Tips to Stop a Santa Monica Puppy From Nipping

By: David Codr

Published Date: January 15, 2018

For this Santa Monica puppy training session we worked with 3 month-old German Shepherd / Heeler puppy Sheila, sharing some dog behavior tips to stop puppy nipping. And no that is not a shock collar! Sheila’s guardians have her wearing a doggy lojack.

We started out by going over a few issues that were confusing to her guardians; growling when she was eating food and they approached. Growling when they are approached when eating is not uncommon for dogs. Its a way of saying back off, this is mine or I want space. I liken this to us disagreeing if someone tries to open the door to a dressing room we are using to try on a new shirt.

I showed the guardian a few dog behavior tips to ensure the dog doesn’t develop food aggression hand feeding (something the guardian had already started doing) and petting the dog as it eats from her hand. At first you just want to touch the dog on its flank, near it rear leg.

Once the dog is comfortable with your hand resting on its hind end, then you start moving slowly petting it as the dog eats. You continue this approach each meal, while moving your hand progressively closer to the dog’s head. This will take a week or two, but eventually the guardian should be able to pet Sheila anywhere without any verbal objection.

The dogs guardians had already gotten a big head start on raising a puppy the right way by checking out some of the posts on the puppy section of our website, Quest-Ed. As soon as we booked the session, I had the guardians immediately start work on his Critical Socialization Period checklist (found on the page that link redirects to) since its the most important developmental period for any dog.

The guardians had gone even farther, setting up a puppy play room of sorts in their kitchen similar to the one I set up for my puppy Quest. This makes raising puppies soooooooo much easier. I swear Ill never raise another pup without setting one up for the first few months its with me.

I also showed the guardian how to use treat dispensing toys in the puppy play area to redirect her chewing towards appropriate objects. I also showed them a trick that uses carrots to accomplish this which also will help when Sheila starts teething.

Speaking of teeth, Sheila’s guardians were anxious to find out how to stop a puppy from nipping hands and feet. I spent a few minutes shooting a video with tips to stop puppy nipping.

Most people find the first two steps work, most of the time. But when your puppy starts nipping and won’t stop nipping, its usually because of the last reason I reference in my video. If your puppy nips and you are upset I didn’t post what the last tip to stop puppy nipping is, watch the video above.

Towards the end of the session we headed outside so I could share a few puppy potty training tips and help Sheila get over a fear of a specific set of stairs.

I had to say I was enjoying the session; a beautiful day in southern California helping train a puppy, one of the perks of working as Santa Monica’s dog behavior expert, lol.

Before finishing things up, we chatted about getting Sheila into a puppy socialization class and setting up a return session to teach Sheila to walk with a loose leash and some other puppy obedience skills.

I summarized the highlights of this in home puppy training session in a Roadmap to Success video.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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