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Will she always be nippy?

(13 Posts)
BloodyPlantagenets Wed 17-Feb-16 10:08:32

We have a gorgeous 13 months old chihuahua x jrt. She is a perfect dog except she is quite nippy. She mouths at your hands when she wants to play and she can be very protective of me and nip at the children (never hard) if she thinks they are attacking me (4 yo ds2 in particular if he's being boisterous).

Is this just to be expected with a tiny dog or is there a way of training her to stop doing this. 90% of the time she is a cuddly lap dog and very gentle.

georgedawes Wed 17-Feb-16 10:14:29

I have a collie (so not a small dog!) but they can be mouthy when playing. She was 14 months when I got her and did it quite a bit but was trained out of it pretty quickly. We say "ah ah" when she does it and immediately stop the game for a minute or so. We then restart it with lots of praise for no mouthing. I've also walked away and shut the door for a minute when she does it, similar sort of thing. Sorry if you have tried this already!

Hoppinggreen Wed 17-Feb-16 10:21:24

I'm not an expert but I went to a 2 hour talk from a local Dog Trainer last night about behaviour so I will tell you a few things I picked up from that.
It's ok to have your dog on your lap if you want to but you need to invite them rather than them jump up.
If they nip or mouth you Yelp as if you were a puppy and then look away and ignore, try this twice and if it doesn't work remove the dog from the room for 30 seconds.
Go to your dog for attention rather than the other way around, sometimes ignore them when they seek attention and reward them when they are calm. If they jump up turn your back.
If children are being boisterous try and remove the dog before he gets too hyped up and joins in
The talk was aimed at puppies but the idea behind a lot of the advice was to stop bad habits formng, most puppies are nippy whe play but but it sounds like yours hasn't been trained out of it. As I said I'm not an expert but you might find some of this advice helpful.

Mammabrown Wed 17-Feb-16 10:28:08

I think you need to stop the nipping now we also say ah ah to our collie who can be mouthy and bitey we had to do a lot of what hoppinggreen just said to stop our dog biting if you ignored it just wound him up more so out he went. Your dog is biting dont minimise it by saying nipping

georgedawes Wed 17-Feb-16 10:33:34

We were warned when we rehome the dog she could be mouthy and jump up, but honestly it was easy to correct by teaching her what we expected instead.

I also think that just cos they're a small dog they shouldn't be allowed to nip; even a small dog can cause injury! Especially to children. It can be tempting to let small dogs get away with things we wouldn't accept from larger dogs, but really I don't think we should.

Mammabrown Wed 17-Feb-16 10:38:53

I agree with that small dogs to big dogs they are all the same.

BloodyPlantagenets Wed 17-Feb-16 10:56:46

Thanks all. It's definitely nipping rather than biting, she's never broken the skin or even really left a mark.

She doesn't come on to my lap unless invited and she has a crate for when things get too much. I've always done the 'ah ah' and ignoring (we've had her since puppyhood) but she doesn't seem to get it.

Mammabrown Wed 17-Feb-16 11:07:20

I used to say NO TEETH before the ah ah when my dog was at his peak of this you need a low firm voice high shrieking wound him up I wasnt having a dig at you for calling it nipping its just it could escalate and dog will break skin if you think of it as biting then it sets a different mind set,

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 17-Feb-16 11:16:47

Dogs should be trained that their teeth do not touch human skin this is bite inhibition and it is something puppies learn.
Your dog is now 13 months old and has not learnt this. You would be best to get advice from a properly qualified behaviourist on how to stop the nipping.

AnUtterIdiot Wed 17-Feb-16 11:41:38

Puppies learn bite inhibition by playing - if one pup bites another too hard the bitten one yelps and withdraws from the game. High pitched squeak and stop play has worked well for me, but everyone has to do it consistently or the pup will learn different rules for different people.

Mammabrown Wed 17-Feb-16 11:50:42

We had a great behaviourist that we saw from the rescue centre ours came to us biting at 7 months it was an uphill struggle we had no small children though you really need to nip this in the bud

Cheerfulmarybrown Wed 17-Feb-16 12:42:49

Yelping when your puppy nips you can often excite the puppy and cause more nipping. Think of squeaky toys they make a high pitch noise to excite the dogs and make them want to hear the noise more. Also terriers will kill rats etc and the yelping of the rat will encourage them to bite more.

So if yelping has not worked then stop it now.

I would be a little concern about the occasions that you dog is nipping you. If it was in play then you need to stand still and remove the dog or give it something else to have in its mouth eg a tuggy toy.

However you are saying the dog is nipping and guarding you from your children - if this is the case you need to get qualified behavioural advice asap. Try APDT for a starting point - although they are not behaviourists but should be able to deal with this if not they will say and will recommend a behaviourist. This behaviour can not be cured over the internet the professional will need to see the behaviour in real life to see the cause to enable them to put a training plan together to alter it.

BloodyPlantagenets Wed 17-Feb-16 15:42:08

Thank you.

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