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Biting and nipping LGD

707 Views 12 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  JoanneF
Good day to everyone

I have a livestock guardian dog 8 months old male.He lives in our yard/garden.

When we come outside the house door, when we are away and come back from work and in general when he plays and gets excited he starts biting and nipping.....its a combination of his herding instinct..frustration cause he is alone in the house for a few hours and puppy clumsiness... the result however is, although he means no harm, that this behaviour needs to stop. He is a big dog 50kgr+ and often his teeth hit bone and its quite painful...he even grazed by accident my 4 y.o. son's eyebrow when they stumbled together to the ground while playing...

The truth is that i dont have huge amounts of time to dedicate but i ve trained him to basic obedience/leash walking and many other simple things. I tried to stop him biting with positive reinforcement , with a slip leash, by shouting that am in pain e.t.c...but only work momentarily.i dont have a crate to isolate him for a time out when he demonstrates this behaviour but i can put him on a leash and let him calm down in a corner of the yard for a short break...which seems to work a bit.
The behaviour is much more pronunciated when he is around my child that have the same height and the dog treats him as another puppy and plays rough with him...the truth is the child is also reactive and when the biting starts the child reacts and i have to intervene and step in not knowing who to protect...The truth is... that due to a panosteitis problem and loose hips for the last two months i have stopped being strict with him and let him do whatever he likes,but that led to stubborness and dominant behaviour from his side...Now though we are into adolescence and need some catch up in training

Any suggestions? Will he quit doing that or do it less growing up?Which method do you suggest considering all the above?
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The biting and nipping, even the rudeness/pushiness - standing in the way, sounds like typical behavior for puppy who is on his way to becoming (is not yet) an adult dog. As young dog with little self control he gets excited when he is greeting or gets a little amped up/ rough when trying to play, when it happens take a moment to consider what you could get him to do that would engage his brain and is incompatible with that behavior - perhaps cue a sit (sit to greet) or a down, even a behavior such as 'touch' your hand with his nose, or chase a tossed toy - and then reward him with a food reward (while he is learning the new, acceptable behavior) and give him the attention he is seeking.

Take a moment to consider that leashing him and leading him off to a corner to be by himself, is (in his eyes) a negative consequence for being leashed, the 'isolation' happens far too long after the biting/nipping for him to be able to associate it with that unwanted behavior.
It sounds like he may be starting to associate being leashed with negative consequence (isolation) hence the warning growl that he displayed towards your wife.

Dogs associate what happened next with what happened immediately prior to the positive or negative consequence, he cannot 'reason' /back track in time and figure out that being isolated is because of the rough play behavior that happened before being leashed and led off into the corner. The time out may give him the time he needs to calm himself, so that he doesn't immediately go back to the rough play, but he still won't understand why he ended up there in the first place.

While I can understand not having a lot of time to work with him, life is busy, but any time you can find now to invest in helping him now will pay off long run. Consider that he does need help to burn some of his puppy mental and physical energy. Perhaps taking some time each day reinforcing the skills he already has, doesn't have to be structured training sessions, a few minutes here and there works well too, brain games, 'settle', perhaps teach him some new skills that can help him to learn some self-control - leave it/ take it, wait/stay, go to a mat/bed and 'settle' there until released.
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