Nipping - help!

I have a 13 month old B that I rescued one month ago. When he gets excited he gets nippy - and also at times when I try to move him from a spot he particularly likes, he'll nip at me. I have tried "yipping" in a high pitched voice, yelling "no bite", I have even given him a swat on his nose - all to no avail. Sometimes if he's really amped up and I am walking away, he'll nip at my thighs. In most other ways he's a great dog, but this is starting to drive me crazy. I always feel a little nervous around him now when he's really excited because I never know if he's going to nip at me. I exercise him every day for at least an hour walk and we go to the dog park. I have another dog who rough-houses with him as well. It's usually when the two dogs are wrestling that he gets wound up and starts nipping at everything in sight. Any help would be much appreciated. I have looked on the web for help, but most sites deal with real biting - this isn't aggressive biting - it really is more like nipping - no growling, no threatening behavior. Any ideas?

Welcome. Did you contact the breeder to see what they said?
I would get him into a gentle obedience class, to help him and you, learn
to communicate.

It's hard when they are really wound up, but use your flat palm toward them and a calm 'no nip' and walk away, back away with palm flat to defer a nip if you must to avoid the 'butt bite'. If all else fails, sometimes a spray bottle is handy. I know of people who use a citronella spray, not harmful, just noxious, for really hard-headed play-nippers.

As Sharron says, a good gentle obedience class will help him learn to focus on you and what you want…at least some of the time!

You are talking about two separate issues. Nipping while playing is normal puppy behavior….nipping at you when you try to move him sounds more like resource guarding his spot, and it is a form of aggression. Your reactions should be very different in these situations, otherwise you are sending him the wrong message. If he is nipping and wound up in play, you want to immediately and dramatically disengage "I am NOT going to play with you if you act like that"...any attention to this behavior will cause it to increase, even what seems like a natural discouragment of yelling, or batting at his face..that is exciting to a dog.

In the other situation he is saying 'knock it off, go away' and if you ignore him and disengage you are saying 'sure, you can have this spot.' You need to train him to be called away from his spot, instead of physically moved. Once he realizes that humans approaching me in my spot means good things if I hop off the couch, he won't feel like he needs to guard his spot anymore.

Thanks! That is really good advice! I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my message - I will try your suggestions - wish me luck!

Please let us know how they work.

@Kipawa:

Please let us know how they work.

Well, it's been over a month of training and he's doing MUCH better. My vet actually gave me several copies of training protocols and we've been working with him. No more nipping! The gist of this training is to teach him sit and down (and stay and off) and then ask him to sit for anything he wants (getting on the couch, treats, scritches, etc). The idea is that I establish myself as the "big dog" by making him request what he wants. It seems to be working - according to the protocol he might just have been looking for some direction from me, and now that he knows I'm in charge he can calm down. Whatever is going on in his doggy head, peace has been restored! The only thing he nips now is the blanket on our sofa when he gets a burst of energy. He no longer bites us, just blankets! And, as for nipping when we tried to move him off the sofa, he no longer does that now that he knows the "off" command. And, on the rare occasion that we have had to physically move him off the sofa, he no longer nips. He grumbles a bit, but no more biting. So, thanks everyone for your help and advice and your well wishes - the support was much appreciated!

Glad to hear things are doing good!

It's wonderful to know that things have got so much better. You did the right thing in tackling the problem so soon.

That's interesting, Ayo has been doing a lot of that kind of nipping again lately, he used to do ti a lot as a small puppy, but had pretty much stopped. Now he is 10 months old and he is nipping again.He does it when he is excited, when playing around, and also whine he wants something, like for example when we are walking and he wants a treat, he will nip my leg,, or when he doesn't want to go back home sometimes. at first I thought it was kind of funny but I realize I can't allow this to continue , also it gets really annoying real soon, cause you know it kind of hurts!! So….. All this advice is really helpful. one if the problems Ive had is trying to get other people to understand not to come up to him all excited and yelling, HELLO,, OHH HOW CUTE, HOW ARE YOU etcetc... Because it gets him all worked up.

As they say, "nothing in life is free"… works most everytime when they get it in their heads that they are "leader" and not you....

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