soon as I open the gate or cross the threshold of the door he immediately growls and jumps and bites. He doesn’t actually bite down but this is a problem when he weighs more than me and when he jumps he is taller than me too.

    Any idea what I can do? If I try and turn ariund I’m scared he will jump on me and knock me down.

    Help!

    Shannon

    [Reply]

  30. Halle says:

    I have a weimaraner who is almost a year old now, and he is so bad! One of the worst things he does is bite. He is very big and powerful, and his bites are obviously not pleasant. The problem is, he is unpredictable (like the dog in the article). We have tried so many things, but nothing deters him.
    A lot of times he’ll come over and bite my arm hard, simply because he can. I’ll say “NO!” And turn my back to him, but he jumps up and bites my butt or nips at my hair instead. I just don’t know what to do anymore….

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would say give him so much exercise he is too tired to do this.

    Weims need excessive amounts of exercise, they were bred to hunt all day and because of this they make difficult pets.

    Run him, teach him to retrieve, play games, work on training and all this will make him a better pet.

    [Reply]

  31. Val says:

    Minette, I’d value your advice on this. My loveable adult Rottie bitch loves everyone, and since I rescued her 20 months ago, she’s always been a sleeve tugger. I pretty much cured her of it with me by ignoring that, but her’e’s what occasionally happens with other people.
    She tries to grab their sleeve, they immediately grab their hand up fast in the air, she waits and they come down again to pet her, she tries to grab the sleeve, they jerk their hand up….in extreme cases she ends up jumping up and down as they wave their hands excitingly up and down…..
    Now I figured out some months ago what she is doing. She is, as you’ll guess, a clever creature. She has figured out that once she has the sleeve, the hand *must* come close to her head to pet her. When the human listens to me explaining that, and stops jerking their hand and puts it on her head, she stops grabbing the sleeve and stands happily to be petted.
    So far so good, but repeated bouts of animal-loving people jerking their hands at her is making her more excited, and unfortunately she isn’t quite smart enough to understand an absence of sleeves. So she can end up putting her teeth on skin. She looks confused and let’s go, but I would prefer to be able to take more control of this. The obvious thing is not to let people pet her, but I am trying to make sure no-one we met regularly is frightened of her. When people listen to my explanation and do what I suggest (just put your hand on her head) they see for themselves right away that I am telling the truth – but so many people seem to be deaf. I can’t change them, I can cure her with me, but how do I transfer it to others? I don’t want to resort to jerking her away on the lead, I feel that won’t help.
    She is generally a loveable big lump, btw.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    This sounds aggressive even to me.

    Imagine being in court and trying to explain this to a judge after she has bitten someone’s arm.

    The judge will undoubtedly fine you substantially and demand the dog euthanized. It doesn’t matter if she enjoys petting after the fact.

    Now imagine yourself as a person who doesn’t know or really like dogs that she is jumping toward to bite… how would you feel? I would be terrified and angry and if you run across the wrong person, they will make it a point to have your dog deemed dangerous.

    Instead of writing this off as silly social dog behavior you need to realize how aggressive this is and looks to everyone who doesn’t love her

    I would not allow her to be petted by people for a VERY long time. I would teach her to lay down when she meets people and stay there, condition her that meeting new people equals laying down but she does not get petted; so this behavior and reaction goes away.

    If she was mine, I would keep others from petting her for her lifetime and teach her that petting and interaction comes strictly from me; this would keep this behavior from ever happening again and putting her life at risk.

    If she is truly not aggressive you can later teach her to accept petting while she is sitting or laying down, but right now she learns to control herself or one day her fate and training won’t be in your hands anymore.

    [Reply]

    Val Reply:

    I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me Minette, thank you very much for that. I’ve got a feeling I didn’t explain it well – and I realise that when you can’t see the dog for yourself I’m asking a lot – but your response has at least got me thinking about the worst case scenario, and seeing it from a different perspective. If I can’t explain it well enough for you to see that it is not, at the moment, an agggressive act, then you’re absolutely right and I certainly couldn’t explain it to a court. I shall go away and think about what you have suggested. I live in a different culture to you and over here almost all the dog-lovers I meet see sleeve-tugging as affectionate and cute – but I can see where this is going and I don’t want my dog at risk. Thanks again for your time.

    [Reply]

  32. sharon says:

    you have just described out golden retriever pup and exactly how she behaved/s. I am giving myself a pat on the back because all the things you suggested are what we ended up doing out of desperation. she is 15wks now and has turned a corner with this behavior and is not as intense. Today she decided to nip at my legs. As i continued to turn and show her my back she gave up and went and got a toy to bite on. I was thrilled to see her stop and pause and think about it.
    The first 6 weeks of her at home were very tough. it was hard on the kids as they were getting jumped on & bitten. She wasnt the “lovely” pup they were expecting and hard after their departed gentle Daisy of 11. we were all a bit shell shocked. But with perseverance and lot of positive reward training, & ripped PJs, she has really quietened down. THanks for the article it was very encouraging to read. Only wish i could have read it 6 weeks ago.!!

    [Reply]

  33. Maria says:

    Hi
    Please could you just explain how you direct the dog to a toy instead without it appearing as if the biting behaviour is being rewarded? Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would try giving a command like sit and then rewarding it with a tug or a bite.

    However if I can’t or he doesn’t have obedience skills at all, I would just exchange for a toy.

    I’m less worried about rewarding something I can extinguish later by having a toy on me and letting him decompress.

    The idea is you provide the toy BEFORE the bite

    [Reply]

  34. I want to to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at new stuff you post…

    [Reply]

  35. Chris says:

    In the wild a puppy would have learnt very quickly from its parents or other dominant members that biting would not be tolerated. I’m surprised people here have had ongoing problems. It only took my puppy two times to learn to never bite me again.

    The first time he bit me hard and drew blood I gave him a single smack on the backside. It was memorable enough for him to refrain biting me again for a few weeks. The next time he did it I intentionally made a squealing sound to indicate pain and then smacked him again. He has never bitten me again since.

    Now when we play if he comes close to biting hard I make a squeal sound and he stops suddenly and starts licking me in a sympathetic way while smelling and checking to see if he has injured me anywhere on my body. We have a great relationship and for the majority of my training I use treats and positive reinforcement any other time. But you have to know when to show some tough love as it would have naturally occurred within their pack.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I never recommend hitting and for some dogs it makes them seriously aggressive. Dogs can kill their owners.

    I have a dog that the more aggressive you get, the more aggressive she gets; she would send you to the hospital for smacking her on the butt.

    Positive methods don’t usually result in being bitten and mauled because we can use our minds to get animals to do what we want!

    [Reply]

  36. Katie says:

    My boyfriend has a 2 year old German shepherd and he nips everyone but his master. it doesn’t matter if it’s when i walk through the door when i get home from work, cooking, doing the laundry or simply walking from one room to the next. He will nip my hands and thighs, he will pull at my clothes. Any advise on how to curb the nipping? I tell him no and make him stop and lay down, then i will walk off and come back, scratch his ear and start playing with him, yet this has not made any real difference and the nipping has been going on for over 6 months.

    Many Thanks,

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    my guess is he isn’t getting anywhere near the exercise he needs and this is a problem from that.

    Also I recommend that YOU take him to an obedience class. I don’t care how many classes he has been to he could use the refresher and you need to learn how to work with him.

    [Reply]

  37. Katie says:

    Hi, we have a 16 week old cockapoo and she has started to bite me when I get home from school (I am the first one back to let her out). me and my brother both go to school and my mum and dad work all the time so she is at home most of the time alone, a dog walker does come and play with her at lunch for an hour though. But this past week she has started to bite me as I came back from school. She didn’t usually do this so I’m not sure why she has started to. Any tips please

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    she needs more exercise!

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