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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18942
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My name is dennie and its regarding a dog who likes to bite

Customer Question

my name is ***** ***** its regarding a dog who likes to bite our feet when we have shoes on
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: like i was player with her 6 months and all of a sudden she goes all crazy and then started jumping at me and then looked at me looking like she wanted to bark but she didn't then she got so obsessed with my feet where i have socks and outdoor thongs on and she then started to grab onto my foot and then started to chew/bite on them
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Veterinarians generally expect a deposit of about $19 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 months ago.

Hi Denise,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

What breed is your dog?

How old is your dog?

Is it only when you have shoes on?

Is it when you are sitting or only when you are moving?

How long have you had her?

How long has she done this?

What have you tried so far to stop this behavior?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Breed kelpie, 6months, for nearly 4weeks 2 weeks she has done it
It's when we are moving and standing
We tried to tell her no and pull her away or just leave her alone like go inside the house
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful.

The first couple of weeks you had her, she would have been adjusting to her new home so it is not unusual to see a dog display other behavior once they are used to the new home.

It sounds to me like she is trying to herd you. It is a herding breed and many naturally display the traits of their breed. The nipping and focusing on your feet would be natural for them. They are also pretty high energy dogs as well. So she may be trying to herd you and try to get you to play with her.

In either case, there are some things you can do to help the situation. One thing would be to use a spray called bitter apple or some hot sauce on the shoes which would taste nasty when the dog put her mouth on them. You would need to make sure it was non staining first but it is effective at stopping a dog from putting her mouth on objects. Since she is still a pup, she is still teething so you may find she is chewing on things she shouldn't have and the bitter apple will help with that as well.

Now getting her obedience trained will help a lot toward stopping unwanted behavior as you can order her to walk in a specific place at your side and or sit and stay and thus she won't be able to bite your feet. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html

The way you walk can also discourage the behavior until she learns nipping at feet and biting them is unacceptable. You need to adopt an exaggerated walk with the heals coming up on the back swing until your dog is totally obedience trained. If you walk in this manner, when the dog gets too close to your feet, they will end up getting the shock of a heel coming up and possibly catching them in the jaw or chest. Since the person is just walking, it will surprise them. It usually only takes a few times before they stop jumping at the ankles or biting them. it is quite effective and works regardless of the age of the dog. It is especially helpful for pups as they always attack feet. Visitors will need to do the same thing and I'm sure most people will be happy to help until she is trained.

The other thing I strongly suggest with this pup is agility training if you can. she sounds like she may have a high drive which would be best channeled into an activity like herding or agility. For herding you would need to find an area farmer with livestock and a trained dog to help train her for working livestock. Some are agreeable, but others may find her to be more of a detriment. It is worth seeing if there is a farmer or trainer nearby willing to help her learn to work.

Agility is another outlet for her that will help channel her drive and energy. You can read how to start with agility on the following pages.

https://www.affordableagility.com/learning/trainingtips.htm

http://baddogagility.com/category/beginner/

http://www.clickertraining.com/agility-training

You can also use a leash on her to help redirect her attention and indicate what is unacceptable behavior. When she displays unacceptable behavior or focuses too much on your feet, give a short light tug to get her attention on you you and a firm low toned NO to indicate it is unacceptable. In addition, when she is acting acceptable, you want to reward her with calm praise and a tasty treat like hot dog sliver or vienna sausage sliver. This helps teach her how you want he to behave.

Finding her a playmate that is male and similar size and breed will help as well since she will have another avenue to use up that excess energy. Obedience classes is a good place to find a suitable dog.

Between training, redirection and exercise, this behavioral issue should be solved pretty quickly.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler

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