How to Stop a Scotty From Nipping When Getting Cockaburs Cut Off

By: David Codr

Published Date: November 13, 2020

For this Waterloo dog training session worked with Abby, a 3 year-old Scottish Terrier who is afraid of bicycles, barks at unknown dogs and doesn’t like having cockaburs cut out of her coat.

Abby was noticably anxious when we first arrived for her session; she didn’t bark, her ears were pinned back and her tail was tucked. She stayed on the other side of the room and was jittery; jumping at unknown sounds and not taking treats.

While we answered her guardian’s questions and shared a number of dog behavior tips, Abby started to show some interest as we were ignoring her and giving her space. If you have an anxious dog, giving them time and space to approach on their own is really helpful and important. Once she started to wander the room a bit and her body language looked more at ease, Laura and I tossed treats on the floor. It didnt take long for her to start taking treats from my hand or jumping up on the couch to hang out with Laura.

One of the recurring issues the guardians had was cuting cockaburs out of the dog’s coat. Living in an area with plenty of these pesky weeds, this was an issue that happened fairly often. Abby tried to move away and when that didnt work, she started nipping and biting people when they tried to cut off the cockaburs. Anytime a dog is biting you when you are trying to interact with it, its a giant warning that the dog disagrees or is uncomfortable with what you are doing. But because the guardians wanted to help her not be in discomfort, they kept trying which caused the bites to get worse.

Many dogs dont like being groomed. It can be an invasive interaction and in this case, Im betting the area was already iritated by the dog trying to remove the cockabur. This made the human’s attempts more uncomfortable which likely made the dog more uncomfortable, a real viscious circle, pun intended. But if you go slow and use the right approach, you can help your dog learn to like being groomed. I shot a video on tips to groom your dog or cut out cockaburs that you can check out below.

This is an easy way to stop a dog from biting when you cut off cockaburs. If the guardian practices this exercise a few times day, in different locations and different times when there are no cockaburs – they should have no problem cutting out real cockaburs in the future.

We didn’t get a chance to work on Abby’s fear of bicycles as the priority was to make sure she wasnt biting when the cockaburs were rremoved and other tips to help her visits from the grandkids. Id like to return to work on the fear of bicycles sometime in the spring.

We shared a number of other dog behavior tips in this in home Waterloo dog training session. To help the guardians remember them all, we recorded a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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