How to Stop a Corgi From Nipping People Who Touch His Paws

By: David Codr

Published Date: June 17, 2017

Fred is a one-year-old Corgi who lives with his sister Olive in Omaha. Their guardians called to set up a dog behavior training session with us to get Fred to stop nipping people who try to touch his toes or tries to trim them.

Both dogs were excited to see me when I arrived for the session, doing some jumping, barking and circling around. But once I passed through the baby gate at the top of the stairs, it only took a moment for them to settle down.

After chatting with their guardians, I determined that a lack of structure was a large factor when it came to some of their unwanted dog behaviors. As a dog behaviorist I have found that a lack of structure often leads a dog into thinking that listening to its humans is optional. To shift the leader follower dynamic, I suggested some rules and boundaries as well as ways to enforce them.

I also went over new ways to communicate with the dogs and some dog behavior tricks that will make it easy for them to motivate the dogs to be obedient through common interactions instead of formal obedience training exercises. This is a step many dog trainers are unaware of but can be a huge influence when it comes to rehabilitating a dog.

To address Fred’s habit of nipping people who try to touch his paws, I used a variation of a counterconditioning exercise with a little desensitization. You can watch me doing this with Fred and pick up some free dog training tips in the video below.

The keys to this exercise are to be delivering the treat before you start touching and to go slowly. If the person starts going right for Fred’s paws, he will start moving away. But if they go slow and only move an inch or so closer to his paw each treat, he won’t even notice when the do get there.

It will be important to repeat this exercise a lot, even sprinkling in a few repetitions where they don’t even do the petting. I try to wait for the dog to sleep or nap before practices as dogs process what they learn in their sleep.

We wrapped up the session by going over our Roadmap to success video that you can watch below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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