Teaching a Min Pin Control to Stop Her Nipping

By: David Codr

Published Date: June 24, 2017

Baylee is four-year Miniature Pinscher who spends a lot of time at her guardian’s parents house with London, a very laid back Shi Tzu. The guardians asked for a dog behavior training session to get Baylee to stop attacking guests, nipping people who move and help reduce her vacuum anxiety / reactivity.

I got a pretty good example of Baylee’s dog behavior problems when I arrived for the session. As soon as she finished sniffing me, she unleashed a barrage of barks accompanied by a stiff body posture and movements that clearly indicated she was tense about my presence. She also tried to nip me but because I used a dog behavior expert trick, she stopped before actually following through.

Baylee was so worked up at the start of the session I asked her guardian to put her on a leash and hand it to me. Dogs get more worked up when they move about so I used another dog behavior tip to help her calm down and relax.

When I discussed the situation with her humans, I learned that despite having some structure in place, she still identified as being in a leadership position. This had resulted in her thinking she needed to shake down anyone who entered the house or had the audacity to move without her permission.

I showed her guardians a few dog behavior tricks and exercises that will help her start to identify as being in the follower position. One of these was a completely new exercise that I came up with on the spot. You can check out this positive dog training masterpiece (lol) by watching the video below.

This variation of a leave it exercise should help Baylee develop more control which should help her learn to stop nipping. I would not call Baylee an aggressive dog, but her nipping problem could cause people to see her that way. Many Min Pin’s are twitchy, but in Baylee’s case, she was stressed out and out of balance.

Baylee’s nipping habit is likely the result of the dog thinking its in charge and the humans she disagrees with not paying attention to her commands and corrections. This is why it will be so important for her guardians to pet her with a purpose instead of on demand, teach her to respect an invisible boundary several feet away from the door and use a leash to weather her and restrict her movement when she is over stimulated or out of control.

By the end of the session, Baylee was showing more respect for personal space, responding well to the counterconditioning and desensitization techniques and was showing more restraint in situations that normally would have resulted in a nip before today.

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