How Your Dog’s Extreme Excitement Might Just Lead to a Serious Bite

This is a Stimulated Face! Thanks Jack Malcolm for the photo

Sounds weird doesn’t it?  How could excitement lead to a bite, in an otherwise normal dog?

It is kind of odd, but I see this fairly frequently!

People are actually quite the same if you think about it… well except the biting part.  Most people don’t bite each other, unless you are Mike Tyson.  But over excitement and a state of overstimulation can cause people to fight too, even me!

I am very much a submissive person.  I hate conflict and even in high school when other kids fought and the gang of peers would gather to watch the fight; I was the one turning around to leave.  I don’t even like watching people fight.

So how then could I possibly turn into a fighter?

Put me in line for Bon Jovi seats (Oh My Gosh I love Bon Jovi) for 10 hours in the heat, add some way over stimulating excitement at the chance of being front row (seriously we were in line at 4 am in the morning) and then try to cut in line in front of me.  Ahhh, yeah I had a “Ready to Go to Jail” moment.

Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t actually punch anyone in the face or anywhere else… but I certainly wanted to.  My common sense kicked in and I ended up seeking help from the security guard we had bonded with all day and he was happy to make the situation right.  And YES, YES, YES front row was AWESOME!

Now Let’s Talk About Your Dog

puppy training, excited dogs, overexcited dog bite, excited dog, excited puppy

This too is an over stimulated face! But I do love that play bow!

Your dog doesn’t have nearly the ability to contemplate situations like I did (even if I had been out in the heat all day).

Dogs rely more on instincts and what is going on around them.

And, when they are over whelmed or over stimulated or over excited their bite threshold is considerably lower.

Have you ever had an excited dog nip at a child, or at someone who may run up and present their hand?

It may not be your dog’s fault, he may be a friendly dog it may simply be that he is just reacting and is not thinking clearly.

But it won’t matter if the police or animal control is called.  No bite is acceptable, pretty much ever!  So you Must recognize the signs and understand when your dog is not clearly thinking.

Let’s Talk About My Fury

Fury is the Long Haired Dutch Shepherd that stars in a lot (most) of my dog training videos.  She is super friendly, and social and loves kids.  All in all she is the perfect dog and even does demonstrations in public as a Service Dog teaching people about Service Dogs their rights and just what they can do for people.

But she is a different dog when she gets excited.  Not just a little excited, but completely lost it over excited.  Then her biting or nipping threshold is lower.  So when she is in this state I would never let anyone pet her, because in her mind she is dock diving or running agility or playing/chasing other dogs.  It just isn’t safe for anyone. BTW she has NEVER bitten anyone.  But I realize this over stimulation and excitement fogs her normally clear thinking.

When we discovered Dock Diving a few months ago; she loved it so much so she could hardly keep herself under control while we were in line.

She barked, she spun, she jumped, she whined, she even screamed a few times because she wanted in the pool.  And, when her mind is in the pool or chasing the dog that is jumping she might just bite or nip a hand flying over her head to pet her or even another dog.

Not that she would ever chose to bite, but when she isn’t thinking straight I don’t feel good about trusting her.

So I know as an owner when she and I am not in control and I limit her ability to socialize.

She is the very same way in agility class.  If I allowed her to watch and focus on the other dogs, she would likely be very angry and possessive and her social threshold with the other dogs in the class would be significantly less (and she is already a bit of a “female dog” when it comes to dogs).

puppy training, excited dogs, overexcited dog bite, excited dog, excited puppy

My Excited Dock Diver, check out that Tail and Bark!!

What Can You Do with a Dog Like This?

You have to learn to decompress and control them.

I make my girlie give me eye contact when she is in obedience or agility class.  While all the other dogs run, she is not to pay attention to them and I expect her to stare at my pupils.  She is very successful at this.  For more on teaching your dog eye contact and focus click here.

However, the dock diving was a bit of a challenge.  She had trouble giving me focus.  So, I kept her in her crate with her crate covered so she couldn’t work herself up as much until it was our turn.  Then she got to run and splash and go back to her crate.  It was very affective.  However next time we compete I hope to keep her control and focus on me.

Other things that work, usually, are basic obedience commands.  I sometimes have my dog do push ups;  Sit, Down, Sit, Down, Sit, Down etc.  It helps to refocus their minds.  Or you can have them do a number of things; Shake, Bang, Spin, etc.

And, never allow them to be petted when they are super excited.  Not only is their bite threshold lower by allowing people to pet them you are rewarding them for being in this state of mind.  I want a calm dog.

Also, getting worked up, angry, or yelling only makes this behavior worse.  If you feel yourself getting agitated calm down, breathe slowly and back yourself out of the situation if you need to; and realize you need to do more obedience work at home.  Controlling an excitable dog takes a lot of obedience and training, it is not something we can just expect.  Remember your dog is not thinking straight so he has to be taught to control himself.

To Parents and Dog Owners

puppy training, excited dogs, overexcited dog bite, excited dog, excited puppy

I can Tell You These Dogs Should not be Petted Right Now! They are Way Too Excited about Pulling the Sled.

If your dog is out of his mind with excitement and you can’t get his focus on you don’t let anyone pet him and consider getting him out of that situation as soon as possible.

People often think their dog would never bite, but every dog has some condition under which he would whether it be pain, irritation, fear or over excitement.  Never tell yourself “My Dog would NEVER” because if you do, you are opening yourself up for a crisis.

The reason my dogs have never bitten anyone, is because I am a diligent owner and if I am at all unsure I don’t allow people to socialize with my dogs.  I also know their behaviors and signals and know that any dog is capable of biting under the right conditions.

But, training eye contact and focus is a great way to get control and learn about your dog!  More on eye contact and focus click here.  

And parents must read this and be aware that if the dog isn’t soliciting affection from kindly from your child, or it seems he is paying attention to someone or something else, or is terribly excited you are possibly setting your child up for a bite.  At the very least the dog is much more apt to jump on and knock your child down and injure him.  And most of us have been nipped and jumped on by super excited dogs at some point.

Only calm dogs who are behaving well and giving submissive, happy signals are the kind of dogs you want your kids to pet; and even then every interaction, especially with a dog you don’t know, is a risk.

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Comments

  1. Gary says:

    Minette,
    Very Helpful.
    Our 7lb. Maltese mix ” Lily ” is a sweet/loving little dog.
    However, she has regular interaction with a full grown Lab,Golden,and
    her brother from a previous litter.
    Hence, she can rough it up too.
    At 11 months she is well trained – except when external stimulation ( visitors,outside distractions etc. )come about.
    We’re working on eye contact and time out.

    Thanks again for the advice.
    Gary & Lora K.

    [Reply]

  2. Mickey Sommovigo says:

    I have a 4and1/2 month old Jack Russell terrier who I paper trained as a pup and now, Except in the morning when she first gets up, I cannot get her to go outside. I will walk her for up to 30 minutes and as soon as she comes in within one minute, she will pee where the paper used to be.
    I have caught her starting to squat, grabbed her and took her out and nothing until she comes in. Help, help, help!

    [Reply]

    Ahemmmmm Reply:

    There are a number of things you should start doing and you can correct this! Remember that you are going to be undoing a long time of doing it on the paper so be patient. You should consider starting clicker training so your dog starts to associate the clicker with the idea that when you click,she is doing something you want (and will be rewarded for it!). This way you have a clear communication with her for “yes!”

    Clean the spot where the paper was with and enzymatic cleaner, found at most pet stores, to get rid of any urine or flexes odor that is still there (her sense of smell is way better than yours!)

    Have a small handful of treats ready when you go out in the morning and immediately click and give her ALL of them when she does her business. (we want her to make a really positive association with the potty behavior while she is STILL OUTSIDE)

    REVERT to crate training too. If she doesn’t do her business outside she goes into the crate when you come inside.(you may have to carry her to it so she doesn’t have the opportunity to go on the floor when you come in. No potty outside, no freedom, no exceptions.

    Read about clecker training and crate training for more details about these methods too since it is too much info for here.

    One last thought, stop taking her past the old spot to go out and come in until she does better too, so you aren’t passing her by her old bad habit place and triggering the old response.

    It will take a while to undo the bad habit so be patient. Do not punish her for the bad behavior just crate her (make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around in) and reward her when she gets it right.

    And lastly, get her on a rigid schedule and stick to it so she learns that she can hold it and that she WILL be going out at prescribed times. Do Not Deviate at any point in the training… Mixed signals are very hard to undo!

    [Reply]

  3. Frederic Park says:

    Great article and I will follow your guidelines as suggested.
    Thank you for all your sugesstions,
    Fred

    [Reply]

  4. Tom Cosans says:

    Sweet tempered border collie will snarl and bite if guarding (for hours)
    a favorite bone/biscuit…. this is the ONLY time for this bhaviour

    [Reply]

  5. Martha Foster says:

    This is a really good article. I have an 18 month old GSD female, and she is still really happy, really excited, to see anyone beside me, to give her attention. I am always amazed at people who, despite my request to not pet her until she is still and calm, still persist in trying. And even then I am very cautious about letting some of the people who would like to even get close. I just tell them she is in training and has to do her time out until she knows how to behave from the get-go. She gets her treats for being in control. That is her reward instead of interacting with the people.

    [Reply]

  6. donna clark says:

    thank you for your help understanding my puppy i dont believe he is biting he actually goes at my leg of my pants just listening ta your lesson i think he is doing this out of something like he just must be grabbing something his mother was a blue healer. He is 3 months old so we can work this through!Thanks

    [Reply]

  7. jean cracknell says:

    we had a very docile golden retrever he was the most docile dog you could meet one christmas day carving the turkey with dog on one side and todler grandson on the other the dog moved three times to the side away from my grandson and each time andrew (grandson) moved to the same side my attention was only half on what was going on the third time andrew stood beside the dog he bit his hand this was his way of asserting the pack order unfortunately his eye tooth broke the skin quite a nasty wound i was totally to blaim we never left dog and child alone but i had been there so i am so pleased to read your post because a dog even the most tender dog can snap never think yours wont even when not excited

    [Reply]

  8. Terry Tiffany says:

    Thank you. I always learn so much reading your articles. Your information and tips help me in training my 16 month old female DS, Samantha. We continue obedience daily and exercising, but she is excitable when meeting new people. She reads me very well. She picks up on my tone and body language and reacts on that. If I’m OK, she’s OK. So I greet and meet in happy tones. If a person is nervous around her, I watch her body language. If Sammie is uncomfortable around someone, she shows it and I remove her from the situation. Your warning signs are true to form. We adopted her when she was 4 months old and her former owner did not socialize her. She has improved so much, makes good eye contact with me and is working well in obedience training. She is a work in progress. I’m glad I’m retired because a DS takes a lot of time, patience, training and exercise. I bought her a backpack for our walks and she just loves it. She struts when she wears it. She likes to think she’s working. She’s a lot of fun and a great companion.

    [Reply]

  9. Andrea says:

    What is a DS?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    For me that would be a Dutch Shepherd

    [Reply]

  10. BJ Hutter says:

    @ Mickey

    Have you thought of placing her scent on the paper and taking it outside before you begin. Give her water and wait for about ten minutes, then on her lead guide her to the location. Then, wait,wait and wait… When she urinates, whether on the paper or somehwere else outside, praise her verbally and bring her back inside and give her her favorite treat as a reward.

    [Reply]

  11. Ruth says:

    Hi, we have a year old english springer spaniel, she is bad trying to walk her, she pulls on me very bad, and I make her stop, and sit, and talk to her, but that don’t help. if she sees a squirrl running ,she goes nuts, and no calming her down,so she pulls more. I use a reg collar. would a choke help ? I hate them. help please

    [Reply]

    Gent Reply:

    Hi Ruth, I teach my dog not to pull on the leash by letting the end hit him on the rear when he gets ahead of me. This gets his attention and after a while he keeps an eye on me and tends to walk next to me.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I am not sure whether you are referring to letting the dog hit the end of the leash or using the leash to hit him in the rump. I never want to resort to hitting.

    How often do people truly teach their dog how to walk nicely on a leash? Most often people just expect their dog to do something unnatural.

    Ruth, read this and the rest of the 3 articles in this series to teach your dog about leash manners, finding heel, eye contact and focus etc.

    [Reply]

    ruthc Reply:

    I purchased a head collar (brand Halti) for my 8 month old puggle and it had done wonders in correcting her walking behavior. Of course she still needs training to learn proper walking behavior but when you need to walk pups to deplete their energy this is a god send.

    [Reply]

  12. Ruth says:

    Hi. I have a small bassett,lab,beagle mix. He’s 7 yr old, neutered and always loving and calm. But this week he bit my neighbor lady in the face without any warning. She was sitting beside him on the sofa and he was kissing her and she was loving on him. and BAM he just bit her. What’s up with this?
    Ruth

    [Reply]

  13. Nixi says:

    HELP! I have a english bull terrier and jack russell cross rescue dog. He’s around 2 yrs old now. Had him a year. He can be really affectionate but i find he has very mixed messages. He growls and snarls but wags his tail a lot. He has bitten my son badly in the face, killed one of my cats! is completely adhd and over excited when out. I genuinely dont think he’s aggressive as such but very adhd/ over excited/ over enthusiastic/ defensive(?) and doesnt realise his own strength..of which he has plenty. He’s recently started snarling at me for no real reason..eg getting him out of bed!! and i’ve locked him outside on his own for an hour or two and then he seems to be responsive again but it doesnt last. He fixates on stuff and i have no control. It took me 3 hours and a park warden to dig him out of a badger set yesterday.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    That is the definition of aggression and I worry for your son and you.

    Tail wag means nothing, almost all aggressive dogs wag their tails priior and during an attack.

    [Reply]

  14. Jo Williams says:

    I have a sweet Chorkie who is so aggresive when someone comes near the house. She was in a very abusive relationship, especially with an evil man who beat her and her female owner. I rescued her when she was 10 months old. It was several hours before I could even get near her, but she really loves me. She does not like anyone she does not know, especially men. After she is around them, she will sort of settle down unless they stand up.
    She has nipped several strangers, but they had on long pants and she only caught their pant leg. I am so afraid that she will bite someone, but I cannot control her…If I can catch her, she is ok in my arms…she trembles when she sees a stranger.
    I do not know what to do with her. When we are along she is so loving…I can’t get 2 feet away from her.
    I do not know what to do with her.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    First read this article http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/time-seek-professional-dog-training-aggression/

    Then seek the number of a veterinary behaviorist from your local vet.

    You need to get help immediately before she bites someone and the county demands her to be euthanized.

    [Reply]

  15. Vera says:

    Thank you for this great article.
    I have a 2 year old border-collie mix Anja, almost identical to the dogs pulling the sled. She is super excitable, from 0 to 100 in split second. Becomes totally uncontrollable, also snaps her teeth all around her when she is in this state. Otherwise very calm and affectionate dog at home or walks alone with me. What sets her off are other animals or moving objects. I have learned to do the up-down routine when she’s on the leash, its hard for her, but she does it and it helps. If I don’t catch it in time, we go the other way kicking and screaming.
    We have a problem in the car, without the eye contact she just does not listen and goes ballistic at the sight of other dogs, kids, cows, cyclists. Not a happy situation.
    Any suggestions how to handle this without resorting to putting bag over her head?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Teach her a good down stay command in the car. I would teach her eye contact and focus with you.

    And, I would provide her with a TON of exercise!

    [Reply]

  16. Colleen says:

    Hello Minette,

    Thank you so much for your blog. I have been soaking it up ever since I came across it, and you have helped me tremendously in confirming my suspicions about excitement and control. We have adopted a Belgian Malinois. I wanted a high energy, activity companion and knew that these kinds of dogs take a lot of work. After researching the breed ( along with GSP, and McNab), we adopted her. She is a great dog and companion and is submissive, although a bit shy/cautious with some people. We are doing agility to gain more confidence. We learned about the excitement/lower bite threshold when my husband made a ball retrieval mistake. Had he read your blog prior, it would not have happened. Of all of the info out there warning people of BM dogs as pets, none of the posts/articles included practical info like your blog. I have been pouring over dog behaviorist books since thinking about adopting a high maintenance dog. You can bet my husband will be now too. So again, thank you!!!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I’m so glad to help!!!!

    I have very high drive dogs and I actually build and sculpt their drive to help with sports and competition but it takes time!

    Just this week my husband asked why I didn’t have our pup in agility to which I mentioned he would love to bite me as I ran from obstacle to obstacle… so until I can sculpt and rein that in we will continue to focus on obedience 😉 in a few months he’ll be ready for some agility

    [Reply]

  17. RedW says:

    My dog is now 6, and though she is extremely friendly, she used to be a severe arousal biter from over-excitement. This went away with time/training. I hadn’t seen that behavior in probably years. However, the other day, she had greeted someone (behaving fairly calmly). A little later she wandered over and he started to pet her, really rubbing hard all over her body as she leaned against his knees. Most confident dogs love the feel of “rough massages,” and her tail was wagging and she wasn’t trying to get away, but the stimulation was too much and suddenly she started to get nippy/mouthy. I quickly moved her away. When she was younger, she used to get that way when she was lying on her back and would be petted. I slowly worked up to “roll over,” and finally was able to gently push her over onto her left or right side. But it was still exciting to her, and she would quiver a little. She always got rewarded for controlling herself.

    [Reply]

  18. RedW says:

    My dog is now 6, and though she is extremely friendly, she used to be a severe arousal biter from over-excitement. This went away with time/training. I hadn’t seen that behavior in probably years. However, the other day, she had greeted someone (behaving fairly calmly). A little later she wandered over and he started to pet her, really rubbing hard all over her body as she leaned against his knees. Most confident dogs love the feel of “rough massages,” and her tail was wagging and she wasn’t trying to get away, but the stimulation was too much and suddenly she started to get nippy/mouthy. I quickly moved her away. When she was younger, she used to get that way when she was lying on her back and would be petted. I slowly worked up to “roll over,” and finally was able to gently push her over onto her left or right side. But it was still exciting to her, and she would quiver a little. She always got rewarded for controlling herself!

    [Reply]

  19. jodi says:

    RAwesome article. It is very hard to get people to understand what excitement can do to a dog. Very well.written. thank you

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Thank you 🙂

    [Reply]

  20. SARAH says:

    hI, i AM JUST LEARNING ABOUT THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR -HAD NEVR KNOWN BEFORE.
    i HAVE A 4 MONTH TOY POODLE AND SHE MATCHES THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR.’i HAVE HER IN “PUPPY cLASSES NOW AND SHE DOES EVERYTHING HE TEACHES HER, UNTIL i BRING HER HOME. tHEN SHE WILL RACE THROUGHTHE HOUSE LIKE SHE’S AT dAYTONA SPEEDWAY.
    sHE HAS WHAT i CALL tEMPER tANTRUM AND GOES INYO HER CRATE.
    sHE DID BITE ME A FEW TIMES iCONSIDERED IT NORMAL FOR A PUPPY.

    tHIS IS THE 4TH. DOG i’VE HAD AND i.M SHOCKED AT HOW SERIOUS THIS COULD BE.
    aNY THOUGHTS WOULD BE WELCOME AND I THANK YOU FOR YOUR ARTICLES.

    sARAH

    [Reply]

  21. Jenn says:

    I have a 3 year old PB Blue Heeler ….we actually have 2 brothers but 1 has no issues. The other Blue bites. Only in the morning on the way to doggy daycare which he loves !! As soon as we get in the truck he starts whining & howling Loud…and he jumps out to go to the door and turns around and jumps up and Bites. We got the one pup at 8 weeks and Blue actually went to a different home until he was 2.5 years old…there is no way to communiacte w his prevous owners. He is extremely well trained and loves cuddles….I have tried a multitude of techniques to stop this….it just has to Stop please please Help !!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/redirected-aggression-dangerous/

    And consider a crate or a seat belt or a lot of exercise prior to doggy daycare. Or stopping it for a while until you can get the behavior under control

    [Reply]

  22. Rachel says:

    Great article, makes me feel less alone. I have a young (20 months) border collie who get over excited very, very easily. it first started at agility, where she did bite – fortunately only me – but it was really unpleasant mostly as she had turned into a different dog.

    We since stopped agility as I really struggled to find any way to calm her down enough to focus on anything, even driving on the way to the field would be enough to set her off and she wouldn’t calm down until we were back home.

    Now I can see similar signs coming through in other activities – being at the beach (she loves the sea, it’s the most exciting thing EVER), playing Frisbee, even just doing a few body awareness exercises at home she starts quivering after 10-15mins and her pupils start dilating. One thing that always gets her going are children – nothing specifically bad has ever happened to her but the size/speed of moment/pitch of voice/bright colours etc. associated with kids seems to wind her up no end almost instantly. I worked really hard at calming her down in the vague vicinity of kids (on the lead) and she got MUCH better but then the other day a couple came racing round a corner on tricycles into us and she went mental and she’s now worse than ever. Shame I can’t train the world at large too!!! It’s pretty hard to avoid kids here too living somewhere people come on holiday to.

    I’ll try and get the eye contact thing working, it’s not one I’ve tried yet. If you have any more idea I would be immensely grateful though as it’s pretty stressful for both of us when she’s like that, and when she’s not she the most amazing dog ever.

    Cheers
    Rachel

    [Reply]

  23. Emma says:

    Our nine month old rescued BoxerxBeagle gets too excited, she’ll run up and jump, biting at arms and hands and, if you turn away from her and she’s too worked up then she’ll bite at ankles. It can actually be really scary. Most of the time she’s a sweet and spooky girl, whining for attention and wanting belly-rubs. It’s when she gets worked up that things go weird. She just sees me as a play-mate out there with her, not me working and she’s out there with me… =/

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    She needs more exercise, more obedience and control to respect you

    [Reply]

  24. Bebe says:

    Thank you for this article. I’ve had dogs all my life, but I now have a seriously bitey puppy. He’s a Leonberger, and at 7 months looks nearly full-grown. Has a lovely nature, not an aggressive bone in his body, but he easily gets over-excited and wants to leap on people and/or bite – very gently, but my aim is never to see teeth at all.
    We’ve managed with a lot of effort to stop him jumping on people when we’re out (though we and any visitors are still fair game, working on that) and for a while he’s understood he mustn’t bite. You can see him, when excited, trying quite obviously not to bite, and kissing instead. But when he’s excited and tired he loses that self-control and back come the teeth. Doesn’t help that he’s like a small child, wants to stay up and play when it’s quite clear he needs a nap. I have to shut him in the kitchen alone to calm down, like a child on the naughty step – then he’ll sleep, and wake up better in control.

    [Reply]

  25. TeriLee says:

    I learned the hard way about an excited dog biting. My year old Aussie was so excited to see me when I came home from a weekend trip, she was jumping and squealing with joy as I got out of the car. I bent to pet her and she excitedly jumped up again and tore my lip. I do not pet her anymore when she’s excited. I wait a while until she calms down. I wish I had read this some time ago. I’m glad for your articles. I’ve learned a lot from them. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  26. Trish says:

    Hi there. Thank you for your amazing insights and advice on training dogs. We recently got a Golden Doodle puppy called Cody. He is now 18 weeks old and absolutely divine. He is however a persistent nipper. He likes to chew his lead which we are working on big time. Also if we are out somewhere quiet where we can let him off the lead I find he often runs around with my children looking like he is having the time of his life but continuously jumping up to nip their legs or bottoms. I know I shouldn’t shout but as a mom I find myself giving a roar to distract him and try to stop the biting action and then I put him onto the lead. When I let him off the lead again he just does the same thing.
    We’ve worked on putting him outside for a brief time out if his behaviour is not appropriate but this is not an option when we’re out and about and then I’m afraid the moment has passed and any retribution is lost on him. I am starting to become concerned that this is persisting and am wondering what to do. Should I muzzle him while this phase is going on?

    Thanks again for all your advice
    Trish

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He needs more training and less time off leash. You are teaching him that being off leash and way from you is more rewarding than anything else… when it should be the opposite. Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/rewarding-lesson-letting-dog-run-free/

    [Reply]

  27. Jean says:

    My Australian Shepherd Lilly gets overly excited when she plays fetch. And she was accidently biting me from time to time when she would try to catch the ball just as it was leaving my hand. I solved that problem by making her back up and lie down before I would throw the ball. I never thought she would bite anyone intentionally when playing.
    However, I have now had two instances where a young boy (different ones each time) was playing fetch with her and when he stopped and moved away, she nipped him on the back of his leg because she didn’t want them to stop playing. No bleeding or torn clothing but it did hurt. Needless to say, she is no longer allowed to play fetch with children….no matter how much she begs them to.

    [Reply]

  28. Miss Cellany says:

    I would have him humanely euthanized.
    He is a danger.
    He has already killed a cat – thankfully it was your own and not someone else’s.
    He might kill someone else’s pet, or bite a child. You cannot trust him, and you should not rehome him – this is just passing the problem onto someone else.
    Euthanasia is the best option unless you have the time 24 /7 to watch him and train him with a qualified professional trainer.
    Also PLEASE keep a muzzle on him whenever he is outside (on leash or not). A cat wandering around outside might pay with it’s life if you do not.

    [Reply]

  29. Dominique Graaff says:

    I have a 6month old Jack Russel (male) Potty training is going great. He is developing an attitude problem. I’m not sure why… we sometimes have to leave him at home when we go to work, but I’m home most of the time. He has this bad habit of biting and barking when we do get home. I take him out for a run to get rid of some of his energy of being cooped up inside. And the crate does not seem to be working. As soon as I put him in the cage (timeout) when he acts out or gets too excited he barks! I have neighbors and would hate to get any complaints. I know he is still a pup, but I fear he’d get only worse. The same goes with his biting. Lately his biting is out of control, not only during playtime…but most of the time when he does not get his way! I don’t want a spoiled pup, that acts out when he does not get his own way 🙁 So I’m looking for a resolution, or any advice on what I can do to change this before it gets out of hand! Thank you

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I think you are misunderstanding this. You answer it when you say you have a 6 month old Jack Russell.

    Did you research the breed? Did you know how much time and energy they need to be happy?

    He needs exercise, serious exercise, both before you go to work and when you get home. And, I am not talking about 1-3 miles. I am talking about 5+ miles AND obedience. This will fulfill his needs for exercise and training for mental stimulation.

    waking up and someone putting you in a cage all day, then when they get home they expect you to know what to do and be tired… but the truth is you would be frustrated, and full of energy.

    That is how your puppy feels. He wants training time to know what you want and he needs real exercise or he is going to try and entertain himself by biting and other naughty things.

    If you cannot exercise him before and after work, then I suggest you find a doggy day care that will let him play so you have a tired dog when you are tired from work.

    [Reply]

  30. Dominique Graaff says:

    Minette – I tried replying to your reply on my comment but it wont let me. Thanks for your concern regarding Pluto…Just, I don’t keep Pluto in the cage all day. He stays in the living room kitchen area, with bedroom and bathroom doors closed. There is lots of toys to his convenience too. I take him for his afternoon exercise after work, which means running and playing ball. And I am home most of the week, which means he will be alone 2/7 days. He gets plenty of exercise and lots of attention… but still his behavior changes and he acts out when he does not get his way! Most of the times he would act out and be this way when his daddy gets home from work… he will be good with me all day, but changes! And yes – I have researched the breed and have had a female Jack russel prior to this one a few years back. I only stated my concern as I don’t want it to be a problem in the near future 🙂

    [Reply]

  31. Great article. However, It’s a mistake to assume that as humans we don’t engage ‘tooth and claw’ (unless we’re Mike Tyson). Humans when provoked to the extreme, just like dogs, will use our hands (scratching and punching…claw!) and our teeth. Just think about small children who haven’t been fully socialised, in nursery, and what do they do when they feel under attack? They bite! We are hugely socialised to understand that biting is not acceptable, and we can use language to reinforce this understanding in our species.
    I loved the bit when you said you had doubts about trusting your dog…I think most dog owners might have a reaction to this…..but I think it is an absolutely sensible response to reality! Trust is a moveable feast… It depends…Like you say, It depends on the state of the dog, it depends on the situation,….so to put your trust in a dog (or for that matter a person), with no consideration of the ongoing circumstances is just very stupid. Trustworthiness, however, is a different thing. Our dogs need to experience our trustworthiness (which they learn by our consistency, training, guidance, and love). In return they show us their trustworthiness by their consistency, response, and love. Trustworthiness is about common sense…..if someone tells you they’re a thief, and you leave your bag with them when you go out of the room and they steal it, then they have lived up to their word! If you have a dog that is reactive, and you do nothing to address this, then don’t be surprised when they act true to form (In other words ‘trustworthy”!), so don’t blame the dog.

    I absolutely agree that all dogs will bite under the right circumstances. I had the most laid back, placid, friendly Scottish Deerhound, (Fraoch) who got caught up by his back leg in an accident, and when I tried to free him he bit me numerous times until he was released. I had over 20 bites; puncture wounds that broke the skin on my hand and leg. All dogs will bite; if the circumstances are right!
    BTW I went on to rely on Fraoch’s trustworthiness! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Agreed, I would bite and scratch in the right situation, but only to save my life… or if I was engaged in the same manner although I suppose others aren’t as trustworthy as me hahahaha

    Thanks for your comments 😀

    [Reply]

  32. liz says:

    Thank you for this informational piece as i have just became owner of a mini-doxy.. i hae had doxy’s all my life but this one gets very excited and nips pant legs..i usually pick her up and calm her down, but i have always had the nagging feeling “that what IF, i wasn’t there”..i am going to start using the clam down method of time out, before my heart gets broken in a accidential greeting of pant/leg nip..if you feel this is not the best route to do with this breed, please advise..thank you

    [Reply]

  33. Lyndsey says:

    Thanks for this article! I have a 12 month old boxer?/greyhound? mystery mix who is a complete doll, but lacks some social skills when interacting with dogs. She seems to want to play when she meets a dog, she wags her tail and bounces about, and her mouth is usually open and smiling,rather than tense. The other dog usually seems okay with the invite to play, but then Norah tries to jump on them and snarl and growl a ferocious sounding growl. I can get her attention back on me, as she’s been pretty successful in her obedience classes, but I worry she will remain dog aggressive if I can’t figure out how to get her to interact a little more gently with dogs upon meeting. She’s had 2 fun play dates, but also had some issues with (usually small dogs) picking fights with her, so I think she acts big and tough right from the start, so they don’t try to mess with her. Any suggestions?
    She really is an amazing dog, and crazy smart, so I feel like as long as I have the proper knowledge, we can figure this out.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Not all dogs like other dogs! I have had overly playful dogs with other dogs, I have had dog aggressive dogs, and I have had dogs that just didn’t care about other dogs and didn’t want to be bothered. I have the latter now. And, if I were to force him or her to play in groups it would be a bloody mess.

    I accept that my dogs have no desire to play and so I don’t make play dates and I don’t force them. I teach them to accept dogs in their space but I don’t allow other dogs in their face and I don’t force them to play.

    i think you are misreading the “smiling” as possible draw back for snarling or showing teeth or even just stress.

    I think you should give her the gift of obedience and fun alone, but you shouldn’t force her to play when everything you describe is telling me she doesn’t want to!

    [Reply]

  34. Becky says:

    I have a 5 month old shitz tsu that I am having trouble house training. The lady I got her from said she was puppy pad trained which I needed because l am unable to get up and down stairs with him. I will feed and water him and wait about 10 minutes and take him to puppy pad and say go potty. He will leave puppy pad and go on floor. Any help. He also bites when you are playing with him how do I get it to stop?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    there is a search bar at the top of the page where you can search for indoor potty training and biting

    [Reply]

  35. Jane Hittinger says:

    Our new havanese puppy “Piper” is still teething and biting is a problem. She does not try to bite hard but if excited she will nip you once in a while and we are working hard to stop it. The suggestions really should help. Once she has her regular teeth that may help too!

    [Reply]

  36. Dee says:

    We have a 2yr old rescue dog who we got 2 months ago, Blue is a Griffon ( French hunting breed) Originally when we rescued Blue she had no problem with Cats but 2 weeks in she has started chasing him obsessively. On two occasions since Blue has become very over excited with our two young boys 5 & 4 yrs, It is as if she is viewing them as prey, when it happens I remove her from the situation. Should I be worried with her rescue/ hunting breed? We walk for at least 40mins per day plus Blue has a safe large enclosure to run free around.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    She needs to be taught obedience and impulse control! And the kids also need to be respectful around her or you might have a serious problem.

    [Reply]

  37. dina says:

    hello! your site is a god blessing for dog lovers and owners.
    i am a 84 years old women and lost my toy poodle after 12years, she was the sweetest animal and i rescued her from the minest breaders, she was put two years in a cage, never allowed to going out becase she would not get pregnant. to long storry to get in now. i live alone in a big appartament and my daughter got the cutest doxi-poo for me from a nighbor that did not want her any more because she anoyed his two older dogs that he had since puppies. she was treatet well and tought some byut not potty trained, they have a yard, but i geting there ,slowly.
    my problem is as said i live in appartment and when we go out she barks at everybody and she niped very angrily a neighbors dog when she just wanted to greet Charlotte, i got scsred she did not hurt the other pet.
    i was able to teach her some mor comands that she knows already, but no bark and do not bait no way. she is 81/2 pounds and about 1and 1/2 year old.
    othr wise she is agood dog, and sweet, not a lap dog but very loving and inteligent, learnd fast except those two things.
    PLEASE HELP!!!! thanks a lot

    [Reply]

  38. Elena says:

    I have a 13 month old Golden Retriever (male, intact), 2 cats, and children (youngest just turned 4). We have almost always had him in some sort of obedience class using positive training only, and have also worked with private trainers.

    When he was 4.5 months old he started having overarousal biting issues on walks and in our yard. Rarely inside. We tried many things and it didn’t really get better but we could manage (redirect to tug toy). Many times I just won’t even walk him (we have a fenced yard and I train/play with him at home) because I can’t deal with him along with my kids on walks since he does this, and I am almost always alone with my kids (can’t leave them alone to walk the dog).

    We tried agility with him and he would become extremely overstimulated and mouthy after runs, so we finished the classes but did not continue. We did private agility in a very small facility and that was OK.

    Tonight I took him on a walk and when we stopped to talk to a neighbor, he very mouthy and jumpy with me because I didn’t allow him to interact with the neighbor (because he was not calm). Even tried to get my hair. Later in the house, my 4 y.o. was running around and he knocked her down and tried to hump her. Every time she ran and was loud he would try to hump her. I usually always manage (she can’t run around him or if she does I have him on lead or we do it as part of training) so I was very disappointed to see that this was where he is at if left to his own devices. He has never shown signs of aggressiveness to her but this was clearly a matter of being out of his mind, conflicted, etc. Her face is exactly at his mouth level which is what scares me most.

    Not successful in getting him to stop chasing our cat, either. We reward calm behavior, redirect, etc. but as soon as he sees the cat run, forget it.

    I guess I am worried, after reading these posts, that this is going to be a life-long issue. I thought time and training would help him to mature and relax and be trustworthy (though I know any dog has the potential to bite). Is it just in the nature of some dogs and can’t be trained out of them?

    I know people always suggest MORE EXERCISE but I have a very hard time making this work. He bites on walks and sometimes it seems that training, chewing, working on food puzzles, etc. only make him more aroused. I see pictures of other dogs who finish a bone and then sleep– he is more likely to finish and then say, “What’s next?” pant pant pant.

    We are signing up for some Fenzi classes and going to get him started in conformation classes simply to get him more used to being around people and dogs without getting overstimulated.

    So– is this a problem we will essentially always have with him? We will go back to the relaxation protocol and more challenging impulse control exercises.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I have very high drive dogs. I have learned to build it so that I can then control and cap it. I don’t avoid it completely. They are who they are and they need to be themselves; so I play HARD with them. In the beginning they used their mouths on me, but now I control how hard they play and what they do by channeling that drive into obedience.

    You can’t change the dog, but you can teach the dog to cap his drive and use it in a more positive and appropriate way.

    But more exercise is crucial with these dogs, they need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise.

    [Reply]

  39. Trish says:

    Thank you! loved the teaching eye contact blog. Very good and very valuable.

    [Reply]

  40. Sophia says:

    Thank you for that information, but I have a small problem. My dog, a border aussie, gets overstimulated when bikejoring, and agility. As a pup, he was overstimulated when running, he’s too fast now, and I can’t keep up with him, so running is boring-the reason why I do bikejoring. Anyway, when doing agility, he gets overstimulated after a while and starts attacking me. I am his handler, which is the problem. I can’t leave him, for obvious reasons. He also herds me when I am bikejoring. A family member, thank god, was the one person who had gotten in the way when he was overstimulated. I am doing my research and came across this article. Any suggestions other than keeping him away from other people?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    you have to teach him impulse control and bite inhibition.

    My dogs want to bite everything, I have Malinois, but I can’t allow them to do that. They must learn impulse control through obedience.

    [Reply]

  41. Crystal Bishop says:

    I have a 2 year old heeler who bites at the kids when they are playing in the pool. I think he really thinks he’s saving them. He has done this to my son and this past weekend he bit my neighbor, hard. Normally we would just crate him up while we swim but we live in Houston and atleast 6 months out of the year we live in our backyard. I don’t want to have to keep him crated constantly. Do you have any suggestions. My husband has already threatened to get rid of him and if he bites again he definitely will which would devestate my children. Please help!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Otherwise it is up to you to leash him and teach him what to do

    [Reply]

  42. thomas murphy says:

    i have a 1 year mini pin well not stop biting go after all dog and chidren .i have don all i can.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Find a veterinary behaviorist

    [Reply]

  43. sh says:

    Have you any advice on submissive urination with only one particular person? My pup gets overexcited around this person and piddles…

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    most submissive urination just needs to be ignored

    [Reply]

  44. Sharon McGivney says:

    I have a SAR Dog and a lot of the times we are doing meet and greet.with the general public
    When children come up to my American Field Lab and ask to pet him I always thank them and educate the on how to behave with a strange dog.(lucky my dog tolerates a lot) and i always watch for any type of stress.( eye contact , body language, panting tail position, head position, facial features. But there are really bad parents that throw there kids at dogs like they are a stuff toy ie.one time I had my dog in a down stay away from people while we were breaking down our display , He was about 5 feet away from me, and away from everyone, way off to the side, .a parent saw him and decided to place her one year old on top of him, ( he has been with kids all day it was a long hot day) he also had many breaks away from the area and people which you have to do to relieve stress . I always watch body language, but I glanced away for a moment to take down the shade and out of the corner of my eye I saw something and did a full head turn, I couldn’t believe what I saw, .My dog had a look on his face that said, Are you kidding!, , thank god he still was tolerant of people I sure wouldn’t be if it was me.) I went over to the parent and ask what are you doing , the answered she gave me. was “I wanted my child to be with this police dog. so I can take a picture of her with him.”
    I educated them , that they are lucky that he wasn’t a police dog , or a dog that just had enough ,as she might of ended up in the hospital by being bitten and that you never bring a small child and place them on there backs duuuuu., you always ask to see if you can pet them , Also told her that you should never go to a strange dog that is lying down and put your child on his back , She looked at me in a stupid look , i thought the dogs were well trained , I said madam They are very well trained , I guess you are not. you never put your child at risk, she could of been been bitten bad, she looked at me and said ” than that would of been your fault , Then your dog isn’t trained ” If my dog did bite that child I would of gotten sued, and probably he would been marked as an agressive dog, yes I learened a very big lesson, always put my dog up, to many stupid people aroun ready to blame everyone els but them self.
    I walked away with my dog, I learned my lesson, keep away from stupid people, and instead being in a down stay, put him in the car away from stupid people

    [Reply]

  45. Gillian says:

    Hi,
    I have a 2 1/2 year old rescue (likely a pitt/boxer mix). He is the sweetest thing, but HIGHLY excitable and can be reactive around certain other “dominant/high energy” dogs.

    Since I have had him, he has nipped me a few times when over stimulated. This has happened when the vacuum has been running, the blender, when a group of skateboarders go by, or when other high energy dogs are walking past.

    In the last couple of weeks, these “over excitement nips” have turned into more serious bites and last night, he broke my skin. We were on a walk and there was a high energy dog coming towards us – this dog was yanking his owner to get toward me and my dog. In usual fashion, I started crossing the street to avoid this situation. But my dog still freaked and starting pulling, trying to get to get back to this other dog. I corrected him, and pulled him (prong collar) and in that moment he turned and bit my arm HARD.

    Now I’m at a loss. I realize it was the excitement of the other dog that made him “react” and bite me…. but I have got to get this to stop. I avoid other high energy dogs. I cross the street. I try to keep his attention on me.. but when he is in the “red zone”… there is no getting him to focus.

    Help!!

    Gillian

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Actually there is a good chance it was a response to the pain of the prong collar, that is why I don’t recommend them.

    You need to work on eye contact and focusing attention on you at home before you can expect it in other situations.

    [Reply]

  46. Mary Campbell says:

    Please help! 6 month old English creme golden just recently becoming possessive about certain things she has in her mouth. She has growled and bitten my hand twice when I try to remove the object. Normally the”Leave it” command works, but not lately. What do you suggest?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I recommend that you sign up for our next aggression coaching class. You can email Dana at info@thedogtrainingsecret.com

    [Reply]

  47. Janie Hall says:

    Great Article!! I love Bon Jovi too!!:) I have a 3 yr old 8 lb Maltese named Bree and a 5 yr old 8 lb Yorkie named Axel. Axel is the sweetest dog in the world to me and my mom. He is also very good when we go to the groomer or vet. However any other person he sees anywhere else he will nip at their ankles. I don’t know how to get him to stop. He doesn’t even have to be excited. he just sees another person and nips. Also when I first get him out of the cage every day, he is very excited then and he is jumping up and licking my face while I am bent over attached him and Bree to their leashes and he will sometimes nip (not hard at all, not like he does on the legs) my face.. more like a love tap but I know if I have someone else let him out, its going to scare them.. any advice? Bree loves people and she doesn’t nip.. but sometimes Axel will get her riled up and she will high pitch bark at people when they are just sitting on my couch.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He needs to be on a leash when people visit, no exception.

    And you need to not tolerate the nip to the face, yes if it happens to someone else or a child he could lose his life. Treat it seriously and let him know it is not acceptable.

    [Reply]

  48. I am the third owner of a Belgium Mallios and he gets very over excited and he will nip, if you try to pet him in this state. However, I have a snap out method, that works, which I discovered by mistake, or trial and error. As a good owner, I collect poop in plastic bags, as you do, if your out and about. When a sudden frenzy arrives, if I rustle a poop bag close to him and then by his rear end, he suddenly gets all confused and jumps to the part of his brain, that is associated with poop! This of course makes him look for mess and he becomes calm. But, I love all the things about Fury as she is exactly the same as my Captain Mallory….(I may try paddle pool for backgarden as it’s getting warmer.)

    [Reply]

  49. Ki says:

    Hi, I’m after some help!! This article is great buy I’m not sure how to relate the help to my situation. I have a 11 month old Westie x shihztu and he is wonderful…….mostly. my daughter is nearly 5 and they are great buddies playing together, however the past wk there have been 2 occasions where he’s got super excited started bolting round the house/garden and dived at my daughters legs in the prosess biting them. It jus comes out of no where, he used to run round the garden with my daughter she could take his ball an throw for him but now when she runs he chases her but tries to bite her. Any ideas why this has suddenly started? Thank u, kim

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    When she runs she looks like prey. She needs to stop running and start asking for obedience commands prior to throwing the ball so that she changes their relationship from littermate to someone the dog can respect.

    [Reply]

  50. Boxador Owner says:

    I’ve noticed this happening on a couple of occasions. We have three dogs that normally get along fine. On both of these occasions, we had guests over. The last time, a guest knocked on my door and I opened the door to let her in. My lab/boxer mix and the other two dogs were excited and barking. As they hovered around the doorway barking, My lab/boxer attacked one of the other dogs. I don’t know if he was jealous or overexcited. I immediately put the Lab/boxer in his kennel and the other dog in another room. Of course my guest was terrified by this behavior, although he is very friendly towards people. How can I prevent this from happening in the future. I does seem that he does this whenever he is overly excited and he takes his aggression out on the other dog that comes near him during that time.

    [Reply]

  51. Leslie K says:

    Gary
    I saw your comment on your 7 lb Maltese about the external stimulation. We have a 8 month 6 lb Maltese and he is out of control whenever we go outside. The barking never stops and he barks at EVERYTHING!!! I’m desperate to help him and I’ve tried so many things even hired a behaviorist at $900 and we still have the issue. He’s a pretty good dog inside but horrible and embarrassing outside.

    [Reply]

  52. Robin E Roman says:

    I have a Shepherd lab mix and a pit lab mix. They get along well but when they go out they get loud and the shep lab puts his fur up. I can call them down if they get over excited but am concerned about when to consider their play too aggressive. If someone walks by they both take off barking. They have to go in immediately and get put into down and crated but I’m concerned that they may be considered aggressive by how much noise they make. The shep lab is the younger of the two. How do I gauge when to call them down? Should I be curbing their play more than I am? Thanks for your help!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You should be adding more obedience to their play!

    [Reply]

  53. CC says:

    Interesting! This makes more sense to me in regards to our dog. We have a 3 yr old Black Mouth Cut mix. He is well trained and friendly, but I do not trust him on leash or in our yard/house to greet anyone. He will seem excited and friendly initially but occasionally snaps after seeming like all is A-ok. We have had some difficulty in approaching this bc it is not consistent behavior and we would not call it straight out aggressive.

    Once he sits and is calm, we allow someone to greet him but ask they don’t let initially. It’s a hard process bc guests want to immediately pet & same with when on leash. He never lashes out barking or growls. It seems to be an excited or nervous behavior and only sign I see is lick lipping.

    Any other suggestions to work past this?

    [Reply]

  54. JoAnn says:

    Okay, I was woke at three am my 56 pound Staffordshire bull terrier, lab, possibly sheppard, hound mix, he got excited, evidently heard some deers noise outside, anyway jumped on to my bed and his aggressive little snips he always does when excited, like it’s time for dinner, he’s wanting to eat, now, Daddy’s home, that’s basically it, he plays very well,with balls, frisby, it’s just certain stimuli, not breakfast, but dinner time, or if he wants to play, he was with his siblings six months before I got him, and a pig and goat, so he is use to aggressive puppy play I imagine, being there were six, he’s very smart, knows his commands, and some other stuff, so what am I to do, I can’t control him in this state of excitement, now while I’m sleeping too! Thanks

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Crate him at night and stop rewarding him for these behaviors; they are not cute and someone could get hurt or killed.

    [Reply]

  55. Patricia says:

    I have a (most likely) purebred Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler, he’s 4 years old, about 55 pounds, fixed, we found him at about 6 months old. Has the typical breed behaviors, herding, heel nips, very high energy, can be unfriendly to other dogs (not always), basically like a 2 year old with ADHD. When we take him out on walks he always gets very excited and yips and runs around like a nut but is completely calmed down after 2-5 minutes. Today right after being put on the leash he ran then charged back to my fiance (I wasn’t with them) and jumped up and full on bit him on the stomach. Full top and bottom teeth marks, broke skin. He’s never done anything like this before. He’s 100% healthy as far as I know. We don’t have kids or other pets in the home. My Fiance is a firm believer in the “Alpha Dog” methods so punished him, I’m worried this may happen again.

    Any suggestions for peace of mind?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Id seek the help of a boarded veterinary behaviorist, I can’t help with aggression over the internet. You need someone to witness the dog and behavior.

    [Reply]

  56. Marisa says:

    Hi patricia I just read your question and thought you and your partner might benefit from reading a book written by renowned behaviouralist Turid Rugaas titled ‘On talking terms with dogs:calming signals. It gives you a scientific look at dogs body language and what they are trying to convey to you and to other dogs. It also explains that no dog is trying to dominate you and aggression is a last resort for a dog when it is feeling anxious or threatened. If your partner is punishing or being aggressive to the dog he wil either want to flee or if feeling cornered may feel the need to defend itself. Any aggression from you will only create bigger problems and psychological damage to the dog. A herding dog is bred to work hard and is very willing to do whatever you ask of it you just need to learn some reward based training methods to help him fulfill his urge to please you. They are very clever and capable of so much if you build a relationship of mutual trust and kindness. The slight nipping can be something inherent in the breed as they use this to nip at the heels of the sheep but if you train your dog with kindness to leave it he will come back to you. Perhaps also research books on training working dogs. They have endless energy so lots of fetching work will burn that energy and help him to calm down. Anyway if you find info and or a trainer that is able to show you methods of kindness and positive reward based training you will find you have a loving companion willing to do anything for you. If you note all your really clever dogs like assistance or police dogs etc always have there reward be it a treat or a toy to let them know they got it right. You just have to show him what you want by using a food lure to get the action then say the command and reward. Clicker training is also based on this method. Also do your practice at home with few distractions and make it fun he will love it and so will you. Good luck from a fellow Aussie. Marisa

    [Reply]

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