How to Stop Dog Nipping Using Positive Reinforcement

By: David Codr

Published Date: April 1, 2022

Stop dog nipping

For today’s LA dog training session we shared tips to teach 5 year-old Chihuahua / Cocker cross Olive (Pictured here with her roomies, from left; Kole, Lightning and Bernolui) how to stop dog nipping people who move or stand up.

We started the session out by discussing a dog learning and behavior principles such as the introduction and use of marker words, the appropriate time to introduce a cue, hand targeting, dog consent, creative forms of exercise and how enforcing rules consistently can help dogs practice and develop self control.

How to stop a dog that nips people who move

Stopping a dog from nipping people who move is all about creating a scenario where the dog can observe the interaction at a low enough intensity that it does not feel the need to nip or bite the person.

Usually when a dog is nipping or biting it is because it’s other attempts to stop the behavior have been unsuccessful. I spent a few minutes going over dog body language with the guardian so that they know the signals to look for. If they can spot these warning signals and intercede before Olive feels the need to do it herself, they can prevent her from practicing this unwanted behavior.

I pulled out my camera and arranged the room so that I could demonstrate an easy way to stop a dog from nipping people who move unexpectedly. If you have a dog with a human nipping problem, you may want to check out the free positive dog training video below.

The reason that this is such an effective way to stop dog nipping is that the dog learns that the things they want to disagree with is actually a positive thing. The key to this secret to stop dog nipping is to go at the dog’s pace. As I mentioned in the above video, it’s important to read the dog’s body language and make the step easier anytime you recognize the dog is offering a cut off signal.

I recommended that the guardians practice this exercise themselves until they are proficient and seeing the results that they want. Once this is the case, they can enlist the help of friends (who will listen) and cooperate so they can practice with additional people which will be important.

It will take some time and practice, but eventually Olive should learn that people moving around isn’t anything that requires a nip. In fact it’s something that she should look forward to because it’s followed by getting a treat.

To help the guardians remember all of the positive dog training tips I shared in this in-home Santa Clarita dog training session we recorded a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr