6 Month Old Puppy Nipping Help

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6 Month Old Puppy Nipping Help

This is a discussion on 6 Month Old Puppy Nipping Help within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hey Guys, My family and I purchased a bench bred springer spaniel puppy from a breeder when she was 8 weeks old. She is now ...

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Old 10-02-2017, 08:34 PM
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6 Month Old Puppy Nipping Help

Hey Guys,

My family and I purchased a bench bred springer spaniel puppy from a breeder when she was 8 weeks old. She is now around just over 6 months old and has recently been spayed (nothing to do with behaviour, but I'm trying to give as much background information as possible!). She is well trained for most commands such as leave it, sit, stay, shake and speak, and we are still working on loose leash walking and come. We have taken her to puppy training classes and begin a more intermediate class near the end of October. Needless to say, she is a sweet girl and is doing very well training wise.
She is also very well socialized, as I work at a doggie daycare and take her into group play with me at least twice a week, and the other days she goes to play at the dog park for an hour or so each day.
Now to get to the problem.... whenever she gets very excited (such as during time off leash at the dog park or even running around the backyard) she will begin to bark and bite at me, to the point where it is leaving marks and hurts quite a bit. She begain this behaviour when she was very young, but she was always on leash and we were able to correct it by stopping walking and ignoring her till she calms down. I have tried ignoring the behaviour, but sometimes she gets me so hard that I have to hold her by her harness so she cannot get at me. I have recently tried bringing a toy with us to the park, and when she jumps up and nips on me I will stick that in her mouth and it always works, once she has that toy she stops biting me and is focused on that, unless she drops it then I reintroduce it. My worry is that this method is not correcting the behaviour and is only temporarily providing me with some relief! I know that she is in a state of over arousal, and I was wondering if anyone on here had any tips for me on training this behaviour out of her, as it has become a nuisance not only for me but for some of the other girls at work.
Thank you!!!
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:30 PM
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This behaviour demonstrates that she is over her threshold of excitement and you need to do 2 things. 1) Immediately back away from her if she is off lead but more importantly is 2) give her a command such as 'sit' and then reward this. If she is too excited to do this then she needs to be on a long line so that you can move her away from the excitement until she calms down. Don't shout, threaten or hit her but give her something appropriate to do so that you can reward her. Throw a toy for her to retrieve or chase (attach it to a long piece of rope). Some young dogs like children just get too excited and then lose control of themselves.
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:47 PM
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Hi!
Thanks for the quick reply, I wasn't sure if using the toy was the right thing to do, but I guess as long as I reward her for using the toy to play with instead of me, it can work just fine! Normally she is far too excited to listen to any command I give her, but I was thinking about bringing more high value treats (chicken) with me on walks and to the field where we are practicing recall, so maybe using those will help! Also, when she is off leash at the dog park and starts acting like this, I will leash her up and take her home as there are WAY too many distractions there when she gets like this! Thanks again
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