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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19755
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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3 month old Shorkie is nipping constantly. How do I change

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3 month old Shorkie is nipping constantly. How do I change tis behavior?



My name isXXXXX have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.


In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.


What sex is your shorkie?

Is the pup biting or nipping?

Is the pup nipping your ankles or your eyes or ankles?

What have you tried to stop the behavior?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Nipping ankles and hand

We tried saying no
Spraying water
Isolating in the naughty room (not crate)

Amy,.Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. Teaching a puppy not to bite and chew on things is very hard. Since chewing on things is often an issue as well, I'm going to cover that as well. It is hard to teach them not to chew because they are teething. You should provide your puppy with lots of appropriate things for him to chew on. They have wonderful chew toys that you can put treats inside or peanut butter inside that helps the puppy keep focused on that chew toy rather than your table legs or other inappropriate objects..

Teach your pup what “NO’ means. It can be a powerful tool so you can stop the chewing at least long enough for you to remove it. You can also use a product called bitter apple on surfaces that you do not want your dog to chew on. It has a bad flavor that most dogs do not like. Hot pepper sauce can work as well for this purpose.


When a dog is chewing and nipping on people the best method is to say “NO’ make a cry of pain and most puppies will respond and stop. For those that don’t respond, you will need to redirect her nipping or biting to an appropriate object. If you are playing and she nips, you want to do the same and then stop playing with her. She should learn soon that if she nips, playtime is over. Some puppies learn earlier than others and most do not totally learn not to nip and chew on you until they are 4-5 months old.


Another thing that you will want to do is try and not make high-pitched squeals when she nips you. To a puppy or dog, high pitched noises mean play time. In fact, they also nip at their mothers to initiate play time. You may want to keep a leash on your puppy at all times so you can easily give a quick tug for a correction when she is doing something that is not allowed such as nipping or chewing. You also need to remember that corrections are worthless if not done when the behavior is occurring. You can only correct her when she is actually doing it.

Here are some great sites on bite inhibition.


Now there are some dogs and pups that just don't seem to get the message. Dogs that are taken away from their mothers too early are deprived of the time with their siblings and other dogs which helps them learn that biting can hurt so they need to be careful. Now there is a method for stubborn biters but it should be used as a last resort. You can stop mouthing and biting hard by going the opposite direction. Instead of taking your hand out of her mouth, put it further in the mouth. DO NOT do this meanly (not that you would). Do not do it quickly or shove it in too far, just move it further in enough that it makes her uncomfortable so that she pulls her mouth away from your hand. SHe will learn that putting her mouth on your hand results in the hand going further in and possibly triggering a gag reflex which she will not find pleasant. I'v found that this methods works on the most stubborn puppies.


Some experts will suggest crating him any time she exhibits the ankle biting behavior so she learns it is unacceptable. This isn't working for you it seems. I suggest a different approach. I would adopt an exaggerated walk with your heals coming up on the back swing. In 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 you or the person are just walking, it will surprise them. It usually only takes a few times before they stop jumping on the backs of your legs or biting them. Of course, this will also involve having all visitors do this while the dog is in training. I think you will find most people willing to help. With this small of a pup be careful that you are not too forceful on your upswing. Just move the foot at the normal speed just bring it up further in the back.


If you have someone she tries to do this to on a regular basis, this person could be elected to help with training allowing you to work with her several times a day when you know she would normally do it. Once she stops ankle biting, reward her with tasty treats and praise. For each person she doesn't do this to, reward her. I would do this now since it can be a real problem for visitors when she matures.


I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. 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 .


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Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How do we convince her that NO means no? We have tried the bitter spray and that helped a little. We need to find a way to reinforce NO
One way is like you have been doing which is to stop playing with her. Another is to attach a leash to her and give a short tug along with the "NO" and be sure it is in a low tone to simulate a growl. I'm sure she knows what a growl means. Some people will use a noise such as a long horn. It can be effective as well. She is still a baby so it is going to take time for her to learn. You are probably looking at a month or more before she really learns. It is like having a toddler. You have to tell them over and over again before they finally get the message.