Consistent Biting

by Rachelle
(Manheim, PA)

My 14 week old puppy consistently attacks my 11 year old son's shoes every day, multiple times. If he walks by, the puppy will attack his feet by lunging, biting and shaking. He has stopped the behavior with the rest of the family. Nothing has worked to deter him from this behavior. My son is very good, patient and loyal to him. We have tried many things from the book and puppy classes. Could it simply be red shoe laces? Please help! I don't know how much more bloodshed we can take!

Comments for Consistent Biting

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pinch collar
by: Anonymous

Behaviorist has advised me to have puppy on a dragline attached to a pinch collar so that you can step on or grab leash for on the spot corrections. A "pop" of the leash really gets their attention. Also, I found the 16 to 20 week age was a transformation period where some annoying behaviors stopped. Thank goodness

by: Brandon.

An Australian Shepherd is a herding breed, therefore nipping at the ankles of small children is quite common.
There are multiple ways to help your aussie with this.
The most effective way is to engage their herding drive by taking them to a farm where they can work on herding, and learn from older more experienced dogs.
Another way that is less effective due to the fact I assume your child is younger. Is to work on leadership exercises with your child. But that can be difficult because it requires consistency. I don't know many younger children that understand how to "act" around a dog 100% of the time.
I do suggest working your dog. Getting them into agility/flyball/retrevial/herding. Australian Shepherds are extremely smart dogs, without mental stimulation. Things like this can occur.

Nip the nipping now!
by: Anonymous

You must be very firm every time the pup does this and give him a correction. Mine did this and we thought it was cute. Fast forward 8 mos and we were in the ER with a bite to my son's ankle!

Teach him, No
by: DC

I'm sorry that I forget how exactly my dog picked up the word no, but now it works for everything!

Aussies are really smart. He responds to thing I commonly say, without having ever "trained" a certain behavior. But at that age, they are learning a lot, and it can be hard to keep it all straight.

If correcting this one behavior is troublesome, maybe work on a general word for "stop doing whatever it is that you are doing now".

If you can get him to stop jumping when you say no, then stop barking when you say no, then drop your shoes when you say no, then assumably, he will stop chewing on feet when you say no.

It works so well for us, one night I was engrossed in a tv show and pickles ran up and stood in my line of site with his favorite toy in his mouth. I was really in the moment and blurted out, No! Because I wanted him to move out of the way. He dropped his own toy and just stood there with the saddest eyes ever looking at it. I had to get up and give it to him myself before he would pick it up again.

It also works when he is asking to go out and I know he just did his business. I say No, and then he literally harrumphs, and goes to find something else to do.

So I would say bypass correcting this one behavior if he is not responding and start working on an all encompassing "stop" command.

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