August 20th, 2008, 09:46 PM
Hi there, hope someone can give me a little insight here. We have a 3.5 month old shihpoo who is typically a very friendly puppy but also very scared of sudden movements! Louie has a very bad habit of nipping at other dogs faces when they come to greet him (all sizes) and sometimes even growls a bit. He even will run behind us sometimes. When he nips we grasp his mouth closed and say NO. But this just doesnt seem to be working.. I dont want him to be the puppy everyone hates to bring their dog around :( Please any information would be awesome or if you had this problem it would be greatly appreciated!
August 20th, 2008, 10:42 PM
Socialize him with dogs that you know are friendly and not likely to retaliate with aggression. He is showing fear/anxiety meeting other dogs because he hasn't been exposed enough at an earlier age. If you could enroll him in some obedience classes and arrange play dates with some of the mellower dogs or ones in your neighborhood that wouldn't frighten him that would allow him to gain confidence. Grasping his mouth closed when he nips will not help, you want to ignore negative behaviour and reward positive. If you could meet others in a fenced area then he could observe them at his own pace and begin to feel less threatened. At his age he won't take long before he's engaging in play.
August 21st, 2008, 08:51 AM
stop grasping his mouth first of all. 3-4mth old pups nip. it's normal. the more you socialize, the better. I'd look for a puppy playgroup to start. These classes teach basic manners, and let the pups learn by doing. he needs to learn bite inhibition in addition to manners, and one of the best ways to learn this is with other pups. My pup was a holy terror (on occassion) in puppy playschool... he learned REAL FAST that if he nips too hard, another pup may put him in his place. Obedience schools usually have some sort of puppy class - puppy social, puppy playschool, puppy group, etc... The one I took ran for 6 weeks, was an hour long evening class, the pups played for 1/2 the time, and we learned basic puppy care with the rest. (crate training, grooming, nail clipping, bathing, feeding, appropriate toys, redirecting play, etc...)
August 21st, 2008, 01:21 PM
Thanks, theres not much around here really unless you are a part of the Vets that has these socializing classes, you pretty much have to fork out a pretty penny. The thing is he has been around a lot of dogs lately, we live in a co-op where theres sooo many dogs around and hes in contact with them almost every day, and my brother has a dog too.. so I just hope he doesn't keep it up forever. And yes i know they say to ignore bad behaviour, but really I find ignoring that type of behaviour isnt going to do much of any good. Because hes not getting in trouble. He knows when we arent happy with him by our tone of voice typically.. I dont really agree with ignoring behaviour. We had a min pin/ min poodle growing up and we always told him when it was wrong and hes very well trained.. ignoring to me doesnt work very well for certain things. Barking maybe but not nipping. cus if you dont acknowledge it i feel he wont even think theres anything wrong with it and keep doing it. And trust me many dogs have nipped back, my parents dog pinned him down haha. But he still gets nervy anyway.. small dog big attitude i guess haha.
August 21st, 2008, 10:47 PM
Consulting with a behavorist would give you some insight into your dog's behaviours and methods to deal with them.
August 22nd, 2008, 09:01 AM
Thanks, theres not much around here really unless you are a part of the Vets that has these socializing classes, you pretty much have to fork out a pretty penny.
yes, they can be expensive. BUT, IMHO, worth every penny. My first puppy playschool classes cost around $250. each set of obedience classes after that cost around $150-$250 (usually sets of 6-8 classes, one per week)
another option is to start a training program at home. Tenderfoot Training is excellent, you'll find alot of Tenderfoot's training advice if you search this board. Here's a link to the website anyways... their training methods may be something that would work for you.