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Thread: Fixing a hand nibbler?

  1. #1
    Senior Member moose203's Avatar
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    Default Fixing a hand nibbler?

    I have this little problem with a 2 yr old male i got as some what of a rescue, he is a hand nibbler and when I say nibbling I mean NIBBLING. He only does it when i put my hand down as to pet him or scratch his ears, well i guess any time my hands are near his head!!! At first i was not sure what to do as I have never had a dog do this. he has not been FF yet. he is getting a late start, so far he is showing me he has the goods to put the time in to training so I want to fix this ASAP. His obedience has has improved 150% sense i have had him for about a month. To start fixing this i put him at heel and let him calm down and start to rub him slowly at on the back of his head and try to work my way up to his ears if he tries to lean back and nibble I give a firm "NO" "LEAVE IT" with no physical correction and start over. Today he let me rub between his eyes and to the bridge of his nose while sitting calmly. Am I correct in my approach? What would cause this? Lack of attention by previous owner or some one slapping him in the head.

    Open to suggestions, Jason

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    Junior Member 4geese's Avatar
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    My 5 month old puppy has this problem as well. If we are laying on the floor together or if I try to grab his collar for a correction. I am anxious to hear some suggestions to work on fixing this problem.

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    Jason, it sounds like what your doing is working so keep it up! I've heard before that when a dog or puppy mouths you they are trying to assume dominance. Maybe someone can shed some light on that notion...my 7mo pup tries it when she's really excited but a stern NO shuts it right off.

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    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4geese View Post
    My 5 month old puppy has this problem as well. If we are laying on the floor together or if I try to grab his collar for a correction. I am anxious to hear some suggestions to work on fixing this problem.
    have you tried saying "Ouch" in a loud voice and then biting back? this is for a puppy, not an older dog.
    Biting the older dog back is not for the amateur, might loose your face. Older dog that is nibbling, make a fist. harder to nibble on than loose fingers and easy to give a "no-bop"
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

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    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    also depending on your heeling stick skill, you can give the behind the back swat with the off hand. Set the dog up heeling with the open hand down. as soon as Fido starts the finger floss give the NO with heeling stick correction. If this goes unchecked it can progress to beer spilling and then you have a serious problem.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

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    Senior Member Terry Thomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose203 View Post
    What would cause this? Lack of attention by previous owner or some one slapping him in the head.
    Do you think he may just be trying to show affection?
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    Senior Member FetchExpress's Avatar
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    Without seeing the exact context of this situation.....it is hard to say for certain. But as a rule of thumb when the dog is doing something wrong.....give him something to do that is right. For example...when he starts the nibbling try SIT. He knows how to do that right. I assume (careful I do know the meaning of assume) he understands sit means he can move his head and his tail but nothing else. From what you describe I would guess it is attempt to get your attention....that is my guess. If what you are doing is working....keep doing it.

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    Senior Member DEDEYE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Thomas View Post
    Do you think he may just be trying to show affection?
    That's what I was wondering. Darla does little nibbles and it is when she is in a lovey mood. She does it with Spanky the pupster also when they are cuddled up...
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    Member David Lambert's Avatar
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    Like mentioned earlier, hard to know what the extent of the "nibbling" is. I seem to remember reading somewhere, maybe on here, that it can contribute to the bonding process between you and the dog. Sort of an affection type thing. My BLM does it to my hand, more of a mouthing than nibbling thing. If it gets too hard for comfort, I just tell him "ouch" and he will lighten up or even stop. I dont view it as a problem with mine, but of course every situation is different. He has done it since he was a puppy.

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    Without observing the "nibble," it actually may be a submissive gesture. This may be a form of grooming an individual higher in the pecking order. I agree with Fetch Express. When the behavior presents, remove your hand and say "sit." Sit means sit, it doesn't mean sit and nibble or for that matter, any other unwanted behavior.
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