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Ask the Trainer with Sharon Witherspoon

Home Dog Training
HomeDogTrainingAZ.com

Q: My new puppy must have some herding dog in her because she is always nipping at my ankles and pants when I walk somewhere. I turn around and tell her a firm, “No,” but she only gets more excited and goes after my legs more aggressively. What can I do about this?

A: It is very common for a puppy to nip at your pants and ankles when you are walking. But if you get really firm with her, she may get more excited and engage in more nipping! Instead, teach her the “find it!” game. Begin by tossing a small tidbit just a few feet from her and telling her to find it. She will run to get it. Continue playing this game with her until she really understands what “find it” means. She should be running across the room to get the treat! After you have spent some time teaching the puppy this fun game, keep a few treats in your pocket. As you begin walking across the room, and the puppy looks like she is going to begin her nipping routine, take a treat, toss it across the floor, and tell her to “go find it!” She will get much more interested in this fun game than she is in nipping your ankles.

Sharon WitherspoonABOUT the Trainer
:

Sharon Witherspoon, CPDT-KA (Certified Pet Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed), has been training dogs for nineteen years. She has a very strong belief in the power of positive reinforcement based training which strengthens the relationship between the person and the dog, as well as being highly effective. Sharon is a member of APDT and is affiliated with Victoria Stilwell, of “It’s Me Or The Dog” on 
Animal Planet.

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