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Pawsitivtrainr, Dog Trainer
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 145
Experience:  35+ years Training Dogs
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I recently adopted a 7yr female border collie/Dalmatian mix

Customer Question

I recently adopted a 7yr female border collie/Dalmatian mix 40 lbs. The is a very well behaved dog except that she unpredictably bits people, mostly going after the legs. She can be very friendly and happy when encountering people then suddenly nip the legs or sometimes the hands. As a herding dog, I know it could be related to her urge to control. Is there a method of breaking her of this behavior? Does keeping a muzzle on her make the behavior worse? I do not want to return her as I think her fate will be sealed if I don't work with this. She is a really great animal. She has not attempted to nip me, her owner, in the two weeks I have had her, except the day I took her home. It does not seem to be directly tied to protecting me. She gets along with the cat fine. Does not like big dogs and very wary of them.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.
Hi JaCustomer, thanks for your question. I am so sorry to hear of your frustration with your newly adopted friend. Can you tell me a little more about her situation? 1) How active is she? 2) What forms of exercise is she given each week and for how long? 3) Does the nipping behavior happen at certain times? When she's excited? When people are walking? Does she nip hands too or just legs?
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.
Hello this question was moved from pet , (where you must have originally posted your question) to dog training, and thus my involvement as the expert above is not a site approved trainer at this time. My name is ***** ***** I have been in the dog field for 25 years. I am a Therapy Dog & AKC Evaluator/trainer/ as well as an assistance/service dog trainer, specializing in behavior. It will be my pleasure to help you today. You also have the option of our phone call services which I can offer you from my end for just 5 dollars extra. Just let me know if you wish to set up a time to talk.It is hard to tell given your description why the dog is doing this. There could be a poor impulse control , there could be some fear or alpha aggression going on, and each requires a different plan. She is only with you two weeks so you are still in the honeymoon period where she is learning about you and you about her. Things that you introduce to her have to be slow and consistent. We also know that dog go through certain imprints at certain times of their lives and depending on how the previous owner handled the dog though those imprints can help determine how a dog will act in the future.You said she nipped you when you first got her, I would like to hear about that situation as well can you answer the below questions to help further progress in a correct answer and plan to work on. Is she ever shy of people initially, and then goes up to them to be friendly or is she happy to meet them right off the bat?When she nips , what are the people doing, are they turned away from her, are they facing her and talking to her. etc. Please give an example.Where is she when she acts like this. meaning is she in the home or out for a walk?How is she with valued items, can you take them from her without any growling?What commands does she know and do you train daily with her?When she acts out what is her body language telling you? Meaning is her tail up and straight or down along the legs, are the ears forward or layed back on the head?