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

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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Comments

  1. CarlyAnn says:

    Thanks so much for this article. One of my rescues always jumps, sometimes “excitedly nips” and then grabs a toy/any object in sight to run around with and “show off” whenever we get home. This article has helped me understand why she does this and will now help me help her as she harnesses her energy this way!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I am glad it helped!

    [Reply]

  2. Helen says:

    Thank you for this article, it really helps me understand my dogs behavior. My rescue dog was like a little piranha when we first got her and it took some time before she stopped nipping. Now, at 1 & 1/2, she only nips (but more gently now) when I come home and when she is over excited. And she will go get a toy when I correct her. It’s almost her way of giving a hug, but, even though it’s almost cute, I will keep correcting her because it could be alarming for some kids.

    [Reply]

    cyndi Reply:

    rufus likes to chew on hands and feet not hrd but his teeth are very sharp. He doesn’t get stop or sit or lay down or even go outside{has doggie door…thats where our clothes go..out doggie door. walking on a leach is a problem as he fights the lead. When I get home or can company he jumps on us and scratchsour skin.} Doesn’t come unless he hears treat bag. HELP he can to loving and I don’t want to give up on him.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need basic training like our hands off course or our puppy programming http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/PuppyProgramming

    [Reply]

  3. susan says:

    I know it’s wrong for me to say this but that picture of the dog biting your arm is so cute. It’s always hard for me to scold my dog because I always fall for his cute little face.

    [Reply]

    Lois Reply:

    Susan, when the dog’s a little more excited and rips part of your face off, then what does cuteness matter? Or he attacks a child.

    In my book, biting humans for any reason = is not acceptable. Giving the dog permission to be the one who decides aggression or attack behavior thresholds is just insane.

    [Reply]

    Sherry Frey Reply:

    Who is Lois? I would lie to know more about this book biting humans for any reason =is not acceptable

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    Freaked Out Reply:

    This happened to me today. A customer’s dog got excited started biting my sweater, almost pulling it off, trying, I think, to “herd” me, then leapt 6′ into the air biting onto my hair and falling to the ground, pulling my hair, over and over, causing me to have whiplash. It’s NEVER ok. The person just stood there, going, “he doesn’t bite usually” and I’m like, “Help!” A few minutes before this guy showed up, we had kids in the store. I shudder to think what would have happened if the kids were there the same time as the dog.

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  4. Donna says:

    I have a 1 year old pugapoo with aggression issues. It only happens with family members. I know she gets over stimulated. Maybe a territory issue as well. I keep Molly occupied with something to chew. Holding her also ends the problem, however this only reinforces her bad behavior. Some days are better than others. I got her at a rescue at 2 months of age. All I know is that they had to get rid of her because of children. The kids
    may have ignited a problem by possibly being rough with her.

    [Reply]

  5. Katie says:

    I have a 6 month old Doberman who is lovely & really has a wonderful nature. She absolutely adores my kids(12, 9 & 7), so much that her favorite game is to run after them & bite their trouser legs, arms & anything that dangles. I know that it’s not aggressive – it’s just her wanting to play – but I need to stop it. I have tried to get them to ignore her or turn away, yelp & ofter a toy. However it’s rather difficult to ask a 7 year old to ignore a pair of jaws around their leg however “soft” it is. I’m not at the desperate level yet but want to sort it before it gets worse. Any advice?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    She needs to be kept on a leash and taught how to behave in these circumstances.

    First you should be working on obedience at home in your home without the running and few distractions.

    Then put her on a leash and tell her what to do instead of chasing and biting.

    If you are not careful you will end up with a serious bite.

    As cute as it seems the kids are engaging her prey drive as they run and as this builds her bite will get more and more intense. She needs bite inhibition and training to teach her what to do instead.

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    Ok, this sort of makes sense. I guess that the only time that she should be allowed outside with the kids she should be on a leash & under my supervision. Then, gradually let her off for specific games but not general “hanging out with the gang” (I don’t know if this is the right term, I am from England after all!) Also, I’m not entirely sure what you mean by bite inhibition – does this mean presenting the dog with a toy substitue?

    By the way we are doing really well with obedience training in the home & my dog is very responsive. I’m sure that I can correct this naughtiness, given the right tools plus my own commitment, consistency etc etc. I can tell from comments on this blog that all us dog owners want to get it right. Thank you very much for the input.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Bite inhibition is a dogs willingness to stop himself from biting. Some is inherent and some is learned.

    For instance, a child steps on a dog the dog that gets up and out of the way without growling or biting has bite inhibition. The dog that growls and snaps has little bite inhibition or control of himself.

    Bite inhibition is just control.

    But running screaming children in the face of an excited dog is difficult for the dog to find that control.

    A leash give YOU the control and you can teach the dog what your expectations are. You are teaching bite inhibition.

    Work on getting your dog to give you eye contact for great treats, for sitting and laying down and ultimately ignoring the kids. Once the dog is good on leash then you can try letting the leash drag (that way you can grab it if you need to) and then finally off leash. But these steps will take time, training and patience!

  6. Sandy says:

    Thanks for this article. It sounds like my puppy. Finally I understand why he always wants to bite people. He is 5 months old now and not only he will bite when excited, he also not comfortable with people stroke his back. My vet advised me to neutered him but I heard of many negative side of it like bone cancer. Should I neuter him now or can I wait a little longer so that he will grow up bigger?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would neuter him ASAP!

    They are still doing studies about the affects of neutering and health issues.

    But the affects of NOT neutering and behavior problems and aggression are well documented.

    I would do the neutering.

    [Reply]

    carla brown Reply:

    i am rather surprised that with all the information that there is on the positive aspects of altering one’s pets, that sandy would actually ask that question. and even when her vet suggested the neutering. but to be fair, perhaps she is a first time owner of a pet. AS LONG as she does it – right?

    [Reply]

    JD Reply:

    i’m rather surprised you thought it necessary to write that comment just to be condescending. Vets opinions differ. People like Sandy probably prefer to weigh up the pros and cons instead of blindly following advice.
    I agree that for the general population of dog owners neutering is the lesser of two evils because people are not reliable at preventing puppies or not prepared to deal with the adolescent behaviour issues that comes with intact dogs.
    Some studies suggest it is better to let your dog reach maturity before neutering as it gives them chance to finish growing and their hormones to level out. I think of it like this person has put it ‘Ethically, I’m opposed to neutering before the dog has reached maturity. We would never castrate a thirteen year old boy to avoid all the headaches of puberty, so why take the lazy way out with a dog? I prefer dogs with an adult mindset to the lazy perma-puppies some neutered males become.’

    [Reply]

  7. ROBIN says:

    Had a Dobermann many years ago got him as a pup. He was a usually placid fellow and got on well with my cats and kittens. He used to come up to me and gently take my arm and just slobber up and down..it wasn’t even a bite or a nip…just affection and gentle slobbering. He’d stop if I said.
    Today have a Neapolitan Mastiff..16mths.he’s a bundle of energy and fun. What makes him bite and nip and tear around is if I do not spend enough time with him. Neos want to be WITH you. If I’ve failed to spend time with him I approach him with a toy or an apple (he loves apples) and then I have a pocket of kibble so he will do his obedience for kibble…I just need to keep him interested. A game of ball gets the energy out combined with a bit of obedience…and if he’s very excited and grabs my pants or jumper…or nips my bum….I just turn my back,,,usually try to stand somewhere where he cannot get in front of me and I ignore him. He goes and gets a toy..usually a squeaky one. I sit down and wait until he puts it in my lap. It takes persistence and resistance…he’s got such a gorgeous sloppy face. Just one thing…Neos are BIG dogs so need to be kept in their place and know I am Boss…smaller dogs I suppose would respond to the IGNORE treatment and then to treats and gentle talk and them games…that’s how I do it…AND what a great lot of helpful info in this dog training! My 54KG Neo and I are having fun!

    [Reply]

  8. David McElwain says:

    Our dog has a biting problem too. It appears to be his way of playing, often crouching, then as you bend down to pat him, trying to nip. When he does latch on it can be painful but generally he seems to know what our pain threshold is!

    I will try this alternative option and see how we go.

    While we are on the subject, he also gets aggressive when he claims something and we try to remove it from him, this can be an item of food ( which he won’t necessarily like to eat), or a ball for example. I’m sure that he was deprived in his previous life as a rescued dog and in the pound from where we got him. Any ideas of how to handle this? We are almost at the point of giving him back as we don’t want an aggressive animal and it’s not as though he doesn’t get enough to eat!

    We can always go for the ” replacement” option of giving him an alternative to what he is guarding but it’s an ongoing tedious exercise!

    [Reply]

    marcy Reply:

    I took my rescue newfie mix to a dog class and I saw a miracle worker at her best working with outrageous pups, dogs, owners!!! they (we) are the worst. I would take a 6 week class with the best trainer you can find in your town. It was amazing she got this pup to do what ever she needed him to do. I think the owner was shocked…My newf does the cute hand hold from the car to the door when we get home. I just say no teeth or whimper quick when he does this and he stops immediately.
    Wags to you,
    Marcy

    [Reply]

    Andrew Reply:

    I had the same problem. The way I fixed my problem was to teach my dog to let any object go when I said “release”. I used a clicker that I used for training and meat (cooked beef or chicken). I would say release, show the treat, when she let go I clicked, gave the treat, and took the object. I practiced over and over, then I would intentionally aggravate her and practice. Now it doesn’t matter what she has in her mouth she will release. Hope this helps. -AJH-

    [Reply]

    Edra Reply:

    My grandson trained his pit bull the same way. Worked like a charm. He also taught his young sons and the dog as a puppy obedience skills; the boys learned never to run and invite a chase, and all could play fetch with him. Never had a problem

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    This is a dog that is in control of his environment, or so he thinks.

    He needs strict obedience.

    He is biting you not because he is excited but because he doesn’t like you crouching over him and petting him. Not all dogs like to be petted and some only like it on their terms.

    This is also why he is guarding his things.

    He needs lots of obedience ASAP before his behavior gets worse and escalates! And, exercise… he would benefit from being too tired to want to bite you!

    [Reply]

  9. debi says:

    Thanks for this information. My chocolate labs always tries to bite me or her “sister”, we have two, after we have been at the beach or dog park for 15-20 minutes. I couldn’t understand why after she has clearly had time to run and play she would become so aggressive. Now I understand she is over excited. My stategy has been to make her sit down and focus on a command like sit to stop the aggression or leash her until she calms down. It works but I was confused what was causing the behavior. Thank you for explaining the why of her behavior.

    [Reply]

  10. Annette says:

    Thank you so much for raising this very important issue. I am shocked and horrified that some dogs are doing this, and really feel for anyone who is suffering from biting. Like you say, get help! Dogs have loads of ways of being cute, but I cannot imagine how anyone in a million years could find the picture of a dog biting a child’s arm cute. I find that really concerning, not only for the family’s mental health and the dog’s mental health but also the community at large. Please, we need to give dogs a good press!

    At the moment I am worried that my dog jumps up in excitement and licks me when I come in (this seems minor in comparison!). Of course I am desperate to see her again, but really want her to be calm so I can greet and pet her nicely as soon as possible. What I do is ignore her til she calms down and as soon as she’s sitting nicely I pet her. Would ignoring work in the case of a biting dog perhaps? My dog always has a couple of chews/toys in her crate already. Any more ideas for jumping up (if they’re not jumping up they probably won’t bite)? Meanwhile I’m praying my dog will never get into biting (she’s 6 months)

    I have had a problem with shoes too, like you say it’s probably the smell and sadly she has caused damage. I have had to remember to tidy shoes away in the shoe racks at all times and make sure the door to the hall is closed. I am working on drop and leave it commands, and have used diversions like toys or treats to get her away from her interest in shoes. I’d like to be able to improve my teaching and speed up her learning on this. Any ideas?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    A dog that is biting or a puppy that is BITING (not regular nipping… I am talking about tooth latching BITING) is not cured by ignoring. This is a dog that is coming out of the crate like a gun and full mouth biting on the person.

    This is a dog that has a sensory problem and something is not quite right in the brain. Not just normal nipping or excited dog behavior.

    An ordinary, excited dog that may have some nipping or mouthing can usually be dealt with if you ignore the behavior and the dog for a period of time.

    Allowing a dog to jump and flail around excitedly often goes from jumping to nipping. I recommend leashes and also redirecting with toys if needed.

    Regular obedience usually helps a typical dog with this problem because instead of jumping you can ask the dog to sit or lay down.

    As for shoes putting them up so they don’t get eaten is first. Then putting out one pair and teaching your dog what your expectations are and to leave it is critical.

    Work with her daily and several times a day and you will see an improvement.

    [Reply]

  11. Marge Clark says:

    My dog does not bite but goes completely bonkers when anyone comes. She jumps on the person continually. She obeys me with my hand signal and “down” verbal command. But she does not obey when someone comes. I tell them how I control her but it does no good she ignors them. I usually have to put her on a leash while anyone else is here.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    And, that is what you have to do until her behavior improves!

    [Reply]

  12. JACK says:

    Chet,
    Our Malinois mix is an extremely athletic supercharged ball of energy. He is a very good dog, and smart as a whip but he gets too intense at certain times. When we are playing ball with him you can see his body and tail trembling with excitement while waiting for you to throw the ball. He has never exhibited any aggressive behavior towards other people but goes totally crazy when a delivery truck pulls up, UPS is the worse.The boards on our fence are all chewed up from these episodes. I take him for bike rides about every other day to try to vent some of the energy but it is a very temporary solution. The rides consist of him running like a greyhound pulling the bike as fast as possible for about 2 miles, ending in total exhaustion. We are afraid he may someday get out of the yard and bight someone, and have been contemplating asking the Police Dept. if they would like to have him for a k-9 dog. That would be heartbreaking but he needs a job of some sort to keep him busy. Just hanging around doing normal dog activities doesn’t seem to be enough for him. What do you think? Have you ever dealt with something like this?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I have 2 Malinois and 2 Dutch Shepherds. This is the story of my life.

    These guys need TONS of exercise, but exercise builds on itself. So if you start out at 2 miles in the beginning it was hard but in a few weeks it seems like nothing.

    In order to get a tired dog you need 3 or 4 miles and then more and more.

    And these guys need training. Not just your average basic training but the advanced kind of training.

    When I take my dogs running I do moving down stays, or moving sit stays as I run. I also change my pace and my direction so my dog has to pay attention to me. This stimulates not only their body but also their mind because they have to pay attention to what I am doing.

    I would never consider leaving my dogs alone outside. Malinois are notorious for being protective. I would recommend indoor crating and then exercise when you get home.

    I can tell you that most police dpts don’t take pet dogs. They are looking for highly trained police dogs that have thousands of dollars of training.

    Add obedience to your running and do indoor crating. And, once your obedience is excellent you can begin working your dog around UPS trucks and such. But I would never leave a Mali or a Malinois mix alone in a yard.

    [Reply]

  13. A. Kant says:

    When i go out wearing leather shoes, i take out car keys + envelope of treat from my pocket in front of my 2 yr lab – terri ,it sits & waits then i give very small quantity of his treat & say rest & wait. my pet stays happy the entire day and on my return when it approaches me i put my hand in my pocket & say – away ,it sits, then i give him small amount of same treat. it wags tail & then it walks around in courtyard for a few mts & then stays in its calm poster.I did try w/ his favorite toy but it dropped it everytime & kept jumping on me & grabbing my pent.

    [Reply]

  14. All of this is great information but what does one do when you have four (4) dogs that act that way. They don’t bite but they are all over me. It’s hard to get through the door to come inside. And that’s just after going to the mailbox. They are all rescue darlin’s but I think they have some severe abandonment issues though I’ve had them for years. It’s only been this bad since we returned from our last cruise and I now cannot even go to another room in the house without a trail of whiners. Whew, it get tiring.

    I have too many to use a toy. Any ideas?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    They need to be trained and exercised individually.

    And, don’t get excited when you come home. Ignore them.

    Teach them to exist individually

    [Reply]

  15. Debra Deshotels says:

    I can be sitting on the couch watching TV then all of a sudden my dog wants to start bitting me. I don’t know what to do to make him stop. When I fuss him it doesn’t work so I put him in his kental for a bit then let him out again. Do you know how I can make him stop.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He probably wants exercise and interaction.

    Ask yourself, how much time do you spend training him or exercising him? If the answer is not much… then that is your solution.

    If he is well trained then he should listen when you give him something else to do.

    Most dogs need exercise and mental stimulation.

    A few dogs suffer from what seems like an over sensitivity to excitement.

    [Reply]

  16. Barbara says:

    My doggie is a five year old Rescue Springer.
    She is a delight in the home I also have six other Rescues.
    So to tak them for a walk I have to load them in my van.

    Rosie becomes very aggrisve and is bitteing me, I have put a muzzle on her but she just carries on pussing the muzzle into me.

    I show no fear as I have delt with this before. But it is stressing her out. Any Advise?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I cannot diagnose her aggression since I cannot see her, if she is very aggressive and continues to try and bite you with a muzzle on…I would recommend a veterinary behaviorist.

    [Reply]

  17. EVERY ONES STORYS AND SOLUTIONS, ARE VERY HELPFUL. MY GERMAN SHEPARD NOW 5MONS. HAD ALL THE PROBLEMS YOU TUCHED ON SINCE I FIRST STARTED TO READ YOUR FREE HELP. I FEEL GUILTY AT NEVER SENDINGYOU ANY MONEY FOR YOU BOOKS OR DOWNLOADS, YOU SMALL HINTS AND SUGESTIONES WERE SO GOOD THAT THEY CURED ALL THE ISSUES, BEFORE THEY GOT WORSE. OVER THE YEARS WEVE SPENT 100S OF DOLLARS ON SO CALLED TRAINERS, WITH THE MEAN APPROCH, PINCH COLLERS CHOKE COLLERS ETC HOW EVER YOUR METHODS WERE BY FAR THE MOST HUMAIN AND, MAY I ADD “FREE” IM SURE OTHERS ARE GLADLY SUBCRIBING TO YOUR SITE, ME I JUST GOT LUCKY THANK TO YOU AND YOUR STAFF.

    [Reply]

  18. Lori says:

    Thank you for this blog. My 6 month puppy does jump and nip at me every time we greet (being let out of her kennel/me coming home from wherever). Your comments make sense and I will work on having a box of toys at the door for when I come in. Will this eventually help calm her behavior as she grows? When we go for walks she gets over excited when we come upon other people. A young girl even screamed when she tried to pet my dog and told me she bit her. I would like to train her not to nip and jump on others

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Then you need to work on obedience and leash manners at home.

    Puppies should be taught to sit in order to interact with others and they should have control over their mouths before you allow anyone to pet them!!

    she also needs more exercise.

    [Reply]

  19. Melissa says:

    We have a 4 month old Chinese Crested who is sweet all during the day but turns into Dracula after his last nightly pee outside. Always around 10pm he will come back inside and start attacking me biting at my arm and sometimes pulling my hair. This is when we are trying to relax before going to sleep so I don’t want to engage him in toys. I have tried to get him to bite on his chew bone in place of nipping at me, however he will start digging in the bed linens or pulling the blanket. It is truly puppy gone wild!! Yesterday I went to the pet store and bought GNC Relax (herbal)chewable tablets and gave him one immediately after his 10pm return. Within 40 minutes he became calm, but those 40 minutes prior to the pill taking effect was constant aggression. Any idea why this behavior would occur prior to bedtime?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Be careful about giving him anything that your vet doesn’t know about or approve. Even something as simple as nutmeg can cause seizures in dogs, or grapes cause kidney failure. I don’t trust anything that is not preapproved by my vet.

    He’s got the puppy zoomies and he needs interaction and exercise. At 8 or 9 take him for a loooong walk or work on his obedience commands and teach him something new.

    This will engage his mind and body and help make him tired.

    dogs are just like kids, they need exercise and stimulation or they are naughty and cranky.

    [Reply]

    Melissa Reply:

    Thank you we have been teaching him new tricks. He is very smart and learned how to sit and shake hands in only 2 tries. Unfortunately due to heavy thunderstorms the long walks haven’t been possible. I have really learned so much from these emails. Thank you so much for the great advice. Don’t worry the GNC Relax tablets for dogs are chamomile based, but it’s always best to check first.

    [Reply]

  20. michelle says:

    my dog is 10 weeks and every time we try to pick her up or love on her she wants to bit everything we do with her she bits and she loves shoes i tell her no and give her toys but she still comes to people to bit what can i do

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    For the questions about puppies for everyone, please read these articles.

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

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

    [Reply]

    lBob Gossett Reply:

    thanks for the great tips.
    I had a minpin for 3 yrs and did not have any problems with him. Had to be put down due to severe health problems, hardest thing I have ever done.
    found a chihuahua in a shelter that was supposedly 2 yrs old??
    He suddenly started being afraid ofme. another story.
    He escaped out into the yard and got hit by a car.
    I just bought an 8 week old chi pup and he is the prettiest little thing I have ever seen. Silver/tan, curly tail, etc.
    Registered and would probably be a good stud but I am not into that. I am an amputee so I am limited as to going outside with this little guy so he is strictly an indoor pup. He had already learned to pee on the pad but not yet broke to poop on it.
    I suddenly see the problem of him wanting to bite when playing and will not let go, Sure has the strength to hurt me.
    I notice that if I let out a little whine he will attack and really want to be the boss

    [Reply]

  21. Richard Ortega says:

    i have a germen shepherd 14 months old he to has a problem niping at us but he’s been doing that as soon as we brought him home at 8 weeks old. now he’s a big dog he doesnt hurt us but it not fun ether. he doest bit heard but he nips alot he seem excited what can we do. kids try to pet him but they can’t they get scard.we need help also can anybody help.he is a great dog. we walk him alot to try to reduce his engery.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Lots of exercise and he needs to work on his basic obedience skills several times a day!

    At 14 months he should be listening to you and able to do sit stays and down stays, and heel on a leash.

    [Reply]

  22. Tim Day says:

    We have two new puppies who are teething, and get very excited to see us whenever we arrive from being away from them.
    We were told by our vet, that the teething would not be so aggressive when baby teeth are gone, and they adjust to there environment.
    We always offer them something else to chew on, and to this date, it has worked with us, but not toward each other,.
    They mouth each other much more now, than the biting, however, sometimes they do end up hurting each other.
    Will they stand a chance of overcoming this problem with what I have conveyed, or do we still have a potential issue to watch for and work with?
    They are both mini breeds and very quick, so sometimes we cannot catch hold of them to detour their behavior right away. Is this behavior still able to be addressed when we do finally get their attention?

    Thank you

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would get them spayed or neutered ASAP to stop any animosity that they might have for each other.

    Some dogs compete while they are puppies and figure out the hierarchy very quickly.

    Others fight and have trouble ever getting along.

    Training and neutering are going to be your biggest advocates. I have a few dogs that don’t want to get along and they may never like one another.

    But I am the mom and they respect me and I don’t allow them to play rough in my presence. So I also don’t let them outside alone or allow them to spend time alone. They only socialize when I am in the same room and can feel like I have control over them and the situation.

    [Reply]

  23. Carrie says:

    Thank you for showing us how to modify our teaching and help our puppy with his biting and nipping. He was only 8 weeks old and my children refused to play with him due to his biting. Your Hand Off system has made get improvements in our home. Pup is now12 weeks, we are amazed at the progress in all areas. And we are ALL happier too!

    [Reply]

  24. Susan says:

    Thanks for these articles. They have really helped with our new boxer puppy .
    And she is a nipper! My nerves are soothed and we feel encouraged.
    Thanks again. Susan

    [Reply]

  25. David says:

    Our puppy, when playing, rushes the face, where he will lick and nip. We hold his snout and tell him no, but when he is released he charges for the fact again.

    Not quite the same as this article, but maybe similiar tendencies?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Holding his mouth shut is causing anger and frustration and then he goes after the hand that offends him.

    Instead exchange for a toy, and don’t play with him when he shows this behavior.

    [Reply]

  26. Eve says:

    I have been distracting my puppy with a squirt gun when he tries to eat my shoes and also when he chews on my clothing. He leaves my shoes alone now because the squirt gun is always near my shoes where I can reach it. I still need to figure out how to stop him from biting and chewing on me since I can’t always be carrying a water pistol.

    [Reply]

  27. Karin says:

    Most people act excited when they come home, talking fast and in a higher pitch to their dogs. They bend down, reach for them, pet them fast, etc. This can really set off a dog that has been trying to cope with anxiety alone all day.

    My first suggestion would be to be VERY calm and matter of fact when coming into the house – not even acknowledging the dog at first. Don’t make a big deal out of it.

    Teaching a “calm down” command is also useful. And always put the dog in it’s crate when it’s calm. Each dog is different however, and if the usual techniques don’t work, don’t hesitate to get professional help!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Dogs mirror their owners, and most dogs get excited when their owners come home.

    And most puppies nip when they are excited.

    But most dogs do not suffer from this severe of a behavior disorder. This article was intended for the few dogs that have a severe problem.

    [Reply]

  28. McKie says:

    All I have to say is THANK YOU. My little one isn’t quite 4 mos yet and it has been a struggle to settle her down as far as I have gotten. I’m gonna try this right away.

    [Reply]

  29. Annette says:

    Barbara

    It sounds very hard having 7 rescue dogs. I am an amateur too and find one balanced cocker enough to deal with. Springers have even more breed needs than Cockers, they’re generally bigger and more energetic, before (even a damaged) personality comes into play. I can imagine how owning 2 or 3 dogs could provide company for each other(if I could only afford the vets or food bills)however 7 really stretches one’s abilities. The Springer probably needs some breed specific training such as agility and as the kennel club says at least 2 hours of excercise on top of the heavy affection needs all spaniels have. So I would recommend some structured training to accommodate the breed plus some quality one on one time to settle the Spaniel in your home. The time this Springer needs means you’re not in a position to adopt any more dogs until your pack has reduced considerably.

    [Reply]

  30. Olivia says:

    I have a 4 month old puppy, he does these same things, he starts trying to knaw at my feet, I’ve bought him several chew toys he wont use them he’d rather chew on my sandals I don’t know how to break him from this horrible habit. Any advise as to how to deal with this matter?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Bitter apple on your sandals.

    [Reply]

  31. Dawn Hoover says:

    My Jack Russell bites occasionally trying to get us to play, but you touched on our main problem of grabbing something and running with it. Mail, shoes, anything she can get in her mouth belonging to us and she ducks behind furniture and destroys it before we can reach her. She runs and hides to get our negative attention so she knows its not what we want her to do. We have discussed giving her up in frustration. We love our dog, but even after buying your dog training program we have not been able to break this habit. Have to crate her and night or when we leave to protect our home. Another big one is she gets into bathroom garbage and laundry basket, destroys socks and underware. Any help would be greatly appreciated

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would keep her on a leash for a while in the home. Then you have something to grab when she runs around. Nothing is more fun than playing keep away; when you are a dog!

    She has not earned the privilege of being loose in your house if she is stealing garbage, socks and underwear. And you are doing her a disservice by leaving them out for her to get.

    You have to keep her on a leash and teach her what your expectations are, first and foremost.

    Once she has that down then you allow her to try being off leash to see how she will respond.

    Normally they make a mistake and go back on leash for a bit and you go through this process a few times before they begin to understand that when they break a rule they get restricted, so it is easier to follow the rules than be on a leash all the time.

    Many dogs have to be crated, and there is nothing wrong with that, actually I recommend it not only to keep your things safe but also your dog.

    [Reply]

  32. Terra says:

    I really liked this article my dog does the whole jumping and nipping everytimg I walk through the front door. He actually does it ALL the time ie; walking around in the house, the back yard, where ever. He never bites to draw blood. When our other dog tries to get some attention from me he bites his legs until he gets away from me. I always get him toys and together they tear them apart, so what do I do? My problem child is a rotti mix. The vet said with austrilian shepard, he looks like he has shar pei in him as well. Rotti colors throughout. And suggestions. He’s 10 months

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Exercise and regular work on obedience training.

    [Reply]

    Terra Reply:

    I also need with how do I get him to come everytime I call his name? We take him to the dog park and when it’s time to leave catching him is such a problem.

    [Reply]

  33. Scott says:

    Our puppy has developed a “game” that she plays when we are outside … it is a form of play (chase), but it is becoming increasingly aggressive. If she is on her leash, she starts chewing it and tossing it about with her head. If she if off her leash, she runs ahead, then races back at me growling and barking and biting at my cuffs or shoes, running around me in circles and barking. In short … all the behaviors you described about your dog when you were letting her out of the crate when you came home, but done outside. Clearly, getting our pup “outside” is not the solution. I am thinking she is associating something I do with the chase game we play when we come back in the house after a walk, and if I can remember to put a toy in my pocket when we go outdoors for a walk or other activity, I can try redirecting her energy as you describe. I just don’t know how practical that approach is. I also do not know if I have diagnosed the issue properly. Any thoughts?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would spray her leash with bitter apple and then keep her on a leash so that you can train and work with her while she is like this.

    She needs exercise. This behavior is because she is trying to entertain herself… and doing so in a fashion that is not acceptable.

    Keep her on a leash and instead throw a ball for her, or take her for a walk or a slow jog in the grass.

    She also needs the mental stimulation of training. Many many puppies do this because they are puppies and they are bored!

    Teach her to sit or lay down, then you can ask for this behavior (instead) when she gets a little wild.

    [Reply]

  34. Al Magaw says:

    I’ve been a competitive musher for the past 35 years, and I also do rehabilitation for dogs with compulsive behavior, such as aggression, play biting, or over excitement as described in the article, separation anxiety, etc, etc – I find that the key to rehabilitation is massive amounts of exercise – ( running while under control – one example would be running while attached to a bicycle ) – not running to the point of harm, but running enough to “take the edge off” – – next a bit of leash work to set boundaries — then exposure to the problem, be it other dogs, kids, strangers – then at the end of the “successful” session, lots of praise – of course I can’t guarantee success, but so far I’ve been 100% successful – some of the dogs I’ve worked with were scheduled for euthanasia because of their behavior – the worst one I’ve ever come across had the shelter workers terrified, trainers closer to the shelter than I wanted nothing to do with him – even the vet clinic didn’t want him in their office – I now use that dog as a therapy dog to help other dogs in trouble – EXERCISE is the key

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I totally agree about the exercise component!

    Although most people are dealing with this issue when they come home to a dog that has slept all day. Redirecting will help them deal with the problem in the beginning, but yes exercise is the key after they get home and get the dog out!

    [Reply]

  35. Ruth says:

    This has help me some. I don’t have too much of a problem with excitement biting when he comes in the house although he does get pretty excited. I have an aussie and he nips the grand children when they ride their bikes in the back yard. How do I stop him from nipping at this or if I pick up one of the kids and carry them?
    Thanks for all your articles. They are great help.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Dogs have to be put on a leash and taught what are expectations of them are.

    He is doing what comes natural to him and “herding”

    First you have to work on getting his focus without the distraction of kids and bikes and then take him out on leash and work on keeping his attention and giving him some other coping skills rather than running, nipping and biting!

    [Reply]

  36. Great advice, i like the way you approach dog training.

    [Reply]

  37. walt rinier says:

    Good article, my pitbull doesen’t bite but he will grab a toy or his
    rawhide chew an prance around when he’s excited. I wondered what he
    was trying to tell me, now I know! No major problems with him, I’m
    the one who doesn’t know what he’s doing, but I’m learning!

    [Reply]

  38. Bernice says:

    Thank you. My son, soon to be 5 has a 14 week old yorkie that hangs on his feet when he sees him and does not want to let go. He at first bit my husband and myself, but soon realized that we then ignore him. My son on the other hand starts running and of course the doggy thinks : ah its bite time…. Thank you again. We already started to redirect him with his toys as soon as he starts nipping my son.

    [Reply]

  39. debb says:

    really,..i found with my 5 yr.old pitbull that turning my back to him untill he has calmed down really helps. and NOT showing excitement yourself. thenn a treat when he does the greeting without excitment,telling him he is a good boy!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    This can be great, but some dogs will even bite their people in the back or back or the leg.

    it is all about what decompresses your dog!

    [Reply]

  40. Ellen says:

    One of my dogs does this, and honestly, is very, very gentle about it. We call it “chomp chomp.” She just wants to hold each of your wrists in her mouth when you get up in the morning. She doesn’t bite down, just gently holds you with a huge smile on her face, like her doggie version of a hug.
    My husband and I always know what she’s doing and aren’t alarmed by it, but it IS scary to visitors who don’t know what she’s doing. We’ve had a couple of people jerk their wrist out of her mouth, get snagged on her fang, and then everyone feels bad, even the dog! It’s nice to have a better idea why she does this, and we’ll be sure to keep a basket of toys by the front door to give her another way to express herself when visitors arrive.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    And put her on a leash!

    Don’t let her do this to visitors! One mistaken tooth mark and you could be sued and her life could end.

    Keep her on a leash and teach her manners or stick something else in her mouth (while she is on a leash) when people come over!

    [Reply]

  41. Audrey says:

    Hi there

    I also have the same problem with one of my many dogs, she’s about 5 years old and a german shepherd. I have 4 other dogs and since they are many, they stay outside the house. When we get home, she gets soo excited she bites on your feet and jumps on my 9 year old sister and bites her. Its nuthing serious to the point of bleeding but its still biting. I live in South Africa and my parents live with my dogs in Mozambique. Sadly there is no training school that we know of in the country.
    I would like to know, if that will work and if anyone has tried it? Because I have 4 other dogs that will get jealous and I’m worried it might start a fight between them.
    We already have a problem with my 3 males, we can not leave them 3 all together or else there will be blood.

    Please help!!! I hope you can give me an easy method to train my babies because it will be my parents teaching them and sadly, I can’t do much because I’m far away.

    Thank you

    [Reply]

  42. karen says:

    What can I do when the grandkids come over. The older ones love to play with him, but the younger ones are terrified of him because of his jumping and puppy biting. He is a 5 mo lab. Should I just keep him away from the kids or is there something else I can do. I know they won’t do the toy thing.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Put him on a leash when the kids come over and keep him on it to teach him manners. He will be harder to control as he gets bigger and matures, its much better to teach him how to behave when he is young!

    [Reply]

  43. joaquin says:

    hey man!!
    its nice to learn some things from you
    im from spain,my english is not so good,but i try to read everything you write
    so i can learn and understand my dog
    sometimes it seems like possessed 😀 😀

    [Reply]

  44. Alfred Hudson says:

    we have 6 poodles and 1 pekinese the poodles are the ones that are very aggresive and like to nip any one that comes in the house and does not stop from barking at everything and every one they see do not know how to stop them.I love my dogs but have alot of trouble with them.Help!!!!!and two of them will not be broke from puttying in the house have a dog door for them to go out.

    [Reply]

  45. Lynn says:

    I have a chihuahua who has a problem with becoming overexcited and goes into an aggressive mode. I have found that holding a magazine in front of his face so that he can’t avoid it for a few moments he calms down. He has bitten me and my wife at different times, and drawn blood when we try to close a door on him. He is actually biting the doorknob, but if your hand is on the knob, he ends up biting you. He hates doors that close him into a room away from us. He is otherwise a loving dog and will cuddle and loves to be carried around. His strangest thing is to get dangerously aggressive (barking, growling, and snapping) with me if I try to the leave the room and my wife is in the same room. He doesn’t bother her if she leaves the room — only me. If my wife isn’t in the room, there is no problem. The only thing that works is to hold a magazine or a ruler or something like that in his face until he cools down. I think that calming drugs would work with him because, he doesn’t seem to get the idea that he shouldn’t get aggressive when I try to leave a room when my wife is in the same room. It’s only in rooms where we share the sofa or the bed that he gets nuts like this.

    [Reply]

  46. June says:

    I too have a yellow lab/rhodesian ridgeback who is 8 months and he too is agressive in the the mouthing,barking and biting at my feet. I don’t know why he does this as he gets plenty of play time.It is mostly in the morning and night when he becomes this different dog.When my husband comes home from work he goes after his hands and then when my husband talks to me he starts barking.He does this when I talk on the cell phone to.When we play he wants to bring all his toys to me and puts his mouth on my lap which I have to watch out because he will bite me, even with the toy in his mouth. He is just learning to drop his toys yet will still plunge after the toy so you really have to watch your hands I try to tell him to be nice or ouch that hurts yet he plays dumber than dumb who cares just keep playing with me.I literally have to say no more to him and walk away than he barks and this upset my husband,he will also try to attack my feet,literally growling at them Ugh!and fustrated and saying why did I want a dog? This article helped a little, yet I hope he changes for the better or He has to go

    [Reply]

  47. Mandy says:

    Thanks a lot, I now understand his biting. I will try what you said and keep you posted on his mischief making.

    [Reply]

  48. Annette says:

    Wow This discussion has really been important to many people and is so challenging. I would like us to have a consensus however that biting people is never ever acceptable! (I am reeling at the thought someone might find it cute to see a dog biting a child’s arm still!).Surely in the wilds dogs would only really bite in securing food. In the pack ‘play’ biting or nipping would only occur if a member of the pack were out of line. Therefore if dogs are biting humans they either see them as prey or an inferior member of the pack who needs correction. As we have brought precious dogs into our world it is our responsibility to deal with these instincts. Let’s ‘man up’ and not see biting as cute!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    The problem is that some dogs are encouraged to bite people.

    Malinois, Dobermans, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Dutch Shepherds have all been used as police dogs and so some of them have a genetic link to biting.

    Sometimes these genetics get out of control or these dogs go to “pet” homes with people who don’t understand them or give them an outlet for their energy and instincts.

    Whereas I agree with you, teeth don’t belong on human skin ever (for most people) it is about understanding genetic predisposition sometimes and learning to deal with behavior problems that are present.

    [Reply]

  49. Judy C. says:

    I have a 5 mos puppy and I got her when she was 6 weeks old. From the very start she loved a little stuffed bear and grabs it with her teeth and shakes her own head violently like it’s going to break and growls very very deeply as she shakes the bear. At first I thought it was so funny and enjoyed watching her. Now she does it to a few of her toys. She is not aggressive to people and wondered it this IS okay for her to do this. I was beginning to think I should stop her and take away those toys that make her act so violent.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    It is up to you. If you are uncomfortable with the growling, you can stop it and redirect your puppy.

    Just because a puppy growls at a toy doesn’t mean he/she will growl at people.

    However it never hurts to have some control.

    As far as the shaking, puppies need to play with toys.

    I would be more concerned about socializing her with other dogs.

    [Reply]

  50. Jane says:

    What a timely article since I am still bearing a painful large bruise and puncture wound on my arm that I received from my 1 ½ year old Shepherd/Pit mix last week. She had become over-excited as we were playing Frisbee together and gave me a hard bite. I’ve been seriously concerned about her ever since.
    We got her as a rescue with LOTS of issues when she was 7 ½ months old. One of the issues that we we were most worried about was her nipping. She would suddenly, without warning, charge people and bite them on the back of their leg when they had their backs turned. She would do this to anyone except me. Often times she would leave painful wounds.
    My husband and I took her to a vet/behaviorist whom she attempted to nip during the evaluation because he was coming too close to me. After a long consultation, the vet advised us that even with extensive training, we would most likely end up with a dog we could never fully trust because she was a bad mixture of fear/aggression/protectiveness (of me).
    I’ve worked with her on my own for almost a year using techniques learned from Chet Womach and
    TheDogTrainingSecret.com and have seen huge improvement. My husband and I both adore our dog. We’ve found her to be an extremely smart and amazing in so many ways. She was easy to obedience train and performs several tricks on command. I work from home so I am able to spend quality time exercising and training her. Yet I am the ONLY person she trusts and responds to. She will not listen to my husband, or even go outdoors for him. She will almost always growl and charge my husband (or anyone) who enters the room unexpectedly, but we’ve been feeling relieved that she hasn’t bitten anyone for at least 7 months until our Frisbee playing incident last week. Now I’m secretly worried. If she bit me (even if it was just excitement), what’s her next crazy move going to be?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I am going to have to agree with the veterinary behaviorist and say you can never trust her.

    I worry both for you and your husband and I would recommend that you again go back to the behaviorist to see if medication might help and a behavior modification program.

    [Reply]

  51. 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]

  52. 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]

  53. 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]

  54. 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]

  55. 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]

  56. 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]

  57. 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]

  58. 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]

  59. 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]

  60. 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]

  61. 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]

  62. 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]

  63. 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]

  64. 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]

  65. 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]

  66. 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]

  67. 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]

  68. 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]

  69. 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]

  70. 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]

  71. 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]

  72. 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]

  73. 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]

  74. 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]

  75. 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]

  76. 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]

  77. 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]

  78. 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]

  79. 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]

  80. 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]

  81. 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]

  82. 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]

  83. 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]

  84. 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]

  85. 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]

  86. 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]

  87. 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!

    [Reply]

  88. Emma says:

    I got a 13 weeks Jack Russell, he obeys most of the commands such as sit etc.. the only bad behaviour he has is nipping and bite me when he is excited.. specially when I come home after work or when he see me after a while. He grabs my feet and ankles so tight that it will lead to bleeding..

    Once he is on this crazy mode he will not stop at all, even if I yelp and go away for few seconds he will start it again when I come to him.. ( seems like he keep waiting to bite me more)

    I have tried approaching him with a toy or asking him to sit and giving him a treat, this only last less than a second he will come back to my feet and ankles.. I was thinking maybe I need professional help

    [Reply]

  89. Coco says:

    Hi! We have a 7 months old shih tzu. Everytime we arrived home at night he would jump at us ans growl at the same time and bite our feet. Is he like mad at us?

    [Reply]

  90. Jack says:

    Hello! We have a Australian shepherd and German Short-Haired Pointer mix named Perdy who’s about 6-7 years old and when we got her we had another mixed beagle dog named Daisy who she did excellent with and hardly ever showed aggression, only when she was a puppy. Recently we adopted a Siberian Husky puppy who is almost 6 months to date that tends to bite and even chew on her neck, mouth, legs, etc. Even after pulling him off of her and reprimanding, he continues to do so. She reacts negatively when on a leash and even attacks Daisy, I struggle to pull the two off of each other but recently (last two weeks) it started.The other day she attacked our puppy (Ox) when trying to steal his food. She went straight for his neck but she had never tried to attack him, just Daisy. When I came home today, she bit my face and bit my nose a week before. We have a 5 month year old baby and worry for his safety, along with our other dogs.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Seek the help of a boarded veterinary behaviorist they need to witness the behaviors and can help you

    [Reply]

  91. Tiarra Hammary says:

    I adopted a 9 week old Lab, I’ve had him for about a week and it’s my first dog. I’m concerned about how aggressive he is. He’s very playful, he loves to nip at you and he never licks. The past day or so he has been growling and biting much harder than he was before. I’m very confused because he gets a lot of exercise everyday and he plays a lot and we give him so much love.. I’m just scared we are doing something wrong. Do you know what would cause this behavior?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    read this https://thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/land-shark/

    [Reply]

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