Nipping English Bulldog pup

Posted by lance
Jan 9, 2008
I have a 10 week old EBD pup. who loves to nip & knaw on people, tried telling no and offering a chew toy in place of my body. no success
Posted by Todd
Jan 9, 2008
Hi there Lance

The classic nipping puppy problem, it is one of the most common problems. There are many other posts i have made and most have the same basic info so you can read them if you get confused at all.
There are a few basic things i like to get out of the way first. These 2 things are very important to training any dog and will help to no end whatever the situation.

The first thing is to ensure you and your family members have read and understand the techniques in the bonus book "Secrets to becoming the Alpha Dog". These are great techniques for maintaining or establishing your position at the head of the household. No matter what the problem is all dogs need to know where the stand in the house for both yours and their peace and comfort. Alpha training is one of the most important things in a dogs life, and yours.

Here are some ways to reinforce your position-

1) If you come across him while he is sleeping or lying on the floor then you can reinforce your position as alpha dog by making him move so that you can pass by.

2) Make sure that you always go through doorways first. A good method to reinforce your position as alpha dog is to walk your dog(s) around the house on the leash, making your dogs wait while you walk through doorways first.

3) At mealtimes make sure that he eats after all of the humans have.

4) Do not feed your dogs tidbits or let it pester you at the table. Save the morsels and tidbits for training sessions instead.

5) Do not greet him straightaway when you arrive home. Make him wait until you are ready and then call him to you.

6) Whenever your dogs want attention or anything wait till they are sitting and being well behaved.

7) When you give a command make sure that you are in a position to enforce the action that you require from your dog, especially in the initial stages of Alpha Dog training. Also, use the Alarm-No-Command technique as described in the Alpha Dog bonus book to reprimand your dog if it does not obey your command.

The second point is obedience which is as important as alpha. Teaching him early sit, stay and come can be frustrating but it pays off. Work with him for 10 minutes twice a day on the sit, stay and come commands. Do it in a quiet area with few distractions and if he is getting distracted finish the session you will end up with a frustrated dog and trainer

Now to the nipping. The first thing is that you must remember it is not okay, no matter what the circumstance or who. This means when people come to visit you must let them no what he does, what they should do and how they can reprimand him.
I am still a huge fan of the below technique in these situations. It is a little more forceful than the other techniques in the book, but it is needed when these don't work. Always remember he is a puppy so the problem can get worse and that means you need to be patient. it is a natural thing for puppies to want to chew so it takes time to control

You have to let your puppy know that its biting is unacceptable. The best way to do this is by demonstrating yourself as the alpha dog by growling menacingly, the way an alpha dog would.

*Sit down with your puppy and hold out your hand. If the puppy bites growl sharply, say "AAHH" rather then "NO", and do not yell it, growl it; make it quite gutteral (even if this gives you a sore throat).

*Hold out your hand again, and if your puppy goes to bite it again, growl again but stand up suddenly at the same time. Walk away for a few minutes.

*Then come back and sit down to play again, hold out your hand once more. If the puppy goes to bite for a third time be ready for it and give the puppy a little thump on the nose and growl once more (thump hard enough for the puppy to actually feel it) with the hand you are holding out. Generally, I do not recommend you hit your puppy, however, in your particular case this may be the only thing that will get the message across.

*Hold out your hand again, and by then your puppy should be wary of your hand (be aware that the hand biting behavior is probably a habit by now).

Repitition is the key as well as consistency. Using the chew toy and praising him when he shows attention to it is a great way to help reinforce the right chewing etc Good Luck and i am sure with time he will give your hands and legs a rest

Kind Regards

Todd Field