– Today we’re gonna talk about a really popular topic, and that is of puppy nipping. You know, it’s a pretty common thought out there that puppy nipping is something that dogs will just do when they’re teething. They’ll eventually grow out of it, all those types of things.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case, it’s something that it does need to be dealt with while they’re babies, yeah. So today one of our students, Dan, has brought his five-month-old puppy, Lucy, to come over for a little visit. And we’re gonna talk a little bit about how to address puppy nipping in just a few short minutes, opposed to having to take months to try to address the issue.
So, my name is Kayl, welcome back to McCann Dogs. (guitar strums) (dog barking) Here at McCann Dogs we’ve helped to train over 80,000 dogs. Now, if this is your first time with us make sure you hit that subscribe button so that we can help you to have a well-behaved four-legged family member.
All of the methods that we’ve used to address the puppy nipping are specifically directed towards puppies under the age of about six months. So keep in mind, if you’re having any additional issues that could be a little bit more serious than just basic puppy nipping, or you’re dealing with a bigger or older stronger dog, these tips might not be perfect for you.
And we would suggest that you contact your local behaviorist to make sure that you’re getting the right information to keep both you and your dog safe. Okay, typically, what situations is she more likely to nip you, or the kids, or your wife?
– Yeah, a situation very much like this. On the ground, playing, toy out, loose clothing, hands on the collar, that kind of thing.
– So, basically, every situation that every puppy likes to nipping.
– Absolutely, yes.
– So you’re normal, you’re a normal puppy who’s crazy right now. Okay, cool, first things first, she has a very well-fit collar on already, good student.
– Thank you.
– It’s nice and snug, so what I’m gonna try first is the first level of discipline that we use. We call it the passive restraint. And this is really good to use in situations when dogs are really hyper like this. What I’m gonna do is put my hand on her collar. And I’m going to just snug her against my body. I’m just gonna hold onto her really tight. I’m just gonna tell her to settle, that’s enough, good girl.
So, she’s settled, but I can still feel a lot of like intensity to her body. So I’m just gonna tell her, wait until she relaxes a bit more. Good girl, oh, so as soon as I go to let go she starts to sort of move again. What I’m looking for her to do, there we go, is when I let go just to sort of be a little bit calmer.
Now, this works very well for some dogs, but not all dogs. And she’s high enough right now, excited enough that it might not make effect. So we may have to go onto the next version. Although she’s settling a bit now. Good, good girl, good settle. So, how I’m holding her collar right now is quite specific. My fingers are going underneath her collar, and they’re pointing towards her head.
And I’m holding on either one side of her head or the other. I’m not holding mid-head because she could bite my arm. She could get at me at this here. So you may notice the palm of my hand is bracing against her cheek. So no matter how hard she tries she can’t get me, and I can just sort of move around her. Actually, she hasn’t really tried to nip once yet. She’s just being too excitable in this moment.
There, I just want her to be calm. Now, when I’m trying to get the dog to be calmer my presence, and award, and praise, no, don’t do that, needs to be calmer as well. Stop, so each time she does something that I don’t like I’m squeezing a little tighter. And I’m just giving a little shake on the collar. Good girl, oh, look, did you see that? She went to do it again, and then she didn’t lift it.
– Yeah, stopped herself.
– That was, no, settle. Good girl, you’re so cute. Now, she’s being really good so what I’m gonna do is take the pressure off and I’m gonna let her go. Good girl, yay, good, and see what she does. One thing that this puppy is doing really, really well that not all dogs do is she has what we call excellent recovery.
Sometimes what happens if dogs aren’t really used to having much discipline, and then all of a sudden they get it, they sometimes can want to run away. And they flee a little bit, and they get really stressed. And then people often sort of go, oh, my gosh, I can’t discipline them because they get really worried and upset.
– Right, right.
– She’s a very well-rounded dog. And she’s already had a little bit of discipline, and already some good training. So she’s already sort of learning that, okay, I don’t like that, but life sort of goes on, which is really, really important. The other thing that’s really important to note is after you discipline a puppy you can’t just let that be the end of it.
Now what I do, so I’m gonna get some treats out. I might do a little bit of behaviors with her just to sort of say, okay, I didn’t really like what you were doing. But I still like you, so let’s do some things. Good girl, I might do a sit, I might do a down. Here you go, oh, you’re smart. She says why would I follow that food when you have three in the other hand? Come here, Lu, what’s this? Did you just find a freebie? Yes, good, good girl. Let’s do the ears first because it’s a little bit easier.
– What we’re gonna start off with is you’re gonna have food in one hand. And you would’ve done this in headstart class. – Yeah, in leash hand?
– Yeah, and then you’re going to put food in this hand. And then with your free hand you’re just gonna rub her ears a little bit. And then you’re gonna yes and feed her as you’re doing that. So keep the food present.
– Yes, that’s a good girl.
– Good, this is how we would start. There’s not a lot of difficulty in this, it’s just association. I touch your ear, you eat food, everybody’s happy, this is a nice thing. Good girl, okay, clearly no problems with that one. So now we’re gonna make it a bit harder.
And what you’re gonna do this time is with one hand on her collar you’re going to hold her ear with the other hand. And then just for a moment or so if she’s calm say yes, and then you can reach for food. So leave the food there for a moment. With this hand touch one of her ears.
– Hey, knock it off. (dog panting) Hey, knock it off. Okay, be firmer if she does it again. With this hand be firmer, there, that was better there.
– That’s a good girl.
– Good, now yes and reward. Yes, nice.
– Yes, good girl. That’s a good girl.
– And try again.
– Yes, and reward.
– Yes, good girl, yes.
– Good, really good, that was a really good one. Okay, this time what I want you to do is I want you to hold the ear almost like, you know how the vet holds the ear, they poke that pokey thing in there?
– Examination, yeah, the pokey thing.
– (laughs) The pokey thing, we’re gonna try the pokey thing now. So I want you to hold her ear, and just sort of like, yeah.
– I’m watching you here, right?
– Yes, that’s a good girl.
– Perfect, good girl.
– Which one of you has my ear? (laughs)
– She is smart as a whip man. (laughs) You’re too smart for your own good little girl, yes you are. Naughty thing, naughty thing, okay. One thing Dan had mentioned is a commonplace that Lucy likes to nip is when they’re trying to wipe her paws off. So we’re just gonna give that a little try now and see what we get.
What I’m gonna do when I’m practicing this is I have the leash on, I have the collar on so that I’m prepared for that. And I’m actually just gonna stabilize her for a moment, good girl. And I’m gonna start with an easier paw first. Ah, no, good, good girl. So, she didn’t actually bite me, but she tried.
So I just a little with my voice, a little guttural growl. And then I just got my hand to the collar, gave that little shake that I gave before. But did you see here reaction right away? She was like, oh, yeah.
– Yeah, instant.
– As soon as I get that that’s right away when I did the good girl. Okay, we’re gonna try that again, yes we are. Oh, she’s perfection, yes, good girl. So I’m gonna reward her a bunch of times. Good girl, yes, and I’m gonna try your other one, good. Yes, Lu, yes, good girl. She just did an interesting behavior. You see how she tried to roll on her belly?
– That’s a very submissive thing for a dog to do. I think that’s good that she’s doing that. But in this moment I wouldn’t really allow her to do that. Ah, ah, ah, don’t do that, good girl. Okay, now we’re gonna try the back paws. Good girl, oh, you’re so good. Yes, good for you, really good. Okay, what ends up happening, what’s sort of good and not good about this is that she knows me a little bit. She’s met me a couple times, but she doesn’t really know me that well.
So when I go to discipline her because she has no prior interaction or relationship with me she doesn’t really know whether I’m a leader or not. Because I just got on there really quickly with a correction she was like, oh, okay you’re a leader.
– Yeah, right.
– I’m not really gonna try that again. So nipping and biting absolutely can be addressed very quickly if you’re sort of really quick out of the gate. But if you’re a brand new person, and you’re not really used to it, and you’re still kind of learning the technique, learning the timing, sometimes it takes a little bit longer. So, I’ll try a little wipe.
– Yes, good girl. Yes, good leave it.
– Oh, and feed her again with this hand. The reason why I don’t want you to let go of her collar is because if she decides to get silly it’s so hard to get it again.
– Right, yeah, get it back in.
– Oh, that’s so good.
– Yes, that’s a good girl.
– Okay, and we try the other one, settle.
– Yes. She’s worse with that one.
– Yeah, good girl
– We’re gonna reward again. Yes.
Yes, that’s a good girl.
– Oh, she’s so good.
– Yeah, keep her here forward, good, settle, settle. Good choice.
– Yes, good girl.
– So, this might be something that you and Ellen need to do a little bit. Like not actually when you need to wipe her paws though. Do it like…
– Sitting there, watching TV, yeah.
– Yeah, good, no, yeah.
– Hey, leave it.
– Good, yes, that’s better.
– Good girl.
– Yes, and reward. Okay, now, we just did a bunch so I’m gonna let you feed her. I’m making sure I’m still holding as you feed. Now I’m gonna let go and just let the pressure be off again. Because it’s like, okay, because it’s a lot for the puppy. This is very mental, right?
– Sure, yeah.
– So just do a little bit, and then take a little bit of a break, that was good. You’re gonna keep a leash on. You’re gonna keep her collar well-fit.
And you’re gonna make sure that your being firm, and that you affect change, and that you’re not working it so long that you can’t somehow find success in this situation as well. So that you’re putting a bit of pressure on her, but then also making sure that she’s having a good positive experience too.
If you’re looking for more puppy tips make sure you click the video beside me. And on that note I’m Kayl, this is Dan and Lucy, happy training, bye for now.