Teaching a Puppy to Not Nip or Lunge at New People

By: David Codr

Published Date: September 11, 2020

Max Black Muth Cur mix scaled - Teaching a Puppy to Not Nip or Lunge at New People

For this Omaha puppy training session we worked with Maximus, a 1 year-old Blackmouth Cur mix who sometimes lunges, nips or acts aggressively when meeting new people.

Knowing that Max was sometimes reactive to new people, I called ahead and set up a scenario to put the pup into a good mood. There was no lunging and only one little nip at the jump. I recommended the guardians use this greeting tecnique when meeting new people and to practice it without meeting anyone too. If the dog has enough positive greetings this way, it will start to see meeting new people as a good thing instead of barking or lunging at them.

I believe part of the reason Max is lunging and barking at strangers is as a coping mechanism to deal with an insecurity of meeting new people; a prime illustration of how important it is to enroll your pup into good puppy soclialization classes like ours. Genetics certainly play a role too. Blackmouth Curs are known to be territorial.

Im super happy to have been called in to help with Max. Blackmouth Cur’s can be some of the most amazing dogs out there, but they need the right touch. They can respond negatively to a heavy handed training approach. But you don’t want to be too relaxed either. Finding the right energy and tone to get the dog to respond will be important.

The key is to build up Max’s confidence when meeting new people. When you want to stop dogs from barking and air biting strangers is to build up positive associations. An easy way to do this is something I call Click for Looks. You can learn how to use Click for Looks to stop a dog from acting aggressive to strangers by watching the free positive dog training video below.

If the guardians use these steps to prevent the dog from lunging at strangers, Max will essentially practice being a “good dog” each time they do. It takes time and practice and the clock is ticking. Large breed dog personalities are set when they reach 3 years old. The closer to that age, the less effective the practice will be.

As a Dog Behaviorist, I always stress the importance of practicing early and often for this reason. Id like to see the guardians practice the treat trail every day and try to get a new human at the end of the trail at least twice a week for 2 months. The other parts of the technique should build off the click for looks or treat trails. Also, more frequent practice will accellerate this process.

A very important member of the family wasnt able to stay with us for the whole session so I promised to record a summary video so that person can get the information we went over in this in home Omaha dog training session. You can watch that video below.

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This post was written by: David Codr