Nipping Puppy

Posted by lucylou99
Sep 20, 2010
We have a lovely puppy (Coton de Tulear). She's really well behaved in every area except when it comes to nipping. She is particularly given to nipping my legs when I walk and nips at our hands, arms and face when we're playing. She also nips our cat (she seems to be playing with him, but I'm not so sure he would agree). I firmly shout "No," and I stomp my foot. No real progress. I put water in a spray bottle, no success. I added a little vinegar, she responds a bit. My next step is trying a soda can with coins. While we adore her, I know others will not adore her so much if we don't 'nip' this in the bud.
Thanks for any advice.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Sep 21, 2010
Hey Lucy,

How old is Coton? Nipping is a common puppy behaviour, especially during play.

If puppy is teething, it could account for some of the behaviour. Its just like a child teething, they put anything in their mouths

Have you tried the ignore method? When Coton starts nipping during play, don't say anything, but immediately move so that you are inaccessible (stand up, back to her, arms crossed, that sort of thing), and ignore her completely until she calms down. Then say "good girl", and pat her or give her a chew toy. Verbal reprimands for nipping sometimes act as a "I'm playing back" signal to dogs, and just makes them more excited, hence the behaviour not stopping.

The vinegar water and rocks jar are good ideas, startling the pup when she shows the behaviour is a good way to deter her.

I'd try ignoring her and turning your back, see if that helps at all.
Posted by lucylou99
Sep 21, 2010
Thank you for responding. She will be 12 weeks tomorrow. Interestingly, if I turn my back to her she will nip at the backs of my legs (initially I thought she was just bumping up against me with her nose), then quickly run around and nip at my shins. We also had another shocker last night... I've consistenly hand fed a portion of her food, taken her bowl, and even her peanit butter kongs (which she adores!) from her while she's eating with no issue. Last night she located a piece of taffy in a wax wrapper, I feared she could choke on it, she growled and acted like she might bite me when I attempted to take it from her. My husband attempted to startle her to get her to drop it, but no go. We were both sort of undone by this, until now, she's really been an outstanding puppy. Well behaved, easily trained, virtually housebroken and all by 12 weeks old.

Since ignoring hasn't really been too effective we've been isolating her when she tries to nip. She also snaps and growls at me (my face and shoulder) when I pick her up to take her out of the room after she tries to nip at my legs. I've just listened to the Alpha Dog Training.

Thanks for your help.
Posted by Kate-Jacobz
Nov 6, 2010
Hi lucylou99,

When relocating a puppy or adult dog to another room to isolate them for bad behavior it is best done by not carrying them. You should put her leash on her and lead her to the other room.