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A: I can imagine how stressful this situation must be for you, especially when you're just trying to exchange friendly greetings with someone like a neighbor.
Instinct: Canines with herding backgrounds are notorious for nipping at the heels of other dogs, sheep, horses and even people. The behavior is usually brought on by fast movements or walking away from a dog with your back facing him.
Nipping and biting can be aggressive or non-aggressive, and it can be hard to tell the difference.
Indeed, nipping and mouthing are natural, usually non-aggressive behaviors that dogs use to communicate during play and normal interaction with other pets and people.
Everyone knows what nipping and biting looks like, but it can be difficult to tell the difference between nonaggressive and aggressive nipping and mouthing. However, an aggressive dog often has a stiff body, a wrinkled muzzle, erect ears, tense facial muscles, and possibly exposed teeth. Dogs can also learn bite inhibition from people: First, play with your dog, letting him or her nip and mouth your hands. If your dog nips or mouths while being petted or scratched, feed your dog small treats from your free hand to accustom him to being touched without being able to nip or mouth.
Learning to use bite strength properly in puppyhood is called bite inhibition and is crucial to developing a well-socialized dog. Allowing your puppy to socialize with other vaccinated, well-mannered puppies and tolerant adult dogs will help her use her mouth more carefully.
While puppy play is agreed to be a good way to teach your dog how to use her teeth, there is a mixed consensus on how puppies should be allowed to use their teeth with humans. Outside of playing the mouthing game, your dog should be taught to replace her mouthing of humans with a chew or toy (watch this helpful video on curbing bad chewing behavior). If your dog barks excessively whenever he sees other dogs or people, try limiting his view of what goes on outside. Wait about 10 minutes to allow your dog to cool down after he's been riled up and nipped at you.
If your dog tends to nip at your ankles while you stand or walk around your home, try carrying a toy that you know he likes in your pocket.
When using the spray bottle method, only spray the dog one or two times for each bad behavior.
Small dogs are especially delicate, so remember that you must take extra care not to exercise any physical discipline too roughly. This version of How to Get Your Small Dog to Stop Biting and Barking at You was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on July 23, 2015. If you use a head harness, you'll also have greater control over your dog's unruly ankle-attacking behavior. Some dogs use their mouths out of fear or frustration, which can indicate a problem with aggression. Time-outs are often effective for reducing nipping and mouthing in adolescent and adult dogs. Before you interact with your dog, spray the deterrent on areas of your body and clothing that your dog likes to mouth.


Owners of dogs who might be nipping, mouthing, or biting as an aggressive behavior would do well to consult a qualified professional, such as a veterinarian, a certified applied animal behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB), or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (DACVB).
As part of this exploration, the puppy learns how hard she can bite when interacting with people and other dogs. Though practicing with their teeth serves a purpose, puppies need to be taught how to politely use their mouths with humans. Whenever your puppy tries to mouth your skin or clothes, freeze in place and stop all movement until your puppy lets go. Barking is a dog's way of communicating to humans, letting us know that he needs something (food, water, or intangible needs like affection and reassurance) or warning us of approaching intruders. Some dog breeds are more vocal than others, and knowing which dogs will bark the most before you bring your dog home can help you avoid a potential headache down the line. Barking may have been selectively bred for early on in dog breeding history.[14] Barking is beneficial in that it alerts humans to potential dangers, and helps deter some animals from approaching.
Dogs will often bark in a seemingly aggressive manner to alert other animals, including humans, that the dog and his family live there. This behavior usually develops when a dog is "rewarded" by his owners with food or attention in an attempt to assuage his barking. Keep the curtains drawn, or confine your dog to a part of the house that does not face the street. This type of barking can be the most problematic, as it does not serve any desirable purpose for the dog's owners.
Any deviation from this training could cause your dog to revert back to his attention-seeking behavior.
This may be a difficult behavior to train out of your dog, since he does it out of his own compulsion and not in response to any real, external factors. This can be done similarly to territorial and alarm barking, but limiting your dog's exposure to outside stimuli (in this case, his ability to see and hear other dogs outside your home). Frustration barking is not entirely unlike attention-seeking in that once your dog feels that his behavior is being "rewarded" with attention, he will continue to engage in that behavior. Obedience training can go a long way in breaking a dog of bad habits and attention-seeking behavior. This should really only be viewed as a last attempt when all else has failed, as many animal experts advise against shock collars due to the potential damage they can cause to dogs.[36] Training will, in most cases, successfully teach a dog using positive reinforcement.
Playful mouthing, in which a dog gums a person's hand or puts his mouth around a person's hand without actually causing pain, is a normal social behavior in dogs.[38] If your dog is nipping or biting aggressively, however, that can cause a lot of problems, and could easily become a long-term habit if it is not properly corrected.
Your dog may not fully understand boundaries, and may not realize that his nipping is not gentle or playful in your eyes.
If your dog is nipping at you as a form of play, he may need an alternate outlet for that energy. When he nips, stop moving, show him the toy, and encourage him to play with the toy instead. While most dogs enjoy being in and around water, a quick spray of water to the face is both startling and unpleasant, and some trainers consider it an efficient way to correct bad behavior without causing any real discomfort.
If you realize you've been helping to wind up your dog, then it's partly your fault, and you need to correct your own behavior.


This undesirable and potentially dangerous behavior should be corrected as quickly as possible to minimize the risk of your dog causing harm to other people or dogs. Though most nippy, mouthy dogs are engaging in a non-aggressive form of the behavior, some take a decidedly aggressive approach to nipping and mouthing.
Playful dogs have a pliant, relaxed body posture, and their tails may be held low and wagging.
Some behaviorists and trainers believe that dogs who have learned bite inhibition are less likely to bite hard and break the skin if they bite someone due to fear or pain.
Occasionally, a dog nips his or her playmate too hard, causing the victim to yelp and, usually, stop playing. When your dog nips or mouths too hard, yelp loudly and ignore your dog for 10 to 20 seconds; if he starts nipping or mouthing during this period, walk away for 10 to 20 seconds. If your dog mouths you, stop moving and wait for him to react to the bad taste of the deterrent.
Many trainers are also equipped to handle these cases, but owners should ideally receive a recommendation from their veterinarians before proceeding. Without the experience of learning how much force their mouth emits, if a dog ever is in a situation where she bites for real, she may not have proper knowledge about how hard she should bite, posing an increased risk for deeper, more damaging wounds. The more still you are, the less fun you are, and thus the more likely the mouthing will stop.
Biting, when done without aggression, is usually a desperate attempt to get a person's attention. But there are many reasons why a dog may bark, and knowing why your dog is excessively barking may be useful in training him out of this undesirable behavior.
It's best to tread carefully with this type of barking, as you do not want to send the message that you are not happy to see your dog. Anti-barking collars, however, deliver an unpleasant sensation, such as a shock or an ultrasonic sound. But just as you're not going to punish the dog, you don't need to punish yourself - simply change the behavior and teach the dog what your new expectation is.
The first article he worked on was How to Make Baseball Cards, and his favorite has been How to Make Caffe Medici. Or if she bites too hard while playing with another puppy, the hurt puppy will likely stop playing. Although the game serves the purpose of fun and bonding with your puppy, the ultimate goal is to teach your dog to use her teeth gently on your skin. As soon as your puppy lets go, direct her to a dog toy or food toy she can chew on instead. Essentially you are playing the part of another puppy during a play session, one who also would stop playing anytime the biting becomes painful.
As you continue to play, require your dog to become gentler: Yelp and stop play in response to increasingly softer nipping and mouthing until your dog uses little or no pressure with his or her mouth.



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