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Lisa, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16089
Experience:  CVT with a special interest in behavior modification through structure, boundaries and limitations with positive reinforcement.
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Jenn, My name is ***** ***** and my issue is with my dog

Customer Question

Hi Dr. Jenn, My name is ***** ***** and my issue is with my dog nipping
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I have a two year old rescue terrier mix that I adopted in September. There have been a few occasions where she has nipped people. The first time, we were in the dog park and a dog knocked me down. The owner jumped down to grab me and help and she ran up and nipped his arm. The next time was also in the dog park and she nipped someone who picked up a dog she was playing with She has nipped two of my friends on the back of the leg when they step over/around her in the apartment Last night I was dropping her off at boarding and she nipped the back of my leg as I was leaving hard enough to break the skin
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Dog 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: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Lisa replied 7 months ago.

Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help you with your question today. Just like an in person consult, I have some questions of my own to help ensure I give you the best advice possible....

Do you know what her life before you was like?

When she nips at someone, what do you do?
Has she gone to any obedience classes?
Do you know what other breeds she might have in her?
Does she always seem to go for the back of the person?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Lisa,
It's nice to "e-meet you!"
1) I know she came from a kill shelter in TN and that she's very nervous of men, but that's all I know of her previous life. When I first adopted her she didn't like to be held or petted.
2) I verbally scold her and she usually stops and cowers
3) I think she could also be part whippet, but she sometimes stalks other dogs like a herding breed
4)Yes, it's always the back or side of the calf if they're walking in front of her
Expert:  Lisa replied 7 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. I really appreciate it.

​From your description, I absolutely think there's some herding breed in her and that is what you're seeing. The fact that she always seems to come from behind is a classic herding dog behavior.
As you know, herding dogs have a great deal of energy and a high prey drive, so once they decide to herd something, it's hard to get their attention back on you. You've already got a really good start by taking her out to get exercise and acknowledging the problem in the first place.
The first thing I'd suggest would be to get her involved in a basic obedience class. At the class, she'll learn the proper way to interact with other dogs and people in a safe, neutral environment. It will also help strengthen the bond between you and her and will help her view you as the leader in your pack, someone in charge, not someone who needs to be protected by her. So she won't feel the need to bite at anyone who gets near you.
I'd also consider clicker training her. This involves buying a clicker and using it to focus the dog's attention on you. You click the little metal clicker, the dog gets a treat, and soon she learns to equate the noise with you and will pay attention to what you're doing, rather than what is going on around her. You can talk to the trainers at he obedience classes about getting you started with the clicker.
I definitely think that getting her in the class will be a good start though. It will strengthen your bond, and will help her feel like she doesn't need to perform the task of herding or protecting you from things she perceives as a threat.

I hope this helps.

Expert:  Lisa replied 7 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

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