Stopping a Pair of Dogs From Nipping and Reacting to Things They Dislike

By: David Codr

Published Date: July 11, 2019

For this Brentwood dog training session, we use counterconditioning to help 6 year-old Corgi Pom mix Layla who likes to nip people’s legs and her roomie Zooey who has some confidence issues.

I go over how to use counterconditioning to stop Layla from nipping people’s ankles when they move around in her apartment (No idea why I called Lola at the start of the video for some unknown reason, Doh!).

Stopping a dog from nipping and lunging at visitors is a multi part process. This nipping behavior is a result of Layla being stressed by thinking she is in charge of her humans as they don’t act like leaders – in the dog’s eyes. We spent most of this session going over ways to flip the leader follower dynamic by adding in rules and structure. This is just as much about the humans changing as it is the dogs changing.

One of the things I showed the guardians was a leadership exercise to help them practice disagreeing with the dogs in canine body language and practicing the escalating consequences I developed years ago. Both dogs and guardians did well while practicing during the session.

Id like to see the humans practice this exercise every day with the dogs for a the next week, increasing the length of time before giving the dog permission to get the reward. In the session, we gave them permission as soon as they laid down. As the dogs get better, the humans can wait a few seconds more each time before giving permission. This is a sneaky way to help the dogs practice self control.

Im hoping that the dog behavior tips I share in this in home Brentwood dog training session will reduce and stop the dog’s reactivity to dogs on walks, but it will depend on how strictly the guardians enforce the changes by adding structure through petting with a purpose, enforcing rules consistently, increasing exercise before encounters and mastering the focus and counter conditioning exercise.

If in a month, the dogs are still dog reactive, Id like the guardians to follow up with me so we can set up a short follow up session to drill down on that issue. In many cases, the changes we covered in the house will have a positive impact on the dog’s behavior towards dogs outside.

To help the guardians remember everything we covered, we shot a roadmap to success video to summarize things.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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