How to get Basenji from nipping on feet

Our male B is almost 6 months old. He is constantly nipping and trying to bite at our feet. We have tried to just stand still so he does not think it is a game and tried telling him no. We have also tried to distract him with a toy but nothing seems to be working. Any suggestions?

Tell him "no" when he does it and immediately physically prevent him from doing it. If he comes right back, remove him again. Eventually the penny will drop. Take care not to hurt him, and when he desists praise and/or treat. Be consistent. Any biting should never be tolerated and the dog must learn that the behaviour is unacceptable.

Try the way we trained our Cardigan Welsh Corgi Duncan to not nip/bite. Every time your dog nips your ankles, make a high pitched yip (like an injured puppy) and turn away. Your dog should be surprised and try to get around you to see your face. You may have to turn away again. Just do not make eye contact for at least a minute. Try and stand in the same spot, just rotating away from direct eye contact. Do not say NO. Don't give any verbal commands as the high pitched yip says everything about how you've been hurt. You are communicating on a canine level. In puppy play, when a pup gets hurt and yips, the play also stops. If done consistently, you should see real improvement in a week or less. I also suggest doing "hand games" using a towel or the blankets on the bed. Cover you hand, then make it move around like a mouse. Your youngster should find that irresistible and try to catch it. A soft mouthing is OK. Anything more than that gets a yip, eyes averted, and play stop for a minutes. Don't be surprised if your dog tries to kiss you as it will want the play to continue. After the minute, start the play again and repeat. Duncan developed an incredibly soft mouth doing this. With his ankle nipping, he learned not to nip using the technique I described above. When he got excited, he did "bump" our ankles. We felt that this was acceptable behavior. With our new dog Rosie, I'm not considering the bumping to be acceptable, not because it bothers us but because a stranger might misconstrue the bump to be a bite. We called the game with a hand under the covers to be "Mousie Mousie". If the blanket was over the dog's head, the game was called "Moalie Moalie" and we would tap the dog's nose while it tried to catch our hand (but he had to be gentle!!). These are really fun games to do with your pup and it will learn real bite control for life.

Puppies love toes. And shoelaces! I'm sure you can train him. Alternatively, until he grows out of it, which he will, you can do what I would and wear socks or shoes without laces. You haven't mentioned what you're wearing -- or not wearing -- but puppies find toes, followed by shoelaces, very attractive nibbles. Shoes without laces or adornments not at all and socks not so much.

@jerseygirl01 said in How to get Basenji from nipping on feet:

Try the way we trained our Cardigan Welsh Corgi Duncan to not nip/bite. Every time your dog nips your ankles, make a high pitched yip (like an injured puppy) and turn away.

This may work with some dogs, but Basenjis all too often react to it as they would a squeaky toy......and it actually reinforces them to continue nipping. I do not recommend it. I also know few Basenjis who want to "kiss". None of my five wanted to lick my face and would only do it if trained to "give a kiss".

I too had good luck with the yip strategy when raising my boy. To this day, even though he can be really grumpy when woken up (he's now going on 13) if his teeth touch any part of me accidentally or when playing with his stuffed toys, he freezes and stops. He never went so far as to give me face licks, but he would act as though he understood that he had hurt me. He would bow his head to approach me and/or lay down near me.

As a caveat though, my b has never really cared much for squeaky toys. He much prefers tug toys or the ones with crinkly plastic instead. He may have more readily given up on the "game" since he's not a fan a squeaky toys.

Just to elaborate on my previous comment......if you want to equate yipping with litter mate behaviour, then consider that that makes you seem like a litter mate, not an adult. Adults do not yip when pups nip them. If the pup is persisting and annoying them, any vocalization will likely be a growl or snarl, possibly backed up with pinning the pup down with a foreleg. Do you want your pup to consider you his equal, or an adult to be respected? I know I prefer the latter, and "no" is the human equivalent of a growl. It says "don't do that again".

@jerseygirl01 said in How to get Basenji from nipping on feet:

Do not say NO. Don't give any verbal commands as the high pitched yip says everything about how you've been hurt. You are communicating on a canine level

Your Corgi is not a basenji. For many basenjis, that yip is a sign that you are a squeaky toy and they will do it again to hear it.

The alpha dog does not squeal when nipped. You should be the alpha dog, not a litter mate. Making a noise like that shows excitement, which to an already unstable minded dog, only compounds the problem.

Being the alpha is a mindset. If you watch an alpha dog, they get what they want by intimidation 99% of the time. There is very little aggression but a lot of persuasion. This is why you don’t take things off a dog, you persuade them to drop whatever it is, then remove it.

Being the alpha is very much about mindset, posture, willpower, stubbornness, eye contact and voice tone.

When the dog nips, straighten up and assume a commanding posture / mindset. I usually say calmly but firmly “hey” in a particular tone. They know immediately that what they just did is not acceptable and that I am serious. I also hold my hand out (not closely too them) with the palm towards them. Also, never underestimate eye contact, the alpha uses it’s eyes a lot. Notice most dogs when you stare at them will stare back and then look away.

Always stay calm, never angry and always be fair.

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