"Stop Puppy Biting and Nipping" ...
A Free Dog Training Tip From The "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer" Discussion Forum:
I rescued a puppy and whenever people come into my house, the puppy barks, jumps at the door, and at the person when they come in. He then sometimes runs up behind them, when they are walking through my kitchen, and nips them on the back of the leg. I am worried this puppy biting issue will become worse later on if I don't do something quick.
This is what I plan to do, and would like to know if it is the correct thing:
I have a very short leash that I will put on him, before I open the
door to let people in. As soon as he starts jumping, I plan to make
him sit down and try to settle down. Once it appears he has done so,
I will then reward him with a treat. As my company proceeds into my
living room, I will continue to walk him into the living room, still
on his leash, and will insist on a 'calm' walk, not a running pace
and insist that he come over and sit next to me, rather than running
over to the company. Once he is settled down, I will then remove the
Does this sound like a workable plan? Also, I have a muzzle. Would I be advised to put the muzzle on him before I open the door (as a motivation), or is it enough just to keep him away from my guests with the use of the short leash? I don't want to use the muzzle if that is going to make matters worse. Thank you for any advice you can give me for my puppy biting issue.
** DogProblems.com Dog Training Advisor Responds:
Candice - It sounds as though you need to do a little bit of basics before jumping right into 'making' him behave. Please read through the "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer" , especially the Three Keys to correcting misbehavior's and start him on an obedience program. You can restrain a dog and 'make' him sit, but until he learns that jumping/etc is inappropriate, he will not settle. He needs to simply learn that his choices affect whether he gets praise or a correction.
As long as he is under your supervision, he needs to be wearing the leash. Taking it on and off/on and off only teaches him that "hey, I have to behave when this is on, but when it's off, oh boy it's PARTY TIME." Similar to how dogs become collar-smart. You should not need a muzzle if you apply the techniques appropriately and issue fair, motivational corrections. This should easily stop the puppy biting issue before it becomes a bigger problem later on.
Can you recommend a tab leash that he can wear around the house all day, that isn't too long and gets in his way of walking, etc. I've checked out tab leashes on the Internet, and they seem to be around 9 - 10 inches long (not counting the buckle). Wouldn't that be dragging on the floor when he walks around, and get in the way?
The short leash that I have (that I referred to) is basically a handle
on a hinge, so it is extremely short, but it would be very cumbersome
for him to drag around. His behavior throughout the house, is
perfectly fine, it's only when someone knocks at the door, but you
still recommend that I make him wear the leash all day?
** DogProblems.com Dog Training Advisor Responds:
You need to ALWAYS be in a position to correct him, if he is in a position to demonstrate the unwanted behavior, right?
So-- if he does the behavior (puppy biting), and you don't have the tab and collar on him-- you've just demonstrated inconsistency to the dog.
I recommend making your own tab at your local hardware store. A harness snap will cost you about $.50 cents, and they'll probably just give you one foot of soft rope you can attach for the handle.
OK, that makes sense. I'll give it a try. Thanks.
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