Does your dog nip? Even though your pet is not actually biting you, nipping can still be painful, and something you don’t want your pet doing. How can you stop it?
Here are some tips:
- Play or something more?
When your dog nips, is he doing it as play, or is he being more aggressive? Signs of aggression include growling and showing teeth or hair on the dog’s back is standing up. Sometimes it may be a little more difficult to determine if the dog is playing or being aggressive. If you cannot determine which, you need to get professional help to find out.
If the nipping is a sign of aggression, you will also need to see a behavior modification specialist to help with the dogs actions.
- Stopping the nipping.
If the nipping is play behavior, you can do several things to try and reduce or eliminate it. First off, you can reduce the pressure of the dog’s biting if you yelp and then ignore the dog when he or she nips. If the dog stops biting after you yelp, give him a reward. If the dog continues to nip, ignore him each time he bites. If this continues, leave the room.
If you follow this procedure, over time the dog should not bite with as much force, and eventually, with no pressure at all. The important thing here is to make the dog aware that biting is painful and that he needs to be careful of the amount of force he uses in the bite.
You also want to limit the occasions when your pet is most likely to nip. There are usually certain times when the dog is prone to do this behavior, such as when he is greeting you or trying to get your attention, or when he gets overexcited while playing, for example. If you limit these opportunities, you can focus more on your pet’s behavior when he does nip.
- Find other options.
To eliminate the nipping, you also need to find something else for the dog to do during those times when he is most likely to nip. It is some behavior that you can reward your dog for following. For example, if your dog tends to nip when he greets you, give him a toy to play with instead, something he may have to chase to allow him to release his pent up energy. Naturally, whatever option you choose should be something that does not involve contact with the animal.
Dogs have lots of energy and it need to be expended daily. Give your dog a real treat by bringing him to Barney’s Ranch for the day or overnight, which allows him to run around in our 4,000-square-foot outdoor dog run. He’ll be one tired – and happy – pup when you bring him home! Give us a call at (469) 273-1661 for more information.