Nipping issue

One of my brothers came into town for the holidays and is spending the week with me. EL D was a little cautious when he first came into the house but seemed to be okay. I had my brother give him a few treats later too to smooth the way. Until the next morning when my brother came out of the guest room - then EL D charged and nipped him. I scolded him (EL D not my brother) and he was fine until Christmas morning when he did the same thing and again this morning. He only gets snarking when my brother comes out of the guest room - anywhere else and EL D is fine. Do you thingk this is another of those territory protection issues? Although EL D is not allowed in the guest bedroom.

Tell me again how old this dog is?
Has he has any basic obedience??
That works on socialization for the pup..if I remember, your dog is young??

No, EL D was 5 on Friday. He's a retired show dog so he's had some basic training and has been around others. However, he had been sold to another person before I got him - but was so destructive at the guy's house that he didn't last a week. I don't know details about the other owner's problems other than EL D did significant damage and he tore up two crates. I can't get him into one now even though the breeder used crates all the time for shows. EL D was okay when the rest of the family came over for christmas dinner - basically he just ignored people and played with his own christmas toys. The only person he got snarky with was the one brother that was staying here.

Can you use a baby gate in the hallway so when your brother comes out of the guest room El D can't actually charge him? Then your brother can toss him a treat so he associates people exiting the guest room with a positive experience and is not able to practice the bad behavior.

As it turns out he has now charged him in a couple of other areas like coming up from the basement, even though the two were fine in the basement. It really is strange because he tolerates him at the table or in the living room. I wonder if it may be related to the previous owner (see my previous note - maybe he did something nasty to EL D) and maybe my brother reminds EL D of the other guy? It is a bit unnerving since I havent' been able to figure out the common denominator and so can't predict when EL D might get overly protective (if that's what he's doing).

@wizard:

As it turns out he has now charged him in a couple of other areas like coming up from the basement, even though the two were fine in the basement. It really is strange because he tolerates him at the table or in the living room. I wonder if it may be related to the previous owner (see my previous note - maybe he did something nasty to EL D) and maybe my brother reminds EL D of the other guy? It is a bit unnerving since I havent' been able to figure out the common denominator and so can't predict when EL D might get overly protective (if that's what he's doing).

Does your brother say anything to him before this happens? Make eye contact? Have you seen this happen?

As far as I can tell there's nothing my brother does to provoke the dog - for the most part he was just moving from one spot to another, not teasing or anything. And yes I have witnessed it - in fact this morning when we came up from the basement I was watching EL D (I was first up the stairs) and he was just fine then all of a sudden as my brother hit the top step (doing nothing other than watching where he was stepping) EL D charged him.

Is it always related to changing rooms and crossing thresholds? If so, then you can start to train an incompatible behavior. For the guest bedroom, I would probably use a baby gate so he can't practice the behavior and your brother can enter and leave the room in peace. For other room changes, if El D is food motivated and has a good sit or down how about asking for a sit or down and then lots of treats while your brother is entering the room. Also having your brother give El D treats for things like sit, down, etc so he starts to see your brother as a good thing. If he is coming in the room he gets treats, if he is around he gets treats so that him being around is a signal that good things will happen.

And it sounds to me like for some reason maybe your brother is giving off some kinds of vibes that El D is picking up on…

An old school technique my grenpeppy taught me way back when is to wait for your dog to mouth your hand and then grab his lower jaw. If you use your thumb to apply a light pressure on his tounge he soon learns that biting people's hand is a very unpleasant thing. to speed it up try putting bitter apple spray on your hands

@Gooby:

An old school technique my grenpeppy taught me way back when is to wait for your dog to mouth your hand and then grab his lower jaw. If you use your thumb to apply a light pressure on his tounge he soon learns that biting people's hand is a very unpleasant thing. to speed it up try putting bitter apple spray on your hands

What does that has to with a dog nipping at her brother when he enters a room? Obviously something is setting this dog off, this is not just play biting….
And this is a very old solution that many trainers now days would not use

@Gooby:

An old school technique my grenpeppy taught me way back when is to wait for your dog to mouth your hand and then grab his lower jaw. If you use your thumb to apply a light pressure on his tounge he soon learns that biting people's hand is a very unpleasant thing. to speed it up try putting bitter apple spray on your hands

Maybe for play biting (not a technique I use)…but not for aggression...unless you want to MAKE a seriously aggressive dog, and get bitten for real.

It sounds to me like ElD just doesn't like your brother. It happens. One of my dogs just doesn't like my Mom. Nothing she did, nothing in the dog's history. El D is trying to keep him from entering his space.

So, the best thing to do would be change his association of dislike with your brother to like. And the best way to do that is for you to find some kind of food that the dog LOVES, and feed it to him open bar (continual) as soon as your brother makes an entrance. Have your brother quickly leave, and you 'close the bar'. Brother comes back in 'open bar.' You get the idea 🙂 I wouldn't have your brother feed any treats yet. You can get into problems if the dog is conflicted by being drawn towards the object (by food) that they wish to increase the space between. Does that make sense? So you be the food giver. And it has to be something FABULOUS….liver, turkey, steak...something like that, so that El D starts to think 'I love it when that guy shows up, and I WANT him to show up so that I get the great food.

During non training times, tell your brother to completely ignore El D. No trying to sweet talk him, no eye contact, don't sit near him, don't approach him, nothing. You may need to keep the dog on a light line/leash to keep him from getting bolder and actually deciding to bite.

I hope some of this helps 🙂

Thanks Andrea, I'll keep these hints in mind. My brother left to head back to Chicago before the next snowstorm comes in so I can't implement them until the next time he comes to visit. I'm convinced it's just something about the one brother, EL D doesn't do this with my other relatives.

Wizard-I actually have the same issue with my dog C3PO. I haven't put my finger on it yet but it seems that when ANYBODY enters our living room or leaves our living room it sets him off….like where are you going??!!!

He always goes for the person's knee & he doesn't nip hard so I know he's using some kind of bite inhibition to send a message to the person.

Yet when the person is sitting/standing in one place he's fine & LOVES for the person to pet & play 😕

Yes that is similar. When EL D nipped my brother it was never really hard (okay so he'll have a bruise) and he backed off pretty quick once he let my brother have it. But it is unnerving because it is unpredictable.

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